Brightwell (St. Agatha)

BRIGHTWELL (St. Agatha), a parish, in the union and parliamentary borough of Wallingford, hundred of Moreton, county of Berks, 2½ miles (W. N. W.) from Wallingford; containing 611 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1958a. 1r. 15p., and is bounded on the north by the river Thames, and on the south by the Tadsey: the soil is a rich loam, partly mixed with gravel; the surface is high on the northern boundary, but in other parts level. The castle here was given up by Stephen to Henry II., then Duke of Normandy, after the treaty of peace concluded between him and Matilda at Wallingford, and was probably soon afterwards demolished, for its site is not even known, though conjectured to have been within the moat where the manor farmhouse now stands. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £44. 17. 11., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Winchester: the tithes have been commuted for £855, and there are 51 acres of glebe. The church contains a monument to the memory of Thomas Godwyn, D.D., author of a treatise on Jewish and Roman antiquities, and who died rector in 1642. There is a meeting-house for dissenters.

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

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