Dunkeswell (St. Nicholas)

DUNKESWELL (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Honiton, hundred of Hemyock, Honiton and ton; containing 536 inhabitants. Dunkeswell anciently belonged to a Jew named Amadio, and was purchased by William Bruere, who in 1201 founded an abbey for White monks, to the honour of the Virgin Mary, of which extensive remains are still to be seen; the revenue, at the Dissolution, was estimated at £298. 11. 10. The parish is situated on the Blackdown hills, and comprises by computation 3750 acres: mines of iron are supposed to have been formerly wrought here, or in the vicinity, from the appearance of the soil, and from one part being called the "Iron-pits." The living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £42; the patronage and impropriation belong to Mrs. Mary Graves, and the tithes have been commuted for £130. The church has a font which is very ancient, and ornamented with figures supposed to represent Bruere and his wife. A district church has been erected on the site of the abbey, chiefly at the expense of Mrs. Simcoe, of Wolford Lodge, in the parish: the living is in the gift of that lady.

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

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