Allostock - Alnwick

Pages 39-44

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

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ALLOSTOCK, a township, in the parish of Great Budworth, union and hundred of Northwich. S. division of the county of Chester, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Nether Knutsford; containing 427 inhabitants. In the reign of Edward I. the manor was conveyed by John de Lostock to the Grosvenors, who had their chief residence here; it afterwards fell to the Leicesters and Shakerleys. The township comprises 2155 acres; the soil is sand and clay. There is a place of worship for Unitarians.


ALLOWENSHAY, a hamlet, in the parish of Kingston, union of Chard, hundred of Tintinhull, W. division of Somerset; containing 212 inhabitants.

Allstonefield.—See Alstonfield.

ALLSTONEFIELD.—See Alstonfield.

Allton, with Idridgehay.—See Idridgehay.

ALLTON, with Idridgehay.—See Idridgehay.

Allwinton, county of Northumberland.—See Allenton.

ALLWINTON, county of Northumberland.—See Allenton.

Almeley (St. Mary)

ALMELEY (St. Mary), a parish, partly in the hundred of Wolphy, but chiefly in that of Stretford, union of Weobley, county of Hereford, 4½ miles (S. E.) from Kington, near the road to Hereford; containing 642 inhabitants. It comprises 3352 acres, of which 1500 are meadow and pasture, 1300 arable, and 552 woodland; the surface is undulated and extensively wooded, and the soil, for the most part, is a sandy loam, having a wet sub-soil of marl and clay. A tram railway for the conveyance of coal from Brecon to Kington, passes through the parish. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 17. 11.; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Hereford. The great tithes have been commuted for £300, and the vicarial for £207. 10.; the appropriate glebe contains 19, and the vicarial 55, acres. The church is partly Norman, and partly in the English style. About threequarters of a mile north-west of it, was probably once a castle; part of the ditch, &c., being traceable, and the farm there called Old Castle. Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, executed in 1417 for his attachment to the Lollards, was a native of the parish.

Almer (St. Mary)

ALMER (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Blandford, hundred of Loosebarrow, Wimborne division of Dorset, 5¾ miles (S. S. E.) from BlandfordForum; containing, with the hamlet of Mapperton, 189 inhabitants. It comprises 1129 acres of land, presenting a flat appearance; the soil is light, with a chalk and gravel bottom. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 5. 8., and in the patronage of the family of Drax: the tithes have been commuted for £265, and the glebe consists of 35 acres. The church is a small edifice, built by General Erle.


ALMHOLME, a hamlet, in the parish of Arksey, union of Doncaster, N. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, W. riding of York, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Doncaster; containing 69 inhabitants. The term holme or holmes is a generic name for low and level pasture lands near water; which is descriptive of the neighbourhood of this place. The hamlet is situated in the north-eastern extremity of the parish; the river Don runs a little on the east, and on the north flows a tributary of that river.


ALMINGTON, a township, in the parish and union of Drayton-In-Hales, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 1½ mile (E. by N.) from Drayton; containing 189 inhabitants.


ALMODINGTON, a hamlet (formerly a parish) in the parish of Earnley, union of West Hampnett, hundred of Manhood, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 6 miles (S. W. by S.) from Chichester. The living, a rectory, was consolidated in 1524 with that of Earnley; and the church has fallen into ruins.

Almondbury (All Saints)

