A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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BLACKWATER, a large village, in the parish of Yately, hundred of Crondall, Odiham and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 15 miles (E. N. E.) from Basingstoke. It occupies a low situation on the great western road, at the point of junction of the three counties of Southampton, Surrey, and Berks, and on the western bank of the river Blackwater, which is here crossed by a bridge: on the northern side of the road is a range of handsome buildings, appropriated as residences for the masters of the adjoining college of Sandhurst. A fair for cattle and sheep is held on Sept. 8th. There are places of worship for Particular Baptists.
Blackwell, or Blackhall, High
BLACKWELL, or BLACKHALL, HIGH, a township, in the parish of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, union of Carlisle, Cumberland ward, E. division of Cumberland, 2½ miles (S.) from Carlisle; containing 315 inhabitants. The manor was given by Margaret de Wigton, heiress of Sir John de Wigton, to Sir Robert Parvinge, serjeant-at-law, and afterwards lord highchancellor, in the reign of Edward III., for successfully conducting her cause against Sir Robert de Bridekirk, who had impugned her title to the barony of Wigton.
Blackwell, or Blackhall, Low
BLACKWELL, or BLACKHALL, LOW, a township, in the parish of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, Cumberland ward, union of Carlisle, E. division of the county of Cumberland, 2 miles (S.) from the city of Carlisle; containing 181 inhabitants.
Blackwell (St. Werburgh)
BLACKWELL (St. Werburgh), a parish, in the union of Mansfield, hundred of Scarsdale, N. division of the county of Derby, 3¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Alfreton; containing 477 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1675 acres, and abounds in coal, which is close to the surface; two mines are at present worked, affording employment to a part of the population, and about 50 persons are engaged in the stocking manufacture. Stone is quarried for road-making. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 4. 2.; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Devonshire: the great tithes have been commuted for £170, and the vicarial for £101; the glebe consists of an acre and a half. The church was rebuilt in 1824; its site is a bed of coal, which, a short distance from it, has a peculiar appearance, jutting out four or five yards above the turnpike-road: the churchyard contains one of the oldest yew-trees in England. There is a place of worship for dissenters.
BLACKWELL, a township, in the parish and union of Darlington, S. E. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 1¼ mile (S. W. by S.) from Darlington; containing 299 inhabitants. A stone bridge of three arches has been erected over the river Tees, which is navigable here; and a railway from Darlington to York passes in the vicinity. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The Grange, in the township, was the property and residence of George Allan, Esq., the ingenious antiquary.
BLACKWELL, a hamlet, in the parish of Tredington, union of Tewkesbury, Upper division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Blockley and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 2½ miles (N. N. W.) from Shipton-upon-Stour; containing 204 inhabitants, and comprising 669 acres. The village lies one mile west of the village of Tredington.
Blackwood, with Croborough
BLACKWOOD, with Croborough, a township, in the parish of Horton, union of Leek, N. division of the hundred of Totmonslow and of the county of Stafford, 4 miles (W.) from Leek; containing 526 inhabitants. The soil belongs to a number of freeholders.
Blacon, with Crab-wall
BLACON, with Crab-wall, a township, in the parish of Holy Trinity, Chester, union of Great Boughton, Higher division of the hundred of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester, 2 miles (W. N. W.) from Chester, on the road to Parkgate; containing 61 inhabitants. The manor appears to have been in the Mainwaring family at the time of the Domesday survey, and to have passed by successive female heirs to the Trussels, and the Veres, earls of Oxford; it was sold by the latter to Sir Christopher Hatton, and subsequently passed to the noble family of Crewe. The township comprises 1112 acres, whereof two-thirds are arable and one-third grass land: the soil is a strong clay. The Ellesmere canal passes through the township. Crabwall Hall, is a handsome mansion, lately built by Samuel Farmer, Esq.
