Wantage  Berkshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Wantage like this:

WANTAGE, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Berks. The town stands on the Wilts and Berks canal, near White Horse Vale, 2½ miles SSW of Wantage-Road r. station, and 9 SW of Abingdon; is supposed to occupy the site of a Roman station; was the birth-place of King Alfred, and a residence of other Saxon kings; belonged then to the Crown; passed through many noble hands, including Baldwin de Bethune, William de Valence, Hugh Bigod, Fulk Fitzwarren, and the Bourchiers Earls of Bath; numbers among its natives Bishop Butler and the theologian Kimber; is a seat of petty-sessions and county courts; carries on iron and brass founding, and agricultural implement-making; and has a head post-office,‡ a banking office, three chief inns, a town hall, a corn exchange, a church, Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, a grammar-school with £39 a year, a national school, an industrial training school for girls, a home for penitent females, alms houses, a workhouse, a weekly corn-market on Wednesday, a weekly general market on Saturday, and five annual fairs. ...

The town hall includes court-rooms and a reading room. The corn exchange was built in 1865. The church ranges from early English to perpendicular; is cruciform, large, and interesting; and has a central tower. The grammar-school was rebuilt after 1849, in result of a millenary commemoration of the birth of King Alfred. Real property of the town, £11,559; of which £200 are in gasworks. Pop., 3,064. Houses, 628.

The parish contains also Grove township, and Charlton and West Lockinge hamlets. Acres, 7,530. Pop., 3,925. Houses, 821. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford. Value, £750.* Patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The p. curacy of Grove is a separate benefice; and a chapel of ease is at Charlton.-- The sub-district excludes the two hamlets, but includes 4 other parishes, and 3 parts. Pop., 7,304. Houses, 1,599.—The district comprehends also Ilsley and Hendred sub-districts, and comprises 75,700 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £11,390. Pop. in 1851, 17,433; in 1861, 17,308. Houses, 3,717. Marriages in 1863, 121; births, 593,-of which 39 were illegitimate; deaths, 301,-of which 110 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,106; births, 5,559; deaths, 3,559. The places of worship, in 1851, were 37 of the Church of England, with 7,457 sittings; 6 of Baptists, with 620 s.; 19 of Wesleyans, with 2,380 s.; 10 of Primitive Methodists, with 772 s.; 1 undefined, with 40 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 130 s. The schools were 34 public day-schools, with 1,975 scholars; 24 private day-schools, with 622 s.; and 34 Sunday schools, with 2,059 s.-The hundred contains 7 parishes and 3 parts. Acres, 33,317. Pop., 9,537. Houses, 2,081.

Wantage through time

Wantage is now part of Vale of White Horse district. Click here for graphs and data of how Vale of White Horse has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Wantage itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wantage, in Vale of White Horse and Berkshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 23rd April 2024

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