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Farringdon (Faringdon) in 1837

FARRINGDON, a town in Berkshire, in the hundred of Farringdon, and in the parish of Great Farringdon. It is pleasantly situated on an eminence, 36 miles north-west by west from Reading, and 69 miles west by north from London.

It is governed by a bailiff and inferior officers. The market-day is Thursday. There are three annual fairs, viz. on Old Candlemas-Day, Whitsun-Tuesday. and 29th October, besides a statute fair on the l8th October for hiring servants.

The Saxon kings had a palace at Farringdon, wherein Edward the Elder died in 925 ; and a castle was built here during the wars in the reign of Stephen, by the earl of Gloucester, or his son, but was totally destroyed a few years after by Stephen.

In 1202 this king founded at Farringdon a priory of Cistertian monks, subject to the abbey of Beaulieu in Hampshire, and here, according to a manuscript in the Bodleian Library, King Henry III, his queen, and Prince Edward passed a night, being entertained at the cost of the abbot of Beaulieu. The expense of the king's entertainment amounted to 100 shillings and 6 pence, the queen's to 75 shillings, and Prince Edward's to 50 shillings and 6 pence. This priory, like the castle above mentioned, has long since been entirely ruined, and no vestige is left of either of them.

During the civil war Cromwell made an attack upon the town, which was successfully resisted by the garrison under Sir Marmaduke Rawdon, whose memory is commemorated by an inscription in the parish church. King Charles was at Farringdon after the second battle of Newbury.

Near Radcot Bridge, about three miles to the north of Farringdon, was fought the battle between Robert Vere, duke of Ireland, and the earl of Derby, afterwards King Henry IV.

The parish church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a large and handsome structure in the Gothic style, and contains many old monuments, described in Ashmole's ‘Antiquities of Berkshire’ (London 1719). It has a low square tower, formerly surmounted by a spire, which was destroyed during the civil war. The vicarage is in the diocese of Salisbury, and its average net income is £265.

The parish of Great Farringdon is partly in the hundred of Farringdon and partly in that of Schrivenham. According to the population returns for 1831, the entire parish contained 3,033 inhabitants, and 6,910 statute acres.


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