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Congresbury (St. Andrew)

CONGRESBURY (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Axbridge, hundred of Winterstoke, E. division of Somerset, 12 miles (S. W. by W.) from Bristol; containing 1380 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name from St. Congar, son of an eastern monarch, who in 711 fled from his father's court, to avoid a marriage to which he was disinclined, and ultimately settled here, where he built an oratory, and, receiving a grant of land from Ina, King of the West Saxons, founded an establishment for twelve canons: he afterwards proceeded on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he died, and his remains were brought for interment in the monastery that he had founded. The parish is situated on the road from Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare, and bounded on the west by extensive marshes, connected with the river Yeo, and stretching to the Bristol Channel; it comprises an area of 4400 acres by measurement. Iron-ore of an excellent kind abounds in the higher parts adjoining Wrington Hill, and is extensively wrought by the trustees of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital at Bristol, to whom the land belongs. Limestone of good quality is also abundant. The village is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county; in the centre of it is an ancient lofty cross. A grant was obtained from Henry III., by Jocelyn, Bishop of Bath, for a market and a fair, of which the former has been long discontinued, but the latter is still held on the 14th of September. The living is a vicarage, with that of Wick St. Lawrence annexed, valued in the king's books at £42. 1. 8., and in the patronage of R. Hunt, Esq.; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Wells. The vicarial tithes of Congresbury have been commuted for £530, and those of Wick for £250; the rectorial tithes have been commuted for £190: the rectorial glebe comprises 10 acres, and the vicarial 10. The church is a handsome structure, with a tower and lofty spire, and contains details of various styles.

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