A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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ALPERTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Harrowon-the-Hill, union of Hendon, hundred of Gore, county of Middlesex; containing 242 inhabitants.
ALPHAMSTONE, a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 5 miles (N. E.) from Halstead; containing 314 inhabitants. This parish, which includes the hamlet of Bures, and contains 1557a. 2r. 37p., was anciently parcel of the possessions of the abbey of Bury St. Edmund's, except a portion that belonged to Richard Fitz-Gilbert, which, after the Conquest, was divided among several proprietors. The soil is rich, and constitutes fine cornland; the scenery is picturesque. A pleasure-fair is held on the first Thursday in June. The living is a recrory, valued in the king's books at £11, and in the gift of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £440, and the glebe consists of 28 acres. The church, an ancient building of flint, consisting of a nave with a south aisle and chancel, lighted by small lancet-shaped windows, is finely situated on an eminence, commanding an extensive and richly varied prospect: the tower, with the bells, fell down about fifty years since.
ALPHETON, a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Babergh, W. division of Suffolk, 3 miles (N. N. E.) from Long Melford; containing 321 inhabitants, and comprising 1200 acres by admeasurement. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 1. 8.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. T. G. Dickenson. The tithes have been commuted for £286; and there are 40 acres of glebe, with a good parsonagehouse pleasantly situated near the turnpike-road. The church contains a mural monument to Lieut. Sheppard, who received a wound in the head at the attack on Boulogne in 1805, which caused his death ten years after; the old painted glass has been lately collected, and, with the addition of new, formed into two neat windows.
Alphington (St. Michael)
ALPHINGTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of Wonford, Wonford and S. divisions of Devon, 1½ mile (S.) from Exeter; containing 1286 inhabitants. This place, an ancient manor whose lords had the power of inflicting capital punishment, is skirted by the Exe, and intersected by the Exeter canal. It comprises 2223 acres by computation; granite is found in some parts, and at the Porkham quarry good building-stone is obtained. Fairs for cattle are held on the first Wednesday after the 20th of June, and in the beginning of October. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £34. 6. 8., and has a net income of £852; the glebe consists of 27 acres, with an excellent parsonage-house built by the late Rev. William Ellicombe, whose son, the Rev. Richard Ellicombe, is the present patron and incumbent. The church contains a circular Norman font, with intersecting arches and scroll ornaments. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
ALPINGTON, a parish, in the union of Loddon and Clavering, hundred of Loddon, E. division of Norfolk, 1½ mile (N.) from Brooke, and 6 miles (S. E.) from Norwich, on the road from Norwich to Bungay; containing 197 inhabitants, and comprising 530a. 3r. 12p. The living, a rectory, is united to Yelverton, and there are no remains of the church. About 9½ acres of land were allotted to the poor for fuel, at the time of the inclosure.
ALPRAHAM, a township, in the parish of Bunbury, union of Nantwich, First division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester, 3½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Tarporley; containing 520 inhabitants. The township comprises 1596 acres, of which 10 are common or waste; the soil is sand and clay. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £106, payable to the Haberdashers' Company, London. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Alresford (St. Peter)
ALRESFORD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Tendring, N. division of Essex, 6½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Colchester; containing 289 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Colne, and takes its name, which is supposed to be a modification of Aldersford, from an ancient ford across that river: the lands are elevated, and the soil generally of a light sandy quality. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8, and in the gift of Brasenose College, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £348, and there is a glebe of 30 acres. The church, a small edifice, with a spire of shingles, was, according to an inscription in the chancel written in Norman French, erected by Anfrid or Anfrey de Staunton.
