A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Woolpit (St. Mary)
WOOLPIT (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Stow, hundred of Thedwastry, W. division of Suffolk, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Stow-Market; containing 942 inhabitants. This place is situated on the road from Ipswich to Bury St. Edmund's, and was formerly a market-town. The parish comprises 1898a. 1r. 17p.; it is celebrated for a remarkably fine vein of brick-earth, and the white bricks made here are in great estimation. One of the largest horse-fairs in England is held at Woolpit on September 16th, and a large fair for bullocks on the 18th and 19th. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 18. 9., and in the patronage of Mrs. L. Flood Page; net income, £350. The church is partly in the decorated and partly in the later English style, with a light and graceful spire, and a very beautiful porch; the chancel window is embellished with stained glass, inserted by the late rector, the Rev. Spencer Cobbold. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Plymouth Brethren. An image of the Virgin Mary was much visited here before the Reformation, and a well called Our Lady's Well is still in repute for its medicinal properties.
WOOLSINGTON, a township, in the parish of Dinnington, union and W. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 5¼ miles (N. W. by N.) from Newcastle; containing 74 inhabitants, and comprising about 636 acres. The lands anciently belonged to Tynemouth priory, and in the reign of Elizabeth were possessed by the Jennison family. Woolsington Park is a handsome seat.
WOOLSTANWOOD, a township, in the parish, union, and hundred of Nantwich, S. division of the county of Chester, 3¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Nantwich; containing 64 inhabitants. It comprises 568 acres, of which the prevailing soil is clay. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £37.
WOOLSTASTON, a parish, in the union of ChurchStretton, hundred of Condover, S. division of Salop, 3½ miles (N.) from Church-Stretton; containing 84 inhabitants. It comprises about 800 acres; the scenery is generally wild, in some parts romantically picturesque. The living is a rectory, in the gift of W. Whitmore, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £143, and the glebe comprises 7 acres. The church is a plain ancient structure. On an eminence called Castle Hill, are some remains of an intrenchment.
Woolsthorpe (St. James)
WOOLSTHORPE (St. James), a parish, in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Loveden, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 6¼ miles (W. by S.) from Grantham; containing 674 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1920 acres, of which 845 are arable, 915 meadow and pasture, and 150 woodland; the soil is generally clay, alternated with red loam. The small river Devon, and the Nottingham and Grantham canal, pass through the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 2. 8½.; net income, £191; patron, the Duke of Rutland. A new parish church, in the style of the 14th century, was consecrated in March 1847.
WOOLSTHORPE, a hamlet, in the parish of Colsterworth, union of Grantham, wapentake of Winnibriggs and Threo, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, ½ a mile from the village of Colsterworth; containing 266 inhabitants. This is an ancient hamlet, consisting of a few farmhouses and thatched cottages, with the old manor-house, in which the immortal Sir Isaac Newton was born, on Christmas-day, 1642. His father, John Newton, Esq., was lord of the manor. Great care is taken for the preservation of the house; and when it was repaired, in 1798, a tablet of white marble, commemorating the philosopher's birth, was put up in the chamber where the event took place.
Woolstone (St. Martin)
WOOLSTONE (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Tewkesbury, Lower division of the hundred of Deerhurst, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Winchcomb; containing 78 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 787 acres, and contains some quarries of stone fit for the roads: the village is pleasantly situated on the acclivity of a hill. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 0½., and in the gift of the Earl of Coventry: the tithes have been commuted for £153, and the glebe comprises 32½ acres. The church was rebuilt in 1499.
WOOLSTONE, with Martinscroft, a township, in the parish and union of Warrington, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 2½ miles (E. by N.) from the town of Warrington; containing 548 inhabitants. In the 20th of Edward I., John Byrun claimed free warren here in right of his wife Alesia, heiress of Robert Banastre. This lady was afterwards married to Sir John Langton, whose descendant, John Langton, in the reign of Edward III. held Wolueston as baron of Makerfield. How long the property continued in this family does not appear, but it seems to have been alienated anterior to the reign of Philip and Mary, as in 1556 John Hawarden held the manor. Martinscroft, anciently Mascrofte, was formerly a possession of the Irelands, of Bewsey. The township lies on the bank of the Mersey, on the road to Manchester; and comprises 1356 acres. Near Martinscroft-Green is a pleasant heath skirted by cottages. The Hall is an ancient brick building. There is a Roman Catholic chapel; also a place of worship for Wesleyans.
