Martock is located seven miles north-west of Yeovil on the River Parrett at the edge of the Somerset Levels. The name is thought to derive from ‘mart’, meaning ‘market’ and ‘oak’, probably a reference to a former market under an oak tree near the centre of the village.
A picturesque place, the village boasts a number of listed buildings, constructed using local golden Hamstone quarried from the nearby Ham Hill. Perhaps the most arresting of these buildings is All Saints Church which dates from the thirteenth century and is thought to be the second largest church in Somerset. Originally an abbey church belonging to the monks of Mont St Michel in Normandy, the church features unique carved wooden statues hidden in the eaves. The church has been designated a grade I listed building by English Heritage.
Other buildings of interest in Martock include the Treasurer's House. Again 13th century, this two storey medieval, Hamstone built house is owned by the National Trust and open to visitors. The Old Court House is another attractive parish building which was the local grammar school for 200 years.
There are several manors and stately homes in the vicintiy, a reflection of the wealth of the local land-owning farming families. Amongst these are the 17th century Martock Manor, whose most noteworthy owner is probably Edward Parker, who informed Parliament of the Gunpowder Plot after Guy Fawkes had warned him to stay away from the houses that night.
Local trades include stonemasonry, wood working and a silversmith and nearby attractions include the Burrow Hill Cider Farm and the East Lambrook Manor Gardens, internationally famous grade one listed gardens created by Margery Fish and now also housing an extensive nursery and tea rooms. Nearby Tintinhull House Garden, owned by the National Trust is set in the grounds of a 17th century manor farm and features a 2 acre formal garden, several small pools, secluded lawns and varied borders.