Box (St. Thomas � Becket)
BOX (St. Thomas à Becket), a parish, in the union and hundred of Chippenham, Chippenham and Calne, and N. divisions of Wilts, 7 miles (S. W. by W.) from Chippenham; containing 2274 inhabitants. The parish comprises 4135 acres, of which 217 are common or waste. An extensive bed of freestone of a peculiar quality exists here, called Bath stone, from the circumstance of the greater part of that city having been built with it: it forms a considerable article of exportation to almost every part of the empire. At a short distance north-west of the village, which is beautifully situated in a rich valley, and on the road from London to Bath, is a mineral spring, containing a very large proportion of sulphur and carbonic acid. The Great Western railway, which passes through the parish, here enters a tunnel, 1¾ mile in length, 30 feet wide, 25 feet high above the rails, and having 11 shafts for affording air and light, each 25 feet in diameter, and some of them nearly 300 feet in depth from the surface of the ground. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 8. 9.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. H. D. C. S. Horlock; impropriator, W. Northey, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £490. 6. 4., and the vicarial for £408. 3. 8.; there is an acre of glebe. A charity school has an income of nearly £30 a year, arising from lands. On Cheney-Court farm, north of the spa, and about five miles from Bath, a variety of coins was dug up in 1813, indicating that a large Roman villa once existed on the spot; and several Roman pavements are in the premises near the church.