WOOLSTONE, a tything, in the parish of St. Mary, Southampton, union of South Stoneham, hundred of Mainsbridge, Southampton and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 1½ mile (S. E. by E.) from Southampton; containing 77 inhabitants.
Woolstone, Great (Holy Trinity)
WOOLSTONE, GREAT (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Newport-Pagnell, hundred of Newport, county of Buckingham, 3¼ miles (S.) from Newport-Pagnell; containing 94 inhabitants. It comprises about 500 acres, and is bounded on the east by a branch of the river Ouse: the village is pleasantly situated on the river, and the Grand Junction canal passes through the parish. Lace-making employs some of the inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 16. 1.; net income, £157; patron, J. C. Neild, Esq. The present church, a handsome edifice in the later English style, was built in 1832, at the expense of T. S. I. Baily, Esq., of Shenley House, the former structure having fallen into decay; it forms an interesting feature in the landscape.
Woolstone, Little (Holy Trinity)
WOOLSTONE, LITTLE (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Newport-Pagnell, hundred of Newport, county of Buckingham, 3 miles (S.) from Newport-Pagnell; containing 115 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the east by a branch of the river Ouse, and intersected by the Grand Junction canal, comprises about 600 acres. The inhabitants are partly employed in making lace. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 6. 1., and in the patronage of the Crown, with a net income of £102: the glebe comprises 14 acres, with a house. The church, having become dilapidated, was lately thoroughly repaired. There is a small portion of land, bequeathed by a former rector, the rent of which is applied in apprenticing a boy yearly.
WOOLSTROP, a hamlet, in the parish of Quedgley, Middle division of the hundred of Dudstone and King's-Barton, union, and E. division of the county, of Gloucester, 5 miles (S. W. by W.) from Gloucester; containing 46 inhabitants.
WOOLTON, LITTLE, a township, in the parish of Childwall, partly in the union of West Derby, but chiefly in that of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 6 miles (E. by S.) from Liverpool; containing 1018 inhabitants. Little Woolton was early held of the barony of Widnes, in alms, by the hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem in England, without any service. In the reign of Edward I., the prior of this wealthy order claimed extensive feudal jurisdictions in Wolveton, as in other places in the county. The township includes the detached hamlet of Thingwall, and comprises altogether 1320 acres of land, chiefly rich pasture, lying in a level vale. There is a good redsandstone quarry. Lee Hall is a large old edifice in the township. A copyhold court is held here.
WOOLTON, MUCH, a chapelry, in the parish of Childwall, unionof Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 6 miles (E. S. E.) from Liverpool; containing 2216 inhabitants. The ancient name Wolveton points to a Saxon proprietor, Wolf; of whom, however, there is no record. The Irelands, of Hutt, the Lathoms, of Parbold, the Norreses, and the Bretarghs, the last of whom held the Hall, were early proprietors; and the Knights of St. John had a house here, their lands lying in Little Woolton. The property is now held of the crown by the Marquess of Salisbury, lord of Childwall. The chapelry comprises 930 acres, and is beautifully situated amidst hill and dale; the air is salubrious, and mansions of the wealthy abound. Among the seats are, Woolton Wood, that of Henry Ashton, Esq.; Beaconsfield House, of Ambrose Lace, Esq.; and the seats of John Crosthwaite, Esq., and Mrs. Thomas Foster, on Woolton Hill. The views are extensive from the higher grounds, including the course of the Mersey, the Cheshire hills, and the mountains of Wales. A large stone-quarry is wrought.
The chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, is a handsome structure of stone, with a tower and small dome; it was erected in 1826, and enlarged in 1840. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Childwall; net income, £170, with a house. The tithes of Much Woolton and Thingwall have been commuted for £145 payable to the lessee of the Bishop of Chester, and £35. 5. to the vicar. Woolton Priory, in a luxuriant vale below the village, consists of a Roman Catholic chapel, built more than a century ago; a house for the priest, the Rev. Samuel Phillips, who has been 22 years resident; two schools, and five acres of land. In the chapel is an altar-piece, the Enthronement of the Virgin, by Perugino; also the Taking down from the Cross, by Quintin Matsys; the Entombment of Christ, after Vandyke; an Ecce Homo, and other paintings. The Wesleyans have a place of worship; and there are excellent schools connected with the Established Church. Some springs on the hill are strongly impregnated with iron.
