"NORTHLEACH, a parish, post and small market town, in the hundred of Bradley, county Gloucester, 13 miles S.E. of Cheltenham, 10 N.E. of Cirencester, and 84 from London. It is situated in a vale near the source of the river Leach, from which it derives its name, under the Cotswold hills. It is a polling and petty sessions town, consisting principally of one long, irregularly-built street. The parish includes the hamlet of Eastington, at which place is an ancient camp, with a double vallum, called Norbury, and supposed to be of Roman origin.
It was given by Etheldred to Gloucester Abbey, but was resumed by Henry VIII., and given to the Daltons. About the beginning of the 16th century it did an extensive clothing trade, but owing chiefly to the deficiency of water supply, it gradually declined, and the trade has long been discontinued. It is governed by a bailiff, burgesses, &c. Petty sessions are held twice a month at the house of correction for the county, which is situated at a short distance from the town. New county courts are held at the King's Head Inn monthly. A court-leet is held yearly, at which the bailiff, two constables, two tythingmen, and two cardinals are appointed.
The board of guardians meet at the workhouse every Wednesday. There is an ancient market-house supported by pillars, with remains of a cross. A few of the inhabitants are engaged in frame-work knitting, but the chief business is in agricultural produce. The land is chiefly arable. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment, under an Act of Enclosure in 1782.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, value £270, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, is an ancient structure, with an embattled tower containing six bells. The interior of the church contains an ancient font and numerous brasses of clothiers, bearing date from 1400. The charities produce about £746 per annum. The almshouses are, for six aged men and the same number of women. There are a free grammar and National schools.The Independents and Wesleyans have each a chapel. Here is a meet for the Cheltenham staghounds. Jevon Harper, Esq., is lord of the manor.
The ancient British road, called the Lower Salt-Way, leading from Droitwich towards the E., was here crossed by the Roman Fosseway, which describes the north-western boundary of the parish. Market day is Wednesday. Fairs are held on the Wednesday prior to the 4th of May, and on the first Wednesday in September, for cattle and sheep, and two statute fairs in October."