ALRESFORD, NEW, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the liberty of Alresford, Alton and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 6 miles (N. E. by E.) from Winchester, and 57 (S. W. by W.) from London, on the high road to Winchester; containing 1578 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from its situation near a ford on the river Arle, was given to the church of Winchester by Cenwalh, King of the West Saxons, after his baptism by Bishop Birinus; and about 1220, Godfrey de Lucy, Bishop of Winchester, restored the market, then fallen into disuse. On May-day, 1690, the town was destroyed by fire, previously to which it was so prosperous that there was not an individual requiring parochial relief; and in 1710 a similar calamity occurred. The Parish comprises by computation 730 acres; the surface is flat in some parts, and in others hilly; the soil, which is light and chalky, is in general good. Alresford pond is a fine piece of water, through which runs the river Itchen. The northern embankment is formed by a causeway nearly 500 yards in length, which, previously to the construction of the present road through Bishop'sSutton, in 1753, constituted part of the main road to London. It was accomplished by Bishop de Lucy, under a grant from King John, with a view to the improvement of the prelate's grounds, and to increase the depth of the river Itchen, which was formerly navigable to Alresford, though of late it has ceased to be so higher than Winchester; and as a recompense for this arduous undertaking, the bishop obtained, for himself and his successors, the entire royalty of the river from the reservoir to the sea. Among the seats in the neighbourhood are those of Lord Rodney (formerly the residence of his ancestor, the gallant admiral), the family of Tichbourne, and Lord Ashburton, which last, called the Grange, is a beautiful copy of the Parthenon at Athens. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held on Holy-Thursday, the last Thursdays in July and Nov., and the Thursday next after Old Michaelmas-day, almost exclusively for sheep.
Alresford was incorporated at a very early period, and returned one representative to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I. The corporation consists of a bailiff, appointed by the Bishop of Winchester (as lord of the manor), and eight burgesses, who, by virtue of a lease from the bishop, receive the tolls of the market, but exercise no magisterial authority. A court leet is held at Michaelmas, when the bailiff is chosen; and the county magistrates hold a petty-session weekly, for the division of Alton. The living is a rectory, annexed, with that of Medsted, to the rectory of Old Alresford: the glebe comprises 18 acres. There are places of worship for Independents and Roman Catholics. H. Perrin, in 1698, founded a school for nineteen boys, sons of poor tradesmen in the town, and in the neighbouring villages of Old Alresford, Sutton, and Tichbourne; it is endowed with a good house for the master, and fifty-two acres of land, now let for £100 per annum. The poor law union of which this town is the head comprises 13 parishes and places, and contains a population of 7092. At Bramdean, about three miles distant, a tessellated pavement was discovered some years ago, one part of which represents the wrestling match between Hercules and Antæus.
Alresford, Old (St. Mary)
ALRESFORD, OLD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Alresford, hundred of Fawley, Winchester and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, ¾ of a mile (N.) from New Alresford; containing 502 inhabitants. This parish, which is divided from that of New Alresford by the river Itchen, comprises 3265 acres, whereof 40 are common or waste; the surface is hilly, and the soil light and chalky, but tolerably good. The hamlet of Hamsworth is included in the measurement of this parish, but is rated with that of Medsted. The living is a rectory, with the rectories of New Alresford and Medsted annexed, valued in the king's books at £49. 12. 8½., and in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester; the glebe comprises 40 acres.
Alrewas (All Saints)
ALREWAS (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Lichfield, N. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 5½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Lichfield; containing, with the hamlets of Fradley and Orgreave, 1658 inhabitants, of whom 1173 are in the township of Alrewas. This parish is bounded by the Trent on the north, and the Tame on the east, and contains 4329a. 31p.; it is intersected by the Trent and Mersey, and the Coventry canals, and there is a station of the Birmingham and Derby railroad 1½ mile from the village. A manufactory of tape employs about ninety hands. Courts leet and baron for the manor are held twice a year: the custom of Borough English prevails. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 6. 8.; patron, the Prebendary of Alrewas and Weeford in the Cathedral of Lichfield. The great tithes have been commuted for £439. 15., and the vicarial for £250: there is glebe-land, together with land allotted in lieu of tithes upon the common; the impropriator has 102a. 25p., and the vicar 37a. 2r. 10p., with a glebe-house. The church is chiefly in the Norman style, and contains monuments to the family of Turton, a member of which was chief justice of the king's bench in the time of William III. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Ranters. Viscount Anson was baron of Orgreave, where he had an estate, which still remains in the possession of the family. The Roman Ikeneld-street intersects the parish.
