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"WATCHET, a township, seaport, and market town in the parish of St. Decuman, hundred of Williton, county Somerset, 5 miles E. of Dunster, and 18 W. of Bridgwater, to which it is a subport. It is the terminus of the West Somerset railway. It was called by the Saxons Wecedport, and was several times burnt by the Danes in the 9th and 10th centuries. At the Conquest it was given by William I. to the Mohuns, and once returned members to parliament in the reign of Edward I. The town is situated in a creek on the coast of the Bristol Channel, and has a tidal harbour of ten acres, which has recently been improved by the construction of a breakwater. It is sheltered from all winds, having piers on the E. and W. sides, with quays and a landing-slip. A considerable trade is carried on in grain, flour, malt, iron ore, coal, and timber. There are also an iron foundry, extensive paper-mills, lime works, and a cloth manufactory. The population of the town in 1861 was about 1,000. It is a coastguard station, and manorial courts are held annually by the Wyndham family. The cliffs in the vicinity abound with alabaster and limestone, in which are embedded fossil fish, ichthyosauri, and traces of strontian. For church, &c., see [Decuman, St.], Market day is on Saturday. A fair is held on the 17th November." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003


References in the British Library:
  • The Official Guide to Watchet, Somerset. (Watchet as a Health and Holiday Resort.-Watchet. Official guide.).E. J. Burrow & Co.: Cheltenham, [1919- .]



You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Watchet area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Watchet which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Watchet has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ST070430 (Lat/Lon: 51.178590, -3.331888), Watchet which are provided by:


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.

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