Bempton (St. Michael)
BEMPTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of
Bridlington, wapentake of Dickering, E. riding of
York, 3¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Bridlington; containing 313 inhabitants. The parish is bounded by the
North Sea, and comprises about 1600 acres, partly
arable and partly grass, the latter being some of the
richest grazing and feeding pastures in the East riding.
The village is pleasantly situated near Flamborough
Head, on the road to Scarborough. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of H. Broadley, Esq.,
the impropriator, and has a net income of £51: the
tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in
1765. The church, rebuilt at the expense of the patron
in 1829, is a small neat structure, with a tower at the
west end. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Bempton was separated from the priory of Bridlington
Benacre (St. Michael)
BENACRE (St. Michael) a parish, in the union
and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 5
miles (N. E.) from Wangford; containing 194 inhabitants. It comprises 259a. 1r. 37p., and is situated on
the sea-coast: about half a mile from the shore is a
sheet of fresh water, called Benacre Broad, comprising
100 acres, and abounding with pike and other fish. Benacre Hall, a large mansion, is the seat of Sir T. S. Gooch,
Bart. The living is a rectory, with that of EastonBavent and the vicarage of North-Ales consolidated,
valued in the king's books at £18, and in the gift of
Sir T. S. Gooch; the tithes have been commuted for
£354, and there are 24 acres of glebe. The church consists of a nave and chancel, with a square tower. An
urn containing coins of Vespasian, Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius, was discovered here
more than sixty years since, in forming a road from Yarmouth to London.
Benefield (St. Mary)
Benefield (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of
Oundle, hundred of Polebrook, N. division of the
county of Northampton, 3½ miles (W.) from Oundle;
containing 533 inhabitants. This parish, including the
lordship of Liveden, comprises 4468 acres, of which
above 300 are woodland, and the remainder chiefly pasture; the soil is a strong tenacious clay, with an upper
surface of dark loam, and the ground is varied with some
gentle undulations, though generally level. There are
two villages about a mile apart, distinguished as Upper
and Lower Benefield, the road from Oundle to Great
Weldon proceeding through both. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £35. 9. 7.; net
income, £622; patron, Jesse Watts Russell, Esq., lord
of the manor, and proprietor of the parish, with the exception of Liveden. The tithes were commuted for land
in 1820: the old glebe, with a house and garden, is
valued at £30 per annum; the entire glebe now consists
of 470 acres. The church comprises a nave, north and
south aisles, and a deep chancel with a chapel at the
north side, and has a tower and spire; the style of the
body of the edifice is the transition Norman, and of the
chancel, the decorated. The whole has been just restored,
and part rebuilt, and the chancel richly illuminated
throughout with painting, as practised in medieval
times; the windows are of stained glass, and the oak
carving highly finished. About a furlong to the west of
the village are nine of those cavities in the earth commonly called "Swallows," into which the waters of the
land-floods flow and disappear.
Benenden (St. George)
BENENDEN (St. George), a parish, in the union
of Cranbrooke, hundred of Rolvenden, Lower division of the lathe of Scray, W. division of Kent, 3¼
miles (S. E.) from Cranbrooke; containing 1594 inhabitants. The parish comprises 6507 acres, of which 104
are common or waste, and 750 in wood. It lies to the
south of the London and Dover railway. Fairs for
horses and horned-cattle are held on May 15th and
Aug. 4th. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued
in the king's books at £17. 12. 6.; patron and impropriator, T. L. Hodges, Esq.: the great tithes have been
commuted for £500, and the vicarial for one of £151.
The church was built in 1672, the former edifice having
been damaged by lightning. Edward Gibbon, in 1602,
founded a school, which was subsequently endowed with
property producing £114 per annum.