Bladon (St. Martin)
BLADON (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Woodstock, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 2 miles (S.) from Woodstock; containing, with the hamlet of Hensington, 687 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Woodstock annexed, valued in the king's books at £16. 0. 5.; net income, £329; patron, the Duke of Marlborough. The church was built at the expense of the third duke, in 1804, when the former, a fine ancient edifice, was taken down. A fortification, supposed to be of Saxon origin, existed here; and some records of a battle fought at this place are extant.
Blaenau, Monmouth.—See Aberystwyth.
BLAENAVON, a parochial chapelry, chiefly in the parish of Llanover, division and hundred of Abergavenny, county of Monmouth, 5 miles (S. W.) from Abergavenny. The village, which has of late assumed the appearance of a thriving town, is situated in a mountainous district, near the source of the Avon Lloyd, whence it derives its name; many of the houses are excavated in the solid rock. The neighbourhood abounds with iron-ore, coal, and limestone. Iron-works on an extensive scale, belonging to the Blaenavon Company, were completed in 1789, since which they have been progressively increasing: the greater portion of the pig-iron is conveyed by means of a canal and a tramroad to Newport, whence it is exported; and another portion, together with iron, coal, and limestone, is sent to Llanfoist, for supplying Abergavenny, Hereford, &c., on the same conveyance, round the Blorange mountain and down its declivities, by means of an inclined plane. A customary market is held on Saturday. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £114; patrons, the Blaenavon Company. There are two places of worship for Baptists; and for Presbyterians, and Calvinistic, Primitive, and Wesleyan, Methodists, one each. Near the iron-works stands a spacious free school, on the national plan, endowed in 1816 by Mrs. Hopkins.
BLAGDON, a township, in the parish of Stannington, union and W. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 6¾ miles (S.) from Morpeth. This place, which lies on the south side of the Blyth, was formerly called Blakedene, and was part of the ancient barony of Morpeth: the family of Fenwick flourished on the spot for three centuries, the 15th, 16th, and 17th; it is now the property of Sir M. White Ridley, Bart., who resides at Blagdon Hall. The present mansion owes its origin to M. White, Esq., who died in 1749, since which time valuable additions and improvements have been made; it is a very extensive pile, and the main front, facing the south, has a sumptuous suite of rooms on the ground-floor, consisting of a saloon, dining and drawing rooms, and library, in all 135 feet long. The Blakedene, bordered by forest-trees, runs behind the house, on the north.
Blagdon (St. Andrew)
BLAGDON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Axbridge, hundred of Winterstoke, E. division of Somerset, 8 miles (N. E. by E.) from Axbridge; containing 1178 inhabitants. This is said to have been anciently a royal residence; and some ruins at Reg-hillbury are traditionally asserted to be the remains of the palace. The parish comprises an area of about 4000 acres, in good cultivation, and the scenery is pleasingly diversified. The substrata are chiefly limestone, which is burnt for manure, and sandstone of good quality for building; lapis calaminaris is also found. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £29. 13. 9.; net income, £430; patron, James George, Esq. The church, with the exception of the tower, which is of elegant design, has been rebuilt within the last few years, by subscription, aided by a grant of £500 from the Incorporated Society. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Thomas Baynard, in 1687, gave land now producing an income of £17. 10., for the instruction of children: John Leman gave land for apprenticing children, which now yields £13 per annum; and there are other bequests for the benefit of the poor. Dr. John Langhorne, the poet and miscellaneous writer, and for some time rector of the parish, is interred in the churchyard; the celebrated Toplady was for two years curate.
Blagrave, with Hadley
Blaisdon (St. Michael)
BLAISDON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union and hundred of Westbury, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 9 miles (W.) from Gloucester; containing 264 inhabitants. The village was considerably reduced by fire in 1699, which event is recorded on a tablet in the church, stating that the damage was estimated at £4210. 18. 9. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 7. 3½., and in the patronage of the family of Gordon.
Blakemere (St. Leonard)
BLAKEMERE (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Weobley, hundred of Webtree, county of Hereford, 10½ miles (W. by N.) from Hereford; containing 183 inhabitants, and consisting of 898 acres. On the south-west the parish is bounded by very elevated ground. The living is a discharged vicarage, united to that of Preston-upon-Wye, and valued in the king's books at £3.
