"WEST SHEFFORD, (or Great) a parish in the hundred of Kintbury-Eagle, county Berks, 5½ miles N.E. of Hungerford, its post town. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the south-western bank of the river Lambourne, and is wholly agricultural. Charles I. took up his quarters here on the 19th November, 1644. The land is chiefly arable, with a small proportion of woodland and pasture. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £833 18s., and the glebe comprises 110 acres. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford, value £856, in the patronage of Brasenose College, Oxford. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient Norman edifice, with a circular tower at the W. end, and near the N. doorway is a niche for the Virgin. The interior of the church contains an ancient font, also some stained windows. The Primitive Methodists have a place of worship. The Marquis of Downshire is lord of the manor and chief landowner. In the churchyard is the shaft of an ancient cross.
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, from Berkshire FHS and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.