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Pitney (St. John the Baptist)

PITNEY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Langport, hundred of Pitney, W. division of Somerset, 3 miles (W.) from Somerton; containing 465 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises about 1300 acres, is situated near the road from Langport to Somerton, and facilities of communication are also afforded by the Parret river. White and blue lias stone is quarried, suitable for building and for pavements. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 14. 9½., and in the joint patronage of Mrs. Hannah Michell, and W. Uttermore, Esq.; net income, £160: the glebe consists of 15 acres. At this place has been discovered perhaps the most perfect pavement of an ancient villa yet found in England; the ruins cover about an acre and a half of ground, and the remains of the mosaics show the former splendour of the buildings. In the principal apartment are four pavements of great beauty, with nine figures in good preservation, and four well-drawn busts; in another room is the figure of a youth striking a serpent. The late Sir Richard C. Hoare, who had the subjects illustrated by engravings, supposes, from the English costume of the chief figures, that the villa belonged to the lord of the manor, and was not raised till after the departure of the Romans.

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