National Gazetteer (1868) - Steeple Ashton

"STEEPLE ASHTON, a parish, township, parish, and large village, in the hundred and division of Whorwellsdown, in the county of Wilts, 4 miles to the N.E. of Westbury, the same E. of Trowbridge, its post town, and 9 S.E. of Devizes. It lies a little to the S. of the Kennet and Avon canal, and contains the chapelries of West Ashton and Semington, and the tythings of Hinton and Littleton. It was formerly a market town, and the surrounding district was a common. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury, value with the perpetual curacy of Semington, £852, in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The church is a large edifice, in the perpendicular style, partly erected in 1480. It has a battlemented tower, which was formerly surmounted with a lofty spire. From this spire, which was destroyed by a storm in 1670, the parish took the addition to its name. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. In addition to the parish church there is a district church at the village of West Ashton. There area Primitive Methodist chapel and a National school. There is a small endowment for educational purposes. Petty sessions are held here, and a fair takes place on the 18th September. The parish contains 6,789 acres, chiefly the property of Walter Long, Esq., M. P., lord of the manor, who resides at Rood Ashton House, a handsome Gothic mansion, a little west of the village."

"GREAT HINTON, a tything in the parish of Steeple-Ashton, hundred of Whorwelsdown, county Wilts, 3 miles N.E. of Trowbridge."

"HINTON, a tything in the parish of Steeple-Ashton, hundred of Whorwelsdown, county Wilts, 3 miles S. of Melksham."

"LITTLETON, a tything and chapelry in the parish of Steeple-Ashton, hundred of Whorwelsdown, county Wilts, 2 miles S.E. of Melksham, and 3 N.E. of Trowbridge The Avon and Kennet canal passes through the tything The hamlet consists of a few farmhouses."

"WEST ASHTON, a tything in the parish of Steeple Ashton, hundred of Whorwellsdown, in the county of Wilts, 2 miles from Ashton Steeple. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Salisbury, value £200, in the gift of W. Long, Esq., M.P., and lord of the manor, who resides at Ashton hood, a splendid Gothic mansion, situated in this tything. The church, dedicated to St. John, is a neat modern structure, containing a stone pulpit, and a beautiful carved lectern. There is a National school and a middle school for girls, founded and supported by the incumbent."

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