Sparkford — Somerset, England
Sparkford is a small village and a civil parish in Somerset that is by the London to Exeter highway; with a crossroad juncture that serves as easy access to the South West of England, making Sparkford a convenient and stopping point.
Sparkford was referred to as Spercheforde in the Domesday Book, being held by Fulwin from Walter de Douai in the year 1086, with reference to earlier holdings prior to the Norman Conquest. The parish has evidently been continuously occupied from Roman to Saxon times; and the Lickhill fields at the village still show signs of earthworks and foundations where some archaeological work is being investigated. The Church of St Mary Magdalene is a Gothic stone building, which was erected during the 1300's, with reconstruction being made in the early 1800's, leaving the original tower intact. The church has been designated as a grade II* listed building by the English Heritage. During the 15th century what is now the Sparkford Inn was built, and although modernized, this still remains the last remnant of what was once an important coaching house on the Exeter to London coach route. Additionally, this was a starting place for the local hunt, which is now primarily run with the neighboring Blackmore Vale hunt.
Sparkford is also well known for being home to the Haynes International Motor Museum which is an Educational Charitable Trust. Founded by Haynes Publishers who are best known worldwide for their car manuals, the museum has numerous classic and veteran cars on display. The purpose of the museum is to promote "...public education, appreciation and knowledge in the historical development and evolution of the motor car and other motor vehicles and their attendant parts, designs and technology." The museum is divided into ten exhibit halls and also has an outdoor military vehicle collection. In addition to hosting the tenth World Forum for Motor Museums conference in 2007, there are many non-motor industry conferences held there.The museum is also used as a start or finish point for car and motorcycle events and hosting visits by clubs.
For those who are also interested in air travel, the Fleet Air Arm Museum is in close proximity to Sparkford; having a variety of exhibits divided up into several halls; additionally this is home to an extensive collection of military records which are catalogued and restored by the museum.
Of great interest is Sparkford Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, especially for the abundant ground flora, such as the plethora of bluebells which greet you each year, and the rare homostyle Primroses (Primula vulgaris) that are of genetic interest. These species have provided significant international research opportunities, as well as being lovely for the lay person to view. There are other lovely sights while in Sparkford; make certain to enjoy the views of Cadbury Castle, the Iron Age hill fort which evidences occupation from Neolithic times. The Castle is in close proximity to Sparkford, and for lovers of Arthurian legends be aware that after partial excavation, an Arthurian period feasting hall was discovered here.Where is Sparkford?
Sparkford is located in Somerset near the A303. The nearest populated areas include Yeovil to the south and Castle Cary to the north.Have you ever visited Sparkford?
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