A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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BEESBY, formerly a distinct parish, now united to Hawerby, in the union of Caistor, wapentake of Bradley Haverstoe, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 8¼ miles (N. W. by N.) from Louth; containing 43 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, consolidated with that of Hawerby: the tithes of Beesby have been commuted for £221. 17. 7., and there are nearly 44 acres of glebe.
Beesby-in-the Marsh (St. Andrew)
BEESBY-in-the-Marsh (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Louth, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 3¼ miles (N. by E.) from Alford; containing 157 inhabitants. It comprises 1169a. 2r. 20p., of which 627 acres are arable, 518 meadow and pasture, and 26 woodland and plantations: the surface is slightly varied, and the scenery of pleasing character; the soil is a silty clay. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 10. 2½., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £212.17., and the glebe comprises 42 acres. The church was nearly rebuilt in 1840, at an expense of £300, chiefly by subscription, aided by a parochial rate.
BEESTON, a hamlet, partly in the parish of Northill, and partly in that of Sandy, union of Biggleswade, hundred of Wixamtree, county of Bedford, 3 miles (N. N. W.) from Biggleswade; containing 406 inhabitants.
BEESTON, a township, in the parish of Bunbury, union of Nantwich, First division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester, 3¾ miles (S. S. W.) from Tarporley; containing 428 inhabitants. This place takes its name from a castle founded by Ranulph de Blundeville, about 1220, and which was made a royal garrison in the war between Henry III. and the confederate barons. In 1643, the castle was held by a detachment of the parliamentarian forces, but was subsequently taken by the royalists, who, after sustaining a protracted siege in 1645, were compelled, from want of provisions, to surrender it to the parliamentarians, by whom it was demolished early in the following year. The remains occupy an eminence overlooking the Vale Royal, and include part of a tower which guarded the principal entrance to the inner court, flanked by semicircular bastions, and surrounded by a moat excavated in the solid rock: the outer walls were defended by eight round towers irregularly placed, and now covered with ivy. The township comprises 1921 acres, the soil of which is light and clayey; it is the property of J. Tollemache, Esq. The Beeston station of the Chester and Crewe railway is exactly midway between the two termini, being 10½ miles from each. Of the ancient mansion of the Beeston family, who long resided here, there are but small remains.
Beeston (St. Andrew)
BEESTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of St. Faith's, hundred of Taverham, E. division of Norfolk, 4 miles (N. N. E.) from Norwich; containing 46 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 622 acres, of which 404 are arable, 137 pasture, and 81 woodland; and is intersected by the road from Norwich to North Walsham. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £3. 6. 8.; net income, £217; patron, F. R. Reynolds, Esq. There are some slight remains of the church, which was destroyed two or three centuries since. Beeston Old Hall, built in 1610, is a fine specimen of ancient domestic architecture.
Beeston (St. Lawrence)
BEESTON (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the Tunstead and Happing incorporation, hundred of Tunstead, E. division of Norfolk, 10 miles (E. N. E.) from Norwich; containing 48 inhabitants, and comprising 518a. 1r. 2p. Beeston Hall, a Gothic mansion in a small park, has long been the residence of the Prestons, one of whom, Jacob Preston, received an emerald ring, still preserved in the family, from Charles I. when upon the scaffold, as a last tribute of affection. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6, and in the gift of Sir J. H. Preston, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £136, and there are 31 acres of glebe. The church was nearly rebuilt by the late Sir Thomas Preston. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Beeston (St. Mary)
BEESTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (S. S. E.) from Litcham; containing 661 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have been formerly of some importance, the foundations of houses having been discovered in various parts. The parish comprises 2064a. 3r. 7p., of which 1529 acres are arable, 453 pasture, 10 woodland and plantations, and the remainder gardens and roads. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £13, and in the patronage of the Rev. C. B. Barnwell, lord of the manor: the tithes have been commuted for £543, and the glebe comprises about 25 acres, with a house. The church is in the later English style. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A school is partly supported by endowment; and the poor have 20 acres of land, allotted at the inclosure in 1814.
