The name Cheddar comes from the Old English word ‘ceodor’, meaning deep dark cavity or pouch.

Cheddar Gorge, on the northern edge of the village, is the largest gorge in the United Kingdom and includes several show caves, including Gough’s Cave. The gorge has been a centre of human settlement since Neolithic times, including a Saxon palace. It has a temperate climate and provides a unique geological and biological environment that has been recognised by the designation of several Sites of Special Scientific Interest.  It is also the site of several limestone quarries. The village gave its name to Cheddar cheese and has been a centre for strawberry growing. The crop was formerly transported on the Cheddar Valley rail line, which closed in the late 1960s and is now a cycle path.

The village is now a major tourist destination with several cultural and community facilities, including the Cheddar Show Caves Museum.

Cheddar village supports a variety of community groups including religious, sporting and cultural organisations. Several of these are based on the site of the Kings of Wessex Academy, which is the largest educational establishment.

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