A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Withiel (St. Uvell)
WITHIEL (St. Uvell), a parish, in the union of Bodmin, E. division of the hundred of Pyder and of the county of Cornwall, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Bodmin; containing 468 inhabitants. The parish comprises 2740 acres, of which 370 are common or waste. It anciently belonged to the priory at Bodmin, of which establishment was Prior Vyvyan, who founded the church of Withiel. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the gift of Sir R. R. Vyvyan, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £320, and the glebe comprises 60 acres. The church, which contains an ancient font enriched with sculpture, was repaired and repewed in 1820, by the late rector; and a gallery and organ were erected in 1831, by the Rev. V. F. Vyvyan, the present incumbent. At the entrance to the rectory-house is one of the old crosses with which this part of the country abounds. Several sepulchral urns have been dug up in various places. Sir Beville Grenville, a distinguished royalist commander during the civil war of the 17th century, was born at Brynn, in the parish.
Withiell-Florey (St. Mary Magdalene)
WITHIELL-FLOREY (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Williton, hundred of Taunton and Taunton-Dean, W. division of Somerset, 7 miles (N. E.) from Dulverton; containing 113 inhabitants. It comprises 2485 acres, of which 1125 are common land. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £59; patron, Sir T. B. Lethbridge, Bart. The tithes have been commuted for £155.
Withington (St. Michael)
WITHINGTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of North leach, hundred of Bradley, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 6 miles (W.) from Northleach; containing 818 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the river Colne, comprises about 7000 acres: the soil is generally a stone-brash; the surface is hilly, and the scenery pleasing. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £30; net income, £686; patron, the Bishop of Worcester. The tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1813; the glebe altogether comprises about 1100 acres. The church is a cruciform structure, principally in the Norman style, but partly of later date: among the monuments is a handsome one to the memory of Sir John How, his wife, and nine children, in a small cross aisle on the south side of the church, the burial-place of the family. The Rev. W. Osborn, D.D., who held the living, bequeathed £100 for apprenticing children, and John Rich, Esq. gave £100 for the same purpose. A Roman pavement was discovered in the parish in 1811, a part of which was deposited in the British Museum.
Withington (St. Peter)
WITHINGTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the hundred of Broxash, union and county of Hereford, 4½ miles (E. N. E.) from Hereford; containing, with Preston-Wynne chapelry, 817 inhabitants, of whom 648 are in the township. The parish consists of 2950 acres, of which 2087 are in the township. It is intersected by the road from Bromyard to Hereford, and by a branch of the river Froome: the Gloucester and Hereford canal was opened to Withington, in Feb. 1844. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Preston-Wynne annexed, valued in the king's books at £5. 1.; net income, £250; patron, the Dean of Hereford. The Baptists have a place of worship; and there is a charitv school for girls with a small endowment.
WITHINGTON, a township, in the parochial chapelry of Didsbury, parish of Manchester, union of Chorlton, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles (S.) from Manchester; containing 1277 inhabitants. The road from Manchester to Congleton passes through the village. The township possesses the right of holding a manor court. Here stands the "Lancashire Independent College" for the education of young men designed for the ministry, a handsome and substantial pile of building with wings, lately erected by subscription, at a cost of about £20,000. It is very eligibly situated, and will accommodate fifty students. The area of the site and grounds is seven acres, part of the estate of S. Brooks, Esq., purchased for £3650. A church has recently been built at Withington, to which this township and the township of Burnage are assigned as a district. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of W. Egerton, Esq., and others; net income, £200. There is a place of worship for dissenters.
Withington (St. John the Baptist)
WITHINGTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Atcham, Wellington division of the hundred of South Bradford, N. division of Salop, 6¼ miles (E.) from Shrewsbury; containing 219 inhabitants, and comprising about 1100 acres. The Shrewsbury canal passes through. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £80; patron and appropriator, the Rector of Upton Magna: there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe contains 35 acres. The church is a plain brick edifice, with a very ancient chancel.
WITHINGTON, LOWER, a township, in the parish of Prestbury, union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 7 miles (N. N. W.) from Congleton; containing 782 inhabitants, and comprising 1681 acres of land. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Tunsted, a hill in the township, is supposed, from its Saxon etymology, viz., "the place of a town," to have been the site of an ancient ville of some consequence.
WITHINGTON, OLD, a township, in the parish of Prestbury, union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 7½ miles (N. N. W.) from Congleton; containing 191 inhabitants. It comprises 868 acres, partly a sandy soil.
