Wiveliscombe in 1841
Wiveliscombe is in the hundred of West Kingsbury, 156 or 157 miles west by south of London through Taunton, and 12 miles west of Taunton. On a hill a mile eastward of the town is a camp, described by Collinson as Roman, and within which Roman coins have been found. During the inroads of the Danes this camp was occupied by them, but when peace was restored the Saxon's built the town of Wiveliscombe in the subjacent valley. The town is in a valley or 'combe,' enclosed by hills on all sides except the south-east : it is irregularly laid out, but consists for the most part of neat and well-built houses. The church consists of a nave and side aisles, with a western tower and spire. There are Independent and Wesleyan meeting-houses, an infirmary, and the ruins of an old residence of the bishops of Wells.
The area of the parish is 5,310 acres ; the population in 1831 was 3,047. The woollen manufacture is carried on, but not to any great extent. The markets are on Tuesday and Saturday ; the former is a considerable corn-market, and the market on the first Tuesday in February is also a great cattle-market. There are two yearly fairs. The town is governed by a bailiff and portreeve, who, with other officers, are chosen annually at the court leet.
The living is a vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the bishop of Bath and Wells, of the clear yearly value of £300, with a glebe-house. There were in the parish, in 1833, fifteen day or boarding-schools, with 135 boys and 156 girls ; and three Sunday-schools, with 140 boys and 130 girls.