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Cameley and Temple Cloud

Add Cameley and Temple Cloud to your Itinerary


Cameley and Temple Cloud


Brandown Close
Temple Cloud
BS39 5EJ


Cameley dates back to Anglo Saxon times when it was part of the ‘Hundred of Chewton’. It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as ‘Camelie’ and it lies on the Cam Brook. The name means ‘the curved river meadows’ from the Celtic word of ‘cam’ and the old English ‘leah’.

After the Norman Conquest, the Bishop of Coutances held the manor but about 1150 the manor was given to Bath Abbey by the d’Alneto family who came from Normandy after the Conquest. Later the manor was held by another French Norman family the de Marisco family who are better known for their connection with the island of Lundy. In a grant of 1201, King John passed control to the Knights Templar but during the 13th and early 14th centuries the manor was again under the control of the de Marisco family. It was in the early 14th century that the area of the parish previously called ‘Cloude’ started to be referred to as Temple Cloud, indicating almost certainly that the Knights Templar owned or occupied land within the parish. Ownership of the manor passed through the hands of the  religious houses of Bath Abbey and Glastonbury Abbey in the late Middle Ages.

The church at Cameley dates back to the 13th century. It is dedicated to St James and may well have been built on the site of an earlier one. The tower was constructed a little later. The church is now looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust and is widely regarded for its wall paintings and its 15th and 17th century pews and pulpit. The Victorians did nothing in the church so it remains much as it was 200 years ago.

When the religious houses were dissolved by Henry VIII, the manor was passed with others to Richard Watkin Vaughan, a courtier who passed it to his son Polydore on his death.  Polydore sold the manor in 1561 to John and Mary Hippisley and the Hippisley family owned the manor of Cameley and the village of Temple Cloud until they sold it house by house and farm by farm along with the land at an auction in July 1919.

Temple Cloud developed because it was on the road from Bristol to the south and the population gradually moved from the area around St James Church to be near the road - a process that was accelerated when the turnpike roads were developed. Cottages were built along the road, many of which remain today. In about 1916 some residents petitioned for a church to be built in Temple Cloud to avoid them having to make the long walk to St James in Cameley and the Hippisley’s agreed. St Barnabas Church was constructed in the style of the Arts and Crafts Movement from Temple stone and was built using local labour in the mid 1920s.

Temple Cloud expanded with the usual trades and shops to serve the community including three or four public houses. At the height of its activity, it was said that Temple Cloud had everything except a railway station. Temple Cloud had quarries where Pennant sandstone was to be found. This hard stone was used for pavements and kerbs among other things. There was also a brick works and a saw mill but farming was the main activity within the parish.
The parish of Cameley is well positioned for commuting to work or for leisure activities. The main road, the A37 means that Bristol and Shepton Mallet are each about 10 miles away with Bath and Wells much the same distance. There is a regular bus service to Bristol and Wells and the nearest railway stations are Bristol Temple Meads, Keynsham and Bath Spa.

Recent Development

Over the years a small number of developments have been built within the parish which has included homes at Goldney Way and further development at Paulmont Rise and more recently a larger development at Meadway. Building work is also due to be completed at two sites on Temple Inn Lane – one at Brandown Close and the other adjoining the main road where the Temple Inn pub has recently been redeveloped to contain a number of letting rooms and several houses.


Today, Temple Cloud is home to Cameley CEVC Primary School which is rated by OFSTED as 'good'. There is also Cameley Surgery which is partnered with Harptree Surgery, and many other thriving local businesses including a Post Office contained within the petrol station shop. Temple Cloud Garage and Cameley Primary School kindly both host public access defibrillators provided by the Parish Council. There are many vibrant community groups and activities within the village and surrounding area which includes: Temple Cloud in Bloom, Temple Cloud WI, St Johns Ambulance and many more. The parish is supplied with an informative Parish Magazine - Clutton & Temple Cloud News, copies of which are available at the local petrol station shop and to which residents can subscribe for a small fee. The Parish Magazine publishes local news, local events, adverts, details of the mobile library and contains a directory at the back. In 2017 the Parish Council undertook an exciting project to expand the Playground on Cameley Playing Field which now provides a wide range of equipment for all ages and abilities.

Parish Council Aims

Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council aims to represent the local community, deliver services to meet local needs, and improve the quality of life and community wellbeing. The Parish Council provides and maintains a variety of important and visible services. These include: street sweeping through the employment of two village operatives, grass cutting on the Village Green and Playing Fields, monitoring public rights of way and highways. The Parish Council also own and maintain Cameley Playing Fields and owns and manages Temple Cloud Village Hall. In addition, the Parish Council scrutinises all planning applications and provides a voice for the local community on various issues and consultations and also works with the Local Authority (B&NES Council) to ensure local services are delivered and the Parish is well maintained. The Parish of Cameley is a civil parish in Bath and North East Somerset Council area, which is made up of the larger village of Temple Cloud and the smaller village of Cameley. At full membership, the Parish Council has nine Parish Councillors and currently employs two Village Operatives and one Parish Clerk.

Parish Council Meetings and Current Projects

The Parish Council hold a Parish Council Meeting on the second Wednesday of the month which starts at 7.00pm at Temple Cloud Village Hall. Members of the public are always welcome to attend these meetings and a public participation session is held at the start of the meeting where residents are invited to speak to their Councillors or raise issues of concern.

From time to time vacancies arise and the Parish Council advertise such vacancies on the two Parish Council noticeboards - one situated on the corner of Temple Inn Lane at the junction with the main road and the second by the bus stop on the Village Green.

Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council are currently undertaking a project to rejuvenate the Village Hall and carpark and currently have a consultation and competition open. You can find out more on the Parish Council website.

The Parish Council has a website – and a Facebook Page. For enquiries please contact the Parish Clerk, Jenny Howell at:


This piece was drafted as a collaboration between Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council and local residents with an interest in local history, The Parish Council thanks all contributors.

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