Montacute  Somerset


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

MONTACUTE, a village and a parish in Yeovil district, Somerset. The village stands 4 miles W by N of Yeovil r. station; was known to the Saxons as Logaresburch; takes its present name by corruption of the Latin "monsacutus, ''from one of two neighbouring, woodclad, pyramidal hills; sent two members to a parliament of Edward I.; and has a post office under Ilminster, and a fair on the second Wednesday of May. ...

The parish includes the tythings of Bishopstone and Hyde. Acres, 1,485. Real property, with Thorne-Coffin, £5,189; of which £60 are in quarries. Rated property of M. alone, £3,863. Pop., 992. Houses, 203. The manor was given, by William the Conqueror., to the Earl of Mortaigne; and, with Montacute House, and nearly all the property, belongs now to W. Phelips, Esq. M. House was built in 1580-1601, by Sir Edward Phelips; is an imposmg structure, in the form of the letter E, 189 feet long and 92 feet high; presents an E front with 41 Tudor windows, and with statues in the spaces between the windows of the second story; presents a W front of equally handsome character; includes a magnificent screen, brought from the old family mansion of Clifton Hall, near Sherborne; contains a stately hall, with singing gallery, screen, and a decoration of bas-reliefs, representing the ancient punishment of "riding the skimmington; ''contains also in the upper story, an apartment 189 feet long and 21 feet wide, furnished in the manner. of the time of Elizabeth; has gardens in the Italian style, with terraces and fountains; and, in the time of the civil war, was sacked by the parliamentarians, and occupied, for a short time, by Cromwell. A strong castle was built on a hill here by the Earl of Mortaigne; and its site is now occupied by a tower 60 feet high. A Cluniac priory also was founded here by the Earl of Mortaigne; and some interesting remains of it, including a battlemented gatehouse, flanked by towers, and lighted on each side by an oriel window, all in later English architecture, still exist. An ancient British camp, altered and occupied by the Romans, with a NW stone rampart enclosing about 20 acres, and with a ditch about 2 miles in circuit, is on Hamdon Hill; includes, at the N angle, an amphitheatre called "the Frying-pan; ''has yielded numerous coins, weapons, parts of chariots, and other relics of the Romans; and commands a fine panoramic view. Extensive quarries of a magnesian limestone, much esteemed for ornamcutal building, and little inferior to Bath oolite, are on the same hill, and have been worked to a depth of about 100 feet. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £190.* Patron, W. Phelips, Esq. The church is variously Norman, early English, decorated, and per pendicular; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel, with porch and tower; and contains monuments of the Phelipses, one of them of the year 1484. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and a national school.

Montacute through time

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

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 15th November 2019

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