Wiveliscombe facts for kids

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Wiveliscombe
Street scene with buildings and shops. The three storey building on the left has a sign saying The Courthouse.
Court House, Wiveliscombe, built by the Hancock family (a local brewing family) in 1881
Wiveliscombe shown within Somerset
Population 2,893 (2011)
OS grid reference ST080279
District
  • Taunton Deane
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town TAUNTON
Postcode district TA4
Dialling code 01984
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
  • Taunton Deane
List of places
UK
England
SomersetCoordinates: 51°02′35″N 3°18′49″W / 51.0431°N 3.3137°W / 51.0431; -3.3137

Wiveliscombe (/wɪvɛˈliskəm/) is a small town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated 9 miles (14 km) west of Taunton in the Taunton Deane district. The town has a population of 2,893. The Square, fronted by several listed structures, held the former market. The parish includes the nearby hamlet of Maundown.

History

Settlement in the neighborhood is of long standing. The Neolithic hillfort at King's Castle is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) east of the town. North west of the town is Clatworthy Camp, an Iron Age hill fort. Nearby is Elworthy Barrows, an unfinished Iron Age hill fort, rather than Bronze Age barrows. A rectangular enclosure south of Manor Farm is the remains of a Roman fort; in the 18th century its vestiges of fortifications and foundations were identified as being of Roman origin, and it was locally called "the Castle". In the 18th century a hoard of about 1600 Roman coins of third and fourth century dates was uncovered.

The Anglo-Saxon settlement, the combe or valley of a certain Wifele, was mentioned in the Domesday survey (1086), when it was quite large, consisting of twenty-seven households, with an annual value to the lord, the Bishop of Wells St Andrew, of £25. During the Middle Ages the bishops maintained a residence here.

The parish of Wiveliscombe was part of the Kilmersdon Hundred,

The Town Hall was built in 1840 by Somerset surveyor Richard Carver for Lord Ashburton. It housed a fish market, a butchers’ market and a pig market with an assembly room above them. It is a Grade II listed building. It was bought by The Cooperative Society in 1929 and converted to shops, the hall being left unused. By 2010, plans were drawn up for the creation there of an Arts, Media, Cultural and Heritage Venue. The Abbotsfield cottages were built by businessman Lukey Collard in the 1870s; they became a Grade II listed building in 1975.

In 2010 a new 10 Parishes Centre was announced which will provide a new community facility alongside the Children’s Centre being built at Croft Way.

Geography

Wiveliscombe is a former borough, market and cloth making town, 5 miles (8 km) from the border between Devon and Somerset. It is situated at the foot of the Brendon Hills and acts as a gateway to Exmoor.

The town used to have a station on the Devon and Somerset Railway which closed in 1966. Clatworthy Reservoir is nearby.

Demography

The town's population in 1777 was 1,533. While the modern population of 2,670 is small for a town, its shops and services meet the needs of a much larger population, spread through the western fifth of Taunton Deane, in scattered farms and villages. A survey in 1997 revealed that there were at least 300 businesses within a 5-mile (8 km) radius of the town; 14 of these were trading internationally and a further 20 nationally. Wiveliscombe is also home to two breweries, Cotleigh Brewery and Exmoor Ales. It is also one of the first towns in the UK to set up a completely free goods and services exchange forum for the local ten parishes area.

The community radio station 10Radio is based in the town, serving the community of the ten parishes from which its name is derived. 105.3FM in the local area and via the internet at www.10radio.org.

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