Kingston (also spelt Kingstone) Lisle, is a downland village and civil parish five miles west of Wantage. It was at one time a chapelry of Sparsholt (and is treated as such by the Victoria County History Berks), becoming a civil parish in the late nineteenth century. It was in Berkshire until 1974, when it was transferred to Oxfordshire.
Local place names include Kingstone Warren, Fawler, Oldfield Farm.
2,147 acres (869 hectares)
249 in 2001; 385 in 1851
Poor law union
Present-day local authority
Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire
SU 325 876
Adjoining parishes in 1851
Balking, Childrey, Lambourn, Sparsholt, Uffington, Woolstone
Berkshire Record Office has the following parish registers for St John the Baptist:
- baptisms 1559 -1894
- marriages 1560 - 1964
- burials 1559 - 1713 (afterwards with Sparsholt)
Berkshire Burial Index covers 1559 - 1713.
The University of Reading Library and the Society of Genealogists' Library have the 1663 hearth tax return for Kingston Lisle.
Anglican church and parochial organisation
Kingston Lisle lies within the archdeaconry of Berkshire, which transferred from Salisbury diocese to that of Oxford in 1836. Kingston Lisle was a chapelry of Sparsholt, and its chapel of St John the Baptist dates from the early twelfth century. Fawler also had a chapel of ease, dating from 1200 and dedicated to St James. It no longer exists but the Victoria County History Berks stated that the site was still visible in 1924.
The 1851 census records a minister of Kingston Lisle Baptist Chapel, and the Victoria County History Berks confirms its existence in 1924.
Fawler also had a Methodist chapel.
The village is served by Uffington primary school.
In 1910 there was a pub known as The Plough. Today there is The Blowing Stone http://www.theblowingstone.co.uk.
Other local history
Berkshire Record Office has numerous photographs of Kingston Lisle. NMR has an Edwardian photograph of Kingston Lisle post office, and views of Kingston Lisle House.
Kingston Lisle has a large park dating from 1336, and containing Kingston Lisle House, a Georgian building pictured below. It was built in 1677, with two wings added in 1812.
The village street runs along the west side of the park. Opposite the church was a mansion called Thornhill House, which took its name from the family holding it at the beginning of the nineteenth century, although it later became Craven property. Fawler Manor is late sixteenth century, grade-II listed.
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the feast of St James, patron saint of the chapel, was kept on the following Sunday.
The Blowing Stone, a perforated sarsen block, stands half a mile to the south of the village next to a group of cottages. When blown the stone makes a foghorn-like sound said to have been used by King Alfred to call the local men to fight the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown. (Sadly, modern scholarship has relocated the battle of Ashdown far from the area.)