In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Trowbridge like this:
TROWBRIDGE, a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Melksham district, Wilts. The town stands on the river Biss, and on the Bath and Salisbury railway, 11¾ miles SSW of Chippenham; was known to the Saxons as Truthhabrig; came afterwards to be called Tribridge, Trolbridge, and Thoroughbridge; acquired early a castle, which was taken by Stephen from Maud, rebuilt by John of Gaunt, and is now represented only by a moat; became, in the time of Henry VIII., a notable place of cloth manufacture; is now a seat of petty-sessions and county courts; occupies a rocky declivity, sloping to the Biss; presents an irregularly constructed appearance, with nearly all its streets, except the main one, narrow and ill-built; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. ...
station with telegraph, two banking offices, several inns, a recent market house erected at a cost of nearly £5,000, a court-hall, a police station, a three-arched bridge, a church of the 14th century restored at a cost of about £8,000, two other churches built in 1836 and 1868, another church purchased from the Baptists in 1860, five dissenting chapels, two schools endowed with jointly £60 a year, two alms houses with £130, and other charities £95 Markets are held thrice a-week; a fair is held on 5, 6, and 7 Aug.; two weekly newspapers are published; and the manufacture of kerseymeres, tweeds, and woollen cloths, is carried on. Pop. in 1861, 9,626. Houses, 2,119.The parish contains three tythings, and comprises 2,442 acres. Real property, £32,830; of which £250 are in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 11,148; in 1861, 10,487. Houses, 2,322. The manor was given, by Henry VIII., to the Seymours; passed to the Mannerses and the Timbrels; and belongs now to W. Stancomb, Esq. The living of St. James is a rectory, and that of Trinity is a vicarage, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value of St. J., £900; of T., £230.* Patron of St. James, the Church Patronage Society; of Trinity, the Rector of Trowbridge. St. Stephen's is a chapel of ease; and the vicarages of Staverton and Studley are separate benefices. The poet Crabbe was rector-The sub-district includes Hilperton parish, and comprises 3,520 acres. Pop., 11,367. Houses, 2,531.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Trowbridge has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of West Wiltshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Trowbridge and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Trowbridge in West Wiltshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 18th June 2013
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