National Gazetteer (1868) - Lyng

"LYNG, a parish in the hundred of Andersfield, county Somerset, 6 miles S.E. of Bridgwater, its post town, and 7 N.E. of Taunton. It is situated on the river Tone, and includes the township of Boroughbridge and isle of Athelney, where Alfred took refuge from the invading Danes, and afterwards founded a monastery of the Benedictine order. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £81. The church is an ancient edifice dedicated to St. Bartholomew. There is also a district church at Boroughbridge. There is a National school for both sexes. Some traces of the old monastery have been found below the surface of the soil, and a stone monument, erected at the commencement of the present century, indicates the spot. Richard Gatcombe, Esq., is lord of the manor. Fairs are held on the last Tuesday in March, and the first Monday and last Tuesday in August, for the sale of cattle."

"BOROUGHBRIDGE, a hamlet chiefly in the parish of Lyng, and hundred of Audersfield, but partly also in the parish of Weston Zoyland, and hundred of Whitley, in the county of Somerset, 4 miles to the N.W. of Langport. It is seated on the banks of the river Parret, which is navigable from Langport, and is here crossed by a stone bridge of three arches. On the east bank of the river is a lofty mound, on the top of which stand the ruins of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. Michael. It was built in the form of a cross, and belonged to the abbey of Athelney. During the civil war in the reign of Charles I. it was occupied some time by royalist troops, and afterwards captured for the parliament."

"ISLE OF ATHELNEY, a small district in the parish of Lyng, or East Lyng, hundred of Andersfield, in the county of Somerset, 3 miles to the N.W. of Langport. It is a slight eminence in the marshy tract at the junction of the river Tone with the Parret, between Boroughbridge and the parish church. Here is a station on the Durston and Yeovil branch railway. Athelney is interesting as the place of temporary refuge and concealment of Alfred, and the spot on which he subsequently erected an abbey of the Benedictine order, which was dedicated to the Saviour and the apostle St. Peter. No vestiges exist of it, although the buildings are believed to have been of considerable extent.

Various relics of antiquity have been discovered here, one of which, possessing a rare interest, is preserved in the Ashmolean museum, Oxford. It is a curious ornament of gold, enamelled, and formed like an amulet for hanging about the neck. On one side is the figure of a female holding flowers in each hand, and an inscription round the figure, "Aelfred haet me gewercan," i.e., "Alfred had me wrought." On the other side is a flower. This "jewel" was found in 1693. The isle of Athelney has an area of about 100 acres, and contains one farmhouse. The name Athelney signifies "noble island."

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