Stockport - Stockwood

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

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'Stockport - Stockwood', in A Topographical Dictionary of England, (London, 1848) pp. 209-215. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

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Stockport (St. Mary)

STOCKPORT (St. Mary), a newly-enfranchised borough, a market-town, and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester; comprising the chapelries of Distley, Dukinfield, Hyde, Marple, Norbury, and Romiley, and the townships of Bramhall, Bredbury, Brinnington, Etchells, Offerton, Stockport, Torkington, and Werneth; and containing 84,282 inhabitants, of whom 28,431 are in the town, 39 miles (N. E. by E.) from Chester, and 179 (N. W. by N.) from London. This place, from its situation near a common centre, whence several Roman roads diverged, is supposed to have been a Roman military station. The fort is thought to have occupied the summit of Castle Hill, where the Saxons subsequently erected a baronial castle; from which, expressive of its situation in the woods, the town derived its name Stokeport, or Stockport. Though not mentioned in Domesday book, it is of considerable antiquity, and, till the Conquest, was a military post of some importance, most probably one of those laid waste by the Normans on their conquest of the island. In confirmation of this opinion may be adduced the name of an adjacent vill called Portwood, also omitted in the survey, the first notice of which occurs in the records of the lands of the Baron of Dunham, under the name of Brinnington, or the burnt town. In 1173, the castle of Stokeport was held by Geoffrey de Costentyn, against Henry II.; whether in his own right or not, is uncertain. The first baron appears, from the best authority, to have been Ranulph le Dapifer, progenitor of the De Spencers, from whom it passed to Robert de Stokeport, who, in the reign of Henry III., made the town a free borough. In 1260 it obtained the grant of a fair for seven days commencing on the festival of St. Wilfrid, and a market on Friday. During the civil war, it was garrisoned for the parliament; but Prince Rupert, advancing against it with a party of the royal troops, expelled the garrison, and took possession for the king: it was, however, subsequently seized by the parliamentarians, who retained it till the termination of the war. In 1745, Stockport was visited by the troops of the Pretender, both on their approach to Derby, and in their retreat; on the latter occasion, the bridge over the Mersey had been destroyed, and the rebels, with Prince Charles, were compelled to wade through the river, in order to effect their escape. Of the ancient castle not a vestige can be traced: a circular brick edifice was erected on the site by the late Sir George Warren, as a hall for the sale of muslin, for which article it was his wish to make the town a mart; but since the failure of that project the building has been converted into an inn.


Stockport is situated on elevated ground, of irregular and precipitous ascent, and the south-eastern portion is intersected by the Goit and the Tame, which at their confluence in the centre of the borough form the river Mersey. From the valleys through which these rivers run the houses rise in successive tiers round the sides of the hill, from the base to the summit; and the numerous extensive factories elevated one above another, and spreading over the town, present, when lighted during the winter months, a remarkably striking appearance. The most ancient part surrounds the church and market-place, on the high ground overlooking the Mersey, from the bank of which several steep streets, ascending the acclivity, lead to the market-place, whence various other streets diverge in different directions. Many of the houses at the base of the hill have apartments excavated in the rock, which is of soft red sandstone. The principal street, called the Underbank, follows the direction of the Roman road leading southward to Buxton; to the north of the church is the site of the ancient castle, and of the Roman military works. The town extends, on the south, a considerable distance along the road to London; on the north-east, by a bridge over the Mersey, to Portwood; on the west, in the direction of Cheadle; and towards Manchester by another bridge across the Mersey, on the north, into the suburban township of Heaton-Norris, in the county of Lancaster. The Wellington road was designed in 1824, with a view to cross the river without the necessity of descending from the high grounds on each side to the level of the vale of the Mersey. It consists of a noble bridge across the valley and the river, of eleven arches, of which nine are on the Cheshire, and two on the Lancashire, side. The arch over the river has a span of more than 90 feet, and is built of hard white stone from the Saddleworth and Runcorn quarries; some of the arches on the Cheshire side are carried over streets, the thoroughfare being continued underneath, and others are closed up, forming commodious warehouses. The expense of this work, which was completed in less than two years, was £40,000. Between Wellington and Lancashire bridges, is Vernon foot-bridge over the Mersey, forming an intermediate and more direct communication between the town and Heaton-Norris; it was built by subscription, the first stone being laid in 1828.

