A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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BEANLEY, a township, in the parish of Eglingham, union of Alnwick, N. division of Coquetdale ward and of Northumberland, 9½ miles (W. N. W.) from Alnwick; containing 176 inhabitants. This was formerly the head of a barony, the lord of which had the power of inflicting capital punishment; Gallow-Law, on the north side of the Breamish, being the place of execution. It comprises about 2000 acres, of which 1000 are pasture and moorland, and 1000 arable; the soil, generally, is a light gravel, the surface mountainous, and the views very extensive. On an elevated spot called Beanley Plantation are vestiges of an encampment, having a double fosse and rampart; the road which led to it is plainly discernible. Another encampment existed on Beanley Moor. Percy's Cross, erected in memory of Sir Ralph Percy, an officer attached to the Lancasterian party, who fell in battle against the Yorkists, in 1464, stands on Hedgeley Moor, a short distance from Gallow-Law. The impropriate tithes produce £125. 18., and the vicarial £55. 18.
BEARD, a hamlet, in the parish of Glossop, union of Hayfield, hundred of High Peak, N. division of the county of Derby, 4½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Chapel-en-le-Frith; containing 290 inhabitants.—See New-Mills.
BEARL, a township, in the parish of Bywell St. Andrew, union of Hexham, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 4 miles (E.) from Corbridge; containing 36 inhabitants. This is a large farm, standing nearly two miles north from Bywell, and was some years since the property of Mr. Anthony Wailes and Mrs. Charlton, of whom it was purchased by T. W. Beaumont, Esq., for £22,000. The road from Corbridge to Heddon passes at a short distance north of the village.
Bearley (St. Mary)
BEARLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Stratford-upon-Avon, Snitterfield division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4¼ miles (N. N. W.) from Stratford; containing 231 inhabitants, and comprising 939 acres. In Domesday book it is written Burlei, a name afterwards assumed by a family who possessed it, and resided here. Some of the lands were anciently given to the monks of Bordesley, and, on the dissolution of that monastery, were granted by the crown to the Throckmortons, from whom they passed to other families. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £62; patrons, the Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge. There is a school in which the greater portion of the children are paid for by the wealthier landowners.
Bearstead (Holy Cross)
BEARSTEAD (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Maidstone, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 2½ miles (E.) from Maidstone; containing 605 inhabitants. It is intersected by the lower Dover road, and comprises 1090 acres, of which about 400 are arable, and the rest pasture, including 100 common or waste; the surface is undulated, the soil sandy, and the chief produce hops and corn. A fair is held on the third Tuesday in July; and there are petty-sessions on the first Monday in every month. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 7. 4½.; net income, £191; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester: there are about two acres of glebe. The church is an ancient edifice, in the early English style, with a square tower.
BEARSTON, a township, in the parish of Muckleston, union of Drayton, Drayton division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop, 4¾ miles (N. E. by N.) from Drayton; containing 101 inhabitants.
BEARWARD-COTE, a township, in the parish of Etwall, union of Burton-upon-Trent, hundred of Appletree, S. division of the county of Derby, 5 miles (W. S. W.) from Derby; containing 36 inhabitants. The manor is mentioned in the Domesday book as being held under Henry de Ferrars, and in 1297 was held under the Earl of Lancaster. The Bonningtons possessed it in the reign of Henry IV., and sold it to the Turners in 1672: the manor afterwards passed, among other families, to the Cottons.
BEAUCHIEF-ABBEY, an extra-parochial liberty, formerly part of the parish of Norton, in the union of Ecclesall-Bierlow, hundred of Scarsdale, N. division of the county of Derby, 3½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Dronfield; containing 74 inhabitants. The living of this place is a donative; patron, P. Pegge Burnell, Esq. The chapel is a small edifice, erected about 1660, with the exception of the tower, which formed part of a monastery of Præmonstratensian canons founded here in 1183 by Robert Fitz-Ranulph, and dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, the revenue of which at the Dissolution was £157. 10. 2. The liberty, comprising about 1000 acres, was exempted from assessment for taxes, by a deed executed at a court held at Richmond, March 14th, 1601.
