Wiveliscombe Town Guide
...a peaceful part of Somerset to relax and enjoy or walk, cycle and ride through the beautiful countryside.
Affectionately known locally as ‘Wivey’ it serves as a market town to the local community of scattered farms and hamlets which sit down winding wooded lanes at the base of the Brendon Hills.
There are indicators of occupation over many many years in the area. The iron age hillfort at Clatworthy camp shows signs of ancient settlements and the date ranges of various hordes of coins found on Castle Hill to the east of the town show that the Romans must have occupied the area for a considerable time.
In the 11thcentury King Edward granted the parish to the Bishops of Bath and Wells and the town became a favoured home of the Bishops for many years after. There was reputed to be a Bishops Palace in the area although very little of this remains to be certain of its significance.
Wiveliscombe is one of what is known as the ’10 Parishes’ from the surrounding area, the others being the parishes of Ashbrittle, Bathealton, Brompton Ralph, Chipstable, Clatworthy, Fitzhead, Huish Champflower, Milverton and Stawley.
Situated at the base of the Brendon hills which themselves are on the edge of Exmoor National Park the town is a lovely base from which to discover the delights of the surrounding area.
It was noted for its brewery built in 1807 by William Hancock, although this particular brewery changed hands over the years a number of times and finally closed however there are still two breweries remaining – Cotleigh Brewery and Exmoor Ales to keep the tradition alive.
The Church of St Andrew is a fairly late addition for Exmoor standards dating as it does from 1827 but it is noted for its large vaulted undercroft and extensive catacombs.
In 1871 the railway was introduced and helped to develop the town up until the Beeching cuts which closed the lone in 1966.
Wiveliscombe still retains its country charm with friendly people and plenty of local activities so there is much to do for any visitor.
Things to see and do
Fishing – trout fishing is available at Clatworthy Reservoir or Wimbleball Lake
Horse Riding at:
Horner Farm, Horner, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 8HY 01643 862056
Stookes Farm , Livery and riding lessons
Stookes Farm, Huish Champflower, Wiveliscombe, TA4 2HJ 01984 624608
Walking and cycling across Exmoor, Coleridge Way, West Deane Way
Local places of interest
Gaulden Manor – a limestone manor house with a bog garden, herb garden, lovely herbaceous borders and a secret garden.
Coombe Sydenham Hall and Country Park – Unspoilt nature and connections to Sir Francs Drake await visitors to this lovely place.
Minehead – the local seaside town with plenty on offer for all tastes
Dunster and Dunster Castle – the history and charm of Dunster is not to be missed
Exmoor National Park – with its extensive area offering activities, wildlife and gentle strolls
Brendon Hills – the local hills offering great views and lots of pathways and tracks to follow
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015