Axbridge, Somerset Family History Guide

Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church: St. John the Baptist

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1561
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1597

Nonconformists include:

Parishes adjacent to Axbridge

  • Compton Bishop
  • Cheddar
  • Winscombe

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

AXBRIDGE, a small town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district, in Somerset. The town stands near the river Axe, and near the Cheder valley and Yatton railway, at the NW end of the Mendips, 10 miles NW of Wells; and has a railway station. It is an ancient place; and Roman roads went from it to Portishead and Ilchester. It consists chiefly of a tolerably neat street, running in a winding manner from east to west; and is practically no more than a village. The guildhall and market house stands at the east end; and is a modern edifice, rebuilt at a cost of about £1,800. The parish church stands on an eminence near the market house; is a large, cruciform, early English structure, with a handsome tower; and contains old monuments to the family of Prowse. The town has a post office under Weston-super-Mare, two banking offices, and a chief inn; and is a polling-place, and a seat of petty sessions. Markets are held on Saturdays; and fairs, on 3 Feb., 25 March, and 2d Tues. of Oct. Axbridge was formerly a borough by prescription, and sent members to parliament during the reigns of the first three Edwards, but was afterwards excused on the ground of poverty; and it still is governed, under charter from Queen Elizabeth, by a mayor, a bailiff, and ten aldermen. A tract adjacent to it was so improved by drainage of the Axe, about the year 1800, at a cost of £70,000, that land which previously was worth only about 2 s. 6d. yearly per acre, is now rented at £5 and £6. The parish comprises 540 acres. Real property, £2,625. Pop., 799. Houses, 173. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bath and Wells. Value, £158. Patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Plymouth Brethren, and charities £101.

The subdistrict contains the parishes of Axbridge, Christon, Loxton, Compton-Bishop, Winscombe, Rowberrow, Shipham, Cheddar, and Nyland. Acres, 18,297. Pop., 5,856. Houses, 1,234. The district comprehends also the subdistrict of Wedmore, containing the parishes of Wedmore, Mark, Chapel-Allerton, Weare, Badgworth, and Biddisham; the subdistrict of Burnham, containing the parishes of Burnham, East Brent, South Brent, Berrow, Brean, Lympsham, and Bleadon; the subdistrict of Banwell, containing the parishes of Banwell, Worle, Uphill, Hutton, Locking, Weston-super-Mare, Kewstoke, and Wick-St. Lawrence; and the sub district of Blagdon, containing the parishes of Blagdon, Burrington, Churchill, Puxton, Congresbury, Wrington, and Butcombe, and the ville of Charterhouse-on-Mendip. Poor-rates in 1866, £21,819. Pop. in 1841, 32,204; in 1861, 36,106. Houses, 7,053. Marriages in 1866, 254; births, 1,071, of which 45 were illegitimate; deaths 792, of which 291 were at ages under 5 years, and 29 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,903; births, 9,637; deaths, 6,029. The places of worship in 1851 were 41 of the Church of England, With 13,148 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 730 s.; 13 of Baptists, with 2,729 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 600 s.; 24 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 3,856 s.; 2 of the Wesleyan Association, with 538 s.; 7 of Bible Christians, With 820 s.; and 1 undefined, with 30 attendants. The schools were 36 public day schools, with 2,271 scholars; 67 private day schools, with 1,036 s.; 54 Sunday schools, with 3,444 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 12 s. The workhouse is in Compton-Bishop.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Axbridge, 131 miles W. London. Mrkt. Fri. P. 1045.

Source: Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

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FreeREG Parish Registers 1597 to 1912


County: Somerset
Civil Registration District: Axbridge
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Wells
Diocese: Bath and Wells
Rural Deanery: Axbridge
Poor Law Union: Axbridge
Hundred: Winterstoke
Province: Canterbury