BIRSTAL, a chapelry, in the parish of Belgrave,
union of Barrow-Upon-Soar, hundred of West Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 3 miles
(N. by E.) from Leicester; containing 438 inhabitants.
This chapelry is bounded on the east by the river Soar,
and comprises 1128 acres of arable and pasture land,
of which the soil is generally light, and the substrata
are sand, marl, and blue clay. The inhabitants are
chiefly employed in the manufacture of hosiery, connected with the trade of Leicester. At the time of the
inclosure of waste lands, 165 acres were allotted to the
impropriate rectory in lieu of tithes, from which, with
the exception of about 100 acres, the whole of the
chapelry is exempt. The chapel, dedicated to St. James,
was in 1823 severely damaged by lightning, which injured the steeple and part of the nave; and by consent
of the ordinary and the archdeacon the steeple was not
restored, on condition of enlarging the north side of the
chapel, which was done, and the whole of the nave rebuilt, at an expense of £600.
Birstal (St. Peter)
BIRSTAL (St. Peter), a parish, partly in the
union of Bradford, and partly in that of Dewsbury,
wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York, 7 miles
(S. W.) from Leeds, on the road to Huddersfield; containing 29,723 inhabitants. This parish comprises by
computation about 13,000 acres, and includes the chapelries of Cleckheaton, Drighlington, Liversedge, and
Tong, and the townships of Gomersal, Heckmondwike,
Hunsworth, and Wyke; the soil is various, but generally
fertile, and the lands in the agricultural districts are in
a good state of cultivation, producing fine crops of grain.
The surface is beautifully diversified with hills and valleys, watered by numerous rivulets, and the scenery is
in many parts picturesque; the substratum abounds
with excellent coal and freestone, and at Hunsworth
with iron-ore. The village of Birstal is situated in the
township of Gomersal, at the base and on the acclivity
of an eminence commanding a fine view of the adjacent
district. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the
woollen and worsted manufactures, which are carried on
extensively in the various townships, and in the making
of cards for machinery; the chief articles are woollencloths, blankets, and worsted stuffs. A savings' bank
has been for some years in active operation. The
living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's
books at £23. 19. 2.; net income, £289, with a good
house; patron, the Bishop of Ripon; impropriators, the
Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The
church is a handsome structure in the later English
style, with a lofty square embattled tower, and contains
numerous monuments. There are ten other churches
and incumbencies, which are described under their respective townships; and also places of worship for Wesleyans, Independents, Moravians, and Methodists of the
New Connexion. A free school, now merged in a national school, was endowed by the Rev. William Armitstead, in 1556, with a rent-charge of £5, for which, with
a bequest of £100 from Mrs. Murgatroyd, the master
instructs several children gratuitously. The school is a
spacious building, erected in 1819, at an expense of
£1200, principally defrayed by William Charlesworth,
Esq., of Brier Hall, a native. Dr. Priestley, equally
distinguished for his discoveries in chemistry and his
controversial writings, was born at Fieldhead, in the
parish, in 1733.
BIRSTWITH, a township, in the parish of Hampsthwaite, Lower division of the wapentake of Claro,
W. riding of York, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Harrogate; containing 676 inhabitants.
BIRTHORPE, a chapelry, in the parish of Semperingham, union of Bourne, wapentake of Aveland,
parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 2½ miles (E.)
from Folkingham; containing 52 inhabitants. Allotments of land were assigned in lieu of tithes in 1768.
