Panoramic View of Mere, taken from Castle Hill
Mere shown within Wiltshire
|Population||2,961 (in 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||South West Wiltshire|
Mere is a small town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. It lies at the extreme southwestern tip of Salisbury Plain close to the borders of Somerset and Dorset. The parish includes the hamlets of Barrow Street and Burton.
There is an old market square (although markets have not been held for several years), a chiming town clock and a large 15th-century parish church of St Michael the Archangel, along with St Mary's Catholic church and also Methodist and United Reformed churches. The number of shops has halved since the A303 bypass road was opened in 1976. The steep slope of Castle Hill rises from the northwestern side of Mere. Castle Hill was the site of a relatively large (390 by 102 feet) castle, built in the mid-13th century by the lord of the manor, Richard, Earl of Cornwall. The castle fell into disrepair in the 15th century and its stone is said to have been used to build local houses. The Duchy of Cornwall still owns large amounts of land in the area. Local industry and commerce includes the Hill Brush company, large wholesale plant nurseries and the notable Yapp's wine merchants.
St Michael the Archangel is unusual in that it has 10 misericords; those on the south side of the choir date from the 15th century, whilst those on the north side are early 20th century.
The town is part of the historic West Country Carnival circuit.
The civil parish includes the village of Barrow Street.
An electoral ward with the same name exists. The ward starts in the east at West Knoyle, stretches through Mere, continues to Zeals and finishes in the northwest at Kilmington. The population of the ward taken from the 2011 census was 4,285.