Beeston (St. John the Baptist)
BEESTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Basford, S. division of the wapentake of Broxtow, N. division of the county of Nottingham, 3¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Nottingham; containing, with the hamlet of Beeston-Ryelands, 2807 inhabitants. It is bounded on the south-east by the river Trent, and comprises about 1500 acres, the soil of which is light, and lies on gravel. The inhabitants are principally employed in the manufacture of hosiery and lace, and a large silk-mill has recently been erected. A diversion from the Trent, called the Beeston Cut, conveys the Trent Navigation from Beeston to Nottingham, joining the Nottingham canal at Lenton; and the Midland railway runs through the parish, and has a station here. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £4. 15.; net income, £257; patron, the Duke of Devonshire; impropriators, Lord Middleton, and Peter Broughton, Esq.: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1806. The church, which is very handsome, was built in 1843-4, with the exception of the chancel, and has a nave and north and south aisles, and a tower; it is in the Tudor style, has accommodation for 800 persons, and cost about £3500. There are capacious national schools, with a residence for the master; and an infants' school. Considerable portions of a Roman road uniting with the "old Coventry road" in the adjoining parish of Attenborough, and the remains of an ancient building, are discernible. There are some wells in the village, the water of which is slightly chalybeate.
BEESTON, a township and chapelry, in the parish of St. Peter, within the liberty of the borough of Leeds, and locally in the wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York, 2 miles (S. W. by S.) from Leeds; the township containing 2175 inhabitants. This township comprises by computation 1409 acres. The surface is varied, rising into eminences of considerable elevation, and the scenery is pleasingly diversified; the substratum abounds with coal of good quality, which has been wrought for more than two centuries, and of which several mines are still in operation. The village is on an eminence commanding a view of the town of Leeds, and the surrounding country; the air is remarkably salubrious, and several of the houses are neatly built. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the collieries and in the woollen manufacture. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Leeds, with a net income of £189, and a glebe-house. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure in the early English style, of which, notwithstanding numerous alterations and repairs, it still retains some well-executed details; in the east window are some remains of stained glass. A pewter flagon and a plate of the same material have been used in the celebration of the communion ever since the reign of Richard I.; the cup is of silver, very ancient in form, but without a date. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and some small bequests are distributed among the poor.
Beeston Regis (All Saints)
BEESTON REGIS (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Cromer; containing 265 inhabitants. The parish comprises 822a. 1r. 17p., of which 526 acres are arable, 54 meadow, 21 woodland, and the remainder heath and common; the surface is undulated, and the soil clayey and sandy. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £16, and in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster: the tithes have been commuted for £135; the glebe originally consisted of 21 acres, all of which have been washed away by the sea, excepting 4½ acres. The church is chiefly in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower: on the south side of the chancel are two sedilia of stone, and a piscina; and in the north aisle is an altar-tomb with effigies in brass. A school was erected in 1836. Here are some remains, consisting chiefly of the west end of the church, with a small tower, and part of the chapter-house, of a priory of Augustine canons, founded in the reign of John by Lady Isabel de Cressey, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £50. 6. 4.
