Castle Cary (/ˌkɑːsəl ˈkɛəri/)* is a small market town and
civil parish in south Somerset, England, 5 miles (8 km) north
Wincanton and 8 miles (12.9 km) south of Shepton Mallet.
The parish includes the hamlet of Dimmer.
The town is situated at the foot of Lodge Hill and on the River Cary,
a tributary of the Parrett.
Somerset and Castlecary, Lanarkshire, differ in local
pronunciation. The former is /ˌkɑːsəl ˈkɛəri/ and the latter is
1.1 May 2008 flooding
5 Religious sites
6 Notable residents
9 External links
The site of
Cary Castle is above the town. It was built either by
Walter of Douai or by the following owners, the Perceval family, after
the Norman conquest. It was besieged by King Stephen in 1138, and
again in 1153. By 1468 the castle had been abandoned in favour of a
manor house which was built beside it. The site was excavated in 1890
and demonstrated the foundations of a 24 square metres
(258 sq ft) square tower, although only the earthworks are
The parish was part of the hundred of Catsash.
The manor was held by the Lovels and descended by marriage in 1351 to
the St Maur (Seymour) family and in 1409 to the Baron Zouche. The
manor was bought in the 1780s by the Hoares of
The town grew around the mediaeval weaving industry and is home to a
horsehair weaving factory.
The Living History Group is an active group of local amateur
historians in the town who have published several books concerning the
Castle Cary and its personalities. In 1900, for example,
Castle Cary cricket club provided five players for the Devon and
Somerset Wanderers team that won the only Olympic cricket title. The
Cricket Club marked its 175th anniversary in 2012, with a celebration
Castle Cary players who played in 1900, whilst the London Games
The high-speed railway line to London, good local schools and
services, along with an attractive rural setting have all played their
part in the recent growth of the town. Nearby Viridor Waste Management
offers household recycling facilities, based on the old army camp at
Dimmer, and in conjunction with Carymoor Environmental Trust holds
educational tours around the site for schools.
On 19 June 2004,
Castle Cary was granted
Fairtrade Village status.
May 2008 flooding
On 29 May 2008
Castle Cary (and a large part of Somerset) were hit by
a rapid flash flood after a violent downpour shortly after midday.
The local drainage was soon overwhelmed and roads were covered in
several inches of water flowing towards the centre of town. Water
inundated the Horse Pond Inn, the White Hart public house and the
Co-op supermarket, but everyone soldiered on in boots.
The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including
setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s
operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The
parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with
the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch
groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish
council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance
and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the
district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of
highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning.
Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and
environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
The town falls within the
Non-metropolitan district of South Somerset,
which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972,
having previously been part of
Wincanton Rural District. The
district council is responsible for local planning and building
control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets
and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria,
leisure services, parks, and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and
most expensive local services such as education, social services,
libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services,
trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
The town is in the 'Cary' electoral ward. This stretches south to the
South Cadbury parish, and south west to Babcary. The total population
of this ward at the 2011 census was 5,502.
It is also part of the
Frome county constituency
represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United
Kingdom. It elects one
Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the
post system of election, and part of the South West England
constituency of the
European Parliament which elects six MEPs using
the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Castle Cary railway station
Castle Cary railway station is on the main
Reading to Taunton line
Reading to Taunton line and
the Heart of Wessex line. It is about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of
the town. Every year around the time of the summer solstice this
railway station is used by thousands of festival goers who travel to
nearby Worthy Farm for the
Glastonbury Festival (about 7 miles from
Glastonbury) — a parade of free buses and coaches take ticket
holders to and from the festival site.
Bus services operate from the town to Yeovil, Shepton Mallet, Street
The town is on the
Monarch's Way long-distance footpath.
The market hall
Castle Cary include a small circular eighteenth-century
prison called the roundhouse. This is a temporary prison, or village
lock-up. It was built in 1779 by Mr WM Clark for £23, from money left
to the poor of
Castle Cary in 1605. The structure is circular,
stone and has a domed roof. It is 7 feet (2.1 m) in diameter and
10 feet (3.0 m) high with two iron grills for ventilation.
The building has an inner and outer door. The interior of the building
has a single stone privy. In 1992, the Lord of the Manor, Sir Henry
Hoare Bt., gave the building to the parish council.
