A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Wiveliscombe (St. Andrew)
WIVELISCOMBE (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, in the union of Wellington, W. division of the hundred of Kingsbury, W. division of Somerset, 28 miles (W.) from Somerton, and 155 (W. by S.) from London; containing 2984 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity, but neither its origin nor the etymology of its name can be traced with certainty: conjecture has deduced the latter from the Saxon Willi or Vili, signifying "many," and Combe, "a deep ravine" or "dell." The town occupies a gentle eminence, in an extensive valley inclosed by lofty hills, which suddenly break into deep ravines. The houses are in general neat and well built, and by the removal of several of the more ancient buildings, the streets have been widened, and the general appearance of the town improved. The inhabitants are supplied with water by pipes from a spring on Mawndown, a hill about a mile distant. A woollen manufacture is carried on, but not on so large a scale as formerly; the articles consists chiefly of clothing for the West India markets, swanskins for the Newfoundland fishery, and blankets for the home trade: the number of persons regularly employed varies from 800 to 1000. The markets are on Tuesday and Saturday, at the former of which, the principal, a great deal of business is transacted in corn, &c. A great market for prime oxen of the North Devon breed, considered to be the largest in the west of England, is held on the last Tuesday in February; and fairs take place on May 12th for oxen and other cattle, and September 25th for sheep. The town is under the superintendence of a bailiff and portreeve, with aletasters and other officers, all of whom are chosen at a court leet held annually: it is said to have been formerly a parliamentary borough, and that it was relieved from the elective franchise on petition. The parish includes the tythings of Croford, Langley, Nunnington, Oakhampton, West-Town, and East and West Whitefield; comprising 5790 acres, of which 78 are common or waste land.
The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Prebendary of Wiveliscombe in the Cathedral of Wells, valued in the king's books at £27. 0. 10.; net income, £300. The church is a very handsome edifice in the ancient English style, erected a few years since, at an expense of £6000, raised on the security of the parochial rates, to be paid off in twenty years, aided by a general subscription, and a grant of £500 from the Incorporated Society, for which 460 free sittings were provided. Here is a place of worship for Independents; also an infirmary established in 1804. In the parish are two ancient encampments; one of them on an eminence at a place called Castle, of a circular form, and very perfect; the other at Courtneys, square, and evidently of Roman origin. There are also some remains of an old episcopal palace, including an archway leading into the workhouse, and the kitchen, which is nearly entire. In digging for the foundation of the new church, it was discovered that the tower of the former had been erected upon the foundations of a still more ancient building; and a variety of Roman and Saxon coins was found, together with some Nuremberg counters, used by the monks in their calculations on the abacus.
Wivelsfield (St. John the Baptist)
WIVELSFIELD (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Chailey, partly in the hundred of Street, rape of Lewes, and partly in that of BurleyArches, rape of Pevensey, E. division of Sussex, 4 miles (S. E.) from Cuckfield; containing 732 inhabitants. It comprises 2765 acres, of which 70 are common or waste. The London and Brighton railway passes through. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £94; patron and impropriator, R. Tanner, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for £423. The church is principally in the early English style. There is a place of worship for Independents. The late Countess of Huntingdon resided here, and the Rev. Mr. Romaine frequently visited the place.
Wivenhoe (St. Mary)
WIVENHOE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Lexden and Winstree, Colchester division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 4½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Colchester; containing 1599 inhabitants. The village is situated on the Colne river, and much shipping belongs to the port: it has a regular custom-house establishment, with a commodious quay, whence the noted Colchester oysters are shipped for the London and other markets. The greater portion of the male population are employed in the oyster and other fisheries, and as pilots through the intricate navigation of the eastern coast. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the gift of N. C. Corsellis, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £440, and the glebe comprises 29 acres. The church, which has been enlarged, is an ancient structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower. There is a place of worship for Independents. In 1718, Mr. Feedham left £50 (at the inclosure exchanged for land), directing the proceeds to be employed in clothing widows of sailors.