Birtle, with Bamford
BIRTLE, with Bamford, a township, in the parish
of Middleton, union of Bury, hundred of Salford, S.
division of the county of Lancaster, 2½ miles (E. N. E.)
from Bury; containing 1753 inhabitants. The name
was formerly written Birkle and Berkle, and denotes a
ley or field of birch. The township extends over 1480
acres, whereof 100 are arable, 1000 pasture, 135 woodland, 40 water, and the remainder moor. The surface is
hilly, and diversified with glens: the soil of the higher
part is poor; but in the lower grounds, near the river
Roche (which separates the township from Heap, for a
mile and a half), it is richer land. The population is
chiefly employed in the cotton and woollen mills in the
neighbourhood; several collieries are in operation, and
quarries of good stone are wrought. Birtle is westward of Bamford, and is the larger hamlet of the two;
both lie near the road from Bury to Rochdale. In the
township are also the small village of Kenyon Fold; a
place called Hagg Lee; and Nat Bank, a romantic spot
where the Roche sweeps along a deep narrow vale, lined
by meadows and wood. A church was built in 1846, at
a cost of £1100; it is a neat structure with a campanile
tower: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage
of the Rector of Middleton, who has given the tithes of
the township, £33 per annum, to the incumbent. The
Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have places of worship; and there is a Sunday school, established in
1833. An eminence denominated Castle Hill was probably the place where a small watch-tower stood in the
ages of feudalism.
BIRTLES, a township, in the parish of Prestbury,
union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of
the county of Chester, 3 miles (N. W.) from Macclesfield; containing 60 inhabitants. The township comprises 566 acres, of a black, light, soil: its general surface is undulated, rising in some parts into eminences
richly clothed with wood. Birtles Hall and demesne
belonged for many generations to the Birtles family.
There are various tumuli in the neighbourhood; and
fragments of urns have been discovered.
BIRTLEY, a township, in the parish and union
of Chester-le-Street, Middle division of Chester
ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 3 miles (N.)
from Chester-le-Street; containing 1759 inhabitants.
In Bishop Hatfield's time this place belonged to a family
of its own name, and subsequently formed part of the
forfeitures of the Earl of Westmorland, on the attainder
of that nobleman. The township comprises 1344 acres,
of which two-thirds are arable land; the surface is undulated, the soil chiefly clay, and the views, which are very
extensive, embrace Lumley and Lambton Castles, and
Ravensworth vale. Coal is abundant throughout the
township; and freestone is quarried for building purposes, and for grindstones. Salt-works were in operation here at a very early period: Sir William Lambton,
in his petition to parliament, particularly enumerates,
among other losses inflicted by the Scottish army, the
total destruction of his "salt-works" at Birtley. In
the latter part of the last century a strong brine-spring
was discovered, which now produces about 1200 tons of
salt per annum: the brine is conveyed from the spot
whence it issues, to the bottom of a coal-pit, from which
it is raised in pumps by the colliery steam-engine.
Large iron-works were established in 1829, in which pig
and bar iron, castings and engines are made, employing
nearly 200 hands. There are several railways for conveying
the coal; at Ouston colliery is a railway passing to the
Tyne, distant six miles: the road from Durham to Newcastle, also, intersects the township. A full church
service is performed in a licensed chapel every alternate
Sunday. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans;
also a Roman Catholic chapel.
BIRTLEY, a parochial chapelry, in the union of
Bellingham, N. E. division of Tindale ward, S.
division of Northumberland, 5 miles (S. E. by S.)
from Bellingham; containing, with the township of
Broomhope with Buteland, 472 inhabitants. It is situated on the east of the North Tyne: the land in the
northern part is mountainous and sterile, but near the
bank of the river it is of better quality. Coal and limestone are found in the vicinity. The place was separated from the parish of Chollerton, and formed into a
chapelry, in 1765. The living is a perpetual curacy;
net income, £84; patron, the Duke of Northumberland.
The chapel is a small ancient edifice. The great tithes
of the High and Low divisions of Birtley have been
commuted for £70, and the vicarial tithes for £129.
Birts-Morton (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BIRTS-MORTON (St. Peter and St. Paul), a
parish, in the union of Upton-upon-Severn, Lower
division of the hundred of Pershore, Upton and W.
divisions of the county of Worcester, 5½ miles
(E. S. E.) from Ledbury; containing 313 inhabitants.