ALREWAS-HAYES, an extra-parochial liberty, locally in the parish of Alrewas, N. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from Lichfield; containing 92 inhabitants, and comprising 1200 acres. This place was formerly an open forest or chase; and at the time of the Conquest, perhaps formed the extensive wood at Alrewas mentioned in Domesday book: it was not wholly inclosed until 1826. The Fazeley and the Trent and Mersey canals unite here.
ALSAGER, a chapelry, in the parish of Barthomley, union of Congleton, hundred of Northwich, S. division of the county of Chester, 4 miles (W.) from Church-Lawton; containing 445 inhabitants. The manor was at an early period in the possession of the Vernon family, and subsequently in that of the family of Minshull: about the reign of Henry III. it was held by the Alsagers, who became extinct in the male line in 1768, by the death of John Alsager, Esq., when the property devolved to his three sisters. The chapelry is situated on the road from Barthomley to Lawton, and comprises 2076 acres; the soil is chiefly sand, clay, and fox-bench. On the heath is a mere, which, though small, is picturesque. The living is a donative, in the patronage of the owner of the manor; the income is £105, arising from 63 acres of land. A rent-charge of £240 has been awarded as a commutation in lieu of the tithes. The chapel is a handsome edifice, consecrated in 1790, and contains a monument to the memory of Col. Tryon, who was engaged in the Peninsular war. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a small school founded and endowed, in 1789, by Mary, Judith, and Margaret Alsager, owners of the manor, who likewise built and endowed the chapel.
Alsop-Le-Dale, with Eaton
ALSOP-LE-DALE, with Eaton, a chapelry, in the parish of Ashbourn, hundred of Wirksworth, S. division of the county of Derby, 5½ miles (N. by W.) from Ashbourn; containing 67 inhabitants. Alsop is the Elleshope of the Domesday survey. The manor was given by the crown to William de Ferrars, Earl of Derby, from whom it passed in succession to various families. Eaton was an appendage to the manor of Parwich, and was granted by King John to the family of Ferrars; about 1518 it appears to have belonged to the Vernons, of Haddon. The road from Ashbourn to Buxton lies in the vicinity of both places. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the inhabitant freeholders; net income, £49. The chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, is of Norman architecture, with many modern alterations. A large half-timbered building here is in good preservation.
Alston, or Alston-Moor (St. Augustine)
ALSTON, or Alston-Moor (St. Augustine), a market-town and parish, forming a union of itself, in Leath ward, E. division of Cumberland, 29 miles (E. S. E.) from Carlisle, and 287 (N. N. W.) from London; comprising the township of Alston, and the chapelry of Garrigill, the former containing 4588, and the latter 1474, inhabitants. Mining in this district is of some antiquity, several charters having been granted to the miners of "Alderston" in the 13th century. In 1282 the manor was granted by Edward I. to Nicholas de Veteripont, and in 1333 Edward III. confirmed to his son, Robert de Veteripont, and to the monetarii, or coiners, many important privileges. In the reign of Henry V. the manor and mines were let to William Stapleton; and, subsequently, Alston became the property of the Hyltons of Hylton Castle, in the county of Durham, and lastly of the Radcliffe family, with whom it continued until the attainder of the last earl of Derwentwater, in 1716, when it was granted by the crown to the Governors of Greenwich Hospital.
The parish comprises by computation about 40,000 acres, and includes two considerable villages, Garrigill and Nent Head, the latter on the eastern border of the parish, each 4 miles from Alston, and each containing about 500 persons. The town of Alston, consisting of 1650 inhabitants, is situated on the declivity and base of Middlefell hill, in a narrow valley, near the confluence of the rivers Nent and South Tyne, over each of which is a neat stone bridge. The houses, which are irregularly and rather meanly built, are chiefly of stone, roofed with slate, and the streets are inconveniently steep; the inhabitants are supplied with water conveyed by pipes from an excellent spring, about half a mile distant, into four punts or cisterns, conveniently placed in different parts of the town. A subscription library was established in 1821, to commemorate the coronation of George IV.; races are held on Easter Monday and Tuesday. A new line of road has been made, under the superintendence of M'Adam, from Hexham to Penrith, through Alston, which is shorter by several miles than the old road by way of Carlisle. Several of the contiguous eminences command beautiful views of the surrounding country, particularly Hartside, which embraces the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, including Ullswater, and the mountains of the lake district, Solway Firth, and the adjacent Scottish shore.
