A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Bempton (St. Michael)
BEMPTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Bridlington, wapentake of Dickering, E. riding of York, 3¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Bridlington; containing 313 inhabitants. The parish is bounded by the North Sea, and comprises about 1600 acres, partly arable and partly grass, the latter being some of the richest grazing and feeding pastures in the East riding. The village is pleasantly situated near Flamborough Head, on the road to Scarborough. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of H. Broadley, Esq., the impropriator, and has a net income of £51: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1765. The church, rebuilt at the expense of the patron in 1829, is a small neat structure, with a tower at the west end. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Bempton was separated from the priory of Bridlington in 1474.
Benacre (St. Michael)
BENACRE (St. Michael) a parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 5 miles (N. E.) from Wangford; containing 194 inhabitants. It comprises 259a. 1r. 37p., and is situated on the sea-coast: about half a mile from the shore is a sheet of fresh water, called Benacre Broad, comprising 100 acres, and abounding with pike and other fish. Benacre Hall, a large mansion, is the seat of Sir T. S. Gooch, Bart. The living is a rectory, with that of EastonBavent and the vicarage of North-Ales consolidated, valued in the king's books at £18, and in the gift of Sir T. S. Gooch; the tithes have been commuted for £354, and there are 24 acres of glebe. The church consists of a nave and chancel, with a square tower. An urn containing coins of Vespasian, Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius, was discovered here more than sixty years since, in forming a road from Yarmouth to London.
Benefield (St. Mary)
Benefield (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Oundle, hundred of Polebrook, N. division of the county of Northampton, 3½ miles (W.) from Oundle; containing 533 inhabitants. This parish, including the lordship of Liveden, comprises 4468 acres, of which above 300 are woodland, and the remainder chiefly pasture; the soil is a strong tenacious clay, with an upper surface of dark loam, and the ground is varied with some gentle undulations, though generally level. There are two villages about a mile apart, distinguished as Upper and Lower Benefield, the road from Oundle to Great Weldon proceeding through both. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £35. 9. 7.; net income, £622; patron, Jesse Watts Russell, Esq., lord of the manor, and proprietor of the parish, with the exception of Liveden. The tithes were commuted for land in 1820: the old glebe, with a house and garden, is valued at £30 per annum; the entire glebe now consists of 470 acres. The church comprises a nave, north and south aisles, and a deep chancel with a chapel at the north side, and has a tower and spire; the style of the body of the edifice is the transition Norman, and of the chancel, the decorated. The whole has been just restored, and part rebuilt, and the chancel richly illuminated throughout with painting, as practised in medieval times; the windows are of stained glass, and the oak carving highly finished. About a furlong to the west of the village are nine of those cavities in the earth commonly called "Swallows," into which the waters of the land-floods flow and disappear.
Benenden (St. George)
BENENDEN (St. George), a parish, in the union of Cranbrooke, hundred of Rolvenden, Lower division of the lathe of Scray, W. division of Kent, 3¼ miles (S. E.) from Cranbrooke; containing 1594 inhabitants. The parish comprises 6507 acres, of which 104 are common or waste, and 750 in wood. It lies to the south of the London and Dover railway. Fairs for horses and horned-cattle are held on May 15th and Aug. 4th. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £17. 12. 6.; patron and impropriator, T. L. Hodges, Esq.: the great tithes have been commuted for £500, and the vicarial for one of £151. The church was built in 1672, the former edifice having been damaged by lightning. Edward Gibbon, in 1602, founded a school, which was subsequently endowed with property producing £114 per annum.
