A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Wrea, Lancashire.—See Ribby.
WREAY, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Mary, union of Carlisle, Cumberland ward, E. division of the county of Cumberland, 5¾ miles (S. E. by S.) from Carlisle; containing 151 inhabitants. The Lancaster railway passes here, and has some heavy cuttings between the village of Wreay and the house of Woodside, the residence of Miss Losh. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £86; patrons and appropriators, the Dean aud Chapter of Carlisle. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, has been rebuilt, at the expense (with the exception of a small donation from the Dean and Chapter) of Miss Losh, who has had it profusely decorated with stained glass. The reading-desk is formed of an eagle, on whose spread-out wings the chesnut-bound Bible and prayer-book are retained by chains; the sermon is preached from the butt of a black oak, cut in imitation of the sigilaria or antediluvian palm-tree; and the clerk's desk, on the opposite side, is the figure of a pelican; all very boldly carved. There are numerous figures and ornaments in and about the communiontable, and other parts of the chapel. A school, erected by subscription in 1760, was endowed by John Brown in 1763 with £200, which were laid out in land now producing £15 a year.
WRECKINGTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Gateshead-Fell, union of Gateshead, N. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 3½ miles (S.) from Gateshead. This place takes its name from its situation near the Roman road called WreckenDyke, which here crosses the old turnpike-road from Newcastle to Durham. Wreckington Hall is a handsome mansion of stone. The village forms the southern extremity of the borough of Gateshead, and is chiefly inhabited by persons engaged in the adjoining collieries, one of which, formerly called the King's pit of Sheriff Hill, but now the Stormount Main colliery, has been sunk to a greater depth, and is wrought as a separate work. An extensive flour-mill has been erected, which is driven by steam. Statute-fairs for hiring servants, established in 1832, are held in April and November.
Wrecklesham and Bourn
WRECKLESHAM and BOURN, tythings, in the parish and hundred of Farnham, W. division of Surrey, 1¾ mile (S. W. by S.) from Farnham; containing 991 inhabitants. A district church was erected on a site given by W. P. Paine, Esq., in 1840; it is dedicated to St. Peter, is a neat cruciform structure, and contains 400 sittings, of which 200 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £100; patron, the Bishop of Winchester.
WREIGH-HILL, a township, in the parish and union of Rothbury, W. division of Coquetdale ward, N. division of Northumberland, 5¼ miles (W.) from Rothbury; containing 29 inhabitants. The township is bounded on the south by the river Coquet, and takes its name from the stream of the Wreigh or Wreath. It comprises about 395 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder fine pasture land. There are strata of limestone and freestone, and a limestone-quarry is in operation. In 1665 almost the entire population was swept off by the plague, and great quantities of human bones have been since discovered on the spot where the victims were interred. George Coughran, the celebrated youthful mathematician, was born here.
WRELTON, a township, in the parish of Middleton, Pickering lythe and union, N. riding of York, 2¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Pickering; containing 216 inhabitants. It comprises about 1230 acres: the village is situated on the road from Pickering to Kirkby-Moorside, and eastward of the river Seven.
Wrenbury (St. Margaret)
WRENBURY (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union and hundred of Nantwich, S. division of the county of Chester; containing, with the townships of Broomhall, Chorley, Woodcott, and parts of Dodcottcum-Wilkesley, Newhall, and Soond or Sound, 2300 inhabitants, of whom 527 are in the township of Wrenbury with Frith, 5½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Nantwich. In Wrenbury township are 2073 acres, the soil of which is partly clay and partly sand. A branch of the Chester canal passes through the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £150; patron, the Vicar of Acton. The church has a fine carved-oak ceiling, and an elegant tower. A school is endowed with the interest of £230; and a second school with the interest of about £500, to which additions are likely to be made, and a house built for the master.
Wreningham, Great and Little (All Saints)
WRENINGHAM, GREAT and LITTLE (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Henstead, hundred of Humbleyard, E. division of Norfolk, 4¼ miles (E. S. E) from Wymondham; containing 487 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, annexed to that of Ashwellthorpe, and valued in the king's books at £10: the tithes have been commuted for £400, and the glebe comprises 44 acres. The church is a neat structure in the later English style, with an embattled tower: that of Little Wreningham, which was dedicated to St. Mary, has been long demolished.
Wrentham (St. Nicholas)
WRENTHAM (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 4½ miles (N. by W.) from Southwold; containing 1020 inhabitants. The parish comprises about 2280 acres, and the road from London to Yarmouth intersects the eastern portion of it. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £21. 6. 8., and in the gift of Sir T. S. Gooch, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £580, and the glebe comprises 23 acres. The church, a handsome structure in the early and later English styles, with a lofty square embattled tower, was repaired in 1832, at an expense of £700, of which £250 were a grant from the Incorporated Society, £200 a contribution from the Rev. S. Clissold, the rector, who also presented an organ, and the remainder was raised by a rate. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. Wrentham Hall, a mansion in the Elizabethan style, for many ages the seat of the Brewster family, was taken down by the late Sir Thomas Gooch. William Wotton, a learned divine, was born at Wrentham in 1666; and William Ames, another learned divine, was rector of the parish.
