In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Midsomer Norton like this:
MIDSOMER-NORTON, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Clutton district, Somerset. The village stands in a valley between two branches of the rivulet Somer, 2 miles W of Radstock r. station, and 10 SW of Bath; is a pleasant place, with a handsome market-hall and a few good shops; carries on a large trade in malting and brewing, and a considerable trade in coals; and has a post office under Bath, a corn and cattle market on the first Tuesday of every month, and a cattle fair on 25 April. ...
The parish contains also the hamlets of Clapton, Downside, Welton, and Clandown. Acres, 3,922. Real property, £10,671; of which £950 are in mines. Pop., 3,836. Houses, 758. The property is much subdivided. The manor of Midsomer-Norton belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall, and that of Welton to Christ Church, Oxford. Norton-Hill, Norton House, Lynch House, and Glenview are chief residences. Coal is largely worked. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £275.* Patron, Christ Church, Oxford. The church was rebuilt in 1830; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower; has, in a niche of the tower, a statue of Charles II.; and contains a fine monument to Major Savage, and several mural tablets. The p. curacies of Downside and Clandown are separate benefices. There are Wesleyan chapels in M. N. village, Downside, Clapton, and Clandown; a Primitive Methodist chapel in Clandown; a Roman Catholic colIege, with attached chapel, in Downside; an endowed,school with £50 a year, and a reading room and library, in M. N. village; and national schools in Downside and Clandown. The M. N. Wesleyan chapel was built in 1859, at a cost of about £2,800; and is a handsome edifice, in the decorated English style. The Roman Catholic college was established in 1814, and has averagely about 60 students; the chapel attached to it is a fine structure, in the pointed style; and a large observatory belonging to it, on a neighbouring hill, was built in 1861. -The sub-district contains also five other parishes. Acres, 10,205. Pop., 9,074. Houses, 1,812.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Midsomer Norton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Bath and North East Somerset. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Midsomer Norton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Midsomer Norton in Bath and North East Somerset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd October 2014
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