Whitefield - Whitkirk

Pages 551-555

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

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In this section

Whitefield, Gloucestershire.—See Apperly.

WHITEFIELD, Gloucestershire.—See Apperly.

Whitefield, in Lancashire.—See Pilkington, and Stand.

WHITEFIELD, in Lancashire.—See Pilkington, and Stand.

Whitefield, East and West

WHITEFIELD, EAST and WEST, tythings in the parish of Wiveliscombe, union of Wellington, W. division of the hundred of Kingsbury and of the county of Somerset; the former containing, with the tything of Oakhampton, 197 inhabitants; and the latter containing 81 inhabitants.

Whitegate, or Newchurch (St. Mary)

WHITEGATE, or Newchurch (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Northwich, First division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester, 3¼ miles (S. W.) from Northwich; containing, with the townships of Darnhall and Marton, and parts of those of Over and Weaverham, about 1600 inhabitants. During the confinement at Hereford of Prince Edward, afterwards Edward I., by the barons, the monks of Dore visited and consoled him, in return for which he greatly favoured them, and removed the society, about the year 1273, to Darnhall. A few years subsequently, the king, having resolved to build a more commodious abbey on a neighbouring spot, gave it the name of Vale-Royal, and in August 1277 laid the first stone of the new edifice, where the monks took up their abode in 1330, at which time £32,000 had been issued from the royal treasury for defraying the expense. The solemnity of the removal was observed with much magnificence, being attended by a great concourse of prelates, nobility, and gentry. At the Dissolution, the revenue was estimated at £540. There are still some small remains of this house in the doorways of the mansion erected on its site, which, in the great civil war, was plundered and partly destroyed, and which is now the seat of Lord Delamere. The parish was separated from the parish of Over in 1541. It is bounded on the north, and partly intersected, by the river Weaver, and comprises 7870 acres, of which 5780 are the property of his lordship; the surface is undulated, and well wooded, the soil partly clay and partly sand. The manufacture of salt, many years established, is carried on extensively from a salt-mine and numerous brine-springs, employing a large number of hands. The Weaver affords easy communication with Liverpool; and the Liverpool and Birmingham railway passes through a portion of the parish, and has a station within a short distance. The living is a vicarage; net income, £163; patron and impropriator, Lord Delamere. The church, a neat brick building erected about 1740, contains 400 sittings.


WHITEHAVEN, a sea-port, market-town, newlyenfranchised borough, and the head of a union, in the parish of St. Bees, Allerdale ward above Derwent, W. division of Cumberland, 40 miles (S. W.) from Carlisle, and 320 (N. W.) from London; containing 11,854 inhabitants. This place, in the record of a trial between the crown and the monks of St. Mary's at York, relative to a claim to wrecks of the sea in the manor of St. Bees, is called Whitothaven; and is supposed by some to have derived its name from the light-coloured rocks which surmount the bay. In the reign of Henry I., the manor formed part of the possessions of St. Mary's monastery at York, to which the priory of St. Bees belonged. So late as the time of Elizabeth, the town consisted of only a few small huts inhabited by fishermen. In 1599, the manor of St. Bees was purchased from Sir Thomas Chaloner, Knt., by Gerard Lowther and Thomas Wybergh, Esqrs.; and the whole having come into the possession of Sir John Lowther, Bart-, in the year 1644, Whitehaven, under his auspices, advanced rapidly in prosperity. Having obtained from Charles II. a grant of land estimated at 150 acres, lying between high and low water mark, to the extent of two miles northward, Sir John materially improved the harbour, extended the collieries, and otherwise benefited the town, which, aided by the patronage of his family, subsequently created earls of Lonsdale, continued to increase until it has become one of the most populous and flourishing places in the north.

The town is situated on a creek of the Irish Sea, and has several spacious well-built streets, intersecting each other at right angles, and paved with pebbles. It is lighted with gas; supplied with water partly from wells, and partly by means of carts, in which it is brought into the town; and watched under the superintendence of police. The ground, on three approaches to it, rises abruptly and precipitously; the entrance from the north is under a fine arch of red-sandstone, with a rich entablature, bearing the arms of the Lowther family. On the south-east is the castle of the Earl of Lonsdale, a quadrangular building, with square projections at the angles, and a circular bastion in the centre, having fine meadow land to the south, and commanding an extensive prospect of the harbour. In Roper-street is a theatre, erected in 1769, a handsome and commodious structure; and races are occasionally held in the neighbourhood. The subscription library, formed in 1797, occupies a neat building erected by the Earl of Lonsdale, in Catherinestreet, and contains about 3000 volumes: the subscription newsroom is well supplied with newspapers. A mechanics' institute and library, in Lowther-street, was established in 1825; and cold, warm, and shower saltwater baths are fitted up in a building near the old platform.

