Martock is one of the larger Parishes in Somerset, England. It is 7 miles northwest of Yeovil in the district of South Somerset. Martock has a population of 4,766 and was historically a market town.
Martock was known in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Mertoch, its meaning “Rising bright from the shining sea.”
In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Martock enjoyed a period of great prosperity due to the fertile local soils and good farming practices. The village was a home to royalty throughout the 16th century and during the civil war hosted Cromwell’s celebration of the capture of Bridgwater.
By the 18th and early 19th Centuries it was the clothing and glove making trades that created wealth for the village, with the ready supply of sheep to supply wool and skins. In 1810, 1,025 acres of common land were enclosed as a result of the Inclosure Acts.
Manufacturing developed with the opening of the Parrett works, and the arrival of a railway in 1848. This enabled a rapid expansion in trade which has since been dismantled. However, the Great Western Railway Hotel building remains. The building no longer functions as a hotel and has since been converted into flats.
The village has many attractive buildings that are constructed in stone from the nearby Ham Hill. This golden sedimentary Hamstone lends a mellow warmth to the historic buildings, some of which date back to the medieval period. Notable dwellings in the parish include The Treasurer’s House, now owned by the National Trust, that dates back to the 13th century. The Hamstone Market House on Church Street, built around 1753 and restored and reopened in 1960, it is now a Grade II listed building. In front is a Market Cross known as the Pinnacle, with a column that dates back to 1741.
Local business includes arts and crafts, such as stonemasonry, woodworking, reclamation yard, there is also a fish and chip shop, bakery, supermarket, library and a post office, with a number of public houses.
In more recent times Martock has grown in terms of population, and employment opportunities, whilst retaining an intimate village atmosphere.