Barkway (St. Mary Magdalene)
BARKWAY (St. Mary Magdalene), a town and parish, in the union of Royston, hundred of Edwinstree, county of Hertford, 4 miles (S. S. E.) from Royston, 13¾ miles (N. N. E.) from Hertford, and 35 (N.) from London, on the road to Cambridge; containing, with the hamlets of Newsells and Nuthampstead, 1291 inhabitants. In the reign of Henry III. a grant of a market now disused, and of a fair which is still held on July 20th, was obtained for this place. Nearly the whole town was destroyed by fire in the reign of Elizabeth, and again in 1748. It is pleasantly situated on rising ground, and consists principally of one street: the houses in general are modern and neatly built, and the inhabitants are well supplied with water. The parish comprises chiefly arable land, with a large extent of wood, and a small portion of pasture. The living is a vicarage, consolidated in 1800 with the rectory of Reed, and valued in the king's books at £14; the impropriation belongs to Mrs. Vernon Harcourt: the tithes were commuted for land in 1801. The church is a spacious structure combining various styles, with a square embattled tower. There is a place of worship for Independents; and a charity school for boys has an endowment of £10 per annum.