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Stowey, Nether (St. Mary)

STOWEY, NETHER (St. Mary), a small market-town and a parish, in the union of Bridgwater, hundred of Williton and Freemanners, W. division of Somerset, 8 miles (W. N. W.) from Bridgwater, and 147 (W. by S.) from London; containing 787 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on a stream tributary to the river Parret, consists of three streets diverging obliquely from the market-place, and is neat and well built. At the western extremity is a hill said to have been the site of an ancient castle, but nothing more than a circular earthwork now remains; it commands a fine view of the Channel, with the Mendip hills, and the surrounding country, which is agreeably diversified. The manufacture of silk is carried on to a limited extent. The market is on Saturday, but, from its proximity to Bridgwater, very little business is transacted; the market-house is a rude building. A fair for cattle takes place on September 18th; and a court leet and baron is held at Michaelmas, when constables and other officers are appointed. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £5. 2. 8½,; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The tithes have been commuted for £300; there is a glebe-house, built by the present incumbent, and the glebe contains 50 acres. The church is situated at the entrance into the town from Bridgwater. Here is a place of worship for Independents. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the gifted poet and moral philosopher, resided at the close of the last century at Nether Stowey, where he first became acquainted with Wordsworth.

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