Kington (St. Michael)

KINGTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Chippenham, N. division of the hundred of Damerham, Chippenham and Calne, and N. divisions of Wilts; containing, with the tythings of Easton-Piercy and Langley, 1173 inhabitants, of whom 531 are in the tything of Kington, 3 miles (N. N. W.) from Chippenham. The parish is situated on the road from Chippenham to Malmesbury, and comprises by measurement 4000 acres; the soil is clay, sand, and stone brash, and the surface is flat, but not subject to inundation. There are several quarries of good building-stone. A fair for cattle and sheep is held on the 6th of October. The ancient manor-house near the church was the country residence of the abbots of Glastonbury. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 9. 4½., and in the gift of the Earl of Mornington. The church, of which the tower and north aisle have been rebuilt within the last 60 or 70 years, has some fine Norman details. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. Isaac Lyte, alderman of London, who died in 1659, erected six almshouses, which he endowed with £20 per annum; and Mrs. White, in 1821, bequeathed the interest of £200 for their further endowment. In the parish are considerable remains of three religious houses, the principal of which, a Benedictine nunnery, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was founded before the time of Henry II., as a cell to the abbey of Glastonbury; the revenue, at the Dissolution, was £38. 3. 10.: the remains have been converted into a farmhouse. Mr. Britton, the antiquary, is a native of the parish.

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

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