Corton-Denham (St. Andrew)

CORTON-DENHAM (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Horethorne, E. division of Somerset, 4 miles (N.) from Sherborne; containing 480 inhabitants. The parish is romantically situated in a valley at the foot of a range of hills, whose highest point is Beacon Hill, or Corton-Ash Beacon, which rises 655 feet above the level of the sea. Nearly the whole of the lands have been held by the ancestors of Lord Portman since about the year 1600. Large quantities of marl of rich quality are obtained, which are used as a good top dressing on high lands; and at the sides of the hill is an immense mass of building-stone, but the great labour required to work it to a fine surface, on account of its veins of iron, renders it useless. There is a manufactory for dowlas. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 9. 4½., and in the gift of Lord Portman: the tithes have been commuted for £366, and the glebe comprises 32½ acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a neat structure; the body is supposed to have been built in 1541, and the tower, from a date over the entrance door, in 1685. Some workmen, in 1723, discovered a Roman urn in the vicinity, containing coins in good preservation, of the emperors from Valerian and Gallienus to Probus; and there are traces of extensive fortifications about half way under the hill, which are thought to have been connected with South Cadbury Castle, about two miles distant.

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

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