Historical Context

There are records of a settlement here going back to the Domesday Book when it was known as the King’s Manor of Brunetone. Subsequent records show that a stronger religious influence came to bear in the 12th Century with the establishment of St Nicholas’s Priory, about 2 miles south west of Brunetone at Barlynch, which remained in place until the 16th Century when it was finally dissolved. The Lord of the Manor changed several times from the 12th Century with little record of how life changed within the Manor during that period. Then, the Inclosure Act of 1804 brought about some major changes when open commons were inclosed for farming and parcels of land were bought by several different families forming the basis of the farms and small-holdings that remain today. Links from this page provide a more detailed understanding of both the King’s Manor of Brunetone and St Nicholas’s Priory in these early days.

Records of the village over the last 100 years are more easily available and have been collected by people to whom I am very grateful. Photographs of the village’s history form an integral part of this record because they help bring it to life more than words alone can do. Links from this page provide more details of recent village history and of the activities that helped to bond us as a community.

The Heritage Gateway website provides an extensive list of historic sites and buildings in and around the village. A search of ‘Brompton Regis’ returns over 900 entries (some repeats), ‘Withiel Florey’ returns 22 entries and ‘Hartford’ returns 6 entries. The location of some entries can be viewed on a map.

This article published in the Parish Magazine in the late 60’s and written by Charlie Ballinger of Woolcotts (who wrote it under the alias of Saltways) helps put the history of the village into an early context

If anyone can shed further light on the village history then please let me know.

Keith Routledge -  01769 540418


The purpose of this record of village history is to provide a broad understanding of how the village has developed over the centuries and, in particular, some of the changes and challenges that the community has faced in the more recent past. Hopefully, it will help residents and visitors alike to better appreciate the village as it is today when they understand the historical context in which the village has evolved.  

It has been assimilated from a book written by Roger Steer in 1990, several volumes of material and photographs collected by Mollie Leadbeater and now in the custody of Kevin Steer, a scrapbook of past events collected by Geoff Simpson, a collection of past parish magazines from Elizabeth Luxton, photographs of Wimbleball from Arthur Heywood, an archaeological study of Redcross Farm by SouthWest Archaeology provided by Phil and Jeannie Barnard and contributions from Jim Smith, Jenny Stringer, Margaret Buckingham and others. My sincere thanks to all of them. Some general references have also been made to articles printed in the West Somerset Free Press by Hilary Binding. References to other work have been identified where appropriate.


1. This historical context has been developed based upon the work and collection of records by people within the community and by references to supporting material. It does not purport to be the work of a qualified historian with all the appropriate checks for accuracy.

2. It has not been possible to trace the owners of many of the photographs and written contributions used in this website. They have been used in good faith in the knowledge that they were contributed to previous records of village history.