Sparsholt

Location

Sparsholt, a downland village and civil parish four miles west of Wantage, formerly included the hamlets of Westcot, Kingston Lisle and Fawler, until the creation of civil parishes in the late nineteenth century removed the latter two as one new civil parish.

The Portway and the Ridgeway cross the parish. The Berkshire and Wiltshire Canal and the Great Western Railway both cross the north end of the parish, but there has never been a station.

Other local names include Eastmanton, George's Green Northfield Farm, South Farm, Cross Bargain, Broad Leaze, Coppice Leaze, Garlands, Cranhill.

There is also a Sparsholt in Hampshire.

Size

5,311 acres (2,150 hectares) according to VCH; 3,698 acres according to 1851 census (which probably excludes Kingston Lisle and Fawler)

Population

517 in 1851; 297 in 2011 

Hundred

Sparsholt village and Westcot in Wantage; Kingston Lisle and Fawler in Shrivenham

Poor Law union

Wantage

Registration district

Wantage

Present-day local authority

Vale of White Horse District, Oxfordshire County Council

Grid reference

SU 34 87

Adjoining parishes in 1851

Balking, Childrey, Goosey, Kingston Lisle, Uffington, West Challow

Parochial records

Available from BerksFHS Books:
  • Sparsholt Holy Cross parish registers 1558 - 1962
  • Berkshire Baptisms 2nd ed covering 1707 - 1944
  • Berkshire Marriages 3rd ed covering 1559 - 1812
  • Berkshire Burials 12th ed covering 1558 - 1873

See also Berkshire Record Office holdings.

Published local history

Violet Mary Howse Sparsholt a parish record Parts 1 & 2 

Anglican church and parochial organisation

Sparsholt lies within the archdeaconry of Berkshire, which transferred from Salisbury diocese to that of Oxford in 1836. The church of the Holy Cross dates from the end of the twelfth century, and is said to have replaced a wooden Saxon church. The living is a vicarage.

Schools

A Baptist school waas founded by deed of endowment in 1788 by Abraham Atkins, to teach the 3Rs to boys and girls. The girls also learned needlework.

Another school known as Edmondson's School, was founded on the proceeds of a lottery win in 1713, for an Anglican clergyman to teach reading to eight boys and girls.

Parliamentary papers of 1833 recorded two daily schools.

Pubs

The 1881 census enumerated an inn called the Star.

Other local history

Sparsholt was acquired by the Craven family in the mid-seventeenth century.

A tannery employing eight men existed in 1851.

Farm names in the 1881 census included Northfield, Rectory, Sout, Sparsholt and Westcot.

Sparsholt has long been a centre for racehorse training.

Additional information