Wantage

From Academic Kids

There is also a town called Wantage in the state of New Jersey in the United States of America.

Template:GBmap Wantage is a small town in Oxfordshire, England. It is most famous for being the birthplace of Alfred the Great, in the 9th century. A marble statue of Alfred by Count Gleichen was erected in the 19th century and still stands in the Wantage market-place.

This statue was paid for by Lord Wantage (Robert James Lindsay, later Colonel Sir Robert James Loyd-Lindsay, Baron Wantage of Lockinge, 1832-1901), who also donated the Victoria Cross Gallery to the town, that contained paintings of the deeds leading to a number of Victoria Cross medals, including his own gained during the Crimean War. He was a notable local and national benefactor, who was also involved in founding the English Red Cross Society.

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Wantage20040424_CopyrightKaihsuTai.jpg
A view of the Wantage town centre, 2004. A statue of Alfred the Great stands in the square where the market take place, which is usually used as a carpark.

Weekly trading rights were first granted to Wantage by Henry III in 1216. Markets are now held twice weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday.

The name Wantage derives, it is thought, from a Celtic name, something resembling Gwanet-inge, meaning "Dog River".

Wantage has many historic buildings. It has been the site of a church since at least the 10th century, and the present building of the Church of St Peter and St Paul dates from the 13th century, with many additions since. A water-powered mill with an undershot water wheel still stands from the time that Wantage was a major centre of the wool trade following the building of the Wilts & Berks Canal in the late 18th century (at which time Wantage was in Berkshire).

Wantage appears in the Domesday Book of 1086. Its value was 61 and it was in the King's ownership until Richard I passed it to the Earl of Albemarle in 1190.

Wantage was also later served by a tramway linking it to the Great Western Railway but little trace of this now remains apart from the former station building in Mill Street. The former Wantage railway station was about three miles from the town.

Another notable Wantage resident was John Betjeman, Poet Laureate from 1972-1984.

The statue of Alfred the Great
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The statue of Alfred the Great

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