A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Avebury (St. James)
AVEBURY (St. James), a parish, in the union of Marlborough, hundred of Selkley, Marlborough and Ramsbury, and N. divisions of Wilts, 6¾ miles (W. by S.) from Marlborough; containing, with the tythings of Beckhampton and Kennet, 751 inhabitants. This parish, in which the river Kennet has its source, comprises about 4641 acres; the soil is a light earth resting on chalk, and the surface is undulated. The village is built on a portion of the area anciently occupied by a stupendous monument called Abury, supposed to have been constructed by the Britons, for the purposes of religious worship or national assemblies. It consisted of an extensive ditch and rampart, including double circles of large unhewn stones, many of which have been broken, and used as materials for building the houses in the village, and for other purposes. In the vicinity are several barrows, and among them the very large and remarkable one, close to the turnpike-road, called Silbury hill, which covers an area of five acres and thirty-four perches, and exceeds in dimensions every similar work in Great Britain, being 2027 feet in circumference at the base, and 120 at the summit; its sloping height is 316 feet, and its perpendicular height 170 feet. Within a short distance of this are remarkable stones termed the Grey Wethers, and about a mile north of the village is a cromlech. The living is a discharged vicarage, to which that of Winterbourne-Monkton was united in 1747, valued in the king's books at £9; net income, £178; patron, the Crown; impropriators, the family of Hopkins. The glebe consists of 16 acres. The church is of Norman architecture. An alien priory, dependent on the Benedictine abbey of Bocherville in Normandy, was founded here in the reign of Henry I. Robert of Avebury, who wrote a history of Edward III., is supposed to have been a native of the place.
Aveley (St. Michael)
AVELEY (St. Michael), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Orsett, hundred of Chafford, S. division of Essex, 1¾ mile (N. E.) from Purfleet, and 7 miles (S. S. E.) from Romford; containing 849 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises by computation 2615 acres, is separated from that of West Thurrock by the creek Marditch. The village, though now small, was once of some importance. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 10. 5.; patron, the Bishop of London; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. The great tithes have been commuted for £453. 15., and the vicarial for £327; the appropriate glebe consists of 30 acres, and there is one acre of vicarial glebe. The church is an ancient edifice, with a square tower of flint and stone, formerly surmounted by a lofty spire, which was blown down in 1703.
Avenbury (St. Mary)
AVENBURY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bromyard, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford, 1½ mile (S. E.) from Bromyard; containing 382 inhabitants. The parish is intersected by the river Frome, and also by the road from Bromyard to Ledbury, and comprises 3178 acres, including about 200 acres of hop grounds; a small portion of limestone is found within its limits. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 8. 9.; net income, £80; patron, the Crown; impropriator, E. Higginson, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for £422. 15., and who has a glebe of 60½ acres. The church and its large endowments were anciently attached to the abbey of Dore.
Avening (St. Mary)
AVENING (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Stroud, hundred of Longtree, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 3 miles (N.) from Tetbury; containing 2227 inhabitants. It is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24, and in the patronage of the Heirs of the late Dr. Brooke: the tithes have been commuted for £760, and the glebe comprises 104 acres. The church is supposed to have been built by the abbess of Caen, in Normandy, to whom the manor belonged till the suppression of alien priories in the reign of Henry V. At Nailsworth is an incumbency in the gift of Trustees. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists; also an endowed school in which six boys are clothed and educated.
Averham (St. Michael)
AVERHAM (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Southwell, N. division of the wapentake of Thurgarton, S. division of the county of Nottingham, 3¼ miles (W. by N.) from Newark; containing, with the township of Staythorpe, 264 inhabitants. This place suffered from the hostilities of the contending parties during the reign of Charles I. At the time of the siege of Newark, many skirmishes occurred here; and in 1644, the ancient manor-house, then belonging to Robert Sutton, Lord Lexington and Baron of Averham, and which had been the residence of the family from 1250, was destroyed. The parish comprises by measurement 2011 acres of fertile land; it is situated on the river Trent, and is intersected by the road from Newark to Southwell and Mansfield. The scenery is pleasing; and the village, with the church, which is on the margin of the river, forms a beautiful object in the landscape. The living is a rectory, with that of Kelham annexed in 1775, valued in the king's books at £20; patron, John Henry Manners Sutton, Esq. The tithes of Averham have been commuted for £787, and the glebe comprises nearly 58 acres. The church is a very ancient structure, in the early English style, with a square embattled tower. There are some remains of a Roman camp and a watchtower on Michael Barrow hill.
