Iron-Acton (St. James)
IRON-ACTON (St. James), a parish, partly in the Lower division of the hundred of Grumbald's-Ash, but chiefly in the Lower division of that of Thornbury, union of Chipping-Sodbury, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 3½ miles (W. N. W.) from Chipping-Sodbury; containing 1342 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name Acton from the Saxon word for oaks, with which it anciently abounded, and its prefix from some iron-works that formerly existed here. The parish comprises by measurement 2928 acres; it is partially undermined by coal-pits, and borders on the extensive beds of coal found in the southern part of the county. Sandstone is quarried for ordinary building purposes. The railway between Bristol and Gloucester passes within a mile and a half, and the parish is crossed by the Bristol and Wotton road. The common lands were inclosed by act of parliament about 1780. Fairs, chiefly for cattle, are held on April 25th and September 13th. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 10., and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Christ-Church, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £680, and the glebe consists of 60 acres. The church was built in the 15th century, by one of the family of Poyntz, who formerly resided here, and is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a tower: in the churchyard is a very beautiful cross raised on arches, but much mutilated. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.