In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Corsham like this:
CORSHAM, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Chippenham district, Wilts. The town stands ¾ of a mile N of the Great Western railway, and 4 SW of Chippenham; it was a residence of the Saxon kings, afterwards of the Earls of Cornwall, and was long called Corsham-Regis; it had formerly a jail, a court-house, a market-cross, and some ancient buildings, which have been swept away; it forms now one long street of stone houses; and it has a post office‡ under Chippenham, a railway station, an inn, a market-house, a parish church, and four dissenting chapels. ...
The church is a large edifice, with central tower; comprises parts from Norman to late English; and has a richly carved screen and two altar-tombs. A weekly market was formerly held on Wednesday; and fairs are still held on 8 March and 4 Sept. -The parish includes also Pickwick and Easton tythings, and Corsh-Side hamlet. Acres, 6, 498. Real property, £19, 654; of which £2, 703 are in quarries. Pop., 3, 196. Houses, 683. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged at Domesday, to Earl Tosti; passed to the Earls of Cornwall, and to the Hungerfords; and belongs now to Lord Methuen. Corsham Court, Lord Methuen's seat, has a fine south Tudor front of 1582, and a new north front in good Italian, by Bellamy; and contains a rich collection of paintings, founded by Sir Paul Methuen, the framer of the " Methuen treaty " of Portugal. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value, £300.* Patron, Lord Methuen. A chapel of ease is at Hartham, and a church at Corsham-Side; and the latter was built in 1866, and is a separate charge. A Gothic alms-house and free school, founded in 1672, has £60 a year from endowment; and other charities have £238. Edward Hasted, the historian of Kent, was for some years master of the free school; and Sir Richard Blackmore, physician to William III. and poet, was a native. Two alien priories were in the parish, the one a cell to Caen abbey, the other to Marmonstier. -The sub-district contains seven parishes. Acres, 17, 127. Pop., 6, 979. Houses, 1, 468.
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 Corsham 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 Corsham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Corsham in North Wiltshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 10th December 2013
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