"ILCHESTER, (or Ivelchester), a parish and incorporated town, formerly a representative borough and market town in the hundred of Tintinhull, county Somerset, 4 miles S.E. of Somerton, 5 from Yeovil, and 122 W.S.W. of London. The town stands on the S. bank of the river Yeo, over which is a stone bridge connecting it with the parish of Northover. It is supposed to be the Ischalis of Ptolemy, and was the chief town in the territory of the Belgæ. When the Romans took possession of the country, they fortified it with a rampart surrounded by a moat filled with water from the river Ivel, and made it one of their principal stations on the great Fosse Way, which led from Lincolnshire to Devon. By the Saxons it was called Gifelcestre, or Ivelceastre, and was a place of importance after the Norman Conquest, containing at the time of the Survey six churches and 107 burgesses. It was ineffectually besieged by Robert Mowbray in 1088, during the rebellion against William Rufus. It was incorporated by charter of King John, but the charter having lapsed, it was renewed by Philip and Mary, and the government vested in a bailiff and 12 capital burgesses." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003


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