Genealogy Notes for the Town of Shepton Mallet, Somerset

A miscellany of pictures and data arising out of research into the KIRBY's family trees (but not all linked to them). This is a work in progress so please treat the data with appropriate caution. For related information see, Ancestor List, Place Index and Wills Index

Location and general description

Square surrounded by shows with colourful pastel shaded exterioris. In the centre a warm coloured limestone cross, with shelter underneath.

Situated a little to the east of Wells, Shepton Mallet lies in a fold amongst the Mendip Hills. Its many pale-grey limestone buildings lend it a somber appearance, relieved in places by bright colour washes.


No specific buildings have been identified as of interest, but both Cowl Street and Garston Street are connected with the CURTIS family.

Garston Street

Garston Street approaches the centre of town from the east. On the northern side are terraces of older stone cottages of mixed design, whilst the southern side has narrow garden plots that appear to belong to the opposite properties. Modern industrial units bacl onto thse garden plots in a most unsympathetic fashion. At the eastern end of the road is a brewery and the western end overlooks a substantial mill.

Terrace of stone cottages Terrace of Stone CottagesStone houses, an old ston ebuilt mill with a tall chimney, and distant church
View west along Garston Street. Several of the properties in the street are Grade II listed. View east along Garston StreetView towaed the town centre frm the bottom end of Garston Street
Roadsign with white text on a green background

 On the 1841 Census, the twelve year old Henry CURTIS is listed as living in Garston Street, with an older female member of the CURTIS family and another CURTIS lad of similar age to himself. 

Cowl Street

Cowl Street approaches the centre of town from the north. It contains a miscellany of stone cottages that are probably old enough to have been there when my ancestors were, together with more recent infill. The street scene is dominated by two bridges, at the upper end a railway viaduct and midway down, by a bridge carrying a road to a cemetary.

Painted cottages, towered over by a viaductA terrace of stone cottages taken from a high vantage point A terrace of stone cottages taken from a high vantagFrontage of a stone built house with a blue plaque
Cottages at the top of Cowl Street, which appear to be built on the floor of an old quarry. The Bath Road Viaduct carried the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, which was opened in 1874 and reconstructed in 1946.Looking up Cowl Street, from the bridge to the cemetary, a Grade II listed structure built in 1856 by Wainwright and Heard.Looking down Cowl Street from the bridge to the cemetary.Longbridge House aloready stood at the bottom of Cowl Street in when James, Duke of Monmoth, stayed there prior to his defeat at the battle of Sedgemoor in July 1685.
Roadsign with white writing on a green background

On the 1851 Census, the twenty-three year old Henry CURTIS is listed as living in Cowl Street, as the only CURTIS in a house occupied by the JENNETT family. No relationship is given to the JENNETTs.


Various census records gave the place of birth of Henry CURTIS as Shepton Mallet, and he certaily spent part of his youth and his earlier working life in the town.  More information may be found elsewhere on this site in the Biography of Henry CURTIS.

On the 1891 Census, Richard SHARP, one of the sons of John and Mary SHARP of Langridge, near Bath, Somerset, is listed at Shepton Mallet, though it is not yet certain where.

Related links

A selection of links to other sites with information about this place:


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.