Woolvercott (St. Peter)
WOOLVERCOTT (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Woodstock, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 2¾ miles (N. N. W.) from Oxford; containing 470 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £80; patrons and impropriators, the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford. The church, situated on the bank of the Isis, has a sepulchral chapel on the north side, containing a stately monument to the family of Walter, of whom David Walter was high sheriff of the county, and commanded a regiment of horse under Charles I. in the parliamentary war. In the hamlet of Godstow was a Benedictine abbey.—See Oxford.
Woolverstone (St. Michael)
WOOLVERSTONE (St. Michael), a parish, in the union and hundred of Samford, E. division of Suffolk, 4½ miles (S. by E.) from Ipswich; containing 246 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Orwell, and comprises 951a. 2r. 30p. The Hall is an elegant mansion, delightfully situated in an ample park, on the bank of the river. The living is a discharged rectory, consolidated with the rectory of Erwarton, and valued in the king's books at £5. 8. 9.: the tithes have been commuted for £230, and the glebe consists of 30 acres. The church, which is in the park, has been restored and beautified.
Woolverton (St. Lawrence)
WOOLVERTON (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union and hundred of Frome, E. division of Somerset, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Frome; containing 158 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the river Frome, comprises about 700 acres. The soil is generally thin and light, but in the meadows on the banks of the river of richer quality 3 the surface has a gentle ascent from the stream towards the west, and the higher grounds command some pleasing views. The living is a discharged rectory, consolidated with that of Road, and valued in the king's books at £7. 1. 3.
Woolwich (St. Mary Magdalene)
WOOLWICH (St. Mary Magdalene), a markettown and parish, in the union of Greenwich, hundred of Blackheath, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 8 miles (E. by S.) from London; containing 25,875 inhabitants. This place, originally a small fishing-town, unnoticed by any of the earlier Kentish historians, owes its present importance, among other causes, to its situation on the river Thames, which is here nearly three-quarters of a mile broad, and of sufficient depth, at the lowest state of the tide, for ships of the largest burthen. In the reign of Henry VII., a shipof-war of 1000 tons was built at Woolwich, which that monarch named the "Harry Grace de Dieu;" but it does not appear that any regular establishment for shipbuilding was formed previously to the time of Henry VIII., who constructed a royal dockyard here, which was enlarged by Queen Elizabeth, and has continued progressively to increase in every succeeding reign. The "Sovereign of the Seas," the largest ship that had ever been built in England, was launched from the dockyard in the reign of Charles I. This ship, of 1637 tons' burthen, carried 176 guns, and was richly ornamented with carving and gilding; from which circumstance, combined with the destructive efficacy of its heavy ordnance in the war with the Dutch, it obtained from that people the appellation of the "Golden Devil."
In the reign of George I., the cannon for the board of ordnance was cast in a foundry situated in Moorfields, which having been destroyed by an explosion, occasioned by dampness in the moulds at the time of pouring in the liquid metal, the establishment was removed to Woolwich, and placed under the superintendence of Mr. Andrew Schalch, a native of Schaffhausen, in Switzerland. This person, travelling for improvement, had visited the foundry in Moorfields at the time when preparations were in progress for casting several pieces of ordnance, in the presence of many of the nobility, general officers, and a large concourse of people. Mr. Schalch, having obtained permission to inspect the process, minutely examined the preparations, and perceiving the improper state of the moulds, warned the surveyorgeneral of the ordnance, and the superintendent of the foundries, of the lurking danger; and they, sensible of the justness and importance of his apprehensions, retired with their friends and all whom they could persuade to accompany them, in time to escape the effect of the explosion, by which several lives were lost, and many of the workmen dreadfully burnt and mangled. The board of ordnance, subsequently finding this gentleman duly qualified, authorised him to choose a commodious situation within twelve miles of the metropolis, for the erection of a new foundry; and after visiting several places he selected the Warren at Woolwich for that purpose. The first specimens of ordnance cast under his superintendence being highly approved of, he was appointed master-founder, which office he held for nearly sixty years, with so much skill and attention that, during this long period, not a single accident occurred. Thus arose the present arsenal, the establishment of which, with the augmentation of the artillery, whose head-quarters were fixed here, the institution of the Royal Military Academy, and various other foundations, has raised the town to a degree of importance, as a grand naval and military depôt, without a parallel in any empire of the world.
