"ROWDE, a parish in the hundred of Potterne, county Wilts, 2 miles N.W. of Devizes, its post town, and 6 S.W. of Calne. The village, which is well built, is situated on the turnpike road from Devizes to Chippenham, a short distance from the foot of Roundway Down. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture. The soil consists chiefly of red sand and clay. About three-fourths of the land are in pasture, and the remainder arable, woodland, and gardens. The Kennet and Avon canal passes through the parish. The great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £24 18s., and the vicarial for £339 5s.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Sarum, value £260. The church, dedicated to St. Matthew, has a square turreted and embattled tower containing five bells. The chief part of the structure, exclusive of the tower and chancel, was rebuilt in 1833. The parochial charities produce about £40 per annum. There are National schools for both sexes The Wesleyans have a place of worship. Rowdiford House is the principal residence. F.A.S. Locke, Esq., is lord of the manor."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]