The harbour has always been an object of importance with those interested in the trade of the town, and many great improvements have been effected in it. Several stone piers extend, some in a diverging and some in a parallel direction, into the harbour; and another bends in an angular manner towards the north-west, on which is a battery. A watchhouse and a lighthouse have been built on the pier called the Old Quay, which was constructed in the time of Charles II., or previously, affording protection to the shipping in the harbour, which is capable of sheltering several hundred sail of vessels. Formerly the harbour was dry at low water, to remedy which, a new west pier, 20 yards in thickness, was constructed to the north-west; it was commenced in 1854, on a plan by Mr. John Rennie, and the estimated expense was £80,000, but this sum being found insufficient, the trustees were empowered to borrow £180,000 to complete the undertaking. The harbour was once defended by four batteries, mounting together nearly 100 guns; but since the termination of the late war, many of the guns have been removed. At the entrance of the harbour are two lighthouses, that already mentioned, and another on the New Quay, which has a revolving light.

Whitehaven is a place of very considerable trade, of which coal forms the chief article: in addition to this, it exports lime, freestone, alabaster, and grain; and the imports mainly consist of American, Baltic, and West India produce, linen and flax from Ireland, fruit from the Levant, and wine from Spain and Portugal. The most important manufactures are of linen, linen-yarn, sailcloth, checks, ginghams, cordage, earthenware, copperas, colours, anchors, and nails; soap and candles are also made, for the West India market and for home consumption. The coal-mines, which are of a magnitude only inferior to those of Newcastle and Sunderland, furnish the principal employment of the inhabitants; some have been sunk to a depth of more than 150 fathoms, and extend a considerable distance under the sea. They are worked by means of shafts formed at great expense, and to some are entrances called Bear Mouths, which, opening at the bottom of a hill, lead through passages, by a steep descent to the bottom of the pit. The coal, when raised, is carried to the harbour in wagons on tramways, aided by the declivity of the ground, and is shipped by means of an inclined plane and wooden spouts called hurries, placed sloping over the quays. A quantity of a very rich iron-ore is sent from the mines here to the iron-works in South Wales. The herring-fishery was formerly carried on to a great extent, but now very few of the inhabitants are employed in it. There are several ship-builders' yards, the ships of Whitehaven being distinguished for their durability, and for drawing little water. A patent-slip was erected in 1821 by the Earl of Lonsdale, which will admit vessels of 700 tons, and, with great convenience, four vessels of 150 tons' burthen each, and by which a few men can draw a large vessel into the yard to be repaired. A communication with Liverpool, Dublin, the Isle of Man, Dumfries, Annan, and Garliestown, is maintained by steam-boats, which sail regularly for those places. The number of vessels of above 50 tons registered at the port is 341, and their aggregate burthen, 55,501 tons. The custom-house was erected in 1811. An act was passed in 1844 for a railway hence to Maryport; it was completed in 1847, and is 12 miles in length. In 1845 an act was obtained for a railway to Furness, in Lancashire, 32 miles long: this has also been completed. There are three markets, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, that on Thursday being the principal, and they are all well supplied with provisions: a fair, held on the 12th of August, has nearly fallen into disuse. The market-place is a handsome area, containing a neat market-house, designed by Smirke, in 1813, for the sale of poultry, eggs, and dairy produce: there is another building, erected in 1809 at the expense of the Earl of Lonsdale, for fish, of which the supply is good; also shambles, called the Low and George's markets, for butchers.

