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National Gazetteer (1868) - Brockley

"BROCKLEY, a parish in the hundred of Chewton, in the county of Somerset, 9 miles to the S.W. of Bristol. It is situated in a romantic and beautiful country, not far from the coast of the Bristol Channel, and is crossed by the Bristol and Exeter railway. Near the village, on the south-east, is Brockley Coomb, a deep narrow glen, of singular beauty, sunk between steep rocks, rising at some points to the height of 300 feet. It is adorned with many noble trees, and all the fissures and ledges of the cliffs are enriched With a great variety of mosses and other forms of vegetation. Lead ore is found here, and there are masses of columnar basalt.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells, of the value of £128, in the patronage of the trustees of the late Rev. W. Piggott. The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas. There are charitable endowments Worth about £9 a year. Brockley Hall, late the seat of the Piggotts, is a spacious mansion, surrounded by beautiful grounds and a large Wooded park, stocked With deer and containing a heronry. From the summit of the rocks, along which there is a drive, the view is magnificent over the surrounding country and the Bristol Channel to the coast of Wales. In the hall Was formerly a large collection of pictures and rarities, including Works by Vandyck, Lely, Hobday, and Gainsborough, a bust of Napoleon by Canova, chairs and a couch of Napoleon brought from Malmaison, and some chairs of Cardinal Wolsey. The collection Was dispersed by public sale in 1849."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]

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[Last updated: 25th March 2003 - Brian Pears]