Spalding - Spexhall

Pages 156-159

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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Spalding (St. Mary and St. Nicholas)

SPALDING (St. Mary and St. Nicholas), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the wapentake of Elloe, parts of Holland, county of Lincoln, 44 miles (S. E. by S.) from Lincoln, and 100 (N.) from London; containing, with the chapelry of Wickham, 7778 inhabitants. This place, which is said to have derived its name from a spa or chalybeate spring in the market-place, is of great antiquity, as appears from the remains of Roman embankments in the neighbourhood. In the Saxon annals, it is mentioned as one of the points on the boundary line of the estate belonging to Crowland Abbey, and as the residence of Thorold de Buckenhale, the last Saxon governor of the province of Mercia, who, in 1051, founded here a cell for a prior and five monks subordinate to that monastery. At the Norman Conquest, the manor was presented to Ivo Talbois, Earl of Angiers, and nephew of the Conqueror, who built a castle here, by which the religious society were so harassed that they abandoned their convent, which, falling into the hands of the earl, was given, together with the church of St. Mary and the manor, in 1074, to the abbey of St. Nicholas, at Angiers. It thus became an alien priory, inhabited by monks of the Benedictine order. At the suppression of alien priories, this establishment was exempted: it was subsequently raised to the dignity of an abbey, and flourished till the Dissolution, when its revenue was estimated at £878. 18. 3.

The town is situated on the river Welland, in a fenny district, remarkably well drained. The streets are paved, and lighted with gas, and there are many wells of excellent water for the supply of the inhabitants; the houses are in general of neat appearance, and several of them very handsome. An antiquarian society was established many years since by Mr. Maurice Johnson, of which Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Hans Sloane, Dr. Stukeley, and other distinguished persons, were members; and a number of the valuable books, some manuscripts, relics of antiquity, and natural curiosities, are still preserved. A small theatre is opened for three weeks in the month of September. Much land in the vicinity is appropriated to grazing, and wool forms a material article in the trade of the town; very considerable business is also carried on in corn, coal, and timber. The river Welland is navigable inland to Stamford; and sloops of from fifty to seventy tons' burthen can come up from the sea to the centre of the town, which maintains a regular coastingtrade with London, Hull, Lynn, &c. The port is a member of that of Boston. Here is a quay for landing goods, with storehouses for their reception; and on the whole, this place may be considered one of the most thriving towns on the eastern coast. A loop or diverging line of the London and York railway will pass by Spalding; and an act was obtained in 1846 for making a line to Grantham, Nottingham, and Ambergate. The market, which is one of the largest in the kingdom for fat-cattle, is on Tuesday. Fairs are held on April 27th and June 30th, by letters-patent of George I.; and on Aug. 28th, Sept. 25th, and Dec. 6th, by prescription; chiefly for live-stock. The town has, for many centuries, been the principal seat of jurisdiction for the parts of Holland; in the Saxon times, the courts of law were held here by the earls, and subsequently to the Conquest the priors were invested with judicial authority, and possessed the power of life and death. At present, the quarter-sessions for the parts of Holland take place here and at Boston; and petty-sessions for the wapentake occur every week. The powers of the county debt-court of Spalding, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Spalding, and the parish of Crowland. Courts leet and baron, at which the steward presides, are also held. The town-hall, situated at the north-west end of the marketplace, was erected at the expense of John Hobson, about the year 1620; the lower part is let for shops, and the rents are given to the poor, according to the will of the donor. A new house of correction for the parts of Holland, an airy and commodious edifice, was built in 1824. The parish comprises 10,367 acres of arable and pasture land, the former of which predominates; it includes the large tract of inclosed fen called Spalding common, now well drained, and in a profitable state of cultivation.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of certain Trustees, who are seised of the rectory in trust for the incumbent; net income, £950 per annum. The church was erected about 1284, when the old conventual church was taken down; and is principally in the later English style of architecture, with a fine tower surmounted by a crocketed spire: considerable additions were made to the building in 1466, among which is the beautiful north porch. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans. The free grammar school was endowed by John Blanche and John Gamlyn, and latterly by Mr. Atkinson; and, by letters-patent of the 30th of Elizabeth, four trustees were incorporated, whose successors have a common seal. During the confusion of the civil wars the school fell into disuse, but it was restored by Charles II. with all its endowments, the amount of which, arising from about ninety-two acres of land, is £200 per annum. The learned Dr. Bentley was head master. The Petit school was founded in 1682, by Thomas Willesley, and is well endowed with land: the premises were rebuilt in 1826, at a cost of £300; and the revenue is £170 per annum. The Blue-coat school, founded by one of the Gamlyn family, and re-established by the parishioners in 1710, has an income of about £200: the school-house was rebuilt in 1815, at an expense of £350. An almshouse for twenty-two persons was endowed in 1590, by Sir Matthew Gamlyn; and another was established in 1709, for eight widows, by Mrs. Elizabeth Sparke. There are also estates amounting to £452 per annum, vested in trustees called Town Husbands, for the benefit of the poor; and connected with this charity are eleven almshouses for widows. The union of Spalding comprises 9 parishes, and contains a population of 20,549. A portion of the abbey buildings is yet remaining, partly converted into tenements, and partly in ruins; relics of antiquity have been found in the neighbourhood of the town at different times, and several have been taken out of the river Welland.


