"PURTON, a parish in the hundred of Highworth, county Wilts, 6 miles N. W. of Swindon, its post town, and 4 N.E. of Wootton Bassett. It is a station on the Cheltenham branch of the Great Western railway. The village is situated on an eminence near the Wilts and Berks canal, and is chiefly agricultural. Red-street, in this parish, is the site of a battle between the royalists and parliamentarians. At a short distance from the village are traces of a double-ditched Danish camp. The parish includes the hamlet of Braydon, once a forest, but disafforested in the 5th of Charles II. The Cricklade union poorhouse is situated in this parish.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, value £690. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a commodious structure with two towers, one of which is crowned with a lofty spire, and contains five bells. The interior of the church contains monuments to the families of Ashley Cooper and Maskelyne. The parochial charities produce about £97 per annum, of which £17 goes to Stephen's school. There is a National school for both sexes. The Independents and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship. Dr. Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, was buried here in 1811."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
Purton is 3 miles N of Wootton Bassett, 3 miles NW of Swindon. Grid Ref SU094876. Population 1,778 in 1831, 2,678 in 1951.