National Gazetteer (1868) - Stourton

"STOURTON, a parish partly in the hundred of Mere, county Wilts, and partly in that of Norton Ferris, county Somerset, 2 miles N.W. of Mere, its post town, and 10 from Frome. The village is on the road from Bath to Poole, and near the river Stour. The parish includes the hamlet of Gasper. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Sarum, value £520. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, has tombs of the Stourtons and Hoares, including that of Sir Richard, the antiquary. The parochial charities produce about £68 per annum. Near Penn, or Penzlewood, in that part of the parish within the county of Somerset, are several thousands of pits or hollows, scattered over a surface of nearly 700 acres, forming a wide boggy tract, and supposed to be the site of a British town."

"GASPER, a hamlet in the parish of Stourton, hundred of Norton Ferris, county Somerset, 5 miles N.E. of Wincanton, and 6 E. of the railway station at Bruton. The Roman Catholics have a chapel near here."

"STOUR-HEAD, the seat of the Hoare family, in the parish of Stourton, county Somerset, 3 miles N.W. of Mere, and 10 from Frome. It is situated on the Wilts border, near the source of the river Stour, which rises in six wells or "fountains proper," which figure in the arms of Lord Stourton, whose family formerly possessed the castle, on the site of which the modern mansion of the Hoares has been erected. In the grounds are King Alfred's tower, 160 feet high, the pump of Peter the Great, statues of Flora and Hercules by Rysbrach, besides a gallery of paintings by Rembrandt, Poussin, Carlo Dolci, Claude, Gainsborough, and other masters."

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