Sparkford is a small village in South Somerset, adjacent to the main A303 road which links London to Exeter and the South West. It is probably best known to holiday travellers journeying west on this route for its weekend 'holiday breakfasts', and for views of nearby Cadbury Castle, the site of so many Arthurian legends.
This aerial view of Sparkford shows the Church of St Mary Magdelene in the foreground with the A303 Bypass at the top of the picture. The large building alongside the railway line is Haynes Publishers, home of the renown car manuals. Sparkfords Cricket Ground can be seen just below the A303 overpass.
Our current population is around 500, mostly living along the old A303 and around Church Road. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Spercheforde, being part of the lands of Walter de Dowai, which was originally located on the land south of the Church, in the field that used to be called Lickhill, bordering the River Cam. There are still signs of old earthworks and foundations in this field. The first reference to the nearby church of St Mary Magdelene is that the first Rector was appointed in 1297. This settlement continued as a small village around the church and along the nearby Turnpike road. The Sparkford Inn and Posting House which dates back to the 15th century was a prominent building on the old London to Exeter road. The Sparkford Inn continues as a popular Hostelry to this day.
Sparkford's long-standing association with the London - Exeter highway has been continued with the recent arrival of a new McDonalds, on the site of the old Wakes Garage by the A357 roundabout.
Sparkford is the home of Haynes Publishers - known worldwide for its car manuals and the Haynes Motor Museum of Classic and Veteran Cars. The Museum is often used as a start or finish point for car and motorcycle events and hosting visits by clubs. It has its own video cinema, cafe and bookshop.