Beetham (St. Michael)
BEETHAM (St. Michael), a parish, in the union and ward of Kendal, county of Westmorland; containing, with the townships of Farleton, Haverbrack, Methop with Ulpha, and Witherslack, 1656 inhabitants, of whom 845 are in the township of Beetham, 1¼ mile (S.) from Milnthorpe. The parish comprises by computation 12,000 acres, and is situated at the southwestern extremity of the county, on both sides of the estuary of the river Kent, which is navigable for small craft as far as the hamlet of Storth, and on the shore of which are two wharfs, where slate and other articles are shipped for various ports on the western coast. The Kendal and Lancaster canal, the river Belo, and some smaller streams, also intersect the parish, through which a new road was formed between Lancaster and Ulverston, about 1820. The scenery is very beautiful, of great variety, and in some parts of romantic character. The sands are well adapted for bathing, though the place is not much resorted to for that purpose. There is a manufactory for paper and pasteboard at the village, and limestone abounds within the parish. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 7. 4., and in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster; net income, £159; impropriator, G. Wilson, Esq.: there is a glebe-house. The church is an ancient structure, of a mixed style of architecture. There is a second church at Witherslack, forming a separate incumbency. A grammar school, built about 1663, and rebuilt in 1827, has an endowment of £40 per annum, arising from land. Near the school-house stood an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. John, where human bones have frequently been dug up: the site has been converted into a garden. Beetham Hall, formerly a fortified mansion situated within a spacious park, is now in ruins; and at a short distance to the south are the ruins of Helslack and Arnside towers, which were probably erected to guard the bay of Morecambe, there being remains of similar towers on the opposite shore. In digging a grave near one of the pillars in the nave of the Church, in Aug. 1834, upwards of 100 silver coins, chiefly of the reigns of William the Conqueror and his son William Rufus, with a few of Edward the Confessor and Canute the Dane, were discovered.
Beetley (St. Mary)
BEETLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (N. by W.) from East Dereham; containing 394 inhabitants. This parish, into which a portion of the ancient parish of Bittering has merged, comprises about 2200 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, annexed to that of East Bilney, and valued in the king's books at £9. 7. 11. The church is chiefly in the decorated English style, with a square tower; on the south side of the chancel is a piscina of good design.
Begbrook (St. Michael)
BEGBROOK (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Woodstock, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 2½ miles (S. E. by S.) from Woodstock; containing 110 inhabitants, and comprising 609a. 2r. 39p. The living is a rectory not in charge, in the patronage of Brasenose College, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £145, and there are 37 acres of glebe. The church is in the Norman style, of which it contains some good details. A little westward from the church is an ancient military work, called Round Castle.
Beighton (St. Mary)
BEIGHTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Rotherham, hundred of Scarsdale, N. division of the county of Derby, 6 miles (E. S. E.) from Sheffield; containing 1121 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the banks of the river Rother, comprises by measurement 3009 acres, and contains several coalmines; stone is quarried for building and for mending roads; and the manufacture of scythes is carried on in the hamlet of Hackenthorpe. The Midland railway passes through the parish, and has a small station here. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with some rectorial tithes of Hackenthorpe, and valued in the king's books at £6. 11. 10½.; net income, £250; patron, Earl Manvers: the tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1796, and the glebe consists of about 36 acres, with a parsonage-house. The church was repewed in 1816; on a beam of the roof is a date, supposed to be 1100. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans at Hackenthorpe. Some ancient earthworks on the east bank of the Rother, about half a mile from Beighton, are thought to have formed part of a Roman station.—See Hackenthorpe.
Beighton (All Saints)
BEIGHTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Blofield, hundred of Walsham, E. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (S. W. by S.) from Acle; comprising 1016a. 37p., and containing 288 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £13, and in the gift of R. Fellowes, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £420, and there are ten acres of glebe. The church, chiefly in the decorated style, consists of a nave, chancel, and south aisle, with a low square tower, and contains remains of a carved screen.
Beighton, county of Suffolk.—See Beyton.
Belaugh (St. Peter)
BELAUGH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Aylsham, hundred of South Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 1¾ mile (S. E.) from Coltishall; containing 161 inhabitants. It comprises 854a. 3r. 18p., of which 647 acres are arable, 182 pasture and meadow, and 21 water. The village is picturesquely situated on the summit and side of an abrupt acclivity, which rises within a semicircular curve of the river Bure. The living is a discharged rectory, with the vicarage of Scottow consolidated, valued in the king's books at £6; patron, the Bishop of Norwich. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for £222, and there are two acres of glebe, with a small house; a rent-charge of £12. 5. is also payable to the rector out of the parish of Hoveton, St. John. The church was repaired in 1831.