Beaudesert (St. Nicholas)
BEAUDESERT (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, ½ a mile (E.) from Henley; containing 205 inhabitants. This place derives its name from a strong castle erected here soon after the Conquest by Thurstane de Montfort, which, from the beauty of its situation, was called Beldesert, and continued the chief seat of his descendants for several ages, but was probably either demolished or suffered to go to ruin about the time of the war between the houses of York and Lancaster, that the contending parties might not take advantage of it in their military operations. The parish comprises 1242a. 2r. 19p., of which 586 acres are arable; it is almost entirely surrounded by a range of hills, and is intersected by the Birmingham road: the soil is tolerably good, and consists principally of clay and marl. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 16. 0½., and in the gift of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £170, and the glebe consists of 141 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is partly Norman, and partly in the early English style, with a richly ornamented Norman arch between the nave and the chancel. The Rev. Richard Jago, a poet of some note, was born here in 1715, during the incumbency of his father.
BEAULIEU, a liberty, in the union of New Forest, Southampton and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 6¼ miles (N. E.) from Lymington, on the road to Hythe; containing, with an extra-parochial district within its limits, 1339 inhabitants. This place is situated on a river of the same name, which rises in the New Forest, at the foot of a hill about a mile and a half to the north-east of Lyndhurst, and is navigable for vessels of fifty tons' burthen to the Isle of Wight channel, which bounds the parish on the south. On reaching the village, the river spreads into a wide surface covering several acres, on the eastern side of which stood Beaulieu Abbey, founded in 1204, by King John, for thirty monks of the reformed Benedictine order, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary: its revenue, at the Dissolution in 1540, was £428. 6. 8. It had the privilege of sanctuary, and afforded an asylum to Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI., after the battle of Barnet, and to Perkin Warbeck, in the reign of Henry VII. Beaulieu has long been noted for the manufacture of coarse sacking: near the village of Sowley, within the liberty, were formerly two large mills belonging to some iron-works; and at Buckler's Hard, another populous village in the liberty, situated on the Beaulieu river, and inhabited principally by workmen employed in ship-building, many vessels of war have been built. At Sowley is a fine sheet of water, abounding with pike, some of which are of very large size, weighing nearly 28lbs. Fairs for horses and horned-cattle are held on April 15th and September 4th.
The living is a donative; net income, £85; patron and impropriator, Lady Montagu. The chapel, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, was the refectory of the abbey, the church of which, situated to the south-east, has been entirely destroyed; it is a plain building of stone, with strong buttresses, and has a beautiful stone pulpit, the only one similar to which in the kingdom, is that at Magdalene College, Oxford: the edifice was enlarged in 1840. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists. The ruins of the abbey are situated in a beautiful valley, nearly circular in form, bounded by well-wooded hills; and are surrounded by a stone wall, nearly entire in many places, and mantled with ivy. Near the abbey was a building, called an hospital, occupied by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, where travellers and persons in distress were relieved, and the revenue of which, at its dissolution, was £100; it was founded a little previously to the abbey, and, from the beauty of its situation, gave the name of Beaulieu to the place. About two miles distant, and very near the seashore, is Park Farm, anciently one of the granges attached to the abbey, and which, like others appertaining to that establishment, possessed the privilege of having divine service celebrated in it, under a bull of Pope Alexander I. The chapel is remaining, though much dilapidated, and adjoins the farmhouse, a massive stone building of equal antiquity: its length is 42 feet, and breadth about 14; the interior is divided into two compartments by a stone screen, which reaches to the roof. At a short distance from this, on the road to Beaulieu, are the ruins of the extensive barn and the chapel of St. Leonard, the former measuring in length 226 feet, in breadth 77, and in height 60: here was the principal grange belonging to the abbey.
BEAU-MANOR, an extra-parochial liberty, in the hundred of West Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 3 miles (S. W.) from Loughborough; containing 87 inhabitants. This place was anciently the residence of the Beaumont family, who, in 1389 and 1390, had the honour of entertaining Richard II. and his queen at their mansion called Beau-Manor Park. It afterwards became the residence of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, niece of Henry VIII., and mother of Lady Jane Grey; and subsequently of Sir William Hericke, one of the tellers of the exchequer in the reign of James I. In 1725 a new manor-house was built; the park and scenery around are remarkably picturesque and beautiful, and some very large timber-trees form a prominent feature in the landscape.