BENFIELDSIDE, a township, in the chapelry of
Medomsley, parish and union of Lanchester, W. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of
Durham, 14 miles (N. W. by N.) from Durham; containing 1074 inhabitants. The bishops of Durham formerly appointed foresters or keepers of their woods of
Benfieldside, and elsewhere, within the parish. The
township is on the river Derwent, which here separates
the county from Northumberland; and is intersected by
the Derwent and Shotley-Bridge, and the Newcastle and
Stanhope, roads. It comprises 1828a. 1r. 25p., of which
1019 acres are arable, 410 pasture, 318 wood, and 80
acres highways, buildings, waste, &c.; the soil is generally clay upon a substratum of freestone rock, and the
surface hilly, some of the highest hills being 700 or 800
feet above the level of the sea. There are mines of coal
and ironstone, quarries of freestone in great variety, and
some fine clay; the manufacture of paper is extensively
carried on, and there are an iron-foundry, a saw-mill, a
flour-mill, &c. A branch to Medomsley of the Pontop
and South Shields railway terminates about 1½ mile from
Shotley-Bridge. The lands are chiefly tithe-free. One
of the first meeting-houses for the Society of Friends in
the north of England was established in the township;
there are also places of worship for Primitive Methodists
and Wesleyans.—See Shotley-Bridge.
Benfleet, North (All Saints)
BENFLEET, NORTH (All Saints), a parish, in
the union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S.
division of Essex, 2½ miles (S. S. E.) from Wickford;
containing 364 inhabitants. This district, previously to
its subdivision into the North and South parishes at
present recognized, was the usual landing-place of the
Danish pirates during their incursions into this part of
the country in the 9th century; and towards the close
of that century, Hesting, one of their chiefs, erected a
strong castle here, in which was deposited the plunder
he obtained from the inhabitants, and which was, in
894, demolished by Alfred the Great, who took Hesting's
wife and two of her sons prisoners, with all their booty,
to London. The parish of North Benfleet comprises
about 2200 acres of flat land, of which about 700 form
a portion of the isle of Canvey. The living is a rectory,
valued in the king's books at £16; present net income,
£600; patron and incumbent, the Rev. C. R. Rowlatt.
The church has a small wooden tower with two bells,
and a spire.
Benfleet, South (St. Mary)
BENFLEET, SOUTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the
union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S. division of Essex, 4 miles (S. W. by S.) from Rayleigh;
containing 707 inhabitants, and comprising 3056a. 1r.
32p. The village is pleasantly situated on the border
of a creek which separates it from Canvey Island; and
several other creeks enter the parish from the river
Thames, which are noted for producing good oysters.
A fair is held on the 24th of August. The living is a
discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at
£16. 5. 5.; net income, £242; patrons, the Dean and
Chapter of Westminster; impropriator, J. Perry, Esq.
The church is a handsome edifice with a tower of stone,
surmounted by a lofty spire of wood.
Bengeo (St. Leonard)
BENGEO (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union,
hundred, and county of Hertford, 1 mile (N. N. E.)
from Hertford; containing 1141 inhabitants. The
parish comprises 3039 acres, of which 26 are common
or waste. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's
books at £7. 8. 6½., and in the gift of the family of
Byde, in whom also the impropriation is vested: the
great tithes have been commuted for £450, and those of
the incumbent for £170; £28 are payable in addition
to the rector of St. Alban's.
Bengeworth (St. Peter)
BENGEWORTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the
union and borough of Evesham, locally in the Lower
division of the hundred of Blackenhurst, E. division
of the county of Worcester; containing 1082 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1281a. 1r. 20p.; it is
situated on the eastern side of the navigable river Avon,
and communicates with the town of Evesham by an
ancient stone bridge. A portion of Gloucestershire
bounds it on the south, and it is intersected by the
roads from Evesham to Stow and Chipping-Campden.
The manor anciently belonged to the Beauchamp family,
whose baronial castle, situated near the bridge, was in
the twelfth century destroyed by William d'Anville,
abbot of Evesham, in retaliation for depredations committed by the owner on his monastery. The living is a
perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £7. 10. 10.;
income, about £150; patron, the Rev. William Harker:
the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1795. The church, which is of irregular form,
and has a substantial tower and spire, was formerly dependent on the abbey of Evesham: in 1832 the churchyard was inclosed by a substantial brick wall, at the
expense of the parishioners. John Deacle, alderman of
London, who was born at Bengeworth, and died in 1709,
left by will £2000 for the endowment of a free school
here; the premises were erected in 1736, at an expense
of £335, and with the residue of the legacy an estate
BENGROVE, a hamlet, in the parish of Beckford, union of Winchcomb, hundred of Tibaldstone, E. division of the county of Gloucester; containing 43 inhabitants. The tithes were commuted for
land and a money payment in 1773.
Benhall (St. Mary)
BENHALL (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and
hundred of Plomesgate, E. division of Suffolk, 2
miles (W. by S.) from Saxmundham; containing 749
inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued
in the king's books at £7. 1. 3.; net income, £173;
patrons, the Trustees of the late Edward Hollond, Esq.,
to whom, with others, the impropriation belongs. Sir
Edward Duke, Bart., in 1731, bequeathed property now
producing, with other benefactions, about £36 per
annum, for the endowment of a free school; and a
school-house was erected in 1736.
BENHAM-VALENCE, a tything, in the parish of
Speen, hundred of Kintbury-Eagle, county of Berks,
3 miles (W.) from Newbury; containing 316 inhabitants. Benham House was formerly the residence of
the celebrated Margravine of Anspach.
BENNINGBROUGH, a township, in the parish of
Newton-upon-Ouse, union of York, wapentake of
Bulmer, N. riding of York, 7¾ miles (N. W.) from
York; containing 86 inhabitants. It is situated on
the north bank of the Ouse, and comprises 1070 acres,
the property of Viscount Downe, who has a seat here.
BENNINGHOLME, with Benningholme-Grange,
a township, in the parish of Swine, union of Skirlaugh, Middle division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 9 miles (N. by E.) from Hull;
containing 108 inhabitants. This place is in Domesday
book called Benincol. In the reign of John, permission
was given by the proprietors to certain ecclesiastics to
fish in and render navigable the stream of Lamwith here.
Among the chief owners of land in former times were
the Constables, who had possessions in the township so
early as the time of Henry III.: several of the farmhouses contain ancient remains. The township comprises about 1200 acres, of which 800 are arable and in
cultivation, and the remainder meadow and pasture,
interspersed with plantations; the surface is level, and
the scenery of pleasing character.
Bennington (St. Peter)
BENNINGTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the
hundred of Broadwater, union and county of Hertford, 5½ miles (E. S. E.) from Stevenage; containing
605 inhabitants. This place, which is of great antiquity, is said to have been the residence of the kings of
Mercia, who had a palace here; and on an intrenched
eminence to the west of the church was a castle, of
which little more than the site remains. The parish is
intersected by the river Bene, and comprises 2900a. 1r.
6p., the soil of which rests principally on chalk; the
cottagers are chiefly employed in the making of strawplat. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books
at £19, and in the gift of the family of Proctor: the
tithes have been commuted for £635, and there are
90 acres of glebe. There is a place of worship for
Bennington (All Saints)
BENNINGTON (All Saints), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Boston, wapentake of Skirbeck, parts of Holland, county of
Lincoln, 5 miles (E. N. E.) from Boston; containing
539 inhabitants. This place belonged to the family
of Bay, of whom William Bay was summoned to the
grand council at Westminster in 1353, as member
for Boston: the ancient family mansion, Bay Hall, is
still entire. The parish is situated on the sea-coast, and
intersected by the road from Boston to Wainfleet: it
comprises by measurement 2814a. 1r. 12p., of which
two-thirds are pasture, and the remainder arable; the
soil is rich, and the substratum principally clay. The
living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at
£33. 8. 11½., and in the gift of the Earl of Ripon.
On the inclosure of the fens and marsh lands in 1818,
land was allotted in lieu of tithes; the land comprises
426 acres, valued at £895 per annum. The church
is a handsome structure in the decorated and later
English styles, and contains a curious font; on the
floor of the chancel is a marble slab, from which the
brasses inlaid in it were removed during the parliamentary war, and under which are the remains of Bishop
Wainfleet. There is a place of worship for Primitive
Methodists; also a well-endowed school. A chantry
once existed here, and near the glebe-house is a piece of
ground called the Chantry Pasture.