BELBANK, a township, in the parish of Bewcastle, union of Longtown, Eskdale ward, E. division of Cumberland; containing 445 inhabitants. There are collieries and lime-works at Oakshaw, in the township.
Belbroughton (Holy Trinity)
BELBROUGHTON (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Bromsgrove, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Stourbridge and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 5 miles (N. W. by N.) from Bromsgrove, on the road to Stourbridge; containing 1765 inhabitants. The parish is divided into the manors of Belbroughton, Brian's Bell, Fairfield, and Broomhill. It comprises 4733 acres, of which a considerable portion is pasture land; the soil is fertile, producing wheat, barley, turnips, &c.; the surface is rather hilly. The manufacture of hay-knives and scythes is carried on extensively; and fairs take place on the last Monday in April, and the Monday before St. Luke's day. Mr. Rufford, banker, has a mansion here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19; net income, £1244; patron, the President and Fellows of St. John's College, Oxford. The church is a handsome structure, with a tower and spire; it stands on the south-west side of the village, on the eastern bank of a good stream of water, which turns several mills. There is an endowment of about £10 per annum for the instruction of children. In 1833, a Roman jar, containing more than a hundred coins of the early emperors, was found on the Fern estate, near Fairfield.
BELBY, a township, in the parish and union of Howden, wapentake of Howdenshire, E. riding of York, 1½ mile (E. by N.) from Howden; containing 58 inhabitants It is situated on the road between Howden and Balkholme, and comprises by computation 440 acres of land, laid out in two farms.
Belchamp-Otton (St. Ethelbert and All Saints)
BELCHAMP-OTTON (St. Ethelbert and All Saints), a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 5¼ miles (N. by E.) from Castle-Hedingham; containing 389 inhabitants. This place derives the adjunct to its name from an ancient possessor called Otton, or Otho, who held it in the reign of Henry II., and whose descendant, Otho Fitz-William, was sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire for several successive years. The parish contains some of the highest land in the county, and comprises about 1600 acres, the soil of which is of a clayey quality. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12, and in the gift of the Rev. E. H. Dawson: the appropriate tithes belonging to the rector of Ovington have been commuted for £76. 15., and the incumbent's for £443. 5.; there are 31 acres of glebe, of which 30 are annexed to Ovington. The church, a small edifice, was repaired in 1800, when a handsome tower was erected on the site of part of a more ancient structure of Norman character.
Belchamp St. Paul's (St. Andrew)
BELCHAMP ST. PAUL'S (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Clare; containing 731 inhabitants. This parish comprises by measurement 2557 acres, and, like the parishes of Belchamp-Otton and Belchamp-Walter, obtained its Norman appellation in consequence of its fertility and the beauty of its situation. It was granted by Athelstan to the cathedral of St. Paul, London, by the Dean and Chapter of which it is still possessed. The village consists of a few houses round Cole Green, on which a fair for cattle is held on the 11th of December. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter: the great tithes have been commuted for £288. 14., and the vicarial for £200; there are 79 acres of glebe. The church is a handsome edifice in the later English style, and consists of a nave, north aisle, chancel, and square tower; in the chancel is a large window of elegant design, embellished with stained glass.
Belchamp-Walter (St. Mary)
BELCHAMP-WALTER (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 4 miles (W.) from Sudbury; containing, with North-Wood and North-End, extra-parochial, 698 inhabitants. It is skirted on the south-east by a small brook, which separates it from the parish of Bulmer, and falls into the river Stour. The Hall, situated near the church, is a spacious mansion of modern erection, and contains many stately apartments, and a splendid collection of paintings by the first masters. The living is a discharged vicarage, consolidated with that of Bulmer, and valued in the king's books at £6. The church is a handsome edifice, partly of stone and partly of brick, and consists of a nave and chancel, with a tower; the chancel contains a marble monument to the Raymond family, and there are also some remains of a very ancient monument to one of the earls of Essex.
