Resident and ex-Parish Council leader John Cullen has written a series of interesting and informative heritage articles about the history of West Parley.
The Heritage Articles. (click on the article title)
Early routes through the parish were no more than tracks that changed between summer and winter or as they became unusable. As the number of users increased and more formal land ownership restricted land use, tracks became formal roads.
A rapid increase in customs and excise duty in the 18th and early 19th centuries led to a huge rise in smuggling across the country to avoid paying these taxes. Increasing quantities of goods were illegally imported and due to the easy gains and relatively low risks, the trade involved much of the coastal and rural population.