The town is situated on elevated ground rising gradually from the south bank of the Thames, on the opposite side of which, in the county of Essex, is a detached part of the parish. It comprises one main street, extending nearly a mile parallel with the river, from which numerous other streets branch off in various directions; and is partly included in the parish of Plumstead. The houses in that part which may be considered the principal thoroughfare are of ancient appearance, occasionally interspersed with substantial and well-built dwellings; the other streets consist of modern houses, principally erected for the accommodation of the artificers and labourers employed in the dockyard, arsenal, and other public works. The upper part of the town, towards the common and the Charlton road, is elevated and pleasant, and contains several ranges of handsome houses. The environs abound with rich woodland scenery, agreeably diversified with the windings of the Thames, sometimes seen in pleasing combination, and at others in striking contrast. The town is partially paved, under the superintendence of commissioners annually chosen under the provisions of an act of parliament passed in the 47th of George III.; it is lighted with gas by a company established also by act of parliament, and is supplied with water from the works of the Kent Water Company.
The public buildings are on a scale of vast extent, and most of them in a style of magnificence corresponding with the importance of the purposes to which they are applied. The Dockyard commences near the village of New Charlton on the west, and stretches nearly a mile along the bank of the river to the east; the breadth varies from one to two furlongs. The principal entrance is through a stone portal, of which the piers are ornamented with anchors sculptured in stone. On the left hand, within the walls, is a house for a commissioner, and on the right are the houses belonging to the principal officers of the yard. Beyond these is the Smithery, a spacious and lofty building, in which are, a steam-engine of 20-horse power, which works two large lift-hammers weighing nearly four tons each; and a steam-engine of 14-horse power, working three tilthammers, of less weight. Another steam-engine, of 14horse power, is employed in blowing the fires throughout the smithery; there are several blast-furnaces for converting scrap iron into pigs, and a machine for rolling iron Knees, keelsons, breast-pieces, and all other iron work connected with ship-building, are manufactured here, and also anchors of the largest size, great numbers of which are kept in readiness for supplying the royal navy. There are two Dry-docks, one of which is double, for repairing vessels; also several slips, in which shipsof-war of the largest dimensions are built, under lofty sheds lighted from the roof. An extensive building is appropriated as an Engineering-foundry, and for the manufacture of steam-engine boilers, and the requisite machinery for the steam-vessels now built here, some of which are of very great tonnage.
Some years since, a capacious Basin, 400 feet long and 290 feet in mean breadth, was excavated; it is capable of receiving ships of the first class, and is entered from the river by a caisson of large dimensions. The embankment is secured by strong sloping walls of brick, coped with massive blocks of stone. A new Graving-dock was opened on July 17th, 1843. The basin is of solid granite, 300 feet in length at the top of the water, 245 at the bottom, and 80 feet wide above, the width gradually diminishing, like the length, as the basin deepens; it is filled by the river tide, or by a steam-engine situated a few hundred yards from the basin. Many difficulties were encountered during the progress of the work, which occupied more than seven years, and cost £80,000, exclusively of the steam-engine and other expenses defrayed subsequently to the opening. The undertaking is one which reflects great credit on the engineer, Mr. Walker, and will prove eminently beneficial to the public service. The line of wharfage for the dockyard is very extensive, and of proportionate breadth. There are a mast-pond, a boat-pond, and several mast and boat houses; also ranges of timber-sheds, storehouses of every kind upon the largest scale, a mould-loft, and every requisite arrangement for the purposes of the establishment. In the eastern part of the town was the rope-yard, a range of building three stories high, and about 1080 feet in length, in which ropes of various sizes, cordage for rigging the ships, and cables, were made; this department has been removed from Woolwich, and the site is now covered with houses forming Beresford-street.