WIVERTON HALL, with a demesne of 1002 acres of land, an extra-parochial liberty, in the county of Nottingham, 2½ miles (S.) from Bingham. This district, the soil of which is rich, is bounded on the east by the river Smite.
Wiveton (St. Mary)
WIVETON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of Holt, W. division of Norfolk, ½ a mile (W. by S.) from Cley; containing 240 inhabitants. It comprises 1018a. 34p., of which 717 acres are arable, 211 pasture, and 89 wood and heath. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £15, and in the patronage of Lady Listowel: the tithes have been commuted for £212, and there are 33 acres of glebe. The church is a handsome edifice, chiefly in the later style, with a square embattled tower; the font is handsomely sculptured, and the nave is lighted with clerestory windows. Ralph Greenaway in 1529 bequeathed some property, now consisting of the rectorial tithes of Briston, with a barn and a rood of land, and £1141. 11. three per cent, consols., the whole producing an income of £264, for the repair of the church, a weekly distribution of bread and money among the poor, and a Sunday school.
Wix, or Weeks (St. Mary)
WIX, or Weeks (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Tendring, N. division of Essex, 4 miles (E. S. E.) from Manningtree; containing 808 inhabitants. It comprises 3090 acres, which, with the exception of about 20 acres of pasture, and the same quantity of wood, are all arable land in good cultivation. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £120; patron, the Rev. Geo. Wilkins. The tithes have been commuted for £682. The church is a small edifice, built with the ruins of a structure which had gone to decay. A Benedictine nunnery in honour of the Virgin Mary, was founded here in the time of Henry I., by Walter Mascherell and others; at its suppression, it was valued at £92. 12. 3., and granted to Cardinal Wolsey, towards erecting and endowing his intended colleges.
Wixford (St. Milburg)
WIXFORD (St. Milburg), a parish, in the union of Alcester, Stratford division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 2 miles (S.) from Alcester; containing 121 inhabitants, and comprising 505 acres. The living is annexed to the rectory of Exhall: the tithes were commuted for land and money payments in 1767.
WIXOE, a parish, in the union and hundred of Risbridge, W. division of Suffolk, 12 miles (N. W. by N.) from Halsted; containing 164 inhabitants, and comprising by admeasurement 610 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 13. 1½., and in the gift of J. P. Elwes, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £200, and the glebe comprises 12 acres. The church has a handsome Norman doorway on the south side.
Woburn (St. Mary)
WOBURN (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Manshead, county of Bedford, 15 miles (S. W. by S.) from Bedford, and 42 (N. W. by N.) from London; containing 1914 inhabitants. This town, which, having suffered severely from fire in the year 1595, and again in 1724, is almost entirely modern, occupies a gentle eminence on the main road from London to Leeds, and consists of four broad and handsome streets that intersect each other at right angles. The approaches to it from the north and the south, are kept in excellent repair, and have been embellished with two ornamental houses corresponding in architectural character with the market-house in the centre of the town, an oblong edifice in the Tudor style, erected by the late Duke of Bedford in 1830, from designs by Mr. Blore. The sides of this building have each four cloister arches filled with ironwork; at the east end is a neat arched doorway, over which is an oriel window, and the north-east angle has a square tower, with a spiral roof of lead surmounted by a vane. The lower part of the building is principally appropriated to the use of the butchers of the town and neighbourhood; the upper story comprises a splendid apartment for the manorial courts, and for the use of the county magistrates, who hold a petty-session for the hundred on the first Friday in every month. The market is on Friday; and fairs are held on Jan. 1st, March 23rd, and Oct. 6th: the spring fair is noted for an abundant supply of horses and cattle. The manufacture of thread-lace formerly constituted a principal branch of business, but of late it has been entirely discontinued, and some attempts have been made to introduce that of plat from Tuscan straw, as a more healthy and advantageous occupation for the children of the poor. The Bedford branch of the London and Birmingham railway passes on the north-west of the town. Assemblies, respectably attended, occasionally take place during the winter months. The town is singularly neat and improving; and the beauty of its site is greatly enhanced by the evergreen woods in its immediate vicinity, which were planted by John, fourth Duke of Bedford, and occupy 200 acres in extent. Near the markethouse is a fountain or reservoir, in the Tudor style, for supplying water in case of fire, erected at the expense of the late duke.
