The parish and village of Othery, established in 1515, sits on a detached extension of Sowy island on the Somerset Levels. It is 7 miles (11 km) east of Bridgwater and 5 miles (6 km) north-west of Langport. It borders the hamlets and villages of Burrowbridge, Middlezoy, Westonzoyland and Aller, which it meets at Beer Wall. The border with Burrowbridge was defined in 1985, reducing Othery to 553 ha (1,366 acres). Many of these borders are defined by rhynes (ditches) and walls (embankments) created and rearranged, from the 13th century onwards, to drain and channel the waters of the River Cary and the River Parrett as they flooded the low-lying levels on their leisurely journey to the Bristol Channel.
The name means “Other-island”. The “island” of Othery rising above the Levels is a mixed sedimentary and alluvial deposit: marl, Mercia mudstone, sand and gravel (“Burtle Beds”), peat, and deposits from the basin of the River Parrett. The moors on the shallowest deposits are just 17 feet (4 m) below sea level, with the highest hill, on the southwest side of Othery, standing 82 feet (25 m) above sea level.
Othery borders two Sites of Special Scientific Interest, both designated in 1985: Southlake Moor and Sedgemoor, to the north of Beer Wall.
This aerial photo taken from the church tower in 1957 shows the Castle Inn and Mr Warren’s butcher’s business to the centre right. Mr Warren lived in Walnut House, with the yard beside it containing a butcher’s shop and slaughter house. Now that Walnut House is purely a private dwelling, two other houses occupy the site of the shop and slaughter house.
1955 & 2012
Othery village shop in 1955 and 2012
1955 & 2005
Maisey’s Bakery in 1955 and 2005
George and Winifred Winslade of Bennetts Farm with children, Ernest, Flora, Harold, Reginald, Winifred, Elsie and William in 1910. (Dorothy, Edward and Gertrude were yet to come)