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Kewstoke (St. Paul)

KEWSTOKE (St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Axbridge, hundred of Winterstoke, E. division of Somerset, 9½ miles (N. W.) from Axbridge; containing 545 inhabitants. This place is distinguished by the beautiful remains of Wordspring Priory, founded in 1210 by William de Courtenay, for Augustine canons, and which continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenue was returned at £110. 18. 4¾. The remains, romantically seated in a secluded spot, consist of the chapel, which is nearly entire, with a handsome tower at the eastern end; the refectory, which is in a dilapidated state; and the prior's apartments, now occupied as a farmhouse. The parish is indented on the west by Sand bay, and bounded by the Cleveland Flats on the north; it comprises by measurement 2428 acres, of which 240 are common or waste. There are several quarries of good limestone and freestone, which are extensively worked; and lead and iron ore are found in abundance. The Bristol and Exeter railway passes through the parish. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at£9. 12. 6., and in the patronage of the Crown; impropriators, the Corporation of Bristol. The great tithes have been commuted for £60, the vicarial for £315, and the glebe comprises 24 acres. The church is in the early and later English styles, with a square embattled tower: the south doorway has a highly enriched Norman arch in good preservation; the pulpit is of stone, richly sculptured. A national school is supported by subscription.

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