Wrenthorp, with Stanley.—See Stanley.
Wressel (St. John of Beverley)
WRESSEL (St. John of Beverley), a parish, in the union of Howden, Holme-Beacon division of the wapentake of Harthill, E. riding of York; containing, with the hamlets of Brind and Newsham, 373 inhabitants, of whom 154 are in the hamlet of Wressel with Loftsome, 3¾ miles (N. W.) from Howden. The parish comprises by measurement 2908 acres, of which 2502 are arable, and 406 pasture: the village is pleasantly situated, near the Hull and Selby railway. Wressel Castle was built by Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, who was made prisoner at the battle of Shrewsbury, and afterwards beheaded; this once princely mansion continued to be a seat of the family till the reign of Charles I., when it was dismantled by order of the parliament. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 13. 9.; patron and impropriator, Colonel Wyndham. The great tithes have been commuted for £550, and the small for £143: the vicar has a glebe of 26 acres. The church is a modern brick building: for many years, divine service was performed in a private chapel at the castle, but the castle was burned down in 1797, when the present church was raised on the site of the old parochial church. There are still some remains of the castle.
Wrestlingworth (St. Peter)
WRESTLINGWORTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Biggleswade, county of Bedford, 6 miles (E. N. E.) from Biggleswade; containing 487 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the road from Cambridge to Biggleswade and Bedford, comprises by measurement 1654 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £135. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1801; the glebe altogether comprises 118 acres. The church is an ancient structure.
Wretham, East (St. Ethelbert)
WRETHAM, EAST (St. Ethelbert), a parish, in the union of Thetford, hundred of Shropham, W. division of Norfolk, 6½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Thetford; containing 194 inhabitants. It is bounded on the east by a Roman road, near which is a large tumulus; and comprises 2777a. 2r., the property of Wyrley Birch, Esq.: the lands are chiefly arable. The living is a rectory, with that of West Wretham annexed, valued in the king's books at £11. 12. 3½., and in the gift of Mr. Birch: the tithes have been commuted for £536, and the glebe comprises 19 acres, with a house, erected by the patron. The church is an ancient structure, with a tower and low spire, and a handsome Norman arch at the south entrance.
Wretham, West (St. Lawrence)
WRETHAM, WEST (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Thetford, hundred of Shropham, W. division of Norfolk, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from Thetford; containing 103 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3366 acres, wholly the property of Wyrley Birch, Esq.; the land is chiefly arable, with some wood and plantations, and a considerable extent of heath. Wretham Hall, the seat of Mr. Birch, is an ancient and handsome mansion, and, being thickly clothed with ivy, has a beautifully picturesque appearance. In the park is a large sheet of water called Micklemere, near which has been discovered a Roman urn, containing ashes and bones. The living is a rectory, annexed to that of East Wretham, and valued in the king's books at £12. 11. 3.
Wretton (All Saints)
WRETTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Downham, hundred of Clackclose, W. division of Norfolk, 1 mile (W.) from Stoke-Ferry; containing 533 inhabitants. It comprises 1197a. 39p., of which 837 acres are arable, and 359 pasture and meadow. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Wereham; impropriator, E. R. Pratt, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for £255. 10. The church is in the later English style, with a square embattled tower. At the inclosure, 20 acres of land were allotted to the poor; who have also a house and 6 acres, bequeathed by Mrs. Jane Forty in 1736.
WRIBBENHALL, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Kidderminster, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Kidderminster and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, situated on the left bank of the Severn, immediately opposite Bewdley, and connected with that town by a noble bridge of three arches over the river. The village is of respectable appearance. The district church here, formerly a chapel of ease, erected in 1701, is a neat brick edifice, which has undergone several repairs and improvements since that time: in 1822 a gallery was added, by subscription, at the west end; and the present number of sittings is about 300. The living is in the gift of the Vicar of Kidderminster. A day and Sunday school is supported in connexion with the Establishment.