BENFIELDSIDE, a township, in the chapelry of Medomsley, parish and union of Lanchester, W. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 14 miles (N. W. by N.) from Durham; containing 1074 inhabitants. The bishops of Durham formerly appointed foresters or keepers of their woods of Benfieldside, and elsewhere, within the parish. The township is on the river Derwent, which here separates the county from Northumberland; and is intersected by the Derwent and Shotley-Bridge, and the Newcastle and Stanhope, roads. It comprises 1828a. 1r. 25p., of which 1019 acres are arable, 410 pasture, 318 wood, and 80 acres highways, buildings, waste, &c.; the soil is generally clay upon a substratum of freestone rock, and the surface hilly, some of the highest hills being 700 or 800 feet above the level of the sea. There are mines of coal and ironstone, quarries of freestone in great variety, and some fine clay; the manufacture of paper is extensively carried on, and there are an iron-foundry, a saw-mill, a flour-mill, &c. A branch to Medomsley of the Pontop and South Shields railway terminates about 1½ mile from Shotley-Bridge. The lands are chiefly tithe-free. One of the first meeting-houses for the Society of Friends in the north of England was established in the township; there are also places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Wesleyans.—See Shotley-Bridge.
Benfleet, North (All Saints)
BENFLEET, NORTH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S. division of Essex, 2½ miles (S. S. E.) from Wickford; containing 364 inhabitants. This district, previously to its subdivision into the North and South parishes at present recognized, was the usual landing-place of the Danish pirates during their incursions into this part of the country in the 9th century; and towards the close of that century, Hesting, one of their chiefs, erected a strong castle here, in which was deposited the plunder he obtained from the inhabitants, and which was, in 894, demolished by Alfred the Great, who took Hesting's wife and two of her sons prisoners, with all their booty, to London. The parish of North Benfleet comprises about 2200 acres of flat land, of which about 700 form a portion of the isle of Canvey. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16; present net income, £600; patron and incumbent, the Rev. C. R. Rowlatt. The church has a small wooden tower with two bells, and a spire.
Benfleet, South (St. Mary)
BENFLEET, SOUTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S. division of Essex, 4 miles (S. W. by S.) from Rayleigh; containing 707 inhabitants, and comprising 3056a. 1r. 32p. The village is pleasantly situated on the border of a creek which separates it from Canvey Island; and several other creeks enter the parish from the river Thames, which are noted for producing good oysters. A fair is held on the 24th of August. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 5. 5.; net income, £242; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster; impropriator, J. Perry, Esq. The church is a handsome edifice with a tower of stone, surmounted by a lofty spire of wood.
Bengeo (St. Leonard)
BENGEO (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union, hundred, and county of Hertford, 1 mile (N. N. E.) from Hertford; containing 1141 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3039 acres, of which 26 are common or waste. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 8. 6½., and in the gift of the family of Byde, in whom also the impropriation is vested: the great tithes have been commuted for £450, and those of the incumbent for £170; £28 are payable in addition to the rector of St. Alban's.
Bengeworth (St. Peter)
BENGEWORTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and borough of Evesham, locally in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackenhurst, E. division of the county of Worcester; containing 1082 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1281a. 1r. 20p.; it is situated on the eastern side of the navigable river Avon, and communicates with the town of Evesham by an ancient stone bridge. A portion of Gloucestershire bounds it on the south, and it is intersected by the roads from Evesham to Stow and Chipping-Campden. The manor anciently belonged to the Beauchamp family, whose baronial castle, situated near the bridge, was in the twelfth century destroyed by William d'Anville, abbot of Evesham, in retaliation for depredations committed by the owner on his monastery. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £7. 10. 10.; income, about £150; patron, the Rev. William Harker: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1795. The church, which is of irregular form, and has a substantial tower and spire, was formerly dependent on the abbey of Evesham: in 1832 the churchyard was inclosed by a substantial brick wall, at the expense of the parishioners. John Deacle, alderman of London, who was born at Bengeworth, and died in 1709, left by will £2000 for the endowment of a free school here; the premises were erected in 1736, at an expense of £335, and with the residue of the legacy an estate was purchased.
BENGROVE, a hamlet, in the parish of Beckford, union of Winchcomb, hundred of Tibaldstone, E. division of the county of Gloucester; containing 43 inhabitants. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1773.
