Easthampstead (St. Mary Magdalene)
EASTHAMPSTEAD (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, and the head of a union, partly in the hundred of Cookham, but chiefly in that of Ripplesmere, county of Berks; comprising the posting-village of Bracknell, and containing 627 inhabitants. This place was anciently a royal residence; and Richard II. is said to have resorted hither for the diversion of hunting. The parish comprises 5186a. 1r. 19p., more than one-half of which is heath; of the remainder, about 1100 acres are arable, 700 meadow and pasture, and 370 coppice and plantations: the soil is partly clayey and partly a rich loam, the surface is undulated, and the scenery finely varied. Easthampstead Park, the property of the Marquess of Downshire, and South Hill Park, belonging to the Earl of Limerick, are handsome residences. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 1. 3., and in the gift of the Dean and Canons of ChristChurch, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £488, and the glebe comprises 85 acres. The oak pulpit in the church is beautifully carved. The poor law union comprises 5 parishes and places, and contains a population of 5935. There are several chalybeate springs; and a Roman military work, called Cæsar's Camp, in which numerous coins have been dug up.