A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Pevensey (St. Nicholas)
PEVENSEY (St. Nicholas), a parish, and a member of the town and port of Hastings, in the union of Eastbourne, locally in the lowey and rape of Pevensey, E. division of Sussex, 6 miles (S. E. by E.) from Hailsham, and 60 (S. E. by S.) from London; containing 323 inhabitants. Somner considers this to have been the Anderida of the Romans; by the Saxons it was called Peofensea, by the Normans Pevensel, and at present its name is vulgarly pronounced Pemsey. It was anciently much resorted to as a sea-port, and various historical circumstances connected with it occur so early as the invasion of England, by Sweyn, King of Denmark: in the reign of Edward the Confessor, in 1049, Godwin, Earl of Kent, is stated to have taken several ships from it. Pevensey is also distinguished as the place of landing of the Conqueror, who hence proceeded to Hastings, previously to the decisive conflict at Battle. On ascending the throne, William gave Pevensey to his half-brother, Earl Robert, who protected it with a noble castle, now in ruins. It subsequently reverted to the crown, and was bestowed by Henry I. on Gilbert de Aquila, from whom the district afterwards assumed the name of the "Honour of the Eagle," the castle being esteemed the head of that honour. Henry I., in 1101, encamped here with a large army, to oppose his brother Robert, Earl of Normandy, who was supposed to design an invasion of the kingdom. In the 14th century John of Gaunt had a grant, in tail general, of the castle and leucata of Pevensey, and from him the lordship descended to the king, in the person of his son and heir, Henry IV. It was given by the latter to Sir John Pelham, and continued in that family till 1415, since which period it has been in various hands: in 1730 it was purchased by the Hon. Spencer Compton, ancestor of the present proprietor, the Earl of Burlington. The lordship lies in the parishes of Pevensey, Hailsham, and Westham.
Pevensey is now a small village, standing on a rivulet which runs into Pevensey bay. Its decline from the importance it once possessed, like that of other places in the neighbourhood, has been principally owing to the receding of the sea, from which it is now a considerable distance. Sessions for the liberty are held quarterly: over the prison, which is a small building, is the townhall. The parish contains 4351 acres, whereof 225 are common or waste; the surface is level, and was much subject to inundation previous to a late improvement in the drainage, but the tract over which the sea formerly flowed, called Pevensey Level, now comprises some of the richest fattening pastures for cattle in England. The village has still a corporation, consisting of a bailiff, jurats, and commonalty. A fair for live-stock is held on the 5th of July. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £18. 7. 8½.; patron, the Chancellor of the Cathedral of Chichester: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £1153, and there are 80 acres of impropriate glebe, and 10 of vicarial. The church is chiefly in the early English style, and has three aisles, a chancel covered with ivy, and a large and low tower; in the chancel is a handsome monument to John Wheatley, Esq.
The remains of Pevensey Castle, an interesting relic of antiquity, are situated on a craggy steep, commanding a beautiful view of the adjacent country. The external walls are circular, and inclose an area of nine acres, being, with the towers, tolerably entire for the height of twenty-five feet; they display throughout an abundance of Roman bricks, affording the strongest presumption of there having originally been a Roman fortress on the spot. Tradition informs us, that the rock on which the castle is built was once on a level with the sea; and from fossils and shells of various sorts, being occasionally met with, the account is probably true. The Duke of York, in the reign of Henry IV., was for some time confined within the walls of this castle; as was also Joan of Navarre, widow of Henry IV., who, with her confessor Friar Randal, was accused of a design to destroy the king, Henry V. James I. of Scotland likewise suffered captivity here. In 1840, on removing some earth within the castle, a great many brass coins, in a series extending over the reigns of six or seven Roman emperors, were discovered. Andrew Borde, physician to Henry VIII., and who, from his jocularities, is thought to have given origin to the appellation of "Merry Andrew," was a native of the village.
Pevington, Kent.—See Pluckley.
Pewsey, in the hundred of Ganfield, county of Berks.—See Pusey.
Pewsey (St. John the Baptist)
PEWSEY (St. John the Baptist), a small markettown, a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Kinwardstone, Everley and Pewsey, and S. divisions of Wilts, 6½ miles (S. by W.) from Marlborough; containing 1825 inhabitants. A market for corn takes place every Tuesday, and the petty-sessions for the division are held here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £26. 16. 8., and in the gift of the Earl of Radnor: the tithes have been commuted for £1200, and the glebe comprises 131 acres. The church has been enlarged. The union comprises twenty-three parishes or places, with a population of 12,259.
Pexall, with Henbury.—See Henbury.
