Public Establishments

Bruton Lighting Committee, 8 High Street; Arthur Richard Crump, Sec. 

Inland Revenue Office, Patwell Street, Alfred Gadsby, Officer. 

Public Weighing Machine, William P Buckley, Owner. 

Stamp Office, High Street, James Golledge.


3rd Volunteer Battalion, the Prince Albert's Somersetshire Light Infantry (F Co.), Headquarters: Infant School. Hon Maj A J Goodford, Commanding.

Public Officers

Clerk to the Parish Council, Arthur Richard Crump, Patwell Street 

Collector of Income, Land and Property Tax, Thomas H Jones, High Street 

Collector of Poor Rates, Thomas Bennet, Patwell Street 

Medical Officer and Public Vaccinator, Bruton District, and Medical Officer of Health,Wincanton Rural District Council, Frederick Stockwell, MD. 

Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the sub-district of Bruton, Albert Huntley, High Street 

Town Crier, Albert Smith, Coombe Street

Bruton Hospital

Standing on the south side of High Street, was founded in the year 1638 by Hugh Sexey, who endowed it with the Manor of Blackford. It provides lodging and maintenance, with other privileges, for 7 aged men and 24 aged women; 15 girls are also maintained and educated and trained for domestic service for three years. There is a chapel attached to the institution, where prayers are held daily. The Rev H T Ridley, vicar of Bruton, has been chaplain since 1868; James Warburton Parfitt A.K.C.L. master; Miss Agnes Harvey, mistress.


King Edward the Sixth's Grammar School, Plox Road, was founded in 1520 by Richard Fitz-James, Bishop of London, Sir John Fitz-James kt, his nephew, and in 1526 Lord Chief Justice of England, and John Edmondes, clerk. It was suppressed at the Reformation and restored by King Edward VI in 1549. 

There is an excellent modern library, containing more than 1000 volumes, a chemical laboratory, gymnasium, carpenter's shop and new fives courts. Attached to the school are two exhibitions of £30 a year, tenable for three years at the universities or elsewhere, or which the governors may (at their discretion) apply to the advancement in life of the successful candidate, if he does not wish to proceed to one of the universities. There are also scholarships tenable in the school of the aggregate value of £300 yearly and valuable prizes are awarded by the governors and other benefactors. 

The school is administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners and has an income of £620 yearly, derived from land; there are about 60 boys. 

The governing body consists of 15 members, of whom three are appointed by the County Council, six are nominated by the bishop, the two universities and the county magistrates, other six being co-optive. David Evans Norton MA of Keble College, Oxford, Headmaster; assistant masters, Herbert M Lewis, BA, George B Beak BA and Littleton C Powys BA; T O Bennett Hon Sec to the governors. 

Sexey's Trade School, founded in November, 1889, out of the old endowments of Sexey's Hospital under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, with aid from the Somerset County Council, is intended to provide a sound technical and commercial education for the sons of farmers and tradesmen. 

The school buildings, erected at a cost of over £3,000, occupy an attractive and healthy site adjoining the main road from Bruton to Castle Cary, about half a mile from Bruton Station (GWR) and Cole Station (S & DR) are brick with stone dressings in the Jacobean style, from designs by Messrs George J Skipper FRIBA and J W Skipper, architects, or Norwich, and comprise, in the centre, a large schoolroom for 50 boys, with a double-gabled projection on the principal front and an open bell turret with a cupola and vane on the roof. Adjoining, on the right, is the headmaster's house and, on the left, a spacious porch, a lecture room for 30 boys, chemical laboratory, equipped for 20 students, physical laboratory for 20 students, masters' room, workshops, gymnasium and offices. There are about two and a half acres of garden and playground attached, and near the school is a private boarding house for 25 boys. A small library and a museum have been formed. 

County scholarships of the value of £15 a year (junior), £30 a year (intermediate) and £60 a year (senior), are open to and some are at present held by boys of this school. There are free scholarships open to candidates from elementary schools in the neighbourhood. There are now (1897) 100 boys. 

The school is managed by a body of 9 governors, elected by the County Council for 5 years. The income, derived from invested funds, amounts to £250 yearly. Clerk to the Governors, Mr William Pearce, Bruton; William A Knight BA University of London FCS, Queen's Medallist in Science, Agriculture etc. South Kensington and C.M. headmaster; T Hartley FCS, F Wood, A Crew and F Cresswell, assistant masters. 

National School, Silver Street (mixed) erected in 1856 and enlarged in 1895 for 250 children. Average attendance 170. Edward Robert Hayter, master. 

Infants' School, High Street, erected in 1875 for 130 children; average attendance 100; Mrs Georgina Stonelake, mistress.

Railway Stations

Great Western, Arthur Percy Dagg, Station Master 

Somerset and Dorset, Cole Station (about 1 mile distant), Edmund Gane, Station Master


Great Western Railway Co, Harry Harrold, Agent

Somerset and Dorset Railway Co,
Frederick Steeds, Agent

Welcome to Bruton

BRUTON is a small town and parish, on the river Brue, here crossed by two carriage and one foot bridges; it has a station on the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth branch of the Great Western railway, and is 1 mile north-west from Cole station on the Somerset and Dorset Railway, 126 from London by rail, 7 south-east from Shepton Mallet, 12 south-east from Wells, 5 north from Wincanton, in the Eastern division of the county, Bruton hundred, Wincanton petty sessional division, union and county court district, rural deanery of Bruton, archdeaconry of Wells and diocese of Bath and Wells.

