Exmoor  Somerset


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Exmoor like this:

EXMOOR, a quondam extra-parochial tract, now a parish, in the districts of Barnstaple and Tiverton, and partly in Devon but chiefly in Somerset; round the head-streams of the rivers Exe and Barle, 13 miles NW of Dulverton, and 16½ NE by E of Barnstaple r. station. Post town, Exford, under Taunton. ...

Acres, 19, 270. Real property, £4, 073. Pop., 323. Houses, 62. Some parts are enclosed and cultivated; but most are wild, moorish, and upland. The northern border lies on the Bristol channel, and forms there a coast remarkable for general elevation and for very deep vales or glens; and the interior has summits ranging, in altitude, from 1, 100 feet to 1, 668 feet. The highest ground is Dunkerry-beacon. Woods anciently covered -the whole area; and are said to have been consumed at the ancient adjacent iron-works of Exford. Druidical rites were practised in the woods; and many rude remains of ancient times, sepulchres, small standing - stones, earth-works, and small circular entrenchments, supposed to be Druidical, still exist. Hardy sheep and horses are bred on the hill pastures; and a solitary red deer may sometimes be seen browsing on the wastes. An act, passed in the 55th year of George III., ordained that the forest should be made a parish as soon as its population should so increase as to require a church; and that act took effect in 1856. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £150.* Patron, the Crown. The church was opened in 1857.

Exmoor through time

Exmoor is now part of West Somerset district. Click here for graphs and data of how West Somerset has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Exmoor itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Exmoor in West Somerset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 22nd September 2019

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