A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Powderham (St. Clement)
POWDERHAM (St. Clement), a parish, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of Exminster, Wonford and S. divisions of Devon, 7 miles (S. E. by S.) from Exeter; containing 318 inhabitants. Powderham Castle and grounds, the ancient seat of the Courtenays, earls of Devon, are delightfully situated on an acclivity rising from the western bank of the navigable river Exe. The castle, now merely retaining its castellated appearance, was in Leland's time a strong fort, with a barbican for the protection of Exe haven, and during the parliamentary war was fortified with eighteen pieces of ordnance, and garrisoned with 300 men. The present drawing-room was once a chapel, and the new musicroom was built partly on the site of another chapel. The Belvidere tower, occupying an elevated site above the castle, commands a noble land and sea view. The parish comprises 1452a. 1r. 23p., of which 433 acres are arable, 577 pasture, 56 orchard, and 325 woodland; the surface is hilly, the soil sandy in the upper part, and a good loam in the remainder. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £27. 3. 6½., and in the gift of the Earl of Devon: the tithes have been commuted for £270, and the glebe comprises 93 acres. The church, an ancient edifice with a square tower, contains a wooden screen; and in a window of the north aisle is the stone effigy of a lady, probably one of the Courtenays.
Powick (St. Peter and St. Lawrence)
POWICK (St. Peter and St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Upton, Lower division of the hundred of Pershore, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 2¾ miles (S. S. W.) from Worcester; containing, with the chapelry of Clevelode and hamlet of Woodsfield, 1704 inhabitants. In December, 1642, an action was fought near this place, between the parliamentarian troops under Colonel Sandes, and the royalists under Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, wherein the former were defeated, and the colonel mortally wounded. The parish comprises 5190 acres, of which about half are arable of various qualities, and half meadow and pasture; there are a few acres of wood, and about 140 of waste: the soil varies from the best sandy loam to the stiffest marl. The meadow lands stretch about 4 miles north and south, first by the Teme, and after its junction with the Severn, along the banks of that river, presenting at times a scene of remarkable solitude. A new bridge across the Teme was erected in 1837, consisting of one main iron arch, with a small arch in each abutment, of red granite. There are many villas, some of which occupy sites beautifully secluded; most of them are built with considerable taste, and surrounded with ornamental pleasure-grounds. On an eminence overhanging the hamlet of Stanbrooke is a convent of English nuns of the Benedictine order, established in France, but driven to England at the French revolution in 1793; they first settled at Preston, in Lancashire, thence removed to Salford House, Warwickshire, and fixed themselves here in June 1838. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the chapelry of Clevelode, valued in the king's books at £10. 2. 7.; net income, £290; patron, the Earl of Coventry; impropriators, the Corporation of Worcester. The church is a spacious cruciform structure, presenting some Norman details in the transepts. A national school is supported; and a fund of £70 per annum, arising from bequests, is distributed among the poor. Two sepulchral Roman urns, containing burnt human bones, were dug up about 1832, at the village, at the point of the tongue of land between the roads leading to Upton and Ledbury: other relics have been found in the vicinity.
POWNAL-FEE, a township, in the parish of Wilmslow, union of Altrincham, hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 3¾ miles (S. by W.) from Stockport; containing 1895 inhabitants. It comprises 3164 acres, of which 633 are common or waste: the soil is partly clay and partly sand, and the surface level. The tithes have been commuted for £441, and there is a glebe of 8 acres.
POXWELL, a parish, in the union of Weymouth, hundred of Winfrith, Dorchester division of Dorset, 7 miles (S. E. by S.) from Dorchester; containing 150 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises by measurement 851 acres, is intersected by the road from Wareham to Weymouth. Stone is quarried for common building purposes, and for rough stone walls. The living is a rectory, united in 1749 to that of Warmwell, and valued in the king's books at £9. 5. 5.: the glebe comprises 30½ acres. There are some remains of what is supposed to be a Druidical temple, on a hill to the left of the road towards Weymouth.
