East Brent Parish Council

The Parish


The Parish lies on the eastern side of the Knoll at Brent, in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset.



Population: 1,200 (2002 estimate)


East Brent

In Anglo Saxon times the parish was known as Brentmarse meaning Brent Marshes.  There are several suggestions for the origins of the word Brent. 

Some suggest that it is derived from the old English word “Brant” meaning steep.  Others have suggested that it is derived from the old English word for Burnt and that the area acquired the name having been ravished and burnt by the Danish Vikings.  However, since the old English word for Burnt is “Swelan” this seems an unlikely derivation.  Others have suggested that the name was taken from the old River Brent, which passed through the parish on its route to the sea.  The River Brent, as such, was lost when the monks of Glastonbury Abbey diverted it when draining the marshes in the 12 Century,  what was the River Brent is now known as the River Brue.


The name Rooksbridge probably originates from the bridge which spans the River Mark Yeo which starts in Mark and flows into the River Axe at Loxton.  The bridge where the A38 crosses the river (formerly “Rokes Bridge” or “River Bridge” is a prominent feature of the village of Rooksbridge.


There is some difficulty in identifying the origins of the name Edingworth.  In the Doomesday Book of 1066, the hamlet is recorded with the name Iodenwrde.  No details of any name for land in this location is know to exist pre Norman Conquest.  There has been a suggestion that it is derived from the old English, Eow-Denu meaning Yew Valley, but since it is not a valley, this seems unlikely.  It is also suggested that the name derives from the Celtic name Ituna, which later became Idona meaning River.  Since the Old River Axe passes to the western boundary of the parish of East Brent and the River Mark Yeo passes through Rooksbridge rather than Edingworth, this theory is also not without flaws.  The other less questionable suggestion is that the word Idona could also have been used to mean Water or Wet-Place which would tie in with the name Brentmarse if Edingworth (or Idona) were an especially wet area of the Brent Marshes.

Physical Geography

The Parish lies on the edge of The Somerset Moor and Levels.  The land is now drained and is predominantly agricultural land.

The dominant feature is the landmark hill, Brent Knoll which stands at 137metres above the surrounding countryside.


Agriculture is the largest part of the economy in terms of land area. Agricultural land in the parish is predominantly dairy.  There are also significant areas given over to Beef and Sheep farming and a little arable, where the predominant crops grown are wheat and maize.

Tourism is also important given the location on the edge of The Somerset Levels, and also close to the Mendip hills,  Somerset coastline and beaches.  The good transport links also strengthen this sector of the economy.

There are a number of small businesses within the parish and these small businesses now form the largest financial sector of the economy of the parish.  There are a number of business parks located in the parish with a diverse range of operations.

There are also a number of small manufacturing operations within the parish.


The Village has excellent transport links being situated on the conflux of the A370 to Weston-super-Mare and the A38 between Bristol and Taunton.

The M5 motorway passes through the Parish and access is via junction 22 at neighbouring Edithmead.

The nearest connection to the rail network is via Highbridge Station.

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