Great Bedwyn  Wiltshire


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

BEDWIN, or Bedwyn (Great), a small old town and a parish in the district of Hungerford and county of Wilts. The town stands on the Kennet and Avon canal, Adjacent to the Hungerford and Devizes railway, near Wans Dyke, 5 miles SW of Hungerford; and has a station on the railway. It is supposed to have been the Leucomagus of the Romans; and it was the Bedgwyn or Bedewind of the Saxons. ...

It was the residence of Cissa, the Saxon viceroy of Wilts and Berks; and the scene, in 675, of a desperate battle between the forces of W essex and those of Mercia. It enjoyed the privileges of a city under the Saxons; and retained them after the Conquest. It was a borough by prescription; and sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward I. till disfranchised by the act of 1832. It has an old-fashioned market house, which has ceased to be used, an ancient church, and a dissenting chapel. The church is cruciform, mixedly Norman and English, and built of flint; was restored in 1854; has a fine central tower; shows curious sculpturings on its round pillars, and rich Norman decorations on its obtusely-pointed arches; and contains interesting monuments of the Stokes and the Seymours. The town has a post office under Hungerford, and fairs on 23 April and 26 July. Dr. Willis, a physician of the 17th century, who founded a philosophical society at Oxford, the germ of the Royal Society of London, was a native.—The parish includes also the tythings of Crofton and Wolfhall, East and West Grafton, Martin, Wexcombe, and Wilton. Acres, 10,420. Real property, £10,965. Pop., 2,263. Houses, 435. The property is divided among a few. The manor belonged once to the Earl of Clare, and belongs now to the Marquis of Ailesbury. Castle Hill, about a mile S of the town, takes name from an ancient entrenchment in which large quantities of Roman bricks and tiles have been found. Chisbury, on Wans Dyke, 1 ¼. mile N by E of the town, is a very fine Saxon camp of 15 acres, with rampart 45 feet high; and encloses an ancient chapel, in decorated English, now used as a barn. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; and, till 1864, was united with another charge. Value, £212. Patron, the Marquis of Ailesbury. The vicarages of East Grafton and Savernake-Forest are separate benefices. There is a Wesleyan chapel at Wilton. Charities, £37.

Great Bedwyn through time

Great Bedwyn is now part of Kennet district. Click here for graphs and data of how Kennet has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Great Bedwyn itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Great Bedwyn, in Kennet and Wiltshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 20th April 2024

Not where you were looking for?

Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Great Bedwyn".