ALMONDBURY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Huddersfield, Upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 1¾ mile (S. E.) from Huddersfield, on the old road to Sheffield; comprising the townships of Almondbury, Austonley, North and South Crossland, Farnley-Tyas, Holme, Honley, Lingards, Linthwaite, Lockwood, Marsden, Meltham, Nether Thong, and Upper Thong; and the hamlets of Berrybrow, Crossland Moor, Deanhouse, MelthamMills, Longley, Lowerhouses, Netherton, and Rashcliffe; and containing 37,315 inhabitants, of whom 8828 are in the township of Almondbury. According to Camden, this was the Cambodunum of Antoninus, the site of which he places on the summit of a neighbouring hill, where are vestiges of a rampart and the remains of a fortification; but some later writers are of opinion that these are Saxon remains, as no Roman relics have ever been found, and there are no ancient roads leading to the place. The same author states that in the early Saxon times a royal vill existed here, with a church, built by Paulinus, and dedicated to St. Alban, from which circumstance arose the name Albanbury, since softened into Almondbury. This church is supposed to have been afterwards burnt in the war between Penda, King of Mercia, and Edwin of Northumbria, the latter of whom had a palace here; and it appears that no church from that period was known till after the year 1090, when the manor came into the possession of the Lacy family, of whom Alice de Lacy and her son Henry presented to the rectory in 1187, prior to which time a church had been erected most probably by Gilbert de Lacy, the first lord.

The inhabitants of this populous and extensive district are principally engaged in the manufacture of fancy goods and woollen cloth, for which there are numerous establishments. The parish comprises 26,055a. 3r. 37p.; there are several coal-mines, and some stone-quarries, the produce of which is chiefly applied to building purposes. In the 39th of George III. an act was passed for inclosing the waste lands in the townships of North Crossland and Honley; in the 9th of George IV., one for reclaiming those in Austonley and Upper Thong; and in 1830 similar acts were passed for Meltham and Nether Thong: in 1837 an act was procured for making certain reservoirs in the parish. Fairs are held on Easter and Whit Mondays, and on Nov. 23rd for swine and cattle.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20. 7. 11.; net income, £250; patrons and impropriators, the Governors of Clitheroe school, to whom the rectory, &c., were given by the crown at the Dissolution, previously to which they had belonged to the College of Jesus, at Rotherham. There are 16 acres of glebe, with a good vicarage-house rebuilt about 1774. The church, an ancient and venerable structure, erected on the site of the original church, in 1552, and which had fallen into a state of general dilapidation, was in 1840, through the spirited efforts of a few of the inhabitants, thoroughly restored, with the most scrupulous regard to the preservation of its pristine character, and is now one of the most beautiful churches in the West riding. At the end of the north aisle is a chapel belonging to the Earl of Dartmouth, and at the extremity of the south aisle one belonging to the Beaumont family: there are two oak chests of great antiquity, richly carved; and round the upper part of the walls, close to the ceiling, are some verses in Saxon characters. There are also churches at Holme-Bridge, Crossland, Farnley-Tyas, Linthwaite, Meltham, Meltham-Mills, Lockwood, Marsden, Nether Thong, Upper Thong, Milns-Bridge, Armitage-Bridge, and Honley; and within the township of Almondbury are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, and one for the New Connexion. A free grammar school was founded by letters-patent of James I.; the annual income amounts to £91, arising from lands and rentcharges demised by Robert Nettleton and other benefactors.

Almondsbury (St. Mary the Virgin)

ALMONDSBURY (St. Mary The Virgin), a parish, in the union of Thornbury, comprising the tything of Almondsbury in the Lower division of the hundred of Berkeley, the tythings of Gaunts-Earthcote and Lea in the Lower division of that of Thornbury, and the tythings of Hempton and Patchway, Over, and Lower Tockington, in the Lower division of the hundred of Langley and Swinehead, W. division of the county of Gloucester; and containing 1584 inhabitants, of whom 603 are in Almondsbury tything, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Bristol. This parish is situated near the river Severn, and comprises 6927 acres of land, which, with the exception of 137 acres of common or waste, is rich pasture in good cultivation: sandstone is quarried, chiefly for rough building purposes. The village is situated at the foot of a ridge of limestone rocks, in which lead-ore has been found in small quantities, and of which the old roof of Berkeley Castle was partly composed; and the views from the heights, along which passes the road from Gloucester to Bristol, are beautiful and extensive, embracing the whole estuary of the Severn, and the opposite coast of Wales. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the gift of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, and valued in the king's books at £20: the tithes have been commuted for £1150. 13. 4., and there are two acres of glebe. The church, situated in that part of the parish which is in the hundred of Berkeley, is a very handsome cruciform structure, in the early English style, with a tower and spire at the intersection; it has been extensively repaired and altered within the last few years. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a school endowed with £30 per annum from lands left by an unknown benefactor for the use of the church, producing £210 per annum.