The regulation of the town and harbour is, under acts of parliament passed in the 7th and 11th of Queen Anne, and confirmed by subsequent acts, vested in 21 trustees, of whom seven are chosen by the lord of the manor (himself being one), and the remaining fourteen elected triennially by ballot. Such of the inhabitants as pay harbour-dues, or possess one-sixteenth share of a vessel belonging to the port, and the masters of vessels, form the electors. The constables of the town are nominated by the trustees, and appointed by the justices of the peace, who meet at the public office in Lowther-street, on Thursday and Saturday, for the despatch of business. By the act 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the town was constituted a borough, with the privilege of sending a member to parliament: the right of election is vested in the £10 householders; the borough comprises an area of 1778 acres, and the returning officer is appointed by the sheriff. The powers of the county debt-court of Whitehaven, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Whitehaven and Bootle.

Whitehaven contains three chapels, to which districts have been assigned, and of which the livings are perpetual curacies, in the patronage of the Earl of Lonsdale, who is also impropriator. St. James', on an eminence at the eastern extremity of the town, was rebuilt in 1753, and is a neat structure with a square tower surmounted with pinnacles: net income, £200. St. Nicholas' was erected in 1693, and is a plain building of good proportions with a square tower; the interior is decorated with paintings of the Last Supper, and of Moses and Aaron, by Matthias Reed, an artist of some merit, who came from Holland in the fleet with the Prince of Orange, and settled in this town: net income, £188. The chapel of the Holy Trinity, situated near the southern extremity of the town, at the head of Roperstreet, is a plain edifice with a lofty tower; net income, £250. A church-district named Mount-Pleasant was endowed in 1845 by the Ecclesiastical Commission: its church, dedicated to Christ, was consecrated in September 1847. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of the diocese, alternately; income, £150. There are places of worship for Presbyterians, Particular Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Roman Catholics. Near St. James's chapel is the Marine school, endowed by Matthew Piper, Esq., with the interest of £2000; the site was given, and the building erected, by the Lowther family. The interest of £1000 was bequeathed by Mr. Piper, for the purchase of soup to be distributed during winter among the poor; and about the commencement of the year 1830, a spacious mansion in Howgill-street was purchased, and fitted up for the purposes of an infirmary, a dispensary, and house of recovery. A savings' bank was instituted in 1818, and from the accumulation of interest beyond what was paid to the depositors, a new and elegant edifice has been erected in Lowther-street. The poor-law union of Whitehaven contains a population of 29,971. The late Mr. Justice Littledale, one of the judges of the queen's bench, was a native of the place. Dean Swift, when a child, resided with his attendant in a house in Roper-street, during the disturbance in Ireland about the time of the Revolution; and Dr. Brownrigs, who by his publications first attracted the notice of strangers to the beauties of Keswick and the surrounding scenery, for many years practised as a physician in the town.


WHITEHILL-POINT, a hamlet, in the township of Chirton, parish, borough, and union of Tynemouth, E. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 1 mile (S. by W.) from North Shields. It is on the north bank of the Tyne, projecting into the river, and has three staiths for shipping coal from the Backworth, Earsdon, and Holywell collieries.

Whiteparish (All Saints)

WHITEPARISH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Alderbury, hundred of Frustfield, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 8 miles (S. E. by E.) from Salisbury; containing, with the extraparochial liberty of Earldoms, 1277 inhabitants. The parish comprises 6300 acres, of which about 1200 are woods and waste, and the remainder arable, meadow, and pasture: the soil varies, but is principally chalk and clay; the surface is elevated, and in some parts hilly. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 7. 2., and in the gift of Robert Bristow, Esq.: the great tithes have been commuted for £898, and the vicarial for £200. The church is an ancient structure, with a low tower. A free school for boys was founded by James Lynch, in 1639, and endowed by him with lands now let for £40 per annum; the total income is £46. A free school for girls was established in 1722, by the Hitchcock family, who endowed it with property now producing £17 a year.


WHITE-PIT, a hamlet, in the parish of Swaby, poorlaw union of Louth, Marsh division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln; containing 150 inhabitants.

White-Roothing.—See Roothing, White.

WHITE-ROOTHING.—See Roothing, White.


WHITESIDELAW, a hamlet, in the parish of Chollerton, union of Hexham, N. E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 7½ miles (N. N. E.) from Hexham; with 5 inhabitants.

Whitestaunton (St. Andrew)

WHITESTAUNTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Chard, forming a distinct portion of the hundred of South Petherton, but locally in the hundred of Kingsbury, W. division of Somerset, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Chard; containing 321 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1950 acres; the soil is tolerably fertile, and there are quarries of chalk and blue lias, which are burnt into lime for manure. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 2. 11., and in the patronage of Robert James Elton, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £215, and the glebe comprises 54 acres, with a house. The church is an ancient structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower. Robert Somerhays bequeathed £10. 10. per annum for instruction, with a like sum for books and for distribution in bread to the poor. Some Roman antiquities have been found, and vestiges of encampments may be traced in the parish.


