Weald - Weaverthorpe

Pages 490-494

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

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WEALD, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Seven-Oaks, hundred of Codsheath, lathe of Suttonat-Hone, W. division of Kent, 2 miles (S.) from SevenOaks; containing 1036 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Earl Amherst, with reversion to the Vicar of Seven-Oaks; net income, £100. The church, an elegant structure in the early English style, was erected in 1820; the tower was added in 1839, by subscription.


WEALD, a hamlet, in the parish of Bampton, poorlaw union of Witney, hundred of Bampton, county of Oxford; containing 826 inhabitants.

Weald, North, or North-Weald-Basset (St. Andrew)

WEALD, NORTH, or North-Weald-Basset (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Epping, partly in the hundred of Harlow, but chiefly in that of Ongar, S. division of Essex, 3 miles (N. E. by E.) from Epping; containing, with the hamlets of Hastingwood and Thornwood, 886 inhabitants. It is situated near the northern extremity of the hundred, and comprises 3065 acres, of which 1338 are arable, 1348 pasture, and 300 common; the soil is heavy, but, under good management, abundantly productive. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8.; net income, £353; patrons, the Bishop of London and the Ward family; impropriator, J. King, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £426, and the vicarial for £446; the impropriate glebe comprises 24 acres, and the vicarial 11. The church is a small ancient edifice, with a substantial tower of brick. A school is endowed with £10 per annum.

Weald, South (St. Peter)

WEALD, SOUTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Billericay, hundred of Chafford, S. division of Essex; containing, with the town of Brentwood, 3812 inhabitants, of whom 1450 are in the township of South Weald. This parish, from its name, is supposed to have been that portion of Essex (or Epping) Forest first inhabited. It is situated on the road between Romford and Chelmsford, and comprises by admeasurement 5053 acres, which, with the exception of 150 acres of woodland, are about equally divided between arable and pasture. The Eastern-Counties railroad runs through the parish. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £26. 13. 4.; patron, the Bishop of London; impropriator, C. T. Tower, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £215, and the vicarial for £680; there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe comprises 16 acres. The church is a handsome stone structure, with a fine embattled tower, and a curious Norman porch. At Brentwood is a separate incumbency. There are five almshouses, founded by Sir Anthony Brown, the inmates of which, three men and two women, receive £10 per annum each. In front of the ancient Hall is a mild chalybeate spring, much resorted to in summer, possessing properties somewhat similar to those of seawater. Bishop Horsley was vicar of the parish.

Weardale, St. John, or St. John's Chapel

WEARDALE, ST. JOHN, or St. John's Chapel, a chapelry, in the parish of Stanhope, union of Weardale, N. W. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 7 miles (W. N. W.) from the village of Stanhope. This is a small thriving town, situated in the Vale of Wear, through which runs the river of that name; its chief support is derived from the neighbouring lead-mines, where the population is employed. A customary market, on Saturday, has been established for more than a century; and there are cattle-fairs in spring and autumn: the market-cross was erected at the expense of the late Sir Ralph Milbank, Bart. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £186; patron, the Rector of Stanhope: the glebe is valued at about £150 per annum. The present chapel, a handsome structure, was built at the expense of the late Sir William Blackett, Bart., aided by a bequest of £50 from Dr. Hartwell, rector of Stanhope. There are several places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists in the vicinity. About a mile below Westgate, in the chapelry, the army of King Edward III. was encamped by the river Wear, and the Scots on the opposite hill, when Sir James Douglas, in the dead of night, attacked the English camp, and is said to have killed the king's chaplain. Emerson, the celebrated mathematician, had a house in the neighbourhood of the town, where he occasionally resided.


WEARDLEY, a township, in the parish of Harewood, Upper division of the wapentake of Skyrack, W. riding of York, 6½ miles (E.) from Otley; containing 158 inhabitants. It comprises 1080 acres, lying south of the river Wharfe, and on the road to Wetherby.