Beaumont (St. Mary)
BEAUMONT (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Carlisle, Cumberland ward, and E. division of the county of Cumberland, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Carlisle; containing 288 inhabitants. About the year 1323, Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, encamped with his army for five days at the village, and hence sent detachments to ravage the circumjacent country. The parish comprises by measurement 1497 acres of land, the soil of which is a rich black loam, alternated with sand; the village is pleasantly situated on the river Eden, and the Carlisle canal passes through the parish. At the hamlet of Sandsfield, on the western bank of the Eden, vessels of sixty tons' burthen, belonging to the port of Carlisle, receive and discharge their cargoes. There is an extensive salmon-fishery in the river, the property of the Earl of Lonsdale. The living is a discharged rectory, united to that of Kirk-Andrews-uponEden in 1692, and valued in the king's books at £8. 1. 8.: the glebe consists of about 12 acres. The church stands upon a considerable elevation. The celebrated wall of Severus crossed the parish.
Beaumont cum Moze (St. Leonard)
BEAUMONT cum MOZE (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union and hundred of Tendring, N. division of Essex, 7¾ miles (S. E. by S.) from Manningtree, and 13 (E.) from Colchester; containing 451 inhabitants. It comprises 3046 acres, whereof 692 are common or waste; and lies near the extremity of an inlet of the North Sea between the Naze and Harwich. The tide comes up to Beaumont wharf, which is connected with a short canal for conveying coal, corn, and manure, to and from London. The living is a rectory, to which that of Moze was united in 1678, valued in the king's books at £18, and in the gift of the Governors of Guy's Hospital: the tithes have been commuted for £775, and there are 46 acres of glebe. The church is a plain edifice, having a piscina in the chancel: the church at Moze has been demolished. There is a small place of worship for Wesleyans. Some silver coins were dug up in 1806.
BEAUMONT-CHASE, an extra-parochial district, in the union of Uppingham, partly in the hundred of Wrangdike, and partly in that of Martinsley, county of Rutland, 1½ mile (W. by S.) from Uppingham; containing 22 inhabitants. It lies on the border of the county, next to Leicestershire, and comprises 696 acres.
BEAUMONT-LEYS, an extra-parochial liberty, in the hundred of West Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from Leicester; containing 29 inhabitants. In 1276 Dalby hospital had lands here by gift of Simon Montfort, and at the suppression of the Knights Templars they were given to the Hospitallers, who, in 1482, exchanged them with the king for the advowson of Boston church, in Lincolnshire. Leicester Abbey had also property in "Beaumund." The liberty comprises 1047 acres of land.
BEAUSALL, a chapelry, in the parish of Hatton, union of Warwick, Snitterfield division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4½ miles (N. N. W.) from Warwick; containing 292 inhabitants. This place comprises 1600a. 1r. 25p., whereof 968 acres are arable, 599 meadow and pasture, 9 woodland, and 24 acres homesteads and gardens. Beausall common is in the township.
BEAWORTH, a tything, in the parish of Cheriton, union of Alresford, hundred of Fawley, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 4¾ miles (S. by W.) from Alresford; containing 153 inhabitants. Many hundreds of coins, supposed to be of William the Conqueror and William Rufus, were discovered in June 1833; an account of which appeared in the 26th volume of the Archœologia.
Beaworthy (St. Alban)
BEAWORTHY (St. Alban), a parish, in the union of Oakhampton, hundred of Black Torrington, Black Torrington and Shebbear, and N. divisions of Devon, 10 miles (N. N. W.) from Oakhampton; containing 405 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1931 acres, of which 1243 are common or waste, and is intersected by the road from Oakhampton to Holsworthy; the land is of a clayey quality. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 6.; net income, £143; patron, Sir William Molesworth, Bart. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Bebington (St. Andrew)
BEBINGTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester; consisting of the ecclesiastical district of Tranmere, and the townships of Higher and Lower Bebington, Poulton cum Spittle, and Storeton; and containing 5008 inhabitants, of whom 844 are in Higher Bebington, and 1187 in Lower Bebington, 5 miles (S.) from Birkenhead. The manor of Higher Bebington was held for several generations by the family of Bebington, the elder branch of which became extinct in the reign of Richard II.: a younger branch settled at Nantwich. Richard Bebington, of this family, had six sons and a brother slain at the battle of Flodden Field. The manor passed with the heiress of the elder branch to the Minshulls, whose heiress, in the 17th century, brought it to the Cholmondeleys: it was sold in 1736, under an act of parliament, to several persons, among whom was the Orred family. The Lancelyns appear to have possessed lands in Lower Bebington as early as the Conquest; their heiress brought the manor in the reign of Elizabeth to the Greens, and it continued in the male line of that family till 1711. It was subsequently possessed by Mrs. Parnell, who died in 1792, bequeathing the estate to her relative, Joseph Kent, Esq., who, conformably with her will, assumed the name of Green. The parish is situated on the banks of the river Mersey, and is intersected by the road from Neston to Birkenhead, and the railway from Chester to Birkenhead; it comprises about 4700 acres of fertile land, whereof 893 acres are in Higher, and 892 in Lower, Bebington. The soil of these townships is chiefly sand and clay: freestone of a peculiarly fine texture, and of beautiful whiteness, is quarried for building. At Rock Ferry, in the parish, are several good mansions, some baths, and an hotel; and the neighbouring scenery is delightful. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £30. 13. 4.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. R. Feilden. The tithes have been commuted for £720; the glebe comprises only the grounds and garden of the rectory-house. The church is a noble structure, partly Norman, and partly in the style that prevailed in the reign of Henry VIII.; it suffered much by neglect and by injudicious repairs in past years, but has been recently restored, renovated, and considerably enlarged, by the liberality of Thomas Green and George Orred, Esqrs., and other spirited contributors, and now presents one of the finest specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in the county. There are two churches of recent erection, now the district churches of Rock Ferry and Tranmere. The church at Rock Ferry is dedicated to St. Peter, and is a handsome structure: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Rector and four Trustees. Three schools for boys, girls, and infants, are supported by an endowment of 30 acres of land, aided by subscription. In a white sandstone-quarry, 80 feet below the surface, have been found numerous marks of animals' feet, like the hand and foot of man.
BEBSIDE, a township, in the parochial chapelry of Horton, union of Tynemouth, E. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 5½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Morpeth; containing 91 inhabitants. This place was anciently a manor held under the barons of Bolam; but previously to 1204, "Bebesette" had become part of the possessions of the convent of Tynemouth, which continued to hold lands here till the Dissolution. Among other persons connected with the spot, were Bertram Monboucher, Lord of Horton, and Sir John de Mitford, of Mitford, who both had lands here, the former in the reign of Richard II., and the latter in that of Henry VI.; and subsequent proprietors have been the Dudleys, Ogles, and Wards. The old mansion, with a tower in the centre, has lately undergone repair. There were formerly slitting-mills and shops for forty nailers, with a "considerable dwelling-house," of which nothing now remains except a building divided into small tenements, inhabited by a few poor families. Freestone is quarried; and there is a water-mill for grinding corn, erected some years since. The township pays a small modus in lieu of all tithes.
Beccles (St. Michael)
BECCLES (St. Michael), an incorporated markettown and a parish, in the union and hundred of Wangford, E. division of Suffolk, 44 miles (E. N. E.) from Bury St. Edmund's, and 109 (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 4086 inhabitants. This town, which suffered greatly from fire in 1586, and again in 1662, is pleasantly situated on the navigable river Waveney, by which it is bounded on the north and west. It consists of several spacious streets, diverging from the market-place, well paved, and lighted with gas; the houses in general are well built, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The cornexchange and assembly-rooms form two handsome ornamental buildings. The environs, which abound with pleasing scenery, afford agreeable walks; and races are held annually on a fine course near the town, on which are two commodious stands. The trade is principally in corn, malt, and coal, and is considerable: the market is on Saturday, and fairs are held on Whit-Monday for cattle, and Oct. 2nd for horses and pedlery; there are also statute-fairs.
Adjoining the town is a tract of fen land, originally about 1400 acres in extent, which was granted by Henry VIII. in 1540 (after the dissolution of the abbey of Bury St. Edmund's, to which the manor belonged,) to William Rede and his heirs, in trust, for the benefit of himself and other inhabitants of the town; there are now remaining about 940 acres, and upwards of 200 more are held for charitable purposes. In 1543 the inhabitants were incorporated by letters-patent of Henry VIII., but, in consequence of protracted disputes between them and the family of Rede, concerning the grant of the fen lands, the charter was surrendered to Queen Elizabeth, and a new one granted in 1584, which was confirmed in 1588, and by James I. in 1605. The government is now vested in four aldermen, and twelve councillors, from whom a mayor is chosen; the borough is co-extensive with the parish. A court of quartersessions is held for the county; petty-sessions are held for the district every Saturday, and manor courts occasionally. The county debt-court of Beccles, established in 1847, has jurisdiction over part of the two registrationdistricts of Wangford, and Loddon and Clavering.
