infobox UK place
country = England

static_image_caption = Yeovil County Court
latitude= 50.9452
longitude= -2.6370
official_name= Yeovil
population = 41,871 [ South Somerset District Council - Population of Yeovil] ]
shire_district= South Somerset
shire_county = Somerset
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Yeovil
post_town= YEOVIL
postcode_district = BA20, BA21, BA22
postcode_area= BA
dial_code= 01935
os_grid_reference= ST552164

Yeovil (pronEng|ˈjovɪl) is a town in south Somerset, England, on the A30 and A37. It has a population of 41,871 at the 2001 census (est. 42,500 in 2006). The town lies within the local district of South Somerset and the Yeovil parliamentary constituency.

It has palaeolithic remains, was on an old Roman road and was recorded in the Domesday Book as the town of "Givle". It has been a centre of the aircraft and defence industries.


The name "Yeovil" comes via Anglo-Saxon from a corruption of the Celtic "gifl" "forked river", [ cite web | url = | title = Hinton St George & Rodney Stoke in South Somerset. | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Church Monuments ] or 'The river noble' from the Old English "ea" and "aerel", cite web | url = | title = Yeovil's History | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Yeovil Town ] which became "Givele".

Archaeological surveys have indicated signs of activity from the palaeolithic period, with burial and occupation sites located principally to the south of the modern town. cite web | url = | title = Yeovil archaeological survey | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Somerset County Council ]

Yeovil was on the main Roman road from Dorchester to the Fosse Way at Ilchester. The route of the old road is aligned with the A37 from Dorchester, Hendford Hill, Rustywell, aross the Westland site, to Larkhill Road, and Vagg Lane, rejoining the A37 at the Halfway House pub on the Ilchester Road. The Westland site has evidence of a small Roman town. cite web | url = | title = Westland | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Somerset Historic Environment Record ] There were several Roman villas (estates) in the area, including finds at East Coker, West Coker and Lufton. cite web | url = | title = Museum of South Somerset | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Museum of South Somerset ]

First recorded in the Domesday Book as the town of "Givle", it features as a thriving market community, with a population of around 1000. In 1205 it was granted a charter by King John. By the 14th century, the town had gained the right to elect a portreeve. The Black Death exacted a heavy toll, killing approximately half the population. In 1499 a major fire broke out in the town, destroying many of the wooden, thatched roofed buildings. Yeovil suffered further serious fires, in 1620 and again in 1643.

At the time of the 1801 Census, the population of Yeovil was about 2,800. cite web | url = | title = A brief history of Yeovil | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = World History Encyclopedia ] During the 1800s Yeovil was a centre of the glove making industry and by 1853 was connected to the rest of Britain via railway and soon after, in 1856, the town gained borough status and was given a mayor. In the early 20th century Yeovil had around 11,000 inhabitants and was dominated by the defence industry, making it a target of German raids during World War II.

In April 2006 Yeovil became the first town in Britain to institute a somewhat controversial system of biometric fingerprint scanning in nightclubs. Individuals wishing to gain access to one of the town's nightclubs are being asked in the first instance to submit their personal details for inclusion in a central system. This includes a photograph and index fingerprint. Thereafter, each entry to one of the participating premises will require a fingerprint scan. If the system is proved successful at reducing crime and violence, it will be introduced in towns throughout the country. [ [ BBC - Clubs to begin finger scan pilot] ] [ [,,1764978,00.html Guardian - Fingerprint scanners call time on yobs in Britain's Wild West] ]

In February 2007, Yeovil Town Council became the first English council to ban the children's craze Heelys. Skateboards, roller skates and roller blades are also illegal in the area. Councillors have stated this is due to "numerous complaints about the activities of youngsters". [ [ Hilly town decides Heelys are just too dangerous] , Daily Mail. Retrieved July 23 2008]

