History of Weare
The parish of Weare contains two villages, traditionally Upper Weare and Lower Weare, both with an ancient history.
Lower Weare sits astride a main road which, in the past, brought trade that made it an important place with a market on Wednesday and an Annual Fair. Important enough, at one time, to send a member to Parliament. It also had a thriving river port.
It was a place of trade with records of shoemakers, basket maker, butter dealers, a blacksmith and a forge. In the 19th century there was a shop and a post office and small brick-making business. There were two known inns - The Lamb and The Spread Eagle.
Some two miles away in Upper Weare is the parish church of St Gregory, mainly 15th century but probably dating back to the 11th century. The area was known for its rich pastures occupied by graziers and dairy farmers that produced good quality cheese and later milk, sent to the burgeoning towns from the local railway line at Axbridge. Cider was also produced in considerable quantities.
The first school was provided beside the church in the mid 19th century by a local vicar. A new school was constructed in 1895 on land given by the Luttrell family and still serves the local community.
Much still needs to be researched about the past of these two communities in the parish of Weare. There are many interesting areas to research including family history, trades and professions, the village school, the history of our church, brick making in Lower Weare etc.
Collecting more photographs of the village would be an important addition to the village history.
If anyone can help add to our collection of photographs we would be pleased to know. Views of the village, houses, people at work, weddings and family portraits will bring to past alive. Photographs can be safely scanned and returned.
Searching for Ancestors
We have a growing collection of family information about people who lived in the parish of Weare and are happy to help, if we can, with your research into your family. Contact Margaret Jordan if you'd like some help or want to know more.
Did you live in the parish of Weare in the past? Were you evacuated here in WW2? If so, we should very much like to hear your memories of Weare.
Historical documents already available
A note on Axbridge Union Workhouse (from Margaret Jordan)
A number of fascinating documents relating to Weare in World War II (from Ailene Brooks). Click here to read more about this important time in our history.
The story of young Weare postman Ivan Day who died shortly after enlisting to serve in World War I.
Rev W H Draper - Vicar of Weare 1930-33
Mr & Mrs E C Jennings lived in Weare for 28 years, from 1909 to 1937. Mrs Jennings was headmistress of Weare School for that time. Her husband held a number of civic posts, and was postmaster in the village. Click here to read the newspaper article of their retirement and presentations.
The presentation for Mr & Mrs Jennings was accompanied by a list of all the residents of Weare in 1937. Click here to see the list.
Cattle Ailments - a couple of recipes (or receipts!) for cures for cattle ailments.