Queen Camel is a village found on the River Cam in Somerset. It is located 7 miles north of Yeovil. It is a small village, with the most recent reported population being just shy of 1,000.
Queen Camel has been inhabited since the 2nd Century. There is evidence that there was a small settlement just outside of the village dated to around this time. Foundations for several small buildings have been identified.
Contrary to popular belief, Queen Camel does not come from the name of the animal. Instead, it likely comes from the word Cantmael. This, in turn, comes from Celtic words meaning district and bare hill. The Queen part of the name comes from Queen Eleanor, the wife of Henry III, who had a claim to some land in the area back in the 13th Century.
Like many parts of Somerset, Queen Camel plays a role in Arthurian Legend. It is said that his final battle took place close by.
Much of the village is ‘new’ by the Somerset standards. The bulk of the village burned down in a fire back in the 17th Century. This means that many of the properties located within Queen Camel are dated from the 18th Century onwards. There are some small 15th-Century Cottages located close to one of the bridges in the village.
One of the highlights of Queen Camel is the Church of St. Barnabas. It is located at the end of a quaint cobbled lane. The church is perhaps best known for having one of the heaviest sets of six bells in Europe. The current church can be dated back to the 14th Century with the first record of a rectory on this site being recorded in 1317. Those inside of the church will be able to find memorials to the Mildmay Family, the family that the parish originally used to belong to.
Owing to the fact that Queen Camel is small, there is little in the way of ‘entertainment’ in the place, with a single shop providing everything the village needs. However, there is a popular pottery studio which attracts tourists who engage in educational courses and workshops.