Lewis 1831 Description of Bere Regis
is how Samuel Lewis described the village in the 1831 Topographical
Dictionary of England
REGIS, a parish in the hundred of Beer Regis, Blandford (southern)
division of the county of Dorset, comprising the town of Beer
Regis, and the hamlets of Shitterton and Beer-Heath, and containing
1080 inhabitants, of which number, 953 are in the market town
of Beer Regis, 7 miles (N.W.) from Wareham, and 113 (S.W.) from
place, which is supposed by Dr. Stukeley to have been the Ibernium
of Ravennas, derives its name from the Saxon Byrig, and the
adjunct from its having been held in royal demesne.
after the murder of her stepson, is said to have retired hither
to avoid suspicion; and King John, who occasionally made it
his residence, granted the inhabitants the privilege of a market,
in the 17th year of his reign. Edward I. made this a free borough,
but it does not appear to have ever returned any members to
great part of the town was destroyed by fire in 1634: it experienced
a similar calamity in 1788; and, in 1817, another destructive
fire occurred, in which the parish registers were burnt.
town is pleasantly situated on the small river Beer; the houses,
in general, are modern and well built, and the inhabitants are
amply supplied with water. The market is on Wednesday: a fair
is held, Sept. 18th and the four following days, on Woodbury
Hill, for horses, horned cattle, sheep, cloth, and cheese.
and other officers for the internal regulation of the town,
are appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor.
living, which, in conjunction with Charmouth, formerly constituted
the golden prebend in the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, and
is now a peculiar belonging to the Dean of Salisbury, is a vicarage
in the diocese of Bristol, rated in the king’s books at
£25. 5. 0., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows
of Balliol College, Oxford. The church, dedicated to St. John
the Baptist, is a spacious ancient structure, with a square
embattled tower crowned with pinnacles. There are places of
worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists; and that for
the Independents has an endowment of £18 per annum.
charity school was founded and endowed by Thomas Williams Esq.,
and further endowed by the Rev. Thomas Williams for two additional
scholars. In 1773, the Rev. Henry Fisher bequeathed £100
to this institution: the master has a salary of £10 per
annum, with a house and garden. On Woodbury hill, about half
a mile from the town, there is a circular camp, comprehending
an area of ten acres; and to the west of it are the site of
the ancient chapel of Sancta Anchoretta, and a well called Anchoret’s
John Moreton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and a cardinal, who
also distinguished himself in the wars, and projected the union,
of the houses of York and Lancaster; and Dr. Tuberville, Bishop
of Exeter in 1555; were natives of this place.
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