A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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SOBERTON, a parish, in the union of Droxford, hundred of Meon-Stoke, Droxford and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 3¾ miles (E. by S.) from Bishop's-Waltham; containing, with the tything of East Hoe, 954 inhabitants, of whom 863 are in Soberton tything. The parish comprises 5814 acres, of which 455 acres are common or waste land. The living is annexed to the rectory of Meon-Stoke: the tithes have been commuted for £828, and the glebe comprises 13 acres. The church is principally in the early English style of architecture.
SOCKBRIDGE, a township, in the parish of Barton, West ward and union, county of Westmorland, 3 miles (S. S. W.) from Penrith; containing 250 inhabitants. It is situated on the south bank of the river Eamont, and abounds with limestone. The ancient Hall, a quadrangular building with a tower, has been converted into a farmhouse. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £40. 2., and the vicarial tithes for £3. 1.
Sockburn (All Saints)
SOCKBURN (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Darlington, partly in the S. W. division of Stockton ward, county of Durham, but chiefly in the wapentake of Allertonshire, N. riding of York, 7 miles (S. E.) from Darlington; containing 201 inhabitants, of whom 42 are in the township. This is supposed to be the Saxon Soccabyrig. In the time of Canute, Snaculf gave to the church of Durham "Socceburg and Grisbi;" and soon after the Conquest the place became the seat of the Norman family of Conyers. The parish comprises the townships of Sockburn, Over Dinsdale, and Girsby; the first, which is wholly in the county of Durham, contains about 1000 acres. Among other late improvements, a bridge of wood, consisting of one arch of upwards of 150 feet span, has been thrown across the river Tees by the lord of the manor and owner of the lands within the township, Henry Collingwood Blackett, Esq. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £3. 18. 1½.; net income, £190; patron and impropriator, the Master of Sherburn Hospital. The great tithes of Sockburn township have been commuted for £68, and the small for £48: the vicar has a glebe of 3 acres. The church has been partly taken down, and a new building erected on the opposite side of the Tees, in a situation more convenient for the parishioners, chiefly at the expense of Mr. Blackett and the master of Sherburn Hospital. The old edifice contains some ancient monuments, one of which is said to be that of Sir John Conyers, representing him with his feet resting upon a lion that appears to be contending with a winged dragon. In an adjoining field is the Grey Stone, where, according to legendary story, the dauntless knight slew the "monstrous venomous and poisonous wyveron, ask, or worm, which overthrew and devoured many people in fight."
Sodbury, Chipping (St. John the Baptist)
SODBURY, CHIPPING (St. John the Baptist), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the Lower division of the hundred of Grumbald'sAsh, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 28 miles (S. S. W.) from Gloucester, and 113 (W. by S.) from London; containing 1273 inhabitants. This town, which existed in the twelfth century, and was endowed by King Stephen with the same privileges as Bristol, is situated on the road from Bristol to Cirencester, at the foot of a hill near the source of the Little Avon. The Yate station of the Gloucester and Bristol railway is only a short distance from the town on the west. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held on May 23rd and June 24th, for cattle, cheese, and pedlery; and on the Friday before Lady-day and Michaelmas-day, both statute-fairs. The town was governed by a bailiff until 1681, when the inhabitants were incorporated by charter of Charles II., which ordained that the municipal body should consist of a mayor, six aldermen, and twelve burgesses; but this grant was annulled by proclamation of James II., in 1688, at the request of the inhabitants: constables are now elected annually at the court leet of the lord of the manor. The powers of the county debt-court of Chipping-Sodbury, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Chipping-Sodbury. The parish comprises 100 acres of land, chiefly pasture and common; the surface here is flat, but the adjacent scenery of bold and mountainous character. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £126; patron, the Vicar of Old Sodbury. The church is an ancient structure in the early English style. There are meeting-houses for Baptists and the Society of Friends; and a free grammar school endowed with £20 per annum. The poor-law union of Chipping-Sodbury comprises 23 parishes or places, and contains a population of 19,230.