Benhall (St. Mary)
BENHALL (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Plomesgate, E. division of Suffolk, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Saxmundham; containing 749 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 1. 3.; net income, £173; patrons, the Trustees of the late Edward Hollond, Esq., to whom, with others, the impropriation belongs. Sir Edward Duke, Bart., in 1731, bequeathed property now producing, with other benefactions, about £36 per annum, for the endowment of a free school; and a school-house was erected in 1736.
BENHAM-VALENCE, a tything, in the parish of Speen, hundred of Kintbury-Eagle, county of Berks, 3 miles (W.) from Newbury; containing 316 inhabitants. Benham House was formerly the residence of the celebrated Margravine of Anspach.
BENNINGBROUGH, a township, in the parish of Newton-upon-Ouse, union of York, wapentake of Bulmer, N. riding of York, 7¾ miles (N. W.) from York; containing 86 inhabitants. It is situated on the north bank of the Ouse, and comprises 1070 acres, the property of Viscount Downe, who has a seat here.
BENNINGHOLME, with Benningholme-Grange, a township, in the parish of Swine, union of Skirlaugh, Middle division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 9 miles (N. by E.) from Hull; containing 108 inhabitants. This place is in Domesday book called Benincol. In the reign of John, permission was given by the proprietors to certain ecclesiastics to fish in and render navigable the stream of Lamwith here. Among the chief owners of land in former times were the Constables, who had possessions in the township so early as the time of Henry III.: several of the farmhouses contain ancient remains. The township comprises about 1200 acres, of which 800 are arable and in cultivation, and the remainder meadow and pasture, interspersed with plantations; the surface is level, and the scenery of pleasing character.
Bennington (St. Peter)
BENNINGTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the hundred of Broadwater, union and county of Hertford, 5½ miles (E. S. E.) from Stevenage; containing 605 inhabitants. This place, which is of great antiquity, is said to have been the residence of the kings of Mercia, who had a palace here; and on an intrenched eminence to the west of the church was a castle, of which little more than the site remains. The parish is intersected by the river Bene, and comprises 2900a. 1r. 6p., the soil of which rests principally on chalk; the cottagers are chiefly employed in the making of strawplat. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19, and in the gift of the family of Proctor: the tithes have been commuted for £635, and there are 90 acres of glebe. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Bennington (All Saints)
BENNINGTON (All Saints), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Boston, wapentake of Skirbeck, parts of Holland, county of Lincoln, 5 miles (E. N. E.) from Boston; containing 539 inhabitants. This place belonged to the family of Bay, of whom William Bay was summoned to the grand council at Westminster in 1353, as member for Boston: the ancient family mansion, Bay Hall, is still entire. The parish is situated on the sea-coast, and intersected by the road from Boston to Wainfleet: it comprises by measurement 2814a. 1r. 12p., of which two-thirds are pasture, and the remainder arable; the soil is rich, and the substratum principally clay. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £33. 8. 11½., and in the gift of the Earl of Ripon. On the inclosure of the fens and marsh lands in 1818, land was allotted in lieu of tithes; the land comprises 426 acres, valued at £895 per annum. The church is a handsome structure in the decorated and later English styles, and contains a curious font; on the floor of the chancel is a marble slab, from which the brasses inlaid in it were removed during the parliamentary war, and under which are the remains of Bishop Wainfleet. There is a place of worship for Primitive Methodists; also a well-endowed school. A chantry once existed here, and near the glebe-house is a piece of ground called the Chantry Pasture.
