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.
(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))
|Feature Description:||"a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred" (ADL Feature Type: "cities")|
|Administrative units:||Wantage CP/AP Wantage Hundred Wantage SubD Wantage RegD/PLU Berkshire AncC|
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