A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
BURLESCOMBE, a parish partly in the hundred of HALBERTON, but chiefly in the hundred of BAMPTON, county of DEVON, 5 miles (S. W. by W.) from Wellington, containing 1073 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £11. 15. 10., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of William Ayshford Sandford, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, contains several ancient monuments. A priory for Augustine canons was founded at Leigh, thence called Canonleigh, in this parish, by Walter Clavell, in the time of Henry II., in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Etheldreda: the society, in the beginning of the reign of Edward I., was changed by Matilda de Clare, Countess of Hereford and Gloutester, for an abbess and nuns of the same order, whose number, in the 26th of Henry VIII., was eighteen, and the revenue £202. 15. 3. In 1286, the abbess obtained a license for a weekly market to be held here. The gateway and the ruins of the eastern wing of the abbey are visible in the grounds belonging to Mr. Browne. There is a small chapel at Ashford, in which divine service is performed eight times during summer, a special endowment charged on the Court estate having been given for that purpose. The summit level of the Grand Western canal crosses this parish, in a direction nearly parallel with the course of the river Lynot: there are various strata of limestone, and small pieces of pure silver have been found in the limekilns. The water of a spring at Ashford possesses properties somewhat similar to those of the sulphur wells at Harrogate, and there are indications of the existence of coal in the vicinity.