SPALDINGTON, a township, in the parish of Bubwith, union of Howden, Holme-Beacon division of the wapentake of Harthill, E. riding of York, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Howden; containing 313 inhabitants. This township, which is on the south side of Spalding moor, comprises 3385a. 37p. Spaldington Hall, the seat of the ancient family of Vavasour, and a fine specimen of the Elizabethan style, was taken down in 1838. The village is small; about a mile distant from it, eastward, is the hamlet of Spaldington-Outside, on the MarketWeighton road. There is an episcopal chapel; and the Wesleyans have a place of worship.

Spaldwick (St. James)

SPALDWICK (St. James), a parish, in the hundred of Leightonstone, union and county of Huntingdon, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Huntingdon; containing 415 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from Cambridge to Northampton, and comprises 1470 acres. The soil is a strong clayey loam, mixed in some parts with gravel, and produces every kind of grain of the best quality, and remarkably sweet herbage. Fairs are held on the Wednesday before Whit-Sunday and on November 28th, for sheep and cattle of all sorts, and for pedlery. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the Bishop of Ely, valued in the king's books at £12. 0. 10.; net income, £96; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln. The tithes were commuted for land in 1774; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains about 40 acres. The church, erected about 1300, has a northern entrance of Norman architecture. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents.


SPALFORD, a hamlet, in the parish of North Clifton, union of Newark, N. division of the wapentake of Newark, S. division of the county of Nottingham, 7 miles (E. by S.) from Tuxford; containing 93 inhabitants, and comprising 806 acres. The tithes were commuted for land in 1813.

Spanby (St. Nicholas)

SPANBY (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Sleaford, wapentake of Aswardhurn, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 3½ miles (N. N. E.) from Falkingham; containing 96 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, annexed to the vicarage of Swaton. The church is a low structure, once of larger dimensions.

Sparham (St. Mary)

SPARHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Eynsford, E. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (S. W.) from Reepham; containing 321 inhabitants. It comprises 1729 acres, of which 1202 are arable, 223 meadow and pasture, and 15 woodland. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 17. 11., and in the patronage of Edward Lombe, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £481. 18., and there is a glebe-house, with 91 acres of land. The church is chiefly in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower surmounted by a pinnacle at each angle. At the inclosure, 20 acres were allotted to the poor for fuel.


SPARK-BROOK, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Aston, hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick. This is a beautiful suburb of the town of Birmingham, situated on the road to Stratfordon-Avon, and distant about a mile and a half from the Post-office. It contains several good houses, among which are, the Farm, that of Samuel Lloyd, Esq.; YewTree Cottage, the residence of Thomas Simcox, Esq.; the Larches, formerly inhabited by Dr. Withering, the botanist, and by Dr. Priestley, in whose time the rioters attacked it, now occupied by William Sharp, Esq.; and the Poplars, a large brick mansion, the residence of John Smith, Esq.

