The parish comprises an area of about 6,183 acres, including an isolated portion beyond Clapton, surrounded by the parishes of Thorncombe, Wayford, and Broadwinsor. Crewkerne is the capital of a hundred, to which it gives its name, and the parish contains six tithings and a half, namely : - Crewkerne, or the town tithing (formerly five tithings) ; Easthams, one fourth of a tithing ; Furland, one-eighth of a tithing ; part of Cuombe tithing, the other part being in Wayford parish, and comprising Ashcombe Farm, the whole being one-eighth of a tithing; Woolmingstone, one-fourth of a tithing; Hewish, one-fourth of a tithing ; Clapton, one fourth of a tithing ; part of Oathill tithing, the other part being in Wayford parish, and comprising Berechapel Farm, the whole being one-fourth of a tithing ; making together the six tithings and a half. The other tithings in the hundred of Crewkerne are :—Misterton, one full tithing ; Merriott, one fall tithing ; Hinton St. George, one full tithing ; Seaborough, one-fourth of a tithing ; Wayford, one-fourth of a tithing; amounting to three and a half tithings, which, with the above six and a half tithings, make a total of ten tithings and constitute the hundred.
It is a deanery, in the diocese of Bath and Wells. It is included in the Union of Chard, to which it sends three guardians, and, like Seaborough, has been transferred from the Western to the Mid Division of the county, for which it is a polling place. The population in 1851 was 4,498, increased, in 1871, to 4,869, when the rateable value of the parish was £17,99s. [ Namely : - Chillington, Cudworth, Chiselborough, Cheddington, Dinnington, Hinton St. George, Haselbury, Kingstone, Lopen, Merriott, Middle Chinnock, Misterton, Mosterton, North Perrott, Seavington St. Michael, Seavington St. Mary, South Pether-ton, Shepton Beauchamp, Stoeklinch Ottersey, Stocklinch St. Magdalen, Seaborough, South Perrott, Wayford, West Chinnock, and West Dowlish. J. M. Carrow, Esq., was judge in 1853, when the former edition of this work was published. He was succeeded at his death, in that year, by Graham Willmore, Esq., Q.C., who died in 1856. His successor was C. Saunders, Esq., who died suddenly, in London, on April 8, 1872. ] A County Court is held at Crewkerne, T. E. P. Lefroy, Esq., being the present judge, and its jurisdiction extends to twenty-five surrounding parishes. The town is the centre of a highway board district, comprising twenty-two parishes. It was for years without a resident magistrate, but while this sheet was passing through the press, the inconvenience has been removed by the qualification of William Sparks, Esq., a native of the town, and one of its most useful and respected inhabitants. Formerly the magisterial business was always done at Ilminster and Chard, both eight miles distant. In 1856, however, it was decided at the Quarter Sessions that the whole of the magisterial districts of the county should be re-arranged, and the result was the formation of Crewkerne into a sub-division for petty sessions to be held on the third Saturday in every month. The first court was held on the 16th of August in that year, when the magistrates present were—Thomas Hoskins, Esq., Haselbury; John Wood, Esq., Martock ; C. W. Loveridge, Esq., Chard ; W. C. Lambert, Esq., Misterton ; and H. W. Hoskins, Esq., Hinton St. George. The parishes comprised in the petty sessional division are : - Crewkerne, Haselbury, Hinton St. George, Lopen, Merriott, Middle Chinnock, Misterton, North Perrott, Seaborough, Way-ford, and West Chinnock. Those comprising the highway district : - Crewkerne, Chillington, East Chinnock, Chisel-borough, Combe and Ashcombe, Cudworth, Dinnington, Hardington Mandeville, Haselbury Plucknett, Hinton St. George, Lopen, Merriott, Middle Chinnock, Misterton, North Perrott, Norton-under-Hamdon, Oathill, Seaborough, South Petherton, Wayford, West Chinnock, and Winsham.
The town is pleasantly situated in a valley, as already stated. It wears a very clean and respectable appearance, and is well laid out, the streets being wide, open, well paved, and lighted with gas, [ The gas works were erected in 1837, and for many years were the property of a private individual. But in 1854 a company was formed, and new works were constructed near Vinney Bridge - at the lowest instead of nearly the highest part of the town as originally. The company is financially successful, in spite of the fact that the proprietors of two factories find it cheaper to be supplied from private gas works of their own. ] and the buildings, mainly of Ham Hill stone, are substantial and good. It has much improved since the opening of the railway in 1860, the effect of which has been not only to enormously increase the sail-cloth, girth-web, and hair-seating manufactories, for which the town has long been celebrated.... '
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