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National Gazetteer (1868) - Midsomer Norton

"MIDSOMER-NORTON, a parish in the hundred of Chowton, county Somerset, 10 miles S.W. of Bath, its post town, 8 N.W. of Frome, and 2 W. of Radstock. The village is situated in a valley betwixt the branches of the Somer rivulet, from which the parish derives its name. The parish includes the hamlets of Welton, Clapton, Clandown, and Downside. There are several good shops in the village, which is lighted with gas, also breweries and malthouses, and a market hall for corn and cattle, opened in 1860. The soil varies according to position, it being in the valleys clay, and in the more elevated places light earth, with white lias stone a few inches below. There are several collieries in the parish.

The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £275, in the patronage of Christ Church, Oxford. The parish church, dedicated to St. John, is a stone structure with a square tower containing eight bells and a clock. It was rebuilt in 1830 on the site of the older one. In a niche in the tower is a statue of Charles IL, by whom three of the above-mentioned bells were presented. The interior of the church contains several tablets, and in the chancel is a stained window. In addition to the parish church, there are two district churches, viz: at Downside and Clandown, the livings of which are perpetual curacies,* value £101 and £18 respectively. The register dates from 1697.

Mrs. Harris's school, founded in 1721, with an annuity of £50 for the education of forty boys, is now united with the parochial school for both sexes. An infant school was erected in 1830, and a schoolroom was built in 1840 in which the Sunday-school is held. In the old endowed schoolroom a reading-room and library has been established. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. Courts leet are held twice a year by the Duchy of Cornwall, to which the manorial rights of Midsomer-Norton belong. Welton, the other manor, is held by the Dean and Chapter of Christchurch, Oxford. The market for corn and cattle is held on the first Tuesday in each month, and a cattle fair on the 25th April."

"CLAPTON, a tything in the parish of Midsomer Norton, in the county of Somerset, 7 miles N. of Shepton-Mallet."

"WELTON, a tything in the parish of Midsomer Norton, county Somerset, 7 miles S.W. of Bath."

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