Sodbury, Little (St. Adeline)
SODBURY, LITTLE (St. Adeline), a parish, in the union of Chipping-Sodbury, Lower division of the hundred of Grumbald's-Ash, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 2¾ miles (E. N. E.) from ChippingSodbury; containing 125 inhabitants. Previously to the battle of Tewkesbury, a skirmish took place here between the forces of Queen Margaret, and the advanced guard of Edward IV., when several of the latter were made prisoners. During the parliamentary war, Cromwell lodged for one night at the old manor-house. The parish comprises 1071 acres, of which 112 are common or waste; the lands are the property of W. H. H. Hartley, Esq. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 10. 10., and in the gift of Mr. Hartley: the tithes have been commuted for £200, and the glebe consists of 31 acres. There are traces of a camp, probably of Roman origin, on the brow of the Cotswold hills facing the Severn, commanding an extensive view of the vale of Gloucestershire, and forming one of a line of intrenchments of great importance: within the area was discovered a coin with the legend Caius Marius Imperator concordia Militum, which motto is written on the sign of the Cross Hands, a posting-house 11 miles from Bath, in the parish of Old Sodbury. Little Sodbury House, now a ruin, was the residence of the illustrious Tyndale, who retired to this place during the Reformation, and employed himself in the translation of the Bible. It was subsequently the residence of David Hartley, who was minister plenipotentiary at the court of Versailles in 1783, and negotiated the treaty between Great Britain and the United States of America.
Sodbury, Old (St. John the Baptist)
SODBURY, OLD (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Chipping-Sodbury, Lower division of the hundred of Grumbald's-Ash, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 1¾ mile (E.) from ChippingSodbury; containing 871 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3617 acres, of which 312 are common or waste; the substratum contains stone of the soft oolite formation, which is quarried for building. The road from Bristol to Chippenham passes through the village, and meets the Bath and Cheltenham road at the Cross Hands inn here, where is a post-office. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 8. l½.; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The great tithes have been commuted for £233. 8., and the vicarial for £512.10.; there is a glebe-house, with about half an acre of garden-ground. The church is an ancient structure, containing some interesting details of Norman architecture. Some time since, an interesting specimen of ancient art, a beautifully executed head of Minerva, cut in agate, was dug out of the ground near the Cross Hands: it bears a Greek inscription signifying that it was a present from one friend to another.
Softley, with Lynesack, in the county of Durham.—See Lynesack.
Soham (St. Andrew)
SOHAM (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, in the union of Newmarket, hundred of Staploe, county of Cambridge, 5¾ miles (S. E.) from Ely, and 69 (N. N. E.) from London; containing, with the chapelry of Barway, 4162 inhabitants. This was a place of some note at a very early period. St. Felix, first bishop of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 630, which was the seat of the diocese prior to its removal to Dunwich. His remains were interred in the monastery, but were afterwards taken up and conveyed to Ramsey Abbey. The buildings were destroyed by fire, and the monks, a flourishing society, were killed, by the Danish army under the command of Inguar and Ubba, in 870. Before the draining of the fens, here was a large lake, over which was a dangerous passage by water to Ely; the communication was subsequently rendered more safe by the construction of a causeway through the marshes, at the expense of Hervey, Bishop of Ely. The town is situated upon the east bank of the river Cam, on the verge of the county; the streets are irregularly built, and the houses of mean appearance. Horticulture is carried on to a considerable extent, especially in the article of asparagus; the dairies are abundant, and cheese of excellent quality, similar to that of Stilton, is made. The market is on Saturday: fairs are held on May 9th, for horses, cattle, and pedlery; and on the Monday before Midsummer, which is a pleasure-fair. The powers of the county debt-court of Soham, established in 1847, extend over the parishes of Soham, Fordham, Isleham, and Wicken. The parish comprises 12,000 acres, of which 400 are common or waste land. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £32. 16. 5½., and in the gift of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge: the great tithes have been commuted for £672. 14., and the vicarial for £1653; the impropriate glebe comprises 78 acres, and the vicarial four. The church is a venerable cruciform structure, with a lofty square embattled tower visible at a great distance; it has several monuments. At Barway is a chapel of ease. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians. A free school for boys is endowed with an estate allotted on the division of the commons, in 1658, and now producing £60 per annum; and children are apprenticed with a premium of £20 from funds given by Bishop Laney.
