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Netherbury (St. Mary)

NETHERBURY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Beaminster, Bridport division of Dorset, 2 miles (S. S. W.) from Beaminster; containing 2162 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated near the coast, comprises by admeasurement 6000 acres, and is intersected by some small streams flowing through woody ravines towards Bridport harbour; the surface is varied, and the soil generally fertile. Great quantities of cider are made. Here are several quarries of limestone, in which, among various organic remains, are found belemnites, ammonites, large concave and convex shells, with univalves, bivalves, and screw shells. The living is a vicarage, with that of Beaminster annexed, valued in the king's books at £41. 15.; net income, £524; patron, the Prebendary of Netherbury in the Cathedral of Salisbury. The great tithes have been commuted for £750, and the vicarial for £400. The church is in the later English style, and contains a curiously-carved pulpit, and monuments to Sir John Moore, Dr. Gollop, and Dr. Baddinall. A chapel of ease has been opened at Bowood, and at Melplaish is a separate incumbency. A free grammar school is endowed with £138 per annum. There was formerly a religious society in the parish, called the fraternity of St. Francis and St. Christopher.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.