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"WEST HARPTREE, a parish in the hundred of Chewton, county Somerset, 8 miles N. of Bath, and 11 S.W. of Bristol. It is situated on the turnpike road leading from Bristol to Wells. The soil is light, with subsoil of gravel and sand, resting on a limestone rock, which abounds with lapis calaminaris, and contains in some places iron-ore and lead. The land is chiefly pasture, with a small extent of orchard and woodland. The lands in the upper part of the parish, on the Mendip hills, are well wooded with oak and elm. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £159 10s., and the vicarial for £220. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £126. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient stone structure with tower surmounted with a spire, and containing a clock and four bells. The register dates from 1660. The parochial charities produce £76 per annum, of which £15 goes to the support of Lockier's school. There is a parochial school for both sexes. The ancient manor houses of Gowmay and Silly, in this parish, are now converted into farmhouses. The Prince of Wales is lord of the former manor, and W. F. Newton, Esq., of Barton Green, of the latter." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003
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