BLAKENEY, a chapelry, in the parish of Awre, union of Westbury, hundred of Bledisloe, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 15 miles (S. W. by W.) from Gloucester. The village is pleasantly situated near the river Severn, which is here navigable. Fairs are held on the 12th of May and of November. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £232; patrons, the Haberdashers' Company, London. The chapel is dedicated to All Saints. There is a place of worship for Baptists.
Blakeney (St. Nicholas, St. Mary, and St. Thomas The Apostle)
BLAKENEY (St. Nicholas, St. Mary, and St. Thomas the Apostle), a small sea-port, post-town, and parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of Holt, W. division of Norfolk, 26 miles (N. N. W.) from Norwich, and 134 (N. E.) from London; containing 1021 inhabitants. This place was called Snitterley in the time of Henry III., who granted it a market: it assumed its present name in the reign of Edward III., in the 31st of which a statute was passed for the regulation of the fish trade, which was then carried on to a large extent, and attracted a great number of German merchants, several of whom fixed their residence in the town. It is chiefly noted for its excellent harbour, which is well situated for sheltering vessels, and has been improved under an act obtained in 1817: the trade consists principally in coal, timber, and deals, hemp, iron, tar, tallow, oil-cakes, &c., of which the importation is considerable; the exports are chiefly corn and flour. There is an ancient guildhall, relative to which some old deeds are yet extant. The parish comprises 1061a. 10p.; the soil is chiefly of a sandy nature, but beds of chalk are found in various parts, and between the towns of Blakeney and Clay runs the river Glaven, which, emptying itself into the sea, assists in forming the harbour. The living is a rectory, united to the livings of Little Langham, Glandford, and Cockthorpe, and valued in the king's books at £26. 13. 4. The tithes of Blakeney have been commuted for a rentcharge of £170, and an allotment of land; the glebe consists of 16 acres. The church, which stands on an elevation a little south of the town, is a handsome and spacious structure, partly in the early and partly in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower which serves as a landmark to mariners. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. There are some remains, consisting principally of several fine arches, of an ancient monastery for Carmelites, or White friars, of which Sir William de Roos, Knt., and the Lady Maud his wife, were among the chief founders; it was established in 1295, and was dedicated "to the honour of God, and the Virgin Mary." In this monastery John de Baconthorpe, a learned divine and acute metaphysician, became a friar; he was born here, and died in London in 1346.
BLAKENHALL, a township, in the parish of Wybunbury, union and hundred of Nantwich, S. division of the county of Chester, 5½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Nantwich; containing 257 inhabitants. The township comprises 1547a. 2r. 36p. The tithes have been commuted for £198. 10., of which £168 are paid to an impropriator. The trustees of the charity estate of Sir Thomas Delves, who died in 1727, pay £10 annually to a schoolmistress for the instruction of girls of the township.
Blakenham, Great, or Blakenham Super Aquas (St. Mary)
BLAKENHAM, GREAT, or Blakenham Super Aquas (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, E. division of Suffolk, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Ipswich; containing 180 inhabitants. Walter Gifford, Earl of Buckingham, appropriated the manor, in the time of William II., to the monks of Bec in Normandy, who established a cell here, which being suppressed with other alien priories, the manor was given by Henry VI. to Eton College. The Stow-Market and Ipswich canal passes along the southeastern side of the parish, which comprises 869a. 1r. 8p. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 16. 0½., and in the gift of the College: the tithes have been commuted for £195, and there are upwards of eight acres of glebe.
Blakenham, Little, or Blakenham Super Montem (St. Mary)
BLAKENHAM, LITTLE, or Blakenham Super Montem (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, E. division of Suffolk, 5 miles (N. W.) from Ipswich; containing 119 inhabitants, and comprising 1046a. 1r. 9p. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 3. 4., and in the gift of the Jackson family: the tithes have been commuted for £244, and the glebe consists of 33 acres.
