Theale.ws

...daily life in a Somerset village

Local information

The parish of Theale nestles within the civil parish of Wedmore which is in the county of Somerset, England. Wedmore is situated on raised ground, in the Somerset Levels between the River Axe and River Brue, often called the Isle of Wedmore, Theale is on the East side of Wedmore as you travel towards The City of Wells. Wedmore forms part of Sedgemoor district. The Wedmore parish consists of three main villages: Wedmore, Blackford and Theale, with fourteen hamlets  including Bagley, Cocklake, Mudgley and Panborough. Wedmore has a population of 3,111 according to the 2001 census.

Within the Parish of Theale we have 2 places of worship, one public House – The Panborough Inn, a village Hall, an annual Village Flower Show and home to the famous ‘Theale Players’.

The centre of Wedmore includes doctors, a dentist, 2 butchers, a village store, fish monger, a post office, three pubs and several other small shops. It is located 4 miles (6 km) south of Cheddar, 7 miles (11 km) west of the city of Wells and 7 miles north-west of Glastonbury.

History

Iron Age remains have been found in the area, and there are a number of Roman sites in the district.

The name Wedmore in Old English probably means hunting lodge and there was a Saxon royal estate in the area. After winning the Battle of Ethandun, Alfred the Great caused the Viking leader Guthrum and his followers to be baptised at Aller and then celebrated at Wedmore. After this the Vikings withdrew to East Anglia.

The Treaty of Wedmore is a term used by historians for an event referred to by the monk Asser in his Life of Alfred, outlining how in 878 the Viking leader Guthrum accepted Alfred the Great as his adoptive father. No such treaty still exists but there is a document that is not specifically linked to Wedmore that is a Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum.

In 1853 a hoard of 200 silver coins dating from the Saxon period was found in the churchyard. In 1998 a Saxon ring, made of copper alloy with a unique knot design, dating from the 6th or 7th century was found in the village. According to Domesday Book, Wedmore was one of the holdings of the Bishop of Wells with 18 cottages, woodlands, pasture and two fisheries.

In the medieval period Wedmore was the centre for the surrounding agricultural area, with weekly markets as well as a larger annual one. The market cross dates from the 14th century.

In the 17th century Dr John Westover built a mental hospital to which patients came from all over the West Country. This is believed to have been England's first private lunatic asylum. Apparently the doctor treated his patients compassionately, ensuring that they had luxuries such as playing cards and tobacco. He also kept a record of the ailments of Wedmore people over a period of 15 years.

The Post Office dates from Georgian times while the Old Vicarage was built at the end of the 15th century. The George Hotel was a 16th-century coaching inn and the chemist's shop in Church Street was a Victorian department store.  Between 1881 and 1898 the Rev Hervey produced the Wedmore Chronicle which gives a picture of the people and area at the time.

Governance

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 Sedgemoor, which was formed on April 1, 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Axbridge Rural District, which 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.

More information on your local Theale councillors and contact details are here

 

 

 

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