The town is well paved, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. An act of parliament for incorporating a gas company, and another for the construction of water-works, were obtained in 1825; and in 1837, the corporation obtained a general improvement act, under which they purchased the property of the gas company, the profits from which are applied to borough purposes. An act was passed in 1847 to establish public parks, to purchase or lease water-works, to erect bridges, and to make other communications within the borough. There are several newsrooms and libraries; and a mechanics' institute, to which use a theatre has been converted. The winding and throwing of silk, for which mills were first established here upon the Italian plan, have been nearly superseded by the cotton manufacture, which has for some years been the staple trade of the town; there are still some respectable silk factories, but the latter manufacture, ever since its introduction, has been rapidly increasing, and has attained, both for its extent and the perfection to which it has been brought, a very high degree of celebrity. Within the town, including HeatonNorris and Portwood, are not less than fifty cottonfactories, worked by steam-engines and water-wheels; the printing of calico is carried on to a great extent, and there are many large dye-houses in the vicinity. The weaving of calico has spread over all the neighbouring villages, which in some instances have become virtually a part of the town. The manufacture of hats has been established; there are several thread manufactories, and connected with the various branches of manufacture, the construction of machinery affords employment to a great number of persons.

The importance of Stockport, as a manufacturing town, has been materially promoted by the facility and the abundance of its supply of coal from Poynton, Worth, and Norbury, and the neighbouring districts on the line of the Manchester and Ashton canal. This canal joins the Peak-Forest canal (a branch of the latter extending to the town), and affords a direct communication with the principal towns in the kingdom. The Manchester and Birmingham railway passes through the borough, and crosses the valley of the Mersey by an immense viaduct, which is considered one of the most magnificent works connected with railways. The viaduct is 2180 feet long, 31 broad and 106 above the level of the stream, and is supported on 22 semicircular arches of 63 feet span, with two abutment arches of 18 feet span: the piers are of stone, 10 feet thick, and 40 feet high before the springing of the arches; the rest of the structure is of brick. There is a short railway to GuideBridge, near Ashton, on the Manchester and Sheffield line; it was completed in 1847, and is called the Stockport and Ashton Junction. In 1846 an act was passed for a railway to Birkenhead; and in the same year an act was obtained for a railway to Buxton, Bakewell, Matlock, and Ambergate, there to join the Midland railway. The market, held on Friday, is more abundantly supplied with corn, meal, and cheese, than any other in the county. In the higher part of the town (the Hill-gate), convenient shambles, covering an area of 2000 square yards, were built in 1827; but the inhabitants do not use this market, preference being given to the general one in the centre of the town. The fairs are on March 4th and 25th, May 1st, and October 23rd, for cattle.

Stockport was anciently incorporated, and retained the office of mayor, though little more than nominal, until the passing of the Municipal Corporations' act. The government is now vested in a mayor, 14 aldermen, and 42 councillors, under that act: the municipal and parliamentary boundaries, which contain 2505 acres, are co-extensive; the borough is divided into six wards, and the number of magistrates is 17. By the act 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the town was constituted a parliamentary borough, with the privilege of sending two members; the mayor is returning officer. Petty sessions take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday; and courts leet and baron are held twice in the year, at which the lord of the manor appoints two constables and other officers to the number of 50, who are sworn into office at an adjourned court. The powers of the county debt-court of Stockport, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-district of Stockport. The churchwardens are chosen by the lords of the manors of Bramhall, Bredbury, Brinnington, and Norbury, who from time immemorial have represented the parish in ecclesiastical matters.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £70. 6. 8., and in the patronage of Lady Vernon; net income, £1882. The ancient church, supposed to have been erected in the fourteenth century, having fallen to decay, was rebuilt with the exception of the chancel, at an expense of £30,000, by act of parliament passed in the 50th of George III., and an extensive cemetery added to it. The present structure is a handsome building in the later English style, with a lofty square tower crowned by a parapet and pinnacles; the pillars of the nave are carried up to the roof, producing an unusual but impressive effect, from the loftiness of their elevation. The chancel, which was in the decorated style, has undergone considerable alteration, but still retains some of the ancient stone stalls, which are of elegant design; and several of the old monuments have been preserved. St. Peter's district church, a neat edifice of brick, was built in 1768, at the expense of William Wright, Esq., of Mottram St. Andrew, to whom a handsome mural monument has been erected in the centre of the north aisle: the living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £220; patron, the Rev. H. Wright. The church dedicated to St. Thomas was erected in 1825, by the Parliamentary Commissioners, at an expense of £14,555, and is in the Grecian style, with a tower surmounted by a cupola; the principal entrance is at the east end, through a noble portico of six lofty Ionic pillars, and the interior of the edifice is handsomely decorated. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £110; patron, the Rector of Stockport. A church district, called St. Matthew, was formed in 1844, and endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: the living is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Chester, alternately. Other incumbencies are noticed under the heads of Bredbury, Distley, Dukinfield, Hyde, Marple, Norbury, Portwood, Romiley, and Werneth. In the town are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, the New Connexion of Methodists, the Society of Friends, Primitive and Warrenite Methodists, Unitarians, and Roman Catholics. A public cemetery has been established; the grounds are several acres in extent, and a neat chapel has been erected.

