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Portbury (St. Mary)

PORTBURY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bedminster, hundred of Portbury, E. division of Somerset, 6 miles (W. by N.) from Bristol; containing, with the tythings of Abbot's, Caswell, Clapton's-Wick, Court, Cross, Failand, Hamgreen, Happerton, Honor, Peter's, Sheepway, Watchhouse, and Woolcombe, 647 inhabitants. This place, which gives name to the hundred, was occupied by the Romans, as is evident from the discovery of foundations, and from traces of a Roman road being still visible through the parish to the sea at Portishead, whence was a passage to Caerleon, anciently Isca Silurum. Here was subsequently a cell to the Augustine priory of Breamore, Hants. The parish is situated a short distance south of the navigable river Avon, and is intersected by the road between Bristol and Portishead. An act for the construction of a pier here, and the formation of a railway to Bristol, was passed in 1846; the railway to be eight miles in length, independently of a branch of nearly a mile. Stone is quarried for building and roadmaking. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Tickenham annexed, valued in the king's books at £10. 11. 3.; net income, £379; patron, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol; impropriator, J. Adam Gordon, Esq.: there are a few acres of glebe. The church is a plain edifice.

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