History of the Village

The Parish of Corfe, at just over 1,000 acres, is one of the smallest in England. Tom Mayberry, in a prologue to the “Scrap Book of Corfe, 1887-1987” compiled by Stella Dugdale, provides an informative history of Corfe. He points out that in AD 900 it began as a part of Taunton Deane, within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester’s medieval estate. In the 13th century Corfe, Poundisford and Pitminster were linked politically, but Corfe acquired manorial independence in the 15th century. The parish has a dual geographical identity. Towards the north and west it is primarily rolling farm land of moderate relief, with scattered individual fine old oak trees, remnants of the former wood-pasture pattern of land management. One of these is our ‘notable tree’, in the field immediately to the west of the village hall, also distinguished as the seasonal home of a Little Owl that occupies a high niche in a hollow branch. To the east of the village, the steep slopes of the Blackdown Hills support a fine stand of Ancient Woodland above which the formerly quarried plateau is now the site of the Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club. Corfe village forms an irregular, roughly linear pattern, and the stretch between the Old Schoolhouse and Meadow Edge is within a Conservation Area. Today the parish includes approximately 120 residences of varied sizes and functions. While Corfe lost both its Post Office and School in the latter half of the twentieth century, it boasts an attractive neo-Norman church and the important White Hart Inn.