Phillack (St. Felix)
PHILLACK (St. Felix), a parish, in the union of Redruth, E. division of the hundred of Penwith, W. division of Cornwall, 9 miles (W. by S.) from Redruth; containing 4055 inhabitants. This parish comprises about 2575 acres, of which 872 are common or waste; it is situated on the shore of St. Ives bay in the Bristol Channel, and includes a portion of the town of Hayle, and several villages. The northern parts of the parish are overwhelmed with sand, supposed to have drifted from the bay in the twelfth century. The Great Wheal Alfred, a copper-mine which formerly yielded 1000 tons of ore per month, and some other mines, are within the parish; but none are at present in operation, except the North Wheal Alfred, and even that is barely productive. Here is an iron factory, in which the largest steam-engines are made; and at Angarrack is a smelting-house for tin: a canal has been formed from the iron-works to the sea. The living is a rectory, with that of Gwithian annexed, valued in the king's books at £45. 10. 10., and in the patronage of the Rev. William Hockin: the tithes of the two parishes have been commuted for £619. 19. 6., and there are 25 acres of glebe, of which part is common. On the northern extremity of the Towan was formerly a chapel. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. An ancient cemetery was discovered a few years since, on enlarging the churchyard; and several stone graves, in which were perfect skeletons, were found on the removal of a sand bank, together with stone basins, and some stags' horns. There was a castle at Hayle Bar Riviere, in the parish, and another called Castle Kayle; the moat of the latter is still visible.
Philleigh or Filley (St. Felix)
PHILLEIGH or Filley (St. Felix), a parish, in the union of Truro, W. division of the hundred of Powder and of the county of Cornwall, 6 miles (S. W.) from Tregoney; containing 456 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises 2376a. 1r. 9p., is bounded on the west and north by the navigable river Fal; the shore is enriched with wood to the water's edge. Stone for building is quarried, and much of it conveyed to Truro by the river. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 6. 0½., and in the gift of the Heir of the Rev. Bedford Kenyon: the tithes have been commuted for £350, and the glebe comprises 22 acres. The church is of Norman architecture, very ancient, and in a tottering state. There are places of worship for Wesleyans. Within the limits of the parish are two or three beacons, and some vestiges of encampments.
Pickenham, North (St. Andrew)
PICKENHAM, NORTH (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Swaffham, hundred of South Greenhoe, W. division of Norfolk, 3½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Swaffham; containing 269 inhabitants. It comprises 1589a. 3r. 14p., of which 1100 acres are arable, and the remainder chiefly meadow and pasture. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of Houghtonon-the-Hill annexed, valued in the king's books at £5. 14. 2., and in the gift of the Rev. Henry Say: the tithes have been commuted for £471. 10., and there are 110 acres of glebe. The church is an ancient structure, with a square tower.
Pickenham, South (All Saints)
PICKENHAM, SOUTH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Swaffham, hundred of South Greenhoe, W. division of Norfolk, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Swaffham; containing 170 inhabitants. It comprises 1830 acres, of which 1262 are arable, 390 meadow and pasture, and 113 woodland. The Hall, the seat of E. T. Applewhaite, Esq., lord of the manor, is a handsome mansion. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 1. 5½., and in the gift of Mr. Applewhaite: the tithes have been commuted for £303. 12.; the glebe comprises 62 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with a circular tower, and contains several monuments to the Chute family: on the north side of the nave are the remains of a chapel in which Sir Henry Hobart, Knt., lord chief justice of the common pleas, was interred, in 1638.
Pickering (St. Peter)
PICKERING (St. Peter), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in Pickering lythe, N. riding of York; containing, with the chapelries of Goadland and Newton, and the townships of Kingthorpe and Marishes, 3901 inhabitants, of whom 2992 are in the town, 26 miles (N. N. E.) from York, and 222 (N. by W.) from London. The origin of this place is said to be very remote, being dated by tradition 270 years before the commencement of the Christian era, and ascribed to Peridurus, a British king, who was interred here, on the brow of a hill called Rawcliff. According to local tradition, also, its name is derived from the circumstance of a ring having been lost by the founder whilst washing in the river Costa, and subsequently found in the belly of a pike. An ancient castle, of great strength, which occupied an eminence near the northern extremity of the place, was the prison of Richard II. after his deposition, and previously to his removal to Pontefract, where he was murdered. During the great civil war this fortress was dismantled by the parliamentary forces. The town is long and straggling, and situated on a declivity, at the bottom of which, and through part of the town, flows a stream named Pickering beck. The castle hill commands a fine view of the fertile vale of Pickering, and on one side is a mountainous district called Black or Blake Moor, which extends to a considerable distance, and furnishes materials for making brooms. On the river Costa, which rises at Keldhead, and on the Old Beck stream, are several flour-mills. The Whitby and Pickering railway, twentyfour miles long, was opened in 1838, and has since been extended from Pickering to the York and Scarborough line near Malton. The market is on Monday; and fairs are held on the Mondays before February 14th and May 13th, on September 25th, the Monday before November 23rd, and the second Monday in all the other months, principally for cattle.