The streets are well paved and are lighted with gas supplied by a company formed in 1936. The water supply is obtained from springs in various parts of the town. By an Order in Council 25 March 1884, part of the parish of Eastrip containing Sheephouse Farm was amalgamated with this parish.

The church of St Mary the Virgin, rebuilt towards the close of the 15th century, but at no time connected with the Abbey here, is one of the finest examples in this country of the Early Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, erected in 1470, with a crypt below it, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, north tower porch and a noble embattled western tower containing a clock and 6 bells; the parapets of the nave are filled with pierced tracery, consisting of zigzag moulding enclosing trefoils; the clerestory is lighted by large traceried windows of four lights, divided by flat buttresses.

Projecting from the embattled north aisle is a lofty porch tower of three stages, with Perpendicular windows in the upper stage, which is battlemented. At the south-west angle of this tower is a square turret, also embattled, and rising above the merlons of the parapet. The western tower is arranged in three stages, the belfry storey exhibiting on each face triplets of traceried windows separated by slender crocketed shafts; the tower is strengthened by angle buttresses rising into crocketed pinnacles and has a pierced embattled parapet and an octagonal turret with pinnacle at the north-east angle.

The chancel, an incongruous structure, has a tomb with recumbent effigies to Sir Maurice Berkeley, BB and his two wives, Catherine (Blount), ob. 25 February, 1559, and Elizabeth (Sandes), ob. 16 June, 1585. There is also a monument of black marble, with bust and arms, and a Latin inscription, to William Godolphin, Esq, ob. 25 February, 1559, and another mural monument of stone, with a rich canopy supported by Corinthian pillars, and recumbent effigies to Charles, 3rd Viscount Fitzhardinge, ob. 12 June, 1688 and his two wives, one of whom, Penelope, was the daughter of Sir William Godolphin kt, and sister of the above William Godolphin Esq. A mural monument of white and grey marble, with a pediment and inscriptions in Latin and Greek, commemorates William Berkeley, 4th baron Berkeley of Stratton, ob. 24 March 1740-1, and near this is a monument of marble, with sculptured trophies and military ensigns, erected in 1749 by John, 5th baron Berkeley to his brother, Capt. the Hon. William Berkeley RN of HMS "Tiger", on board which he died, 25 March 1733, and was buried at sea.

The stained west window is a memorial to Mr T O Bennet, d.1877 and to his wife Mary Besant, d. 1878. There are other memorial windows to John and William Ames, former parishioners, who emigrated to America in 1635 and 1638, and to Edward Dyne, d. 1850, Fanny his wife, d.1854, and Henry Dyne, d. 1890.

The church has a finely carved open timbered roof, and there is a lectern of carved oak. The church has been restored since 1873 at a cost of £5,000, and affords sittings for 800 persons. In the churchyard is a tomb with Latin inscription to the Hon. C Berkeley, d. 1743. The register dates from the year 1550. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £168, inclusive of 21 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare, bart, and held since 1868 by the Rev Henry Thomas Ridley, who is also chaplain of Sexey's hospital and rural dean of Bruton. 

There is a Wesleyan chapel at the west end of the town and a Congregational chapel in the High Street seating about 450 persons. 

The factory formerly used for throwing and winding silk is now a horse-hair seating manufactory and an iron foundry, carried on by Mr William Henderson. Stuckey's Banking Company has a branch office here. Fairs for cattle are held in the town on 23 April and 17 September. A cattle show was held annually on the second Thursday in October, but now amalgamated with Castle Cary and Wincanton. 

About the year 1005 a religious house was founded here by Algar, Earl of Cornwall, for Benedictine monks, subsequently, in 1142, refounded by W de Mohun, and in 1525 converted into an abbey of Austin Canons, which was suppressed at the Dissolution. A part of the old buildings, situated in the High Street, is now the property of Mrs Dyne. On a hill on the south side of the church is the monastic Dove Cote. Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare bart of Stourhead House, Wilts, who is Lord of the Manor, and the Earl of Ilchester PC are the chief landowners. The area is 3,992 acres of land and 15 of water; rateable value £10,825; the population in 1891 was 1,788 in the civil and 1,582 in the ecclesiastical parish 

Under the provisions of the Divided Parishes Act, 1882, detached parts of Pitcombe parish, known as Discove and Dairy House and Cottage, have been amalgamated with Bruton, by Local Government Board Order 16,582. A part of Eastrip parish has also been added. 

Parish Clerk, Thomas Bennett, Patwell Street 

Post, M.O. and T.O., T.M.O., S.B., Express Delivery, Parcel and Annuity and Insurance Office, High Street - Albert Huntley, Postmaster. Letters by the night mail should be designated through Bath and by morning mail S.O. Somerset should be added. Letters from Bath and all parts arrive at 5.40 am and 12.50 pm; dispatched at 1.10 and 7.40 pm and Sundays 7.40. Money orders granted and paid and savings bank business etc transacted from 9 to 6 and telegraph business from 8 am to 8 pm daily, Sundays 8 to 10 am. Wall letter box at West End cleared at 1 and 7.30 pm, Sundays 7.30 pm

Bruton of 1897

Bruton - An Ancient Somerset Town