A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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BELLASIS, a township, in the parish of Stannington, union and W. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 6 miles (S. by E.) from Morpeth. The name, which has been variously written Beleasise, Belessys, Belasyse, &c., signifies "a handsome place," but the spot does not now, whatever its past appearance may have been, bear out the title; it is in a low situation, sheltered with rising ground to the north, and has the Blyth before it, the winding waters of which are made deep and slow by the wears of Stannington mill.
BELLASIZE, a township, in the parish of Eastrington, union of Howden, wapentake of Howdenshire, E. riding of York, 5¼ miles (E. by S.) from Howden; containing, with the hamlet of Bennetland, 306 inhabitants. This place comprises by computation 1400 acres; and includes, besides Bennetland, the farm of Green Oak, one of the three Newland farms. The village is small and scattered, and situated south of the road leading from Howden to North Cave. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £82. 17. 6., and the vicarial for £4. 2. 1.
BELLCHALWELL, a parish, in the union of Sturminster, hundred of Cranborne, Sturminster division of Dorset, 8 miles (W. N. W.) from Blandford-Forum; containing 225 inhabitants, and comprising 1308 acres, of which 222 are common or waste. The living is a discharged rectory, united in 1776 to the rectory of Fifehead-Neville, and valued in the king's books at £7. 15. The tithes have been commuted for £260, and there are 3 acres of glebe.
Belleau (St. John the Baptist)
BELLEAU (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Louth, Marsh division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Alford; containing, with the chapelry of Claythorpe, 193 inhabitants. The name (Belle eau) is derived from a fine stream of water, which issues from a chalk hill with considerable force. The living is a discharged rectory, to which the vicarage of Aby was united in 1732, valued in the king's books at £13. 3. 9.; net income, £300; patron, Lord Willoughby de Eresby.
BELLERBY, a chapelry, in the parish of Spennithorn, union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York, 13 miles (N. N. W.) from Bedale; containing 350 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Richmond to Leyburn, and comprises 2917a. 2r. 28p. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £70; patron and impropriator, Mr. Chaytor: the tithes were commuted for land in 1770. The chapel is a small edifice. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
BELLESTER, a township, in the parish and union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 16 miles (W. by S.) from Hexham; containing 116 inhabitants. The manor has, in common with other possessions in the neighbourhood, been the property of various families of consideration, and its history commences at an early period, it being conjectured that the family of Roos, of Hamlake, obtained it in marriage with Isabella, daughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland. Here are the ruins of a castle which once belonged to the Blenkinsopps, consisting of a grey pile of towers, with modern additions made in good taste by the present owner; rich, flat, alluvial ground surrounds the building on every side, and on the east and south its demesne lands are walled in with woody banks formed by the South Tyne river. The township includes the hamlet of Park, and comprises 988 acres, of which 211 are common or waste. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Bellingham (St. Cuthbert)
BELLINGHAM (St. Cuthbert), a parish, and the head of a union, in the N. W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland; comprising the townships of Charlton East and West Quarters, Leemailing, The Nook, and Tarretburn Quarter; and containing 1730 inhabitants, of whom 672 are in the market-town of Bellingham, 30 miles (W. N. W.) from Newcastle, and 298 (N. N. W.) from London. This place, from the remains of several camps apparently of Roman origin, is supposed to have been occupied by that people; but little of its early history is recorded. The Lords de Bellingham are said to have had a castle, or baronial seat, here, erected on an eminence still called Hall Field, and of which there are some slight remains. In the reigns of Richard II. and Henry IV. the manor and castle were in the possession of Richard de Bellingham; the estate afterwards became the property of the Earl of Derwentwater, upon whose attainder it was given to the governors of Greenwich Hospital. The town is pleasantly situated on the northern bank of the North Tyne, between that river and a stream called Hareshaw burn, over which, near the eastern extremity of the town, a good stone bridge was erected in 1826. The rocks on each side of the burn rise precipitously to the height of 100 feet, and the water at Hareshaw-linn has a perpendicular fall of thirty feet. The smelting of iron-ore has been recently introduced by the Hareshaw Company, who have erected furnaces for the purpose, and the works already afford employment to 250 persons: many are also employed in the iron and coal mines, which are extensively worked; and sandstone of good quality for building is quarried. Fairs for cattle are held on the first Saturday after the 15th of September, and on the 12th of November. The powers of the county debt-court of Bellingham, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Bellingham.