Aveton-Gifford (St. Andrew)
AVETON-GIFFORD (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Kingsbridge, hundred of Ermington, Ermington and Plympton, and S. divisions of Devon, 3¼ miles (S. E.) from Modbury; containing 1057 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Avon, which is navigable to the English Channel, and over which is a bridge, on the road leading to South Enford. The lords of the manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £38. 1. 8.; net income, £586; patron, James Pitman, Esq. The church is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture, with later additions.
AVINGTON, a parish, in the union of Hungerford, hundred of Kintbury-Eagle, county of Berks, 2 miles (E. by S.) from Hungerford; containing 93 inhabitants, and comprising 1143a. 1r. 3p. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8, and in the patronage of Sir Robert Burdett, Bart.; the tithes have been commuted for £299. 10., and the glebe consists of 6 acres. The church exhibits a curious specimen of Norman architecture, having an arch separating the chancel from the nave, with an obtuse depending point in the centre: the font, which is also of Norman design, is adorned with sculptured figures under arches.
Avington (St. Mary)
AVINGTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the hundred of Fawley, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 4¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Winchester; containing 204 inhabitants. Avington House, a mansion of the Duke of Buckingham's, is situated near the bank of the river Itchen, in a demesne tastefully laid out: near the house are some fine old trees, and the sloping grounds behind it are embellished with thriving plantations. Charles II. while engaged in his projected palace at Winchester, spent much of his time here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 11. 10½., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Winchester: the tithes have been commuted for £264. 13. 6., and the glebe comprises about 25 acres.
AVON, a tything, in the parish of Sopley, union and hundred of Christchurch, Ringwood and S. divisions of Hants; containing 207 inhabitants. It is situated to the north of the village of Sopley, and near the east bank of the river Avon.
AVON, a tything, in the parish of ChristianMalford, union and hundred of Chippenham, Chippenham and Calne, and N. divisions of Wilts, 3 miles (N. E.) from Chippenham; containing 76 inhabitants. It lies south of the village of Christian-Malford, and near the Great Western railway and the river Avon, which latter flows hence to Chippenham.
Avon-Dasset.—See Dasset, Avon.
Awliscombe (St. Michael)
AWLISCOMBE (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Honiton, hundred of Hemyock, Honiton and N. divisions of Devon, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Honiton; containing 590 inhabitants. It comprises 2127 acres, of which 183 are common or waste, and is bounded by the river Otter on the south; the surface is hilly, and the soil in general a rich productive marl, chiefly laid out in pasture. The living, which before the Dissolution was attached to the abbey at Tavistock, is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 10. 10.; patron, the Duke of Bedford. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £200, and £170 are paid to the trustees of Kelland's charity; the glebe consists of thirty acres, with a house. The church was erected about the time of Henry VI., and has a handsome stone screen, and a magnificent window finely ornamented: it is in excellent order, having been repaired in 1838, at an expense of nearly £500. The remains of a large encampment supposed to be Roman, and called Hembury fort, are in the parish.
Awnby, with Holywell.—See Holywell.
Awre (St. Andrew)
AWRE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Westbury, hundred of Bledisloe, W. division of the county of Gloucester; containing, with Blakeney, a post-town in the parish, and the tythings of Awre, Bledisloe, Hagloe, and Etloe, 1277 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the road from Gloucester to Chepstow, forms a promontory of the river Severn, and comprises 4082 acres by admeasurement; the port of Gatcomb, and a town named Pomerton once included within it, do not now exist. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 5., and in the patronage of the Haberdashers' Company, London: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £400, and the vicarial for £450. 7.; the glebe consists of nearly 9 acres, and there is a glebe-house, recently built. Besides the parochial church, there is a chapel at Blakeney, where are also a Baptist chapel and a national school. In the register, it is recorded that Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, who collected the metrical version of the Psalms, resided in the parish.
AWSWORTH, a chapelry, in the parish of Nuthall, S. division of the wapentake of Broxtow, N. division of the county of Nottingham, 7½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Nottingham; containing 294 inhabitants. This place borders upon Derbyshire, and has a small village on the Nottingham canal. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £101; patron, the Rector: the incumbent resides in a neat house, built in 1843. The chapel was consecrated about 1760. A poor person from this chapelry is eligible to Ilkeston almshouse.
