[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Somerset]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Somerset Parishes]]
<br> [[Image:Church of St Mary Major Ilchester Somerset.jpg|thumb|right]]<br>
== Parish History ==
Ilchester St Mary Major is an Ancient parish. <br>
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 16. 10½.; net income, £282; patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells: the tithes have been commuted for £51. 10., and the glebe comprises about 45 acres. The church, an ancient building with a small octagonal tower, appears to have been rebuilt at a remote period; in the chancel is a monument to the memory of the daughter of William Evers, servant to Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Queen Mary, and serjeant-at-arms to Queen Elizabeth. There is a place of worship for Independents. The almshouses here appear to have been founded in the reign of Henry VI., by Robert Veal, who endowed them with lands producing upwards of £150 per annum, for aged men; they were rebuilt of stone in 1810, by the bailiff and burgesses. A few years since, in removing part of the old wainscoting in the house anciently occupied by the family of Masters, a beautiful specimen of carved ivory was found, inclosed in a wooden frame in two compartments, and representing the Annunciation of the Virgin; and in digging a garden nearly opposite the house, a ring of massy gold was discovered, in which was set a coin of the Emperor Severus, in excellent preservation. Among the monastic institutions existing here, was a nunnery, originally founded about 1220, by William Dacres, as an hospital for poor travellers, and dedicated to the Blessed Trinity, but which, prior to the Reformation, had dwindled into a free chapel. Here was also a convent of preaching friars, in which the celebrated Roger Bacon, who is usually stated to have been a native of Ilchester, but whose birthplace is uncertain, was educated. Mrs. Rowe, author of Devout Exercises of the Heart, and other works, was a native of the parish. Ilchester gives the title of Earl to the family of Fox. From: 'Ifield - Ilkley', ''[[A Topographical Dictionary of England ]]'' (1848), pp. 603-608. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51060 Date accessed: 13 March 2011. <br>
== Resources ==
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