Belford (St. Mary)
BELFORD (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, partly in Islandshire, but chiefly in the N. division of Bambrough ward, N. division of Northumberland; comprising the townships of Delchant, Easington, Easington-Grange, Elwick, Middleton, and Ross; and containing 1789 inhabitants, of whom 1157 are in the market-town of Belford, 48 miles (N. by W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 318 (N. by W.) from London. The parish comprises about 7500 acres. The town is situated on a gentle eminence within two miles of the sea, of which, and of Holy Island, the Farne Islands, and Bambrough Castle, there is a fine view from the high ground on the north: the foundations of an ancient chapel may still be traced on Belford crag. It has a very pleasing appearance, and consists principally of two spacious streets, intersected by a few narrow lanes; the houses are irregularly built: the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The neighbourhood abounds with diversified scenery and agreeable walks. Belford is mainly indebted for its rise to the spirited exertions of Mr. Dixon, a former proprietor of the manor, who built several houses on a larger and more convenient scale, cleared away unsightly objects, and established a woollen-manufactory, a tannery, &c.: his father had previously procured the privilege of holding a market and fairs. The parish abounds with coal, limestone, and freestone; and considerable quantities of cockles, called Budle cockles, are got upon the coast. The market is on Tuesday, and is noted for corn, much of which is sold for exportation; the fairs are on the Tuesday before Whitsuntide, and Aug. 23rd. The powers of the county debt-court of Belford, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Belford. The Newcastle and Berwick railway passes between the town and the sea-coast. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with 191 acres of land in two distant parishes; net income, £147; patron and impropriator, the Rev. J. D. Clark. The church is at the north-western extremity of the town, and has been lately rebuilt in the early English style. There are places of worship for the United Secession and Presbyterians. The poor law union of Belford comprises 34 townships, of which 33 are in the county of Northumberland, and one in the county of Durham; and contains a population of 6421. About a mile to the southwest of the town is a quadrilateral intrenchment, having an entrance on the north-east, and defended by a wide ditch and a double rampart: it is by some supposed to have been a stronghold, or place of security from the incursions of the Scots, during the border wars; by others it is thought to be of Danish origin. There are a few mineral springs.
Belgrave (St. Peter)
BELGRAVE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Barrow-upon-Soar, partly in the hundred of West Goscote, but chiefly in that of East Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 1¾ mile (N. N. E.) from Leicester; containing, with the chapelries of Birstal and South Thurmaston, 2609 inhabitants. During the civil wars, Belgrave was the scene of many skirmishes between the royalist and parliamentarian forces; and a field adjoining the village is called "Camp close," from part of the army under Prince Rupert having been there encamped, in 1645, at the siege of Leicester. The parish is situated on the road to Manchester, and intersected by the Leicester canal, the navigable river Soar, and the Midland railway. It comprises 1396 acres of arable and pasture land; the soil is in general light, and the substrata are chiefly gravel, sand, marl, and clay. The inhabitants are principally employed by the hosiers of Leicester in the manufacture of stockings and socks, particularly the latter. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8.; net income, £146; patron, the Bishop of Lichfield, to whom, in right of his see, belongs the rectory, worth about £1150 per annum. The glebe of the vicarage is 25 acres, with a house erected in 1825. The church, a handsome and spacious structure, is chiefly in the decorated style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower, and a fine Norman doorway at the south entrance. At South Thurmaston is a separate incumbency. There are places of worship for Baptists, Ranters, and Wesleyans. On the inclosure of the parish, a common containing 47 acres was set apart for the town cottagers not having a right of common; and 23 acres, with several cottages and a house, were vested in trustees for the repair of the church. Here are traces of the Roman fosse-road leading to Newark and Lincoln.