WITHNELL, a township, in the parish and hundred of Leyland, union of Chorley, N. division of Lancashire, 5 miles (N. E. by N.) from Chorley, on the road to Blackburn; containing, in 1846, 2150 inhabitants. The township was a member of Hoghton manor, and part of the inheritance of a co-heiress of the Alansons, who married Roger de Withnil or Wythenall. By a charter of the 11th of Edward III., the king granted to Sir Richard de Hoghton and his heirs the privilege of free warren in their demesne lands here. The property was sold in the last century to Henry Sudell, Esq., and the trustees of that gentleman resold it to Mr. Talbot, of Preston. The township comprises 3555 acres, whereof 355 acres are arable, 2318 meadow and pasture, 103 woodland, and 779 moor, which is famous for grouse. The soil is various, and the ground being elevated, the views are very extensive, embracing the town of Preston, the river Ribble, and the district of the Fylde. Excellent stone is quarried, suitable for buildings and bridges; and there is also a flag-quarry. A fine trout-stream called the Roddlesworth flows in the township; and the Leeds and Liverpool canal skirts it on the west. Robert and John Parke, Esqrs., are now joint lords of the manor. There are two cotton-mills, one of them erected in 1838, employing 380 hands, with a power of 50 horses; the other in 1839, employing 400 hands, and having a power of 60 horses. A paper-mill, built on the canal in 1843, employs 60 persons.
A church, dedicated to St. Paul, was erected in 1841, at a cost of £1400. It is in the Romanesque style, with a tower and spire, and has a very handsome coloured eastern window: the interior was repainted and ornamented in 1846. A district has been assigned to it, comprising the whole of Withnell, and a small part of Hoghton township: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Leyland; net income, £120, with a house. The hay and vicarial tithes have been commuted for £78. 13.; the corn tithes belong to the perpetual curacy of Lango, and have been commuted for £83. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. The children of the district may attend Hoghton old school; and the Wesleyans have two schools. In the township are excellent springs of water.
Withybrook (All Saints)
WITHYBROOK (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Foleshill, Kirby division of the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick, 8 miles (N. E. by E.) from Coventry; containing, with the hamlet of Hopsford, 307 inhabitants. It comprises 2483 acres; the surface is flat, and the soil consists of loam. The Oxford canal and the Trent-Valley railway pass through. The living is a discharged vicarage, annexed to that of Monk's-Kirby, and valued in the king's books at £8. 6. 8.; the glebe contains 45 acres. There is an Independent place of worship.
Withycombe (St. Nicholas)
WITHYCOMBE (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Williton, hundred of Carhampton, W. division of Somerset, 2½ miles (S. E.) from Dunster; containing 318 inhabitants. The parish is situated about a quarter of a mile from the road between Dunster and Taunton, and comprises 1787a. 2r. 31p., of which 592 acres are common or waste: limestone is quarried, and burnt for manure. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 11. 5½., and in the gift of T. Hutton, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £241, and the glebe contains 7 acres. The church is a small edifice. Here is a Druidical circle, formed of rude stones, not far from which are two cairns.
Withycombe - Rawleigh
WITHYCOMBE - RAWLEIGH, a parish, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of East Budleigh, Woodbury and S. divisions of Devon; containing, with part of the town of Exmouth, 1192 inhabitants. It is bounded on the west by the river Exe, and comprises 1882 acres, of which 240 are common or waste. The manor was formerly held by the tenure of finding the king, whenever he should hunt in Dartmoor, two good arrows stuck in an oaten cake. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of East Budleigh: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £200, and the vicarial for £210; the glebe comprises 4 acres. A portion of the church was taken down about 1745, and a new edifice erected about half a mile from Exmouth.
Withyham (St. Michael)
WITHYHAM (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of East Grinstead, hundred of Hartfield, rape of Pevensey, E. division of Sussex, 9 miles (E. S. E.) from East Grinstead; containing 1607 inhabitants. The parish comprises 7913a. 2r. 26p., of which 3000 acres are arable, 2814 meadow and pasture, 1536 woodland, and 562 common and waste. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £25. 5. 5.; patron, the Earl Delawarr: the tithes have been commuted for £868, and there is an acre of glebe. The church, which is principally in the later English style, was built in 1624, by Richard, Earl of Dorset, who was interred here. A chapel of ease dedicated to St. John, in the early English style, was consecrated on the 23rd of July, 1839; the cost was defrayed by the rector, the lord of the manor, and some of the parishioners.
Withypoole (St. Andrew)
WITHYPOOLE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Dulverton, hundred of Williton and Freemanners, W. division of Somerset, 7 miles (N. W.) from Dulverton; containing 251 inhabitants. It is watered by the river Barle, and comprises 3574 acres, of which 1671 are arable, pasture, and woodland, and the remainder common. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Hawkridge: the tithes have been commuted for £161, and the glebe contains 30 acres. The church is a plain edifice, with a tower.
