Laycock (St. Cyriack)
LAYCOCK (St. Cyriack), a parish, in the union and hundred of Chippenham, Chippenham and Calne, and N. divisions of Wilts, 3¾ miles (S.) from Chippenham; containing 1780 inhabitants. An abbey for nuns of the order of St. Augustine was founded here in 1229, by Ela, Countess Dowager of Salisbury, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Bernard; it continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenue was returned at £203. 12. 3.: the remains have been converted into a private residence. The countess, during her widowhood, held the shrievalty of the county of Wilts, in the reign of Henry III.; and in a room here in which the records are kept, is a copy of the charter sent to her as such by that monarch, for the use of the knights and military tenants of the county. A weekly market and an annual fair were granted to the abbey, but the former has long been disused, and fairs are now held on July 1st and December 21st. The parish comprises 3546 acres, of which 46 are common or waste. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 4. 2.; patron and impropriator, W. H. F. Talbot, Esq.: the great tithes have been commuted for £341. 10. 6., and the vicarial for £325; the glebe comprises 7 acres. The church contains several monuments to the family of Montague, who resided at Lackham House, in the parish. There is a place of worship for Independents.