Beckley (St. Mary)
BECKLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Headington, hundred of Bullington, county of Oxford, 4 miles (N. N. W.) from Wheatly; containing, with the hamlets of Studley and Horton, 763 inhabitants. The manor was part of the private property of Alfred the Great: in the thirteenth century it belonged to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who had a castellated mansion here, formerly the residence of the barons of St. Walery, and a portion of the site of which is now occupied by a dovecote, supposed to be a relic of the fortress. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £112: it is in the patronage of the family of the incumbent, the Rev. T. L. Cooke, to whom, and the Earl of Abingdon and Sir Alexander Croke, the impropriate tithes belong. The church is in the early and decorated English styles, with an embattled tower between the nave and chancel, and contains some monuments to the Crokes, of Studley. The Roman road from Alchester to Wallingford passed through the parish, and fragments of Roman pottery have been found in the vicinity.