This was formerly part of the extensive parish of Simonburn, which was divided into six distinct parishes by act of parliament in 1811; it comprises by measurement 20,124 acres, of which from 7000 to 8000 are moorland, abounding with grouse and other game. The living is a rectory not in charge, in the patronage of the Governors of Greenwich Hospital: the tithes have been commuted for £203, and there is a rectory-house, with gardens attached. The church is of great antiquity, and the only one in the district which has survived the Reformation. It is possible that the churches of the Northumbrian border were occasionally, like those of Cumberland, used as places of retreat in cases of sudden attack from the marauding Scotch; and the thickness of the walls, the heavy stone arched roof, and narrow slits for windows, induce a belief that the church here was constructed with this object. The building consists of a chancel and nave, a chantry chapel on the south side, and a small bell-tower; the roof is finely groined, and the chancel contains many mural tablets and monuments. The churchyard, occupying an elevated situation, forms a beautiful terrace overlooking the river. There is a place of worship for Seceders from the Scottish Church; also a Roman Catholic chapel. The poor law union of Bellingham comprises thirty-seven parishes and places, and contains a population of 7462.
Belmesthorpe, or Belmsthorp
BELMONT, an ecclesiastical parish, in the parish and union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Bolton, on the road to Preston; containing about 3000 inhabitants. This parish has been formed of the upper part of the township of Sharples, under the act 6 and 7 Victoria, cap. 37. The land is mountainous and moory, and abounds in game; there are thin veins of coal, and some excellent granite and freestone. The river Eagley rises in the vicinity. The population is chiefly employed in a large cotton-mill, in print-works, and a paper-mill. A reservoir here covers a space of 100 acres: a mile further down the hill is another, extending over 50 acres; and still further down, are two smaller ones. They were erected at a cost of £80,000, by a company, for the supply of the town of Bolton, and the mills: the supply, altogether, is three millions of gallons per day. The living is in the patronage of the Rev. Charles Wright, of Hill Top, who is the owner of the parish; net income, £150, with a house. The church, dedicated to St. Thomas, was built in 1847, at the sole expense of the patron.
BELPER, a market-town and chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Duffield, hundred of Appletree, S. division of the county of Derby, 8 miles (N.) from Derby, and 134 (N. N. W.) from London; containing, with nearly the whole of the ecclesiastical parish of Bridge-Hill, 9885 inhabitants. This place, at which were formerly a park and hunting-seat belonging to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was an inconsiderable village, inhabited principally by nailers, till the year 1777, when the cotton manufacture was introduced by Messrs. Strutt, since which it has risen into a considerable town. It is pleasantly situated on the river Derwent, over which a handsome stone bridge of three arches was recently erected; the former bridge, said to have been built by John of Gaunt, having been destroyed, in 1795, by a great flood. The town consists of several streets, is partially paved, lighted with gas, and amply supplied with water. There are five mills for the spinning of cotton, &c., belonging to Messrs. Strutt, who make their own machinery on the spot; two of these, and a bleaching-mill and dyehouse, are about a mile and a half lower down the river, over which the proprietors have built a neat stone bridge of two arches. Here are also two of the largest manufactories in the kingdom for silk and cotton hose, established in 1790 by Messrs. Ward, Brettle, and Ward, and now carried on by Messrs. Ward, Sturt, Sharpe, and Ward, and by George Brettle and Company, who employ more than 6000 persons, principally in the surrounding villages. The nails made here, especially those for the shoeing of horses, are much in demand. The Midland railway has a station at Belper. The market is on Saturday, and fairs are held on May 12th and Oct. 31st, for hornedcattle, sheep, and horses. The county magistrates hold a petty-session for the district every Wednesday; and courts for the manor are held when occasion requires, under the steward: the powers of the county debtcourt of Belper, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-districts of Belper and Basford.
