Obrázky stránek

similar forms, "Sheppey" "or the isle of sheep," "Thorney." or the "isle of thorns," "Anglesey," or the "isle of the Angles," and others, which abound in almost all parts of England. But it is not necessary to go to a distance for examples of this ancient Anglo-Saxon mode of forming names of places; for I believe the hamlet of Chimney may possibly derive its name in a similar manner, as if written Chimn-eye, though there is another etymology of this name which will be hereafter mentioned; and Lake Reddy lane, which leads from the Buckland road towards the meadows, seems to retain traces of having originally taken its name from "Reed-eye" or the " isle of reeds." It has been already observed that the name of Bampton signifies the "Tree-town," and, to conclude the list, it may be observed that Aston is written Estune i. e. Easttown in Leofric's Charter: Shifford is the "sheep-forà," Brighthampton is composed of the three words, BRIGHT, HAM, and TOWN: Haddon is a word formed out of the old termination -DON before described, though the meaning of its first syllable HAD- seems more uncertain; but the etymology of Lew has hitherto baffled all my enquiries.



The climate of Bampton is considered to be remarkably salubrious, owing in a great measure, to the gravelly nature of the soil. The water also is excellent, except in situations where it is exposed to contamination from decayed vegetable-matter. Fish abounds, not only in the river, but in all the brooks; and the fine flavour which they possess, is thought to be a strong proof of the healthiness of the air. The soil of the northern part of Bampton parish, which lies upon the hill from Yelford to Brize-norton, including the whole of Lew, abounds in clay,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

which renders the cultivation of the land more difficult and its profits less ample, but the soil of that portion of the district which lies in the plain, is a continued stratum of gravel covered by a thin surface of vegetable mould. It is tolerably fertile and suceptible of a high degree of cultivation, except where it is exposed to the annual inundation from the river. The total population of Bampton and its villages, according to the last census, was 2804, and the number of acres in the whole parish 12330, of which about 3000 are under the plough.

The following table shews the population and acreage of each hamlet or village separately:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

pop. 1694 acr. 4070.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


The grain mostly cultivated is wheat, and the system of agriculture, though no doubt liable to be regulated, as elsewhere, by the custom of the country, is in a great measure dependent on the taste or discretion of the farmers. This latitude of practise has however been introduced, only since the Inclosure-Act of 1812; for, when the principal part of the parish was laid out in common fields, it was necessary that a uniform system should be followed, to ensure an equal share of benefit to all who had a right of common. The course then pursued was the fouryear or four-crop course, according to which they sowed wheat the first year, beans the second, and barley the third, after which the land was suffered to lie fallow the fourth year, to recover its strength for the ensuing crop of wheat.

But many other kinds of grain grow with much freedom in all parts of the parish. Oats thrive well; barley is perhaps the

« PředchozíPokračovat »