The immediate vicinity, which is inclosed on the west by the mountains Cross Fell and Hartside, and on all sides by high lands, is equally remarkable for the sterility of the soil and the abundance of its mineral wealth. The lead-mines, in which the inhabitants are chiefly employed, and of which there are no fewer than thirty-eight in the parish, are very productive: the ore contains a proportion of silver, averaging from eight to ten ounces per ton; and one of the mines opened at Yadmoss in 1828, has produced ore containing ninety-six ounces of silver in each ton. Copper has also been found in the same vein with the lead, and in many instances the same mine has been worked for copper-ore of excellent quality, and lead-ore rich in silver. The grand aqueduct level, called "Nent Force," was cut by the trustees of Greenwich Hospital: this subterraneous canal is five miles in length, from its mouth, near the town, to the shaft of the mine, and boats and guides were once kept in readiness to conduct those who might wish to explore it. In the mines are several extensive caverns, splendidly decorated with fluor-spar, shot into crystals of every form and hue; and, where the yellow copper-ore and pyrites are intermingled, nothing can exceed the brilliancy with which the prismatic colours are reflected. Of these caverns, Tutman's Hole has been explored to the distance of a mile from the entrance; in that at Dun Fell, on the side of Alston-Moor, the chambers and windings are so intricate, that visiters have been glad to avail themselves of some clue to their return. The other minerals found here are pyrites of iron containing small particles of gold, tessellated ore, zinc, phosphate and sulphate of lead, cobalt, &c. The Crow coal, found on the moor, at a small depth below the surface, contains pyrites in large proportion; it burns with little flame, but emits an intense heat, and, mixed with clay, is made into balls for fuel. There are two large smelting-furnaces; and several machines, worked by water, for crushing and washing the ore. The principal manufacture is that of woollen yarn, which is carried on in an extensive mill recently built; there is also a public brewery on a large scale. The market is on Saturday; fairs take place on the last Thursday in May, Friday before the last day of September, and the first Thursday in November. At Nent Head, a customary market is held every Thursday. Two of the county magistrates hold a petty-session at the Swan inn, on the first Friday in every month; and courts leet and baron occur in the months next after Easter and Michaelmas. The powers of the county debt-court of Alston, established in 1847, extend over the registration district of Alston, and the parishes of Kirkhaugh and Knaresdale.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 13.; net income, £180; patrons and impropriators, the Governors of Greenwich Hospital. The tithes, with certain exceptions, were commuted for an allotment of land, under an inclosure act, in 1803. The church, rebuilt in 1770, is a neat edifice with a tower. A chapel of ease, a plain and unadorned building erected by subscription about 1780, is maintained at Garrigill; and at Nent Head is a distinct incumbency, in the gift of the Vicar. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The grammar school was rebuilt by subscription, in 1828, and is endowed with £29. 8. per annum: no scholars are gratuitously instructed, but the master, in consideration of the endowment, is limited to a certain scale of charges. The Roman road called the Maiden-way crosses the western part of the parish, where it may be distinctly traced; and on Hall hill, a little below the bridge over the Tyne, are the foundations of an ancient fortress, surrounded by a moat. On Gildersdale Fell is a stagnant pool, covered with mud several inches thick, which is used by the neighbouring people as paint: it produces colours resembling yellow ochre and Spanish brown, but has not been analyzed.
ALSTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Ashburton, union of Newton-Abbot, hundred of Teignbridge, Teignbridge and S. divisions of Devon, 2½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Ashburton. It comprises 1010 acres by computation; the surface is hilly, and the sub-soil consists of limestone, clay, and sharp gravel. The chief produce arises from corn land and orchards, the cultivators of which are in general independent freeholders.
ALSTON, a township, in the chapelry of Longridge, parish of Ribchester, union of Preston, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 6 miles (N. E.) from Preston; containing 807 inhabitants. The township comprises 1989a. 1r. 12p. of land; and within its limits is part of the village of Longridge, a large, thriving, stone-built place, situated near the summit of Longridge Fell, and of which the other portion is in the township of Dilworth. Among the principal owners of the soil are the Earl of Derby and Sir Henry Hoghton, Bart. The line of the Preston and Clitheroe railway passes through the lower part of the township. Alston Hall is now a farmhouse. The tithes have been commuted for £150, payable to the Bishop of Chester, and £20 to the vicar. There are some small charities.
ALSTONE, a hamlet, in the parish and hundred of Cheltenham, union of Winchcomb, E. division of the county of Gloucester, ¾ of a mile (N. W. by W.) from Cheltenham. This place is situated on the river Chelt, over which is a viaduct for the Bristol and Birmingham railway, which proceeds hence to the parish of Swinton. A church was consecrated in 1840, a handsome and spacious structure containing 2085 sittings. Here is a chalybeate saline spa, for an account of which see Cheltenham.
ALSTONE, a chapelry, in the parish of Overbury, Middle division of the hundred of Oswaldslow, Pershore and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 6½ miles (E. by S.) from Tewkesbury; containing 89 inhabitants. It comprises 575 acres, and forms part of a detached portion of the parish, surrounded on all sides, except the north-west, by the county of Gloucester. The village lies a short distance south of the road from Tewkesbury to Stow-on-the-Wold. The chapel is dedicated to St. Margaret, is a very ancient building with a square tower, and contains about 90 sittings.
Alstonfield (St. Peter)
ALSTONFIELD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Leek, hundred of North Totmonslow, N. division of the county of Stafford, 7 miles (N. N. W.) from Ashbourn; comprising the chapelries of Elkstone, Warslow, Longnor, and Quarnford, and the townships of Alstonfield, Fairfieldhead, Heathy-Lee, and Hollinsclough; and containing 4701 inhabitants, of whom 654 are in the township of Alstonfield. This parish, which is fifteen miles in length, is situated at the northern extremity of the county, and is bounded on the west by Cheshire, and on the east by Derbyshire, from which it is separated by the river Dove: the township comprises 2862 acres. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 11. 4.; net income, £112; patron and impropriator, Sir John Crewe, Bart. The church is in the early English style, with an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles; the nave is separated from the aisles by finely pointed arches; the pulpit and reading-desk were the gift of the poet Cotton, who resided at Beresford Hall. There are six chapels exclusively of the parish church, those in Heathy-Lee and Hollinsclough having been lately built, principally at the expense of Sir G. Crewe.
Altcar (St. Michael)
ALTCAR (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 6 miles (W. by S.) from Ormskirk; containing 490 inhabitants. This place seems to be the Acrer of the Domesday survey, at which period it was held by Uctred; it was afterwards held by the abbots of Merivale, and continued with them till the Dissolution, soon after which it was possessed by the family of Molyneux. The parish takes its name from the river Alt, and the word car, meaning low land; and comprises 3582 acres, mostly in meadow and pasture: the surface is level, and the soil partly alluvial and partly a sandy loam containing a mixture of marl. The Alt bounds the parish on the south, having various channels by which the marshes here are drained, and the lower lands thus present the appearance of a Dutch farm with drains and embankments. The grounds are subject to floods, which are carried off by a steam-engine, erected in 1842, the water being thrown into the Alt, which merges into the Irish Sea at Formby Point. A large quantity of hay is produced in the parish; and there is a good stone-quarry, the material of which is used for building purposes. A court baron is held annually in May, and an adjourned court in October. The principal village, called Great Altcar, is a straggling place, consisting chiefly of farmhouses, extending on a slight eminence towards the church, which stands in the western extremity of the parish. Little Altcar is a hamlet adjacent to Formby; and Altcar Hall is an ordinary farmhouse, over the door of which were formerly the arms of the noble family of Molyneux. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £108; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Sefton. The church is a neat structure with a campanile tower, erected in 1746, and repaired in 1841. A school, built in 1840, is supported by subscription, aided by £8 per annum from the noble patron; and the interest of a few small bequests is appropriated to the poor. On the coast, near the mouth of the Alt, oak, ash, and fir trees are dug up, after ages of immersion in a subterranean forest at that place.
