Urchfont - Uxbridge

Pages 424-428

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

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Urchfont (St. Michael)

URCHFONT (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Devizes, hundred of Swansborough, Devizes and N. divisions of Wilts, 5 miles (S. E.) from Devizes; containing, with the hamlets of Eastcott, Lydeway, and Wedhampton, 1530 inhabitants. This parish comprises between 5000 and 6000 acres, and is situated within a quarter of a mile of the Salisbury and Devizes road. It was the property of Sir William Pynsent, Bart., and, with other estates, was left by him to the great Earl of Chatham, in testimony of respect for his character. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Stert annexed, valued in the king's books at £15. 15. 10., and in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Windsor, the appropriators. The great tithes have been commuted for £1425, and those of the vicar for £300; there are 28 acres of appropriate, and two of vicarial, glebe. The church is a fine ancient edifice. Here is a place of worship for Baptists.


URMSTON, a township, in the parish of Flixton, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 5½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Manchester; containing 771 inhabitants. A family of the local name is mentioned as holding lands here as early as the reign of John. About the time of Henry IV., Raff Hyde married the heiress of Adam Urmston, and thus obtained the estate. In the last century John Allen, of Davyhulme, became lord of Urmston; and from him Mr. Marsden bought the manor, which subsequently passed, also by purchase, to Mr. Redehalgh. The township is bounded on the south by the Mersey, and much of the land, probably four-fifths of the whole, is arable; the total area is 1507 acres. A court baron is held for the manor. Urmston Hall, now a farmhouse, is a wood and plaster fabric of the age of Elizabeth, painted in lozenges and trefoils, and surrounded by lofty trees. In a small house opposite to it, was born John Collier, the renowned "Tim Bobbin," the provincial satirist of Lancashire. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.


URPETH, a township, in the parish and union of Chester-le-Street, Middle division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 3 miles (N. by W.) from Chester-le-Street; containing 907 inhabitants. It comprises 1614 acres, of which one-third is arable, one-third pasture and meadow, and one-third woodland; the soil is favourable to the growth of wheat, barley, and turnips, and in some parts is remarkably rich. The surface is elevated, but inclosed all round by greater heights; the scenery is highly picturesque, with beautiful views. A colliery, which comprehends nearly the whole township, is let on lease by the Bewicke family; the works were commenced in 1833, and the seam at present wrought is found at a depth of 70 fathoms. In the township are also some good freestone-quarries, from one of which the principal part of Lambton Castle was erected. Three forges for malleable iron are at work, employing about 50 hands; and a linseed-oil mill employs about 40: there are likewise a paper-mill and a corn-mill. A private tramway runs to the Tyne; and the Pontop and South Shields railway passes within a quarter of a mile, on the south of the township. The village lies south of the small river Team.

Urswick (St. Mary)

URSWICK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 3 miles (S. W. by S.) from Ulverston; containing, with the hamlet of Little Urswick, 761 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3540 acres, of which 609 are common or waste. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 17. 6.; net income, £86; patrons, the Landowners. The church, which was repewed in 1826, is situated between the villages of Great and Little Urswick. At Bolton are the remains of an ancient chapel, in the immediate vicinity of which several Roman coins have been discovered, also a brass tripod.

Urswick, Little

URSWICK, LITTLE, a hamlet, in the parish of Urswick, union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, N. division of the county of Lancaster; containing 96 inhabitants. The village, which adjoins Great Urswick, is pleasantly situated, and is distinguished for its fine circular lake about half a mile in diameter, abounding with tench, roach, and other fish. A school was founded in 1580, by William Marshall, who endowed it with a rent-charge of £15.


USHAW, a hamlet, in the chapelry of Esh, union and parish of Lanchester, W. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 4 miles (W.) from Durham. This place derives its name from the abundance of yew-trees that formerly grew in the neighbourhood. It belongs to a Roman Catholic college established here in 1808, and which owed its origin to the dissolution of the English College of Douay, in French Flanders, by the tyranny of the French republic in 1794. The majority of the professors and students, having escaped to their native land, settled at Crook Hall, in this county; but the building soon proving too small, they were enabled by the liberal support of the Roman Catholic clergy and laity, to raise the present edifice. The college comprises a spacious quadrangle, adapted to the reception of 150 students, with a president, vice-president, and professors; and has a valuable library of more than 12,000 volumes, with numerous splendidly illuminated MSS.


