A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Pisford, Northampton.—See Pitsford.
PISHILL, a parish, in the union of Henley, hundred of Pirton, county of Oxford, 5½ miles (N. N. W.) from Henley; containing 147 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, united to the donative of Nettlebed. The church is small, with a projecting sepulchral chapel belonging to the family of Stonor, whose elegant mansion is in the parish.
PITCHCOMBE, a parish, in the union of Stroud, Middle division of the hundred of Dudstone and King's-Barton, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 1½ mile (S. W. by W.) from Painswick; containing 243 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 209 acres, in nearly equal portions of arable and pasture: the soil is light, the surface hilly; and the neighbourhood abounds with quarries of stone of the oolite quality, used for building, but there is no quarry in the parish. A small manufactory of cloth, situated within the parish of Standish, but not far from the village, affords employment to some of the inhabitants. A road from Stroud here branches off in one direction to Gloucester, and in another to Painswick and Cheltenham. The living is a discharged rectory, united to that of Harescomb: certain impropriate tithes have been commuted for £5, and the rectorial for £48; the glebe comprises 3½ acres. The church, which forms a chaste specimen of the decorated English style, was built about 1819, on the site of a church erected in 1327, and occupies rising ground a short distance from the village. There is a place of worship for Independents.
Pitchcott (St. Giles)
PITCHCOTT (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Aylesbury, hundred of Ashendon, county of Buckingham, 6 miles (N. W. by N.) from Aylesbury; containing 68 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £304; patrons, the Heirs of the late Captain Saunders. A mineral spring rises here; and there are some remains of an ancient castle.
Pitchford (St. Michael)
PITCHFORD (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Atcham, hundred of Condover, S. division of Salop, 6½ miles (S. S. E.) from Shrewsbury; containing 186 inhabitants. This place derives its name from a stream issuing out of a rock, and forming a well near a brook or ford adjoining the village; the surface of the water is frequently covered with an oily substance called petroleum, having a strong pitchy smell. The parish, which comprises about 1400 acres, is situated on the road from Shrewsbury to Acton-Burnell; and a branch of the Watling-street leading from Atcham passes through the parish to Church-Stretton. Stone applicable to building is quarried. The venerable mansion of Pitchford presents a very picturesque appearance, and is one of the best specimens of black and white timbered-houses; it was the constant residence, for a long period, of the Otleys, from whom it descended to the earls of Liverpool, near connexions of that family. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 5. 5.; net income, £206; patron, the Earl of Liverpool. There are about 40 acres of good glebe land, with a house. The church, a very ancient fabric much admired for its neatness, contains four curious and handsome alabaster monuments of the Otley family; also a fine figure in oak of a Knight Templar, supposed to represent Baron de Pitchford, a crusader, who was buried here.
Pitchley, or Pytchley (All Saints)
PITCHLEY, or Pytchley (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Kettering, hundred of Orlingbury, N. division of the county of Northampton, 2¾ miles (S. by W.) from Kettering; containing 610 inhabitants. This parish, in Domesday book called Picts-lea and Pights-lei, comprises by measurement 2758 acres, whereof 1444 are arable, 1248 meadow and pasture, and 66 woodland. Much of the soil is very excellent, and produces fine barley; the surface is undulated and well wooded, and watered by several brooks that fall into a branch of the river Nene. The substratum contains limestone, used for building and for burning into lime; there is also marble, but of inferior quality. The females are employed in making pillow-lace, for which purpose there are schools; and the manufacture of shoes, for the dealers in the neighbourhood, is likewise carried on. The ancient manor-house built by the Isham family in Elizabeth's reign, was pulled down in 1829, and its beautiful gateway was removed in 1843 to Overston Park: the manor-house of the Washbourns still exists, though much dilapidated. The living is a vicarage; net income, £99; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Lichfield. The church, which has been recently repaired, is a venerable and spacious structure, of great antiquity, and of beautiful Norman, early English, and later English architecture. There is a small place of worship for Wesleyans. William Aylworth in 1661 bequeathed a rent-charge of £20, for the support of a free school.
