Stratton-on-the-Fosse is a village and civil parish located on the edge of the Mendip Hills, 2 miles (3 km) south-west of Westfield, 6 miles (10 km) north-east of Shepton Mallet, and 9 miles (14 km) from Frome, in Somerset, England. It has a population of 1,108,[1] and has a rural agricultural landscape, although it was part of the once-thriving Somerset coalfield. Within the boundaries of the parish are the hamlets of Benter and Nettlebridge.

Grey stone building with square tower. Foreground is grass with gravestones.
Church of St Vigor, Stratton-on-the-Fosse
Stratton-on-the-Fosse is located in Somerset
Location within Somerset
Population1,108 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST655505
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBA3
Dialling code01761
PoliceAvon and Somerset
FireDevon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°15′09″N 2°29′45″W / 51.25262°N 2.49573°W / 51.25262; -2.49573Coordinates: 51°15′09″N 2°29′45″W / 51.25262°N 2.49573°W / 51.25262; -2.49573

Stratton-on-the-Fosse straddles the Fosse Way, an ancient Roman road which linked the cities of Lincoln and Exeter. It lies between the parish of Westfield, Somerset and the village of Oakhill.

St Vigor and St John Church of England Primary School is situated in nearby Chilcompton.


There is evidence of human occupation of the area since the Bronze Age with skeletons and pottery being found in local caves. Blacker's Hill is believed to be an Iron Age camp occupied by the Belgae in the later Iron Age with the Romans later occupying it.[2]

The parish of Stratton-on-the-Fosse was part of the Kilmersdon Hundred,[3]

The manor was given to Glastonbury Abbey by King Edgar the Peaceful and during the time of Edward the Confessor was let by the abbey to a Saxon thane named Alwold. After the Norman Conquest William the Conqueror took many lands, including Stratton-on-the-Fosse, from the abbey and gave them to Geoffrey de Montbray the Bishop of Coutances. The manor later passed to the Gourney family. Sir Thomas de Gournay was concerned in the murder of Edward II at Berkeley Castle, for which his estates were confiscated, and Stratton was later annexed to the Duchy of Cornwall.[4]

Land just south of Benter Cross which contains the remains of coal mines from around 1700 is owned by the Somerset Wildlife Trust to be managed for grassland species.[5] Benter House is a small country house dating from 1829. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.[6]

Many of the houses in Nettlebridge are owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.[7]

Coal mining on the Somerset coalfield was a major industry but all mines have now closed.[8][9]


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.[10]

The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Mendip, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Shepton Mallet Rural District,[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

It is also part of the Wells 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.


Very close to Nettlebridge is the ancient Harridge Wood, which is in the care of the Somerset Wildlife Trust. It comprises five sites with a total area of 54 ha (133 acres). It forms a major element of the Mells Valley Prime Biodiversity Area.[14]


Hillside House in Nettlebridge, a former pub, is a Grade II listed building.[15]

Religious sitesEdit

The abbey church of St Gregory the Great, which is known as Downside Abbey church, is an example of neo-gothic architecture. It dominates the village with its 55 metres (180 ft) tower, and is a Grade I listed building.[16] Downside School, which has grown in conjunction with the abbey, is a Roman Catholic Public School. There is also a catholic church in the village which is dedicated to St Benedict and opened in 1857.[17][18]

The Anglican Church of St. Vigor dates from the 12th century and is also Grade I listed.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Stratton on the Fosse Parish". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Stratton History". Stratton on the Fosse. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  3. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  4. ^ Robinson, W.J. (1915). West Country Churches. Bristol: Bristol Times and Mirror Ltd. pp. 174–178.
  5. ^ "Mining-related earthworks, Stratton Common, Nettlebridge". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Benter House (1295123)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Stratton on the Fosse". Stratton on the Fosse Parish Council. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  8. ^ Scott, Shane (1995). The hidden places of Somerset. Aldermaston: Travel Publishing Ltd. p. 61. ISBN 1-902007-01-8.
  9. ^ "Medieval Somerset". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 10 December 2006.
  10. ^ "Environment: Local authority responsibilities". Guardian. 19 July 2001. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Shepton Mallet RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Parish council responsibilities". Local Gov. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Understand how your council works". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Harridge Wood". Somerset Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 8 July 2006.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Hillside House (1058475)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 May 2006.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Abbey Church of St Gregory the Great (1058633)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 November 2006.
  17. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Benedict (1253307)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  18. ^ Dunning, Robert (1996). Fifty Somerset Churches. Somerset Books. pp. 182–185. ISBN 978-0861833092.
  19. ^ Historic England. "Church of St. Vigor (1345110)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 November 2006.

External linksEdit