It comprises 1198a. 2r. 29p., of which 46 acres are common or waste; the surface is varied, and the scenery
richly diversified. The manor-house is an ancient
edifice, surrounded by a moat. The living is a rectory,
valued in the king's books at £7. 8. 1½.; patron and
incumbent, the Rev. S. Thackwell: the tithes have been
commuted for £320. 10. 6., and there are 27 acres
of glebe. The church is an ancient cruciform edifice,
with a window of stained glass. A school was endowed
with six acres of land, now let for £14 per annum, by
the Rev. Samuel Juice in 1703.
Bisbrooke, or Pisbrooke (St. John the Baptist)
BISBROOKE, or Pisbrooke (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Uppingham, hundred
of Wrandike, county of Rutland, 1¾ mile (E.)
from Uppingham; containing 211 inhabitants. It comprises about 2000 acres of land, of which the soil is
invariably red, light, and very fertile, and the situation
rather hilly; a considerable quantity of vegetables and
fruit of excellent quality is grown. The manor is one
of the most ancient possessions of the Duke of Rutland.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's
books at £6. 0. 4.; net income, £252; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Rutland. His Grace holds an
allotment of land in lieu of the rectorial tithes; and
there are about 100 acres of glebe, chiefly at Bisbrooke,
but partly at Uppingham.
Biscathorpe (St. Helen)
BISCATHORPE (St. Helen), a parish, in the union
of Louth, E. division of the wapentake of Wraggoe,
parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 8 miles (N. E. by
E.) from Wragby; containing 63 inhabitants. The living
is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at
£5. 11. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown; present
net income, £180.
Biscott, Bedfordshire.—See Limbury.
BISCOTT, Bedfordshire.—See Limbury.
Bisham (All Saints)
BISHAM (All Saints), a parish, in the union of
Cookham, hundred of Beynhurst, county of Berks,
4½ miles (N. W.) from Maidenhead; containing 659
inhabitants. The parish comprises 2341a. 3r. 35p., of
which 1662 acres are arable, 231 meadow and pasture,
and 385 woodland and coppice; the soil is gravelly,
with a small portion of chalk, and the surface in general
hilly. On the north flows the river Thames, the banks
of which are adorned with interesting scenery and many
pleasing seats. The rolling of copper into sheets, and
the making of copper-bolts for the navy, and of pans
and other vessels in copper, are carried on to a considerable extent. Temple mills, esteemed among the most
complete and powerful of the kind in the kingdom,
received their name from having been in the possession
of the Knights Templars, who established a preceptory
here on receiving a grant of the manor from Robert de
Ferrariis, in the reign of Stephen. This institution, on
the dissolution of the society, was succeeded by an
Augustine priory, founded in 1338 by William de
Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, and the revenue of which,
in the 26th of Henry VIII., amounted to £327. 4. 6.
It was surrendered in 1536, was re-founded by the king
for a mitred abbot and thirteen Benedictine monks, and
was finally dissolved on the 10th of June, 1538. The
abbey was frequently visited by Henry VIII., and also
by Elizabeth, who resided here some time, a large state
apartment being still called the Queen's council-chamber:
a very small portion only of the conventual building can
be traced in the mansion which now occupies its site.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's
books at £7. 13. 1.; net income, £156; patron and impropriator, George Henry Vansittart, Esq. The church
contains some costly monuments of the Hoby family,
who resided in the abbey from the time of Elizabeth
till about the year 1780: one of them, in beautiful preservation, was brought in the sixteenth century from
Paris, where Sir Thomas Hoby died ambassador to that
Bishampton (St. Peter)
BISHAMPTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the union
of Pershore, Middle division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Pershore and E. divisions of the county of
Worcester, 4 miles (N. E. by N.) from Pershore; containing 410 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1828a.
