The original cluster of farms at Tatworth and Southchard, together with several other much smaller hamlets and settlements, now make up the large village, part of which is called Tatworth and the other part South Chard, served by Tatworth W.I.
One and a half miles from Chard, the village is at the southern tip of Somerset, half a mile from the borders of both Devon and Dorset and about twelve miles from the Jurassic coast. The village lies in a well-watered fertile valley surrounded by rolling hills. The underlying strait of chalk plus clay and flint, mean that springs rise throughout the village and has many, constantly flowing streams that eventually join the river Axe.
Tatworth land holdings are mentioned in the Domesday Books, as being part of the large manor of Chard, whose lord was the French Bishop Giso of Wells. After the seventeenth century, the Poulett family, who had been collecting rents and tithes as Royal Stewards, gradually acquired the freeholds. Up until the twentieth century many of the farms were still tenanted.
The Fosse Way runs nearby and the remains of a Roman villa were discovered in St. Margaret`s Lane, which is named after the oldest building in the village, the medieval “chapel of ease”. Several “Long Houses”, some of which are from the 15th 16th, and 17th centuries, are also found in Tatworth. At the thatched “The Poppe Inn”, one of the oldest buildings, the famous “Stowell Court” is held in a locked room. Here a one inch tallow candle is lit and the land holders entitled to take part, bid for the right to rent for a year, a water cress meadow called “Stowell Mead”, until the candle expires.
In the later nineteenth century with the opening of the mainline railway to Exeter and later a branch line from Chard Junction to Chard, came industrialisation, including a milk depot and a sawmill to join the factories making machine lace, set up earlier in the century. Large numbers of houses were built for the increasing population throughout the 20th century and infilling continues in the 21st century.
The branch line and the milk depot have now closed and there are no longer the many small farms. Only two shops, two chapels and two inns remain of the numerous ones there used to be. One lace factory is still making net and the other has become The Perry Street Club. Tatworth does not have a traditional village centre, however there a well, attended village school, a thriving Memorial Hall, with a café on Wednesdays, playing fields with magnificent views over the countryside and the church of St John the Evangelist. This was built in the gothic style, in i851, originally, as a mission church but became a parish church in 1866.