Bensington in 1840
Bensington, in speaking usually shortened into Benson, is in the hundred of Ewelme, on the road from London, by Henley-on-Thames, to Oxford. It is on the left or east bank of the Thames, a little above Wallingford. Bensington was a place of importance in early times. It was taken from the Britons by the West Saxons under Cuthwin, brother of Cealwin, king of Wessex, A.D. 572. The West Saxons built a castle here for the defence of their frontier ; this castle was reduced by the Mercians under Offa, who defeated Cynewulf of Wessex here, A.D. 775. The village has some good houses : the church is ancient, it has an east window of decorated character : the tower is modern. The living is a perpetual curacy, of the clear yearly value of £180, with a glebe-house. There were in 1833, two day-schools, with 38 children ; two day and Sunday schools, with 108 children ; and one Sunday-school, with 20 children.