USHLAWRCOED, a hamlet, in the parish of Bedwelty, union of Abergavenny, Lower division of the hundred of Wentlloog, county of Monmouth; containing 13,140 inhabitants.—See Tredegar.

Usk (St. Mary)

USK (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, in the union of Pont-y- Pool, hundred of Usk, county of Monmouth, 13 miles (S. W.) from Monmouth; and 144 (W. byN.) from London; containing, with the hamlets of Glascoed and Gwehellog, 2182 inhabitants, of whom 1525 are in the town. This place, which derives its name from the Gaelic Ysc, signifying water, is of remote antiquity, and is generally admitted by antiquaries to be the Burrium of the Romans. The ancient castle overlooking the town, experienced repeated assaults during the wars between the Welsh chieftains and the AngloNorman lords, especially in the time of the celebrated Owain Glyndwr; and in the civil commotions in the reign of Charles I., it was, with the town, partly demolished by the parliamentary forces. The town is agreeably situated on the river Usk, which is crossed here by a stone bridge; and consists of several streets, composed of detached houses, with intervening gardens and orchards. Some of the inhabitants are engaged in husbandry, and others in a salmon-fishery: there is a small manufactory for japanned tin, or Pont-y-Pool ware. The market is on Friday; a cattle-market is held on the first Monday in each month; and fairs take place on April 20th (a large fair for wool), June 20th, October 29th, and the Monday before Christmas-day. The town is governed by a corporation, consisting of a portreeve, recorder, and burgesses, assisted by four constables; and the borough, conjointly with Monmouth and Newport, returns a member to parliament, the right of election at Usk being vested in the £10 householders of a district comprising 522 acres. The portreeve possesses magisterial authority concurrently with the county justices: the quarter-sessions for the shire, and the petty-sessions for the division, are held here; and a court leet occurs once a fortnight, at which the portreeve and recorder preside. The powers of the county debt-court of Usk, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-districts of Abergavenny, Chepstow, Monmouth, Newport, and Pont y-Pool. The town-hall is a handsome edifice over the market-place, built at the expense of the Duke of Beaufort: the prison has been enlarged, and a tread-mill erected, by the county, at an expense of about £600.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 10.; net income £250; patron, W. Addams Williams, Esq.; impropriator, the Duke of Beaufort. The church, at one time conventual, appears to be of Anglo-Norman origin, and was originally cruciform, but has undergone numerous alterations; it contains several ancient monuments, and a modern one, erected in 1822, to commemorate the worth of Roger Edwards. This benefactor, in 1621, bequeathed property now producing a yearly rental of £412, to establish and endow a free grammar school; to support an almshouse previously built by him at Llangeview, for 12 persons; and for other charitable purposes. Two separate schools are now held in premises adjoining the church. That called the grammar school is in the lower room, and the master, who is a graduate of Oxford, has a salary of £60, with the use of a house, &c.; in the other, termed the writing school, held in the upper rooms, about 40 younger children are instructed in reading, writing, and accounts, by a master in holy orders, who receives £70. The founder also endowed a scholarship with £5 per annum in the University of Oxford, for a boy educated at the school. Almshouses for 24 persons were erected in 1826, to the south-east of the church, upon the site of some old ones. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The Roman Catholic chapel of St. Francis Xavier was opened in Oct. 1847, and is in the style of the 14th century, from designs by Mr. Charles Hansom, of Bristol: it consists of a nave, south aisle, chancel, sacristy, and porch; the internal length is 65 feet, and the breadth 30. The remains of the castle, standing on an abrupt eminence eastward of the river, comprise the exterior walls and a tower gateway, with several apartments, amongst which is the baronial hall; the area is of considerable extent, and is flanked by square and round towers. Near the almshouses are a few remains of a priory founded by one of the earls of Clare.

Usselby (St. Margaret)

USSELBY (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Caistor, N. division of the wapentake of Walshcroft, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 3 miles (N. by W.) from Market-Rasen; containing 92 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Caistor to Market-Rasen, and comprises between 700 and 800 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £44; patron and impropriator, the Right Hon. C. T. D' Eyncourt. There are about 40 acres of glebe. The church, a small neat structure, was lately repaired at the expense of Bartholomew Elliot, Esq.