The free grammar school was founded in 1482, by Sir Edmund Shaa, citizen and goldsmith of London, who endowed it with £10 per annum, to which several benefactions have been added. The Goldsmiths' Company, who are the patrons, have erected a handsome schoolroom, with a house for the master, in the later English style, at an expense of £4500, on a site in the Wellington-road presented by Lady Vernon. The master has a salary of £225, and the usher one of £105. The national school, established in 1826, is a spacious edifice of brick fronted with stone; 2000 children of both sexes are instructed in the establishment. The Stockport Sunday school, upon a very comprehensive plan, admitting children of all denominations, was established in 1805; and an extensive building of brick, four stories high, was erected for its use, at an expense of £10,000, raised by subscription: there are 4000 children belonging to the institution; and attached to it are four branch schools, in the vicinity of the town, built at a cost of £6000, in which 1500 children are taught. On the eastern side of the old churchyard are six almshouses, founded by an ancestor of the late Sir George Warren, in 1685, for aged men: the allowance was augmented by Humphrey Warren, Esq., who died in the middle of the last century; and the late Lady Bulkeley bequeathed £1200 vested in trustees for the same purpose, and £1000 for the poor of Stockport. An infirmary was erected in 1833, on the Wellington-road, at an expense of £6300, raised by subscription; it is an elegant stone structure, forming a prominent feature in the approach to the town. The poor-law union of Stockport comprises 17 parishes or places, 15 of which are in the county of Chester, and 2 in Lancaster; and contains a population of 85,672.


STOCKSFIELD-HALL, a township, in the parish of Bywell St. Andrew, union of Hexham, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 5 miles (N. W.) from Corbridge; containing 29 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the river Tyne, over which a bridge was built here in 1838; and comprises about 200 acres, mostly arable land. The soil is gravelly, producing, particularly in moist seasons, excellent crops of grain; and the scenery, which is very beautiful, is from one part quite panoramic. The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway has a station in the township. The tithes have been commuted for £40.


STOCKTON, a township, in the parish of Malpas, union of Wrexham, Higher division of the hundred of Broxton, S. division of the county of Chester, 1¾ mile (S. S. W.) from Malpas; containing 31 inhabitants. It comprises 196 acres, the soil of which is partly sand and partly clay. The tithes have been commuted for £26. 4.

Stockton (St. Michael)

STOCKTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Loddon and Clavering, hundred of Clavering, E. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (N. W. by W.) from Beccles; containing 129 inhabitants, and comprising about 960 acres of land, chiefly arable. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £275; patron, the Duke of Norfolk: the glebe contains 32 acres. The church is in the later English style, with a circular tower.

Stockton (St. Chad)

STOCKTON (St. Chad), a parish, in the union of Shiffnall, Shiffnall division of the hundred of Brimstree, S. division of Salop, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Shiffnall; containing 422 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the west by the river Severn, and traversed by the road from Shiffnall to Bridgnorth. It comprises by admeasurement 3163 acres, of which 1760 are arable, about 1146 pasture, and 257 woodland. The soil is a sandy loam, and the chief produce consists of wheat, turnips, and barley; the surface is agreeably diversified with hill and dale. Apley Terrace, a natural eminence several miles in length, commences here, and commands fine views, particularly of Apley Park, part of which is also situated in this parish. The living is a rectory, with the living of Boningale annexed, valued in the kings books at £13. 11. 3., and in the gift of the Whitmore family: the tithes have been commuted for £589. 15., and the glebe comprises 184 acres. The church is an ancient structure, containing about 300 sittings.

Stockton (St. Michael)

STOCKTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Southam, Southam division of the hundred of Knightlow, S. division of the county of Warwick, 2¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Southam; containing 452 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Southam to Dunchurch, and comprises 1363a. 12p., of which about 1315 acres are cultivated, and chiefly arable; the surface is in general flat, and the soil rests upon blue lias. The Warwick and Napton canal intersects the parish at its northern boundary. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 7. 1.; net income, £283; patrons, the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford: the tithes were commuted for land in 1791, and there is a glebe-house. The church is partly in the decorated English style, with a tower; the nave is of much more modern date than either the tower or chancel. Here are two parochial schools, one for boys and one for girls. Fossils are frequently found in the neighbourhood.

Stockton (St. John the Baptist)

STOCKTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Warminster, hundred of Elstub and Everley, Warminster and S. divisions of Wilts, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Wily; containing 307 inhabitants. The parish is washed by the small stream Wily, and comprises 2083a. 3r. 2p., The living is a rectory valued in the king's books at £18. 2. 1.; net income, £440; patron, the Bishop of Winchester. The tithes were commuted for land in 1809; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe altogether contains about 600 acres. The church is an ancient structure. An almshouse was founded in 1657, under the will of John Topp, sen., who bequeathed £1000 for charitable uses; the revenue of the charity is nearly £200 per annum. A mansion here, built in the Elizabethan style by the same person, is still in good preservation; the principal room contains some fine oak carving in its original state. A Roman road crosses the southern extremity of the parish, and there are British and Roman earthworks.

Stockton (St. Andrew)

STOCKTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 14 miles (N. W.) from Worcester; containing 130 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Teme, and comprises 856 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, 50 in hop-grounds, and the remainder pasture; the surface is hilly, the soil a heavy loam, and the scenery picturesque. The road from Worcester to Ludlow passes through. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 13. 11½.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. William Francis Raymond, A. M. The tithes have been commuted for £220; and there is a glebe of 21 acres, with a glebe-house. The church, a very old edifice, has been lately restored at a cost of £300: it contains a vault and a monument to a family named Walsh. A Sunday school is supported by the rector.


STOCKTON-on-the-Forest, a parish, in the wapentake of Bulmer, union and N. riding of York, 4 miles (N. E.) from York; containing 389 inhabitants. It comprises 3270 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder grass land; the surface is level. Hedge-row timber, a remnant of the ancient forest of Galtres, grows in abundance; and numerous rare plants are scattered about the common. Stockton Hall is a fine brick mansion. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, with a net income of £157: the tithes, with certain exceptions, were commuted for land and a money payment in 1813. The church was rebuilt in 1843, at an expense of about £650. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a parochial school is supported by subscription, aided by £10 per annum, left by Thomas Wilkinson.

Stockton-Upon-Tees (St. Thomas)

STOCKTON-UPONTEES (St. Thomas), an incorporated market-town, an inland port, a parish, and the head of a union, in the S. W. division of Stockton ward, S. division of the county of Durham; containing, with the townships of Preston and East Hartburn, 10,071 inhabitants, of whom 9825 are in the town, 20 miles (S. S. E.) from Durham, and 244 (N. by W.) from London. This place is of considerable antiquity, and the discovery of a Roman coin near the castle site has led to the conjecture that it was a station of that people, but nothing to warrant the opinion is recorded. It formed part of the possessions of the see of Durham at an early period, and the castle was occupied by Hugh de Pudsey, bishop of the diocese in the reign of Richard I. His successor, Philip de Poictou, entertained King John here in 1214, and the charter granted by that monarch to the burgesses of Newcastle bears date at Stockton. It continued to be the occasional residence of the bishops, and seems to have escaped in a great measure the commotions and border feuds which agitated this part of England, with the exception of an inroad of the Scots in 1322, who plundered and burnt the town. At the period of the civil war in the 17th century, the castle was taken by the royalists, some importance being attached to its commanding the old passage of the Tees; it was afterwards surrendered to the republican forces, and in 1645 was garrisoned by the Scots, but delivered by them to the English. In 1647 it was ordered by the parliament to be dismantled, and about five years subsequently its complete destruction was accomplished, no part of the structure now remaining, although the fosse may still be traced. The town suffered severely from the overflowing of the Tees, in 1771, 1783, and 1822.