Alternon (St. Nunn)
ALTERNON (St. Nunn), a parish, in the union of Launceston, hundred of Lesnewth, E. division of Cornwall, 7¾ miles (W. S. W.) from Launceston; containing 1334 inhabitants. The parish comprises 12,039 acres, of which 4174 are common or waste. Fairs are held at Five-Lanes, in the parish, on the Monday after June 24th, and the first Tuesday in November. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £18. 5.; net income, £320; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Exeter. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
ALTHAM, a township and parochial chapelry, in the parish of Whalley, union of Burnley, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 5 miles (W.) from Burnley; the township containing 349 inhabitants. Under the name of Elvetham, the manor was granted by the first Henry de Lacy to Hugo, a Saxon: John de Alvetham, Hugo's descendant, left an heiress who married into the Banastre family, and thus sprang the Banastres of Altham, who occupied the manor-house for five centuries. The parochial chapelry comprises the townships of Altham (in which are 868 acres), Clayton-le-Moors, and New and Old Accrington. The river Calder forms the northern boundary of Altham township: on the east it is increased by a nameless brook from Huncoat; and the Hyndburne, after flowing as the western boundary of the chapelry, forms its confluence with the Calder at the northwest extremity of Clayton-le-Moors. Coal is obtained in the vicinity. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £117; patron, R. T. W. Walton, Esq. The chapel is dedicated to St. James. The Wesleyans have a place of worship; and there is a Roman Catholic chapel, erected in 1825.
Althorne (St. Andrew)
ALTHORNE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Maldon, hundred of Dengie, S. division of Essex, 4 miles (N. W.) from Burnham; containing 418 inhabitants. It is situated on the estuary of the river Crouch, from the overflowing of which the lands are protected by very strong embankments, nine feet high, constructed by labourers from Holland, whose descendants are still resident here. The living is a vicarage, united to the rectory of Creeksea in 1811, and valued in the king's books at £14; impropriator, Thomas Wilson, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £454. 5. 6., the small tithes for £155. 15.; and there are more than six acres of glebe. The church is a small edifice, containing, in the aisles, two brass plates with inscriptions in the old English character, one to the memory of Margaret Hycklot, the other to William Hycklot, "who paid for the workmanship of the walls of this church," and died in 1508.
Althorp (St. Oswald)
ALTHORP (St. Oswald), a parish, in the union of Thorne, W. division of the wapentake of Manley, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 11 miles (W. by N.) from Glandford-Brigg; containing, with the townships of Amcotts and Keadby, 1184 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £25, and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £400. The tithes of the township of Althorp have been commuted for corn-rents under an act obtained in 1794. There is a chapel of ease at Amcotts.
ALTHORPE, an extra-parochial liberty, in the hundred of Newbottle-Grove, county of Northampton; containing 55 inhabitants. It comprises 790 acres of land.—See Brington.
ALTOFTS, a township, in the parish of Normanton, Lower division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 3¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Wakefield; containing 704 inhabitants. This place is situated on the south side of the river Calder, across which is a horseferry, and near the Midland railway. There is an aqueduct of elegant design for the Aire and Calder canal. The ancient hall of Altofts is said to have been the residence of Admiral Frobisher. Stone of good quality is quarried, and many fossils are found. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £344, payable to Trinity College, Cambridge, and the vicarial for £69. 10. Here is a school, endowed by Mrs. Susannah Dodsworth, with £20 per annum, for which 15 girls are clothed and instructed.
