"FARINGDON, (or Farringdon, Great), a parish and market town in the hundred of Faringdon, county Berks, 15 miles S.W. of Oxford, and 30 W.N.W. of Reading. The Faringdon Road station of the Great Western railway is 5 miles from the town of Faringdon, and 63 3/4 from London. The parish includes, besides the town of Faringdon, the chapelries of Little Coxwell and Littleworth, and the hamlets of Hospital and Wadley. In the Saxon times it was called Fearndun
, and had a royal palace, wherein Edward the Elder died in 925. After the Conquest a castle was erected here by the Earl of Gloucester, which was afterwards razed by Stephen, who built upon its site a priory for Cistercian monks, subject to the abbey of Beaulieu, in Hants. Upon the dissolution of monasteries its lands were given to the Seymours and Inglefields." (There is more of this description
"HOSPITAL, a tything in the parish of Great Farringdon, county Berks, 2 miles N. of Farringdon. It is situated on the river Isis, and contains the hamlets of Littleworth and Thrupp."
"LITTLE COXWELL, a township and chapelry in the parish of Great Faringdon, and hundred of Faringdon, in the county of Berks, adjoining Great Coxwell. The living is a curacy annexed to the vicarage of Great Faringdon. The tithes were commuted in 1801. In the vicinity are the remains of an ancient camp, surrounded by a double ditch and numerous pits excavated in the sand, supposed to be the hiding-places of the Ancient Britons.
"LITTLE NEWBURY, a hamlet in the parish and hundred of Faringdon, county Berks, 2 miles S. by E. of Farringdon, and 30 W. by N. of Reading.
"LITTLEWORTH, a hamlet and ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Great Farringdon, hundred of Shrivenham, county Berks, 1 mile N.E. of Farringdon, its post town, 12 miles W. of Abingdon, and 5 from the Farringdon Road station on the Great Western railway. Part of the land is in hop-grounds. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Oxford, value £75, in the patronage of the bishop. The church of the Holy Ascension is a modern structure. Oriel College, Oxford, gave £1,000 towards its endowment. There is a village school."
"SANDS, (or The Sands), a hamlet in the parish of Great Farringdon, county Berks, 2 miles S.E. of Farringdon.
"THRUPP, a hamlet in the parish of Great Farringdon, hundred of Shrivenham, county Berks, 2 miles N.E. of Great Farringdon. It is situated on the river Thames, and with Wadley and Littleworth forms a tything."
"WADLEY, (or Littleworth), a tything in the parish of Great Farringdon, county Berks, 1½ mile E. of Farringdon. It is a meet for the old Berkshire hounds.
From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland(1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003.
Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.