Pickering was formerly of more importance than it is at present, and was the chief town in the district; in the 23rd of Edward I. it sent members to parliament. It is still the head of an honour in the duchy of Lancaster having jurisdiction throughout the lythe and wapentake, which are co-extensive, including two market-towns and forty-six townships. A manorial court, for all actions under 40s. arising within the honour, takes place on Monday in the first whole week after Easter-Monday, and on the first Monday after Old Michaelmas-day, at the court-house in the castle. The township comprises 12,152 acres, of which 4500 are common or waste land. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean of York, valued in the king's books at £8. 3. 9.; net income, £158. The great tithes have been commuted for £1181; the vicarial glebe consists of 38 acres. The church is an ancient and spacious edifice, with a lofty spire. At Newton is a chapel of ease, and at Goadland a separate incumbency. There are places of worship in the parish for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans. The free school is supported by the interest of various endowments, amounting to about £80, with some small legacies. The union of Pickering comprises twenty-eight parishes or places, and contains a population of 10,251. On Pickering Moor are vestiges of two Roman encampments of great strength, and there are several others between the barrows and the town, as well as on the western moors.
Pickhill (All Saints)
PICKHILL (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Thirsk, partly in the wapentake of Allertonshire, but chiefly in that of Hallikeld, N. riding of York, 7 miles (W. N. W.) from Thirsk; containing, with the townships of Ainderby-Quornhow, Holme, Howe, Sinderby, and Swainby with Allerthorpe, 696 inhabitants, of whom 356 are in the township of Pickhill with Roxby. This parish, called by Spelman in his "Villare Anglicum" Pickhall, is bounded on the east by the river Swale, and on the west by the old Roman road now called Leeming-lane. It comprises an area of 4991a. 1r. 12p., of which 2131a. 38p. are in Pickhill with Roxby. The surface is undulated, and the scenery pleasingly varied; the soil in some parts is a strong clay, in others a sandy loam, and the lands generally are in good cultivation. The villages of Pickhill and Roxby are contiguous, and now form one village under the former appellation; they are seated on both sides, and near the source, of a rivulet tributary to the Swale. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 13. 4.; net income, £152; patrons and impropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The tithes have been commuted for £1360. 8., and the glebe comprises 21 acres in this parish and 13 acres in that of Wensley. The church is an ancient structure, for the repair of which 22 acres of land at Sinderby were bequeathed by William Grant and William Byerley, in 1590. Here is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A castle anciently existed at Pickhill, though not a vestige is now remaining, except the moat with which it was surrounded; and there are some fields in the parish which still retain the name of the Roman fields.
PICKMERE, a township, in the parish of Great Budworth, union of Altrincham, hundred of Bucklow, N. division of the county of Chester, 3½ miles (N. E.) from Northwich; containing 241 inhabitants. It comprises 996 acres, of which the soil is partly clay and partly sand, and cultivated for the dairy.
PICKTON, a township, in the parish of Plemonstall, union of Great Boughton, Lower division of the hundred of Broxton, S. division of the county of Chester, 4¾ miles (N. N. E.) from Chester; containing 113 inhabitants. The township comprises 770 acres of cultivated land, and 117 in roads and waste: the soil is clay. The tithes have been commuted for £80.
PICKTON, a township, in the parish of KirkLeavington, union of Stockton, W. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, N. riding of York, 4 miles (S.) from Yarm; containing 58 inhabitants. This place, sometimes written Pyketon (Peak-town), belonged in the reign of Edward I. to a family of the same name, and was afterwards the property of the Thwengs: it is now in the hands of various persons. The township comprises about 870 acres: the hamlet consists of a few houses scattered irregularly on a gently rising eminence, and commands a pleasing prospect to the south.
Pick-Up-Bank, with Yate.—See Yate.
Pickwell (All Saints)
PICKWELL (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Melton-Mowbray, and forming a detached portion of the hundred of Gartree, locally in the hundred of East Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 5¾ miles (S. S. E.) from Melton-Mowbray; containing, with the hamlet of Leesthorpe, 163 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated to the south of the road from Melton, through Oakham and Bedford, to London, comprises by measurement 2363 acres. The soil is of various qualities; near the village it is a light red earth, in some parts clay and sand mixed, and in others clay only: the surface is varied with hill and dale. Stone of an inferior kind is quarried for the repair of roads, and fossils have been found. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16; net income, £519; patron, the Earl of Gainsborough: the glebe consists of about 60 acres of fine land. Dr. William Cave, the Church historian, was born here in 1637.
Pickworth (St. Andrew)
PICKWORTH (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Aveland, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 2¾ miles (W.) from Falkingham; containing 265 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 12. 3½.; patron, the Duke of St. Alban's.
Pickworth (All Saints)
PICKWORTH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Stamford, hundred of East, county of Rutland, 4¾ miles (N. W. by N.) from Stamford; containing 132 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, annexed to that of Great Casterton, and valued in the king's books at £4. The church was demolished in the seventeenth century, and the living united to the rectory of Great Casterton in 1734, from which time the inhabitants resorted to the church there till the year 1823, when a church was built here, at the expense of the late rector, the Rev. Richard Lucas.