The living is a donative curacy; net income, £251; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Bedford. The church, erected by Robert Hobbs, last abbot of Woburn, presents a singularly beautiful appearance, being nearly covered with ivy. The old quadrangular embattled tower, terminating in pinnacles and surmounted by a cupola, stood detached from the main building; it was taken down and rebuilt in the later English style, from the lower stage, in 1830, by the Duke of Bedford, under the superintendence of Mr. Blore, and was then joined to the north aisle by a vestry-room and gallery. The tower rises to the height of 90 feet, and is surmounted by an octagonal stone lantern; at each angle is a lofty pinnacle, panelled and crocketed, with a finial, and the lantern has eight ornamented arches, supporting the roof, which rises spirally with crockets to a handsome finial. In the interior of the church is a curious alabaster monument of the Stanton family, consisting of twelve figures in the attitude of prayer; with some other ancient sepulchral memorials. A fine altar-piece of the Nativity, by Carlo Maratti, was presented by the late Duke of Bedford, who also adorned the building with a new window of five lights, with enriched and cinquefoil arched mullions, and the upper part embellished with stained glass, and figures of the Evangelists and four of the Patriarchs. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. Adjacent to the church, and now corresponding with it in style, is a free school established in 1582, by Francis, second Earl of Bedford; in 1808, the Duke of Bedford increased the original endowment to £50 per annum, and in 1825, a similar school for girls was founded under the patronage of the duke and duchess. Twelve almshouses were founded in 1672, and endowed by John, fourth duke, for the residence and maintenance of 24 widows. The poor-law union of Woburn comprises 16 parishes or places, and, according to the census of 1841, contains a population of 11,282.
In the immediate vicinity of the town is Woburn Abbey, with its noble park, the seat of his grace. Itoccupies the site of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1145, by Hugh de Bolebec, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was valued at £430. 13. 11.; the site, with a great part of the lands, was granted in 1549, by Edward VI., to John, first Earl of Bedford. In the middle of the last century the abbey was almost entirely rebuilt by Flitcroft, after which considerable enlargements were made under the superintendence of Mr. Henry Holland, who erected also the principal entrance to the park from London, a handsome facade decorated with Ionic threequarter columns, surmounted by the ducal arms and crest. The abbey is approached from this entrance through an extent of rich park scenery and by the margin of an artificial lake. The mansion occupies the four sides of a quadrangle, and comprises various suites of apartments magnificently furnished, and adorned with paintings by the most celebrated masters, and a collection of upwards of 280 portraits of distinguished family and other characters. The library, 56 feet in length by more than 23 in breadth, is stored with the most splendid illustrative and other works, of the highest class. The principal state-rooms are in the west front, which is of the Ionic order; the private apartments adjoin the library on the south, having immediately before them a terrace arranged as an ornamental flower-garden. A covered arcade conducts from the private apartments to the sculpture gallery, formed by the munificent taste of the late duke, 138 feet long by 25 wide, in which, amongst valuable works of art by ancient sculptors, are deposited some of the finest productions of Chantrey, Westmacott, and Thorvaldsen; the celebrated group of the Graces, by Canova; and the magnificent Lanti or Bedford Vase. The pleasure-grounds contain many objects of great attraction; the park abounds with fine timber, and is well stocked with red and fallow deer: the oak-tree on which Hobbs, the last abbot of Woburn, was hanged pursuant to the mandate of Henry VIII., is still pointed out. In 1572, Queen Elizabeth made a journey to the mansion; and in 1645, when Charles I. visited the Earl of Bedford, the overtures of the parliamentary commissioners were privately submitted to him here, prior to being offered to him formally in public.
