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"BACKWELL, a parish in the hundred of Hartcliffe, in the county of Somerset, 7 miles to the S.W. of Bristol, its post town. It is situated in a hilly and picturesque country, not far from the coast of the Bristol Channel. The Bristol and Exeter railway passes near the village. Included in the parish are the hamlets of Church Town, Downside, Farley, Moorside, and West Town. There are extensive collieries, and some stone quarries in the neighbourhood. The living is a vicarage and sinecure rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells, the former, being of the value of £144, is in the patronage of Mrs. Uniacke, the latter, of £253, is in the gift of the Marquis of Bath, and is at present held by Lord J. Thynne. The tower of the church is very handsome, and is crowned with a parapet and rich pinnacles. The church has monuments of the Rodneys, and is dedicated to St. Andrew. There are some charities of small amount. A cattle fair is held on the 1st September." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003

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