In late July 2007, South Somerset District Council plans were made public by the Western Gazette to build a £21m 'Yeovil Sports Zone' on Yeovil Recreation Ground, [ cite web | url = | title = Yeovil Sports Zone | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = South Somerset Council ] which has been a popular open green space used by the local community for over seventy years. Residents are currently fighting to protect the Rec. [ cite web | url = | title = letters | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Western Gazette ] [ cite web | url = | title = Sport Zone consultation findings | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = South Somerset Council ] The free, informal recreational space of Mudford Rec, as it is known colloquially, was frequented by England Cricket great Ian Botham during his childhood stay in Yeovil. [ cite web | url = | title = Botham's mum opposes Sports Zone plan | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Mid Devon Star ]


Officially designated as a borough in 1854, the town continued to lend its name to the area with the creation of the local government district of Yeovil on 1 April 1974 with the merging several neighbouring rural and urban districts which is today known as South Somerset.

Yeovil is a 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. The constituency covers the towns of Yeovil, Chard, Crewkerne and Ilminster in Somerset. Until 1983 Somerset was split into four constituencies and Yeovil constituency also contained the towns of Ilchester, Martock and Somerton but they were moved into the newly created constituency of Somerton and Frome. From the next election, Yeovil constituency will contain Ilchester once again to equalise the populations of the Somerset constituencies. The Boundary Commission for England estimate the electorate of Yeovil constituency after the pending boundary changes to be 77,049. The current MP is David Laws, a member of the Liberal Democrats. [ cite web | url = | title = Alphabetical List of Constituencies and Members of Parliament | publisher = House Of Commons Information Office | accessdate = 2008-01-19 ]

Residents of Yeovil also form part of the electorate for the South West England constituency for elections to the European Parliament. [ cite web | url= | title=UK MEPs for the South West | accessdate = 2008-01-11 | format = | work = European Parliament UK Office ]


Yeovil is situated at the Southern Boundary of Somerset, close to the border with Dorset, convert|130|mi|km|0|lk=on from London, convert|40|mi|km|0 south of Bristol and convert|30|mi|km|0 from Taunton.

The suburbs include: Summerlands, Hollands, Houndstone, Preston Plucknett, Penn Mill, New Town, Hendford.

Outlying villages include East Coker, West Coker, Hardington, Evershot, Halstock, Stoford, Barwick, Sutton Bingham, Mudford and Yetminster. Other nearby villages include Bradford Abbas, Corscombe, Montacute (where one will find Montacute House), and Pendomer. The village of Brympton, now almost a suburb of Yeovil, contains the medieval manor of Brympton d'Evercy. Tintinhull is also a village close to Yeovil featuring the National Trust owned Tintinhull House and Gardens.


Along with the rest of South West England, Yeovil has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than the rest of the country. The annual mean temperature is approximately convert|10|°C|°F|1|lk=on and shows a seasonal and a diurnal variation, but due to the modifying effect of the sea the range is less than in most other parts of the UK. January is the coldest month with mean minimum temperatures between convert|1|°C|°F|1 and convert|2|°C|°F|1. July and August are the warmest months in the region with mean daily maxima around convert|21|°C|°F|1.

The south-west of England has a favoured location with respect to the Azores high pressure when it extends its influence north-eastwards towards the UK, particularly in summer. Convective cloud often forms inland however, especially near hills, reducing the number of hours of sunshine. The average annual sunshine totals around 1,600 hours.

Rainfall tends to be associated with Atlantic depressions or with convection. The Atlantic depressions are more vigorous in autumn and winter and most of the rain which falls in those seasons in the south-west is from this source. Average rainfall is around convert|31|in|mm|0|lk=on–convert|35|in|mm|0. About 8–15 days of snowfall is typical. November to March have the highest mean wind speeds, with June to August having the lightest winds. The predominant wind direction is from the south-west. cite web | title = About south-west England | work = Met Office | url = | accessdate = 2006-05-28 ]

Yeovilton weatherbox


Yeovil has a population of 41,871 at the 2001 census (est. 42,500 in 2006).