To the east of Beresford-street is the Royal Arsenal, under the control of the master-general and the honourable board of ordnance. This magnificent establishment comprises within the boundary walls more than 100 acres, and, including the canal, 142 acres, the greater part of which is in the adjoining parish of Plumstead. The principal entrance is through a spacious central gateway for carriages, with smaller entrances on each side; the inner piers are ornamented with small piles of shot, and the outer piers, which are loftier, are surmounted by mortars and piles of shells. Nearly opposite the entrance is a range of handsome houses, appropriated to the commandant of the garrison, the field-officers of the royal artillery, and the principal officers attached to some of the departments; the chief of which are, the inspector of artillery's department, the carriage department, the engineers' department, the storekeeper's department, and the laboratory. In addition to these are immense store-houses, forming a grand national depôt of warlike stores, of every description, for the naval and military departments of the service.
On the right of the entrance is a range of buildings formerly used as an academy for part of the gentlemencadet company, in connexion with the Royal Military Academy, but now occupied partly as store-rooms and partly as dwelling-houses. On the left is a handsome guard-house, with a portico of four columns of Portland stone. Beyond this is the Brass-foundry, erected by Vanbrugh, a lofty building of red brick, ornamented with stone, and roofed with slate, which is perforated for ventilation: over the entrance are the royal arms, carved in stone, above which is a neat cupola. It contains three large furnaces for casting brass ordnance only, the largest of which will melt eighteen tons of metal at one time: to avoid all danger of explosion, the moulds are heated to a considerable degree before the metal is allowed to run into them. On the east of the foundry are appropriate workshops for boring and engraving the cannon. East of these are the workshops of the Carriage department, for the construction and manufacture of gun-carriages for naval and land service, and of carts, ammunition-wagons, and other carriages used in the ordnance department; in these shops are steam-engines applied to the working of circular and other saws for converting timber, and machinery of ingenious construction for planing wood, and for turning wood and metal. In a line with this range is the Engineers' department, under the direction of which are the erection and repair of all buildings belonging to the board of ordnance within a limited distance of Woolwich. To the north-west of the foundry is the Laboratory, in which are made up blank and ball cartridges for small arms, cartridges for cannon of all descriptions, grape and case shot, and all combustible articles; a variety of other important duties relating to the naval and military service are performed, and a powerful hydraulic press has been introduced for making leaden bullets by pressure, instead of casting them as formerly.
Upon the bank of the Thames, is the magnificent range of store-houses, occupying three sides of a quadrangle, the area of which is filled with vast quantities of shot and shell of every size, in quadrangular and pyramidal piles, and duly numbered. The buildings are of light brick, with quoins, cornices, pilasters, and pediments of stone, and with appropriate ornaments. The central range, comprising three stories, is connected with the wings, which are two stories high, by arched portals of stone forming the entrances into the quadrangle, and surmounted with balustraded corridors, communicating with the principal stories of each range. In the basement story of the main range are deposited general stores for the naval service: in the second story are the harness and other equipments for the royal horse-artillery; and in the upper, stores of different descriptions. The east wing is appropriated to the reception of stores for garrison and field services, with a large assortment of nails and other necessaries. The west wing contains the stores and various implements used by the sappers and miners, and those for making intrenchments and constructing fortifications, among which are sandbags, axes, shovels, spades, barrows, grates for heating shot, and numerous other articles; also an extensive collection of samples of materials, and patterns of implements, with which the several articles furnished to the board of ordnance are compared, before they are received into the depôt. On the ground-floors of these store-rooms are iron tramroads, upon which carriages constructed for the purpose, when once put in motion, will run from one extremity to the other, for the conveyance of stores to the wharf. On the east and west of the principal buildings are smaller quadrangular ranges of store-houses, one and two stories in height. In both these, the ranges parallel with the river are of one story, and are appropriated as repositories for carriages. The lower story of the eastern range contains stores of oil and cement, and the upper, a general repository of stores of various kinds; the lower story of the western range is for the reception of carriages, and the upper is the depôt of clothing, for the royal artillery and for the sappers and miners. In the centre of each of these smaller quadrangles are painters' shops. There are also warehouses in different parts of the inclosure. To the south of the principal quadrangle are immense quantities of iron ordnance of various calibre, placed on iron skidding, and ranged in double files, extending many hundred yards in length, and, with small intervals between the rows, spreading over several acres of ground: large quantities of iron carriages for guns, and beds for mortars, are placed at the extremity and around the space occupied by the ordnance, and numerous mortars of the largest calibre are disposed in various parts of the ground.