Axbridge (St. John the Baptist)
AXBRIDGE (St. John the Baptist), a markettown and parish, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the hundred of Winterstoke, E. division of Somerset, 18 miles (S. by W.) from Bristol, and 130 (W. by S.) from London; containing 1045 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from a bridge over the river Axe, was formerly the residence of some of the West Saxon monarchs, by whom it was invested with many privileges. The town is of mean appearance, and indifferently paved, but amply supplied with water. The chief occupation of the poorer class of inhabitants was the knitting of stockings, but that trade was destroyed by the introduction of machinery, and the prosperity of the town declined until a fresh impulse was given to it by the drainage of the adjacent levels, which so much increased the value of the property in the neighbourhood, that land which previously was reckoned worth only 2s. 6d., is now let for £5 and £6 per acre. The navigation of the river Axe also has been greatly improved by an act obtained in 1802, and is now toll-free. The market is on Saturday; fairs for cattle are held on February 3rd, and March 25th, and day following.
Axbridge received its first charter of incorporation from Philip and Mary in 1556, but this was superseded by one granted by Elizabeth in 1598, the defects of which were supplied by a charter of James I., and these two last have been the governing charters. The corporate body consists of a mayor, recorder, alderman, eight capital burgesses or councillors, and an indefinite number of free burgesses; and a bailiff, townclerk and prothonotary, chamberlain, and several other officers, are also appointed. The corporation hold a court of quarter-sessions, a court of pie-poudre during the fairs, and, as lords of the manor, a court baron once a year, generally in October. A new guildhall and market-house has been erected by the corporation, at a cost, including the improvements connected with it, of about £1800. Axbridge sent members to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I., but discontinued in the 17th of Edward III., on petition of the burgesses. The parish comprises 541a. 2r. 30p., of which 73 acres are estimated to be covered with buildings and water, and 212 are waste and unproductive except as sheep pasture: the Mendip hill, close to the town, abounds with limestone of excellent quality for building and for burning into lime. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 4. 4., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Bath and Wells: the tithes have been commuted for £62. 3., and the glebe comprises 36 acres. The church is a very ancient structure, occupying an elevated situation on the north-eastern side of the town, and supposed to have been erected by one of the West Saxon monarchs, two of whose statues formerly ornamented the tower. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. About £100 per annum, arising from lands bequeathed by different individuals, are applied to the relief of the poor. The union of Axbridge comprises 38 parishes and places, and contains a population of 32,206. Near the town is a mineral spring, which has been found efficacious in chronic diseases.
Axminster (St. Mary)
AXMINSTER (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, partly in the county of Dorset, but chiefly in the hundred of Axminster, Honiton and S. divisions of Devon, 25 miles (E. by N.) from Exeter, and 147 (W. S. W.) from London, on the road to Exeter; comprising the tythings of Abbey, Beerhall, Shapwick, Smallridge, Town, Trill, Uphay, Westwater, Weycroft, and Wyke; and containing 2860 inhabitants, of whom 2139 are in the town. This place, the name of which is derived from its situation near the river Axe, and from a minster founded here by King Athelstan, was, in the time of the Saxons, a town of considerable importance, and the burial-place of many of their princes. In 1644, a conflict took place in the vicinity between the royalists and the parliamentarians, in which Sir Richard Cholmondeley, who commanded the former, was slain. The town, which is irregularly built, is pleasantly situated on the declivity of a hill, near the confluence of the rivers Axe and Yarty, over the first of which three bridges have been erected; it is paved, partially lighted, and amply supplied with water from several good springs. Races are held in August at Shute hill, three miles distant; and there are assemblies occasionally at the George hotel. The manufacture of carpets, which had been established for nearly a century, has been recently transferred to Wilton, and the only manufacture now carried on is that of tape. The parish produces stone of good quality for building, and for burning into lime. The market is on Saturday; and fairs are held on the first Tuesday after April 25th, the first Wednesday after June 24th, and the first Wednesday after Oct. 10th. Courts leet and baron are held annually by the lord of the manor, at the former of which constables and other officers are appointed. The powers of the county debt-court of Axminster, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Axminster, and two adjacent parishes.
The living is a vicarage, with the livings of Kilmington and Membury annexed, valued in the king's books at £44. 6. 8.; net income, £975; patron, the Bishop of Exeter. The tithes have been commuted for £670 payable to the impropriators, and £608 payable to the vicar. The church is an ancient structure, of various styles; the entrance is under a fine Norman arch richly moulded; the interior is of the early English style, with later insertions: the pulpit and reading-desk are curiously carved. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. The poor law union of Axminster comprises 11 parishes and places in the county of Devon, and 6 in that of Dorset; and contains a population of 20,585. About a mile south of the town, on the bank of the river Axe, are the remains of Newenham Abbey, consisting of the chapel, kitchen, and other parts; and at the distance of three miles, is an intrenchment called Musbury Castle.