Sparkford (St. Mary Magdalene)

SPARKFORD (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Catsash, E. division of Somerset, 7½ miles (W. by S.) from Wincanton; containing 286 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from London to Exeter, and comprises 955 acres, of which 257 are arable, 651 pasture, and 47 wood and gardens; the soil is loamy, and chiefly appropriated to dairy-farming. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 16. 3., and in the gift of the Rev. Henry Bennett: the tithes have been commuted for £245. 6., and the glebe comprises 40 acres. The church was rebuilt about twenty years since by the patron.

Sparkford, Bishop's, and West

SPARKFORD, BISHOP'S, and WEST, two tythings, in the parish of St. Faith, city and union of Winchester, hundred of Buddlesgate, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton; containing respectively 191 and 239 inhabitants.

Sparsholt (Holy Cross)

SPARSHOLT (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Wantage, partly in the hundred of Shrivenham, but chiefly in that of Wantage, county of Berks, 3¾ miles (W.) from Wantage; containing, with the hamlet of Fawler, and the chapelry of Kingston-Lisle, 903 inhabitants, of whom 506 are in Sparsholt township. The Wilts and Berks canal, and the Great Western railway, pass through the parish; and the Ikeneld road through the vale of White Horse, to the south of the village. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20. 2. 3½.; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of Queen's College, Oxford. The great tithes have been commuted for £530, and the vicarial for £358. 12.; there is a glebe-house, and the respective glebes comprise 132¼ and 12 acres. The church is principally in the Norman style, and contains three stone stalls and a piscina. Abraham Atkins, in 1788, gave a school-house at Kingston-Lisle, and endowed a school with a moiety of the rents arising from a certain estate; the income is about £63.

Sparsholt (St. Stephen)

SPARSHOLT (St. Stephen), a parish, in the union of Winchester, hundred of Buddlesgate, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 3¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Winchester; containing 375 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 10. 2½., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £230 per annum; impropriator, Sir W. Heathcote, Bart.


SPAUNTON, a township, in the parish of Lastingham, union of Pickering, wapentake of Ryedale, N. riding of York, 7½ miles (N. W.) from Pickering; containing 110 inhabitants. It comprises about 1228 acres of land, chiefly the property of Lord Feversham, and is on the west side of the river Seven.

Spaxton (St. Margaret)

SPAXTON (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Bridgwater, hundred of Cannington, W. division of Somerset, 5 miles (W.) from Bridgwater; containing 1002 inhabitants. The parish is situated at the foot of the Quantock hills, and comprises 3387 acres, of which 95 are common or waste land: there are several quarries, some of them containing an excellent sandstone, of which the church was built. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24. 8. 9., and in the gift of the Rev. James Galloway: the tithes have been commuted for £650; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises 66 acres. The church is a handsome structure in the later English style. The Rev. Joseph Cook, rector, bequeathed lands in 1708, producing a liberal income, for the maintenance of six persons in an hospital; also £6 per annum, for teaching children.


SPECKINGTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Yeovilton, union of Yeovil, hundred of Somerton, W. division of Somerset; containing 26 inhabitants.

Speen (St. Mary)

SPEEN (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Newbury, partly in the hundred of Kintbury-Eagle, and partly in that of Faircross, county of Berks, 1 mile (W.) from Newbury; containing, with the chapelry of Speenhamland, and the tythings of Bagnor and MarshBenham, 3069 inhabitants, of whom 224 are in the tything of Church-Speen, and 632 in that of Wood-Speen. This place was the Spinœ of the Romans, a station on the road from Gloucester to Silchester. To the north of the church, traces of an agger, or fortification, are distinctly visible: on Speen Moor, a large urn has been found under a tumulus of earth eight feet high; and a Roman altar, consecrated to Jupiter, was discovered in 1730, at Fulsham, in the neighbourhood. The second battle of Newbury, on October 27th, 1644, took place here, between what is now the castle and the village. A market was formerly held on Monday. The parish is bounded on the south by the river Kennet and the Kennet and Avon canal, and on the north by the river Lambourn. It comprises 3350 acres; the soil is in general of a gravelly nature, and the surface much varied. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 0. 10.; net income, £424; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Salisbury: the tithes were commuted for land and annual money payments in 1779. The church contains some curious monumental figures. An additional church, now a district church, was erected and endowed by the vicar, the Rev. H. W. Majendie, in the hamlet of Stockcross, in 1839: the living is in the gift of the Vicar of Speen.


