The Book of Regil: The Village in the Year 2000 provides a fascinating insight into the history of the village and the way it looked at the turn of the millennium. Edited by Maggie Oliphant and superbly illustrated by former Regil resident Roger Gallannaugh, it serves as an illustrated summary of times past and present in 2000. Roger has very kindly given his permission for this website to draw on his book for the material that follows.
Regil is a small village, strung out along a quiet road and surrounded by several working farms. For much of its history, Regil was little more than a hamlet and apart from an increase in the late 19th century, it is only in recent years that it has grown to be any size. The lack of easy access and thus relative isolation, has meant that change has come to Regil more slowly that elsewhere in the area.
The area now known as Regil was probably first settled in the Neolithic period (c.4000 – c.2000 BC) when the land began to be cleared and cultivated. Examples of flint and stone tools and pottery have been found in the area, and the long barrows on Felton common are also evidence of the area being occupied.
The area has much evidence of Bronze age (c.2000 – c.1400 BC) activity including a settlement at Row of Ashes Farm. The Roman period saw mining and estates on Mendip and a large stone villa at Chew Park. Many Roman buildings were burned or destroyed during the 4th and 5th centuries but little is known of the events until the Norman Conquest.
By this time, Manors and not villages were the economic and social units of life. It is thought that by the 13th century the manor of Regilbury was held by the Martin and Perceval families, and although Regil was not part of the manor of Winford there seem to have been close links with it.