Almsford (St. Andrew)

ALMSFORD (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Catsash, E. division of Somerset, ¾ of a mile (N.) from Castle-Cary; containing 293 inhabitants, and comprising 844a. 1r. 18p. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 12. 1., and in the gift of F. Woodford, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £215, and the glebe consists of 60 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a small neat structure.

Alne (St. Mary)

ALNE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Easingwould, wapentake of Bulmer, N. riding of York; comprising the townships of Aldwark, Alne, Flawith, Tholthorp, Tollerton, and Youlton; and containing 1703 inhabitants, of whom 494 are in the township of Alne, 4¼ miles (S. S. W.) from Easingwould. The parish contains by computation 10,900 acres, of which 1900 are in the township of Alne; the surface is level, and comprises every variety of soil. A fair for cattle and sheep is held on the Tuesday next after the 8th of October. The York and Newcastle railway passes through the parish. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £370; patron and impropriator, Sir C. B. Codrington: a small glebe-house was obtained by exchange with the patron, in 1842. The church, an ancient edifice with a square tower, was repewed about thirty years since. There are places of worship for Wesleyans at Alne and Tollerton. Remains exist of a religious house subordinate to St. Mary's at York.

Alne, Great (St. Mary Magdalene)

ALNE, GREAT (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Alcester, Alcester division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 2¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Alcester; containing 404 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 1800 acres, and is bounded on the south, and partly on the east, by the river Alne. The living is a rectory, annexed, with the perpetual curacy of Weethley, to the rectory of Kinwarton: the church has been enlarged within the last few years. Part of the glebe belonging to Kinwarton rectory is situated in this parish. There is a national school.


ALNESBORNE, an extra-parochial district, locally in the parish of Nacton, hundred of Colneis, E. division of Suffolk, 2¼ miles (S. E.) from Ipswich; adjoining the river Orwell; and containing 39 inhabitants. Here was a small priory of Austin canons, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and suppressed about the year 1466: there are still the remains of a chapel.


ALNEY, a small island in the river Severn, partly in the parish of Maisemore, E. division of the county of Gloucester, and partly in the parishes of St. MaryDe-Lode and St. Nicholas, city of Gloucester. This island, which is formed by a division of the river into two streams, and comprehends several acres of rich pasture land, was by the Saxons called Oleneag, and is memorable for the interview which took place here in 1016, between Edmund, King of the Saxons, and Canute, leader of the Daues, whose armies had been drawn up at Deerhurst in battle array for some time, without either giving the signal for the attack. Edmund at length challenged Canute to single combat, which the latter refused on the plea of inequality, proposing, instead, a reference to the principal officers of both armies; this was accepted by Edmund, and, after a short conference on the island, peace was concluded between them by a partition of the kingdom.

Alnham (St. Michael)

ALNHAM (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Rothbury, N. division of Coquetdale ward and of Northumberland; consisting of the townships of Alnham, Prendwick, Screnwood, and Unthank; and containing 256 inhabitants, of whom 141 are in the township of Alnham, 6 miles (W. by S.) from Whittingham, and 14 (W. by S.) from Alnwick. The parish forms part of the Cheviot range of mountains, and comprises about 12,000 acres, almost entirely occupied as sheep-walks: excellent building-stone is obtained. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with part of the great tithes, and valued in the king's books at £3. 17. 1.; net income, £74; patron, the Duke of Northumberland; impropriator of the remainder of the great tithes, J. C. Tarleton, Esq. There are about ten acres of glebe. The church has a plain Norman arch between the nave and chancel. Near it are the ruins of an ancient tower, which the late duke fitted up for a parsonage; and on Castle Hill is a semicircular encampment, defended by a high double rampart and deep trench, within which is a range of uncemented stones.