Blakesley (St. Mary)
BLAKESLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Towcester, hundred of Greens-Norton, S. division of the county of Northampton, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Towcester; containing 830 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3834a. 1r. 3p., of which 2175a. 1r. 3p. are in the portion exclusively of the hamlet of Woodend: the soil varies from poor cold clay to warm red gravel and loam; the surface is gently undulated, and since the inclosure, about eighty years ago, nearly two-thirds of the land have been laid out in pasture. A branch of the Tow, which rises at Preston, runs through the parish for about two miles. Quarries of red sandstone are worked for building, and limestone for mending roads. A statute-fair is held on the first Friday after the 22nd of September. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 17.; net income, £176; patron, John Wight Wight, Esq. In 1760 land was assigned in lieu of tithes, and by the late act a rentcharge of £43. 7. is paid to the impropriator, and one of £41. 6. to the vicar; there are ten acres of glebe. A free school was founded by William Foxley, in 1669, and endowed with property now producing about £85 per annum; a Sunday school is endowed with a bequest of £200 by Sir John Knightley, Bart. There are also other charities. Blakesley Hall was anciently a religious house, occupied by a fraternity of the order of St. John of Jerusalem; and among a number of productive farms, is one of 200 acres, once the property of Dryden.
Blanchland, otherwise Shotley High-Qurarter
BLANCHLAND, otherwise Shotley High-Quarter, a chapelry, in the parish of Shotley, union of Hexham, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 10 miles (S. by E.) from Hexham; containing 476 inhabitants. It is situated on the north side of the river Derwent; and is celebrated for its leadmines, which have been extensively worked for a long period, and from which large quantities of ore are still raised: the proprietors have a smelting-furnace at Jeffries'-Rake, in the county of Durham. The village is in a narrow deep green vale, inclosed by heathy hills and morasses; the population is chiefly employed in the mines. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £198; patrons and impropriators. Lord Crewe's Trustees. The chapel was formed in 1752, by the Trustees, out of the tower and aisles of an abbey of Præmonstratensian canons founded by Walter de Bolbec, in 1175, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, and the abbot of which was elevated to the house of peers in the 23rd of Edward I.: the establishment, at the time of the Dissolution, consisted of an abbot and fourteen canons, and the revenue amounted to £44. 9. 1. After having passed through various hands, the estate was purchased by Bishop Crewe, who bequeathed it and other property for charitable purposes. Besides that part converted into a chapel, the principal gateway and other portions of the conventual buildings are still visible.
Blandford (St. Mary)
BLANDFORD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Blandford, hundred of Coombs-Ditch, Blandford division of Dorset, ¾ of a mile (S.) from BlandfordForum; containing 407 inhabitants. This parish, situated near the river Stour, and on the road to Dorchester, comprises 1557 acres of arable and pasture land in nearly equal portions; the soil is generally chalk. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 17. 8½., and in the patronage of Miss Burrough: the tithes have been commuted for £300, and there are 40 acres of glebe. The church, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1711, by Governor Pitt, ancestor of the Earl of Chatham and of Lord Camelford; it is in the Grecian style, and contains the remains of many of the Pitt family. Browne Willis, the antiquary, was born here, Sept. 14th, 1682. In 1833, six skeletons were discovered about a quarter of a mile from Blandford Bridge; a single skeleton was also found a short distance from the others, and a variety of Roman coins, a Greek coin, a bronze figure of Our Saviour, and a glass vessel two inches in length, evidently formed in a mould, and impressed with two grotesque heads.
Blandford-Forum (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BLANDFORD-FORUM (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Blandford, comprising the borough and market-town of Blandford-Forum and the township of Pimperne, in the hundred of Pimperne, Blandford division of Dorset, 16 miles (N. E.) from Dorchester, and 104 (S. W.) from London; containing 3349 inhabitants. This place derived its name from its situation near an ancient ford on the river Stour, called by the Romans Trajectus Balaniensis. It was nearly destroyed by an accidental fire in 1579, but was soon afterwards rebuilt. During the civil war in the reign of Charles I., it suffered severely for its loyalty to that monarch; in 1644 it was plundered by the parliamentarian forces under Major Sydenham, and, not being fortified, became an easy prey to the contending parties, by whom it was frequently assailed and alternately possessed. In 1677, and in 1713, it again suffered greatly from fire, and in 1731 was, with the exception of forty houses only, consumed by a conflagration, which destroyed also the hamlets of Blandford St. Mary and Bryanston, in which only three dwellings were left. After the last calamity, which is recorded on a marble tablet over a pump near the church, it was rebuilt by act of parliament, in 1732.
