National Gazetteer (1868) - South Petherton

"SOUTH PETHERTON, a parish, post and market town in the hundred of South Petherton, county Somerset, 5 miles E. of Ilminster, 5 N.W. of Crewkerne, and 3 S.W. of Martock station on the Yeovil branch of the Bristol and Exeter railway. It is situated at the bridge over the river Parret, or Pedder, from which the parish takes its name, and on which are several corn-mills. It contains the tythings of Compton-Durvill, South Harp, and Over Stratton. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of coarse linen, dowlas, sail-cloth, and kid gloves. The soil consists of clay and loam upon a subsoil of marlstone. The town, which is ancient, is stated by Camden to have been the residence of Ina, King of the West Saxons. It comprises three principal streets, which uniting form a triangle. Courts-leet for the manor and hundred are held in October.

The tithes have been commuted for rent-charges amounting to £1,328, of which £155 is payable to the Dean and Chapter, £623 to the impropriators, and £550 to the vicar. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £475, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. The church, dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, is a cruciform structure with a tower containing a clock and six bells. The interior of the church contains two brasses of the Earl and Countess of Bridgwater, bearing date 1420. The church was restored in 1861. The register dates from 1574. The parochial charities produce about £64 10s. per annum. There is an endowed National school for both sexes, in which a Sunday-school is also held. The Wesleyans, Independents, and Bible Christians have each a place of worship. A large earthen vessel full of Roman coins was dug up in 1720 near the line of the old Roman Fosse Way, which traversed the parish, and other antiquities have at different times been discovered in the vicinity. William Parsons Peter, Esq., is lord of the manor. Market day is Saturday. A fair is held on July 6th for sheep and lambs.

"COMPTON DURVILL, a tything in the parish of South Petherton, in the county of Somerset, 1 mile from South Petherton."

"HARP, a tything in the parish of South Petherton, county Somerset, 15 miles S.E. of Bridgwater. It is situated at the bridge over the river Parret."

"STRATTON OVER, a tything in the parish of South Petherton, county Somerset, 1 mile S. of South Petherton."

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