AgustaWestland manufactures helicopters in Yeovil, [ cite web | url = | title = History | accessdate = 2007-12-14 | format = | work = AgustaWestland ] and Normalair Garratt, builder of aircraft oxygen systems, is also based in the town. [ cite book | title = Celebrating fifty years of Normalair - A brief history | last = Bednall | first = M. P. | authorlink= | coauthors = | year = | publisher = | location = | isbn = ]

Yeovil's reputation as a centre of the aircraft and defence industries lived on into the 21st century despite attempts at diversification, and the creation of numerous industrial estates, the principal employer is the aviation group AgustaWestland. This firm was created through the acquisition of Westland Helicopters by Agusta in 2000. In January 1986 the proposed sale of Westland to the American Sikorski Fiat group led to a crisis in the Thatcher government, the resignation of Michael Heseltine as Defence Secretary and the resignation two weeks later of the Trade and Industry Secretary Leon Brittan after his admission of leaking of a governmental law officer's letter which harshly criticised Mr Heseltine.

British defence giant BAE Systems also operate a site which produces high-integrity networked software solutions primarily for the military.


The Museum of South Somerset is in Hendford.

Yeovil has two theatres, a ten-screen cinema and 18-lane ten-pin bowling alley.

Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides local health services.

One of the symbols of Yeovil is Jack the Treacle Eater, a folly consisting of a small archway topped by a turret with a statue on top. This is actually located in the village of Barwick, just to the south of the town.


The town has two railway stations on two separate railway lines. Yeovil Pen Mill is on the Bristol to Weymouth line served by the First Great Western train operating company, whilst Yeovil Junction is on the London Waterloo to Exeter line served by South West Trains. Both stations are situated some distance from the centre of Yeovil, with Pen Mill station being just under one mile to the east and Junction station being just over one mile to the south.

Yeovil has bus services provided by First Somerset and Avon, First Hampshire & Dorset, Nippy Bus, South West Coaches, Sureline, Stagecoach Cooks Coaches & Damory Coaches along with coach services from National Express, Bakers Coaches, Berry's Coaches and South West Tours.


Yeovil is home to a number of primary and secondary schools, including Preston School, whose past pupils include actress Sarah Parish, Buckler's Mead School Sir Ian Botham's former School and Westfield School, which is also a science college. Further Education is principally offered by Yeovil College, [ cite web | url = | title=Yeovil College | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Yeovil College ] with land-based studies available through a Yeovil centre of Bridgwater College, [ cite web | url = | title = Bridgwater College | accessdate = 2008-01-20 | format = | work = Bridgwater College ] and some provision through private providers. It also contains one higher education university centre, University Centre Yeovil. The registered awarding body for the university centre is Bournemouth University.

Westfield School

Westfield School is situated on Westfield Road. It has 4 main buildings on site and over 15 different facilities. Westfield is a science college and has some of the best science facilities in Somerset. However, the rival local secondary school Bucklers Mead has the best Music and Technology Facilities in Somerset and continually receives one of the best OFSTED reports in the countryFact|date=March 2008

Religious sites

The Church of St John The Baptist dates from the late 14th century. The tower is convert|92|ft|m|0 high, in 4-stages with set back offset corner buttresses. It is capped by openwork balustrading eatching the parapets which are from the 19th century. There are two-light late 14th century windows on all sides at bell-ringing and bell-chamber levels, the latter having fine pierced stonework grilles. There is a stair turret to the north-west corner, with a Weather vane termination. The tower contains two bells dating from 1728 and made by Thomas Bilbie of the Bilbie family in Chew Stoke. The "Great Bell" was recast from convert|4502|lb|kg st|lk=on to convert|4992|lb|kg st|abbr=on. [ cite book | last = Moore | first = James | authorlink = | coauthors = Roy Rice & Ernest Hucker | title = Bilbie and the Chew Valley clock makers | year = 1995 | publisher = The authors | location = | isbn = 0952670208 ] It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building. [ cite web | title = Church of St John The Baptist | work = Images of England | url = | accessdate = 2007-10-13 ]


Houndstone, Hollands, Summerlands, Penn Mill, Preston Plunkett, New Town, Hendford, Old Town.


