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"KINGSTON ST. MARY, a parish in the hundred of Taunton, county Somerset, 3¾ miles N. of Taunton its post town. The parish is situated under the southern extremity of the Quantock hills, and is famed for its excellent cider, which is exported in large quantities. Traces of copper have been met with, and there are quarries of good building stone. The lower grounds are watered by numerous streams which descend from the hills. The soil in the higher lands is a stone brash alternated with sand, and in the lower a reddish fertile loam with stiff clay in places. The great tithes, which belong to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £398 5s., and the vicarial for £200. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £190, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a noble structure built in the reign of Henry VII., with a lofty ornamented tower, containing six bells. The chancel contains a fine altar tomb of the Warre family. The register dates from 1677. The parochial charities produce about £71 per annum, of which £15 goes to the support of a school. There is a parochial school in connection with the church. The Independents have a place of worship. The hamlet of Hestercombe is situated on an eminence at the E. side of this parish. It' belonged to Glastonbury Abbey in the reign of King Edward the Confessor, but was given by William the Conqueror to the Bishop of Coutance, and subsequently came to the bishops of Winchester as part of their manor of Taunton. It is now the property of the Warre family, to whom it has belonged since the reign of Henry III." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003
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