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Shalbourn (St. Michael)

SHALBOURN (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Hungerford, hundred of Kinwardstone, Marlborough and Ramsbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from Hungerford; containing, with the tythings of Oxenwood and Newtown, and the hamlet of Bagshot, 1043 inhabitants, of whom 620 are in the village of Shalbourn. The parish comprises about 6000 acres of land, principally arable; the surface is varied, and the meadows are watered by a copious stream issuing from a spring near the village, which in its course turns several mills. The substratum contains green, white, and red sandstone, and is supposed to comprise coal also, but no mines have been opened. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 17. 6.; net income, £271; patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor; impropriator, the Marquess of Ailesbury. The church is principally in the Norman style. In the parish is an ancient chapel in a dilapidated state, with a house attached to it called West-court, thought to have been a retreat for the monks of Sarum. On the edge of the down, here forming a continuation of Salisbury Plain, is a tumulus commanding prospects over several counties. Fragments of human skeletons, supposed to be the remains of persons slain in the wars during the heptarchy, are often met with in the neighbourhood; and Wansdyke, the line of division between the kingdoms of Mercia and the West Saxons, runs along one boundary of the parish. Here is a chalybeate spring, formerly in great repute.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.