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"MEARE, a parish in the hundred of Glaston-Twelve-Hides, county Somerset, 3 miles N.W. of Glastonbury, its post town, and 3 from Shapwick. The parish, which is extensive, is situated on the river Brue, and contains the hamlets of Upper and Lower Godney, and Westhay. There are remains of a double-ditched camp, supposed to be of Danish construction. Meare was formerly surrounded by moors, or meres; hence the origin of its present name. Of late years much has been done towards the drainage of these lands, particularly in the part called Mere-Pool. This district, formerly deluged with stagnant water, is 400 acres in extent, and is now in a useful state of cultivation. There was formerly a large fishery, but the old fish-house has been allowed to decay, except a small portion of the building preserved by the Archæological Society. The tithes were commuted for land under an Enclosure Act in 1779. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £340. The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure, with an embattled tower containing an old clock and six bells. There is a district church at Godney, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £55. Near the parish church is an ancient stone cross. There is a National school for both sexes. The Independents, Baptists, and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel. There are ruins of the old manor house." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003
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