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Westonzoyland

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Westonzoyland is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England. It is situated on the Somerset Levels, 4mi south east of Bridgwater.HistoryThe name of the parish derives from its location on the "island" of Sowy, an area of slightly higher ground on the Somerset Levels between the River Cary and the River Parrett. The parish of Westernzoyland was created in 1515 when the parish of Sowy was divided. Westonzoyland refers to the western-most settlement on Sowy. The parish of Westonzoyland was part of the Whitley Hundred,The area around Westonzoyland was farmed as common land when it was owned by the Abbey at Glastonbury, who during the 12th and 13th centuries encouraged tenants to undertake large scale reclamation of the marshland. 722acre were enclosed in 1234. With the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, the land was divided among owners, with the soil belonging to the Crown. Cornelius Vermuyden was active in the region in the mid 17th century, building small-scale drainage schemes at Cossington, Catcott, Huntspill and Puriton, but despite the devastation caused by extensive flooding in 1607, was unable to convince the communities of Sedgemoor of the benefits that a drainage scheme would bring, as they feared that improved pastures would prejudice their common rights. A series of Acts of Parliament were passed between 1777 and 1801, which authorised the construction of drainage schemes in the Somerset moors and levels.
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