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Kingston Lisle, Berkshire

Historical Description

Kingston Lisle, a village and chapelry in Sparsholt parish, Berks. The village stands near the Ridge Way, and near the Wilts and Berks Canal, 2½ miles SE from Uffington Junction station on the G.W.R., and 5½ W of Wantage, and has a post office under Wantage; money order and telegraph office, Uffington. The chapelry contains also the hamlet of Fawler, where in former times stood a church dedicated to St James the Great. Population of ecclesiastical district, 255. The manor belongs to the Earl of Craven. Kingston Lisle House is a large mansion standing in a well-timbered park of about 120 acres. The Blowing Stone, near the village, measures about 3½ feet in breadth, 2 in width, and 3 in height, is pierced on each side with holes, and, on being lustily blown into at one of the holes, emits a sound which can be heard, it is said, at a distance of 6 miles. It is a kind of red sandstone, and is traditionally said to have formerly been used for giving alarm on the approach of an enemy. The chapelry is annexed to the vicarage of Sparsholt, in the diocese of Oxford. The chapel, an ancient and interesting building of stone, partly Norman, was restored in 1883, and is dedicated to St John the Baptist. It contains some interesting frescoes of the fourteenth century. There is an endowed Baptist chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBerkshire 
Civil parishSparsholt 
Poor Law unionFarringdon 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Kingston Lisle 1560-1837, Berkshire is available to browse online.

The register dates from the year 1559: entries of burials up to 1883 are in the register of Sparsholt.


Church of England

St. John's chapel (parish church)

The chapel of St. John is an ancient and interesting edifice of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, north porch and a western bell cote containing 2 bells: the walls are Norman with later insertions, the east window and others in the chancel being Decorated, but one Norman window still remains as well as a Norman doorway, with very curious iron work on the door: the chapel was restored in 1863, at a cost of £948, when the interior was refitted with finely carved oak benches and handsome bell cote erected; several perfect frescoes containing eleven figures were discovered and preserved, and many coins, tiles &c. were found: a stained glass window was erected in 1910 to the memory of Lieut.-Col. A. D. Rickman by his widow and children: there are 100 sittings.


Baptist Chapel

There is a Baptist chapel, founded in 1790, with an endowment of about £35 a year, left by the late Abraham Atkins esq.: the chapel seats 80 persons.

Civil Registration

Kingston Lisle was in Faringdon Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Wantage Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kingston Lisle from the following:

Land and Property

The manor at the time of the Domesday Survey was held by the King, but was subsequently given by Henry I. to the Fitzgeralds, the heiress of which family in the reign of Henry II. married William de Insula, or de Lisle, and Alice de Lisle had licence from Richard II. in 1366 to enclose a park here. Margaret, only daughter of Warine, 2nd baron de Lisle, married Thomas, Lord Berkeley, whose only daughter and heiress married Richard Beauchamp, 5th earl of Warwick, and their eldest daughter Margaret was the second wife of John Talbot, 1st earl of Shrewsbury, whose eldest son John was, in 1444, created Baron Lisle, and in 1452 Viscount Lisle: on the death of Thomas, 2nd viscount, 20th March, 1469, without issue, these titles fell into abeyance between his two sisters, Margaret, wife of Sir George Vere kt. and Elizabeth, wife of Sir Edward Grey kt. who on the death of Lady Vere was created, 15 Edward IV. (1475-6) baron, and subsequently (28th June, 1483) Viscount Lisle; their daughter Elizabeth was the wife of Edmund Dudley, whose son John was in turn created, about 1528, Viscount Lisle and afterwards Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland; this nobleman sold the manor to William Hyde, of Denchworth; Sir George Hyde K.B. of Denchworth, removed here in 1617, and dying in 1625 was buried in Sparsholt church; his descendant, John Hyde, about the middle of the 18th century, sold the manor to Abraham Atkins esq.

The mansion of Kingston Lisle Park is a large building, standing in a well-wooded and undulating park, extending over an area of 120 acres.

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Berkshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Kingston Lisle are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Berkshire papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.

DistrictVale of White Horse
RegionSouth East
Postal districtOX12
Post TownWantage