The 1500s were a tumultuous time in the history of Wantage, a small town located in England. During this period, Wantage was transformed from a hamlet to an important market town. Situated at the foot of the Berkshire Downs, Wantage lay on the ancient pilgrimage route to Glastonbury Tor and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
At this time, Wantage was dominated by its great abbey, founded in 975. The Abbey held immense influence over the area and would have been a major force in its development during this era. In 1545 it underwent major expansion and became one of England’s largest abbeys with royal patronage from King Henry VIII. It is believed its prosperity enabled Wantage to grow into an important trading centre during this period.
Wantage also had strong ties with Oxford University during this period and many scholars would visit the town for trade and education. It soon became known as an important stop on the road between London and Oxford where traders could buy locally-made goods including gloves, blankets and cloths made from wool harvested from its large herds of sheep. Wealthy merchants also began to invest in building grand houses, giving rise to some of today’s most iconic heritage buildings such as Church House which still stands today on Church Street – a reminder of its glorious past.
Wantage’s rich history is deeply rooted in its long-standing agricultural tradition which dates back centuries ago when the land around it was used mainly for farming purposes. The 1500s marked an important period in this history due to new agricultural innovations like crop rotation which allowed farmers to produce more food than ever before, thus enabling greater economic growth for Wantage and its surrounding areas.
Today, visitors can still explore much of Wantage’s fascinating history by visiting some of its monuments such as St Mary’s Church or exploring King Alfred’s Tower which is perched atop a hill just outside town offering stunning views across the countryside below – making it an ideal spot for visitors interested in discovering more about Wantages past.