Witley (All Saints)
WITLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Hambledon, Second division of the hundred of Godalming, W. division of Surrey, 4 miles (S. W. by S.) from Godalming; containing 1488 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from Godalming to Petworth, and comprises 6324 acres, of which 3150 are arable, 900 pasture, 1100 wood, and 1174 waste. A pleasure-fair is held on the 23rd of April. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Thursley annexed, valued in the king's books at £17. 15. 10.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. J. Chandler; impropriators of Witley, J. Leech, Esq., and the Rev. J. Chandler; impropriator of Thursley, J. Knowles, Esq. The great tithes of Witley have been commuted for £13, and the small for £200. The church is a cruciform structure, principally in the early English style, with a central tower surmounted by a spire, and contains monuments to the Chandler and Webb families, and some ancient brasses. A district church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was built at Milford in 1836: the living is in the gift of the Brodrick family. There is a place of worship for Calvinists.
Witley, Great (St. Michael)
WITLEY, GREAT (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 10½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Worcester; containing, with the hamlet of Redmarley, 381 inhabitants, of whom 325 are in the township of Great Witley. The parish is intersected by the roads from Worcester to Ludlow, and from Staffordshire into Herefordshire. It lies on the north-west border of the county, at the foot of a range of hills; and comprises 2433 acres, of which 565 are arable, 1623 meadow and pasture, and 195 woodland or coppice. Pure limestone is burnt for purposes of building and agriculture, and inferior limestone is quarried for the repair of roads. An abundant supply of water is obtained from the Abberley and Woodbury hills, which are composed of ferruginous or basaltic gravel. The springs which rise in the parsonage-grounds turn a mill at a distance of 300 yards, and never vary in the driest or wettest weather. On this account it has been conjectured that they may have a more remote source than the Abberley or Woodbury hills. Witley Court, the property of Lord Ward, is a spacious and elegant mansion, beautifully situated in a park which abounds with picturesque scenery, and of which a part, formerly belonging to a religious house, pays no tithes. The mansion was occupied by the Dowager Queen Adelaide from 1842 till 1845. Some of the females are employed in making gloves for the manufacturers of Worcester. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 6. 3., and in the gift of Lord Ward: the tithes have been commuted for £400, and the glebe contains 30 acres. The church, which adjoins Witley Court, is an elegant structure, erected in the early part of the last century, by the first Lord Foley and his widow, to the former of whom it contains a superb monument by Rysbrach: the painted windows are supposed to have been executed in Italy; they were brought from the chapel at Canons, when that princely mansion of the Duke of Chandos was taken down. Fossils of various descriptions are found in the pure limestone, and some bivalves in the argillaceous stratum. On the crown of Woodbury Hill are the remains of a British camp, comprising an area of 26 acres. It is supposed to have been the station occupied by Owen Glendower in his war with Henry IV., and Abberley Hill the station of the king, as several cannon-balls have been found imbedded in the former which appear of remote formation.
WITLEY, LITTLE, a chapelry, in the parish of Holt, union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 6f miles (S. S. W.) from Stourport; containing 243 inhabitants, and comprising 995 acres. The chapel is dedicated to St. Michael.
Witlingham, Norfolk.—See Whitlingham
Witnesham (St. Mary)
WITNESHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Woodbridge, hundred of Carlford, E. division of Suffolk, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Ipswich; containing 543 inhabitants, and comprising 1996a. 21p. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18. 13. 4.; net income, £463; patrons, the Master and Fellows of St. Peter's College, Cambridge. In 1820, on removing some earth, the skeleton of a man in armour, with his horse, was exposed to view. The family of Meadows, from a branch of which the present Earl Manvers is descended, have had a seat here since the time of Richard III. Bishop Latimer was instituted to the rectory in 1538, and held it till 1554.
Witney (St. Mary)
WITNEY (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Bampton, county of Oxford; containing, with the chapelry of Hailey, and the hamlets of Crawley and Curbridge, 5707 inhabitants, of whom 3419 are in the town, 11 miles (W. by N.) from Oxford, and 65 (W. N. W.) from London. This place, anciently called Whitteney, was of some importance prior to the Conquest, and was one of the manors given to the monastery of St. Swithin at Winchester, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, by Bishop Ailwyn, in gratitude for the deliverance of Queen Emma, mother of that monarch, from the reputed fiery ordeal which she underwent in Winchester cathedral. In the reign of Edward II., solemn tournaments were held here, between Henry Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke; the latter of whom was a great benefactor to the town. In the fifth year of the same reign, the place was made a borough, and returned two members to parliament, from which, however, it was released, on petition of the inhabitants, in the 33rd of Edward III.
