National Gazetteer (1868) - Martock

"MARTOCK, a parish and small post town in the hundred of the same name, county Somerset, 3 miles E. of South Petherton, and 4 W. by S. of Ilchester, its post town. It is a station on the Yeovil branch of the Bristol and Exeter line of railway. The name of this place is said to be derived from "mart" and "oak," a market having been formerly held under an oak tree near the centre of the town, where now stands a fluted column designed in imitation of the pillar of Trojan at Rome. The market has long been discontinued, but the town is still considerable, consisting principally of one street about a mile and a half in length. It, is situated on a small stream, tributary to the river Parret. The parish includes the tythings of Long Load, Ash, Bower Hinton, Coat, Milton, Stapleton, and Witcombe. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in glove-making, and others in weaving sailcloth. A court-leet is held in October by the lord of the manor, anciently presented by James I. to Lord Konteagle, for his services in detecting the Gunpowder Plot. The surface is pleasingly varied, and the soil chiefly clay.

The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £182 12s., and the vicarial for one of £316, also £779 15s., are paid to thee treasurer. The living is a vicarage* with the curacy* of Long Load annexed, in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £450, in the patronage of the Treasurer in Wells Cathedral. The parish church is a stone structure, with a lofty square embattled tower, containing a clock and five bells. The wails are surmounted by a perforated parapet, and the roof of the nave is richly groined. The church has been recently restored. There is also a district church at Ash, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £62. The register dates from 1558. There are two places of worship for Independents, and a chapel-of-ease at Load. The parochial charities produce about £20 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes, and a Sunday-school held within the schoolroom. J. Goodden, Esq., is lord of the manor. An annual fair is held in the third week in August for cattle, &c. The old Roman Fosse Way skirts the south-eastern border of the parish. Near the parish church are remains of a monastery in good preservation. There were also several other religious houses in this parish."

"COATE, a hamlet in the parish of Martock, in the county of Somerset, 4 miles S.W. of Ilchester."

"HINTON BOWER, a hamlet joined with Hurst, in the parish and hundred of Martock, in the county of Somerset, 2 miles from South Petherton.

"HURST, a hamlet in the parish of Martock, county Somerset, 2 miles N.E. of Petherton. It is joined to Bower-Hinton."

"MILTON, a hamlet in the parish of Martock, county Somerset, 3 miles S.W. of Ilchester."

"STAPLETON, a hamlet in the parish of Martock, county Somerset, 4 miles S.E. of Ilchester."

"WITCOMBE, a hamlet in the parish of Martock, county Somerset, 3 miles S.W. of Ilchester."

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