Alnmouth, or Alemouth

ALNMOUTH, or Alemouth, a small sea-port, and a township, in the parish of Lesbury, union of Alnwick, S. division of Bambrough ward, N. division of Northumberland, 5¼ miles (E. S. E.) from Alnwick; containing 480 inhabitants. This township, which takes its name from its situation on a tongue of land projecting into the sea, near the mouth of the river Alne, comprises 180 acres of land of a light soil, in equal portions of arable and pasture; the surface is undulated, and there are good land and sea views: stone for building is procured from the rocks on the shore. Formerly a considerable trade was carried on in the export of corn, flour, eggs, and pork, to London, and of wool to the manufacturing districts of Yorkshire; but the trade is now limited: the imports are timber, iron, bark, &c., from foreign ports, and groceries, seeds, bones, hardware, and other merchandise, coastwise. The business of shipbuilding, which prevailed here, has entirely declined. The village is resorted to for bathing, and the sands, being very firm, form a fine promenade; hot baths are always in readiness at the Schooner inn. By an encroachment of the sea, and a change in the course of the river, a small island has been formed, on which, until 1807, were the remains of an old chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the site of which was originally on the main land: the hill, called the Church Hill, whereon it stood, is rapidly yielding to the combined action of the sea and atmosphere. The tithes have been commuted for £30. 1. 6., of which £26. 15. 10. are payable to the vicar, who has a glebe of about three-quarters of an acre. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Alnwick (St. Mary and St. Michael)

ALNWICK (St. Mary And St. Michael), a market town and parish, and the head of a union, in the E. division of Coquetdale ward, N. division of Northumberland, of which it is the county town, 33 miles (N. by W.) from Newcastle, and 306 (N. by W.) from London; comprising the townships of Alnwick, Southside, Shieldykes, AbbeyLands, Canongate, Denwick, and Hulne Park; and containing 6626 inhabitants. This place, which is of great antiquity, was occupied at a very early period by the Danes or Saxons, who called it Ealnwic, from its situation near the river Alne, and built a strong Castle for its defence on a site supposed to have been previously occupied by a Roman fortress. The castle thus erected, after the Norman Conquest, became the baronial residence of Ivo de Vescy, lord of Alnwick, to whom the barony had been given by the Conqueror. In 1093, it was besieged by Malcolm III., King of Scotland, and bravely defended by Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland; upon which occasion, Malcolm and his son Edward were both killed; the former, according to the Chronicle of Alnwick Abbey, by one of the garrison, under pretence of presenting to him, in token of submission, the keys of the fortress at the point of a lance; and the latter in his eagerness to revenge the death of his father, in an unguarded assault of the enemy, from whom he received a mortal wound. The remembrance of this siege is preserved by a cross erected about a mile north of the town, on the spot where the Scottish monarch is supposed to have fallen; it was rebuilt in 1774 by the Duchess of Northumberland, a lineal descendant of the king.

Corporation Seal.

In 1135, the town was taken by David, King of Scotland; in 1174 it was besieged by William, at the head of 80,000 Scottish forces, but was successfully defended by William de Vescy, Robert de Stuteville, Ranulph de Glanville, and others, who took the monarch prisoner, and sent him to London, where he was kept in confinement till released by his subjects, who paid £100,000 for his ransom. In 1215, Alnwick was nearly reduced to ashes by King John; but it appears to have been speedily rebuilt, for, within five years from that date, Gualo, the pope's legate, summoned a general council of the Scottish bishops to be held here, for the regulation of some ecclesiastical abuses. In 1328, it was again besieged by the Scots, under Robert Bruce, but without success; and in 1411, the castle was embattled, and the town surrounded with a strong wall, to protect them from the predatory incursions of the Scots. Notwithstanding these fortifications, the town was again assailed by the Scots, who in 1448 set fire to it in retaliation for the burning of Dumfries by the English. After the battle of Hexham in 1463, the castle, which was in the interest of the house of Lancaster, was summoned by the Earl of Warwick; but the garrison, though unable to sustain a protracted siege, retained possession till they were relieved by Sir George Douglas, who, arriving at the head of a considerable force, afforded them an opportunity of retiring unmolested.

