This is The West Country | CommuniGate | Blackford, Somerset. Parish, Genealogy, families, history etc Feedback
This is The West Country -  CommuniGate
Content * * *



Forward_Blackford_book (old book)




Index_Blackford_book (old book)



Map, How to find us?

DATES and Events

Gifford Family

Parish Facts, Services, Contacts etc

Church Photos

Local Area

NEW Blackford Book - Index

Introduction to NEW book

Oil & Gas - SAVINGS?!

TV - Digital switchover

Computer Security


About this website


Post Office

Great Flood of 2008! + Flooding Contacts etc,

Great flood - pictures

Great flood - pictures (2)

Police, Neighbourhood Watch etc

South Som Assoc Voluntary & Community Action

Carers - Support and information

Medical Tips

Maintenance, Riparian rights & other general advice

Snow 2009!

Snow 2009 (2)

Snow 2009 (3)


RNAS Yeovilton

A303 roadworks 2009/10

Planning & Conservation Area

Morris Men visit

Inter-village Cricket


Minor Injuries & Yeovil NHS Healthcare Centre

Local suppliers, facilities etc

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

Directory of Tradesman

Local Accommodation

Septic Tanks

Compton Pauncefoot - NEW BOOK

Parish Meeting - powers, organisation etc

Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012

Snow 2013

Snow 2013 - Compton Pauncefoot

Emergency, Highways & Council contacts

Oil tanks - thefts and security

Flood 2014

Links for Blackford Community & History

Message Board


Event Calendar

Mail Form


Blackford near Wincanton, Somerset. A village and its people

The 'black ford', midway between Wincanton and Sparkford crossed a stream which now feeds the lake of Compton Castle. King Edgar (959-75) gave the estate here to Glastonbury Abbey, but it had passed to Turstin FitzRolf before 1086. The manor was given up to the bishop under an agreement concluded in 1275 and was retained by Bath and Wells until its enforced sale to the Duke of Somerset in 1548.

Blackford is around 75m above sea level (much of the Somerset Levels is 7m or less above sea level).

The Manor was first given to Glastonbury by King Edwy of the Saxons, and, according to the Domesday Book, four hides were retained by Glastonbury and one went to the tenant of Thurstin Fitz Rolph, Lord of Cadbury. In 1284 it is recorded that Alma de Blackford held the ‘Ville of Blakeford’ from Roger de Moels, and in 1305 Lovel, Lord of Castle Cary, obtained a part of it. The whole manor was held by Nicholas de St Maur in 1362 and his son married into thc Erleigh family of Backington. Through lack of male heirs the property was again divided, but eventually came into the possession of two men who were cousins and who were jointly presented to the Rectory of Blackford in 1518; the manor remained in this situation until the end of the 17th century.

There are some fine historic buildings in Blackford:
East Hall Farm was built in the 17th century, though some parts of it were added later. It was built of local Cary stone with a Doulting stone dressing and has mullioned windows and a chamfered archway in the porch. The impressive staircase is original, and so are the beams and window seats. There is a very old barn, and a dairy was added in the 19th century. There is also a working water-wheel, a fishpond and a carefully arranged arboretum.
Chapel Cottage is up a narrow lane by the stream, and dates from the 15th century; it is reputed to have once been a small chapel with a cottage attached. However while there is some uncertainty over this there is no doubt over its authentic features including a stone spiral staircase, exposed beams and inglenook fireplaces.
Old Beams at the end of the same lane was built in 1738 of Cary stone and has some mullioned windows.

Blackford is a tiny village even by Somerset standards, but at least one family from this community became famous; in the 18th century the Cafe Family were prominent goldsmiths in London.

The modern Domesday Book simply describes Blackford, near Wincanton, as a village of thatched houses with a medieval dovecote. Sadly, the medieval dovecote belongs to another village of the same name in the north of the county, between Porlock and Minehead, but if you want to know more about South Somerset's Blackford, a new book called "Blackford - the story of a village and its people" compiled by Susan Hartnell-Beavis is now available.

This book, produced as one of Blackford's Millennium projects, tells the story of the village through the memories and writings of those who live and have lived there. It also considers some of the influences that shaped those lives. By looking at the houses, it shows how the number of actual dwellings has reduced dramatically. It tells how many people lived in those houses, what work they did, whether they could read and write, and whether they were able to support themselves. The church is examined, both as a building and as an institution and the rise and fall of non-conformism is traced. It also follows the establishment of the Reading Room from its early days to the present.