The arsenal is bounded on the south-east by a canal, 35 feet broad, on the banks of which are wooden buildings for the manufacture of Congreve rockets, under the superintendence of the officers of the royal laboratory: and towards the south-eastern extremity of the boundary wall, on the road to Plumstead, is the house appropriated to the residence of the storekeeper and paymaster. A little to the west is a saw-mill, worked by a steamengine of 20-horse power, for sawing trees and rough timber into planks of any required thickness, to which the saws, fixed in frames and worked perpendicularly, can be adjusted at pleasure; there are also circular and other saws, with machinery of a very ingenious description, for turning and other purposes, all under the direction of the officers belonging to the carriage department. At a short distance from the arsenal, on the road to Woolwich common, are the Barracks for the Sappers and Miners, a substantial and commodious range, capable of receiving from 250 to 270 men. Adjoining these is the grand Depôt of Field-train artillery, consisting of a central building appropriated as offices for the directorgeneral of the field train, and other officers of the department, and five spacious sheds, averaging each 300 feet in length. In these sheds are deposited, in double files, an immense number of guns, mounted on field carriages, and supplied with a due proportion of stores and ammunition, in readiness at a minute's notice for immediate service. To the south of the depôt is the Ordnance Hospital, containing apartments for a resident surgeon and apothecary, and other officers, and for the servants of the establishment, with wards for the reception of 700 patients, a medical library, and other requisite offices. It is under the superintendence of the director-general and medical staff of the garrison, from which all the ordnance medical establishments abroad are supplied.
The barracks for the royal foot and horse artillery form a splendid pile of building, of which the chief front, facing the common, is 340 yards in length. The main entrance is through a central portal of three arches, divided by lofty columns of the Doric order, supporting pedestals surmounted with military trophies; above the central arch are the royal arms, finely sculptured. The building is of light brick, ornamented with Portland stone, and consists of six principal ranges, connected by four lower buildings, in front of which are colonnades of the Doric order, surmounted by balustrades: on the second range, east of the entrance, is a handsome cupola, in which is a clock; and on the corresponding building on the west side, is a similar cupola, with a wind-dial. The chapel, which is neatly fitted up, contains 1000 sittings, and is regularly opened for divine service; the library and reading-room are well supplied with works of general literature and periodical publications. The mess-room is a splendid apartment, 60 feet in length, 50 feet wide, and of proportionate height, having at one end a circular recess, in which is a music gallery, and at the other a handsome range of windows looking upon the common. From the ceiling, which is ornamented with groining above the cornice, three cut-glass chandeliers are suspended; and the whole arrangement is in the style of an elegant assemblyroom. Attached are other apartments, comprising a drawing-room of appropriate character, with retiring and ante rooms. In this suite of rooms the officers of the garrison give frequent balls to the gentry of the vicinity; in 1830, they had the honour of entertaining William IV. and Queen Adelaide, on the king's visit to review the artillery. At the extremity of the east quadrangle is a riding-school of elegant design, near which is a large brick building used as a racket-court by the officers. The whole establishment is arranged for the accommodation of from 3000 to 4000 men.
The Parade, in front of the barracks, is about 60 yards in breadth, adjoining the common, which, in this part, is a fine level lawn, appropriated for the exercise of the foot-artillery. In the centre of the parade are ranged several beautiful pieces of artillery, mounted on carriages of bronze, richly chased and ornamented. Among these is a very large piece of ordnance taken at the siege of Bhurtpoor, in the East Indies, and presented by the captors to the King of England; it is mounted on a splendid bronze carriage. The breech, which is of unusually large proportions, rests upon the shoulders of a lion couchant, beautifully executed. One side of the carriage is ornamented with a view of the citadel of Bhurtpoor in a medallion, and the other bears an inscription commemorative of its capture; the wheels are solid, with a face of Apollo, or the sun, forming the nave, and the beams of the sun the radii. The more remote part of the common is appropriated to the exercise of the horse-artillery.