The town is pleasantly situated on the irregular declivity of an eminence rising from the bank of the river Alne, over which, at the northern extremities, are two neat stone bridges. The streets are spacious, well paved, and lighted with gas; the houses, built of stone, are chiefly of modern erection; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from cisterns and reservoirs, and by pumps in various parts, erected at the expense of the corporation. Near the south entrance of the town is a fine column, eighty-three feet in height, upon an eminence at the side of the road: it is called the Percy Tenantry Column, having been raised by the agricultural tenantry of the second duke of Northumberland, in 1816, in grateful commemoration of his Grace's liberality at various periods, when the distress of the times had rendered the payment of rent in many cases difficult, and in some altogether impracticable. There is also an elegant column, erected in 1814, on Camp Hill near the town, in commemoration of the various victories obtained by the British during the war, and of the restoration of peace. A subscription library was established in 1783; but this was dissolved in 1833, and an improved institution was formed in 1834, which now contains nearly 2000 volumes. In 1824, a mechanics' institute was founded, for which a handsome building was erected in 1831, containing a lecture-room, library, and other accommodations. The trade and manufactures of the place are not of much importance; yet there are some extensive breweries and tanneries, and the parish abounds with coal, limestone, freestone, and whinstone. The Newcastle and Berwick railway passes between the town and the sea-coast. The market, abundantly supplied with corn and provisions, is held on Saturday: fairs for cattle and horses are held on May 12th, the last Monday in July, and the first Tuesday in October; and there are other fairs, on the first Saturday in March and in November, for hiring servants. A fish-market was opened in 1830.

Alnwick is a Borough by prescription, having no royal charter of incorporation; though, from the capricious mode of choosing the freemen, which is ascribed to King John, it would appear that its prescriptive right was at least tacitly acknowledged by that sovereign: an established corporation is also recognised by an inoperative charter of Henry III., as well as by several ancient existing grants of the De Vesey family. The present corporation consists of twenty-four commoncouncilmen, who, at a meeting held on the 29th of September, nominate eight out of their number, and return the names to the steward of the manor, by whom, at the next court leet, four are appointed to act as chamberlains for the ensuing year. The commoncouncilmen are chosen from among the resident freemen of the several incorporated companies or fraternities, ten in number, viz., the Cordwainers, Skinners and Glovers, Merchants, Tanners, Weavers, Blacksmiths, Butchers, Joiners, Tailors, and Coopers. A chamberlain's clerk and other officers are appointed by the common-councilmen. The freedom is inherited by the sons of freemen, provided they have first been made free of one of the trading companies; it may also be acquired by a servitude of seven years to a freeman residing in the borough. Each candidate, on taking up his freedom, is subjected to the ludicrous ceremony of passing through a miry pool, thence called the "Freemen's well." A bailiff is appointed by the Duke of Northumberland for the manor. The corporation possess no magisterial authority, the town being wholly within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold petty-sessions on the first and third Saturday in every month. Courts leet and baron are held at Easter and at Michaelmas, under the Duke of Northumberland, as lord of the manor; and a manorial court is held also for the township of Canongate. The quarter-sessions for the county take place here at Michaelmas, in rotation with Hexham, Morpeth, and Newcastle. The county court is held here monthly; the powers of the county debt-court of Alnwick, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Alnwick. The election of parliamentary representatives for the northern division of the county, and also the election of coroners for the county, take place here. The town-hall, erected in 1731, is a handsome stone building surmounted by a square tower, and stands on the west side of the market-place, an extensive area in the centre of the town, on the south side of which is a large building erected by the late Duke of Northumberland, containing in the upper part a spacious assembly-room and a news-room, and affording underneath a covered area for the sale of butchers' meat and poultry. The house of correction, near the Green Bat, was erected in 1807.