Soham, Earl (St. Andrew)
SOHAM, EARL (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Plomesgate, hundred of Loes, E. division of Suffolk, 12 miles (N. by W.) from Woodbridge; containing 741 inhabitants, and comprising 1944a. 2r. 24p. A fair, chiefly for lambs, is held on July 23rd. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the gift of the Rev. J. H. Groome: the tithes have been commuted for £598, and the glebe consists of 9½ acres. The church is an ancient structure, partly in the early but chiefly in the later English style, with a square embattled tower; the roof is finely groined, and the font, of Caen stone, is richly sculptured. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans. The town lands contain 45 acres, and nearly £1400 are vested in the funds for the poor. Soham Lodge was the residence of the Countess of Surrey, wife of the poet; she died here, and was buried at Framlingham.
Soham, Monk (St. Peter)
SOHAM, MONK (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Hoxne, E. division of Suffolk, 6 miles (W. by N.) from Framlingham; containing 404 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1569a. 2r. 33p., of which 58 acres are common or waste. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19. 5. 2½., and in the gift of the Rev. J. H. Groome: the tithes have been commuted for £445, and the glebe comprises 88 acres. The church is partly in the early and partly in the decorated English style of architecture, with a square embattled tower.
Soho, Staffordshire.—See Handsworth.
SOKEHOLME, a chapelry, in the parish of Warsop, union of Mansfield, Hatfield division of the wapentake of Bassetlaw, N. division of the county of Nottingham, 4 miles (N. by E.) from Mansfield; containing 66 inhabitants, and comprising an area of 984 acres.
Solihull (St. Alphege)
SOLIHULL (St. Alphege), a parish, the head of a union, and formerly a market-town, in the Solihull division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick, 13 miles (N. W.) from Warwick, and 105 (N. W.) from London; containing 3401 inhabitants. This town is situated on the road from Warwick to Birmingham, and consists principally of two spacious and parallel streets, intersected by two smaller; the houses are generally well built and of modern appearance, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from two copious springs to the north. The air is remarkably salubrious, and the surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified. The Warwick and Birmingham canal passes about half a mile to the north of the town, the Stratford canal about two miles to the south of it, and the Hampton station of the London and Birmingham railway is within a distance of three miles to the north-east. Fairs for horses and cattle are held on the 29th of April and 12th of October, and on the 11th of September for horses and for hiring servants. The powers of the county debt-court of Solihull, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Solihull, and part of that of Meriden. Petty-sessions are held on the first Saturday in every month, alternately, here and at Knowle. The town-hall is a neat brick building.
The parish comprises 11,296 acres, of which 5583 are arable, 4080 meadow and pasture, and 568 wood and plantations. The surface is flat; the lands are well inclosed, and the scenery, in some parts enlivened by the river Blyth, which intersects the parish, is enriched with abundance of hedge-row timber, chiefly oak. The soil is partly gravelly and light, partly a clayey loam, and generally in good cultivation, yielding crops of every kind; the substratum contains coal, but no mines are in operation. Olton Hall and Malvern Hall, situated in the parish, are handsome residences.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24. 18. 4., and in the gift of the Rev. Archer Clive, M.A., by whom a handsome parsonage-house has been erected, in the Elizabethan style: the tithes have been commuted for £1500, and the glebe comprises 91 acres. The church is a spacious cruciform structure, partly in the decorated and partly in the later English style, with an embattled tower rising from the centre and surmounted by an octangular spire. The interior abounds in rich details: the tracery, mouldings, and corbels are elaborate; and some very beautiful tabernacle-work which formed part of the ancient rood-loft, where the organ was originally placed, has been removed to the front of the west gallery built in 1840. The font, of octagonal form, is Norman, with circular pillars at the angles. In the chancel and transepts are piscinæ in trefoil arches with triangular canopies; and there were formerly numerous monuments, some of them to the Holbech family, in the ancient chapel of St. Katharine, but the roof was destroyed by the fall of the spire in the year 1757, and many of the monuments were then injured. The late Mr. Thomas Chattock, of Solihull, having bequeathed £100 to beautify the church, the Rev. Archer Clive added a further sum, and a window has been embellished with stained glass, executed by Wailes of Newcastle; it is divided by mullions into five compartments, in the centre one of which is a representation of Our Saviour, and in the others figures of the Four Evangelists. A church has been erected at Shirley-Street, which see. There are places of worship for Independents and Roman Catholics.
