Dulverton (Holy Trinity)

DULVERTON (Holy Trinity), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Williton and Freemanners, W. division of Somerset, 14 miles (W.) from Wiveliscombe, and 163 (W. by S.) from London; containing 1422 inhabitants. This place probably derives its name from being seated in a deep valley, and upon a ford on the river Barle, which rises in Exmoor Forest, and, after flowing through the town under a stone bridge of five arches, falls into the Exe near Brushford. Dulverton, perhaps on account of the remoteness of its situation from any great public thoroughfare, is but little connected with events of historical importance, the only circumstance upon record being the execution in the market-place of several individuals who were concerned in the rebellion of 1745. The town consists principally of two streets; the houses are in general well built, and the inhabitants amply supplied with water. There is a great number of forest deer, preserved in the adjoining woods. A silk-manufactory has been established, in which several children are employed. The market, originally granted by Philip and Mary to twelve trustees, who were to apply the profits to the improvement of the town, and the benefit of the poor, is on Saturday, and is well supplied with corn and the produce of the dairy: the fairs are on July 10th and November 8th. Courts leet and baron are held annually, at the former of which two constables, two tythingmen, two ale-tasters. two surveyors of weights and measures, and other officers, are chosen and sworn into office before the steward of the manor. The parish comprises 8120 acres, of which about 1200 are common or waste. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £21. 10. 10.; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Wells. The great tithes have been commuted for £300, and the vicarial for £421; the appropriators have a glebe of 5 acres. The church is a neat edifice in the ancient English style with a square embattled tower. A school was founded in 1636, by Elizabeth Dyke, of Pixton, who endowed it with a tenement producing £12 per annum, which endowment was subsequently increased with legacies to about £22 per annum: it is further supported by subscription, and is now conducted upon the national system. The poor law union of Dulverton comprises 11 parishes or places. About a mile and a half west-north-west of the town is Bury Castle, an ancient encampment. In the neighbourhood is a mineral spring, the water of which is impregnated with iron, but it is not now used medicinally: there is also a spring called Holy Well, to which, on Holy-Thursday, it was formerly the custom to carry persons afflicted with disease.

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

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