AXMOUTH, a parish, in the union and hundred of Axminster, Honiton and S. divisions of Devon, 2¾ miles (S. by E.) from Colyton; containing, with the extra-parochial liberty of Horsedown, 645 inhabitants. This place, from the numerous traces of Roman occupation on the eastern bank of the river Axe, which intersects the parish, is supposed to have been the Moridunum of the Romans. The manor formerly belonged to the abbey of Sion, in Middlesex, and was given at the Dissolution by Henry VIII. to his queen Catharine Parr, as part of her dower; it reverted at her death to the crown, and was granted by Edward VI., in 1552, to Walter Erle. In the year 1839, a very remarkable and extensive subsidence of the surface took place about a mile and a half from the village, on the farms of Dowlands and Bindon, near the coast. The parish contains 3788a. 3r. 9p., the surface of which is beautifully diversified with hill and dale; the soil on the hills is chalky, well adapted for corn and the pasturage of sheep, while that in the valleys is a strong clay and marl, and is excellent dairy-land. Limestone and good building-stone are abundant. The village is situated near the mouth of the river Axe, which here falls into the English Channel; near its influx a commodious harbour has been constructed by Richard Hallet, Esq., which is accessible to coasting-vessels of 200 tons' burthen. The living is a vicarage, endowed with one-third of the rectorial and two-thirds of the vicarial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £22. 19. 2.; net income, £230; patron, J. H. Hallet, Esq., who, with others, is impropriator of the remainder of the tithes. The glebe comprises 30 acres. The church is a very ancient Norman structure, having two Saxon arches, and a fine specimen of the zig-zag arch in the north porch, now converted into a vestryroom. On an extra-parochial estate of about 200 acres called Roosdown, in the centre of the parish, is a chapel endowed with certain lands from Queen Anne's Bounty, but no duty has been performed in it within the memory of man. On Hawksdown hill is a large encampment supposed to be of Roman or Danish origin.
Aycliffe (St. Acca)
AYCLIFFE (St. Acca), a parish, partly in the union of Darlington, and partly in that of Sedgefield, S. E. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 5 miles (N.) from Darlington; containing 1372 inhabitants, of whom 823 are in the township of Great Aycliffe. This place is supposed by Spelman to be the ancient "Aclea," where synods were held in 782 and 789; and two old Saxon crosses lately discovered in the churchyard, apparently warrant that conjecture. The parish is situated in the southern portion of the county, and comprises 10,716 acres of arable and pasture land in nearly equal portions, of which 2134 are within the township of Great Aycliffe; the soil generally is tolerably fertile, and the pastures are rich. Magnesian limestone of very pure quality is extensively quarried. The village is pleasantly situated on the road from Darlington to Durham, and on the west bank of the river Skerne, on which are a spinning-mill, and a mill for the manufacture of brown paper, but not now in use. The Clarence railway intersects the parish, and joins the Stockton and Darlington railway within a distance of three-quarters of a mile; the railway from York to Newcastle also skirts the village. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £386. 1. 8. payable to the vicar, £165. 3. 8. to the Dean and Chapter, and £238. 7. 2. to other impropriators. The church is a very ancient structure, partly Norman, and partly in the early English style, and contains 500 sittings, of which 70 are free; the old porch has been restored, several new windows have been inserted, and the structure has been generally repaired.
AYCLIFFE, SCHOOL, a township, in the parish of Heighington, union of Darlington, S. E. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 7½ miles (N. by W.) from Darlington; containing 25 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Scholacley, gave name to a resident family, of whom John de Scholacley died in 1350; it was a manor belonging to the Nevills, and was granted in 1411 by Lord Nevill to Robert De Binchester, to be held of the bishop by military service, suit at the head courts of the county, and a payment yearly to the Durham exchequer. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £74. 16.
AYDON, a township, in the parish of Corbridge, union of Hexham, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 5½ miles (E. by N.) from Hexham; containing 83 inhabitants. The Reed family once occupied a good house and a small estate here; at present several families have land in the township. Lead-ore and coal exist, but in very small quantities. Several Roman relics have been found, including two urns, the effigy of a human being, &c.
AYDON-CASTLE, a township, in the parish of Corbridge, union of Hexham, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 6½ miles (E. by N.) from Hexham; containing 25 inhabitants. The castle which gives name to the township stands on the west side of a deep precipice, at whose foot runs a small rivulet; it appears to have been of great extent and strength, and was encompassed by an outer wall, in which the loop-holes still remain. The fortress was destroyed by the Scots during their inroad into England, which ended in their defeat at the battle of Nevill's Cross, in 1346.
AYLBURTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Lidney, union of Chepstow, hundred of Bledisloe, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 4½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Blakeney; containing 468 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to St. Mary.