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Tatworth and Forton is a rural parish surrounded by beautiful countryside yet close to major towns. The main centre of population lies two miles south of Chard, although Forton is closer to Chard than to Tatworth and South Chard. The parish is roughly triangular in shape measuring 3.5 miles west to east and 4 miles north to south. It is the most south westerly parish in Somerset, bordered on the east by the River Axe and dorset on the South and West by Devon. At present there is no train station at Chard Junction and residents need to travel to Axminster, some 5 miles to the south, Crewkerne, 11 miles to the east or the county town of Taunton 17 miles to the north to connect to the national railways. There are bus links north and south from Tatworth and South Chard and to Taunton and Yeovil to the east from Forton. The M5 motorway junction is at Taunton.
Up to 1985 the Parish was known as 'Chard Parish Council'. The name was changed to Tatworth and Forton Parish Council on 1st November 1985 after boundary reviews where we gained some of Dorset (Yonder Hill) and gave up Chaffcombe, Wadeford and Wambrook.
Our present parish is made up from three 'tithings' of Forton, Tatworth and Southchard from the ancient manor of Chard.
The name of Tatworth comes from the Old English 'tat' and 'worp' meaning 'A cheerful farm'.
In 1254 the spelling was Tattewurthe and was a sub manor of Chard. In 1554 Thatteworh was granted to William Petre as 'manor and park' of Tatworthy and remained in the family until 1790.
Tatworth and Forton were part of the ecclesiastical parish of Chard until 1866, when the church was built in 1851, became the parish church of Tatworth, while Forton remains within Chard ecclesiastical parish
Despite much infilling with new houses of the once agricultural land between the hamlets of South Chard, Perry Street and Tatworth, the parish remains essentially a rural one. Forton is almost 2 miles away from the main centre of population in Tatworth and South Chard, across farmland and woodland and further away by road. The parish is a dispersed one with a number of outlying dwellings. It lacks a village centre and few can say with confidence if they live in Tatworth, Perry Street or South Chard or indeed, where one ends and the other begins.
There are 1115 households and a population of approximately 2700.