Alton (St. Lawrence)
ALTON (St. Lawrence), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Alton, Alton and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 17 miles (E. N. E.) from Winchester, and 47 (S. W. by W.) from London; containing 3139 inhabitants. The name of this town, which is a slight modification of Auleton or Aultone, is descriptive of its great antiquity. It was a royal demesne in the time of Alfred the Great; and is noticed in the Saxon Chronicle as the scene of a sanguinary battle which was fought between the Saxons and the piratical Danes, who, having landed on this part of the coast in 1001, plundered and laid waste the country till they reached this place, at that time called "Aethelinga-dene." Here the men of Hampshire had assembled in order to oppose their further progress; but notwithstanding that great numbers of the invaders were slain, the latter remained in possession of the field of battle, whence they afterwards marched northward. At the time of the Norman survey, the town belonged to the abbot of St. Peter's, Winchester; and in the reign of Edward I. it returned one member to parliament. During the civil war of the seventeenth century, the place was occupied by a detachment of the royal army, under the command of Sir Ralph Hopton; but, in 1643, it was taken by the parliamentarian forces under Sir William Waller, after an engagement in which Col. Bowles was killed at the church-door, and his regiment taken prisoners.
The town is situated at the source of the river Wey, and consists of three principal streets, which are lighted under an act obtained for that purpose; the houses are in general neatly built, and of pleasing and cheerful appearance. A public library, on a plan calculated to meet the wants of the working mechanics, was established in 1837; it is in a state of prosperous advancement, and lectures are occasionally given to the members. The environs are beautifully picturesque, and the adjacent district richly fertile; the lands are watered by a fine stream, which crosses the town under the streets and houses, and in the surrounding scenery the church forms a conspicuous and interesting feature. The parish comprises by measurement 3896 acres; the surface is generally hilly, and the soil consists principally of chalk and gravel. The manufacture of bombazines was formerly carried on to a very considerable extent, but is now totally discontinued; a great quantity of hop bagging is made, and a paper manufactory is set in motion by the Wey, at no great distance from its source. There are also two large breweries in the town, and in the vicinity are about 200 acres of ground laid out in the cultivation of hops, the malt and the ale of Alton being in high repute. An act was passed in 1846 for the construction of a railway to Farnham and Guildford, 19 miles in length. The market, formerly held on Saturday, but since 1840 altered to Tuesday in every alternate week, is chiefly for cattle and sheep, and, from the great agricultural resources of the neighbourhood, is rapidly increasing: fairs for horses and cattle take place annually on the last Saturday in April, and Sept. 29th, the former for the manor of Alton Westbrook, and the latter for that of Alton Eastbrook. The county magistrates hold petty-sessions here for the division; and a court leet is held once a month by the steward of the manor, at which debts under 40s. are recoverable. The powers of the county debt-court of Alton, established in 1847, extend over the registration district of Alton. The townhall, situated in the market-place, was rebuilt by subscription in 1812.
The living is a vicarage, with the livings of Binstead, Holybourne, and Kingsley annexed, valued in the king's books at £15; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Winchester. The great tithes have been commuted for £770, and the vicarial for £496. The church is a spacious structure, in the later style of English architecture, with some portions of earlier date; it has a square embattled tower surmounted by a spire, and has been enlarged by the addition of a north aisle; on its northern wall is a curious painting of our Saviour's life. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, and Independents. The free grammar school at Anstey, in the parish, was founded in the reign of Charles I., by John Eggar, and has an endowment of £74. 10. per annum. The poor law union of Alton comprises 19 parishes or places, and contains a population of 11,299. Roman urns, coins, and other antiquities have been found in the neighbourhood; and in cleaning the church, in 1839, portraits of Henry VI. and several bishops were discovered. William de Alton, a Dominican friar, who lived in the time of Edward II., and wrote a treatise on the universality of the pollution of mankind by original sin; John Pitts, an eminent biographer, author of a work entitled "De Illustribus Angliæ Scriptoribus;" and William Curtis, an eminent botanist, author of the "Flora Londinensis," editor of the Botanical Magazine, and founder of a botanical garden near the Magdalene Hospital, and afterwards of a more extensive establishment at Brompton; were natives of the town.
