Combe Florey Parish

 

The small village of Combe Florey in Somerset lies hidden off the main A358, approximately six miles north west of Taunton.

The parish is very quiet and has a population of about 260.

The local village inn, The Farmers Arms’ is about ½ mile from the main village street and there is a small Village Hall and Church in the village itself. Local shops can be found in Bishops Lydeard, a couple of miles away.

One of the meanings of the name is thought to be “the valley of flowers”. Another is that the name derived from that of Hugh de Fleuri and Baldwin de Cume (or Combe), who were the Norman landowners of the valley (although It is also possible that these Norman knights took their names from the village).

The village has some beautiful and unusual houses; there are actually 24 listed buildings in the village. One of the most impressive is the Elizabethan Gate House which lies next to the church.

The village also has strong literary connections. In the 19th century the reverend of the parish was the writer and famous wit Reverend Sidney Smith, who was also cannon of St Pauls Cathedral.

In the 20th century the Waugh family made the village their country home, buying Combe Florey House behind the church in 1956. It is here that the grave of Evelyn Waugh and his wife Laura can be found in a private plot. One of his sons, Auberon Waugh (the newspaper journalist), is buried in the small grave yard across the road from the Elizabethan gate house