Corporation Seal.

It is situated on an eminence on the northern bank of the river, and has advanced rapidly in prosperity since the middle of the 17th century, at which period it consisted principally of mean hovels, the better houses being constructed with "post and pile," and not one built of brick. The town is now one of the cleanest and handsomest towns in the northern part of the kingdom. The main street, which is about half a mile in length, is broad, and contains numerous well-built houses, chiefly of brick, with a few of stone erected with the materials of the dilapidated castle: from this thoroughfare smaller streets branch off towards the river, and on different sides of the town a great number of new houses have been recently built. The streets are well paved, under the authority of an act of parliament passed in 1822; and in 1846 an act was passed for more effectually lighting the town. A good stone bridge over the Tees was commenced in 1764, and completed in 1769, at an expense of £8000; it has five elliptical arches, of which the central is 72 feet in span, and 23 above low-water mark. A second bridge was erected in 1843. The theatre, in Green-Dragon-yard, Finkle-street, is an inferior building; a mechanics' institute, with a library, was established in 1824, and there are a subscription library and two newsrooms. Races are held in August, a week after those of York, at Tibbersley, about three miles from Stockton; and assemblies occasionally.

The situation of Stockton, at a distance of twelve miles only from the sea, and on a river navigable eight miles above the town, affords it many advantages; and the increased shipping, and amount of duties, evince the progressive extension of its mercantile interests. The port is a member of that of Newcastle; the dues, from the payment of which vessels belonging to the cinqueports are exempt, are the property of the bishop, and are held on lease by the corporation. Ships of large size were formerly obliged to receive and unload their cargoes at Portrack, which though only a mile from the town by land, is by the circuitous course of the river more than four times that distance. But in 1808, a company was incorporated by act of parliament, called the Tees' Navigation Company; and a cut was made from Portrack to the town, capable of admitting vessels of 300 tons' burthen. This improvement greatly benefited trade, and amply repaid the shareholders; and in 1828 an act was obtained for the extension of the cut to Newport on the south shore, and for the construction of other works for deepening the river, and facilitating the navigation between Stockton and the sea; all of which have been carried into effect under the superintendence of Mr. W. A. Brooks. The cut to Newport is threequarters of a mile in length, and 80 yards broad; and at a comparatively small outlay of capital, the navigation of the Tees has been so much improved that vessels drawing 15 feet water can, in ordinary spring tides, sail up to the quays at Stockton; whereas previously, trading vessels of not more than 100 tons were obliged to discharge great part of their cargoes before they could approach the town. The shifting sand-banks, also, in the bed of the river, which greatly obstructed its navigation, have been completely removed by the construction of jetties contracting the channel. The great increase of shipping consequent upon the introduction of the coal-trade into the Tees, rendered the exhibition of lights at the mouth indispensable. Two leading lights on the Durham shore, one red, and the other bright, serve as guides to clear the Redcar rocks, and make for the red-bar buoy, from which two other lights on the Bran sand, on the north side of the estuary, lead up the channel, till it becomes necessary to change the course for a floating light near the fifth buoy, where secure anchorage is found in four fathoms at low water. Formerly, the sailing course into the Tees was much more direct and convenient for a southern trade; and the Navigation Company have it in contemplation to restore the course of the river to its old bed, which ranged nearly due east and west.