1r. 1p., mostly arable land, the remainder pasture, and
is situated near the Avon: stone is quarried for the repair of roads. The living is a discharged vicarage,
valued in the king's books at £7. 9. 9½.; patron, the
Bishop of Worcester; impropriator, the Earl of Harrowby. The glebe consists of 80 acres of land, given in
lieu of tithes, and valued at £100 per annum; with a
glebe-house in good repair. The church, which is partly
in the pointed style, was erected in the sixteenth century, and has a noble square tower with six bells, and
an organ presented by the vicar, for the period of his
incumbency, in 1839. A school is partly supported by
the Earl of Harrowby.
Bishop-Auckland.—See Auckland, Bishop.
BISHOP-Auckland.—See Auckland, Bishop.
And all places having a similar distinguishing prefex will be
found under the proper name.
Bishop's-Bourne (St. Mary)
BISHOP'S-BOURNE (St. Mary), a parish, in the
union of Bridge, hundred of Kinghamford, lathe of
St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 4 miles (S. E.
by S.) from Canterbury; containing 334 inhabitants.
It comprises 2002 acres, of which 437 are in wood. The
living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at
£39. 19. 2.; net income, £1240; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The tithes of the parish have
been commuted for £500; and the glebe, which consists
of 1a. 20p., with premises, is valued at £60 per annum.
Richard Hooker, author of the Ecclesiastical Polity, was
Bishop's-Castle (St. John the Baptist)
John the Baptist), an
and a parish, having separate
jurisdiction, in the union of
Clun, locally in the hundred
of Purslow, S. division of
Salop, 19 miles (N. W. by
N.) from Ludlow, 20¼ (S.
W. by S.) from Shrewsbury,
and 157 (N. W. by W.) from
London; containing 1781
inhabitants, of whom 1510
are within the borough. This place derives its name
from a castle belonging to the bishops of Hereford,
that stood here, but of which the site alone, now a
bowling-green attached to the Castle inn, and some
small portions of the inclosing walls, can be traced. A
subterraneous passage is said to have led from this
castle to another at some distance; the arched entrance
to the passage is shown in the garden of an adjoining
house; but it is scarcely distinguishable from the heaps
of stones found in various parts of the hill on which the
The town is partly situated on the summit, but
chiefly on the steep declivity, of a hill: the houses in
general are meanly built of unhewn stone, with thatched
roofs; though, in detached situations, there are several
good edifices of modern erection. The market is on
Friday, and is well supplied with grain, which is sold by
sample: the market-house, built by the late Earl of
Powis, is a handsome structure of stone, supported on
piazzas; the area is used as a corn-market, and the
upper part as a schoolroom. The fairs are on the Friday
before the 13th of Feb., for cattle and sheep; on the
Friday preceding the 25th of March, which is a very large
fair for horned-cattle; on the first Friday after Mayday, a pleasure and statute fair; July 5th, formerly a
great wool-fair; and Sept. 9th and Nov. 13th, for
horned-cattle, sheep, and horses. The government,
by charter granted in the 15th year of the reign of
Elizabeth, and confirmed and extended by James I.,
is vested in a bailiff, recorder, and fifteen capital burgesses, assisted by a town-clerk, chamberlain, two serjeants-at-mace, and subordinate officers: the bailiff,
late bailiff, and recorder, are justices of the peace. The
elective franchise was conferred in the 26th of Elizabeth,
from which time, until its disfranchisement in the 2nd
of William IV., the borough returned two members to
parliament. The corporation hold a court of session
quarterly for the borough, on the next Wednesday after
the general quarter-sessions for the county; the bailiff,
the late bailiff or justice, and the recorder, preside. The
powers of the county debt-court of Bishop's-Castle,
established in 1847, extend over the registration-district
of Clun, the parish of Churchstoke, and the township of
Aston. The town-hall is a plain brick edifice on pillars
and arches, built by the subscription of the burgesses, in
1750, with a prison on the basement story for criminals,
and above it one for debtors.