In the churchyard, at a great depth, are British kistvaens or rough stone coffins, which seem to have been unknown to the builders of even the earliest walls of the church: the skeletons face the east, and Roman pottery, an amethyst, ear-drop, and a large wild-boar's tusk, have been found among them. A little distance northward of the church is a barrow; Druids' beads and other relics have been found near, and the numerous bones almost indicate a battle at some very early date. Roman coins of Nero, Drusus, and others, have been found in the parish. The usual oolite fossils of the district abound: slabs of stone are quarried, on which impressions of sand-ripple are strongly marked, crossed by footsteps of birds and crawlings of vermicular animals. A shallow valley here has a line of boulders across its surface, consisting of basalt, granite, greenstone, chalk, grit, encrinites, fossil-wood, &c., not belonging to the neighbourhood. Simon Gunton, the historian of Peterborough, was vicar of Pitchley in 1638.
Pitcomb (St. Leonard)
PITCOMB (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Bruton, E. division of Somerset, 1¼ mile (S. W.) from Bruton; containing, with the tything of Hadspen, the hamlet of Cole, and part of Discove, 394 inhabitants. This place may have derived its name from its deep situation; the surface forms sloping hills, intersected with coombs or hollows, and in one of these hollows lies the village. The parish is intersected by the Bruton and Castle-Cary road and a tributary of the river Brue, and comprises upwards of 2000 acres; the soil is mostly of good quality, but very stony in some parts. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £85; patron and impropriator, Sir H. R. Hoare, Bart. The church, which is romantically situated, is in the early English style, with a tower; the churchyard contains an ancient stone cross, the top of which is a cross patée perfect. In the neighbouring meadows, the banks of the fishponds that belonged to Glastonbury Abbey may still be traced.
Pitfold, with Churt
PITFOLD, with Churt, a tything, in the parish of Frensham, hundred of Farnham, W. division of Surrey, 2 miles (W.) from Haslemere; containing 883 inhabitants, of whom 451 are in Pitfold. A chapel of ease has been erected. There is a paper-mill.
Pitminster (St. Andrew and St. Mary)
PITMINSTER (St. Andrew and St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Taunton, hundred of Taunton and Taunton-Dean, W. division of Somerset, 3½ miles (S. by W.) from Taunton; containing 1512 inhabitants. It is intersected by the road from Taunton to Honiton, and comprises 5120 acres, of which 1131 are common or waste. The views in many places are remarkable for their beauty and extent, and the air is so mild and salubrious as to induce numerous families of respectability to reside here. There are large quarries of flint, which is much used both in building and road-making. At Blagdon, a fair for cattle is held in the last week in August. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 10. 5.; patron and impropriator, the Rev. George Robert Lawson: the great tithes have been commuted for £300, and the vicarial for £535. The present church, which is of the fifteenth century, is supposed to occupy the site of one of the Saxon era; the spire is a distinguished feature in the scenery: the chancel contains some fine alabaster monuments to the Collis family. Here are places of worship for Wesleyans and Independents.
Pitney (St. John the Baptist)
PITNEY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Langport, hundred of Pitney, W. division of Somerset, 3 miles (W.) from Somerton; containing 465 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises about 1300 acres, is situated near the road from Langport to Somerton, and facilities of communication are also afforded by the Parret river. White and blue lias stone is quarried, suitable for building and for pavements. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 14. 9½., and in the joint patronage of Mrs. Hannah Michell, and W. Uttermore, Esq.; net income, £160: the glebe consists of 15 acres. At this place has been discovered perhaps the most perfect pavement of an ancient villa yet found in England; the ruins cover about an acre and a half of ground, and the remains of the mosaics show the former splendour of the buildings. In the principal apartment are four pavements of great beauty, with nine figures in good preservation, and four well-drawn busts; in another room is the figure of a youth striking a serpent. The late Sir Richard C. Hoare, who had the subjects illustrated by engravings, supposes, from the English costume of the chief figures, that the villa belonged to the lord of the manor, and was not raised till after the departure of the Romans.
