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"EDINGTON, a parish in the hundred of Whorwelsdown, formerly written Worwelsdown, county Wilts, 3½ miles N.E. of Westbury, its post town and railway station, and 6 S.E. of Trowbridge. The parish, which is of large extent, includes also the tythings of Baynton, West Conditions, and Tin head., The land is nearly evenly divided between pasture and arable. The bishops of Salisbury formerly had a palace here, which was destroyed by the mob, in 1450, under Jack Ca de, when Bishop Magclough was dragged from the altar of his chapel, where he was officiating at mass, and stoned to death on a neighbouring hill.


In the village are the remains of a collegiate establishment or monastery, founded in 1347 by William de Edington, Bishop of Winchester. He was made lord treasurer and afterwards lord chancellor of England, in 1357, in the reign of Edward III. The college was at first occupied by a dean and 12 ministers, of whom some were prebend aries, but in 1358 was given to a reformed order of Augustine Friars called "Bonihomines" or Bonhommes, at the desire of Edward the Black Prince. Its revenue at the Dissolution was estimated at £521 12s. 52d., and the monastic buildings converted into the residence of the Pallet family and the dukes of Bolton. The living was formerly a vicarage, but is now a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Salisbury, value £160.


The church is a large edifice in the form of a cross, with a central tower and lofty S. porch, and is altogether a handsome building. It is dedicated to St. Mary, St. Catherine, and All Saints, and contains monuments of several families, some very old, also effigies and heraldic devices. It is considered the earliest example of the transition from the decorated to the perpendicular style. The charities produce about £5 per annum.


On an eminence about 2 miles from the village is a strong irregular entrenchment, enclosing about 23 acres, called Bratton Castle; and on the declivity of the same hill, to the S.W., is a figure of a horse, 100 feet high, cut in the chalk. It is supposed to commemorate a victory obtained over the Danes by King Alfred in the year 878, perhaps that of Ethandun, mentioned in the Saxon chronicles, though the exact position of this battle is uncertain. S.W. Taylor, Esq., is owner of the property and lord of the manor."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]



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Historical Geography

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  • Population was 1,112 in 1831, 579 in 1951.



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