Westonzoyland is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. It
is situated on the
Somerset Levels, 4 miles (6.4 km) south east
1.1 Pumping Station Museum
6 Religious sites
8 External links
The name of the parish derives from its location on the "island" of
Sowy, an area of slightly higher ground on the
Somerset Levels between
River Cary and the River Parrett. The parish of Westernzoyland
was created in 1515 when the parish of Sowy was divided. Westonzoyland
refers to the western-most settlement on Sowy. The parish of
Westonzoyland was part of the Whitley Hundred.
The area around
Westonzoyland was farmed as common land when it was
owned by the Abbey at Glastonbury, who during the 12th and 13th
centuries encouraged tenants to undertake large scale reclamation of
the marshland. 722 acres (292 ha) were enclosed in 1234.
With the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, the land was divided among
owners, with the soil belonging to the Crown.
Cornelius Vermuyden was
active in the region in the mid 17th century, building small-scale
drainage schemes at Cossington, Catcott,
Huntspill and Puriton, but
despite the devastation caused by extensive flooding in 1607, was
unable to convince the communities of
Sedgemoor of the benefits that a
drainage scheme would bring, as they feared that improved pastures
would prejudice their common rights. A series of Acts of Parliament
were passed between 1777 and 1801, which authorised the construction
of drainage schemes in the
Somerset moors and levels.
The penultimate battle in England, the Battle of Sedgemoor, was fought
here on 6 July 1685, near the Bussex area to the north of the
village. It was the final battle of the
Monmouth Rebellion and
followed a series of skirmishes around south west
England between the
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and the crown he was
trying to take. The royalist forces prevailed and about 500 troops
were captured. A mural depicting the battle can be found on
Sedgemoor motorway services on the North carriageway of the
Pumping Station Museum
Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum
Westonzoyland is home to Somerset's earliest steam-powered pumping
station, built in 1830. Once a guardian of the
Somerset Levels, it is
now a small museum displaying stationary steam engines and exhibits of
land drainage history. Pride of place goes to the station's pumping
engine, the Easton and Amos. It is still in the main engine house,
built in 1861 to replace an earlier engine that had been carrying out
pumping work since 1831. In 1976, restoration of the site began, and
in 1990 the site was bought from the owners, Wessex Water. The pump
house has been Grade II* listed, and is on the English Heritage
Heritage at Risk Register.
Weston Zoyland airfield, 22 April 1944. Devoid of aircraft prior to
the 442d Troop Carrier Group moving in during June.
To the east of the village is the former RAF Weston Zoyland
(1926–68), which was used for a variety of duties, including air
combat and the transport of airborne ground troops to
World War II.
It now houses the
Westonzoyland Microlight Aircraft Club — the
'Zoyboyz'. Microlight aircraft fly from the base for both recreation
and as part of Sky Watch, a Civil Air Patrol, whose mission is
"Keeping an eye out from the air for anyone in distress either on land
Hidden in the centre of the village are the workshops of Westonzoyland
Carnival Club, referred to by its members as "The Shed". Formed in
1960 this is one of the oldest village clubs on the
Micro Light Aircraft at
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 village falls within the
Non-metropolitan district of Sedgemoor,
which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972,
having previously been part of
Bridgwater Rural District, which 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 village ls within the 'King's Isle' electoral ward. Although
Westonzoyland is the most populous area the ward stretches to Othery
in the south east and
Bawdrip in the north. The total population of
the ward as at the 2011 census was 4,506.
It is also part of the
Bridgwater and West
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 seven
MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional
The parish includes the hamlet of Andersea, 2 km to the
Westonzoyland has a population of approximately 1,600 and
is the larger of the three 'Zoys', the others being the villages of
Middlezoy and Chedzoy. There is one public house in the village, the
Sedgemoor Inn. It has medieval origins and has been the village pub
since the time of the battle in 1685. It is a grade II listed
The northern edge of the village is King's
Sedgemoor Drain an
artificial drainage channel completed in 1795, which diverts the River
Cary and is used to help drain King's Sedgemoor. A major upgrade
of the drain occurred during the Second World War, when an explosives
factory, ROF Bridgwater, was built at Puriton. The drain was
upgraded in 1972, as part of a £1.4 million scheme to construct a
flood relief channel for the River Parrett. The 7.5-mile
(12.1 km) embanked channel, called the Sowy River, runs from
Monks Leaze Clyse below
Langport to the King's
Sedgemoor Drain near
To the south of the village is
Langmead and Weston Level
Langmead and Weston Level a 168.8
hectare (417.1 acre) biological Site of
Special Scientific Interest.
