Milverton, Somerset

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Reddish stone building with square tower. In the foreground are a cross and lamppost.
Church of St Michael, Milverton
Milverton is located in Somerset
Location within Somerset
Population1,438 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST125255
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTAUNTON
Postcode districtTA4
Dialling code01823
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°01′20″N 3°14′56″W / 51.0221°N 3.2489°W / 51.0221; -3.2489Coordinates: 51°01′20″N 3°14′56″W / 51.0221°N 3.2489°W / 51.0221; -3.2489

Milverton is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated in the valley of the River Tone 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Taunton in the Somerset West and Taunton district. The village has a population of 1,438.[1] The parish includes the hamlet of Preston Bowyer.

It has one public house, The Globe (The White Hart public house closed in March 2008), a convenience store, a piano dealership and workshop, a post office, a taxi service and a hairdresser.


The name of the village is believed to come from the Old English and mean settlement at the mill ford. There is evidence of a mill within the parish from the Domesday Book of 1086.[2] These referred to the site of the Town Mills on Hillfarrence Brook.[3]

Neolithic flint arrowheads have been found to the west of the village and Bronze Age axe heads were discovered when the bypass, which opened in 1975, was being built.[3]

Just before the Norman Conquest, Milverton was granted by Queen Edith to Bishop Giso of Wells, but this was reversed by William the Conqueror. The manor was then united with Torrington in Devon passing in 1212 to William Briwere.[3] The parish was part of the Milverton Hundred,[4]

The Old House is a Grade II* listed building dating from the late 14th and early 15th century.[5] It was built as a residence for the archdeacon of Taunton and was once the home of Thomas Cranmer.[6][7] While the house was being renovated in the early 21st century a Tudor wall painting of Henry VIII was discovered underneath the plaster and is the only one of its kind in a domestic dwelling.[8] It has been speculated that there is a secret message in the image.,[9] which has been dated to around 1541.[10]

In 1708 there was a fire which destroyed 13 properties.[2] Trade was largely based on cloth manufacture and in 1819 Lamech Swift established a silk throwing factory which employed up to 300 women and children.[3]

The village used to have a station on the Devon and Somerset Railway, which closed in 1966.


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, 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 the responsibility of the council.

The village falls within the non-metropolitan district of Somerset West and Taunton, which was established on 1 April 2019. It was previously in the district of Taunton Deane, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and part of Wellington Rural District before that.[11] The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.

Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.

There is an electoral ward in the name of 'Milverton and North Deane'. Milverton is the most populous village in the ward but this stretches north to Lydeard St Lawrence. The total population at the 2011 Census was 2,208.[12]

It is also part of the Taunton Deane county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

Religious sites[edit]

The Church of St Michael dates from the 13th century, on the site of an even earlier chapel, and has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[13]

Notable residents[edit]

Milverton was the birthplace of Thomas Young (1773–1829), an English polymath who contributed to the scientific understanding of vision, light, solid mechanics, energy, physiology, and Egyptology.

John Francis Ebdon (1876–1952) was an English cricketer born in the village. Another cricketer, Australian-born Herbert Oxley Hopkins (1895–1972) died in the village.


  1. ^ a b "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Gathercole, Clare. "Milverton" (PDF). The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey. Somerset County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The complete guide. Wimborne: The Dovecote Press Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
  4. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  5. ^ Historic England. "The Old House (1060552)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  6. ^ "'Significant' Tudor painting discovered". University of Bristol. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Mural of King Henry VIII uncovered in Somerset". BBC. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Every inch a king". Society for the protection of ancient buildings. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  9. ^ Carroll, Su (30 May 2013). "Hidden heritage is in the spotlight for Secret Homes series". Western Morning News. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  10. ^ Hughes, Bettany (7 June 2013). "Bettany Hughes' new series Britain's Secret Homes unearths properties around the country with a story to tell". Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Wellington RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Milverton and North Deane ward 2011". Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Michael (1060554)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 October 2008.

External links[edit]