The town is pleasantly situated on the road from London to Exeter, within a curve of the river Stour, over which is a bridge; the streets are regularly formed and well paved, the houses modern and uniformly built of brick, and the inhabitants amply supplied with water. A theatre, a neat and commodious building, is opened occasionally; and races, which have been established for more than a century, are annually held in August, near the town, the course being one of the best in the kingdom. The manufacture of lace of a very fine quality, equal, if not superior, to that made in Flanders, and valued at £30 per yard, formerly flourished here: the making of shirt-buttons, for which Blandford has long been noted, and which formerly afforded employment to a very considerable number of females in the town and the adjacent villages, is now almost discontinued. The market is on Saturday; the fairs, chiefly for horses, horned-cattle, sheep, and cheese, are held on March 7th, July 10th, and Nov. 8th, and to each a court of piepoudre is attached. Blandford is a borough by prescription, and is parcel of the duchy of Lancaster, the arms of which are borne on the corporation seal; it has also a charter, granted by King James I., who, by separate letters-patent, gave the manor and vill to the bailiff and burgesses. By the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the corporation now consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; the mayor and late mayor are justices of the peace. A court leet is held; and the county magistrates hold petty-sessions here for the division: the powers of the county debt-court of Blandford, established in 1847, extend over the greater part of the registration-district of Blandford. The town-hall is a neat edifice of Portland stone, supported on pillars, with an entablature. The burgesses exercised the elective franchise from the 23rd of Edward I. till the 22nd of Edward III., when it was discontinued.
The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 8. 1½.; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Winchester. The great tithes have been commuted for £152. 10., and the vicarial for £112. 10.; there are nearly 13 acres of glebe belonging to the appropriators. The church is a handsome modern edifice in the Grecian style, with a tower surmounted by a cupola and ornamented with a balustrade and urns. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The free school, to the north-west of the church, is of uncertain foundation: it has a small endowment. The Blue-coat school, for the clothing and instruction of twelve boys, and for apprenticing three of them, was founded by Archbishop Wake, who in 1728 bequeathed £1000 for these purposes: this sum was expended in purchasing New South Sea annuities, and, by repeated additions, the total amount now standing to the account of the trust is £1716, yielding a dividend of £51. 9. There is also a small sum for the instruction of four boys, arising from a benefaction of William Williams, who in 1621 left £3000, laid out in land now producing £465 per annum, for instruction and other charitable purposes. In 1685, almshouses for ten aged persons were founded by George Ryves; the income is about £260. In the churchyard are others supported by property bequeathed by Sir Edward Uvedale, and occupied by five poor women. The union of Blandford comprises thirty-three parishes or places, and contains a population of 13,856. On a hill to the north of the town was formerly an intrenchment, inclosing an area 300 paces in length and 200 in breadth, which has long been under cultivation; the only relic now visible is an adjoining barrow.
Sir Thomas Ryves, LL.D., a learned antiquary and civilian; the Rev. Bruno Ryves, D.D., publisher of the Mercurius Rusticus (an early newspaper in the time of the parliamentary war) and one of the writers of the Polyglot Bible, who was born in 1596; the Rev. Thomas Creech, M.A., translator of Lucretius, born in 1659; William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, born in 1657; Edward Wake, uncle to that prelate, and founder of the institution for the Sons of the Clergy; Dr. Lindsey, Archbishop of Armagh; Dr. Samuel Lisle, Bishop of Norwich; and the Rev. Christopher Pitt, translator of Virgil's Æneid, who died in 1748, and was buried in the church; were natives of the parish. Blandford gives the title of Marquess to the Duke of Marlborough.