Marshfield (St. Mary)
MARSHFIELD (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, in the union of Chipping-Sodbury, Upper division of the hundred of Thornbury, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 11½ miles (E.) from Bristol, and 102 (W. by S.) from London; containing, with the hamlets of Becks, Rocks, and Weston Town, 1674 inhabitants. The town consists mainly of a single street, nearly a mile in length: the trade is principally in malt, a great part of which is the produce of the vicinity. The market is on Tuesday; and fairs are held on May 24th and Oct. 24th, the former chiefly for horned-cattle, and the latter for sheep, horses, and cheese. A bailiff is annually elected at the manorial court, and is assisted by a serjeant-at-mace. The parish comprises 5845 acres, of which 72 are common or waste land. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £29. 4. 9.; patrons and impropriators, the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £680, with 118 acres of glebe; and the vicarial for £321. 14., with a glebe of 15 acres. The church is a handsome and spacious edifice, in the later English style, with a fine tower. There is a place of worship for Unitarians. A free school was founded about 1722, by John Harrington, Esq., and was endowed with lands in 1731, by Dionysia Long: the income is £62. Almshouses for eight persons were endowed by Nicholas Crispe, in 1625; and there are benefactions for other charitable purposes. In the parish are some barrows and intrenchments, supposed to have been raised about 561, when the battle of Dirham took place in the neighbourhood; and Leland mentions the existence of a nunnery, of which, however, there are no vestiges.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.