Usworth, Great and Little

USWORTH, GREAT and LITTLE, an ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Washington, union of Chester-le-Street, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 5 miles (S. E.) from Gateshead; containing 1030 inhabitants. This township was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from Washington in 1831, and comprises 2543a. 11p., of which 1719 acres are arable, 736 meadow and pasture, 39 woodland, and 49 waste. It occupies an elevated site, surrounded with a great variety of interesting scenery; the air is salubrious, and the neighbourhood abounds with springs of excellent water, from which the distillers of Newcastle and Gateshead derive their supplies. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in collieries. Springwell colliery, belonging to Lord Ravensworth and partners, opened in 1822, affords employment to 500 persons; the coal is conveyed by a private railway to Jarrow, where it is shipped principally to London. There are also some quarries of the finest freestone, which is raised for building; at North Bidick are some firestone quarries; and bricks, fire-bricks, and tiles are manufactured in the township. In 1834, an act was obtained for constructing a railway from the Hartlepool line, near Moorsley, to the Pontop and South Shields railway here. Usworth House and Usworth Place are both handsome mansions, with tastefully-embellished demesnes, commanding extensive and richly-varied prospects. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham, with a net income of £120: the church, erected in 1831, is a neat structure containing 410 sittings, and a gallery for children. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a school established in 1814 by the Pearith family, who endowed it with £30 per annum, and £3 per annum for keeping it in repair. In the grounds of Usworth Place is a sulphureous chalybeate spring.


UTKINTON, a township, in the parish of Tarporley, union of Nantwich, First division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester, 1½ mile (N. by W.) from Tarporley; containing 606 inhabitants. It comprises 1779 acres, of a heavy soil. A. national school, built in 1844 by public grants, is licensed by the bishop for divine service.


UTON, a tything, in the parish, poor-law union, and hundred of Crediton, Crediton and N. divisions of Devon, 2 miles (W. S. W.) from Crediton; containing 384 inhabitants.

Utterby (St. Andrew)

UTTERBY (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Louth, wapentake of Ludborough, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 4½ miles (N. by W.) from Louth; containing 209 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Louth to Great Grimsby, and comprises by measurement 1568 acres, of which 342 are arable, 722 pasture, 432 meadow, 23 in gardens, and 16 woodland. The Roman Barton-street passes on the west, and according to tradition, here was a Roman encampment. Utterby House, the seat of the Rev. H. B. Benson, is beautifully situated, and the grounds comprehend some picturesque scenery; over the entrance are the armorial bearings of the Sapsford family. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 6. 8., and in the gift of Lewin Cholmley, Esq., and others, as trustees of the Rev. L. E. Towne: the great tithes have been commuted for £200, and the vicarial for £125; the glebe is valued at £1. 8. per annum. The church contains monuments to the Harold family, several members of which were buried here.

Uttoxetoer (St. Mary)

UTTOXETER (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the S. division of the hundred of Totmonslow, N. division of the county of Stafford, 15 miles (N. E. by E.) from Stafford, and 136 (N. W. by N.) from London; containing 4735 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Uttokeshather, and afterwards Utoc Cestre and Utcester, is of great antiquity. One of its late commons, called the High Wood (a moiety of which was possessed by the crown within the last two centuries), anciently constituted, with other lands, one of the wards of Needwood Forest. The manor was granted by the Conqueror to Henry de Ferrers, Earl of Derby; and was forfeited to the crown, together with the other large estates of that family, by Earl Robert, in the reign of Henry III., and given to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, the king's second son. In 1308, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, son of Edmund, obtained for the inhabitants a market, and a fair on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Mary Magdalene. The manor reverted to the crown, as parcel of the duchy of Lancaster, in the person of Henry IV., son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the latter of whom had obtained it by marriage with Blanche, daughter and co-heiress of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, nephew of Earl Thomas. Charles I., in the first year of his reign, granted it and the demesne to Robert Dixon and William Walley, as trustees for Henry, Viscount Mandeville, afterwards Earl of Manchester; and it is now vested, in twelve shares, in Earl Talbot, Lord Bagot, Mr. Kynnersley, and other proprietors: the market and fairs were the property of the earl until recently sold by him to Mr. Bradshaw. During the civil war of the seventeenth century, from its proximity to Tutbury Castle, Uttoxeter was alternately occupied by the royalist and the parliamentary forces.

