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Cutcombe (St. John)

CUTCOMBE (St. John), a parish, in the union of Williton, hundred of Carhampton, W. division of Somerset, 5¼ miles (S. W. by S.) from Dunster, and on the road from Minehead to Exeter; containing 843 inhabitants. The parish comprises 7231 acres, of which 1852 are common or waste. The surface is strikingly diversified, rising in some parts into hills of mountainous elevation; and on the summit of Dunkery, one of the highest mountains in the western counties, and 1696 feet above the level of the sea, are the remains of several large hearths belonging to the beacons formerly erected to alarm the country in times of civil discord or foreign invasion. Limestone is extensively quarried for building and for burning into lime; and iron-ore, which is wrought in the adjoining parish, is supposed also to exist here. Fairs are held at Wheddon Cross on the 22nd, and at Luckwall Bridge on the 29th, of September. The living is a vicarage, endowed with part of the rectorial tithes, with the living of Luxborough annexed, and valued in the king's books at £14. 0. 7½.; it is in the patronage of the Crown. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £114. 14. 6., and the vicarial for £295; the glebe comprises about 1¼ acre. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A parochial school has an endowment of £35 per annum, arising from a bequest by Richard Elsworth, in 1729; and commodious schoolrooms, with a residence for the master and mistress, have been erected.

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