Churchill (St. John the Baptist)

CHURCHILL (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Axbridge, hundred of Winterstoke, E. division of Somerset, 4¾ miles (N. by E.) from Axbridge; containing 970 inhabitants. This is a very ancient place, occurring in old deeds under the names of Curichill, Cheuchill, and Cherchill. Immediately after the Conquest it was held by Roger de Leon, who came over with the Conqueror, and who appears to have assumed the name of Courcill, or Curcelle, from his property: he is said to have been the remote ancestor of John Churchill, the great Duke of Marlborough. The parish comprises 2541 acres, of which 166 are common or waste. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £98; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. The church is a handsome structure, with an embattled tower, and contains a fine altar-piece representing the Lord's Supper, and several interesting monuments. On a very high point of the Mendip hills, above the village, is an encampment called Dolberry Castle, which forms a parallelogram of 540 yards by 220, inclosed by a ditch on all sides but the south-east, where the steepness of the hill rendered it unnecessary; within it many Roman and Saxon coins and fragments of weapons have been found.

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

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