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Whatley (St. George)

WHATLEY (St. George), a parish, in the union and hundred of Frome, E. division of Somerset, 2¾ miles (W. by S.) from Frome; containing, with part of the hamlet, of Little Elm, 421 inhabitants. This parish is on the road from Salisbury, through Wells, to Exeter; and comprises by measurement 1168 acres, of which 257 are arable, 864 meadow and pasture, and 47 woodland. The soil is a light calcareous loam, the surface is beautifully diversified with hills and valleys, and there are quarries of good mountain limestone, rough whetstone, and inferior freestone. Some fine specimens of encrinite and other fossils are found. The village is situated on elevated land: here is a manufactory of spades, scythes, and reaping-hooks 5 and the manufacture of woollen-cloth is carried on to a moderate extent. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12.17.1., and in the gilt of the Rev. J. Horner: the tithes have been commuted for £226, and the glebe comprises 13 acres. The church occupies an eminence, separated from the parish of Mells by a deep ravine, the sides of which are clothed with thick woods; it is an ancient structure, chiefly in the later English style, with a square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles. At Chantry is an incumbency in the gift of the Rev. J. G. C. Fussell. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Independents. On a bold height at the western extremity of the parish are vestiges of a Roman encampment; and in 1838 was discovered what, from the figures of dolphins, is supposed to have been a Roman bath, consisting chiefly of an apartment 30 feet long and 15 feet wide, the floor of which is a tessellated pavement in excellent preservation. There is a smaller apartment, in the centre of which is the head of a female, supposed to represent Cybele.

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