Welcome to Culmstock
Culmstock (meaning Farm on the River Culm) is both a village and a parish located on the border with Somerset. A large part of the parish lies within the Blackdown Hills AONB with walks to Culmstock Beacon and Wellington Monument.
Historically, Culmstock fell within the boundaries of the Hemyock Hundred. It was at one time prosperous as a centre of weaving and the wool trade. The Fox Brothers built a mill there in 1822 to spin yarn. Part of the mill can still be seen from Blackwater Road, just past the Village Hall.
Culmstock has one public house and one shop located in the village next to the river Culm.
- R D Blackmore (author of Lorna Doone) lived in Culmstock for six years whilst his father, John Blackmore, was curate-in-charge of the parish. Blackmore’s lesser known novel Perlycross is based on Culmstock and the Culm Valley.
- The ‘Legend of Culmstock Bridge’ echoes the ancient tale of Franklin Nights. Around 1,000 years ago, May 19th – 21st was known as ‘Frankinmass’ (or ‘Francimass’). Frankan was a maltster (beer brewer) who, as a result of declining sales due to the popularity of cider, made a deal with the Devil. The story goes that the Devil and Frankan had a fight on Culmstock Bridge, with the victor throwing the other off the bridge into the River Culm. Each year on 21st May, this fight is repeated. If Frankan wins, the Devil kills off the apple blossom with a late frost; if the Devil wins, cider makers will have a good year.
What’s On in Culmstock?
Annual events in Culmstock include:
- A garden fête takes place one Saturday afternoon each June
- The annual flower, vegetable and craft show on the August Bank Holiday Monday
- All Saints Church joins in the annual Heritage Open Day event in September, providing church and tower tours with refreshments
- Culmstock Soapbox Derby takes place each September
- There are regular music events at the Culm Valley Inn
Places to See
- Culmstock Beacon is an Elizabethan structure used to warn of a Spanish invasion. It is a flintstone, beehive-shaped structure with outstanding panoramic views across the Culm Valley.
- Whilst en route to visiting the Beacon, head through the Little Breach Reserve – a butterfly conservation area situated on two small meadows between the heathland common and adjoining forestry.
- Culmstock’s Parish Church, All Saints Church, is a listed medieval building, extended with a north aisle and clerestory in 1824/25 and best known for the 200-year old yew tree growing out from the top of the tower.
- Culmstock, being split either side of the River Culm, is connected via grade II listed stone Culmstock Bridge of medieval origins. The bridge features pedestrian refuges and 6 archways.
Places to Eat
- The Culm Valley Inn, formerly the Railway Hotel, sits next to the bridge over the River Culm and provides food all day. With its car park covering the site of what was Culmstock Station, the Culm Valley Inn provides a proud display of photograph memorabilia from Culmstock’s railway days.
- The Strand Stores is a café, village shop and deli all rolled into one. The Strand offers a wide selection of local produce in its store and menu with inside and outside seating areas.
Places to Stay
- There is bed and breakfast accommodation within the village and luxury self-catering accommodation just outside the parish.
- Holcombe Rogus
Towns and Villages
- Towns and Villages