Our Parish


Nestling in the heart of the Blackdown Hills designated first by God, and later by Government, as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the parish stretches over ten square miles.

At the heart of a rich patchwork of water meadows and fields, ancient hedgerows and narrow lanes, woodlands and isolated farmsteads, lies the village of Upottery itself and its neighbouring hamlets of Rawridge and Smeatharpe.

The parish works rather like a giant loom, with Upottery providing the canvas, Rawridge and Smeatharpe acting as the warp and the weft, as busy people and their organizations shuttle the threads of commerce and community into a bewilderingly complex and living design.

The resulting tapestry is both rich and varied. Its historical depth reaches back to Domesday, with farm and family names living on today, which are hundreds of years old. Its principal colours are laid down by its unbroken agricultural heritage, complemented latterly by strands of tourism and technology.

Conversations – and Upottery loves its conversations – proudly tease out for the uninitiated the twists and turns of family threads, the interwoven strands of church and school, pub and post office, skittles and sheep-rearing.

The village is quiet and contemplative. And it has great heart…

(Excerpt from entry to Village of the Year Competition 2002)