Bremhill with Studley

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

BREMHILL, a parish in the hundred of CHIPPENHAM, county of WILTS, 4 miles (E.) from Chippenham containing, with the chapelry of Foxham, 1443 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Highway annexed, in the archdeaconry of Wilts, and diocese of Salisbury, rated in the king's books at £15. 15., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Salisbury. The church, dedicated to St. Martin, is a venerable and interesting edifice, with a massive square tower, adorned with battlements and pinnacles: between the aisle and the chancel is a handsome and entire rood-loft, beautifully carved; the chancel contains several monuments, and in the churchyard are numerous epitaphs written by the present vicar, the Rev. Mr. Bowles, the poet, who, in 1827, published an historical description of this parish. He has also partially altered and embellished the parsonage-house, to assimilate it to the architectural style of the church, and tastefully disposed the garden and pleasure grounds.

At the hamlet of Studley, in this parish, was a Roman station, supposed by Mr. Bowles to have been an outpost to the more important station of Verludo, the site of which has been ascertained, by Sir Richard Colt Hoare, to be near Wanshouse, about four miles distant: numerous coins, chiefly struck in the reign of Constantine, and British earthenware, have been dug up. The Roman road Watling-street passed through the parish, and in the vicinity is the course of the ancient rampart Wansdike. Avebury, a celebrated British temple, supposed to have been raised in honour of the chief Celtic deity Teutates, and Tan-hill and Silbury, two lofty eminences appropriated to the performance of their pagan rites, are situated within a short distance: on Tan-hill a fair is held, annually on August 6th.

There is a Moravian establishment at Tytherton, in this parish. Maud Heath, in 1478, gave land and houses in trust for keeping in repair an ancient paved footway between Bremhill and Chippenham, the produce of which being greater than the outlay, a considerable fund has accumulated. On the summit of Wick hill is an upright stone bearing an inscription commemorative of the bequest, and on an eminence near Chippenham is another, these being the two extremities of the road. Midway, on the banks of the Avon; is a more interesting monument, with a sundial, on the sides of which are monitory inscriptions in Latin, which have been translated into English verse by Mr. Bowles. Near the church are the ivy-mantled remains of a portion of the tenements belonging to the grange of the abbot of Malmesbury. The ancient mansion of the Hungerfords here has been converted into a farm-house.

FOXHAM, a chapelry in the parish of BREMHILL, hundred of CHIPPENHAM, county of WILTS, 5 miles (N.E. by E.) from Chippenham. The population is returned with the parish. The chapel is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

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