The township of Bishop's-Castle comprises 1717 acres,
of which 96 are common or waste. The living is a
vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 12. 1.; net
income, £350; patron and impropriator, the Earl of
Powis. The great tithes of the borough have been commuted for £125, and the vicarial for £230, with a glebe
of 12 acres, and a house. The church is a fine old
structure, partly in the Norman style, with a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles: it was burnt in
the parliamentary war, by Cromwell, and has been repaired without a due regard to the original architecture.
There are places of worship for Independents and
Primitive Methodists. The free school was founded in
1785, by Mrs. Mary Morris, in memory of her first
husband, Mr. John Wright, of Wimbledon, in Surrey,
merchant, a native of Bishop's-Castle, and was endowed
with £1000 in the three per cents., since increased to
£1598. Jeremy Stephens, author of various doctrinal
works, and the learned coadjutor of Sir Henry Spelman
in the compilation of the English Councils, was a native
of the place.
BISHOP'S-DALE, a township, in the parish of
Aysgarth, wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of
York, 12 miles (S. W. by W.) from Middleham; containing 107 inhabitants. This place comprises 4805
acres of land, adjoining the mountainous part of the
West riding; 915 acres are common or waste. The
neighbourhood contains several waterfalls, and abounds
with picturesque scenery: small quantities of lead-ore
are found. The tithes have been commuted for £76. 15.,
payable to Trinity College, Cambridge.
BISHOP'S-FEE, a liberty, in the parish of St.
Margaret, union and borough of Leicester, though
locally in the hundred of Gartree, S. division of the
county of Leicester. The magistrates for the borough
and county exercise concurrent jurisdiction throughout
the liberty, the inhabitants of which pay church and
poor rates to the parish of St. Margaret, but are assessed for the king's taxes with the hundred of Gartree, the petty-sessions for which are occasionally held
Bishopside, High and Low
BISHOPSIDE, HIGH and LOW, a township, in
the chapelry and union of Pateley-Bridge, parish and
liberty of Ripon, W. riding of York, 10½ miles (W. S.
W.) from Ripon; containing 1937 inhabitants. The
township includes the market-town of Pateley-Bridge,
and the hamlets of Fell-Beck, Raikes, Smelt-house,
Wath, Whitehouses, and Wilsill; and comprises 5813
acres of land, on the northern acclivities of Nidderdale:
about 4000 acres are high uncultivated moor, abounding
in grouse and other game. The tithes have been commuted for £55, payable to the Dean and Chapter of
Ripon. At Raikes is a school endowed under the will of
Miss Alice Sheppard, in 1806, with £1000 navy five per
cents., for clothing and educating twenty-two boys and
four girls; and for a similar purpose Dr. William
Craven left £800 of the same stock, in 1812. John
Lupton, in 1720, bequeathed a house and 12 acres of
land, latterly let for £36 a year, for four widows; and
there are a few smaller charities.
BISHOPSTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Old
Stratford, Stratford division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 2¼
miles (N. N. W.) from Stratford; containing 51 inhabitants. This place was originally called Bishopsdone, and
owed the former part of its name to the bishops of Worcester, to whom Stratford belonged, and the latter to its
situation at the foot of a hill. For many generations the
hamlet was the property of a family who took their name
from it. It was at length conveyed by a female heir to
the family of Sir William Catesby, after which it had
several possessors. The living is a perpetual curacy;
net income, £25; patron, the Vicar of Stratford. A
new chapel was consecrated in 1843; it is in the early
English style, contains 192 sittings, and cost £1000.