The parish comprises 2852 acres, whereof two-thirds are pasture, and the remainder arable, with a little woodland and some ornamental planting. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £158; patron, the Vicar of Duffield; impropriator, Lord Beauchamp. The present chapel, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was erected in 1824, at an expense of upwards of £12,000, which was partly defrayed by a parliamentary grant; it is a handsome structure, in the decorated English style, with a lofty pinnacled tower. The old chapel, built by John of Gaunt, and the burial-ground of which is still used, is now a district church. Divine service is also performed in Bridge-Hill. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Unitarians; and a Lancasterian school, in which 500 children are taught, is supported by the proprietors of the cotton-works. Henry Smith, Esq., endowed two almshouses, and bequeathed an estate producing £30 per annum, directing the rental to be divided equally between the minister and the poor of Belper; two other almshouses were endowed by James Sims, with £12 per annum. The union of Belper comprises 35 parishes and places, and contains a population of 46,235. In a field in the neighbourhood may still be traced the massive foundations of the mansion in which John of Gaunt resided.
BELSAY, a township, in the parish of Bolam, union of Castle ward, N. E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 13 miles (N. W.) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; containing 312 inhabitants. The township comprises 2516 acres: the soil is of great variety, and, with the exception of some fine grass-land within the park, mostly arable, and of medium or inferior quality; there are considerable quarries of lime and freestone. Belsay Hall, a splendid edifice of Grecian character, built by Sir Charles Monck, stands on a dry knoll, and partly occupies the site of the late chapel of Belsay; the structure is of the Doric order, and forms a square of upwards of a hundred feet. The ancient castle, supposed, from its style, to have been built in the reign of King John, stands not far from the Hall, at the head of a vale, backed by a woody hill; and is reckoned one of the most perfect specimens, and certainly one of the most imposing, of Norman castellated architecture in the county. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £10. 12. 6. On the top of the how, or hill, west of the castle, is an old Roman camp, the fosses of which are still very perfect; and below it along the back of the hill, the old village of Belshow, or Belsay, originally stood. The hill was sacred to the British god Bel, whence its name.
Belshford (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BELSHFORD (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Horncastle, N. division of the wapentake of Gartree, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 5 miles (N. E. by N.) from Horncastle; containing 554 inhabitants. It comprises about 2600 acres, of which the soil is various, and the surface very uneven; excellent limestone is found in the north-east portion of the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18. 6. 8., and in the gift of the Crown, with a net income of £425: the tithes were commuted for land in 1804. There are places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists.
Belstead (St. Mary)
BELSTEAD (St. Mary), a parish, in the incorporation and hundred of Stamford, E. division of Suffolk, 3¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Ipswich; containing 261 inhabitants. It comprises about 1000 acres of land, of which the surface is hilly, and the soil light. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 6. 0½, and in the gift of the Rev. Isaac Lockwood: the tithes have been commuted for £290, and there is a glebe of 55 acres. The church contains a tablet to the memory of Admiral Sir Robert Harland.
Belstone (St. Mary)
BELSTONE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Oakhampton, hundred of Black Torrington, Black Torrington and Shebbear, and N. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Oakhampton; containing 208 inhabitants. This place, the name of which in the Saxon language signifies "the town of Belus, or the Sun," is situated on the great Falmouth road, by which it is divided from the parish of Sampford-Courtney; it is bounded on the east by the river Taw, which separates it from South Tawton, and on the west by the river Okemont, which separates it from the parish of Oakhampton. According to computation it comprises about 1500 acres, of which 800 are inclosed, and with the exception of a small portion of woodland, are arable, and in good cultivation. Copper-ore is found among the mineral strata, and was formerly wrought: granite is raised in great quantities. The manufacture of blankets is carried on to a considerable extent, affording employment to the poor of several adjoining parishes. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 0. 1.: net income, £154; patron, the Rev. John Hole: the glebe comprises 76 acres, with a substantial house erected in 1836. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style. There are some remains of a Druidical circle.
