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"WOOKEY, a parish in the hundred of Wells-Forum, county Somerset, 2 miles W. of Wells, at the foot of the Mendip hills. The parish includes the ecclesiastical district of Henton, and the hamlet of Wookey Hole, which latter derives its name from a limestone cavern, the entrance to which is narrow, but within it are several apartments, one 80 feet high, and another 120 feet long. From the innermost chamber a stream of water, the primary source of the river Axe, gushes out in an impetuous torrent, turning several paper and flour mills. In the gravel in and around the cavern the remains of the rhinoceros and other extinct animals, together with those of man, have been found, and in the time of Henry VIII. a plate of lead was discovered bearing the name of the Roman emperor Claudius." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003

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