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England & Wales Hardwicke Marriage Index
Marriages 1754 - 1837
Oare St Mary


The Parish

The parish of Oare is the most westerly within its county of Somerset and forms part of the border with neighbouring Devon. Oare is located about 6 miles west of the small fishing port of Porlock and sits, in lanes, about a half mile south of the A39 coastal road which links Porlock through to Lynton in Devon. There is very little to modern day Oare, little more than a hamlet, and it would appear that has been ever so. Set deep within the heart of Exmoor yet sheltering deep within the valley of the Weir water Oare has always been a small community kept alive by the grazing of sheep on the slopes of Exmoor. Estimates vary but some sources state that 3/4 of the parish acreage was "waste", rough moorland. Despite this remoteness Oare has literary connections being the site of Lorna Doone's doomed marriage in that novel closely associated with the moor. The Weir Water drains the parish northwestwards joining the east Lyn River and squeezing through the hills to reach the outer Bristol Channel at Lynmouth. Despite being less than 2 miles from the coast Oare is sited at 240 metres above the sea and land rises ever higher to top out at just over 400 metres on the moors to Oare's south. By Somerset standards Oare parish was large in extent, covering close to 4,000 acres it could support a mere 50 parishioners. In Domesday times Oare was held by one Ralph de Pomeroy and was equally small, offering just 6 ploughs plus the usual small meadows, pastures and woodland.

The Church

St Mary's church sits on the southern side of the narrow lane that squeezes alongside the Weir water. The church has its oldest fabric dating to the 15th century and in the Perpendicular style, all except the chancel are of this era, the latter having been rebuilt in the mid 19th century. The church makes extensive use of the local stone and consists of the standard nave, chancel and western tower layout augmented, in the chancel's case by having both inner (15th century) and outer (19th century) chancels. Parking is limited and restricted to the entranceway to the western gates, the church is elevated some distance above road height with steps climbing up to a churchyard which is free from photographic obstructions.

The Records

Register No Covering Dates Deposited With Register Style Quality Standard Comments
1 8th March 1766 - 17th May 1803 Somerset Archives & Local Studies - Reference - D/P/oare/2/1/1 Plain, unruled book, a continuation of the extant composite register in contravention of Hardwicke's segregation & wording requirements Grade 2 Register - not a perfect read but with a low likelihood of misreads None
2 31st March 1805 - 8th September 1812 Somerset Archives & Local Studies - Reference - D/P/oare/2/1/2 Standard preprinted and self-numbered Marriage register with 4 entries per page Grade 2 Register - not a perfect read but with a low likelihood of misreads None

NB This register is bound together with the extant composite register into a single archival deposit
3 16th April 1813 - 10th June 1826 Somerset Archives & Local Studies - Reference - D/P/oare/2/1/3 Standard Rose style preprinted and prenumbered Marriage register Grade 2 Register - not a perfect read but with a low likelihood of misreads None

Countisbury St John the Evangelist, Devon
Culbone St Culbone
Brendon St Brendon, Devon
Culbone St Culbone
Porlock St Dubritius
Extra-parochial Exmoor
Extra-parochial Exmoor
Porlock St Dubritius

Register Reference Date Groom Forename Groom Surname Groom Status Groom Abode Bride Forename Bride Surname Bride Status Bride Abode
08/03/1766 William DAVIS     Mary GROSS    
20/10/1766 John MEA     Joan GROSS    
25/10/1766 Andrew HOOPER     Elizabeth RENDAL    
14/11/1766 William RAWLE     Ann PARAMORE    
27/06/1768 John RED     Mary LEY    
06/10/1770 John HAWKINS     Betty SIMMONDS    
17/08/1773 Thomas WEST     Elizabeth RAWLE    
02/11/1774 William BROOMHAM     Mary SPURRYER    
25/02/1775 Richard GROSE     Joan GROSE    
17/02/1782 John TERRELL     Frances BROOMHAM    
10/12/1782 William BALE     Mary BERRY    
30/04/1799 Henry BAKER     Ann RICHARD    
04/08/1802 Edward BAKER   Countisbury, Devon Mary KEALE Single  
17/07/1803 James HOBBS   Porlock Christian THOMAS Single  
31/03/1805 George WEBBER   Porlock Elizabeth PERRING Single  
21/05/1808 Richard KINGDON     Deborah HARKINS    
06/11/1808 John FLOYD   Luccombe Mary RAWLE    
08/09/1812 Richard CROCOMBE     Anne BROMHAM    
1 16/04/1813 Philip COCKRAM   Luccombe Grace BROMHAM    
2 14/01/1816 Gabriel LITSON   Brendon, Devon Amy CHALLACOMBE    
3 29/04/1817 Thomas BALE     Grace GEEN    
4 25/02/1819 William BLACKMORE     Mary LITHABY    
5 12/02/1821 William LOCK     Joan CROCOMBE    
6 29/03/1821 John GRIFFITH     Rebecca BAKER    
7 30/03/1822 Nathaniel COOK   Culbone Elizabeth KINGDON    
8 06/05/1826 Francis GRIBBLE   Porlock Betty RAWLE    
9 10/06/1826 Benjamin ADAMS   Porlock Elizabeth HAWKINS    

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