BELTINGHAM, a hamlet, in the township of Ridley, parish and union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 5½ miles (E. by S.) from Haltwhistle. This place is beautifully situated upon a gentle eminence on the south side of the South Tyne, and is said to have been anciently a market-town, but now consists only of four dwellings: the Newcastle and Carlisle railway passes in the vicinity. Here is a chapel supposed to have been formerly a domestic chapel to the castle of Williamswyke, but at present appropriated to public worship; it is an ancient and handsome edifice of the period of Henry VII., with elegant windows, so large and numerous, as to have led Mr. Hodgson the historian of Northumberland, to call it "a cage of light." The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Haltwhistle, with a net income of £75.
Belton (St. John the Baptist)
BELTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Loughborough, hundred of West Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 5 miles (S. W. by S.) from Kegworth; containing, with the extraparochial liberty of Grace-Dieu, 718 inhabitants. The parish comprises by measurement 1179 acres, and the liberty of Grace-Dieu 1029 acres: the soil is generally a good loam, and the surface level: limestone, porphyries, and greywacke slate are found. Many of the inhabitants are employed in framework knitting. A considerable fair for horses and cattle is held on the Monday next after Trinity week. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 18. 4.; net income, £204; patron, the Marquess of Hastings: the glebe consists of 117 acres. There are places of worship for Baptists and Methodists. A convent for fourteen nuns of the order of St. Augustine was founded at Grace-Dieu, in the reign of Henry III., 1240, by Roesia de Verdun, or Jocosa Varadon. In this nunnery, prior to its dissolution, great irregularities were discovered as to the lives and conduct of its inmates; and though it was licensed to continue for some time after the general suppression in 1536, it was finally surrendered in 1539, when its revenue was £101. 8. 2¼.: the remains are still to be seen. Sir John Beaumont, author of a poem entitled Bosworth Field, and brother of Francis Beaumont, the celebrated dramatist, was born at Grace-Dieu in 1582.
Belton (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BELTON (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Loveden, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 2½ miles (N. N. E.) from Grantham; containing 176 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 3. 6½., and in the gift of the Earl Brownlow: the tithes have been commuted for £465, and the glebe comprises about 30 acres. Belton gives the title of Baron to Earl Brownlow.
Belton (All Saints)
BELTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Thorne, W. Division of the wapentake of Manley, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 1¾ mile (N.) from Epworth; containing, with the hamlets of Beltoft, Carrhouse, Mosswood, Sandtoft, Westgate, and Woodhouse, 1706 inhabitants. At the hamlet of Sandtoft, a church was built for the Dutch and French Protestants brought over by Cornelius Vermuyden, in the reign of Charles II., to assist in draining the marshes. In opposition to this undertaking, serious riots occurred: the church was materially injured, and soon fell into decay. The females of the hamlet who intermarried with the strangers retained their maiden names after marriage, not choosing to adopt those of their foreign husbands. The living is a perpetual curacy, formerly in the gift of the Corporation of Lincoln, who, by the Municipal act, were directed to dispose of it. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Belton (St. Peter)
BELTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Uppingham, soke of Oakham, county of Rutland, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Uppingham; containing, with Gunthorpe Lodge, 402 inhabitants. It is separated from Leicestershire by the small river Eye, and comprises 970a. 1r. 4p. of arable and pasture land in nearly equal portions; the soil is chiefly clay and gravel. The living is a vicarage, annexed to the rectory of Wardley; impropriators, the family of Bishop, and J. Eagleton, Esq. An allotment of land and a money payment were assigned, in lieu of tithes, in 1794; the glebe comprises 66 acres, with a parsonage-house, recently rebuilt by the incumbent. The church is an ancient structure, chiefly in the Norman style, and contains 400 sittings. A school is endowed with £15. 15. per annum.
Belton (All Saints)
BELTON (All Saints), a parish, in the incorporation and hundred of Mutford and Lothingland, E. division of Suffolk, 4½ miles (S. W.) from Great Yarmouth; containing 465 inhabitants. This parish, which includes the hamlet of Browston, is situated on the navigable river Waveney, and comprises 2012 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 15., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Norwich: the tithes have been commuted for £440, and there are 19 acres of glebe.
