The Village 

Chilcompton is of Saxon origin, and its name translates to 'cold valley enclosure'. The Domesday Book records it had a population of 33 households. Farming and mining have been the main industries in the area for centuries.

The village sits perched on the edge of the Mendip Hills. The Fosse Way Roman road runs within a mile to the west and at the heart of the village is the River Somer, sourced from a spring in the neighbouring village of Emborough.

There is an ancient, hollow yew tree located to the south of the church tower. It is thought to be over a thousand years old.

The village had a railway station on the Somerset and Dorset line, but this closed in 1966.

Over time, the village has subtly shifted, now standing about a mile to the south,  leaving just the Church and Manor Farm in its original location.

St John the Baptist

The church of St. John the Baptist dates back to the 1460's, but was largely rebuilt during the 19th century, leaving only the tower from the original building. A peal of five bells, crafted by Roger Purdue of Bristol in 1630, was expanded to six with the addition of a bell gifted by Viscount Weymouth in 1732, cast by Thomas Bilbie of nearby Chew Stoke.

In 1821, Thomas Mears of London recast the two largest bells, and a new bell frame was installed. The first peal was rung 1911, and in 1926, a local band, under the conductorship of Ronald G Beck, achieved the first peal by a local band. Beck remains a name synonymous with Chilcompton's ringing tradition.

141 peals were scored on the old peal of six. To celebrate the new Millennium, a new ring of a ring of ten bells was installed,  the old bells being dispersed or recast. Some of the 17th and 18th Century bells found new life in creating a peal of six at East Rudham in Norfolk. The addition of two treble bells in 2008 completed the peal of 12