Weare (St. Gregory)

WEARE (St. Gregory), a parish, in the union of Axbridge, hundred of Bempstone, E. division of Somerset, 2½ miles (S. W.) from Axbridge; containing 784 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the river Axe, here crossed by an ancient bridge, and on the road between Bristol and Exeter. It comprises 2215 acres. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, valued in the king's books at £12. 1. 5½., and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol; the tithes have been commuted for £378; the glebe contains 37 acres. There are places of worship for Baptists, Methodists, and Bryanites. That part of the parish termed Nether Weare enjoyed, among many other privileges granted by different monarchs, that of sending members to parliament in the 34th and 35th of Edward I.; and had a market on Wednesday, with an annual fair.

Wear-Gifford (Holy Trinity)

WEAR-GIFFORD (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Torrington, hundred of Shebbear, Great Torrington and N. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (N. N. W.) from Torrington; containing 576 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1360 acres by admeasurement, and is situated on the river Torridge, which forms about two miles of the boundary line, and is navigable for coalbarges when the tide is up. Good building-stone is abundant; and there is a small woollen-factory. The ancient manor-house, built by the Denzells in the 15th century, is a stone building, lately repaired, and fitted up in the original style; the hall is ceiled with oak richly carved. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 5., and in the gift of Earl Fortescue: the tithes have been commuted for £175; there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe consists of 8 acres of coppice, and 4 of arable land. The church contains the figures of a cross-legged knight and his lady, carved in stone, and now placed in an erect position against the wall; they were formerly recumbent on an altar-tomb, and most probably represent members of the Gifford family. Here are two places of worship for Wesleyans; and 16 children are taught to read for £15 per annum, the bequest of John Lovering in 1671.

Wearmouth, Bishop (St. Michael)

WEARMOUTH, BISHOP (St. Michael), a parish, partly in the union of Houghton-le-Spring, but chiefly in that of Sunderland, N. division of Easington ward and of the county of Durham, 11 miles (S. E.) from Newcastle; containing, with the chapelries of Ford and Ryhope, and the townships of Bishop-Wearmouth Pans, Burdon, Silksworth, and Tunstall, 27,092 inhabitants, of whom 24,206 are in Bishop-Wearmouth township. This place is on the south side of the river Wear, adjoining the town of Sunderland. It appears to have derived the affix to its name, by which it is distinguished from Monk-Wearmouth on the opposite side of the river, from its having belonged to the bishops of Durham, under whom the rector of the parish still holds the lordship of the manor. The first notice of it occurs during the reign of Athelstan, who, on an expedition against Constantine, King of Scotland, about the year 930, visited the shrine of St. Cuthbert here, on which occasion he restored to the church the possessions of which it had been unjustly deprived, granted to it additional lands, and confirmed to it all its ancient privileges. The township, from its advantageous position, from the rapid increase of the coal-trade, and the numerous manufactories in the vicinity, has greatly advanced in importance and prosperity. It is connected with Sunderland by a spacious and wellformed street, rather more than a mile in length, from which several uniform streets branch off to the north and south, consisting of well-built houses, many of which are of elegant appearance. The streets are paved, and lighted with gas; the inhabitants are amply supplied with water, and very considerable improvements have been made under the provisions of an act of parliament for watching the town during the winter months. Hot and cold baths were established at Hendon, near the sea, in 1800; and in 1821 an establishment of hot, cold, vapour, and medicated baths, was erected in the parish at the extremity of Sunderland Moor. There are also several bathing-machines kept on the sands.

The subscription library of Bishop-Wearmouth, for which a handsome building has been erected in the principal street, at an expense of £1300, by a body of £10 shareholders, contains a collection of about 3000 volumes. The Literary and Philosophical Institution, and the Society for promoting the study of Natural History, which has a valuable museum, hold their meetings in the Athenæum, a Grecian building in Fawcett-street, erected in 1840, at an expense of £5000, by a proprietary, and in which is also a newsroom. The Mechanics' Institute in Bridge-street was established in 1836; attached to it is a good library, with a reading and news room. Among the many improvements that have taken place within the last fifty or sixty years, the most important is the construction of a cast-iron bridge across the Wear, connecting the town with Monk-Wearmouth. It was commenced 24th September, 1793, and completed in 1796, at a cost of £33,400, of which sum £30,000 were advanced by Rowland Burdon, Esq., M.P. for the county, to whom the origin of the undertaking is attributed. The bridge was erected under the superintendence of Mr. Thomas Wilson, of this place, and the ironwork was cast at the foundry at Masbrough, near Rotherham, in the county of York. The arch is 236 feet in span, and 100 feet in height from low-water mark, admitting vessels of considerable burthen to pass under it, without lowering more than their top-gallant masts; the whole weight of the arch is 260 tons, of which 46 are of malleable and the remainder of cast iron, and the piers on which it rests are 42 feet in breadth at the base, 37 feet at the summit, and 24 in thickness.

