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National Gazetteer (1868) - Penselwood

"PENSELWOOD, (or Penscellwood), a parish in the hundred of Norton-Ferris, county Somerset, 4 miles N.E. of Wincanton, its post town, and 7 S.E. of the Bruton railway station. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the river Stour, and on the London and Exeter road. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture; but some in a flax-mill, and others in the sand and green-stone quarries in the neighbourhood. At a short distance from the village, on the site of an ancient Danish camp, is a tower 120 feet in height, erected by an ancestor of Sir H. A. Hoare, Bart., to commemorate the celebrated visit of Alfred the Great in the dress of a minstrel to the tent of Guthrum, whom he afterwards defeated.

The surface is in general hilly but tolerably fertile. The soil is of a sandy and loamy nature, with a subsoil of sandstone. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £180. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, has a tower containing three bells. It was restored in 1849, and contains two stained-glass windows and several monuments. The register dates from 1721. There is a National school for both sexes, in which a Sunday-school is also held. The Primitive Methodists have a place of worship. The Earl of Ilchester and Sir H. A. Hoare, Bart., are lords of the manor and principal owners of the soil. A feast is held on the first Sunday after the 6th August.

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