a considerable village on the south western edge of what was once an extensive moor, to which it gives its name.
with that of Bourton, has always been annexed to the extensive royalty of Wraxall. It was formerly, in possession of the de la More family, who probably derived their name of Bythemore, from the situation of their residence near the extensive moor of Nailsea. Subsequently this manor came to the lords of Hinton St. George, and from them, by an heiress, to the Percevals, by whom it was sold in 1582, to the Coles of Bristol, who disposed of the greater part of the lands in small portions.
is to the eastward of the village, and was lately an extensive tract of rough land, thickly covered with timber and underwood, with the appearance of having formerly been a forest or chace; but it has been since enclosed and brought into cultivation. This tract, originally to all appearance poor and worthless, is extremely valuable in consequence of a bed of excellent coal which is found underneath its whole extent, and is worked in several places by shafts or pits, varying from fifty to seventy fathoms, and in some instances has been worked under ground to the distance of a quarter of a mile from the main shaft.
The firm of Lucas and Co. Bristol, have increased the importance and population of this district, by the establishment of an extensive manufactory for crown glass; and the buildings connected with it are inhabited by a numerous colony of persons in their employ, forming a distinct village of considerable extent.
THE COURT HOUSE
is situated at some distance from the village, adjoining the parish of Chelvy. It is a fine and interesting specimen of the pure Elizabethan style, and must have been a handsome mansion when inhabited by the Cole family; but being now used as a farm house, it is much disfigured by incongruous buildings for the use of the tenant. It was erected probably in 1593, according to a date on a stone mantel-piece in one of the upper rooms, many of which are panelled with oak. The hall is in good preservation, with an ornamented door way, and a grand, or state chamber over it.
is a large building consisting of a nave, chancel, south aisle, and a stately tower surmounted by a band of open quatrefoils. The pulpit is of stone, richly ornamented with panelling, and is singularly constructed; the ascent for the minister, being up a narrow flight of steps in the wall, through a projecting aperture. In the chancel is a handsome old monument dated 1657, to the memory of Richard Cole, esq. his wife and three children, and a brother, William, who succeeded to his estates; above are the arms of Cole, quartered with others, and below, Azure, a lion rampant, Gules, impaling Cole. The windows, generally, are good specimens of the decorated English style, with one or two, of the later perpendicular era; some of them retaining portions of painted glass. The font is octagonal, and the sides ornamented with roses in quatre foils; one of which contains a shield with arms. In a stone on the north side of the church is a brass tablet, about a century old, to the memory of Stephen Bennett and Mary his wife, with some curious latin verses, expressive of their mutual attachment. Another tablet commemorates Tobias Hort, gent. ob. 1722, with his arms, Sable, three bands wavy, Or.