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Hampton, Minchin (Holy Trinity)

HAMPTON, MINCHIN (Holy Trinity), a market-town and parish, in the union of Stroud, hundred of Longtree, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 14 miles (S.) from Gloucester, and 100 (W.) from London; containing 5076 inhabitants. Shortly after the Conquest, the manor was given to the nunnery of Caen, in Normandy; and a church was founded here, and the grant of a market procured for the town, by the abbess of Caen, in the reign of Henry III.: hence the prefix of Minchin, from Monachina, a diminutive of Monacha, a nun. The town is pleasantly situated on the summit and southern declivity of an eminence bordering on the vale of the Severn to the east; it consists of a long irregular street, intersected by another, partially paved, and is abundantly supplied with water from springs. There are several streams near the town, and in other parts of the parish, on which are clothingmills, the principal employment of the inhabitants consisting in the manufacture of woollen-cloth, which has long been extensively carried on in the vicinity. A small market for provisions is held on Tuesday; and there are fairs on Trinity-Monday and October 29th. It is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county.

Minchin-Hampton has been divided, ecclesiastically, into three parishes; namely, Minchin-Hampton, including the town, with the hamlets of Box, Forwood, and Holcombe, and containing 2243 inhabitants; Amberley, including the hamlets of Littleworth, Theescombe, and St. Cloe, and containing 1415; and Brimscombe, including the hamlets of Chalford, Hyde, Burley, Brimscombe, and Cowcombe, and containing 1418. The parish comprises with Rodborough, formerly a hamlet within its limits, 4894 acres, of which 654 are common or waste. The living of Minchin-Hampton is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £41. 13. 4., and in the gift of D. Ricardo, Esq., who also presents to the new rectories of Amberley and Brimscombe. The tithes have been commuted for £1200, and the glebe contains 26 acres. The old church, recently taken down, was a cruciform edifice, chiefly in the decorated English style, with an octagonal tower at the intersection; and at the south end of the transept was a very large window, with a rich wheel in the tracery. In the interior were some ancient monuments and statues, and an inscription to the memory of Dr. Bradley, astronomer-royal, who was interred in the churchyard. A new church has been erected by Mr. Ricardo. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans. At St. Cloe is a school, founded in 1699, in pursuance of a benefaction of £1000 by Nathaniel Cambridge, a Hamburgh merchant, which sum, with additional endowment, was invested in land, producing about £110 per annum: Whitefield is said to have been educated in the school. Several further benefactions have been made for instructing children, and for other purposes. An ancient almshouse having become greatly dilapidated, Mrs. Ricardo, of Gatcombe Park, in the vicinity, rebuilt it for eight poor persons. MinchinHampton common and Amberley Bank, a tract of uninclosed land to the west of the town, comprising 400 acres, were given to the inhabitants by Alice de Hampton, in the reign of Henry VIII. On this common is a very extensive intrenchment, supposed to be Danish; and near it is a valley called Woeful Danes' Bottom, where Alfred the Great is said to have obtained a victory over the Danes.

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