WHITEWELL, a chapelry, in the parish of Whalley, union of Clitheroe, partly in the W. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. riding of York, and partly in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of Lancashire, 7 miles (N. W. by W.) from Clitheroe; containing 603 inhabitants. This chapelry, which is situated on the river Hodder, forms a beautiful valley surrounded by hills and mountains, and comprises about 8000 acres; the surface is boldly varied, and the scenery enriched with wood. The lands are mostly pasture, divided into farms of from 100 to 300 acres; the soil is various, consisting of sand, marl, clay, and peat-moss, resting chiefly on limestone, and there is a bed of calamine, but not at present worked. The Hodder is here celebrated for its trout, and is a favourite resort; an inn affords every accommodation for families. The Roman Watling-street passes through the chapelry, and some remains exist of a Roman camp. The chapel was rebuilt in 1817, partly by a rate and partly by subscription, and is in the style that prevailed in the reign of Henry VII.; the pulpit is of oak, and of great antiquity, and there is an old font: a gallery was erected in 1825. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Hulme Trustees; net income, £100, arising chiefly from land left by Robert Parker, son of Edward Parker, Esq., of Browsholme, about the year 1700.


WHITFIELD, a township, in the parish and union of Glossop, hundred of High Peak, N. division of the county of Derby, 1 mile (S.) from Glossop; containing 3044 inhabitants. It comprises 1577 acres, mostly freehold; and contains, besides the pleasant village of Whitfield, the villages of Charlestown, Green-Vale, and Littlemoor. Green-Vale is connected with Howard-Town, or New Glossop, on the road to Woolleybridge: Littlemoor joins Howard-Town near the market-place, on the eastern side; and nearer to Whitfield is Charlestown. The population has increased very much of late years, through the extension of the cotton-trade. The ecclesiastical district of Whitfield was constituted in July 1845, under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37; and became a parish, conformably with the provisions of this act, on the consecration of the church, in September 1846. It is six miles in length and two miles and a half in breadth, including part of Whitfield and parts of other townships. The edifice, dedicated to St. James, is in the early English style, and consists of a nave, chancel, aisles, and transepts, with a tower and spire 114 feet high: the cost of the building exceeded £4000. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield, alternately; net income, £150. There are places of worship for Independents, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. In Whitfield township is a school, built about 1786 by Joseph Haigh, Esq., who endowed it with land and houses of the present value of £40; he also left the interest of £1000 to be expended in clothes for 24 poor men and women.

Whitfield (St. Mary)

WHITFIELD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Dovor, hundred of Bewsborough, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 3¼ miles (N. N. W.) from Dovor; containing 207 inhabitants. It consists of 893 acres, of which 23 are in wood. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury (the appropriator), valued in the king's books at £5. 18. 8.; net income, £109. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Whitfield (St. John the Evangelist)

WHITFIELD (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, in the union of Brackley, hundred of King's Sutton, S. division of the county of Northampton, 2 miles (N. E. by N.) from Brackley; containing 321 inhabitants. The parish borders on the county of Buckingham, and is situated on the river Ouse, and the road from Oxford to Northampton. It consists of 974 acres, chiefly arable land; together with nearly 500 acres forming the royal forest of Whittlewood or Hazlebury Walk, all woodland, and which is reached through the parish of Syresham; also, contiguous to the forest, another detached portion of the parish, an estate of 68 acres, mostly arable, belonging to the Duke of Grafton. The entire area comprises 1534 acres. The soil is clayey and stony; and stone is quarried. Pillow-lace is made here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 15.; net income, £258; patrons, the Provost and Fellows of Worcester College, Oxford: there is a glebehouse. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. A benefaction of £50 for the instruction of children, was laid out in land, now producing £9 per annum, in aid of a national school, established by the present rector in 1837.


