Bere Regis

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Is a village and parish in the hundred of its name, 12 miles from London, and 8 from Blandford. Its name is derived from the small river Beer, upon which it is seated; and from its having been anciently a royal demesne. Queen Elfrida had a seat here, to which she retired immediately after the murder of her son-in-law, Edward the Martyr, This place had the charter of a market granted to it by King John, and was constituted a borough by Edward 1, it may hence be supposed that Beer was of more importance in those days than at present, for it is now so inconsiderable that the market has fallen into disuse. The inhabitants are mostly employed in agriculture, and the cutting of wood for making faggots ; the country around here being more rich in wood than any other part in the south of Devon, The parish church is a small edifice; the living is a vicarage, of which the Rev. Carrington Ley is the incumbent. Here are two meeting-houses for dissenters, and an endowed school for educating and clothing eight boys, A fair is held at Woodbury hill, about half a mile distant, on the 18th of September and three following days. The parish of Beer-Regis, including the tything of Shy-Herton, contained by the last returns, 1,080 inhabitants.

Source: Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Dorset, 1830. Transcribed by Nigel Batty-Smith ©2003

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