Sherston in 1843
Sherston Magna, or Great Sherston, is in Chippenham hundred, about six miles west of Malmesbury. The area of the parish is 4,140 acres ; the population, in 1831, was 1,361, principally agricultural. Sherston is thought by some to be the Sceorstane of the Saxon Chronicle, the scene of an indecisive battle (A.D. 1016) between Edmund II (Ironside) and Canute, who engaged during the battle in personal conflict. The village is partly within the site of an ancient encampment, part of which is obliterated. There is a local tradition of a conflict between the Saxons and Danes, in which the Saxons were commanded by a warrior called ‘Rattlebone,’ of whom a gigantic figure is seen on the sign of an inn. Rattlebone is thought to be a popular traditional name of Edmund II. The church at Sherston is a very large cross church, comprehending a nave, two aisles, transept, and large south porch. It is of various dates, partly Norman, partly later.