Bennington, Long (All Saints)
BENNINGTON, LONG (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Newark, wapentake of Loveden, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 7 miles (N. W.) from Grantham; containing, with Bennington-Grange, extra-parochial, 1007 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the great north road, and bounded on the north-east by the river Witham, comprises 4000 acres of land of a clayey soil, and has some good stonequarries. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the living of Foston annexed; it is valued in the king's books at £20. 1. 10., and has a net income of £463: the patronage and impropriation belong to the Duchy of Lancaster. The tithes were commuted for a corn-rent and an allotment of land in 1784; the glebe consists of about 30 acres. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. An alien priory of Cistercian monks was founded here about 1175, the revenue of which, in the reign of Richard II., was £50 per annum. There is a mineral spring strongly impregnated with iron.
Benniworth (St. Julian)
Benniworth (St. Julian), a parish, in the union of Horncastle, E. division of the wapentake of Wraggoe, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 6½ miles (E. N. E.) from Wragby; comprising by computation 2700 acres, and containing 488 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £23. 8. 6½.; net income, £506; patron, G. F. Heneage, Esq.: the tithes were commuted for an allotment of land in 1770.
Benridge, with Kirkley and Carter-Moor
BENRIDGE, with Kirkley and Carter-moor, a township, in the parish of Ponteland, union, and W. division, of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 9½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Newcastle-uponTyne; containing 168 inhabitants. This place comprises 1085 acres, of which 27 are common or waste; it is situated to the south of the river Blyth, and east of the road from Newcastle to Rothbury.
BENRIDGE, a township, in the parish of Mitford, union of Morpeth, W. division of Morpeth ward, N. division of Northumberland, 2 miles (W. N. W.) from Morpeth; containing 70 inhabitants. This place, formerly Benrigge, or the "high ridge," derives its name from its situation on the slope of a lofty ridge of land that runs through the township from east to west. Possessions have been held here by the families of Bertram, Eure (of which was Sir Ralph Eure, a man of consideration in the county), Bolbeck, Herle, Greystock, and Dacre; the present owners of the estate are the Howards, represented by the Earl of Carlisle. The township comprises 1085 acres of open ground, and about 20 of wood; and consists of several farms, three of which form a straggling hamlet, on the south side of the highway between Stanton and Morpeth, and probably occupy the site of the ancient vill. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £84.
Bensington, or Benson (St. Helen)
BENSINGTON, or Benson (St. Helen), a parish, in the parliamentary borough and the union of Wallingford, partly in the hundred of Dorchester, but chiefly in that of Ewelme, county of Oxford, 1½ mile (N. N. E.) from Wallingford; containing, with the hamlets of Fifield, Preston-Crowmarsh, and Roke, 1254 inhabitants. In this parish was a strong fortress of the Britons, from whom it was taken on their defeat at Bedford, in 571, or, according to some authorities, in 560, by Cealwyn, third king of the West Saxons. It subsequently fell into the power of the Mercians, from whom it was seized by Cuthred, King of the West Saxons, who, revolting from Ethelbald, King of Mercia, defeated him at Burford in 752; but it was finally surrendered by the West Saxons to Offa, King of Mercia, who, enraged at the obstinate resistance of the garrison, dismantled the fortifications. The Roman way leading from Alchester to Wallingford crossed the Thames here; and there was anciently a royal palace in the vicinity. The parish contains 2880a. 2r. 13p., of which 2119 acres are arable, 344 meadow, 92 woodland, and 200 pasture. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £180; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Christ-Church, Oxford. The great tithes have been commuted for £1046, with a glebe of 17½ acres, and those of the incumbent for £157. 10., with a glebe of 3½ acres.
BENTFIELD, a hamlet, in the parish of StanstedMountfitchet, union of Bishop-Stortford, hundred of Clavering, N. division of Essex, 1¾ mile (N. W. by N.) from Stansted-Mountfitchet; containing 496 inhabitants. It is situated near the river Stort.
Benthall (St. Bartholomew)
BENTHALL (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union of Madeley, liberties of the borough of Wenlock, S. division of Salop, 2½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Wenlock; containing 587 inhabitants, who are principally employed in potteries. The navigable river Severn flows past the place. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £93; patron, the Vicar of Wenlock; impropriator, Thomas Harries, Esq.