The town stands upon an eminence rising from the western bank of the river Dove, across which is an ancient stone bridge of six arches, connecting the two counties of Stafford and Derby. It consists of several spacious streets, and a good central market-place; the houses in general are well built, and some of them handsome. Uttoxeter has long been noted for the manufacture of clock cases and movements; there are also a number of maltsters, tanners, fell-mongers, nail-makers, bendware-manufacturers, wool-staplers, rope and twine spinners, timber-merchants, &c., and a large brewery. The trade in cheese, corn, and other articles, is benefited by the Caldon branch of the Trent and Mersey canal, which comes up to a wharf at the northern end of the High-street. An act was passed in 1846 for effecting railway communication with the Potteries, with Macclesfield, in Cheshire, and with Burton-on-Trent. The land in the vicinity of the Dove is very fertile in pasturage; and the neighbouring rivers and brooks afford trout, grayling, and other kinds of fish. Near the town is found a pure red brick-clay, from one to five yards below the surface, in irregular masses. The market, which is well attended, is held on Wednesday: on every alternate Wednesday is a large market for cattle, merchandise, &c.; and fairs for cattle take place on the Tuesday before Old Candlemas, on May 6th, July 31st, September 1st and 19th, and November 19th and 27th, of which those on May 6th and Sept. 19th are the principal.

The first town charter was granted in the 36th of Henry III., by William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, and conferred on the burgesses all the privileges of a free borough. Uttoxeter, though a manor, with power to hold a court baron, was subject to the jurisdiction of the honour of Tutbury; but in 1636, an order of the court of the duchy chamber was made, discharging the inhabitants from further attendance at the courts for the honour. Petty-sessions for the southern division of the hundred of Totmonslow occur here, once a fortnight, under the county magistrates, who also choose surveyors of the highways, and constables, headboroughs, &c, in cases where the lords of the different courts leet in the neighbourhood neglect to make the necessary appointments. The powers of the county debt-court of Uttoxeter, established in 1847, extend over nearly the whole of the registration-district of Uttoxeter. The parish comprises 8983a. 1r. 7p., of which 6870 acres are pasture and meadow, 1846 arable, 121 woodland, and 146 waste, &c.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £27. 1. 8.; patrons and impropriators, the Dean and Canons of Windsor, who hold courts for the rectorial manor. The great tithes have been commuted for £725, and the small for £200: the dean and canons have a glebe of 55 acres. The church was rebuilt in 1828, with the exception of the ancient tower and beautiful and lofty spire, at a cost of £6061: the spire had been damaged by lightning, and partly rebuilt, in 1814. In the church were the chantries of St. Mary and the Holy Trinity, endowed with houses and lands in the neighbourhood. The town contains places of worship for Independents, the Society of Friends, Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. A free grammar school was established by the Rev. Thomas Allen, a celebrated mathematician in the sixteenth century; and there are almshouses for twelve persons, with small endowments; and a fund of about £60 per annum for apprenticing children. The poorlaw union of Uttoxeter comprises 19 parishes or places, 12 of which are in the county of Stafford, and 7 in that of Derby, the whole containing a population of 14,407. Thomas Allen, the mathematician, above-mentioned; Sir Simon Degge, the antiquary; and the distinguished Admiral Lord Gardner, were born here.


UXBRIDGE, a market-town and chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Hillingdon, hundred of Elthorne, county of Middlesex, 15 miles (W. by N.) from London; containing, with the district of Uxbridge-Moor, 4226 inhabitants, of whom 3219 are in the town. The most ancient name of this place was Oxebreuge, or Woxbrigge, which afterwards passed through the several variations of Waxbridge, Woxbridge, and Oxbridge, whence its present name. The town, which was probably founded about the time of Alfred, was surrounded by a ditch, and the whole site comprised about 85 acres; in feudal times it was an important station as a frontier town, and appears to have been fortified at an early period. It subsequently had a regular garrison; and, during the civil war of the seventeenth century, was the scene of the memorable, but unsuccessful, negotiation between the king and his parliament; sixteen commissioners on each side held a conference here, which commenced on the 30th of January, 1645, and continued about three weeks, in an ancient brick mansion at the west end of the town, still designated the Treaty House. This house has undergone various alterations, and is now the Crown inn, but two of the principal rooms, used on the occasion, still present specimens of the ancient and curious wainscot, in a fine state of preservation. The edifice was occupied by the Earl of Northumberland, and a mansion in its vicinity was the temporary residence of the Earl of Pembroke. The royal commissioners selected the then Crown inn, which stood opposite the present White Horse; and the parliamentary commissioners, the George, which yet remains, although materially diminished in size. In 1647, the head-quarters of the parliamentary army were fixed here; and there was a garrison so late as 1689.