Bennington, Long (All Saints)
BENNINGTON, LONG (All Saints), a parish, in
the union of Newark, wapentake of Loveden, parts
of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 7 miles (N. W.)
from Grantham; containing, with Bennington-Grange,
extra-parochial, 1007 inhabitants. This parish, which
is situated on the great north road, and bounded on
the north-east by the river Witham, comprises 4000
acres of land of a clayey soil, and has some good stonequarries. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the
living of Foston annexed; it is valued in the king's
books at £20. 1. 10., and has a net income of £463:
the patronage and impropriation belong to the Duchy of
Lancaster. The tithes were commuted for a corn-rent
and an allotment of land in 1784; the glebe consists of
about 30 acres. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. An alien priory of Cistercian monks was founded
here about 1175, the revenue of which, in the reign of
Richard II., was £50 per annum. There is a mineral
spring strongly impregnated with iron.
Benniworth (St. Julian)
Benniworth (St. Julian), a parish, in the
union of Horncastle, E. division of the wapentake of
Wraggoe, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 6½
miles (E. N. E.) from Wragby; comprising by computation 2700 acres, and containing 488 inhabitants.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at
£23. 8. 6½.; net income, £506; patron, G. F. Heneage,
Esq.: the tithes were commuted for an allotment of
land in 1770.
Benridge, with Kirkley and Carter-Moor
BENRIDGE, with Kirkley and Carter-moor, a
township, in the parish of Ponteland, union, and W.
division, of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 9½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Newcastle-uponTyne; containing 168 inhabitants. This place comprises 1085 acres, of which 27 are common or waste;
it is situated to the south of the river Blyth, and east
of the road from Newcastle to Rothbury.
BENRIDGE, a township, in the parish of Mitford, union of Morpeth, W. division of Morpeth
ward, N. division of Northumberland, 2 miles
(W. N. W.) from Morpeth; containing 70 inhabitants.
This place, formerly Benrigge, or the "high ridge,"
derives its name from its situation on the slope of a
lofty ridge of land that runs through the township from
east to west. Possessions have been held here by the
families of Bertram, Eure (of which was Sir Ralph Eure,
a man of consideration in the county), Bolbeck, Herle,
Greystock, and Dacre; the present owners of the estate
are the Howards, represented by the Earl of Carlisle.
The township comprises 1085 acres of open ground, and
about 20 of wood; and consists of several farms, three
of which form a straggling hamlet, on the south side of
the highway between Stanton and Morpeth, and probably occupy the site of the ancient vill. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £84.
Bensington, or Benson (St. Helen)
BENSINGTON, or Benson (St. Helen), a parish,
in the parliamentary borough and the union of Wallingford, partly in the hundred of Dorchester, but
chiefly in that of Ewelme, county of Oxford, 1½ mile
(N. N. E.) from Wallingford; containing, with the hamlets of Fifield, Preston-Crowmarsh, and Roke, 1254 inhabitants. In this parish was a strong fortress of the
Britons, from whom it was taken on their defeat at
Bedford, in 571, or, according to some authorities, in
560, by Cealwyn, third king of the West Saxons. It
subsequently fell into the power of the Mercians, from
whom it was seized by Cuthred, King of the West
Saxons, who, revolting from Ethelbald, King of Mercia,
defeated him at Burford in 752; but it was finally surrendered by the West Saxons to Offa, King of Mercia,
who, enraged at the obstinate resistance of the garrison,
dismantled the fortifications. The Roman way leading
from Alchester to Wallingford crossed the Thames here;
and there was anciently a royal palace in the vicinity.
The parish contains 2880a. 2r. 13p., of which 2119 acres
are arable, 344 meadow, 92 woodland, and 200 pasture.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £180;
patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of
Christ-Church, Oxford. The great tithes have been
commuted for £1046, with a glebe of 17½ acres, and
those of the incumbent for £157. 10., with a glebe of
BENTFIELD, a hamlet, in the parish of StanstedMountfitchet, union of Bishop-Stortford, hundred
of Clavering, N. division of Essex, 1¾ mile (N. W. by N.)
from Stansted-Mountfitchet; containing 496 inhabitants. It is situated near the river Stort.
Benthall (St. Bartholomew)
BENTHALL (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the
union of Madeley, liberties of the borough of Wenlock, S. division of Salop, 2½ miles (N. E. by N.) from
Wenlock; containing 587 inhabitants, who are principally employed in potteries. The navigable river Severn
flows past the place. The living is a perpetual curacy;
net income, £93; patron, the Vicar of Wenlock; impropriator, Thomas Harries, Esq.