BENSINGTON, (or Benson), a parish in the hundred of Ewelme, in the county of Oxford, 1 mile to the N. of Wallingford, its post town. It is situated on the E. side of the river Thames, and contains the hamlets of Fifield, Crowmarsh-Battle, and Roke. Bensington is a very ancient place. The Saxon form of its name is Benesingtun, or Bysingtun. It is said to have been in the possession of the Britons till 572, when it was taken by Cealwyn, king of Wessex. About 200 years later it was taken from the West Saxons by Offa, king of Mercia. It was the site of a royal residence. The Roman Way between Wallingford and Alchester passed through this parish, and was carried across the Thames here. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Oxford, of the value of £220, in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Christ Church College, Oxford. The church, which stands near the site of the old royal castle, is dedicated to St. Helen. It is an ancient building with a tower of modern erection. The chancel has recently been rebuilt, and the church enlarged, Beneath the tower a stone coffin was some time since discovered. The charitable endowments of the parish produce £80 a year, chiefly consisting of the revenue of the church lands.The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003
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