Poynings (Holy Trinity)
POYNINGS (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Steyning, hundred of Poynings, rape of Lewes, E. division of Sussex, 6 miles (N. W.) from Brighton; containing 283 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1352 acres, of which 604 are arable, 261 pasture, 350 sheep-down, and 137 woodland. The greater part is situated on the downs, including the elevated and picturesque encampment called the Devil's Dyke, which occupies the southern extremity of the parish. The intrenchment is of an oval form, nearly a mile in circumference, and fortified by a broad ditch and rampart thrown up between the hill and the main downs, in those parts where the Dyke itself, a natural ravine much improved by art, does not form a sufficient defence. A brook which rises at the bottom of the Dyke, supplied the barons Poynings, in whom the manor was vested from a period soon after the Conquest, with several fish-ponds, one of which, since transferred to the rectory in exchange, covers about two acres. The village lies under the northern escarpment of the downs. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10; patrons, the Heirs of the late Viscount Montagu: the tithes have been commuted for £273, and the glebe consists of about 15 acres here, and 70 in Piecombe. The church, which is partly in the decorated and partly in the later English style, is in the form of a cross, but without aisles, and has a neat square tower in the centre; it was rebuilt in 1370, by direction of the will of Michael de Poynings, one of the barons of that family.
POYNTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Prestbury, union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester; containing, with the township of Worth, 1509 inhabitants, of whom 854 are in Poynton township, 4½ miles (S. by E.) from Stockport. This place, anciently called Ponynton and Poynington, remained in the possession of the male line of the family of Warren from the reign of Edward III. till the year 1801, when it terminated in Sir George Warren, K.B., from whose daughter, Viscountess Bulkeley, the manor passed by will to the Hon. Frances Maria Warren, afterwards Lady Vernon, who was succeeded by her son the present lord. The chapelry comprises by measurement 2921 acres, and is intersected by the road between Macclesfield and Stockport, and by the Macclesfield canal: there are several collieries, and a small quarry produces stone used chiefly for walls. The ancient Hall, built about the middle of the 16th century, was taken down by Sir G. Warren, and a modern mansion erected on a large scale not far from the site; the grounds are extensive, and form an interesting feature in the scenery. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Lord Vernon; net income, £85: the glebe comprises about 30 acres. The chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas, was rebuilt by Sir G. Warren, in 1786, and has been recently enlarged; in some of the windows are the armorial bearings of the Warren and Bulkeley families, in painted glass. Three schools are supported by Lord Vernon.
Preen, Church (St. John the Baptist)
PREEN, CHURCH (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Atcham, hundred of Condover, S. division of Salop, 6¼ miles (W. by S.) from the town of Wenlock; containing 101 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £70; patron, W. Webster, Esq. Here was a small Cluniac priory, a cell to that of Wenlock.
Prees (St. Chad)
PREES (St. Chad), a parish, in the union of Wem, Whitchurch division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop; containing 3270 inhabitants, of whom 1538 are in the township of Prees with Steel, 4¾ miles (N. E.) from Wem. The parish comprises between 13,000 and 14,000 acres, and is intersected by the road from Whitchurch to Shrewsbury, and by that from Chester to Birmingham. Prees once had a weekly market and annual fair, the former of which has been long disused: two fairs are now held on the second Mondays in April and October. A considerable traffic is carried on in coal, lime, and slate, by means of the Quise Brook canal, which runs through the parish. The living is a vicarage (with the great tithes of the township of Whixall annexed), valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £471; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Lichfield. The glebe comprises 68 acres. The church, an ancient cruciform structure, with a tower of modern erection, contains two old figures of Moses and Aaron, and some pieces of tessellated pavement; also several monuments to the ancestors of the late General Lord Hill, who was born here in 1772. At Whixall and Calverhall are chapels. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists; and charity schools with several small endowments.
