Cheddar, Somerset Family History Guide

Cheddar is an Ancient Parish in the county of Somerset.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1678
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1601

Nonconformists include: Baptist and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Glastonbury St Benedict
  • Charterhouse
  • Wedmore
  • Rodney Stoke
  • Shipham
  • Rowberrow
  • Compton Bishop
  • Weare
  • Axbridge
  • Winscombe
  • Priddy

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CHEDDAR, a village and a parish in Axbridge district, Somerset. The village stands near the Cheddar Cliffs, on the S side of the Mendip hills, 2½ miles ESE of Axbridge; and is near a station of the Cheddar Valley and Yatton railway, from Yatton to Wells, opened in 1869. It is an ancient but decayed place, irregularly built; and it has a post office under Weston-super-Mare, two inns, and an old market-cross restored in 1834. A considerable market was long held in it; and there still are fairs on 4 May and 29 Oct. The parish includes also part of Draycott hamlet. Acres, 6,998. Real property, £12,634. Pop., 2,032. Houses, 457. The property is much subdivided. The manor was a seat of Alfred the Great; and belonged afterwards to the De Cheddars, who long represented the county in parliament. The manor-house stood near Axbridge; and is partly extant in a farm-house. Cheddar Cliffs are a narrow, winding, romantic ravine, nearly a mile long, faced with vertical cliffs, cut by fissures, festooned with shrubs, fashioned naturally into buttresses, towers, and pinnacles, and rising in one part to an altitude of 429 feet. A copious streamlet issues from the chasm; has power enough, after a few hundred yards, to drive paper and corn mills; and passes on to the Axe. A cavern, accidentally discovered at the enlarging of a corn mill in 1839, possesses a singularly rich display of stalagmites and stalactites, in great variety, of beautiful, grotesque, and fantastic forms. This cavern is small and narrow; but others exist of larger size, great gloomy vaults; and one of them can be explored for about 300 feet. Cheddar cheese has been famous from early times; and owes its excellence, in a main degree, to the rich pasture of the grass farms. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £203. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Wells. The church is perpendicular English, with a square tower 100 feet high; and contains a sculptured stone pulpit, a rich oaken screen, and two brasses of 1443. There are chapels for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists. A school has £46 from endowment; and other charities have £152.

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


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Somerset
Civil Registration District: Axbridge
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Dean and Chapter of Wells
Diocese: Bath and Wells
Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 - None, Post-1844 - Axbridge
Poor Law Union: Axbridge
Hundred: Winterstoke
Province: Canterbury