SPEENHAMLAND, a chapelry district, in the parish of Speen, union of Newbury, hundred of Faircross, county of Berks; adjoining the town of Newbury, and containing 867 inhabitants. The great western road passes through the village. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, was erected in 1831, chiefly by subscription, and contains 1000 sittings; the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Speen. A school has been built and endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Page, of Goldwell House. There is also an almshouse, founded in 1664 by Anne Watts, for two widows.


SPEETON, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Bridlington, wapentake of Dickering, E. riding of York, 5½ miles (N. N. W.) from Bridlington; containing 125 inhabitants. This township, which belongs to W. J. Denison, Esq., comprises about 1820 acres of land, and commands a beautiful view of the shore from Scarborough to Flamborough Head: the village is situated on an eminence north-east of the road from Bridlington to Scarborough, and the sea bounds the chapelry on the north. A kind of blue stone is picked off the cliff in large quantities, and made into cement. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £44. 8.; patron, Mr. Denison: the chapel is an ancient humble edifice. A windmill upon Speeton heights can be seen at a great distance both by sea and land.


SPEKE, a township, in the parish of Childwall, union of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 7½ miles (S. E.) from Liverpool; containing 548 inhabitants. This place, anciently Spec, Speck, and Espeke, was held at the Conquest by a Saxon thane named Uctred, and subsequently by the Gernets, lords of Espeke. The manor afterwards came into the possession of Adam Molyneux by his marriage with the heiress of the latter family; and through the daughter of Sir William Molyneux, of Sefton, 14th Edward I., it was conveyed to the de Erneys. From the de Erneys it came, also by marriage, to the family of Norres, of whom was Sir William Norres, who brought from the palace of Holyrood, at Edinburgh, part of the royal library and some curious pieces of fine oak wainscot, to Speke Hall: this mansion was re-erected by Sir Edward Norres. The family retained the manor until the 18th century, when their heiress married Lord Sidney Beauclerk, fifth son of Charles, Duke of St. Alban's; whose grandson, Charles George, sold Speke to the Watt family, of Liverpool, the present lords. The Hall, now the residence of Joseph Brereton, Esq., is a timber and plaster building, with a picturesque stone porch, bearing the date 1598, conducting to an inner court where are two venerable yew-trees. The great hall is very lofty, with wainscot and a ceiling of oak, and having a mantelpiece brought from Holyrood: at each angle of the southern wall, within the court, are two spacious corbelled windows, one of which lights the hall. The house was originally surrounded by a moat, of which the outlines remain, and over which a bridge leads to the principal entrance. The whole forms a highly interesting specimen of old English domestic architecture. The township is situated on the Mersey, and comprises 2472 acres, whereof about 800 are arable, 1500 grass-land, and 120 wood. The surface, generally, is level; the soil a grey sand, with a red-sandstone substratum; and the scenery over the Mersey commands a beautiful and extensive view of Runcorn, Frodsham, and the Welsh hills. A quarry here supplies a stone used for draining. The tithes have been commuted for £311. 17. payable to the Bishop of Chester, and £57. 12. to the vicar of Childwall.

Speldhurst (St. Mary)

SPELDHURST (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Tonbridge, partly in the hundred of Somerden, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, but chiefly in the hundred of Washlingstone, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent; containing, with part of the town of TonbridgeWells, 2753 inhabitants. The parish is intersected by a branch of the river Medway, and comprises 3919 acres, of which 1367 are arable, 1401 pasture and meadow, 545 woodland, and 256 common. Good building-stone is quarried; and iron-ore abounds, rendering the springs more or less chalybeate. Fairs for cattle are held at Groombridge, in the parish, on May 17th and September 25th. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 5., and in the patronage of Mrs. Harbroe: the tithes have been commuted for £498, and the glebe comprises 8½ acres, with a house. The church was struck by lightning and burned down in 1791, and rebuilt in the following year; it contains curious epitaphs on Sir Walter and Lady Anne Waller, and some monuments to the Bacon family. There is a private chapel at Groombridge, built in 1625; also a chapel on the boundary line dividing this parish from that of Tonbridge, erected by subscription in 1682. The Duke of Orleans was detained prisoner at Groombridge in the reign of Henry V.; he built a porch to the church.