WHITFIELD, a parish, in the union of Haltwhistle, W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 15 miles (W. S. W.) from Hexham; containing 333 inhabitants. This place was for six centuries the property of the Whitfield family, to whom the Countess Ada, widow of Henry, Earl of Huntingdon, and mother of William the Lion, King of Scotland, made a grant of it in fee, with the exception of some lands to be held under the convent of Hexham; shortly after which, the family had a grant from that establishment of nearly all Whitfield. In the middle of the last century, it came to the family of Ord, the present possessors, under whose encouragement the highways have been repaired, inclosures made, plantations formed, and by whom numerous substantial and comfortable farmhouses and cottages have been built. The parish contains 12,157 acres, of which 6397 are moor, 5300 arable, pasture, and meadow, and 460 wood. It is bounded on the east by the parish of Allendale, and on the south by AlstonMoor in Cumberland. The inclosed lands lie near the river Allen, which flows on the east, and are hemmed in on the west and south by extensive sheep-walks, and on the north with the woody dell called King's-Wood; they comprise some tracts of excellent land, chiefly in dairy and grazing farms. The East and West Allen join their streams at Cupola, in the parish, where the London Lead Company formerly had large smelting-mills. A new line of road from Alston to Haydon-Bridge has been formed through the parish. Whitfield Hall, rebuilt in 1785, and lately enlarged, is a handsome mansion in the vale of Allen, and overlooks a fine park interspersed with luxuriant groups of forest-trees, and embracing much rural beauty. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8, and in the patronage of William Ord, Esq., owner of the parish: the tithes have been commuted for £260, and there is a glebe of 43½ acres. The church was rebuilt in 1784, by the Ord family, who had previously erected a new parsonagehouse. The structure is very substantial, consists of a nave and chancel, with a square tower, and is capable of holding 230 persons. The chancel was rebuilt in 1839, by Mr. Ord, from designs by Mr. John Green, of Newcastle, and is ornamented with painted windows, and a carved oak roof; it contains a monument to the late William Henry Ord, Esq., M.P., a lord of the treasury under the administration of Earl Grey. At Redmires is a chalybeate spring.

Whitgift (St. Mary Magdalene)

WHITGIFT (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Goole, Lower division of the wapentake of Osgoldcross, W. riding of York; containing, with the chapelry of Swinefleet, and the townships of Ousefleet and Reedness, 2353 inhabitants, of whom 347 are in Whitgift township, 6 miles (S. E.) from Howden. The parish comprises 6500 acres, of which 6000 are arable, meadow, and pasture, in good cultivation, and 500 moorland and waste. The soil is alluvial, and generally rich, the surface level, and well watered by the river Ouse, on the banks of which the village is pleasantly situated. A fair is held on the 22nd of July. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £287; patron, N. E. Yarburgh, Esq. The church was erected in 1302, on land given by Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln. At Swinefleet is a separate incumbency. There are places of worship for Independents and Primitive Methodists.


WH1TGREAVE, a township, in the parish of St. Mary and St. Chad, Stafford, S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, union, and N. division of the county, of Stafford, 3½ miles (N. N. W.) from Stafford; containing 185 inhabitants. Here is a district church, forming a perpetual curacy in the Rector's gift.

Whitkirk (St. Mary)

WHITKIRK (St. Mary), a parish, in the Lower division of the wapentake of Skyrack, W. riding of York, 4 miles (E.) from Leeds; containing, with the township of Thorp-Stapleton, and part of the townships of Seacroft and Temple-Newsom, 2431 inhabitants. It comprises about 6450 acres. The soil is fertile, producing excellent grain, and the lands generally are well cultivated; the substratum abounds with coal, of which several mines are wrought with success. The village is pleasantly situated on the road to Selby, and forms part of the township of Temple-Newsom, the parish having no township of its own name. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 5. 7½.; net income, £196, with a good house; patrons and impropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, a spacious structure in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower crowned by pinnacles, is seated on an eminence, and forms a conspicuous feature in the landscape. On the south side is a sepulchral chapel, containing several handsome monuments to the families of Scargill and Ingram, some of which have finely-sculptured effigies; also a monument to John Smeaton, builder of the Eddystone Lighthouse, who was a native of Austhorpe, in the parish. There are places of worship for Wesleyans. An endowment of £10 per annum by Richard Brooke, Esq., in 1702, is vested in trustees for the education of six children; and various bequests have been made for distribution among the poor, the chief of which is a sum of nearly £2000 given by the late Lady William Gordon, the interest to be divided among the necessitous of Temple-Newsom.