Porlock is an Ancient Parish in the county of Somerset.

Other places in the parish include: Yearnor, West Porlock, Porlock Weir, and Bossington.

Alternative names:

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1618
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1594

Nonconformists include: Wesleyan Methodist

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

PORLOCK, a village and a parish in Williton district, Somerset. The village stands on a rapid rivulet, about a mile from the shore of Porlock bay, and 6 miles W of Minehead r. station; is environed by a fertile vale, over-hung by an amphitheatre of the Exmoor hills; was known to the Saxons as Porteloca; was an important place, perhaps a seat of kings, in the Saxon times; was attacked by Danish pirates in 918, and burned by Harold in 1052; retains, to the S of its church, remains of a camp formed by Harold; is now a decayed market-town; presents, nevertheless, a picturesque appearance; and has a post-office under Taunton, an inn, and fairs on the Thursdays before 12 May, 9 Oct., and 12 Nov. The poet Southey made a sojourn here, and wrote asonnet containing the lines,

Porlock ! thy verdant vale, so fair to sight,
Thy lofty hills which fern and furze embrown,
Thy waters that roll musically down
Thy woody glens, the traveller with delight
Recalls to memory.

The parish contains also the hamlets of West Porlock, Porlock-Weir, Bossington, and Yearnor; extends some distance along the coast; and has a port or quay, with a little trade, 1½ mile from the village. Acres, 6,019; of which 355 are water. Real property, £4,090. Pop., 835. Houses, 176. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to Col. Blathwayte. Ashley-Combe is a seat of the Earl of Lovelace. P. bay is a slight encurvature, 4½ miles wide; and is overhung by cliffs, in some parts 300 feet high. The parish gives name to a breed of small sheep. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £339. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is ancient; has a wooden spire; was recently restored; and contains a grand old monument of a knight and his lady, and several other monuments. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a Church of England school, and charities £107.

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

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977



England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


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


  • County: Somerset
  • Civil Registration District: Williton
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Taunton
  • Diocese: Bath and Wells
  • Rural Deanery: Dunster
  • Poor Law Union: Williton
  • Hundred: Carhampton
  • Province: Canterbury

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