Various charitable bequests have been made to the parish at different times, yielding in 1827 an annual income of £317, and now producing a gross revenue of £600, subject to deductions for keeping certain buildings in repair. These funds, by order of the court of chancery in 1840, are partly appropriated to the maintenance of a free grammar school, which affords a classical and general education, and includes an English school for the children of the poor. A sum is likewise allotted from the income to the support of schools for boys and girls at Shirley-Street; and above 20 children of the parish are clothed. A school near Solihull, in which are 70 girls, has an endowment of £25 per annum arising from a bequest by Mrs. Martha Palmer. The rent of a farm bequeathed by Mr. Collet, producing £50 per annum, is partly distributed in donations of 1s. each to poor persons, twice in the year, at the gravestone of the testator; and partly applied, at the discretion of the trustees, to other charitable purposes. The union of Solihull comprises eleven parishes or places, all in the county of Warwick, with the exception of the parish of Yardley, which is in the county of Worcester; the whole containing a population of 12,406. A Benedictine nunnery dedicated to St. Margaret, was founded at HenWood, in the parish, by Ketelburn de Langdon, in the reign of Henry II., and at the Dissolution had a revenue of £21. 2. Near Olton Hall are some traces of an ancient moat.
Sombourn, King's (St. Peter and St. Paul)
SOMBOURN, KING'S (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Stockbridge, hundred of King's-Sombourn, Romsey and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 3 miles (S.) from Stockbridge; containing, with the tything of Brook, 1125 inhabitants, of whom 146 are in the tything of Up Sombourn. This place, which prior to the Conquest was held in royal demesne, and now forms part of the duchy of Lancaster, was the residence of the celebrated John of Gaunt, of whose palace there are still some remains. What are thought to have been the stables have been converted into a farmhouse; and the gardens and pleasure-grounds, with the park, fish-ponds, and an extensive bowlinggreen, encompassed by an earthwork about three feet high, may yet be traced. The parish comprises by measurement 7450 acres, of which about 1500 are woodland. Considerable quantities of chalk are sent from the neighbourhood by the Andover canal, to Redbridge, for the improvement of the strong clay soil in the New Forest; the canal passes through the parish, and is crossed by a bridge at a place called Horsebridge, on the line of the Roman road from Winchester to Old Sarum. The living is a vicarage, with the living of Little Sombourn annexed, valued in the king's books at £21. 1. 10½.; net income, £696; patron and impropriator, the Rev. Sir John Barker Mill, Bart. The church is an ancient structure, containing some interesting details, among which is the figure of an ecclesiastic within a trefoiled niche. There was formerly a chapel of ease at Compton. On an eminence three miles to the north of the church are the remains of an encampment called the Ring, with a deep intrenchment inclosing an area of about twenty-one acres; and on the adjoining down, but within the parish of Stockbridge, are remains of smaller dimensions, probably the outworks of the former.
Sombourn, Little (All Saints)
SOMBOURN, LITTLE (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Stockbridge, hundred of King's-Sombourn, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 2 miles (S. E.) from Stockbridge; containing 116 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1515 acres, of which about 300 are woodland. The living is annexed to the vicarage of King's-Sombourn.
Somerby (All Saints)
SOMERBY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Melton-Mowbray, hundred of Framland, N. division of the county of Leicester, 6 miles (S. by E.) from Melton-Mowbray; containing 480 inhabitants. It comprises 1590 acres. The substratum contains stone of inferior quality, which is quarried for building and for the roads. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 16. 8., and in the patronage of the Rev. G. Burnaby; net income, £224, arising from land; impropriators, S. Smith, Esq., and others. The church is ancient, with a tower and spire rising from the centre. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a school endowed with £15 per annum.
SOMERBY, a chapelry, in the parish and wapentake of Corringham, union of Gainsborough, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 2¾ miles (E.) from Gainsborough; containing 63 inhabitants. Somerby Park is noticed in the Domesday survey under the name of Sumerdebi, a Saxon appellation, signifying the habitation or encampment of an army, and supposed to be derived from a Roman camp near the spot. Here was a chapel, noticed in Bacon's Liber Regis as being annexed to Corringham, but now destroyed.
Somerby (St. Mary Magdalene)
SOMERBY (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Winnibriggs and Threo, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 4 miles (S. E. by E.) from Grantham; containing, with the chapelry of Great Humby, 267 inhabitants. The parish comprises 2543a. 15p.: there are quarries of stone, which is used for common building purposes. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 12. 3½.; net income, £645; patron, Lord Willoughby de Eresby. The tithes were commuted for a corn-rent variable every fifteen years, by an act of parliament in 1811; the glebe comprises 77 acres. The church contains a tablet to the Rev. John Myers, for 42 years rector. There is a chapel of ease at Great Humby; and a parochial school is supported by subscription. Some traces exist of a Roman road.
