Cliffe-Pypard (St. Peter)

CLIFFE-PYPARD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Cricklade and Wootton-Bassett, chiefly in the hundred of Kingsbridge, but partly in that of Elstub and Everley, Swindon division, and partly in that of Potterne and Cannings, Chippenham and Calne division, of Wilts, 4 miles (S.) from Wootton-Bassett; containing 933 inhabitants. The parish comprises by computation 4000 acres, of which the greater portion is meadow and pasture. The northern part is divided from the southern by a high and very steep ridge or cliff, from which the place takes its name, and which consists of a kind of chalkstone, whereof part is used for manure, and part of a harder kind is quarried for building and paving. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9; patron and impropriator, H. N. Goddard, Esq.: the great tithes have been commuted for £435. 18., and the vicarial for £590. The church is an ancient edifice, with a good tower of freestone: the nave is separated from the aisles by a range of five pillars and arches, supporting a richly-carved open roof of oak, and in the chancel are an old monument to one of the Goddard family, and a handsome monument of marble to Thomas Spackman, a carpenter, who, having realized an ample fortune, bequeathed an endowment for a free school in the parish; the monument cost £1000. Sarah, Duchess Dowager of Somerset, in 1686 left the manor of Thornhill, in the parish, to Brasenose College, Oxford, for the foundation of certain scholarships; and the manor of Broadtown to trustees for apprenticing poor boys of the county of Wilts. Various Roman and Saxon coins have been found.

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

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