The local football team Yeovil Town F.C. play in green and white livery. Known as the 'Glovers' (a reference to the town's glove-making past), they won promotion to Division Three as Football Conference champions. [ cite web | url = | title = Yeovil Town | accessdate = 2008-01-11 | format = | work = Football Club History Database ] They had achieved numerous FA Cup victories over Football League sides in the past 50 years, and since joining the elite they have won promotion again – as League Two champions in 2005. They came close to yet another promotion in 2007, when they reached the League One playoff final, but lost to Blackpool at the newly reopened Wembley Stadium.

Notable current and former residents

* T. S. Eliot - Famous poet, overall winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, buried in nearby East Coker.
* Jim Cregan, guitarist with original Cockney Rebel.
* Robert Harbin - born in 1526, was a mercer by profession, who lived and died in Yeovil. He is buried in St. John the Baptist Church. His house, located at the edge of town and named Newton Surmaville, was completed in 1612 Robert was granted his coat of arms in May 1612 and given the title "Gentleman". He was not knighted.
* Michael T. Davies, Traditionalist Catholic writer and public figure (born in Yeovil in 1936)
* William K. Everson - the film historian.
* PJ Harvey - singer and songwriter.
* Sarah Parish - actress.
* Sir Ian Botham - cricketer.
* Sir William Dampier - 17th Century English explorer, the first man to circumnavigate the world twice, and to map Australia. Born in nearby East Coker.
* Stuckley Wescott - Early American (17th century) settler. Co-founder, with Roger Williams and 11 others, of Providence, Rhode Island (1636), early American religious freedom asylum.
* Trevor Peacock currently lives in the area. Most famous for his role as Jim Trott in The Vicar of Dibley.
* Martin Cranie - Plays Defence for Portsmouth Football Club.
* Martin Day - writer.
* The Pineapple Thief - Indie band.
* Michael Baxter - Lead guitarist for Ebbonflow lived in Yeovil from 1992 to 1995 attending westfield comprehensive school and living in the wessex road area of the town before moving to Glengormley Co - Antrim Northern Ireland in late 1995

Media references

Yeovil is the location for the "School of Lifemanship" in a series of novels by Stephen Potter: "Gamesmanship" (1947), "Lifemanship" (1950), "One-Upmanship" (1952), "Supermanship" (1958), "Anti-Woo" (1965) and "The Complete Golf Gamesmanship" (1968). The books were adapted for the 1960 film "School for Scoundrels", starring Alastair Sim, Terry-Thomas, Ian Carmichael and Irene HandlInternet Movie Database: [ School for Scoundrels] ] , and the opening sequence of the film was shot on location at Yeovil Town Station (since demolished). Later they were adapted by Barry Took into a BBC TV comedy series called "One-Upmanship" (1974-78), starring Richard Briers and Peter Jones. BBC TV series: [ One-Upmanship] ]

Yeovil is also one of the three principal locations in John Cowper Powys's 1929 novel, Wolf Solent. Powys's father, the Reverend C. F. Powys was vicar at nearby Montacute for 32 years.

Yeovil is known in Thomas Hardy's Wessex as "Ivell".

In the novel "The English Patient" by "Michael Ondaatje", the character of Maddox is cited as living in the nearby village "Marston Magna". In the novel, Maddox's suicide takes place in an unspecified church in Yeovil.

Local band The Chesterfields released a single called 'Last train to Yeovil' and the pop band Bubblegum Splash also released a song called '18:10 to Yeovil Junction'.

International links

There is, in Johannesburg, South Africa, a suburb called Yeoville which has a link to Yeovil. It was proclaimed in 1890 by one Thomas Yeo Sherwell, a native of Yeovil. He named the streets after his sons, friends and business associates.


ee also

* RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron)

External links

* [ Local Histories-Yeovil]
* [ Yeovil Town Council]
* The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey: [ Yeovil ] , by Clare Gathercole
* [ BBC Somerset]

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