Marston history: Descriptions

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Marston in 1852

Gardner’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Oxfordshire, 1852


Marston parish comprises 1,290 acres, the rateable value of which is £2,499. The assessed property amounts to £3,013; and the population in 1831 was 364; and in 1841, 396 souls. The principal landowners are the Rev. T. H. Whorwood (the lord of the manor); Mr. John Cannon; Mrs. Mary Rippington; and Mr. R. W. Gilbert.

The Village of Marston, which is small, is situate about 1¼ mile N.N.E. of Oxford. A branch of the Croke family resided long at the manor house of this place, and took an active part on the side of the parliament in the civil war. Of this family was the careless and eccentric Charles Croke, who passed the prime of life in wandering about the world, with little fortune and with no pursuit. He published an account of these rambles under the name of Rodolphus, in a book entitled “Youth’s Inconstancy”, printed in 1667.

The Church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a pleasing structure, consisting of nave, side aisles, chancel, west tower in which are five bells, and a south porch. In the chancel is a plain piscina, and a monumental tablet to one of the Croke family. The benefice is a discharged vicarage, rated at £26; returned at £27. 8s 6d., gross income £195. Patron, the Rev. T. H. Whorwood; incumbent, Rev. Richard Gordon, M.A.

The Vicarage House is a good edifice of recent erection, near the church.

The Parish School is a neat and picturesque building, recently erected by subscription and opened by the lord bishop of Oxford. It is built of Headington stone, with Bath stone facings and quoins, and is situate near the church.

There is annually given to the poor of this parish a sum of money, called Forest money, the origin of which we could obtain no information. It accrues from the rent of an estate of about one hundred acres, extra-parochial, and adjoining the liberty of Elsfield. This land is let from time to time, for the benefit of the proprietors of Marston and poor, by a committee appointed for the purpose, and by whom a certain portion of the rent is assigned to the poor, according to an ancient scale of division, which appears to have been long acted upon.

There is in this parish a piece of busy land, containing about 26 acres, on which 12 of the poor have a right of common for a cow. We could not discover the origin of this right, and it is doubtful whether it can be referred to any charitable foundation; these 12 cow commons are, however, always enjoyed by 12 poor persons, of whom the parish clerk is one.

Letters are received through the Oxford Post Office


© Stephanie Jenkins

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