Pitsea (St. Michael)
PITSEA (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S. division of Essex, 4½ miles (W. S. W.) from Rayleigh; containing 304 inhabitants. It is situated on Pitsey creek, an arm of the river Thames, which winds round its southwestern extremity, forming a small peninsula. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 13. 4., and in the joint patronage of the Dawnay family, and J. Heathcote, Esq.; net income, £313. The church, which occupies a commanding eminence, is an ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a tower of stone surmounted by a shingled spire.
Pitsford (St. Mary)
PITSFORD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Brixworth, hundred of Spelhoe, S. division of the county of Northampton, 5 miles (N.) from Northampton; containing 545 inhabitants. This parish, formerly called Pisford, comprises by measurement 1450 acres; the soil is principally red, well calculated for wheat and barley, and the surface is gently undulated. The road from Northampton to Harborough intersects the parish. Stone is quarried for building, and a peculiar kind of soft white sand abounds. The village is beautifully situated on the brow of a hill. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 9. 7., and in the gift of Col. Howard Vyse: the tithes have been commuted for 194 acres of land, valued at £349 per annum. The church has a mixture of various styles: the chancel seems to have been added at a later date; the south doorway is a fine specimen of the early Norman style, and the font is very curious and ancient. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Baptists. Near the Northampton and Harborough road is a sepulchral tumulus called Lyman Hill; and on a neighbouring heath is a small encampment named Barrow or Borough Dykes, nearly obliterated by the plough.
Pittington (St. Lawrence)
PITTINGTON (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the S. division of Easington ward, union, and N. division of the county, of Durham, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Durham; containing, with the townships of Shadforth and Sherburn, 4577 inhabitants, of whom 2295 are in Pittington township. This parish, also called PittingtonHallgarth, from the church being situated at the hamlet of Hallgarth, comprises by computation 6330 acres, of which about 2750 are in the township. There are several coal-mines, and the produce of them is abundant: the Belmont colliery, near the turnpike-road leading from Durham to Sunderland, yields coal of excellent quality, which is shipped at Sunderland for the London market. Limestone also abounds. A railroad, eight miles long, extends from the Hallgarth colliery to the river Wear at Painshaw. The village is about half a mile to the north of Hallgarth. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 14. 2.; net income, £469; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The church is an ancient structure, principally in the Norman style, and had formerly two chantries, in honour of St. Mary and St. Katherine: in the churchyard, among other memorials, are, the effigy of a cross legged knight, and a coffinshaped stone with a Saxon inscription. At Shadforth is a separate incumbency.
PITTLEWORTH, a tything, in the parish of Broughton, union of Stockbridge, hundred of Thorngate, Romsey and S. divisions of the county of Southampton; containing 21 inhabitants, and comprising 109 acres of land. There was formerly a chapel at Pittleworth.
PITTON, a chapelry, in the parish, union, and hundred of Alderbury, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 4½ miles (E. by N.) from Salisbury; containing 401 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to St. Peter. Sir Stephen Fox, in 1711, gave £188 per annum in support of an hospital for twelve persons, and for clothing and teaching twenty children.
Pixley (St. Andrew)
PIXLEY (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Ledbury, hundred of Radlow, county of Hereford, 3¾ miles (W. by N.) from Ledbury; containing 113 inhabitants. It comprises 653 acres; the soil is a stiff clay, and the surface generally level. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 0. 2½., and in the gift of Earl Somers: the tithes have been commuted for £122, and the glebe comprises 7 acres.
PLAINMELLOR, a township, in the parish and union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, ½ a mile (S. E.) from Haltwhistle; containing, with Unthank, 150 inhabitants. This township comprises 4909 acres, of which 3101 are common or waste land; and is bounded on the north by the South Tyne, crossed here by a wooden bridge. It was at an early period the property of the family of De Ros, and in 1524, certain lands in Plainmellor yielded the principal profit attached to the office of keeper of Tindale. Subsequent possessors, either of Plainmellor or Unthank, have been the families of Ridley, Howard, Pattison, Gibson, Tweddell, and Pearson. The house of Unthank was probably the native place of Ridley, the martyr.