The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £175; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Northumberland. The impropriate tithes of Southside township have been commuted for £183. 15. 6. The church is a spacious and venerable structure, in the later style of English architecture, with a neat tower, and consists of a nave, north and south aisles, and a chancel. The roof of the chancel is richly groined and ornamented; on the sides are some ancient stalls carved in tabernacle work, and at the east end are three altar-tombs, on which are recumbent figures of stone, finely sculptured, but without date or inscription. The chancel was repaired and beautified in 1781, by the first duke of Northumberland; and in 1818, the church was repewed and repaired, the late duke contributing £300 towards the expense. On repairing the north aisle, two statues of stone, one representing a king and the other supposed to be the figure of a martyr, were found about two feet below the surface of the ground; they are now placed beneath the tower, at the western extremity of the church. St. Paul's church, erected by the Percy family, was consecrated in October, 1846: the living is in the gift of his Grace. There are places of worship for Independents, a United Secession Relief congregation, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, New Connexion of Methodists, and Unitarians; and a Roman Catholic chapel rebuilt in 1836. The poor law union of Alnwick comprises 62 parishes or places, and contains a population of 18,768.

The ancient castle, now the magnificent residence of the Duke of Northumberland, is a noble and stately structure comprising two wards, the whole put into a state of thorough repair by the grandfather of the present owner, with a due regard to the preservation of its original style, and its ancient character as one of the most splendid baronial residences in the kingdom. The extensive park and demesnes abound with beautifully varied walks, commanding a rich diversity of scenery, and a fine assemblage of strikingly interesting objects, among which the venerable ruins of Alnwick and Hulne Abbeys are conspicuous. Alnwick Abbey was founded in 1147, by Eustace Fitz-John, who endowed it for Præmonstratensian canons, and dedicated it to St. James and the Blessed Virgin: the abbot was summoned to parliament in the reigns of Edward I. and II. It continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenue was estimated at £194. 7.; the remains consist of a gateway, which has been fitted up as a lodge to the parks (which are stocked with deer and a very fine breed of buffaloes), and, with the abbey grounds, forms a highly interesting feature. Hulne Abbey, about three miles from the town, but within the limits of the park, is beautifully situated on the slope of an eminence. It was founded about the year 1240, according to some authorities by William de Vescy, and according to others by Ralph Fresborn after returning from the crusades, for Carmelite friars, and is said to have been the first house of that order established in England; it was amply endowed by William de Vescy and his successors, and Fresborn became the first abbot. The site was granted in the reign of Elizabeth to Thomas Reeve and others, and was afterwards purchased by the Percy family. The remains, which are beautifully mantled with ivy, are very considerable; part of the buildings has been fitted up as a residence for a gamekeeper. Bale, the eminent biographer, was one of the brethren of this ancient monastery. Opposite to the remains of the abbey, a road, winding round a lofty eminence, leads to Brislee Hill, on the summit of which is a noble column, ninety feet high, with a spiral staircase leading to the balcony, which commands an extensive and delightful prospect, embracing the hills of Cheviot and Teviotdale; the hill of Flodden; the castles of Bambrough, Dunstanburgh, and Warkworth; the isle of Coquet, the port of Alnmouth, and various other interesting objects. At Alnwick, also, was an ancient hospital, founded by Eustace de Vescy, and dedicated to St. Leonard; likewise a chapel dedicated to St. Thomas: and in Walkergate-street is an old house, the doorway and windows of which prove its ecclesiastical origin. There are some remains of the town walls, which were defended by four square massive gateway towers, of which Bondgate, now the only one entire, was built by the son of the renowned Hotspur; on the site of Pottergate tower a handsome tower gateway has been erected, in the later style of English architecture. At Sheep-layers-on-the-Moor, and at Rugley-Moorhouse farm, are encampments supposed to be of Danish origin, but nothing is recorded of their history. Alnwick gives the title of Baron Louvaine of Alnwick to the Earl of Beverley.