Woking, or Wokeing (St. Peter)
WOKING, or Wokeing (St. Peter), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Guildford, First division of the hundred of Woking, W. division of Surrey, 3 miles (W. by N.) from Ripley; containing 2482 inhabitants. This was one of the demesnes of Edward the Confessor, and was afforested in 1154 by Henry II., whose successor gave it to Alan, Lord Basset. In the reign of Edward II., it belonged to the Despencers, and on their attainder was given by Edward III. to Edmund of Woodstock, from which time it had various distinguished owners till the time of Edward IV., who, it is recorded, kept Christmas at his royal palace here, in 1480. Henry VII. repaired and enlarged the palace for the residence of his mother, Margaret, Countess of Richmond, who died here. Henry VIII. used it as a retreat, where he sometimes entertained Wolsey; and on one of these occasions, in September, 1551, that prelate was first informed, by a letter from the pope, of his elevation to the dignity of cardinal. James I. granted Woking to Sir Edward Zouch, but it again belonged to the crown in the reign of Charles I., and was bestowed by Charles II. on Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland. The manor subsequently passed, by purchase, through various hands, to Richard, Lord Onslow, ancestor of the Earl of Onslow, its present proprietor. No remains now exist of the palace, except its foundations and the guard-room; the Zouches having removed the greater part of the building, to erect a mansion at Hoe Place, in the neighbourhood. Sutton Place, a fine specimen of the style of building that prevailed in the 16th century, was erected in 1529, by Sir Richard Weston. A great part of it was burned, during a visit of Queen Elizabeth, and the remainder, consisting of the south-west side and north-east front, continued in a ruinous state till 1721, when it was repaired and embellished by John Weston, Esq.; the front has been lately taken down. The parish comprises 10,000 acres by computation, and is intersected by the Basingstoke canal, and the London and South-Western railway, the latter of which has one of its principal stations here. The village is situated on the river Wey, and there are a paper manufactory and a brewery; it has a fair on Whit-Tuesday, and courts Jeet and baron are held annually. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11. 0. 5.; net income, £234; patron, the Earl of Onslow; impropriators, the Earl of Lovelace, and H. Halsey, Esq. The vicarial tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1803. The church is partly in the early and partly in the decorated English style, and contains some brasses and a few other monuments. An additional church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was consecrated June 24th, 1842. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Independents, and a Roman Catholic chapel. In a field near the village is a lofty circular tower, supposed to have been a lighthouse to guide over the heath to the palace: at Homitage was a religious house.
Wokingham (All Saints)
WOKINGHAM (All Saints), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Sonning, county of Berks, 7 miles (E. S. E.) from Reading, and 32 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 3342 inhabitants. This place, which is situated within the prescribed limits of Windsor Forest, is of triangular form, and consists of several streets irregularly built, meeting in a central area. Water is obtained from wells in abundance; the atmosphere is considered particularly salubrious, and the inhabitants are remarkable for longevity. The manufacture of silk, gauze, and shoes, and the malting and flour trades, are the prevailing branches of business. An act was passed in 1846 for a railway from Reading, by Wokingham, to Guildford and Reigate. The market, which is on Tuesday is one of the most noted in the kingdom for poultry; the fairs are on April 23rd, June 11th (both of little importance, and not regularly held), October 11th, and November 2nd, chiefly for cattle. The government of the town under a charter possessed from time immemorial, is vested in an alderman, seven capital burgesses, a high steward, recorder, and town-clerk; the alderman, high steward, and recorder are justices of the peace, with exclusive jurisdiction. The corporation hold half-yearly courts of session for minor offences, and this being the only town in the Forest, all the Forest courts take place here; manorial courts occur as occasion requires, and petty-sessions are held on the first and third Tuesdays in the month, for the Wokingham, or Forest, division of the county. Her Majesty was received here by the authorities, on her way to Strathfieldsaye, on January 20th, 1845. The town-hall, which is over the market-house, is an ancient building in the centre of the town, repaired about 30 years since, at an expense of £1100, defrayed by subscription. The parish comprises 8249 acres, of which 689 are common or waste.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £178; patrons, the family of Jacob. The church is an ancient structure. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans; also a free school supported by the proceeds of bequests amounting to £31. 15. a year, and by voluntary contributions. Eight almshouses near the church, founded and endowed by John Westend in 1451, are occupied by sixteen men and women, who receive a small allowance of fuel; and at Luckley-Green, about a mile from the town, is an hospital established in 1665, by Henry Lucas, for sixteen pensioners and a master. Attached to the hospital, which is a handsome brick building, erected at an expense of £2320, is a chapel, with a residence for the minister, who is the perpetual curate of the parish. Archbishop Laud bequeathed £50 per annum, to be expended every third year in portioning maidens, and for the two other years in apprenticing boys. Mr. Staverton left a house in Staines, the rental of which, £20, is distributed with the produce of some other bequests, in money, coal, and clothing. The poor-law union of Wokingham comprises 16 parishes or places, 14 of which are in Berks, and 2 in Wilts, the whole containing a population of 12,803. Dr. Thomas Goodwin, who was raised to the see of Bath and Wells, was a native of the town, and received the elements of his education in the free school: in the chancel of the church is a monument to his memory, with an inscription written by his son, who was Bishop of Hereford.
Wold, in the county of Northampton.—See Old.
Woldham, county Kent.—See Wouldham.
Wold-Newton, York.—See Newton, Wold.
Wolferlow (St. Andrew)
WOLFERLOW (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Bromyard, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford, 5½ miles (N. by E.) from Bromyard; containing 116 inhabitants, and comprising 1453 acres. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £4. 4. 9., and in the gift of Sir T. E. Winnington, Bart.: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for an annual rent-charge of £209. 16.
Wolfhamcote (St. Peter)
WOLFHAMCOTE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Rugby, Southam division of the hundred of Knightlow, S. division of the county of Warwick, 3½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Daventry; containing 432 inhabitants, and comprising 3730 acres. This parish is situated on the border of Northamptonshire, from which it is separated by the river Learn, at its eastern boundary. The Oxford canal passes through it. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 18. 2.; net income, £73; patron, Lord Hood: the glebe contains 34 acres. The church is supposed to have been built about 300 years since. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. In sinking a well some years ago, a vault containing several urns and coins was discovered.
Wolford, Great (St. Michael)
WOLFORD, GREAT (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Shipston-upon-Stour, Brailes division of the hundred of Kington, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Moreton-in-theMarsh; containing 585 inhabitants, of whom 311 are in the township. This parish is situated on the borders of Gloucestershire, and bounded on the north by a branch of the river Stour. It comprises 2679 acres; the surface is undulated, and the soil, on the whole, good, consisting of clay, sand, and gravel, with bog. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; patrons and appropriators, the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford. The great tithes, exclusively of Little Wolford, have been commuted for £221, and the small for £78; the appropriate glebe consists of 69 acres, and the vicarial of 12 acres, with a good glebehouse. The present church, capable of containing about 500 persons, occupies the site of the former, which, having become dilapidated, was taken down in 1833. A mound of earth on the outskirts of an extensive wood near the Oxford and Worcester road, was opened in 1844, when 20 skeletons were found, supposed to be those of persons slain near the spot in a skirmish during the war of the seventeenth century. In the parish are many mineral springs, but they are not used medicinally.
WOLFORD, LITTLE, a hamlet, in the parish of Great Wolford, union of Shipston, Brailes division of the hundred of Kington, S. division of the county of Warwick, 3 miles (S.) from Shipston; containing 274 inhabitants, and comprising 1324 acres, of which 339 are common or waste. The great tithes have been commuted for £230, and the small for £58; the vicarial glebe consists of 24 acres. Here is an old mansion, formerly in the possession of the Ingram family, and part of which is known to have existed so early as the reign of King John. It was altered and restored by the late Sir George Philips, Bart., by whom it had been purchased in 1844.