Brent Knoll

Coordinates: 51°15′00″N 2°57′14″W / 51.250°N 2.954°W / 51.250; -2.954

Brent Knoll (formerly South Brent) is a village in Somerset, England, which lies on the southern edge of Brent Knoll – a hill with a height of 137 metres (450 ft) that dominates the low surrounding landscape of the Somerset Levels.

History

The village of Brent Knoll lies at the south west base of the hill. Between 1875 and 1883 the village name was changed from South Brent to Brent Knoll to avoid rail passenger confusion with the village of South Brent in Devon.

Brent Knoll railway station located at the western extremity of the village, was built as part of the Bristol and Exeter Railway and operated from 1875 until its closure on 4 January 1971.

Somerset Court, located at the eastern end of the village was built in the late 18th century and is a Grade II listed building. From 1940 until 1968, it housed Hill Brow Preparatory School for Boys and since 1974 it has been occupied by the National Autistic Society who use it as one of its main centres for the care of autistic adults.

Governance

The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.

The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Sedgemoor, which was formed on April 1, 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Axbridge Rural District, which is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.

Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.

It is also part of the Wells county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.

Religious sites

The Church of St Michael dates back to the 11th century but has undergone several renovations since. The tower contains a bell dating from 1777 and made by William Bilbie of the Bilbie family. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building.