Spelsbury (All Saints)

SPELSBURY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Chipping-Norton, hundred of Chadlington, county of Oxford, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Chipping-Norton; containing, with the hamlets of Dean, Ditchley, Fulwell, and Taston, 597 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 8. 9.; net income, £211; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Christ-Church, Oxford. Part of the tithes were commuted for land and money payments in 1779, and the remainder in 1802. The church was founded by the Beauchamp family. Its elegant and lofty spire was taken down in 1772, from the insufficiency of the tower to sustain the weight; and other alterations have contributed to destroy the original character of the edifice. In the north aisle is the sepulchral chapel of the Lee family, which contains the remains of Henry, Lord Wilmot, and of his son John, the celebrated Earl of Rochester. On an eminence near the village is an extensive triangular intrenchment called Castle Ditches.

Spennithorne (St. Michael)

SPENNITHORNE (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York; containing, with the townships of Bellarby and Harmby, 785 inhabitants, of whom 198 are in Spennithorne township, 1 mile (N. E. by N.) from Middleham. In Spennithorne township are 1261 acres, of which 1198 are arable and pasture, and 63 woodland; the scenery is beautiful, embracing wood, water, and rich pastures. There are some quarries of limestone. The village is neat, and pleasantly situated on the north side of Wensleydale: the river Ure, which is very devious in its course, passes at a short distance on the west. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 10. 5.; net income, £425; patron, Marmaduke Wyvill, Esq. The rectorial tithes of Spennithorne and Harmby were commuted for land in 1775; and some tithes in Harmby have been recently commuted for a rent-charge of £10. 16. The church is an ancient structure. At Bellarby is a separate incumbency. John Hutchinson, a philosophical writer, was born in the parish in 1667.

Spernall (St. Leonard)

SPERNALL (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Alcester, Alcester division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (N.) from Alcester; containing 107 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the river Arrow, near the road from Birmingham to Cheltenham by way of Evesham; and comprises 1159 acres, of which 137 are woodland. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £3. 18. 1½., and in the gift of Charles Chambers, Esq., R.N.: the tithes have been commuted for £160; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains 28 acres. The church, a Norman structure, was repaired, and the chancel rebuilt, in 1844.

Spetchley (All Saints)

SPETCHLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Pershore, Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3 miles (E. by S.) from Worcester, on the road to Evesham; containing 155 inhabitants. It comprises 757 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder pasture; the surface is undulated, the soil a stiff marl, and the scenery beautifully picturesque. A station of the Birmingham and Gloucester railway is situated here. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 11. 3., and in the gift of Robert Berkeley, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £148. 18., and the glebe comprises nearly 24 acres. The church, built in or about the 15th century, has a fine old chancel, and contains several monuments to the Berkeley family. At the Hall is a Roman Catholic chapel.

Spetisbury (St. John the Baptist)

SPETISBURY (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Blandford, hundred of Loosebarrow, Blandford division of Dorset, 3 miles (S. E. by S.) from Blandford; containing 654 inhabitants. The river Stour runs past the village. The living is a rectory, with the living of Charlton-Marshal annexed, valued in the king's books at £28. 18. 1½., and in the gift of R. Pryor, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £440; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises 51 acres. The Roman Catholics have a chapel. In 1728, a school was endowed by Dr. Sloper and Bishop Hall with land now producing £110 per annum. Here was a priory, at first a cell to the abbey of Preaux, in Normandy, but afterwards considered part of the cell of Monks' Toft, in Norfolk, belonging to the same house. In the neighbourhood are the remains of an ancient encampment called Spetisbury Rings, in which coins and other relics have been found.

Spexhall (St. Peter)

SPEXHALL (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Halesworth; containing 215 inhabitants, and consisting of 1484 acres by admeasurement. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £14, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £286; the glebe comprises 45 acres.