BELVOIR, an extra-parochial liberty, in the union of Grantham, partly in the soke of Grantham, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, but chiefly in the hundred of Framland, N. division of the county of Leicester, 7 miles (W. by S.) from Grantham; containing 109 inhabitants. At the Conquest, the manor of Belvoir was held by Robert de Todenei, standardbearer to William I., and whose son took the name of Albini from his marriage into a family of that name in Bretagne. King Stephen granted it to Ranulf Gernon, Earl of Chester; but in the reign of Henry II. the Albinis regained possession of it, and their heiress brought it in marriage to the family of De Ros, barons of Hamlake. In 1461, Thomas, Lord Ros, was attainted of high treason, and the honour, castle, and lordship of Belvoir were granted to William, Lord Hastings; but in 1483 his property was restored to him: subsequently, Eleanor, the sister and co-heir of Edmund, Lord Ros, married Sir Robert Manners, and the estates became vested in that family, which was afterwards ennobled. The liberty is the sole property of the Duke of Rutland, and comprises 678 acres of land.
His Grace's seat, Belvoir Castle, is one of the most magnificent mansions in the kingdom; it stands upon a lofty eminence, the sides of which are formed into terraces, at various heights, diversified with shrubs, while the base is covered with large trees, forming a complete woodland. The original foundation of the castle is involved in considerable doubt, but it is ascribed to Robert de Todenei, of whose fortress there still remains the tower, which forms the centre of the present edifice. The mansion has been at various times rebuilt or enlarged: it was completely restored in 1668, by the then Earl of Rutland,; and the present possessor had expended more than £200,000 upon alterations and improvements, when on the 26th of October, 1816, during the progress of the works, a calamitous fire consumed a great part of the building, with furniture, works of art, and upwards of one hundred pictures by the ancient and other great masters, involving a loss the amount of which was never estimated. The whole of the superb structure has been reconstructed or repaired since the fire: it is of vast extent, built of freestone, with a north-west and south-west wing, and ornamented with turrets. On the summit of Blackberry hill is a mausoleum, in which repose the two last dukes, the celebrated Marquess of Granby, and the late duchess; it contains a statue of her grace in the act of ascending to the skies, executed in Parian marble by Matthew Wyatt. The priory of Belvoir, dedicated to St. Mary, was founded near the castle, by Robert de Todenei, about 1076, for four Black monks of the order of St. Benedict, as a cell to St. Alban's: at the Dissolution, when the revenue was £135, it was granted to the Manners and Terwhit families.
BEMBRIDGE, a district chapelry, in the parish of Brading, liberty of East Medina, Isle of Wight division of the county of Southampton, 4½ miles (S. E.) from Ryde by the ferry across the mouth of Brading harbour. This village, which formerly consisted only of fishermen's huts, has within the last few years become a highly interesting watering-place; and though of small extent, is the favourite resort of persons who wish to combine with the benefit of sea-bathing the enjoyment of pleasing retirement. It is situated in a beautifully secluded spot at the eastern extremity of the island of which it forms one of the most picturesque portions, and has a safe and commodious harbour for pilots and fishermen: the rides in the vicinity abound with good scenery, and the neighbourhood affords walks commanding fine views of the country adjacent. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Brading, with a net income of £100: the church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, a neat edifice in the later English style, containing 475 sittings, was erected in 1827.
BEMERSLEY, a township, in the parish of Norton-on-the-Moors, union of Leek, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 6¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Newcastle-under-Lyme; containing 211 inhabitants. This township includes a part of the hamlet of Whitfield, one mile north of Norton; also a small village; and a pleasant mansion called Greenway Bank.
Bemerton (St. Andrew)
BEMERTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Wilton, hundred of Branch and Dole, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Salisbury; containing 109 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, united to that of Fugglestone. The place is remarkable for the celebrity of three of its rectors,—George Herbert, commonly called "the Divine," who died in 1635; John Norris, a metaphysical writer, who died in 1711; and Archdeacon Coxe, the traveller and historian, who died in 1828. The first greatly repaired the church, and rebuilt the parsonage-house at his own expense.