1870s Council Minutes


In the years between 1871 and 1880, the regular elections of constables, waywardens and overseers of the poor continued. Rates were raised to pay for these and for gas lighting in the town centre, for the new cemetery at Behind Berry and for road improvements. The responsibilities of the parish council continued to increase so the Clerk was given a substantial pay rise for all the extra work.


 There was a proposal to drive a new road through from the Unicorn to the cemetery, but nothing came of it.  Etsome Hill was ‘lowered’ or made less steep, as Bancombe Hill had been in the previous decade. A petition to Parliament was signed about the impact of taxation on agriculture and later there was a Land Tax reform.


The Sanitation Board insisted on proper sewers being laid and these came into use in 1877. The churchyard was levelled, after burials were transferred to the new cemetery, but the old buildings along the south side remained in use for various purposes.  

An Infants School was provided in West End and was paid for by a voluntary rate. A School Attendance Board was formed and rules were made about absentees.  

A clock was installed in the church tower and illuminated by gas light. One of the bells had to be re-cast. An organ was put into the church in 1878.  

The Postmaster General was requested to bring the ‘postal telegraph’ to Somerton, but there is no record of when that happened.