Corsham in 1843
Corsham, formerly a market-town, is in the hundred of Chippenham, about four miles west-south-west of Chippenham. The parish has an area of 6,710 acres ; the population. in 1831, was 2,952, nearly one-half agricultural. The village is in a healthy situation, and consists of a long street, with the houses built of stone, with a market-house in the centre, built A.D. 1784, by Mr. Methuen, with the vain expectation of reviving the market. The church is a large ancient building, lying back from the church, close to Corsham Park, the seat of Lord Methuen : it consists of a nave, chancel, a chapel on the north side, and three aisles, with a tower and spire. There is an almshouse at the south end of the village for six poor women, with an adjoining lodge for ‘the master;’ and there are meeting-houses for Independents and Baptists. The manor of Corsham was anciently a royal demesne ; and subsequently belonged to the earls of Cornwall. Richard, earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III, granted to the tenants of the manor some peculiar privileges, which they still retain, especially that of appointing a bailiff, who is sheriff and coroner, with exclusive jurisdiction within the manor. Corsham House is a building of the age of Elizabeth, of very incongruous architecture : it contains a very fine collection of paintings, formed by Sir Paul Methuen, an emminent diplomatist, early in the last century. Sir Richard Blackmore, the poet, was a native of Corsham.