Preesall, with Hackensall
PREESALL, with Hackensall, a township, in the chapelry of Stalmine, parish of Lancaster, union of Garstang, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of Lancashire; containing 947 inhabitants. "Pressonede" in the Domesday survey was estimated at six carucates of land: the tithes were granted by Roger de Poictou to the priory of Lancaster. In the reign of Richard I., Geoffrey l'Arbalistrier, ancestor of the Sherburnes, was lord of Hackensall; and in the 49th of Henry III., John de Hacunesho held it: in the 20th of Henry VIII., Thomas Bothe held both manors; and in 1664, Francis Fleetwood, son of Sir Paul Fleetwood, of Rossall, was of Hackensall, which afterwards passed to the Heskeths. The manors are now held by the Bourne family. The township is situated opposite to the town of Fleetwood, from which it is divided on the west by the river Wyre. It comprises 2090a. 3r. 6p.; probably threefifths of the land are arable, and the remainder pasture, including about 10 acres of woodland, and some orchards, &c. Adjoining the Wyre, the land is high, with a stiff clay or marl soil: on the north and north-east it is level, with a sandy soil; on the east and south-east, it is moss, both cultivated and uncultivated. Towards the centre of the township is a singularly-formed hill, rising very abruptly on the north-east, east, and south-east, but with a gradual ascent from the opposite sides; it is composed of red sand on the south, and of marl on the north. The hill forms a conspicuous object for many miles round on every side; while from it are obtained the most extensive views of Morecambe bay, with the mountains beyond, and the surrounding country.
An estate here, called Curwens Hill, of about 80 acres, and another called the Hackensall estate, of 250 acres of very fertile land, belong to James Bourne, Esq., of Heathfield House, Wavertree, near Liverpool. KnotEnd, an estate of 300 acres, including the Bourne Arms, and beautifully situated at the mouth of the Wyre, with fine views of the sea and the Lake mountains, is also the property of Mr. Bourne. Bank Cottage is the property of Richard Cardwell Gardner, Esq., of Newsham House, near Liverpool: this place, also, commands charming views of Morecambe bay, the Lake mountains, and the opposite shore of Furness. Near Parrox Hall is a tumulus, which has never been opened. In 1846, at six feet below the surface, and within a few yards of the seashore, embedded in a thick stratum of clay, were found the antlers and skeleton of a deer; antlers, some of very large size, have also been occasionally dug up at other places in the township. The tithes have been commuted for £353 payable to impropriators, and £128 to the incumbent of Stalmine: there is a glebe of 31½ acres. The Independents have a place of worship. Richard Fleetwood, in 1687, built a school, and endowed it with an annuity of £11. 6. 8.
PRENDWICK, a township, in the parish of Alnham, union of Rothbury, N. division of Coquetdale ward and of Northumberland, 10 miles (N. N. W.) from Rothbury; containing 53 inhabitants. It lies one mile east from Alnham, not far from the river Aln; and was once the property of the Alder family, by whom the place was sold in the beginning of the 18th century.
PRENTON, a township, in the parish of Woodchurch, union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of Cheshire, 3 miles (S. W. by S.) from Birkenhead; containing 110 inhabitants. This place is mentioned in the Domesday survey as Prestune, and was then held by Walter de Vernon, brother to Richard, baron of Shipbrook. In the reign of Edward III., one of a family that had assumed the local name, was lord of the manor, which continued to be held by his posterity for several generations. In the early part of the 16th century, the manor passed with an heiress of the Prentons to the Gleaves; and from them it came to the Hockenhalls, whose trustees sold it in 1782 to the family of Lyon. The township comprises 624 acres, with partly a clayey and partly a sandy soil, and lies at the south-eastern extremity of the parish: the houses in the little hamlet are superior to those of a similar class in the adjacent villages. Old Prenton Hall stood in a sheltered dingle, surrounded with trees of large growth: its site is now occupied by a large and respectable stone-built farmhouse: the lords of the manor having long since deserted the township. The tithes have been commuted for £125.
PRESCOT, an extra-parochial liberty, in the union of Winchcomb, Upper division of the hundred of Tewkesbury, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 5¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Cheltenham; containing 62 inhabitants. This place was anciently covered with wood, and belonged to the monks of Tewkesbury, whence its ancient name Priest Coed, now Prescot.
Prescot (St. Mary)
PRESCOT (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster; containing 35,902 inhabitants, of whom 5451 are in the town, 8 miles (E. N. E.) from Liverpool, 51 (S.) from Lancaster, and 197 (N. W.) from London. This town, which covers 186 acres, stands on an eminence, on the road from Liverpool to Manchester, and commands an extensive view of the surrounding country, the Cheshire hills, and the Welsh mountains. It lies principally on a substratum of coal, several mines of which are excavated to its very edge; and the collieries not only furnish abundant employment to the labouring class, but supply fuel at a cheap rate to the inhabitants, and essentially promote the manufacturing interest of the district. The watch-making business is a chief pursuit in the town and its vicinity, where there are a great number of master watch-makers, who employ several hundred workmen: this branch of trade was introduced about the year 1730, by Mr. John Miller, of Yorkshire, and the district has long been noted for the superior construction of watch-tools and motion-work, viz.: springs, wheels, hands, and all the minute and delicate parts of the mechanism. The drawing of pinion wire, extending to 50 different sizes, and remarkable for its adaptation to the requisite purposes, originated here; and small files, considered to be of unparalleled excellence, are exported in large quantities. The manufacture of coarse earthenware, especially sugar moulds, has been established for a very long period, the clay of the neighbourhood being peculiarly adapted to that purpose; and a few persons are employed in the cotton business; the manufacture of glass bottles is likewise carried on. The Liverpool and Manchester railway passes about one mile south of the town.
Among the public buildings and institutions of Prescot, are, a town-hall, erected in 1765; a mechanics' institute, in 1839; a sessions-house; a prison, built in 1811; and some gas-works, in 1834. A charter for a market and fair was granted in the 7th of Edward III.: there are now two markets, on Tuesday and Saturday; also a fair every fortnight for cattle, from Shrove-Tuesday to the first Tuesday in May. The inhabitants have, since the time of Henry VII., claimed exemption from serving on juries, except within the manor, also from the payment of all tolls to public markets, with divers other privileges. A court baron is held six times a year; and a court leet on the festival of Corpus Christi, when a coroner for the manor and liberty is appointed. There is a court of requests, for the recovery of debts to any amount, at which the steward of the manor presides; and petty-sessions for the Prescot division of the hundred take place once a month.
The parish consists of the chapelries of Farnworth, Rainford, St. Helen's, and Great Sankey, and the townships of Bold, Cronton, Cuerdley, Ditton, Eccleston, Parr, Penketh, Prescot, Rainhill, Sutton, Whiston, Widness, and Windle. It comprises by measurement 36,000 acres of land; the soil is generally a rich, sandy, vegetable loam, principally in pasture, but yielding also potatoes and grain in abundance. The Mersey winds along the southern verge of the parish; and at Cuerdley Marsh, a little below the point at which it receives the river Sankey, it opens into a wide arm. To the south of Widness, the Mersey is contracted into a confined passage, denominated Runcorn-Gap, where (on the Cheshire side) the Duke of Bridgewater's canal terminates, and where the Sankey canal, and the St. Helen's and Runcorn-Gap railway, communicate with the river. The Sankey, rising on Rainford Moss in two branches, and passing on the south of St. Helen's, whence it is accompanied by the Sankey canal, is lost in the Mersey a little to the south of Sankey Bridges, at the east-southeast extremity of the parish. East of St. Helen's it is increased by a brook from Billinge, on the north, and by another from Rainhill, on the south; and flows eastward for some distance, when it winds directly south under a magnificent viaduct of the Manchester railway. The principal old mansions in the parish are, Bold Hall; Peel, in Widness; Eccleston Hall; and Halsnead, in Whiston, a large mansion of brick, standing on the margin of the town, yet overlooking a noble expanse of country, the seat of Richard Willis, Esq.
