10 hides at Gyrdlingatone were given to Glastonbury Abbey in the mid 10th Century. Gerlintune was held by Alnod in 1066 and by Robert Count of Mortain in 10 86. These are probably the earliest records of Yarlington, but the modern community, still essentially agricultural, but with many people living in the Parish and working elsewhere, or having found a delightful place for retirement, can look back on a thousand years of history spiced with incident.
In 1313 Simon de Montague obtained a licence to crenulated his house at Yarlington. King John visited in 1209, as did Edward III in 1333. 1497 saw 13 Yarlington people fined for rebellion. Perhaps they were luck not to have been hanged! In 1542 the miller, who was responsible for maintaining “stones and floodgates”, and presumably was permitted to charge people for crossing them, was fined in the Manor Court for taking an excess toll. ( Was there a predecessor of Hamish Russell keeping an eye on the Parish Precept as long ago as that?)
A House called Yarlington House was built by Sir Henry Berkeley in the late 16th Century. By 1705 it comprised a parlour, hall, dining room, kitchen, buttery, cellar and 13 chambers – quite an establishment! In 1731 there were two licensed victuallers in the parish. By 1743 this had increased to four, but ten years later there was only one and that was declared a public nuisance and closed down. For 100 years Yarlington was without a pub and then, no doubt to cheers all round, the Stags Head opened in the 1850s. For years it had a shop and dairy attached and one room was reserved as a Men’s club. I have a distinct recollection of an old hand cranked petrol pump alongside the pub in the 1940’s. No doubt I will be corrected if I am wrong.
Yarlington Mill is a cider apple raised by the miller in the late 1800s. The Yarlington Wassail probably dates from the 17th Century. Horse races were held in Yarlington in 1795. There was a golf club at Seamark Wood for the first half of the last century.
168 people were taxed in 1641, 252 in 1801 and the population peaked in the 1820s at just over 300. Then it declined and has hovered around 120 to 150 for many years.
The Church is a gem. It dates from around 1100 when it belonged to Montacute Priory. For 750 years until 1966 it was a sole rectory, valued in 1291 at £7 10s a year rising to a princely £460 in the 1830s. The history of the parsonages is fascinating, but there is no space for it here. Perhaps we should end on a cautionary note. In 1434 the rector was absolved from excommunication – his crime – wounding the rector of Bratton! All must now be forgiven since Yarlington and Bratton Seymour now form part of the Camelot Group of Parishes and the Rectors are all one person!
This is largely drawn from British History Online.