In 1815, the town was made a bonding-port for certain goods. Its principal trade coastwise is with London, Hull, Leith, Sunderland, &c., and comprises the exportation of most articles of agricultural produce, coal, linen aud worsted yarn, and particularly lead, of which many hundred tons, brought chiefly from Yorkshire and the borders of Durham and Northumberland, are annually shipped. Lead also forms the chief article of exportation in the foreign trade, which is with the Baltic, Holland, Hamburgh, and the British colonies, whence it receives in return materials for ship-building, timber for other purposes, tallow, &c. Two shipping companies have been established in the London, and two in the foreign, trade. The number of vessels registered at the port, of above 50 tons, is 253, and their aggregate burthen 53,353 tons.

The principal branches of manufacture are connected with shipping: there are two ship-builders' yards, five factories for sailcloth, two rope-walks, two iron-foundries, and a block and pump manufactory; also three breweries, some corn-mills, a mill for spinning yarn, and one for worsted. The fishery of the Tees was formerly a great source of prosperity to the town, but it has considerably declined; it belongs to the Bishop of Durham, and is gratuitously open to poor fishermen under certain regulations. A railroad from Witton-Park and other collieries, by Darlington, to this place, twenty-five miles and a half in length, was constructed in 1825, chiefly for the conveyance of coal from the great Auckland field: the line was subsequently extended to Middlesbrough and Redcar. A branch of the Clarence railway from the inland districts also extends to Stockton. Another branch, commencing in the township of Billingham, and called the Stockton and Hartlepool railway, proceeds in a north-east direction, and afterwards along the sea-coast until it reaches the harbour of Hartlepool. It is chiefly used for the conveyance of coal, for which it was completed November 12th, 1840, but passengers are also conveyed, for whose accommodation, and for traffic in general merchandise, it was opened on the 10th of February, 1841. An act was passed in 1846 for a direct railway from Stockton to Northallerton, 20½ miles in length. The market, granted by Bishop Anthony Beck in 1310, is on Wednesday and Saturday, and is well attended; the shambles, erected in 1825, in front of the town-hall, form a neat range of inclosed brick buildings. A handsome stone column of the Doric order, thirty-three feet high, stands in the centre of the market-place. Fairs are held on the last Wednesday before May 13th and on November 23rd, which are general and statute fairs; and there are cattle-fairs on the last Wednesday in every month.

The period at which Stockton was incorporated is uncertain, but is supposed to be about the commencement of the 13th century; the last charter was granted by Bishop Cosin, in 1666. The government is now vested in a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors, under the act 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76; the borough is divided into two wards; the mayor and late mayor are justices of the peace, and three others have been appointed by commission. The town comprises two constablewicks, one called the Borough, which is wholly freehold, and the other termed the Town, which is partly held by copy of court roll under the Bishop of Durham, and partly by long leases under the vicar of the parish. The bishop is lord of the borough, and by his steward holds courts leet and baron, at which suits of trespass and debts under 40s. are cognizable; a halmote court occurs twice a year, in which similar causes are tried, and petty-sessions for Stockton ward are holden here. The powers of the county debtcourt of Stockton, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-district of Stockton and Sedgefield. The town-hall, built in 1735, and enlarged in 1744, stands nearly in the centre of the main street, and is a handsome quadrangular building of brick, surmounted by a light clock-tower and a spire, with a piazza extending along the lower story on its north side.

Stockton was formerly a chapelry, in the parish of Norton, from which it was separated by an act of parliament obtained in 1713. The living is a vicarage not in charge; net income, £400; patron, the Bishop; impropriator, R. W. Myddleton, Esq. The ancient chapel, supposed to have been erected about the year 1237, was taken down, and the present church was completed in 1712, at an expense of about £1600: it is a neat and commodious edifice of brick, with a tower 80 feet high; in the vestry-room is a small library, chiefly of theological works. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, to which a district containing a population of 4000 persons has been assigned, occupies a site given by Bishop Van Mildert. It is a handsome structure in the decorated English style, with an octagonal tower surmounted by a graceful spire, and contains 1200 sittings, of which 400 are free, in consideration of a grant of £600 from the Incorporated Society. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £300; patron, the Bishop. There are places of worship for Particular Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive Methodists, Unitarians, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic chapel, on the road to Norton, is after a design by Welby Pugin.

