Elsfield (St. Thomas Becket)

ELSFIELD (St. Thomas à Becket), a parish, in the union of Headington, hundred of Bullington, county of Oxford, 3¼ miles (N. E. by N.) from Oxford; containing 185 inhabitants. This parish comprises by computation 1300 acres. It was formerly of much importance, and the remains of an ancient mansion, which was an extensive pile of building, are still visible. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 8. 1½.; patron and impropriator, Lieut.-Col. North: the tithes have been commuted for £185, and there are 2 acres of glebe. The church, which once contained three private chapels, was consecrated in 1273: in the chancel is a large stone, with an inscription round the edge in Saxon characters, to the memory of Iohannes de Chiltenham, which is thought to have been brought from some other place. Archbishop Parker was vicar in the sixteenth century; and the church contains a tablet to the memory of the Rev. Francis Wise, a celebrated Saxon scholar, who was first librarian to the Ratcliffe Library at Oxford, and also vicar of this parish.

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

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