Yeovil in 1841
Yeovil is in the hundred of Stone, or, as it is sometimes called, Stone and Yeovil, 125 miles west-south-west of London through Salisbury and Shaftesbury, and 26 miles east by south of Taunton. Roman coins and tessellated pavements have been found here : the town was called Gevele by the Saxons, and Ivle and Givele in Domesday, which names may be identified with that of the river Ivel or Yeo, near which it stands. The town consists of a number of streets and lanes irregularly laid out, paved and lighted : some of the streets are spacious, and are lined with good houses of brick or stone. The church is a handsome cross church of perpendicular character : it comprehends a nave, a large chancel, side aisles, and transept, with a large plain western tower 90 feet high. It stands in a large churchyard surrounded with lime-trees. An ancient building, probably a chapel, adjacent to the church, is now used as a school. There are meeting-houses for Independents, Baptists, Methodists, and Unitarians ; and a range of almshouses well endowed.
The area of the parish is 3,890 acres ; the population in 1831 was 5,921. The town is the centre of a considerable glove-manufacture, which in 1831 employed 300 men, beside women and children. The market is on Friday, and is an important market for the sale of corn, cattle, butter, cheese, hemp, and flax. There are many dairy-farms in the surrounding district, from which a good deal of butter is sent to London. There are two yearly fairs. Yeovil is incorporated, but the borough does not include more than one-third of the town : it is not noticed in the Municipal Reform Act. A court for the recovery of small debts is held every three weeks.
The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Preston, in the archdeaconry of Wells, diocese of Bath and Wells, of the clear yearly value of £391, with a glebe-house.
There were in the parish, in 1833, twelve day or boarding schools, with 239 boys and 132 girls ; and five Sunday-schools, with 307 boys and 323 girls.