Dauntsey (St. James)

DAUNTSEY (St. James), a parish, in the union and hundred of Malmesbury, Malmesbury and Kingswood, and N. divisions of Wilts, 5 miles (S. E.) from Malmesbury; containing 576 inhabitants. The parish is beautifully situated on the river Avon, and comprises by admeasurement 3304 acres, of which 380 are arable, and the rest pasture; the soil is generally a rich loam resting on gravel, and some of the meadow lands are among the richest in the county. The Great Western railway passes through the parish, as do also the Wilts and Berks canal, the road between Malmesbury and Calne, and that between Chippenham and Wootton-Basset. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 16. 3.; net income, £548, with a good house; patrons, the Trustees of the late Earl of Peterborough. The church is a handsome structure, in the later English style, with a stately tower, erected at the expense of the Earl of Danby; the interior is embellished with richly carved oak, and some curious remains of ancient stained glass, and contains a noble monument of white marble to the memory of Henry Danvers, Baron Dauntsey, created Earl of Danby in 1625. A school and an almshouse were founded by the earl, and endowed with £75 per annum. There was formerly a chapel of ease at West-End.

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

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