Bishopston (St. John the Baptist)
BISHOPSTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish,
in the union of Wilton, hundred of Downton, though
locally in the hundred of Chalk, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 3½ miles (S. by W.)
from Wilton; containing 569 inhabitants, and comprising by estimation 4265 acres. The living consists
of a vicarage and a sinecure rectory united, the former
valued in the king's books at £12. 1. 3., and the latter
at £19. 14. 2.; patron, the Earl of Pembroke. The
tithes have been commuted for £960, and there are 30½
acres of glebe. The church is a handsome cruciform
edifice, in the decorated English style of architecture;
and in it are preserved two stone coffins, said to have
contained the relics of two bishops, from which circumstance the parish is traditionally reported to have derived
Bishopston (St. Mary)
BISHOPSTON (ST. MARY), a parish, in the union
of Highworth and Swindon, hundred of Ramsbury,
Swindon and N. divisions of Wilts, 6½ miles (E.) from
Swindon; containing 704 inhabitants. It comprises by
computation 4000 acres, and is situated near the Wilts
and Berks canal, and the Great Western railway. The
living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at
£6. 6. 8., and in the gift of the Bishop of Salisbury:
about 150 acres of land, valued at £200 per annum,
were allotted at the time of the inclosure in lieu of
tithes; and there is a vicarage-house. The Primitive
Methodists have a place of worship; and a parochial
school is supported by bequests, amounting to about
£40 per annum.
BISHOPSTONE, a hamlet, in the parish of Stone,
union and hundred of Aylesbury, county of Buckingham; containing 274 inhabitants.
Bishopstone (St. Lawrence)
BISHOPSTONE (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the
union of Weobley, hundred of Grimsworth, county
of Hereford, 7 miles (W. N. W.) from Hereford; containing 304 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement
672 acres, of which 307 are arable, 322 meadow, and 38
woodland; the surface is hilly, and on Bishopstone hill
is a quarry of good freestone. The living is a discharged rectory, with the vicarage of Yazor annexed,
valued in the king's books at £7. 7. 6.; net income,
£429; patron, Sir R. Price, Bart.: the glebe comprises
60 acres. The church is an ancient structure in the
early English style, containing some monuments to the
Berrington family, and has been recently repaired and
Bishopstone, Monmouth.—See Bishton.
BISHOPSTONE, Monmouth.—See Bishton.
BISHOPSTONE, a tything, in the parish of Montacute, union of Yeovil, hundred of Tintinhull, W.
division of Somerset; containing 257 inhabitants.
BISHOPSTONE, a parish, in the union of Newhaven, hundred of Bishopstone, rape of Pevensey,
E. division of Sussex, 1¼ mile (N. W. by N.) from Seaford; containing 288 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1810a. 10p., of which 1040 acres are arable, and
770 down and pasture land; it is bounded on the west
by the river Ouse, and on the south by the English
Channel, which within the last twenty years has made
considerable encroachment on the land. The road from
Newhaven to Seaford passes through. The living is
a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at
£8. 13. 4.; patron, the Bishop of Chichester; net income, £88. The church is an ancient structure in the
early Norman style, with a tower. The Rev. James
Hurdis, D.D., professor of poetry in the University of
Oxford, and author of the Village Curate and other
interesting poems, was born in the hamlet of Norton, in
the parish, in 1763, and was buried in the church. On
the Downs are several barrows.
Bishopstrow (St. Adelme)
BISHOPSTROW (St. Adelme), a parish, in the
union and hundred of Warminster, Warminster and
S. divisions of Wilts, 1½ mile (E. S. E.) from Warminster; containing 296 inhabitants. It is situated on the
river Wily, and bounded on the north by the Downs;
and comprises 1030 acres. The living is a rectory,
valued in the king's books at £11. 10., and in the gift of
Sir Dugdale Astley, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £225, and there are about 11 acres of glebe.
In the parish is an estate called the Berries, supposed to
have been a Roman station, where in 1791 two earthen
vessels were found, containing several thousand small
brass coins of the Lower Empire; there is also a meadow
called Pitmead, where, in 1786, a discovery was made of
the remains of some extensive Roman villas, and of
several tessellated pavements within them.