Marksbury is a small village and civil parish in Somerset about 4 miles (6.4 km) from Keynsham and 7 miles (11.3 km) from Bath on the A39 where it meets the A368. The parish, which includes the villages of Hunstrete and Stanton Prior, has a population of 397.
Stantonbury Camp is the site of an Iron Age hillfort near Stanton Prior. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The hillfort, which is at the top of an isolated outcrop of Oolitic Limestone, close to the A39 road is on the route of the Wansdyke.
In 926 Æthelstan gave the manor, then spelled Merkesburie, to his son. It was later gifted to Glastonbury Abbey and in one of the Danelaw wars was taken by Danish troops. It was restored to the abbey again after the victory of Edgar the Peaceful.
Marksbury was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Mercesberia. The name of the village is thought to come from Old English either as ‘Mǣrec’s or Mearc’s stronghold’ (from an Old English male personal name + burh ‘stronghold’, ‘fortified place’, dative byrig), or as ‘stronghold on a boundary’ (from mearc ‘boundary’, possibly a reference to the Wansdyke, + burh, byrig).
The village has a primary school.
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.
Marksbury is part of the Farmborough Ward, which is represented by one councillor on the unitary authority of Bath and North East 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.
Bath and North East 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 Bath. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Wansdyke district and the City of Bath of the county of Avon. Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Bathavon Rural District.
The parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of North East Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.
According to the 2001 Census, the Farmborough Ward (which includes Compton Dando, Woollard, Hunstrete, Chewton Keynsham, Saltford and Stanton Prior) had 1,111 residents, living in 428 households, with an average age of 44.5 years. Of these 71% of residents describing their health as 'good', 21% of 16- to 74-year-olds had no qualifications; and the area had an unemployment rate of 1.0% of all economically active people aged 16–74. In the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2004, it was ranked at 22,100 out of 32,482 wards in England, where 1 was the most deprived LSOA and 32,482 the least deprived.
The Church of St Peter, is an ancient structure, with a tower containing six bells. It is believed to be late 12th century in origin but mainly from the 15th century. The tower has three stages; the first stage has diagonal buttresses, a canted stair turret in the return of tower and nave and a very small west door with a canted flat arch under a 2-light, chamfered mullion window dated 1634. The second stage has a cusped 2-light window with heavy louvres to the north, a blocked single light to the east and 2-light chamfered, vaguely pointed windows south and west, contemporary with third stage which has one enormous, round headed window with raised architrave and louvres per side, thin, embattled parapet dominated by four pyramidal pinnacles with vanes. The nave has two 2-light windows under hoodmoulds flanking a blocked, moulded round-headed door under a plaque dated 1627. The buttressed, off-centre chancel has to north one window as elsewhere, 3-light east window of 1875. There are several monuments in the chancel including those to Counsell, 1671, and Wadden, 1682. In the nave is a monument to Boulter 1782, by Brewer of Box. Reverend William Counsell was the rector (1662–74). The church is a Grade II* listed building. An unidentified monument in the churchyard is also listed.
On Wingsbury Hill are remains of an ancient chapel, probably belonging to a monastery, which formerly existed here.
Other Grade II listed buildings
- Historic England. "Church Farmhouse (1136448)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Court Farmhouse (1136413)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Winsbury House (1129522)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "No. 123 (1312741)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Crispin Cottage (1136484)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "No. 47 (1320779)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "May Tree Cottage (1136514)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "The Cottage (1320780)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Badger Cottage (1129526)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Barn and attached farm buildings about 30 metres south-east of Poplar Farm (1312733)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Becket's Place (formerly Elm Farmhouse) (1312767)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Church Farmhouse, Stanton Prior (1136550)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Lower Church Farmhouse (1129525)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Outbuildings and barn about 15 metres north of Priory Farmhouse (1129529)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Poplar Farmhouse (1129530)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Pound about 80 metres north-east of Priory Farmhouse (1136589)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Priory Farmhouse (1312754)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "The Cottage (1129531)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "The Mount (1129524)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "The Old Rectory (1129528)". National Heritage List for England.
- Historic England. "Whidcombe Farmhouse (1136520)". National Heritage List for England.
- "Marksbury Parish". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- "Area 6 Hinton Blewett and Newton St Loe Plateau Lands" (PDF). Rural Landscapes. Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- "Stantonbury Hill". Wansdyke Project 21.
- Robinson, W.J. (1915). West Country Churches. Bristol: Bristol Times and Mirror Ltd. pp. 54–60.
- Robinson, Stephen (1992). Somerset Place Names. Wimborne, Dorset: The Dovecote Press Ltd. ISBN 1-874336-03-2.
- "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
- "Bathavon RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "Neighbourhood Statistics LSOA Bath and North East Somerset 016B Farmborouch". Office for National Statistics 2001 Census. Retrieved 1 May 2006.
- Historic England. "Church of St Peter (1320777)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 April 2006.
- Historic England. "Unidentified Monument, in the churchyard and 2 metres south of nave of Church of St Lawrence (1320781)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 April 2006.
- Heeley, Ann; Vidal, Mary. Joseph Harding, Cheddar Cheese-Maker. Friends of the Abbey Barn, Glastonbury, 1996
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