Somerby (St. Margaret)
SOMERBY (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Caistor, S. division of the wapentake of Yarborough, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 4½ miles (E.) from Glandford-Brigg; containing 63 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 7. 6., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £198. 3., and the glebe comprises 13 acres.
Somercoates, North (St. Peter)
SOMERCOATES, NORTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Louth, Marsh division of the hundred of Louth-Eske, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 8¼ miles (N. E.) from Louth; containing 819 inhabitants. It is situated close to the sea, and comprises 4752 acres, of which 1208 are common or waste land. The soil is in some parts loamy, and in others sandy; the surface is flat, but well drained, and excellent crops are produced. Here is a warren of 137 acres, with a good stock of rabbits; and in the northern portion of the parish is a rich salt-marsh consisting of 600 acres, called the Fitties. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 18. 4., and in the gift of the Duchy of Lancaster: the impropriate tithes, belonging to F. Lucas and A. Floyer, Esqrs., have been commuted for £496, and the vicarial tithes for £490; the vicarial glebe comprises 24 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with a square tower, and contains an octagonal font of Norman design. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship. A free school for the parishes of North and South Somercoates is endowed with 14 acres of land, probably allotted at the inclosure, and with a house and 2 acres, purchased by aid of £50 left by John Mottram in 1691; the whole producing £31 per annum. About £65, arising from land, are yearly distributed among the poor; and they also receive a small amount out of some charitable bequests.
Somercoates, South (St. Mary)
SOMERCOATES, SOUTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Louth, Marsh division of the hundred of Louth-Eske, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 8 miles (N. E. by E.) from Louth; containing 375 inhabitants. The parish comprises an area of 2597a. 2r. 21p., part of which was formerly marsh land, inclosed under an act of parliament passed in the year 1630. The village is scattered, and the property is divided among several families. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £22. 6. 3., and in the gift of the Duchy of Lancaster: the tithes have been commuted for £559. 10., and the glebe contains 31½ acres. The church is a neat edifice, with a very lofty spire; it was repewed in 1820, and has a curious font of octagonal shape. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a small school is supported by subscription, for children who do not attend the free school in the village of North Somercoates. Some trifling bequests are distributed, and the poor also receive the produce of a portion of land set apart for their benefit.
SOMERFORD-BOOTHS, a township, in the parish of Astbury, union of Congleton, hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 2¾ miles (N. W. by N.) from Congleton; containing 264 inhabitants. The township comprises 1270 acres, partly a sand and partly a clay soil. The tithes have been commuted for £165.
SOMERFORD-cum-Radnor, a township, in the parish of Astbury, union of Congleton, hundred of Northwich, S. division of the county of Chester, 1¾ mile (N. W.) from Congleton; containing 99 inhabitants. It comprises 1030 acres, the soil of which is partly sand, and partly clay.
Somerford, Great (St. Peter and St. Paul)
SOMERFORD, GREAT (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union and hundred of Malmesbury, Malmesbury and Kingswood, and N. divisions of Wilts, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Chippenham; containing 556 inhabitants. The parish comprises by computation 1630 acres, and the river Avon forms its boundary on the north and east. At the inclosure in 1806, small allotments of land were awarded to poor tenants for cultivation, through the exertions of the present incumbent, who has since let out for the same purpose about 100 acres of his glebe. Lace-making is carried on to a limited extent. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 14. 7., and in the gift of Exeter College, Oxford; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains nearly 300 acres of land, allotted in lieu of tithes, and valued at £490 per annum. A parochial school was lately built on a small estate given to the parish by Queen Elizabeth.
Somerford-Keynes (All Saints)
SOMERFORD-KEYNES (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Cirencester, hundred of Highworth, Cricklade, and Staple, Cricklade and N. divisions of Wilts, 4 miles (S.) from Cirencester; containing 360 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the west by the Thames, and comprises 1533a. 3r. 3lp., of which about half is arable; the soil is in some parts gravel, and in others clay. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £261; patron and impropriator, G. S. Foyle, Esq.