Porlock  Somerset


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Porlock like this:

PORLOCK, a village and a parish in Williton district, Somerset. The village stands on a rapid rivulet, abouta mile from the shore of Porlock bay, and 6 miles W of Minehead r. station; is environed by a fertile vale, over-hung by an amphitheatre of the Exmoor hills; was known to the Saxons as Porteloca; was an importantplace, perhaps a seat of kings, in the Saxon times; wasattacked by Danish pirates in 918, and burned by Harold in 1052; retains, to the S of its church, remains of a camp formed by Harold; is now a decayed market-town; presents, nevertheless, a picturesque appearance; and has a post-office‡ under Taunton, an inn, and fairson the Thursdays before 12 May, 9 Oct., and 12 Nov. ...

The poet Southey made a sojourn here, and wrote asonnet containing the lines,

Porlock ! thy verdant vale, so fair to sight,
Thy lofty hills which fern and furze embrown,
Thy waters that roll musically down
Thy woody glens, the traveller with delight
Recalls to memory.

The parish contains also the hamlets of West Porlock, Porlock-Weir, Bossington, and Yearnor; extends somedistance along the coast; and has a port or quay, with alittle trade, 1½ mile from the village. Acres, 6,019; of which 355 are water. Real property, £4,090. Pop., 835. Houses, 176. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to Col. Blathwayte. Ashley-Combe is a seat of the Earl of Lovelace. P. bay is aslight encurvature, 4½ miles wide; and is overhung by cliffs, in some parts 300 feet high. The parish givesname to a breed of small sheep. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £339.* Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is ancient; has a wooden spire; was recently restored; and contains agrand old monument of a knight and his lady, and severalother monuments. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a Church of England school, and charities £107.

Porlock through time

Porlock is now part of West Somerset district. Click here for graphs and data of how West Somerset has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Porlock itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Porlock in West Somerset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 24th July 2024

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