The Story of a Village


Allerford appears in Domesday Book as “Alresford – forda  Ralph de Limesy Mill”.

    The much-photographed Packhorse Bridge, allowing wool-laden mules, donkeys or horses to traverse the River Aller, is said to be from the 18th Century.  The adjacent hamlet of Brandish (Brandy) Street is almost a part of the Village.  It was once on the main A39, but late 20th Century road straightening left it as a backwater.  It is told that local residents were surprised to see elephants, from a Circus, walking past their bedroom windows early one morning.

    From the A39, main Porlock to Minehead road, the rather dilapidated garden and building on the left is Allerford House, with its connection to New Guinea and Port Moresby because Admiral Moresby lived here as a child.  On the right of the entry road to the village is Cross Lanes Farmhouse, now a Hotel and Restaurant but once a thriving farm, hence the many outbuildings.  Walking into the village one cannot avoid the Packhorse Bridge ahead, with the Holiday Homes of the same name to the right, replacing an earlier thatched cottage.  To the left is a row of three cottages, Brook Cottage, Farthings and Hayes (should be Mays) Cottage, with The Reading Room, built by a member of the Acland family to foster education among the adult males in the area, on the end fronted by a red telephone box. 
    Crossing over the bridge there are Meadowside and Packhorse Cottage.  The road then leads up to Higher Allerford with Hillside 1 &2 (a 15th century long house) and the 20th Century Brackenlea (earlier name: Warborough) and Vale View and further on Jasmine Cottage.  Opposite The Reading Room, now a men’s social club, is the Forge built in the 20th Century to replace one next to the Post Office.  Next, on the right, is the thatched School (1821-1981), now a museum, and the School House built in 1881.  The Post Office and Village Store is on the other side of the road with Fern Cottage (with its old Fire Insurance Mark), Three Bears and Myrtle Cottage leading to some waste ground, newly planted as an orchard. 
    Next to the School is a row of Cottages, Travellers Joy, Rose Cottage, The Cott and Via-Enns leading to the detached Cherry Trees, also with a Fire Insurance Mark.  Further on in Lower Allerford, on the right, are Forge Cottage and Four Ways.  Down a cul-de-sac to the right leading to Stoates (Stokes) Farm, on the left, are Woodside and Hill View.  On the other side of the road that leads to Lynch and Bossington, is the recent Harepark, with its bungalows for older residents, council houses (some now privately owned) and Selworthy Parish Hall.

At the back of the Village, in the woods, are many tracks that lead in all directions with finger posts, such as the one at Agnes Fountain, from whence a stream flows, showing the way.

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