PLAISTOW, a ward and district chapelry, in the parish and union of West Ham, hundred of Becontree, S. division of Essex, 5 miles (E. by N.) from London. It comprises 1967a. 2r. 14p., of which about 500 acres are under cultivation, or occupied with houses and gardens, and the remainder is chiefly marshy pasture; on the south is the Thames, and on the west Bow creek. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £150; patron, the Vicar of West Ham. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was completed in 1830, at an expense of £4800, towards which the Parliamentary Commissioners contributed £2300; it is a neat edifice in the later English style. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The distinguished Edmund Burke resided here for some time.
PLAISTOW, a chapelry, in the parish of Kirdford, union of Petworth, hundred of Rotherbridge, rape of Arundel, W. division of Sussex; containing 276 inhabitants. The chapel is in the early English style.
PLAITFORD, a parish, in the union of Romsey, hundred of Alderbury, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 5½ miles (W. by S.) from Romsey; containing 267 inhabitants. The parish comprises by computation 1000 acres, of which 550 are in cultivation, and the remainder chiefly a waste heath; it is situated on the road from Salisbury to Southampton, on the northern frontier of the New Forest. The living is annexed to the rectory of West Grimstead: the tithes have been commuted for £167, and there are six acres of glebe. The church is a very plain building, with pews of ancient construction. A monastic establishment appears to have existed at a place called the Moat, about 150 yards north-west of the church, where fragments of wrought freestone and quantities of encaustic tiles have been found.
PLASHETS, a township, in the parish of Falstone, union of Bellingham, N. W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 12½ miles (W. N. W.) from Bellingham; containing 222 inhabitants. This township is of considerable extent, and includes the village and church of Falstone. The hamlet of Plashets is on the north side of the North Tyne river, and a short distance to the east of the Kennel burn. The tithes have been commuted for £228, and there is a glebe of about 12½ acres.
Platt, Lancashire.—See Rushulme.
PLAWSWORTH, a township, in the parish and union of Chester-le-Street, Middle division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 2½ miles (S. by W.) from Chester-le-Street; containing 266 inhabitants. This township, which was anciently the property of a family of its own name, is situated on the great north road, and comprises (chiefly according to survey) 1296 acres, of which a moiety is barley soil; the scenery towards the east is very pleasing. Coal exists, but no mines are in operation.
PLAXTOL, a chapelry, in the parish and hundred of Wrotham, union of Malling, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Wrotham; containing 567 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £400; patron, the Vicar of Wrotham; impropriator, the Rev. G. Moore.
Playden (St. Michael)
PLAYDEN (St. Michael), a parish, in the union and parliamentary borough of Rye, hundred of Goldspur, rape of Hastings, E. division of Sussex, ¾ of a mile (N.) from Rye; containing 312 inhabitants. This place appears, from the foundations of buildings that are frequently discovered, to have been more extensive than it is at present; it had anciently an hospital, in honour of St. Bartholomew, under the government of the abbey of Westminster. The parish comprises 1360 acres, and is intersected by the river Rother, and by the road from Brighton to Dovor, by way of Rye; the Royal Military canal also passes through it. The surface is gently undulated, and from the church is an extensive view of the sea and the surrounding country. The living is a discharged rectory, annexed to that of East Guildford, and valued in the king's books at £12; the tithes of Playden have been commuted for £300, and the glebe consists of an acre and a half. The church, situated on Playden height, is in the early English style, with a central tower between the nave and chancel, surmounted by a lofty shingled spire, which is a landmark at sea.
Playford (St. Mary)
PLAYFORD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Woodbridge, hundred of Carlford, E. division of Suffolk, 4¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Ipswich; containing 253 inhabitants. and comprising 1200 acres. Playford Hall, formerly the seat of the Felbriggs and Feltons, from whom it descended to the Marquess of Bristol, was occupied by the venerable Mr. Clarkson, the strenuous and successful opposer of the slave trade; who died here, at the age of 86, on the 26th September, 1846. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £53; patron and impropriator, the Marquess.