Churchill, Somerset

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Multiple houses mostly with red roofs seen in a valley between the vegetation in the foreground and the hills beyond.
Churchill seen from Dolebury Warren
Churchill is located in Somerset
Churchill shown within Somerset
Population2,235 (2011)
OS grid referenceST455605
Civil parish
  • Churchill and Langford
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBS25
Dialling code01934
PoliceAvon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°20′07″N 2°47′47″W / 51.3354°N 2.7963°W / 51.3354; -2.7963Coordinates: 51°20′07″N 2°47′47″W / 51.3354°N 2.7963°W / 51.3354; -2.7963

Churchill is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. It is located in the unitary authority of North Somerset, on the western edge of the Mendip Hills about 8 miles (12.9 km) east of Weston-super-Mare. The parish, which includes the village of Lower Langford and the hamlet of Upper Langford has a population of 2,235.[1]

The village has a post office with shop and tea rooms, a fish and chip shop, a memorial hall, a doctor's surgery, a hotel, a number of bed and breakfasts, a sports centre with swimming pool, a dry ski slope and outdoor pursuits centre and four pubs: The Crown Inn, The Nelson Arms, The Stag and Hounds and The Churchill Inn.


The Churchill family, who gave rise to the first Duke of Marlborough and later Sir Winston Churchill, derives its name from the parish. They had historical connections with it.[2]

The village is around the junction of the A38 and A368 and is overlooked by Dolebury Warren, a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)[3] which has evidence of occupation of the site during the Iron Age,[4] and Romano-British materials.[5] In addition to the remains of double ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort still being visible there is also evidence of a medieval rabbit warren.[6] At Dinghurst south of the village is the site of an Iron Age univallate hill fort and Roman fort.[7]

The parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred.[8]

The Jubilee Clock Tower was built in 1897 by Foster and Wood of Bristol and was restored in 1977.[9]

Over Langford Manor, (also known as The Old Courthouse (of the infamous Judge Jeffreys) in Upper Langford is a Grade II listed building dating from the late 15th century.[10]

Jenny Jones, Britain's Olympic snow boarding medalist trained at the Churchill dry ski slope. She was the first Briton ever to win an Olympic medal for a snow event.[11]


The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council's operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, such as the village hall or community centre, playing fields and playgrounds, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also of interest to the council.

The parish falls within the unitary authority of North Somerset which was created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992. It provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for almost all local government functions within its area including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection, recycling, cemeteries, crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism. It is also responsible for education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire, police and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the Great Western Ambulance Service.

North Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county. Its administrative headquarters is in the town hall in Weston-super-Mare. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Woodspring District of the county of Avon.[12] Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Axbridge Rural District.[13]

The parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of the Weston-super-Mare county constituency. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It is also part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.


Churchill C.E.V.C. Primary School is the primary school serving both Churchill and Langford. It has around 200 pupils ages 4 to 11. The school, which is located in the adjacent village of Lower Langford, was newly built in 2002 after relocating from its former location at Ladymead Lane.

Churchill Academy and Sixth Form is the state-run secondary school and specialist Arts College serving nearby villages in North Somerset. It has around 1,550 students between the ages of 11 and 18 and is located on Churchill Green. Facilities include the sixth form centre, cafeterias and the neighbouring Churchill Sports Centre with playing fields.


The church of St John the Baptist was built around 1360. The tower has three stages with diagonal buttresses, moulded string courses, north-east polygonal higher corner stair turret with blind panelled embattled cap and pierced quatrefoil lozenge parapet with corner pinnacles and gargoyles.[14]

There is also a Methodist Church.

Life magazine feature[edit]

On 18 November 1940, American magazine Life published a major feature on the village its residents. Included were many photographs taken by Cecil Beaton.[15]


  1. ^ "2011 Census Profile". North Somerset Council. Archived from the original (Excel) on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-19-869103-7.
  3. ^ English Nature citation sheet for the site Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. (accessed on 16 July 2006)
  4. ^ "Mendip Hills: An Archaeological Survey of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (PDF). Somerset County Council Archaeological Projects. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
  5. ^ "Dolebury". Roman Britain. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  6. ^ "Dolebury Warren". Avon Wildlife Trust. Archived from the original on 9 October 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
  7. ^ "Dinghurst". Fortified England. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Jubilee Clock Tower and attached Walls and Railings". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  10. ^ "The Old Courthouse". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  11. ^ Jenny Jones wins snowboard slopestyle bronze medal at Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, The Telegraph, retrieved 9 February 2014
  12. ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  13. ^ "Axbridge RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Church of St John the Baptist, Churchill". Images of England. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Churchill, England "What we fight for"". Life. Time Inc. 9 (21). 18 November 1940. ISSN 0024-3019.

External links[edit]