The town is situated on the road from London to Oxford, occupying a gentle declivity on the banks of the river Colne. It is paved, lighted, and supplied with water from numerous wells. The principal street, about a mile in length, called London or High street, runs south-east and north-west, with another diverging from it in the direction of Windsor. Vine-street, branching to the south-east, defines the limits of what was formerly denominated the borough, in that direction; and although the town extends considerably beyond it, eastward, this part, which is called Hillingdon-End, is neither paved nor lighted. The common, which is surrounded by rich and beautiful scenery, has been reduced by inclosures to a space of fifteen acres, called the Recreation Ground. A library, containing about 1300 volumes, is supported by subscription; and an assembly-room is attached to one of the inns.

The Grand Junction canal passes through the town; and the facilities afforded by the river Colne for the erection of mills, have rendered Uxbridge remarkable for its flour-trade. At its western extremity are three large flour-mills, and within three or four miles up and down the river, ten more; which are supposed, in the aggregate, to supply upwards of 3000 sacks of flour per week, a great part of which is sent to the metropolis. There are also two small breweries. South-east of the town is a fine brick-earth, which extends several miles, and has been sold at £500 or £600 per acre; the burning of bricks on these fields employs several hundred persons. The general trade of the town is likewise extensive; and manufactories for implements of husbandry and Windsor and garden chairs, are carried on. An act was passed in 1846 for a branch from the Great Western railway at West Drayton, to Uxbridge, rather more than 2½ miles in length. The Colne is crossed by two bridges: over its principal branch is High-bridge, built of brick, about sixty years since, at the joint expense of the counties of Buckingham and Middlesex, and replacing one that had existed from the time of Henry VIII.; over the smaller branch is a short bridge at Mercer's mill. There is likewise a bridge across the Grand Junction canal, on the banks of which are warehouses and wharfs. The market, granted in the reign of Henry II., is on Thursday, and is one of the largest markets in the kingdom for corn; there is another market on Saturday, for meat, poultry, eggs, butter, &c. Fairs are held on March 25th, July 31st, September 29th, and October 11th, of which the two latter are now statute-fairs. The old market-house, built in 1561, was removed by act of parliament, in 1785, and the present commodious edifice erected, at an expense of nearly £3000.

Uxbridge was anciently a borough, governed until the close of the 17th century by bailiffs, but is now under the superintendence of two constables, four head-boroughs, and two ale-conners. In the 13th of Edward 1., it was ordained that the high constable for the Uxbridge division, who generally resides iu the town, should be chosen by the justices in quarter-sessions. A pettysession is held by the magistrates, on the first and third Mondays in every month: the powers of the county debt-court of Uxbridge, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Uxbridge, and part of the districts of Eton and Staines. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Trustees of the late G. Townsend, Esq., who present a fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford; net income, £142. The chapel or church, dedicated to St. Margaret, and built about 1447, on the site and partly from the materials of an edifice that was standing in the 13th century, is in the later English style, constructed of brick and flint, with a low square tower at the north-west angle: in the interior are an ancient octagonal stone font, decorated with quatrefoils and roses; and several fine monuments. A district church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, has been built at Uxbridge-Moor, containing 450 sittings, 250 of which are free: patron of the living, the Bishop of London; net income, £120. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, and Independents; also a free school founded in 1809, principally through the benevolent exertions of T. Truesdale Clarke, Esq. The poor-law union of Uxbridge comprises 10 parishes or places, and contains a population of 18,894. About four miles from the town, at Breakspear, some remains of Roman sepulchres have been discovered. Uxbridge gives the inferior title of Earl to the Marquess of Anglesey.