The town is situated on the road from London to Cheltenham and Gloucester, and on the river Windrush, a stream abounding with trout and cray-fish, much resorted to by students from Oxford, and over which a substantial stone bridge of three arches was erected in 1822. It consists principally of two streets, containing neat well-built houses, and has a clean and respectable appearance. The environs are pleasant, being varied with hill and dale. Witney has long been celebrated for its manufacture of blankets, which have been invariably regarded as superior, both in texture and colour, to all others: the latter quality is attributable to the peculiar properties of the water of the Windrush. The weavers were incorporated in the tenth year of the reign of Anne, under the designation of "the Master, Assistants, Wardens, and Commonalty of Blanket-Weavers inhabiting in Witney, in the county of Oxford, or within twenty miles thereof;" and at that time the manufacturers had 150 looms in full operation, affording occupation to more than 3000 persons, and consuming weekly about 200 packs of wool. The charter continued in force for some years, and under its provisions the company enacted laws; but in process of time, it was found to interfere with improvements in the manufacture, and having become incompatible with the interests of the trade, as at present conducted, it has nearly fallen into disuse. The number of persons now employed averages only about 1000, but the quantity of wool consumed annually, which is 10,000 packs, is nearly the same as formerly; the reduction in the number of hands being occasioned by the use of machinery. Rough coatings, webbings, horse-girthing, tilting for barges and wagons, felting for paper-makers, and mops, are likewise made to a considerable extent. The glove trade affords employment to a small number of persons; and woolstapling, as connected with the manufactures of the town, is carried on. There is also a good trade in malt. An act was passed in 1846 for making a branch to Witney, 4½ miles in length, from the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton railway.
The market is on Thursday. A market lately established for cattle and sheep is held on the last Thursday in each month; and fairs take place on the Tuesday in Easter-week, on Holy-Thursday, July 10th, the Thursday after September 8th, the Thursday before October 10th, and on December 4th. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates; and two bailiffs, assisted by two constables and other officers, are appointed by the jury at the court leet, annually: a court baron is held twice in the year by the Duke of Marlborough, as lessee under the Bishop of Winchester. The powers of the county debt-court of Witney, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Witney. A handsome blanket-hall was erected in 1721: the town-hall is a neat stone building, with a piazza for the use of the market; the market-cross, in the marketplace, near the town-hall, was erected in 1683, and repaired in 1811. The parish is co-extensive with the manor, and comprises 7084a. 35p., of which 4368 acres are arable, 1785 grass, and 556 wood.
The living comprises a rectory and a vicarage, united in the 9th of Charles I., into one benefice, by the designation of a rectory, with a reservation of the dues and fees of each, as if separate; the rectory is valued in the king's books at £47. 9. 4½., and the vicarage at £9. 12. 6.: patron, the Bishop of Winchester. The tithes have been commuted for £1714, and there is a glebehouse with land adjacent, besides a glebe-farm of 124 acres at Curbridge. The church is a spacious cruciform structure in the early, decorated, and later English styles, with a square central tower having octagonal turrets at the angles, and surmounted by a lofty spire, panelled in compartments, and richly ornamented. The nave is separated from the aisles by handsome piers and finelypointed arches, and is lighted by a range of clerestory windows in the later style. The transepts are large, and the western, which is in the decorated style, is lighted by an elegant window of seven lights; the chancel, which is small, is in the early English style, with windows of delicate tracery. There are several monumental effigies in the transepts, and many ancient tombs in various parts of the church. In each of the hamlets of Hailey, Curbridge, and Crawley, is a chapel, the first built in 1761, the second in 1836, and the last in 1837. In the town are places of worship for Independents, the Society of Friends, and Wesleyans.
The free grammar school, on Church Green, was established under an act of parliament in 1664, by Henry Box, a native of the town, and citizen of London, who endowed it with a rent-charge of £63; the buildings comprise a spacious schoolroom, with a library, dwellinghouse for the master, and a large play-ground in front. A free school was founded in 1723, by Mr. John Holloway, who endowed it with lands producing about £135 per annum, for sons of journeymen weavers; and the same benefactor erected almshouses for six widows of blanket-weavers, and assigned to them land worth £85 a year. William Blake, in 1693, endowed a school with £26 per annum. Some ancient almshouses, on Church Green, were taken down, and six substantial houses erected, in 1795, by the feoffees of the charity estates; these are at present let to tenants, and the rents distributed among the poor. Six neat almshouses for aged and unmarried women were erected in 1828, by Mr. Townsend; and there are several charitable bequests for distribution. The poor-law union of Witney comprises forty-two parishes or places, containing a population of 22,963. The Roman Akeman-street passes near the town.
Witston, or Whitson
WITSTON, or Whitson, a parish, in the union of Newport, division of Christchurch, hundred of Calpicot, county of Monmouth, 6½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Newport; containing 108 inhabitants. It comprises 842 acres; the surface is flat, and the soil clay. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 7. 8½., and in the alternate patronage of the Chapter of Llandaff and the Provost of Eton College, owners of the great tithes; net income, £180. The church, according to tradition, belonged to Portown, a place in the neighbourhood swallowed up by the sea at some remote period.