The parish contains 1893a. 2r. 14p., of which 950 acres are common; the soil on the high grounds is wet and clayey, and in the lower parts sandy. The living is a rectory, consolidated with the vicarage of St. Mary Ingate; the rectory valued in the king's books at £21. 12. 3½., and the vicarage at £7. 6. 8.: the tithes have been commuted for £350. The church is a spacious and elegant structure, in the later style of English architecture, and consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles; the porch is of beautiful design and elaborate execution, and the interior is appropriately ornamented. A collection of books, formerly kept in a room over the porch, has been removed to the subscription library established in 1836. A chapel for reading the burial service, and a burial-ground, were consecrated in 1823; and a cemetery, with a chapel for all denominations, was established in 1840. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Methodists. A grammar school was endowed under the will, dated in 1714, of the Rev. Dr. Fauconberge, a native of the town, with an estate of 132 acres in the parish of Corton, producing about £183 per annum. Dr. Routh, the learned president of Magdalene College, Oxford, received the rudiments of his education here. The free school in Ballygate-street was founded and endowed in 1631, by Sir John Leman, Knt., alderman of London, who devised several parcels of land for its support, containing altogether 112 acres, and yielding a rent of £196. An ancient hospital for lepers, of uncertain foundation, with a chapel dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, was granted in 1676, to the corporation of Beccles, for the benefit of the poor. Here were also several guilds; and an ancient church, dedicated to St. Peter, distinct from the present church.
Becconsall, with Hesketh.—See Hesketh.
BECHTON, a township, in the parish of Sandbach, union of Congleton, hundred of Northwich, S. division of the county of Chester, 2¼ miles (S. E.) from Sandbach; containing 809 inhabitants. The manor was held by the Bechtons in the reign of Edward II.; it came afterwards in moieties to the Davenports and Fittons, and later to the Wilbrahams and Egertons. The township lies on the road from Sandbach to ChurchLawton; and comprises 3800 acres, of which sand is the prevailing soil. The Grand Trunk canal passes close to the salt-works here. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £192. 11. 10., and the vicarial for £192. 18. 9.
Beckbury (St. Milburgh)
BECKBURY (St. Milburgh), a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, liberties of the borough of Wenlock, S. division of Salop, 4 miles (S.) from Shiffnall; containing 312 inhabitants. It is situated about two miles south of the great Holyhead road, and comprises by measurement 1321 acres: red rockstone is found, suitable for building. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 3. 4., and in the gift of the Lord Chancellor: the tithes have been commuted for £333, and there are 31 acres of glebe, with a house. In the church is a table-monument of alabaster to the memory of Richard Houghton and his lady. In the Windmill field is a tumulus, which was opened in 1840, and which, about four feet beneath the surface, contained human bones.
Beckenham (St. George)
BECKENHAM (St. George), a parish, in the union of Bromley, hundred of Bromley and Beckenham, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 1¾ mile (W.) from Bromley, and 10 (S. S. E.) from London; containing 1608 inhabitants. The name of this place, compounded of the Saxon terms Bec, a brook, and Ham, a dwelling, is derived from a small stream which passes through the parish, and falls into the river Ravensbourne. In the reign of Henry VIII., Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, entertained that monarch when on his journey to visit Anne of Cleves, with great pomp, at the manor-house. The parish comprises 3875 acres, of which 307 are woodland, and 102 common or waste. The village is pleasantly situated, and contains some neat dwelling-houses: in the neighbourhood are many handsome villas. The Croydon railway passes along the north-western angle of the parish. A fair, chiefly for toys, is held on the Monday before St. Bartholomew's day. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 18. 9., and in the gift of J. Cator, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £893. 10., and there are 27 acres of glebe. The church is a neat structure erected about the beginning of the seventeenth century, with a lofty spire which, having been destroyed by lightning in 1790, was lately rebuilt. Mrs. Mary Watson, in 1790, bequeathed property for the instruction of children, which was vested in the purchase of £1401 New South Sea annuities, producing an annual dividend of £42, to which subsequent benefactions have been added; a school-house was erected in 1818. Dr. Asheton, the projector of a plan for providing for widows by survivorship, was rector of the parish towards the close of the 17th century.