WRIGHTINGTON, a township, in the parish of Eccleston, union of Wigan, hundred of Leyland, N. division of Lancashire, 5 miles (N. W.) from Wigan, on the road to Ormskirk; containing 1771 inhabitants. This was a member of the extensive barony of Manchester. The lordship was given by Albert de Gresley to Orm, son of Ailward or Edward, progenitor of the Ashtons, of Ashton; and his descendants were called de Wrightington. Robert Dicconson, of Eccleston, married Anne, daughter of John Wrightington, and was grandfather of William, who was convicted of high treason in the reign of William III. The Dicconsons held the property until 1812, when Capt. Edward Dicconson died without issue, and was succeeded by a nephew, Thomas Eccleston, of Eccleston and Scarisbrick. His son Charles, on succeeding to this estate, assumed the name of Dicconson, while his other son, Thomas, to whom the Scarisbrick estate fell, assumed the name of Scarisbrick; on the demise of the latter in 1833, Charles Dicconson, Esq., became possessed of the Scarisbrick estate also, and adopted the name and arms of Scarisbrick. The township is the largest and most important division of the parish, comprising 3876a. 1r. 15p., of which about one-half is grass-land, and 200 acres wood. It stands elevated about 300 feet above the level of the sea; the soil is generally of a clayey nature, the scenery picturesque, and the views extensive. There is an abundance of excellent coal, and also stone. The river Douglas passes on the south, separating the township from Up-Holland; and the Leeds and Liverpool canal runs through. Wrightington Hall, one of the seats of Charles Scarisbrick, Esq., is a handsome stone structure with two small wings; the park abounds with deer and game: on the west side of the mansion are the remains of a more ancient Hall. Harrock Hall, the seat of the Boulton family, was purchased in 1839 from the Rigbys, of whom, in 1567, it had already been the residence for four generations: the house, around which are 420 acres, has been restored by the present possessor. At Mossy-Lee and in Carrhouse-lane are places of worship for dissenters; and at Wrightington Hall is a small Roman Catholic chapel.
Wrinehill, Cheshire.—See Checkley.
Wrington (All Saints)
WRINGTON (All Saints), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Axbridge, hundred of Brent with Wrington, E. division of Somerset, 7 miles (N. N. E.) from Axbridge; containing, with the tything of Broadfield, 1589 inhabitants. This parish is situated near the Mendip hills, and comprises 5786 acres. The inhabitants are principally employed in agricultural pursuits, especially in the cultivation of teasel, of which great quantities are produced in the neighbourhood, for the supply of the clothiers in the adjoining districts, and those of Yorkshire, who use it in dressing the cloth. The town consists chiefly of two streets, intersecting obliquely, with other houses irregularly built in detached situations. The county magistrates hold petty-sessions here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £39. 9. 4½., and in the gift of the Duke of Cleveland: the tithes have been commuted for £600, and the glebe comprises 54 acres. The church, situated at the southwest extremity of the town, is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by angular turrets crowned with pinnacles; a very handsome monument has been erected in it by public contribution, to the memory of Mrs. Hannah More and her four sisters, who are interred in the churchyard. At Redhill is a church dedicated to Christ: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the Rector's gift. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. In 1704 George Legg devised nine acres of land, now producing £20 per annum, for instruction. Dr. John Rogers, a learned divine, held the rectory. John Locke, the eminent philosopher, was born in an old thatched house on the north side of the churchyard, in 1632; and Mrs. More resided for twenty-five years in a cottage built by herself and her sisters, at Barley Wood, in the parish.
Writhlington (St. Mary Magdalene)
WRITHLINGTON (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Frome, hundred of Kilmersdon, E. division of Somerset, 7 miles (N. W. by N.) from Frome; containing 301 inhabitants. It comprises 720 acres, partly arable, and partly meadow and pasture. The soil is chiefly clay; the surface is hilly, and the lower grounds are watered by a stream abounding with trout and eels, and forming the northern boundary of the parish. There are extensive coal-mines, and quarries of white freestone; and fullers'-earth is abundant. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 7. 8½., and in the gift of the Prebendary of Writhlington in Salisbury Cathedral: the tithes have been commuted for £138; the glebe comprises 26 acres.
Writtle (All Saints)
WRITTLE (All Saints), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union and hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex, 2½ miles (W. by S.) from Chelmsford; containing 2521 inhabitants. Morant and other writers have placed here the Cæsaromagus of Antoninus. The remains of a royal palace, built by King John in 1211, and which occupied an acre of ground surrounded by a deep moat, are still visible. The place has been long divested of the greater part of its trade by the rising importance of the town of Chelmsford; but malting and brewing are still carried on, and there is an oil-mill in the vicinity. Courts leet and baron are held, and the inhabitants have the privilege of appointing their own coroner. The parish is the most extensive in the county, comprising 8410 acres, of which 163 are common or waste. It abounds with every variety of surface and scenery; the soil is generally fertile, much of it adapted for wheat, and hops of good quality are grown in several parts. The living is a vicarage, with the donative of Roxwell annexed; net income, £718; patrons and impropriators, the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford. The great tithes have been commuted for £2300, and the vicarial for £572. 10. The church is an ancient and spacious structure, with a massive square tower surmounted by a lantern turret, and contains numerous elegant and interesting monuments. A chapel was erected in the Highwood Quarter, and consecrated in Oct. 1842: it is built of red brick, is in the early English style, and cost £1200. There is a place of worship for Independents. Almshouses for six people were endowed with land now producing £55 per annum, by Thomas Hawkins, in 1607; and John Blencowe, in 1774, founded a school with an income of £82 per annum, of which two-thirds are given to the parish of Writtle, and the remainder to that of Roxwell. About four miles north-east of the church, in the middle of a wood, a hermitage was founded in the reign of Stephen, which in that of Henry II. was attached to St. John's Abbey, Colchester.