In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Castle Combe like this:
CASTLE-COMBE, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict, in Chippenham district, Wilts. The village stands on the Box rivulet, near Akeman-street, 5 miles NNW of Corsham r. station, and 5½ WNW of Chippenham; and has a post office under Chippenham, and an inn. It was once a place of some note, and had a weekly market; and it still has a fair, for cattle, sheep, and horses, on 4 May. An ancient market-cross is in it; a number of gable-fronted old houses line its streets; and an old dowry-house and an old manor house stand, the one at the end of its principal street, the other in the near neighbourhood. ...
A Saxon fort, or even a Roman camp, is supposed to have crowned an adjacent hill; and a great castle of the Dunstanvilles was built there about the year 1200, and dismantled before the close of the 14th century. Both the earlier fort and the later castle, perhaps the former quite as much as the latter, are now represented only by remains of a fosse and rampart. The manor passed from the Dunstanvilles to the Badlesmeres and others; but has belonged, for about 500 years, to the Scropes. The present mansion occupies a romantic site on the Box, deeply embosomed among steep and wooded slopes. Two notable occupants of the manor were Lord Chancellor Scrope, of the time of Richard II., and William Scrope, author of "Days of Deer Stalking." The parish comprises 1,494 acres. Real property, £3,241. Pop., 534. Houses, 122. The property is not much divided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Gloucestor and Bristol. Value, not reported. Patron, G. P. Scrope, Esq. The church is early English; consists of nave, chancel, and two aisles, with a square tower; was restored in 1851, at a cost of £3,000; and contains an octagonal font and a cenotaph of the Scropes. There are chapels for Independents and Baptists. The subdistrict contains eight parishes. Acres, 14,011. Pop., 3,286. Houses, 701.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Castle Combe has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of North Wiltshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Castle Combe and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Castle Combe in North Wiltshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th September 2014
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