Williton Town Guide
...a local town close to Exmoor and the Somerset coastline
Williton is a local administrative centre for the district and sits roughly equal distance between the larger towns of Minehead, Taunton and Bridgwater. A good place as a base for visiting the local area and the wonderful sights of Exmoor and its quaint villages.
Evidence from the Orchard Wyndham house area show that people have been living in the area for thousands of years. A pre Roman settlement and a Roman fortlet are remnants of those early people. King Edward had a hunting lodge at ‘Willetun’. The manor belonged to the Fitz-Urse family in the 12thcentury who were renowned for Reynold Fitz-Urse being one of the 4 murderers of Thomas a Becket. For the most part small farms and agricultural businesses were the main stay of Williton.
It is thought the name means ‘Estate on the Willet’ or Willite River which runs through the town. It sits on the junction of two main roads – the A39 from Bridgwater and the A358 from Taunton. Mich of the town dates from the 19thcentury although in Long Street and a few others there are some houses that can be dated back to the 17thcentury.
Orchard Wyndham house is the local manor and a grade I listed building and although privately owned is open occasionally during August for visitors to browse. It is thought the name partly derives from the Saxon name ‘de Horchard’ and although slightly changed keeps a reminder of its past.
St Peters church has a medieval nave and chancel although only the east and west walls survive. It also has one of the lovely restored stations on the West Somerset Railway, has a much visited and unusual Bakelite museum.
Things to see and do
West Somerset Railway – one of 10 stops on the fine privately owned railway on which to travel in an old steam train and imagine days gone by
Bakelite Museum – one of the largest collections of vintage plastics in Britain which contains quirky and rare items.
Local places of interest
Minehead – a vibrant seaside town offering all the usual attractions and fun you would find by the sea.
Dunster and Dunster Castle – the old world still exists with a visit to Dunster and its historical buildings and streets. The magnificent castle sits proudly on the hill overlooking the village and is an attraction not to be missed.
Exmoor National Park – with wildlife and scenery that is awe-inspiring, superb villages and plenty of routes along which to walk or cycle, a visit to Exmoor is a delight for everyone.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015