Stogumber (/stəˈɡʌmbər/) is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, on the eastern flank of the Brendon Hills. Besides Stogumber village itself, the parish includes the hamlets of Ashbeer, Capton, Escott, Higher Vexford, Kingswood, Lower Vellow, Lower Vexford, Preston, and Vellow. The village is on the route of the Samaritans Way South West.

Location within Somerset
Population702 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST095375
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTaunton
Postcode districtTA4
Dialling code01984
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament


The name comes from the Old English Stoke meaning 'place' or 'dairy farm' with the addition in 1225 of the personal name Gunner.[2]

Approximately 0.8 miles (1.3 km) north-west of the village is Curdon Camp a univallate Iron Age hill fort.[3] The camp was nearly completely destroyed by quarrying and bulldozing.

The parish of Stogumber was part of the Williton and Freemanners Hundred.[4]

The manor of Stogumber was held from 1286 by the Andleys family and later the Sydenhams (1396–1626) and Notleys (from 1896).[2]

Five fulling mills were established in the village between the 13th and 18th century to support the cloth making industry.[2]

A 19th-century limekiln in Lower Vellow was originally attached to a quarry.[5]


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 West Somerset, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and part of Williton Rural District before that.[6] 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.

It is also part of the Bridgwater and West Somerset 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, and 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.


Combe Sydenham is a Grade I listed 15th-century manor house.[7]

Hartrow Manor was a late-16th-century manor house.[8]


Stogumber railway station is an intermediate station on the West Somerset Railway, now a steam-operated heritage railway operating between Bishops Lydeard, near Taunton, and Minehead.

Religious sites

The parish Church of St Mary dates from the late 13th century. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[9] It was founded as a Saxon minster with a chapelry at Bicknoller and other dues payable from property in Monksilver, Clatworthy and Elworthy.[2] The Old Vicarage which is a now private dwelling, was built in the 15th century.[10] The old brewhouse behind the vicarage is medieval in origin.[11]

The Chantry chapel in Vellow was licensed as the Chapel of Our Lady Sweetwell in 1542.[12]

The Baptist Church in Brook Street dates from the 19th century.[13]

Notable residents

In literature

John de Stogumber is the name of a chaplain in George Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan. The name was selected after Shaw contacted the local rector to check that there was no-one living with the surname.[15]

Gabriel Stogumber is the name of a Bow Street Runner investigating the robbery of a consignment of newly minted gold sovereigns in Georgette Heyer's novel The Toll-Gate.


  1. "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The Complete Guide. Dovecote Press. pp. 193–194. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
  3. "Curdon Wood Camp". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Digital Digging. Archived from the original on 11 August 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  4. "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  5. "Lime Kiln at NGR ST 0969 3873". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  6. "Williton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  7. "Combe Sydenham". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  8. "Hartrow Manor". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  9. "Church of St Mary". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  10. "The Old Vicarage". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  11. "The Brewhouse, about 10 metres South of The Old Vicarage". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  12. "Vellow Chantry". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  13. "Baptist Church". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  14. New England Historical Genealogical Register,: Volume 53 1899
  15. Byford, Enid (1987). Somerset Curiosities. Dovecote Press. p. 114. ISBN 0946159483.
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