Axmouth

AXMOUTH, a parish, in the union and hundred of Axminster, Honiton and S. divisions of Devon, 2¾ miles (S. by E.) from Colyton; containing, with the extra-parochial liberty of Horsedown, 645 inhabitants. This place, from the numerous traces of Roman occupation on the eastern bank of the river Axe, which intersects the parish, is supposed to have been the Moridunum of the Romans. The manor formerly belonged to the abbey of Sion, in Middlesex, and was given at the Dissolution by Henry VIII. to his queen Catharine Parr, as part of her dower; it reverted at her death to the crown, and was granted by Edward VI., in 1552, to Walter Erle. In the year 1839, a very remarkable and extensive subsidence of the surface took place about a mile and a half from the village, on the farms of Dowlands and Bindon, near the coast. The parish contains 3788a. 3r. 9p., the surface of which is beautifully diversified with hill and dale; the soil on the hills is chalky, well adapted for corn and the pasturage of sheep, while that in the valleys is a strong clay and marl, and is excellent dairy-land. Limestone and good building-stone are abundant. The village is situated near the mouth of the river Axe, which here falls into the English Channel; near its influx a commodious harbour has been constructed by Richard Hallet, Esq., which is accessible to coasting-vessels of 200 tons' burthen. The living is a vicarage, endowed with one-third of the rectorial and two-thirds of the vicarial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £22. 19. 2.; net income, £230; patron, J. H. Hallet, Esq., who, with others, is impropriator of the remainder of the tithes. The glebe comprises 30 acres. The church is a very ancient Norman structure, having two Saxon arches, and a fine specimen of the zig-zag arch in the north porch, now converted into a vestryroom. On an extra-parochial estate of about 200 acres called Roosdown, in the centre of the parish, is a chapel endowed with certain lands from Queen Anne's Bounty, but no duty has been performed in it within the memory of man. On Hawksdown hill is a large encampment supposed to be of Roman or Danish origin.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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