"SPARSHOLT, a parish in the hundreds of Wantage and Shrivenham, county Berks, 4 miles W. of Wantage, its post town. The village, which is considerable, is situated near the Great Western railway and the Berks and Wilts canal. The parish includes the hamlets of Fawler and Kingston Lisle. The soil is rich and productive. The ancient Icknield Street passed through the vale of White Horse to the S. of the village. The living is a vicarage,* with the curacy of Kingston Lisle annexed, in the diocese of Oxford, value £363, in the patronage of Queen's College, Oxford. The church is dedicated to the Holy Cross. The parochial charities produce about £20 per annum."
"FAWLER, a hamlet in the parish of Sparsholt, hundred of Shrivenham, county Berks, 4 miles W. of Wantage."
"KINGSTON LISLE, a chapelry in the parish of Sparsholt, hundred of Shrivenham, county Berks, 7 miles from Farringdon, and 5 W. of Wantage, its post town. It is situated on the old Roman road Port Way. Near the village is a singular stone called the "blowing stone," which is perforated, and was brought from the neighbouring hills. This stone, if blown through, produces a sound that can be heard several miles. The living is a curacy annexed to the vicarage* of Sparsholt, in the diocese of Oxford. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a small rough structure, with tower containing two bells. There is a place of worship for Baptists. E. M. Atkins, Esq., is lord of the manor. There 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.