Banwell is an Ancient Parish in the county of Somerset.

Other places in the parish include: Westwick, Westwick and Waywick, Woolfords-hill, Yarborough, East and West Rolston, East Rolston, Knightcot, Towerhead, West Rolston, and Waywick.

Alternative names:

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1569
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1606

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BANWELL, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict, in the district of Axbridge, Somerset. The village stands under Banwell Hill, at the NW extremity of the Mendip range, 3 miles SE of the Bristol and Exeter railway, and 4 NNW of Axbridge. It has a station on the railway, a post office under Weston-super-Mare, and two inns; and was formerly a seat of petty sessions. A fair is held at it on 18 January, or on the following Monday. A monastery was founded here by some early Saxon king; had for one of its abbots, Asserins or Asser, the biographer of King Alfred; was destroyed by the Danes, and afterwards restored; but seems to have given place to an Episcopal palace; and ceased to be monastic long before the dissolution of monasteries. A mineral well in the vicinity expands into a lakelet, drives two mills, and sends off a rivulet to the Bristol Channel near Woodspring priory. The parish contains also the hamlets of Knightcot, East and West Rolston, Towerhead, West wick and Waywick, Woolfordshill, and Yarborough. Acres, 4,829. Real property, £15,880. Pop., 1,853. Houses, 362. The property is much subdivided. Banwell-hill belongs chiefly to Captain Law, grandson of the late Bishop of Bath and Wells; and has an obelisk, erected by that prelate. The manor has belonged, since the time of Edward the Confessor, to the Bishops of Bath and Wells. A palace was built on it by Bishop Beckington, but went into neglect, and now is represented only by a large farmhouse and offices, called Banwell Court, and by a cottage ornée. Two remarkable caverns, discovered in 1824, and now so famous as to draw many visitors, occur on the skirts of Banwell Hill; the one, called the Stalactite cavern, presenting many beautiful specimens of translucent stalactites; the other, called the Bone cavern, found to have contained many bones of bears, buffalos, deer, wolves, foxes, and other animals, mingled with diluvium. Bowles depicts a geological crisis, at which he fancies the bones to have been deposited, in his poem of “Banwell Hill or “Days Departed.” The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £702. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. The church is later English; and has a richly-carved screen, a finely sculptured stone pulpit, a circular font, and three brasses. There are a Wesleyan chapel, and charities £17.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

Somerset Archives & Family History Groups

Bath Archives

Somerset Archives

Somerset & Dorset FHS

Weston-super-Mare & District FHS

Somerset Online Parish Clerk Project

Newspaper Archives

Bath Chronicle Newspaper 1770-1800


RootsChat Somerset


Bath BMD

Bath Burial Index

Roy Parkhouse’s indexed parish register transcriptions

Somerset Pages Parish Register Transcripts

West Somerset Parish Register Transcriptions

West Country Genealogy

Prisoners for Trial at Assizes 1810-1905

Prisoners in Ilchester Gaol 1821-44

Somerset Quarter Sessions

Somerset Quarter Sessions 1625-1639

Visitations of Somerset 1531 & 1573

Visitation of Somerset 1623

Somerset Trade Directory 1874

Somerset Historical Directories

GENUKI Somerset

History of Taunton

Somerset Historical Essays

Old Somerset Maps

Somerset Muster Roll 1569

Somerset Roll of Honour

Lost Pubs of Somerset

West Country Clockmakers

Bath in Time

Somerset Surnames 1881

Somerset Workhouse Admissions and Discharges

Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills Vol.1

Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills Vol.2

Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills Vol.3

Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills Vol.4

Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills Vol.5

Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills Vol.6

Somerset Medieval Wills 1501-1530

Taunton Wills 1537-1799


Old maps of Britain and Europe from A Vision of Britain Through Time


  • County: Somerset
  • Civil Registration District: Axbridge
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of Banwell
  • Diocese: Bath and Wells
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 – None, Post-1844 – Axbridge
  • Poor Law Union: Axbridge
  • Hundred: Winterstoke
  • Province: Canterbury

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