The parish comprises 8880 acres, of which 3280 are in the township: the lands under cultivation are fertile; the surface is diversified with hill and dale, and the scenery in some parts is picturesque. On the side of an eminence called Building Hill, is a quarry of fine limestone, which, on the division of the lands in 1694, was reserved for the use of the copyholders within the manor, on payment of one penny per load as compensation for surface damage. From time immemorial the inhabitants have enjoyed the privilege of bleaching their linen on a piece of ground called the Burnfields, near the road to Durham.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £89. 18. 1½., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham, with a net income of £2899. The tithes of the township of Bishop-Wearmouth have been commuted for £432, and the glebe consists of 159 acres. The church, altered in 1807, mostly on the walls and foundation of the ancient structure, which had existed from the commencement of the 9th century, is a handsome edifice of freestone, with a square embattled tower, and contains 1100 sittings. A district church, dedicated to St. Thomas, was erected in John-street in 1829, at an expense of £5000, of which £1260 were raised by subscription, £500 being contributed by Mrs. Woodcock, £200 by Bishop Barrington, £300 by the trustees of Lord Crewe's charity, £100 by the Rev. Dr. Gray, £150 by John Fawcett, Esq., and various small sums by different individuals; the remainder of the cost, £3740, was defrayed by the Parliamentary Commissioners. The edifice is of freestone, in the later English style, and contains 1000 sittings, of which 700 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector; net income, £200. Churches have been erected likewise at Deptford, Ford, and Ryhope. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Primitive Methodists, Methodists of the New Connexion, Wesleyans, Scottish Burghers, Presbyterians in connexion with the Scottish Church, Unitarians, and the Society of Friends; also a Roman Catholic chapel, and a Jews' synagogue. An infirmary, combined with a dispensary, is supported, for which an appropriate and handsome building was erected in 1822, at a cost of £3000. The Sunderland and BishopWearmouth Maritime Institution was founded and endowed in 1820, by Mrs. Elizabeth Woodcock, for ten widows, or unmarried daughters, of master mariners, who have each an annuity of £10. Some almshouses were built in Church-lane, and endowed under a bequest from Mrs. Jane Gibson in 1725, for twelve poor women, each of whom receives a half-yearly payment of £5. 9. 6., arising from funds purchased with the bequest, after paying the cost of the building. There are also almshouses on the Green, built by the Rev. John Bowes, rector of Bishop-Wearmouth, in 1712, for twelve persons, and endowed in 1725 with £100 by Mr. Thomas Ogle.—See Sunderland.

Wearmouth, Monk (St. Peter)

WEARMOUTH, MONK (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Sunderland, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham; containing, with the district parish of Southwick, and the townships of Monk-Wearmouth-Shore, Fulwell, and Hylton, 12,493 inhabitants, of whom 2155 are in Monk-Wearmouth township, ½ a mile (N.) from Sunderland. This place derives its name Wearmouth from its situation at the mouth of the river Wear, and the prefix Monk from the foundation of a Benedictine monastery about the year 674, by Biscopius, a Saxon noble, who obtained from Egfrid, King of Northumbria, a grant of land near the river, for the erection of the abbey, which he dedicated to St. Peter. In the reign of Ethelred, the monastery was destroyed by the Danes, and though subsequently restored, the greater number of the monks, among whom was the Venerable Bede, remained in the abbey of Jarrow, erected by the same founder, into which they had retired. A few only returned to Monk-Wearmouth, which afterwards became a cell to the monastery of St. Cuthbert, in the city of Durham, and remained as such till the Dissolution, when its revenue was returned at £26. 9. 9. Of the church, which was splendidly decorated with paintings, and relics brought by its founder from Rome, the nave and tower, with a few scattered details, are still remaining; but the other conventual buildings, which, about the middle of the last century, occupied three sides of a large quadrangle, have entirely disappeared.

