Here are two old descriptions of the town of Wiveliscombe. Both are taken from long
out-of-print guidebooks. The first dates back to 1870 and the second
to 1909. Click on the 100 year old map of Wivey above to see the full-size
WIVELISCOMBE, a parish and market town in the county Somerset, 15
miles south-west of Bridgwater, 11 west of Taunton, and 6 north of
Wellington railway station. It is situated in a combe, or valley, from which
circumstance it takes its name, under the Maundown hills, and includes the
chapelry of Fitzhead, the town of Wiveliscombe, and the hamlets of Croford,
Ford, Langley, West Town, and Whitfield. Wiveliscombe was a place of
importance under the Saxons, and had a palace in the 15th century, belonging
to the Bishops of Wells, to whom the manor was originally given by Edward
the Confessor. The population of Wiveliscombe is close upon 3,000.
The town is lighted with gas, and contains a town hall, police station,
dispensary, reading-rooms, and branch bank. Here is situated the largest
brewery in the West of England.
WIVELISCOMBE (pronounced Wilscomb), a market town in the western
parliamentary division of Somersetshire, England, west of Taunton by the
Great Western railway. Population (1901), 2246. Wiveliscombe stands on a
picturesque sloping site in a hilly district, and has some agricultural
trade and a brewing industry, while in the neighbourhood are slate quarries.
Traces of a large Roman camp may still be seen to the southeast of
Wiveliscombe (Wellescombe, Wilscombe, Wiviscombe), which is near the
line of a Roman road, and hoards of Roman coins have been discovered in the
neighbourhood. The town probably owed its origin to the suitability of its
position for defence, and it was the site of a Danish fort, later replaced
by a Saxon settlement. The overlords were the bishops of Bath and Wells, who
had a palace and park here. A weekly market is held on Tuesdays. During the 17th and
18th centuries the town was a centre of the woollen manufacture.