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History

In AD 878 King Alfred the Great owned Wedmore. After  a decisive victory over the Danes at Ethandune (Wiltshire) he brought Guthrum, the defeated Danish leader to Wedmore. During twelve days of feasting, Guthrum was baptised as a Christian and the treaty called the "Peace of Wedmore" was agreed between the Saxons and Danes.

These ceremonies probably took place in a Saxon church where the parish church stands today. Alfred entertained his guests in his royal house, probably where the manor house is now, adjoining the church. St Mary's church which overlooks the village is largely 15th and 16th century, with features from the 13th and 14th century and a mural of St Christopher circa 1520. 

The conservation area of Wedmore has an attractive blend of building styles with many listed houses. The Old Vicarage in Church Street is first documented in 1492 and is on a Roman site. The Old Post Office building, in Church Street, with its Georgian frontage was once the Bell Inn. In contrast the chemist's shop at the bottom of Church Street is a grand Italianate building of about 1830. In its heyday this was a widely known department store, and one of the largest fashion houses in Somerset.

The main shopping street is The Borough, which was laid out in the 12th and 13th centuries as a market. The 14th century market cross originally stood in the centre of the widest part of The Borough.

At West End is Porch House with its 17th century porch room. Dr John Westover (1643-1706), the local chyrugeon (surgeon) lived here, running a busy village practice. In 1680 close by, he built a small asylum for in-patients, especially the mentally ill. It is now a private house, Westovers. He left a journal describing his work, patients and treatments. 

 

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