Adjoining the field west of the barracks is the repository, for the exercise and general instruction of all persons belonging to the artillery, occupying an extensive piece of ground. Nearly opposite the entrance are the modelling-rooms for the use of the officers and men, in which are models, and drawings of projected improvements in the construction of gun-carriages and implements of war, and in which various mechanical experiments are performed. In a shed adjoining them are preserved the funeral car of Napoleon, brought from St. Helena; a travelling oven used by the French army in their campaigns under Buonaparte; and some other curiosities. In various parts of the ground are pieces of brass ordnance, of different kinds, taken from the enemy among which are two captured at the battle of Malplaquet, with three barrels each; and several others of very singular construction. The ground is in many places unequal and precipitous, rising abruptly from some pieces of water by which it is intersected. It is made available for practice in the construction of pontoons, for transporting artillery across rivers; in the managing of gun-boats; and in the more difficult and arduous exercises of war. Heavy pieces of artillery are manæuvred under every possible disadvantage of situation, lowered down deep declivities, and raised up precipitous heights, by a variety of contrivances; and in some parts of the ground are intrenchments of earth and batteries of turf, which are thrown up by the students for their improvement in the art of fortification. On the north of the entrance is the Rotunda, or modelroom, a spacious circular apartment, 115 feet in diameter, originally erected in the gardens of Carlton Palace by George IV., when Prince Regent, for the entertainment of the allied sovereigns, on their visit to this country after the peace of 1814, and presented by that monarch to the garrison. It contains a variety of ancient armour and military trophies, a vast number of beautiful and well-finished models of machinery, with apparatus for military and naval warfare, a most interesting collection of models of all the royal dockyards, the fortifications of Portsmouth, the breakwater at Plymouth, &c.
On the south-west part of the common is the Veterinary Hospital for the horse-artillery, under the control of the commandant, and the immediate superintendence of a veterinary surgeon and assistants. This building, which is well adapted to its use, is situated in the parish of Charlton; and between it and the repository are 50 cottages, neatly built of brick, containing two apartments each, for the accommodation of 100 married soldiers. The new Royal-Marine Barracks, erected on the site of the former barracks, present an extensive range of substantial buildings, completed towards the close of 1846. They form three sides of a square; are of brick, with stone dressings; and iron girders and brick arches separate each story: the floorings are of asphalte; the whole is fire-proof, and ventilation is effected by a revolving fan worked by weights. In front of the main building, is an arcade two stories in height, formed by brick piers and arches, affording spacious covered walking-places with room for six abreast. These barracks are built to accommodate 1000 men. At the southeastern extremity of the common, opposite to the artillery barracks, is the Royal Military Academy, established in 1741, originally for the instruction of officers and men belonging to the military department of the ordnance, but now appropriated exclusively to gentlemen cadets, the number of whom varies from 100 to 140. The buildings form a spacious pile, partly in the early English, and partly in the Elizabethan style. The central range, which has angular octagonal towers crowned with domes, contains on the basement story the entrance-hall and schoolrooms, and, in a central situation between them, an apartment originally intended for the inspector, but used only as a receptacle for stores, and as a place from which hot air is distributed for warming the building. Above these is the grand hall, in which the public examinations are held. The centre is connected, by corridors, with wings in the Elizabethan style, having turrets at the angles, and containing apartments for the cadets. Behind the central range is the refectory, a spacious hall with a lofty timber-framed roof, lighted by windows of appropriate character; adjoining which are the kitchen and domestic offices. On the east side of the common are the professors' houses, and some handsome ranges of building, including the quarters of the field-officers of the garrison, and several private residences.