The Market House a grade II* listed building built in 1855 in
anticipation of increased trade after the projected arrival of the
railway in 1856, by F.C. Penrose. It replaced the former house on the
site which had stood since 1616, and incorporating some features from
the earlier building. The market house contains the local Castle
Cary and District Museum. There is a varied collection of exhibits
spread over the two floors of the building. The earliest are local
fossils including ammonites and a display about the discovery of an
ichthyosaurus at Alford. Local industry and agriculture are
represented with displays on the production of rope and hemp and a
collection of agricultural implements, tools and relics. A room is
dedicated to the live and work of Parson
James Woodforde who was born
at the Parsonage in nearby
Ansford in 1740. He was later curate at
Thurloxton before moving to Norfolk. For nearly 45 years he kept a
diary recording an existence the very ordinariness of which provides a
unique insight into the everyday routines and concerns of 18th century
Hadspen House is Grade II* Listed manor house outside the town.
The original farmhouse was built by William Player between 1687 and
1689; the Hobhouse family acquired the house in 1785 and have owned it
ever since. The gardens were restored by the garden writer and
Penelope Hobhouse in the late 1960s.
The Grade II* listed Top Mill Building at Higher Flax Mills which was
built in the 19th century is on the
Heritage at Risk register.
The largest church in the town is All Saints', which dates from 1470
and is notable for its high steeple, which contains six bells dating
from 1760 and made by Thomas Bilbie of the Bilbie family. It has
been designated by
English Heritage as a Grade II* listed
building. The Cosenes monument in the churchyard, which dates from
the 16th century, is on the
Heritage at Risk register.
There is also a Methodist church and St Andrew's in the neighbouring
town of Ansford.
Notable people from the town include the 18th-century diarist James
Woodforde who was curate between 1765 and 1775 and Douglas Macmillan,
founder of the
Macmillan Cancer Relief charity. The Macmillan Way
walking trail passes through the town.
The town has a primary and a secondary school.
Castle Cary Community
Primary School dates from 1840, whereas
Ansford Academy built in
1940 with additional rooms for science, technology, mathematics and
modern languages being added in the 1970s. A new £1.7 million Sports
Centre was completed in 2005.
^ "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles"
Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
^ Adkins, Lesley and Roy (1992). A field Guide to
Stanbridge: Dovecote press. p. 35. ISBN 0-946159-94-7.
Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
^ Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The complete guide. Wimbourne:
Dovecote Press. p. 56. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
^ "Construction and Operation of Waste Management Station" (PDF).
Somerset County Council. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
^ "Storms leave county under water". BBC News. 29 May 2008. Retrieved
29 May 2008.
Wincanton RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of
Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
^ "Cary ward 2011". Retrieved 4 March 2015.
^ Byford, Enid (1987).
Somerset Curiosities. Dovecote Press.
p. 16. ISBN 0946159483.
^ Historic England. "The Round House (1056279)". National Heritage
List for England. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
^ Warren, Derrick (2005). Curious Somerset. Stroud: Sutton Publishing.
p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7509-4057-3.
^ Historic England. "Market House (262020)". Images of England.
Retrieved 31 May 2010.
Castle Cary Museum".
Castle Cary Museum. Retrieved 31 May
^ Historic England. "Hadspen House (1251809)". National Heritage List
for England. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
^ "Gardening guru
Penelope Hobhouse sells her Dorset house and
garden". Times. 30 March 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
^ "Top mill building, Higher Flax Mills, Torbay Road, Castle
Cary — South Somerset". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage.
Retrieved 19 October 2013.
^ Moore, James; Rice, Roy; Hucker, Ernest (1995). Bilbie and the Chew
Valley clock makers. The authors. ISBN 0-9526702-0-8.
^ Historic England. "Church of All Saints (261982)". Images of
England. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
^ "Cosenes monument, Church of All Saints, Church Street, Castle
Cary — South Somerset". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage.
Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October
^ Historic England. "
Castle Cary Primary School (262023)". Images of
England. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
Ansford School Facilities".
Ansford School. Archived from the
original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Castle Cary.
Castle Cary at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Castle Cary Town Council
Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey: Castle Cary, by Miranda
Ceremonial county of Somerset
Bath and North East Somerset
Boroughs or districts
See also: List of civil parishes in Somerset
Axe (Bristol Channel)
Axe (Lyme Bay)
Hoar Oak Water
Yeo (South Somerset)
Culture of Somerset
Economy of Somerset
Geography of Somerset
Geology of Somerset
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
High Sheriff of Somerset
History of Somerset
Local nature reserves
Lord Lieutenant of Somerset
National nature reserves
Population of major settlements
Transport in Somerset
Geographic areas: Blackdown Hills
South West Coast Path
Somerset Coast Path
Towns, villages and hamlets in the South
Somerset district of
Abbas and Templecombe
Barton St David
Buckland St Mary
Combe St Nicholas
Cricket St Thomas
Hinton St George
Knowle St Giles
Seavington St Mary
Seavington St Michael