Coxwell, Great (St. Giles)

COXWELL, GREAT (St. Giles) a parish, in the union and hundred of Farringdon, county of Berks, 2 miles (S. W.) from Farringdon; containing 351 inhabitants. This parish comprises by admeasurement 1426 acres. The surface has a gentle acclivity, and the soil varies greatly on the north and west sides of Bradbury Hill; it is chiefly a strong clay, in some parts poor and boggy, and on the south and east a rich loam. Limestone of a soft nature, in which numerous fossils are imbedded, is plentiful; and on the hill is a yellowish sandstone, hard enough for sharpening scythes. The village is pleasantly situated on the southern acclivity of the hill. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 7. 11.; patron, the Bishop of Salisbury; impropriator, the Earl of Radnor. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £198, and the impropriate for £21: there are 4 acres of vicarial glebe. The Rev. John Pynsent, in 1705, bequeathed land producing about £20 per annum, for apprenticing children; and there is a curious bequest from the Earl of Radnor, in 1771, charging his lands with an annuity of £45, to be applied to the apprenticing of children of Coleshill and this parish, so often as the vicar of Coleshill should be absent from the parish more than 60 days in any one year, and should accept any other preferment with the cure of souls. The remains of a religious house built here by the abbots of Beaulieu, to whom the manor was granted by King John in 1205, are now a farmhouse: the barn is 148 feet long, and 40 feet wide, the roof supported on two ranges of timber pillars resting upon stone pedestals; the walls are 4 feet thick, and of excellent masonry. On Badbury Hill is a circular encampment, supposed to be Danish.

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

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