It forms part of the nationally important grazing marsh and ditch
systems of the
Somerset Levels and Moors. The site is nationally
important for its species-rich neutral grassland and the invertebrate
community found in the ditches and rhynes. The land lies in the flood
plain of the
River Parrett and many of the fields are poorly drained
and seasonally water-logged. The terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates
recorded on the site include four nationally rare species: the Great
Silver Diving Beetle (Hydrophilus piceus), the soldier fly (Odontomyia
ornata) and two true flies, Lonchoptera scutellata and Stenomicra
Westonzoyland from Windmill Hill
Along with the rest of South West England,
Westonzoyland has a
temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than the rest
of the country. The annual mean temperature is approximately
10 °C (50.0 °F). Seasonal temperature variation is less
extreme than most of the
United Kingdom because of the adjacent sea
temperatures. The summer months of July and August are the warmest
with mean daily maxima of approximately 21 °C (69.8 °F).
In winter mean minimum temperatures of 1 °C (33.8 °F) or
2 °C (35.6 °F) are common. In the summer the Azores
high pressure affects the south-west of England, however convective
cloud sometimes forms inland, reducing the number of hours of
sunshine. Annual sunshine rates are slightly less than the regional
average of 1,600 hours. In December 1998 there were 20 days
without sun recorded at Yeovilton. Most the rainfall in the south-west
is caused by Atlantic depressions or by convection. Most of the
rainfall in autumn and winter is caused by the Atlantic depressions,
which is when they are most active. In summer, a large proportion of
the rainfall is caused by sun heating the ground leading to convection
and to showers and thunderstorms. Average rainfall is around
700 mm (28 in). About 8–15 days of snowfall is typical.
November to March have the highest mean wind speeds, and June to
August have the lightest winds. The predominant wind direction is from
Willow has been cut and used on the Levels since humans moved into the
area. Fragments of willow basket were found near the Glastonbury Lake
Village, and it was also used in the construction of several Iron Age
causeways. The willow was harvested using a traditional method of
coppicing, where a tree would be cut back to the main stem. New shoots
of willow, called "withies", would grow out of the trunk and these
would be cut periodically for use. During the 1930s over 9,000 acres
(36 km2) of willow were being grown commercially on the Levels.
Largely due to the displacement of baskets with plastic bags and
cardboard boxes, the industry has severely declined since the 1950s.
By the end of the 20th century only around 350 acres (1.4 km2)
were grown commercially, near the villages of Burrowbridge,
Westonzoyland and North Curry.
A372 road between
Bridgwater runs through
Bridgwater railway station is the nearest station.
St Mary’s Parish Church, with its 15th-century carved timber roof,
has a link with two conflicts. It served as a prison for around 500
troops after the Battle of Sedgemoor and now contains a corner
dedicated to local airmen who lost their lives in 1918 and 1919 and
World War II
World War II in the early 1950s.
The four-stage tower has an embattled parapet with quatrefoil
arcading, and set-back buttresses which terminate in pinnacles on the
^ "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles"
Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP
first entry; third line: 'Weston in Sowylond' Year: 1418
^ "Westonzoyland — British History Online". Retrieved
^ Bush, Robin (1994). Somerset: The Complete Guide. Dovecote Press.
pp. 229–230. ISBN 1-874336-26-1.
Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
^ Dunning, Robert (1980).
Somerset and Avon. Edinburgh: John
Bartholomew and Son. pp. 151–153.
^ a b Williams, Robin; Williams, Romey (1992). The
Somerset Levels. Ex
Libris Press. p. 72. ISBN 0-948578-38-6.
^ Robert Dunning (Editor), (2004), A History of the County of
Somerset: Volume 8: The Poldens and the Levels, British History
Online, accessed: 24 January 2009
^ "Battle of Sedgemoor". UK Battlefields resource centre. Retrieved
^ Whiles, John (1985).
Sedgemoor 1685 (2nd ed.). Chippenham: Picton
Publishing. ISBN 094825100X.
^ Historic England. "Grade II* (269603)". Images of England. Retrieved
26 August 2010.
^ Heritage at Risk: Westonzoyland
Westonzoyland Carnival club
^ "Brdigwater RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of
Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
^ "King's Isle ward 2011". Retrieved 6 March 2015.
^ Historic England. "Details from image database (269614)". Images of
England. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
^ Otter, R. A. (1994). Civil Engineering Heritage: Southern England.
Thomas Telford. p. 94. ISBN 0-7277-1971-8.
^ Williams, Michael. (1970). The Draining of the
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-07486-X.
^ "Langmead and Weston Level" (PDF). English Nature. Retrieved 17
^ a b c d "South West England: climate". Met Office. Archived from the
original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
Somerset Levels". BBC Radio 4 - Open Country. Retrieved
^ Foard, Glen (2003). "
Sedgemoor Battle" (PDF). Battlefields Trust.
^ Historic England. "Church of St Mary the Virgin, Westonzoyland
(269612)". Images of England. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Westonzoyland.
Westonzoyland at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Video of WW2 airfield and control tower on YouTube
Towns, villages and hamlets in the
Sedgemoor district of Somerset,