There is no trade except what is requisite for the supply of the inhabitants, nor is any particular branch of manufacture carried on. The intercourse with the metropolis is great, being facilitated by steam-boats on the river, by carriages direct, and by vans which run to Greenwich, whence the distance is traversed in about ten minutes by the railway. Hulks are moored off Woolwich, for convicts whose sentence of transportation is commuted for hard labour at home, and who are employed in the dockyard, arsenal, and public works. The market is on Friday; and under the provisions of the local act before mentioned, markets are also held on Wednesday and Saturday. By the act 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, Woolwich was incorporated within the limits of the borough of Greenwich. The town is under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold their sittings every Monday and Friday at the King's Arms hotel; and a petty-session for the division takes place at the Green Man, at Blackheath, on the first Thursday in every month.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 12. 6.; net income, £740; patron, the Bishop of Rochester. The church was rebuilt by act of parliament passed in the 5th of George II., at an expense of £6500, towards defraying which £3000 were appropriated from the grant of Queen Anne for building fifty new churches, the remainder being raised by contributions of the inhabitants. It is situated on an eminence overlooking the dockyard and the river, and is a neat building of brick with a square tower, ornamented with copings and cornices of stone. The interior, in which several standards taken from the enemy are deposited, is lofty and well arranged; the galleries are supported on Ionic columns of good proportions. In the churchyard are numerous monuments to officers of the royal artillery, among which is one to the memory of Lieutenant-General Williamson, whose wife was lineally descended from Robert II., King of Scotland. The Ordnance chapel, on the road to Plumstead, a plain commodious building, and the chapel in the artillery barracks, are additional episcopal edifices, to which chaplains are appointed by the board of ordnance. A chapel of ease has been erected on the site of the late rope-yard; and near the entrance of the arsenal is a proprietary chapel, erected by subscription in 1838, in the Grecian style, with a handsome Ionic portico of six columns supporting a pediment. In May 1845, portions of the parishes of Woolwich and Charlton, comprising about a square mile in extent, were constituted an ecclesiastical parish or district, named St. Thomas's, under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37; and the erection of a church, a Byzantine structure with a campanile turret, was commenced in 1847: the cost is estimated at between £5000 and £6000. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of London, alternately; income, £150. Another church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was consecrated in March, 1847: the living is in the Rector's patronage. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, Welsh Methodists, and Arminian Bible Christians; also a Scottish church, and a Roman Catholic chapel.
Mrs. Mary Wiseman, in 1758, bequeathed £1000 South Sea annuities, for educating and clothing orphan sons of shipwrights of the dockyard, and for apprenticing them to the same business: the property, by accumulated savings, now produces £86 per annum. Mrs. Withers, in 1750, bequeathed £600 Old South Sea annuities, of which £100 were to be laid out in building a schoolroom, with an apartment for a mistress, who was to receive the dividends on the remainder, for instructing 30 girls maintained in the workhouse; and she gave the further sum of £600, in the same funds, to augment the salary of the mistress, on condition of her teaching as many children, nominated by the rector, as would make up the number to 30, when so many might not be at any time in the workhouse. An almshouse for five aged widows was founded about the year 1560, by Sir Martin Bowes, who endowed it with a portion of the produce of lands and tenements vested for charitable uses in the Goldsmiths' Company, London, by whom the almshouses were rebuilt in 1771. There are several other bequests for charitable purposes.
WOOPERTON, a township, in the parish of Eglingham, union of Glendale, N. division of Coquetdale ward and of Northumberland, 6¼ miles (S. E. by S.) from Wooler; containing 77 inhabitants. It is situated a little west of the road between Wooler and Morpeth, and is a small village for labourers. Some years since, the old thatched cottages were replaced by neater buildings, covered with blue slate. The township comprises about 925 acres, of which 50 are pasture, 20 woodland, and the remainder arable, mostly turnip soil, the whole the property of W. Burdon, Esq., of Hartford. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £109. 11., and the vicarial for £57. 9.
WOORE, a township, in the parish of Muckleston, union of Drayton, Drayton division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop, 7 miles (N. N. E.) from Drayton; containing 372 inhabitants. The village is built on elevated ground, on the road from Drayton to Nantwich in Cheshire; the houses are of remarkably neat appearance, and the air is healthy. Here are a post-office and two good inns. It was formerly a stage on the great Chester and London road, and supplied many post-horses; but since the establishment of railways, this business has been nearly destroyed. Woore is the head of a district chapelry, which includes the township of Gravenhanger, part of the township of Dorrington, and part of that of Aston in the Staffordshire portion of the parish; the whole comprising 890 inhabitants. The church or chapel, dedicated to St. Leonard, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style, erected in 1830, and containing 500 sittings. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Kenrick and Mackworth families, alternately; income, £100: a good parsonage-house has recently been built. The Methodists have a small place of worship. A national school for boys, girls, and infants, built in 1832, and enlarged in 1840, educates 120 children; and at Aston is another school, built in 1842, in which are 20 children. £15 per annum (£10 being from William Elkins in 1593, and £5 from Randolph Woolley in 1615) were left to the minister, for "reading divine service, and teaching the children of the poor at Aston the principles of their faith:" this fund has been appropriated to the schools by the present incumbent. A mineral spring called Willowbridge well, is reputed to be beneficial in many disorders.