National Gazetteer (1868) - Burnham on Sea

"BURNHAM ON SEA, a parish in the hundred of Bempstone, in the county of Somerset, 8 miles to the S.W. of Axbridge. Bridgwater is its post town It is situated on the coast of Bridgwater Bay, near the mouth of the river Bruo, and is connected with the Bristol and Exeter railway by a short branch line from Highbridge. The parish, which is very extensive, comprising an area of 4,302 acres, includes the hamlet of Edithmead, and the tything of Huish-juxta-Highbridge, with parts of the tything of Aston Morris, and of the hamlet of Highbridge. It is mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great, who is said to have been wrecked on the Gore, a dangerous sandbank at the entrance of the river Parret. Hero is a good sandy beach, and two lighthouses for guiding vessels over the bar at the mouth of the Parret. They stand about 500 yards apart, and have elevations of about 90 feet and 23 feet respectively.

This village is frequented as a watering-place. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, of the annual value of £559, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Wells. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew. It is a large ancient edifice, with a lofty tower, and possesses a fine altar-piece of white marble, originally designed by Inigo Jones for the chapel in Whitehall, and presented to this parish by Dr. King, who once hold the vicarage, and was afterwards Bishop of Rochester. There is also a district church at Highbridge, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £193, in the patronage of Mrs. Luttrell. There are several charitable bequests for the poor, which amount yearly to about £70."

"ASTON MORRIS, a tything in the parishes of Burnham on Sea and Huntspill, the former in the hundred of Bempstone, the latter in that of Huntspill and Puriton, in the county of Somerset, 7 miles to the N. of Bridgwater. It lies near the coast of Bridgwater Bay, at the mouth of the river Parrot. The Bristol and Taunton canal passes near the tything."

"EDITHMEAD, a hamlet in the parish of Burnham on Sea, county Somerset, 8 miles N. E. of Bridgwater."

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