Online Encyclopedia

WANTAGE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 304 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WANTAGE, a market town in the Abingdon parliamentary division of Berkshire, England. Pop. of urban district (1901), 3766. It lies in the richly wooded Valr, of White Horse, in a hollow at the foot of the steep hills which border the Vale on the south, 2 M. S. of Wantage Road station on the Great Western railway, with which a steam tramway connects it. The church of St Peter and St Paul is cruciform, and as a whole Perpendicular in appearance, but retains a nave arcade and ornate tower-arches of the Early English period. The font is a fine specimen of the same style; and there is beautiful woodwork in the chancel. An altar-tomb in alabaster of 1361, and a fine brass of 1414, commemorate members of the family of Fitzwarren. There are other brasses of the 15th and 16th centuries. The neighbouring building of the grammar school preserves a Norman door from another church, which formerly stood in the same churchyard with St Peter's. In the broad market-place is a great statue of King Alfred, executed by Count Gleichen and unveiled in 1877 ; for Wantage is famous as the birthplace of the king in 849. The town has a large agricultural trade and ironworks. The title of Baron Wantage of Lockinge was taken in 1885 by Sir Robert Loyd-Lindsay (b. 1832) on his elevation to the peerage. He was the son of General James Lindsay of Balcarres, but took the additional surname of Loyd in 1858 on marrying the heiress of Lord Overstone, the banker; he fought with his regiment the Scots Fusilier Guards in the Crimea and won the V.C., retiring as lieutenant-colonel. He was M.P. for Berks from 1865 to 1885, and was financial secretary to the War Office in 1877-1880. The title became extinct at his death in 1900.
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