National Gazetteer (1868) - Wedmore

"WEDMORE, a parish in the hundred of Bempstone, county Somerset, 8 miles from Wells, 6 S.E. of Axbridge, and 4 from Shapwick railway station. It is situated on the turnpike road from Highbridge to Wells. The parish, which is divided from the hundred of Wells by the river Axe, and bounded on the S. by the Brue, contains the tythings of Wedmore, the Borough, Churchland, Blackford, and Northload. Its name is said to have been originally Wet-Moor, owing to its having been under water nine months in the year; but within the present century it has been extensively drained. Wedmore is a polling place for the county elections, and an ancient borough governed by a portreeve chosen yearly at the manorial court, with water bailiffs, constables, and other officers. A court leet is held annually.

The soil abounds with rich loam. This parish is noted for its Cheddar cheese, which is made here in large quantities. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £360, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is of the 14th century. The interior has some old monuments. The register dates from 1560. There are also the district churches of Theale and Blackford, the livings of which are both perpetual curacies, value £300 each. The parochial charities consist of J. Wollen's bequest of the interest of £1,000 for the poor, and of an endowment of £750 to the charity school, besides other bequests from different donors. There is a church Sunday-school held in the free school. The Wesleyans and Baptists have each a chapel and Sunday-school. A pot of silver coins of the reigns of Sweyn and Hardicanute was discovered in the churchyard. T. Barrow, Esq., is lord of the manor. Cattle fairs are held on the Monday prior to St. James's day, and the last Monday in September."

"BLACKFORD, a chapelry in the parish of Wedmore, hundred of Bempstone, in the county of Somerset, 4 miles to the S. of Axbridge. Wells is its post town. The manor was held in the reign of Queen Elizabeth by Hugh Saxey, who founded the hospital or almshouse at Bruton, and was given by him to that hospital as part of its endowment. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £145, in the patronage of the Vicar of Wedmore. The church is modern."

"COCKLAKE, a small lake in the parish of Wedmore, county of Somerset, 3 miles S. of Axminster."

"PANBOROUGH, a hamlet in the parish of Wedmore, hundred of Bempstone, county Somerset, 5 miles W. of Wells."

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