Meare  Somerset


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

MEARE, a village and a parish in Wells district, Somerset. The village stands on a quondam island, near the river Brue, and near the Highbridge and Glastonbury railway, 2½ miles WNW of Glastonbury; dates from ancient times; was long approachable only by water; could be approached, so late as about 1808, only by a horsepath; and has a post office under Glastonbury. ...

The parish comprises 8,269 acres. Real property, £18,257. Pop., 1,640. Houses, 344. There are three manors, Meare, Godney, and Westhay; and all were given by Kerelwach, King of the West Saxons, to Glastonbury abbey. The manor of Meare went, at the dissolution, to the Duke of Somerset; passed afterwards through many hands; and now is much subdivided. The manorhouse was built in the middle of the 14th century by Adam de Sodbury; was a frequent residence of the abbots of Glastonbury; retains, particularly in its hall and its kitchen, very distinct marks of ancient grandeur; was surrounded by high walls, much of which still remain; and is now used as a farm-house. The abbots came to it by water; they had a sort of wharf, at a spot now called Pool-reed, where their boats were moored; and they used what was long a lake of about 400 acres for abundant fishing. A cottage, traditionally known as the Fish-house, stands a little E of the manor house; was built in the time of Edward III.; presents unique and interesting features, with a roof of open timber-work; and is kept in repair by its present proprietor, Sir Charles Taylor. The quondam lake has been completely drained; and all the bottom of it is now prime land. Much of the adjacent surface is marsh or turbary.: and stacks of peat, cut for fuel, dot it in all directions. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £340.* Patron, W. T. H. Phelps, Esq. The church is mainly of the time of Edward II., but partly of the times of Edward III. and Henry VI; was much mutilated, by tasteless alterations, after the Reformation; has, in recent times, been much improved; and contains a richly-sculptured pulpit. Very near the church is an old stone cross. The p. curacy of Godney is a separate benefice. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Primitive Methodists, and a national school. The Rev. W. Phelps, author of a "History of Somerset,'' was vicar.

Meare through time

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

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 27th May 2024

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