A charity school was founded by subscription, in 1721, since which period it has been endowed with various bequests and donations, including £1100 by George Brown in 1811, £950 by George Sutton in 1815, £700 by the Bishop of Durham in 1824, £200 by John Swainson, and £100 each by the trustees of Lord Crewe's Charity and Nicholas Swainson, altogether producing an annual income of £250. The present building was erected in 1819, and the school is now conducted on the national system. A school of industry for girls, instituted in 1803, is supported partly by endowment. Stockton, in conjunction with Norton, is entitled to a scholarship at Brasenose College, Oxford, with an endowment of £8 per annum, founded by Dr. Claymond, formerly vicar of Norton. Some almshouses, originally erected about the year 1682, were rebuilt in 1816, from a gift of £3000 by George Brown, Esq.; they contain a committee-room and dispensary, and thirty-six apartments. Elizabeth Bunting, in 1765, bequeathed the sum of £300 for the benefit of poor persons, which was invested in the purchase of £378. 13. three per cent, consols. The union comprises 42 parishes or places, of which 30 are in the county of Durham, and 12 in the N. riding of York; and contains altogether a population of 33,743. Stockton is the birthplace of Joseph Ritson, author of Ancient Songs and Metrical Romances; of Brass Crosby, mayor of London during the commotions occasioned by Wilkes; and of Joseph Reed, a dramatic poet.


STOCKWELL, a suburban district, and a chapelry, in the parish and union of Lambeth, E. division of the hundred of Brixton and of the county of Surrey, 3 miles (S. S. W.) from the heart of London. This place, which includes ranges of handsome houses extending on both sides of the road from Kennington to Clapham, has within the last few years been greatly increased by the erection of numerous pleasing villas and elegant cottages. The streets are partially lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from the South London water-works. There is a large ale brewery. The chapel, erected by Archbishop Seeker, was originally dependent on the mother church at Lambeth; it has been repaired within the last few years, and a district has been assigned to it. An additional church, dedicated to St. Michael, was consecrated November 18, 1841; it is a commodious structure, with a steeple 106 feet high, and cost £5000: the organ and clock were presented by Mr. S. B. Brooke. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Incumbent of St. Mark's, Kennington. There is a proprietary grammar school in Park-road, erected at an expense of £1658, a handsome building fronted with Bath stone, in the Elizabethan style. A chapel was opened in February 1846, chiefly for the use of the pupils, by the Bishop of Winchester; it is in the early English style, and arranged in the same way as a college chapel. The Independents have a place of worship. A national school, of which the first stone was laid by Archbishop Sutton, was erected in 1818.

Stockwith, East

STOCKWITH, EAST, a township, in the parish and union of Gainsborough, wapentake of Corringham, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 3¾ miles (N. N. W.) from Gainsborough; containing 266 inhabitants. A church in the early English style, with a bell-turret, was built in 1845-6, partly by the Church Commissioners. The living is in the gift of the Bishop of Lincoln. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Stockwith, West

STOCKWITH, WEST, a chapelry, in the parish of Misterton, union of Gainsborough, North-Clay division of the wapentake of Bassetlaw, N. division of the county of Nottingham, 4 miles (N. N. W.) from Gainsborough; containing 651 inhabitants, and comprising about 630 acres. The village forms a long line of buildings on the west bank of the Trent, at the point where the river Idle and the Chesterfield canal fall into that river. It has risen from a small hamlet to a flourishing river-port, or creek, under Hull, since the Idle was made navigable to Bawtry, and since the formation of the Chesterfield canal, which has a commodious basin at the south end of the village. The chapel was built in 1722, pursuant to the will of William Huntington, and is endowed with a house and 6 acres of land, and a farm at Gunhouse, consisting of 76a. 2r. 27p. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Stockwood, (St. Edwold)

STOCKWOOD (St. Edwold), a parish, in the union of Sherborne, liberty of Sutton-Pointz, Sherborne division of Dorset, 9 miles (S. S. W.) from Sherborne; containing 28 inhabitants. It comprises 692a. 2r. 12p., about one-third of which is arable, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and coppice; the soil is clay, and the surface generally level, though the parish is surrounded with hills. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 13. 4., and in the patronage of Miss E. Bellamy: the tithes have been commuted for £125, and the glebe contains 42½ acres. The church has sittings for about fifty persons.