Lechlade is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Gloucestershire.
Other places in the parish include: Butler’s Court, Great Lemhills Farm, Lemhill, Thornhill, Manor Farm, St John’s Bridge, and Lemhill Farm.
Parish registers begin: 1686
Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Independent/Congregational.
Lechlade, co. Gloucester.
London 78 m. W b N. Pop. 1154. M. D. Tues. Fairs, Aug. 5 and 12, for cattle and toys; and Sept. 9, for cheese and cattle.
A small market-town in the hundred of Brightwell’s Barrow, situated at the confluence of the little river Leach with the Isis or Thames, and near the point of junction of the counties of Gloucester, Berks, and Oxford. It consists principally of one long and wide street of well-built houses; and here is a bridge over the Thames, called St. John’s Bridge, up to which the river is navigable for vessels not exceeding eighty tons burden. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester; valued in K. B. 12l. 13s. 4d.; patron (1829) Mr. Morton. The church, dedicated to St. Laurence, is a handsome structure, with a tower and spire at the west end. In a meadow near St. John’s Bridge, an hospital, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was founded in the reign of Henry III., by Lady Isabella Ferrars, but the establishment falling into decay, the revenues were appropriated to the support of a chantry in the parish church, which, at the Reformation, became the property of the Crown. Here is a Sunday school, as also a place of worship for Baptists. A court-leet, under the authority of the lord of the manor, is held once in three years, when a constable and tithing-man are chosen for the government of the town. The market is become inconsiderable, but an extensive transit trade is carried on here, cheese, butter, and other articles being brought to the wharfs at this place, to be conveyed by the Thames to London. Coal also is brought hither by the Thames and Severn Canal, which here terminates in the river Isis or Thames. Lechlade is supposed by some antiquaries to have been a Roman station; and in a meadow near the town were discovered, several years ago, the remains of tessellated pavements, and the foundation of a building which appears to have been an ancient hypocaust or Roman bath. Thomas Coxeter, a bibliographer and antiquarian of some eminence, was born at Lechlade in 1689; he died in 1747.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. II; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833.
Leachlade is bounded by lands of Fairford, which is four miles distant; Hatherope, Gloucestershire, six; Southrope, Gloucestershire, three; Little Farringdon, Berks, one; divided by the river Isis from Eaton Hastings, Berks, near Helmscott, Oxon, two; Buscott, Berks, one; Inglesham, Berks and Wilts, two; by the river Isis, and by lands of Kelmsford, Gloucestershire, five miles.
The church is a handsome structure; the living, a vicarage endowed: Lawrence Bathurst, Esq. in the year 1672, gave the great tithes to the vicarage for ever, which, with the house and premises, are worth upwards of three hundred pounds per annum, and have been let for four hundred.
Leachlade is governed by a constable; is seventy-six miles from London; a post-town; and the turnpike-road from London to Gloucester and Bristol lies through it.
A mail-coach from Oxford to Bristol, down at Leachlade every morning at nine o’clock, and up every evening at six. Two other coaches from Stroud-water, Tetbury, Wotton-Underedge, &c. to and from London three times a week.
Many wagons pass through this town every week, with divers sorts of merchandise, to and from Monmouth, Hereford, and Gloucester; and many others from the Gloucestershire clothing-country with cloth for London.
Great quantities of cheese and other goods are brought to the wharfs here, and conveyed thence to London, &c. down the rivers Isis and Thames, in barges of from thirty to seventy tons burthen.
A communication between the Severn and Thames by a canal is lately completed, which joins the river Isis near this town, by which large quantities of coal are brought here, and the country for many miles round is supplied from hence with that necessary article, which, before the opening of the said canal, was sold at thirty-two shillings per ton home, but now sold at the wharfs at twenty-four shillings per ton. Many vessels ply (between this place and Brimscomb port) on the said canal, and great quantities of corn sent thither for Bristol, Stourport, Worcester, &c.
Lechlade is six miles distance from Farringdon, Berks; six from Highworth, Wilts; thirteen from Cirencester, and twelve from Northleach, both in Gloucestershire; nine from Burford, and twelve from Witney, both in Oxfordshire; all good market-towns. It is probable, that it was anciently a Roman town upon the Thames; for a very plain Roman road runs from hence to Cirencester. The river Lech, which rises near North Lech in this county, discharges itself into the Thames a little below St. John’s Bridge in this parish, and thereby gives name to the town.
Friday is the market-day, but no great deal of business is done on it. Here is one good fair in the year, held on the 9th of September, for neat cattle, horses, cheese, &c. &c. this fair was usually kept in a meadow near St. John’s bridge; but owing to a flood in the year 1774, it was then removed to the town of Leachlade, where it has been held ever since. In a meadow near St. John’s Bridge there formerly stood a priory, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the foundations of which have been often discovered by digging.
Vessels are freighted at Lechlade with barley for Worcester throughout in one bottom. Tin, copper, lead, and heavy ironmongery-goods, from Bristol, Stourport, Bewdley, or Worcester, to London, pay 1l 17s. per ton, including every expence, the same from London to any of the above places, by Grazebrook, &c.
The post comes in and goes out daily. The principal inns are the New inn, the Crown, and the Swan – The following is a list of the principal inhabitants:
Ayling Mrs. Eliza
Hughes Mrs. Catherine
Loder Charles, Esq. (F.)
Locket James, Gent. (F.)
Powell Mrs. Susannah
Sandford Mrs. Jane
Woolford Robert, Gent. (F.)
Lifely Rev. john
Loder Rev. John
Wheate Rev. Sir John Thomas, Bart. (F.) Vicar
Bedwell William, (F.) Surgeon
Myers John Dinely, Surgeon
Myers Launcelot, Attorney
Bayley Thomas, (F.) Grazier and Butcher
Barr John, (F.) Chandler and Grocer
Burden Henry, Wharfinger
Berry William, Carpenter
Davis Thomas, (F.) Ironmonger
Gearing Richard, Coal & Corn-merchant
Galloway Francis, (F.) Slater
Hall William, Shopkeeper
Hughes John, Baker
Hughes William, Miller
Hughes Susannah, Butcher
Hooper Thomas, (F.) Barge-master
Hendrie Charles, Corn-factor
Lifely William, (F.) Roper
Monk John, Carpenter
Parker Mary, Grazier
Preston John, Baker
Pinfold Richard, (F.) Butcher
Radway Mrs. Hatter
Smith John, (F.) Shopkeeper
Spicer Francis, (F.) Carpenter
Tombs James, Dairy-man
Walklet John, Carpenter
Walker John, (F.) Baker
Wells William, (F.) New Inn
Wells William Gosely, Coal and Corn Merchant
Wells Wm. Innkeeper, St. John’s-bridge
Wentworth Edward, Grazier
Woolford Henry, Innkeeper, (Swan)
About a mile and a half from Buscott, and three from Leachlade, is a noble mansion, called Buscott Park, lately erected by Edward Loveden Loveden, Esq. member for Abingdon, Berks.
Source: Universal British Directory 1791