Castle Cary in 1841 (including Almsford)
Castle Cary is in the hundred of Catsash, 116 miles west by south from London, by Bruton, and 28 miles east by north from Taunton, by Langport and Somerton. It is called Cari in Domesday. The castle was built or strengthened by William Gouel de Percheval, lord of the place in the reign of Stephen ; it was twice besieged in the civil war of that reign, William de Percheval having taken arms against the king. The earthworks alone remain. Charles II was in this town in disguise after the battle of Worcester.
This town is irregularly built ; the principal street, which is partially paved, but not lighted, extends near a mile on the road to Ilchester ; the houses are straggling, but neatly built. The small village of Almsford is so near as almost to form part of the town. Castle Cary church is handsome, and on an elevated site ; it comprehends nave, chancel, side aisles, and an embattled western tower. Almsford church is small, but neat. There are Independent and Methodist meeting-houses.
The area of Castle Cary parish is 3,640 acres ; the population in 1831 was 1,794 ; Almsford has an area of 920 acres ; the population was 304 ; together 4,560 acres and 2,098 inhabitants. The market, which is very small, is on Tuesday. There are three fairs and seven great cattle markets in the year.
The living of Castle Cary is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £312 ; that of Almsford is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £297, with a glebe-house : both are in the archdeaconry of Wells, in the diocese of Bath and Wells.
There were in the two parishes, in 1833, seventeen day or boarding schools, with 123 boys and 121 girls ; and five Sunday-schools, with 88 boys and 94 girls.