Alton, county of Stafford.—See Alveton.
ALTON, county of Stafford.—See Alveton.
Alton Barnes or Berners (St. Mary)
ALTON BARNES or BERNERS (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Devizes, hundred of Swanborough, Devizes and N. divisions of Wilts, 7 miles (E.) from Devizes; containing 167 inhabitants. The Kennet and Avon canal flows a little south of the village. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 18. 11½., and in the gift of New College, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £449, and the glebe consists of about 50 acres.
Alton-Pancras (St. Pancratius)
ALTON-PANCRAS (St. Pancratius), a parish and liberty, in the union of Cerne, Cerne division of Dorset, 8¼ miles (N.) from Dorchester; containing 248 inhabitants. The two manors, or parcels of demesne land, called Alton Borealis and Alton Australis, till lately constituted the endowment of two prebends in the cathedral of Salisbury. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9; net income, £120; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury, who are also appropriators. The church is dedicated to St. Pancratius, a nobleman of Phrygia, who suffered martyrdom under Diocletian at Rome in the third century.
ALTON-PRIORS, a chapelry, in the parish of Overton, union of Pewsey, hundred of Elstub and Everley, Everley and Pewsey, and S. divisions of Wilts, 7 miles (E. by N.) from Devizes; containing, with the tything of Stowell, 251 inhabitants. The chapelry is separated on the north from the principal portion of the parish by a range of hills that stretches across the country in this part; and the Kennet and Avon canal passes at a short distance on the south. The chapel is dedicated to All Saints.
ALTRINCHAM, a market-town and chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Bowdon, hundred of Bucklow, N. division of the county of Chester, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Knutsford, and 180 (N. W. by N.) from London; containing 3399 inhabitants. The town is situated near Bowdon Downs, and, though small, contains several respectable dwelling-houses, the salubrity of the air rendering it a place of general resort for invalids from Manchester; it is watched and lighted under the general act of the 11th of George IV., and is characterised throughout by cleanliness and neatness. The trade principally consists in the spinning of yarn, the making of bobbins for cotton and worsted spinners, and the weaving of cotton by hand-looms, and by machinery driven by steam, for the manufacturers at Manchester and other adjacent towns. The Duke of Bridgewater's canal from Manchester to Runcorn passes within threequarters of a mile of the town, affording a facility of conveyance for coal; and in 1845 and 1846 acts were passed, the first for a railway to Manchester, since completed, and the second for a railway from Birkenhead, by Altrincham, to Stockport. Early potatoes are cultivated here to a great extent for the Manchester market. The market-days are Tuesday and Saturday, the latter for butchers' meat; the fairs, chiefly for the sale of live stock, are held on April 29th, August 5th, and November 22nd.
Altrincham was made a free borough in the reign of Edward I., by charter of Hamon de Massey, lord of the barony of Dunham-Massey, and the burgesses were empowered to have a guild-merchant, and to choose a præpositus, or bailiff; but the only privilege they now possess is that of electing a mayor at a court leet held in autumn, when a jury of burgesses present three of their own body to the steward, who appoints one to the office, which however is merely nominal, the duty extending only to the opening of the fairs. A steward is chosen by the lord of the barony of Dunham-Massey, and this officer appoints a bailiff; there are also two constables, who are chosen by the leet jury. The powers of the county debt-court of Altrincham, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-district of Altrincham. The township comprises 657 acres, of which 38 are common or waste: the soil is loam. The living is a perpetual curacy; patron, the Vicar of Bowdon; net income, £150. The tithes have been commuted for £48. 14., payable to the Bishop of Chester, and £43 to the vicar. The chapel, dedicated to St. George, is a plain brick building, erected by subscription in 1799. There are two places of worship for Methodists, and one for Unitarians. The poor law union of Altrincham comprises 39 parishes or places, and contains a population of 31,019.