The town is situated on the north bank of the Wear, opposite to Sunderland and Bishop-Wearmouth, with which it is connected by a beautiful iron bridge; and comprises two distinct portions, called Upper and Lower, the former in the township of Monk-Wearmouth, and the latter in that of Monk-Wearmouth-Shore. The upper town has a long and spacious street, extending from east to west, parallel with which is a narrower street, both intersected by several streets of recent formation connecting it on the south with the lower town; on the west is the Newcastle turnpike-road. The lower town, which originally consisted of a few fishermen's huts, and, till within the last twenty years, of three narrow streets extending along the shore, has been greatly improved by the erection of some streets of handsome houses, under the more liberal leases granted by the proprietor, Sir Hedworth Williamson, Bart. It contains by far the greater portion of the population. Public baths have been erected by a company, with several commodious lodging-houses, and a good hotel for visiters, forming together a handsome terrace overlooking the sea.

The principal manufactures carried on are those of rope, blocks, masts, chain-cables and anchors, and other articles connected with ship and boat building, for which there are large yards. The chief trade of the port is the exportation of coal and lime, from the collieries and lime-works in the neighbourhood, to Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath, and other Scottish ports; of the former, about 30,000 chaldrons are annually shipped, and of the latter about 70,000, exclusively of 20,000 chaldrons of lime consumed in the surrounding districts. Large quantities also of blue, white, and brown earthenware, for which there are extensive potteries in the villages of Southwick and Hylton, are shipped for France, Holland, and Germany. For the conveyance of the produce of the mines and potteries to the port, great facility is afforded by the river, which is navigable for vessels of light burthen for several miles above the town. The Brandling Junction railway, which has a branch leading to the docks, connects the towns of Sunderland, Bishop and Monk Wearmouth, South Shields, and Newcastle, and opens a communication with the Carlisle railway, and, southwards, with the Clarence, Darlington and Stockton, and York railways. The docks, situated about 350 yards from the mouth of the river, comprise an outer basin about an acre and a half in extent, having an entrance from the river 120 feet in width, and surrounded on all sides with massive walls of freestone. This basin has, in ordinary tides, from 12 to 18 feet depth of water; and communicates, by a floodgate 45 feet wide, with an inner dock to the north, which is six acres and a half in extent, with an average depth of 16 feet, and in which 100 vessels may lie in safety. These docks were completed in 1837.

The parish comprises an area of 5196 acres, of which 547a. 2r. 24p. are in the township of Monk-Wearmouth, and 250 acres inMonk-Wearmouth-Shore. The surface is almost uniformly level, and from the small proportion of woodland and plantations, the scenery is but little varied, and has few interesting features. The lands are well cultivated, and produce favourable crops; the soil in the west and south-west parts is a strong clay, and in the eastern portion an argillaceous loam, resting on a substratum of magnesian limestone, which prevails throughout the neighbourhood. About half a mile west of the town is one of the deepest and most scientifically formed coal-mines in the kingdom, belonging to Messrs. Pemberton and Company, and affording a striking example of enterprise and unwearied perseverance. The main shaft, which is of cylindrical form, 12 feet in diameter, and 264 fathoms in depth, was commenced in 1826, and completed in 1836; and in order, by proper ventilation, to guard against accidents, a second shaft has been sunk, partly perpendicular, and partly diverging in a diagonal line to the seam of coal. To the northwest of the town are the extensive lime quarries and kilns of Fulwell, belonging to Sir Hedworth Williamson, at which about 9000 chaldrons of lime are annually produced, and conveyed by an iron railway to the staiths on the river.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Sir H. Williamson. The tithes of the township of MonkWearmouth have been commuted for £215. 16. 6. The church, originally that of the monastery, retains but little of its ancient splendour: the tower, of Norman character, supported on four massive circular arches, the nave, and the north aisle, are alone remaining, the rest having long since been destroyed; the interior has undergone many alterations and repairs, and is chiefly modern. A church district named All Saints' has been endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; patrons, the Crown and the Bishop of Durham, alternately. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, members of the Church of Scotland, and Seceders.—See Sunderland.