The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £24. 10.; net income, about £1500; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge. The church is an ancient edifice, of which the old steeple was, in 1789, struck by lightning, and replaced by an elegant tower and spire, 156 feet high. The interior is very beautiful, and the roof constructed of noble timber arches; an eastern window of painted glass, representing the Four Evangelists, was inserted in 1846, by Miss Chorley, at a cost of £300. Of numerous monuments, are, one of great elegance, by Westmacott, to William Atherton, Esq.; and a curious one, of Captain Ogle, who is represented standing erect, against the chancel wall, near the altar: he was one of the officers who defended Lathom House. There are churches at Eccleston, Farnworth, Parr, Rainford, Rainhill, St. Helen's, Great Sankey, and Sutton. The Unitarians, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans, have places of worship in the town; and at Portico, a mile and a half on the east, is a Roman Catholic chapel, a plain structure, built in 1790, at a cost of £1500, and dedicated to St. Nicholas: the priest has a house, and 10 Cheshire acres of land. The free grammar school, which is of somewhat uncertain foundation, was endowed by various benefactors, and in 1759 the present schoolhouse was built by subscription: the income is estimated at £159. It has a preference to seven fellowships in Brasenose College, Oxford; and two exhibitions to the same college, for natives of Prescot, educated in the school. In 1824, Mrs. Jane Chorley bequeathed the sum of £2000, for establishing a girls' school; and there are some almshouses founded and endowed originally by Oliver Lyme, to which several additions have been made. Among the numerous other benefactions to the parish are funds for apprenticing children, and schools are supported at various places. The poor-law union embraces 20 townships, and contains a population of 43,739: part of the parish is in the union of Warrington. The celebrated tragedian, John Philip Kemble, was born here in 1757.
Preshute (St. George)
PRESHUTE (St. George), a parish, in the union of Marlborough, hundred of Selkley, Marlborough and Ramsbury, and N. divisions of Wilts, ½ a mile (S. W. by W.) from Marlborough; containing, with the tythings of Clatford, Elcot, and Manton, 898 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £186; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury. The church is partly in the Norman style, and has a plain ancient font of dark grey marble.
Prestbury (St. Peter)
PRESTBURY (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester; comprising the town of Macclesfield, and containing 51,543 inhabitants, of whom 390 are in the township of Prestbury. The parish is the largest in the county, consisting of 32 townships, of which nine are in the parochial chapelry of Macclesfield; the others are, Adlington, Birtles, Bollington, Bosley, Butley, Capesthorne, Chelford, Fallybroome, Henbury with Pexhall, Lyme-Handley, Marton, Mottram St. Andrew, Newton, Poynton, Prestbury, North Rode, Siddington, Tytherington, Upton, Lower and Old Withington, Woodford, and Worth. In Prestbury township are only 638 acres of land; the soil is partly clay and partly sand. Fairs for cattle take place on April 28th and October 22nd; and a court leet and baron for the township is held in May and December, the jurisdiction of which comprehends all pleas under 40s. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £450; patron and impropriator, C. Legh, Esq. The church is of great antiquity, and has portions in various styles. On the south side is a low building of stone, now used as a parochial school-house, but which is considered to be an ancient Norman church, and consists of a nave and chancel, with an enriched west entrance. In a private chapel, which terminates the south aisle of the church, is a piscina, together with a portion of a carved oak screen. There are eleven incumbencies in the chapelry of Macclesfield, and others at Bollington, Bosley, Capesthorn, Chelford, Henbury, Marton, Poynton, North Rode, Saltersford, Siddington, and Woodford. The dissenters have also numerous places of worship.
Prestbury (St. Mary)
PRESTBURY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Cheltenham, Lower division of the hundred of Deerhurst, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 1¼ mile (N. E.) from Cheltenham; containing 1283 inhabitants. This place, formerly a market-town, in the reign of Henry VII. was destroyed by fire, and is now only a village. A garrison was placed here by the parliamentarians during the civil war. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11; patron and impropriator, J. W. Agg, Esq.: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £258, with a glebe of 21 acres; and the impropriate for £388. Mineral springs are found here similar to those of Cheltenham.
PRESTOLEE, a hamlet, in the chapelry of Ringley, parish of Prestwich, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 3 miles (S. E.) from Bolton. In this hamlet are the extensive cotton-mills of Mr. Thomas B. Crompton, established in 1825, and employing 1000 hands. There are also print-works.