Ardley (St. Mary)

ARDLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bicester, hundred of Ploughley, county of Oxford, 4 miles (N. W. by N.) from Bicester; containing 168 inhabitants. It contains by measurement 1469 acres, and is situated on the road from Oxford to Northampton. Lace is manufactured here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 12. 8½., and in the gift of the Duke of Marlborough: the tithes have been commuted for £283, and the glebe comprises 60 acres. The main body of the church was rebuilt in a plain style about 50 years since. In Ardley wood are the foundations of an ancient castle built by the Normans, in the reign of Stephen, on the site of a fortification which had been raised by Offa, King of Mercia: they are nearly circular, and comprise an area about sixty yards in diameter, surrounded by a moat.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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