For those who like a more personal history, it includes information about the people who have made Blackford what it has become over the past 150 years, set in the context of the previous Millennium.
It is not intended to be an academic work, but it is hoped that all who read it will find it of interest, for it is probably the story of many other small villages in this county. The set may look a little different, the cast may change, but the essential elements will be much the same.
"Blackford - The story of a village and its people" (ISBN 095204831) can be ordered from all good bookshops, or by contacting Susan Hartnell-Beavis, Chapel Lane Cottage, Blackford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7EF, price £10 including postage and packing. All proceeds (after p+p) go to the Reading Room.
See below for details of a new book!

Aerial Photo

Aerial Photo

Which Blackford?

There are many other villages called Blackford in the UK. There is a larger village near Wedmore and another small one near Minehead (with the Dovecote) in Somerset as well as several in Scotland (Grampian, Aberdeenshire, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries & Galloway and Tayside, Perth & Kinross) and also in Cumbria and Shropshire. Other similar named Blackford include Blackfordby, Blackfords, Blackford Bridge, Blackford Hill and Blackford Mill. Our village is a collection of around 30 dwellings. Blackford, Somerset, England, UK Postcode BA22 7E on the borders of South Somerset, Dorset (North), and Wiltshire and is near towns and villages including: Templecombe, Charlton Horethorne, Maperton, Holton, Sparkford, North Cadbury, South Cadbury, Compton Pauncefoot, Woolston, Yarlington, Yeovil, Wincanton, Castle Cary, Sherborne (Dorset), Mere (Wiltshire). A central map reference is ST 657 261.

Baron Blackford, of Compton Pauncefoot

Baron Blackford, of Compton Pauncefoot in the County of Somerset, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1935 for the barrister William James Peake Mason. He had already been created a Baronet, of Compton Pauncefoot in the County Somerset, in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom in 1918. The titles became extinct in 1988 on the death of his great-grandson, the fourth Baron.

New Book published

There are less than 50 copies of the first book remaining and are expected to be sold out shortly.

Having secured lottery and SSDC funding a new book has now been written. Not all information from the previous book has been included in the new book as the objectives were a little different.

Charting its History & Recent Changes

ISBN 978–09520483–2–9
© Beaufort Press 2007

Please contact the author on and she will give you details of cost (£10 for those who collect their own copies or £13 with UK p&p), how to order and overseas p&p. Cheque payable to S.R. Hartnell-Beavis (Beaufort Press Account).

This new book is nearly twice the size of the first book, with lots more information and a large number of colour photos. We do hope you will find it interesting and helpful in your family and village research. Available from February 2008.

This page has been visited times.

Email Email page
Feedback Feedback
Home Home

Blackford_Somerset |St_Michaels_Blackford |Blackford_books |Forward_Blackford_book (old book) |Contents_Old_Blackford_book |Buy_Blackford_books |Reading_Room |Index_Blackford_book (old book) |Disclaimer_+_adding_info |Aerial_Photos |Map, How to find us? |DATES and Events |Gifford Family |Parish Facts, Services, Contacts etc |Church Photos |Local Area |NEW Blackford Book - Index |Introduction to NEW book |Oil & Gas - SAVINGS?! |TV - Digital switchover |Computer Security |Broadband |About this website |Transport |Post Office |Great Flood of 2008! + Flooding Contacts etc, |Great flood - pictures |Great flood - pictures (2) |Police, Neighbourhood Watch etc |South Som Assoc Voluntary & Community Action |Carers - Support and information |Medical Tips |Maintenance, Riparian rights & other general advice |Snow 2009! |Snow 2009 (2) |Snow 2009 (3) |Roads |RNAS Yeovilton |A303 roadworks 2009/10 |Planning & Conservation Area |Morris Men visit |Inter-village Cricket |Footpaths |Minor Injuries & Yeovil NHS Healthcare Centre |Local suppliers, facilities etc |Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance |Directory of Tradesman |Local Accommodation |Septic Tanks |Compton Pauncefoot - NEW BOOK |Parish Meeting - powers, organisation etc |Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012 |Snow 2013 |Snow 2013 - Compton Pauncefoot |Emergency, Highways & Council contacts |Oil tanks - thefts and security |Flood 2014 |Links for Blackford Community & History |Message Board |Guestbook |Event Calendar |Mail Form