Wearmouth-Pans, Bishop

WEARMOUTH-PANS, BISHOP, a township, in the parish of Bishop-Wearmouth, borough and union of Sunderland, N. division of Easington ward and of the county of Durham; with 298 inhabitants.

Wearmouth-Shore, Monk

WEARMOUTH-SHORE, MONK, a township, on the northern bank of the river Wear, in the parish of Monk-Wearmouth, union of Sunderland, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham; containing 7742 inhabitants. This place owes its origin to the extensive yards for ship-building constructed during the late continental war, and to the increased commerce of the port of Sunderland.


WEARNE, a hamlet, in the parish of Huish-Episcopi, poor-law union of Langport, E. division of the hundred of Kingsbury, W. division of Somerset; containing 232 inhabitants.

Weasenham (All Saints)

WEASENHAM (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 1 mile (E. by N.) from Rougham; containing 363 inhabitants. It comprises 1988a. 2r. 1p., of which 1578 acres are arable, 226 pasture and meadow, and 140 woodland. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Weasenham St. Peter annexed, valued in the king's books at £15. 10., and in the patronage of the Crown; impropriator, the Earl of Leicester. Certain vicarial tithes were commuted for land in 1806: the great tithes have been recently commuted for a rent-charge of £350, and the vicarial for £225; the glebe contains 18¾ acres. The church is chiefly in the later English style: the tower fell down about the year 1665, when the church was shortened at the west end; the south porch, which was exceedingly handsome, has been raised, and now forms the belfry. The commons of this parish, and of Weasenham St. Peter, were inclosed in 1806, when 40 acres were allotted to the poor of both places, for fuel. Sir John de Wesenham or Weasenham was butler to Edward III.

Weasenham (St. Peter)

WEASENHAM (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Rougham; containing 310 inhabitants. It comprises 1423a. 1r. 32p., of which 1074 acres are arable, 200 grass-land, and 71 heath. The living is a discharged vicarage, annexed to that of Weasenham All Saints. Certain vicarial tithes were commuted for land in 1806; the impropriate tithes have been lately commuted for £222, the vicarial for £150, and the glebe contains about 19 acres. The church is chiefly in the decorated and later English styles, with a tower; the font is handsome, and on the south side of the chancel is a piscina.

Weathersfield.—See Wethersfield.

WEATHERSFIELD.—See Wethersfield.

Weaverham (St. Mary)

WEAVERHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Northwich, Second division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester; containing 2596 inhabitants, of whom 834 are in the township, and 580 in the lordship, of Weaverham, 3¼ miles (W. by N.) from Northwich. This parish includes the townships of Acton, Crowton, Cuddington, Onston, and Wallerscoat; and comprises 7000 acres, whereof 3257 are in Weaverham township and lordship. The road from Manchester to Chester runs along the southern and eastern boundary, and the river Weaver on the north; the Liverpool and Birmingham railway passes through the parish for about three miles, nearly from the Hartford station to the Dutton viaduct over the valley of the Weaver. Pig-fairs are held in spring and autumn. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 11. 10½., and in the gift of the Bishop of Chester: the great tithes have been commuted for £400; and the vicarial for £340; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains 30 acres. The church was erected in the reign of Elizabeth. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; also a free school endowed by William Barker. The interest of £100, left by Mary Barker, is applied to apprenticing children; and here is a charity for six decayed housekeepers, who are selected by the vicar.

Weaverthorpe (All Saints)

WEAVERTHORPE (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Driffield, wapentake of Buckrose, E. riding of York; containing, with Lutton township, 952 inhabitants, of whom 547 are in the township of Weaverthorpe, 5 miles (N. N. E.) from Sledmere. The parish comprises 3000 acres, of which about 200 are pasture and woodland: it is divided among several proprietors, of whom Sir Tatton Sykes is the principal. The village is well built, and pleasantly seated in a valley of the Wolds. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York (the appropriators), valued in the king's books at £9. 6. 0½.; net income, £168: the tithes were commuted for land in 1801. The church stands on the brow of a hill, and has a lofty tower of Norman architecture. At West Lutton is a chapel of ease. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists.