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National Gazetteer (1868) - Ramsbury

"RAMSBURY, a parish and post town in the hundred of the same name, county Wilts, 7 miles N.E. of Marlborough, 5 N.W. of Hungerford, and the same distance from its station on the branch line of the Great Western railway from Reading to Hungerford. The village, which is large, is situated on the banks of the river Kennet. Ramsbury was formerly a market town and a seat of the bishops of Wilts, in the 10th century, to which 13 bishops were appointed in succession when the see was annexed to that of Sherborne, county Dorset; and in 1072 the united sees were removed to Sarum. The parish, which is extensive, contains the hamlet of Park Town, with the tythings of Axford, Eastridge, and Whittonditch. The village chiefly consists of one long street, and contains several tanning, brewing, and malting establishments.


The ancient episcopal palace is still remaining, and is situated near the church, with which it once had a subterraneous communication. The glebe comprises about 70 acres. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Sarum, value £219. The church, dedicated to the Holy Cross, has a massive square tower, strengthened with buttresses. The interior of the church contains tombs of the Dorells of Littlecot, of the Reads of Crowood, and a monument to Sir William Jones, late of Ramsbury House. This church was the mother church to Sarum, and was a cathedral up to the time of the Norman conquest. The vicarage is a modern house, built by a late incumbent.


There is a National school for both sexes. The Wesleyans, Independents, and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship. Littlecot Park, Crowood, The Cedars, and Ramsbury Manor House are the principal residences. The last-named is situated in a park watered by a stream of the river Kennet; and was for many years the residence of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart. At Littlecot Park is preserved a collection of ancient armour. Fairs are held on the 14th May for cattle and toys, and on the 11th October for hiring servants."

"AXFORD, a tything in the parish of Ramsbury, and hundred of the same name, in the county of Wilts, 3 miles to the E. of Marlborough. It lies on the banks of the river Kennet, not far from the borders of Berkshire. In the reign of Henry IV. the manor of Axford was held by the Levels."

"EASTRIDGE, a tything in the parish and hundred of Ramsbury, county Wilts, 4 miles N.W. of Hungerford."

"WHITTON-DITCH, a tything in the parish of Ramsbury, county Wilts, 4 miles N.W. of Hungerford."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]