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National Gazetteer (1868) - Milborne Port

"MILBORNE-PORT, a parish in the hundred of Horethorne, county Somerset, 3 miles E. of Sherborne, its post town, and 8 S. of Wincanton. It has a station on the London, Yeovil, and Exeter section of the South-Western railway. It is situated on the old London road to Exeter, and on the line of the Salisbury and Yeovil railway. The parish includes the tything of Kingsbury-Regis and the hamlet of Milborne-Wick. Milborne-Port was a place of importance prior to the Conquest. It is a borough, and was formerly a market town by prescription, returning two members to Parliament from the 26th to the 35th of Edward I., when it ceased to exercise the power till 1628, and continued to be represented till disfranchised by the Reform Act. A court-leet is held in October, at which two of the nine capital bailiffs preside, and appoint two sub-bailiffs, all being under the supervision of the chief constable of Somerset. The magistrates hold their meetings every Wednesday and one Monday in the month.

The town, which is still considerable, is irregularly built, containing many detached houses. It is situated on the road from Yeovil to Shaftesbury, at the foot of a hill adjoining the river Ivel. The Guildhall is an old building, with a Norman doorway and the remains of a market cross. The county court is held at Wincanton. A brisk trade is done in gloves and leather dressing, which has superseded the coarse linen trade formerly carried on. The soil is of various kinds, but generally fertile. Stone of an inferior quality is quarried for rough buildings and for mending the roads. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £525, and the vicarial for £210. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £233. The church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is a cruciform structure with a quadrangular tower, containing eight bells. The church has been thoroughly restored, and the churchyard enlarged and reconstructed. The parochial charities produce about £39 per annum. There are National, British, and Sunday schools for both sexes. The Independents and Wesleyans have each a place of worship, to which schools are attached. The Board of Guardians meet on Wednesdays at the union poorhouse in Wincanton. Fairs are held on the 5th June and 28th October."

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