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Rodney Stoke was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Stoches, meaning 'a stockaded settlement' from the Old English stoc. In 1291 the place name was recorded as Stokgifford. The Giffords were Saxon nobility at the time of Edward the Confessor with Walter Gifford (then spelt Gifard) as the Earl of Buckingham.

The parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred.

The village was the home of, and is probably named after, Sir John Rodney (c1561–1612). However Ekwall indicates that Stoke Gifford was held by Richard de Rodene in 1303.

The first Baron Rodney was George Brydges Rodney (1718/19–92), a British naval admiral of Napoleonic times.

It is one of the nine Thankful Villages in Somerset which suffered no fatalities during World War I. There is a memorial window in the Parish Church together with a new plaque that testifies to the village's enduring pride in their good fortune.


Draycot village was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Draicote, meaning 'The dray shelter' from the Old English dragan and cot. Another derivation is from the Brythonic from Tre meaning settlement and Coet meanings woods.

Although Rodney Stoke and Draycott are both recorded separately in Domesday Book (1086) as the Rodney family expanded their land holdings in the early medievalperiod, this included Draycott.

As there was no male heir, in 1657 Anna Rodney married Sir Thomas Brydges of Keynsham (Chandos dynasty) and for the next 200 years both villages were owned by a series of absent landlords charging exorbitant rents.

In 1859 The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos was declared virtually bankrupt and 2,300 acres of land and property in the area was sold at auction enabling many local people to become freeholders for the first time.

By approximately 1890 Rodney Stoke and Draycott had become two separate
villages again, although for many administrative matters they remained as one entity.

Historical reference

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Rodney Stoke and Draycott as follows:

RODNEY-STOKE, a village and a parish in Wells district, Somerset. The village stands under the Mendiphills, 5 miles N W of Wells r. station; has a post-office under Weston-super-Mare; and gave the title of Baron, in 1782, to Admiral Rodney. The parish contains a1sopart of Draycott hamlet, and comprises 2, 345 acres. Real property, £4,030. Pop., 323. Houses, 65. The property is subdivided. The Mendip hills here, especiallya peak called Stoke-Knoll, rise with great boldness and beauty. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £339.* Patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The church is later English, and containsmonuments of the Rodney family. There are a Churchschool, and charities £303.


DRAYCOTT, a chapelry in Cheddar and Stoke-Rodney parishes, Somerset; under the Mendip hills, 4 miles SE of Axbridge, and 5¼ WNW of Wells r. station. Post town, Cheddar, under Weston-super-Mare. Pop., 618. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £86. Patron, alternately the Vicar of Cheddar and the Rector of Stoke-Rodney. The church was built in 1862, at a cost of £1, 500; consists of nave, chancel, and transept, with vestry and bell-turret; and is in the early decorated style.

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