Poolton - Portishead

Pages 593-596

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

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In this section

Poolton, Cheshire.—See Seacombe.

POOLTON, Cheshire.—See Seacombe.

Poorstock (St. Mary)

POORSTOCK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Beaminster, partly in the hundred of Eggerton, but chiefly in the liberty of Poorstock, Bridport division of Dorset, 4 miles (N. E. by E.) from Bridport; containing, with the tythings of West Milton, Mappercombe with Nettlecombe, South Poorton with Loscombe, and Witherston, 1090 inhabitants. It is said, traditionally, that King Athelstan had a castle here; a hill called Castle Hill is pointed out as its site, and some fields in the vicinity bear the name of Park fields. In the 7th of Edward III., a market on Thursday, and a fair on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Philip and St. James, and two days afterwards, were granted to John Wroxhale, to be held here; but no market or fair now takes place. The parish comprises 3317 acres, of which 422 are common or waste land: stone for paving, and an inferior freestone, are quarried. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 16. 8.; net income, £195; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury. The great tithes have been commuted for £303, and the vicarial for £230; there is a glebe-house, on about ¾ of an acre of land. The church is a handsome edifice, erected about the beginning of Henry VIIth's reign. At West Milton is a chapel of ease, and at Mappercombe are the remains of an ancient chapel.

Poorton, North (St. Mary)

POORTON, NORTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Beaminster, hundred of Beaminster-Forum and Redhone, Bridport division of Dorset, 5 miles (S. E.) from Beaminster; containing 112 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 11. 5½., and in the gift of the Rev. W. Jenkyns: the tithes have been commuted for £79, and the glebe comprises nearly 2 acres.

Poorton, South

POORTON, SOUTH, a tything, in the parish of Poorstock, union of Beaminster, hundred of Eggerton, Bridport division of the county of Dorset; containing 114 inhabitants.

Popham (St. Catherine)

POPHAM (St. Catherine), a parish, in the union of Basingstoke, hundred of Mitcheldever, Basingstoke and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 7 miles (S. W.) from Basingstoke; containing 99 inhabitants. The London and South-Western railway passes on the west, through two tunnels each 200 yards in length, separated by a cutting nearly 100 feet in depth. it attains its summit here, being about 400 feet above the level of the terminus at Nine Elms, London; and at the Andover road is a station on the line. The living is annexed, with the livings of Northington and East Stratton, to the vicarage of Mitcheldever.

Poplar (All Saints)

POPLAR (All Saints), formerly a hamlet with Blackwall, but now a parish, and the head of a union, in the Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex, 3 miles (E. by S.) from London; containing 20,342 inhabitants. This place, which was separated from Stepney by act of parliament, in 1817, derived its name from the number of poplar-trees with which it anciently abounded, and for the growth of which its situation near the river Thames was highly favourable. It is at the south-eastern extremity of the county, and is bounded on the east, west, and south by the river, and on the north by the parishes of Bromley and Limehouse. The parish is inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in the shipping interest, by numerous artisans occupied in the different yards for building and repairing ships, and by a multitude of labourers, who find employment in the East and West India docks. The West India docks were constructed here, in 1802; and the works of the Thames Plate-Glass Company, various iron and brass foundries, and several establishments for engineering and the manufacture of machinery, are in the parish. It is partially paved, well lighted with gas, and supplied with water by the East London waterworks. The Poplar institution for the promotion of literature and science, is a neat building on the East India road. The town-hall, forming part of the present workhouse for the union, was erected in 1810, on the removal of an ancient edifice, which stood in the highway.

The living is a rectory not in charge, in the gift of Brasenose College, Oxford; net income, £632. The church, erected by the parishioners at an expense of £37,000, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style, with a lofty steeple of the composite order; the interior is conveniently arranged and chastely ornamented. The building is situated on the south side of the East India road, in the centre of a spacious cemetery, on the west of which is a house for the rector. A chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, was built by subscription in 1654, at an expense of £2000, on a piece of ground given by the East India Company, by whom it was almost entirely rebuilt in 1776; it is a neat building, with a large burial-ground. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Company, and is attached to the hospital supported by them here. A chapel has been recently erected on the East India road at the expense of George Green, Esq., for the accommodation of the numerous persons employed in his building-yards, and of the seamen with which the neighbourhood abounds; it is a neat edifice in the Grecian style, with a handsome campanile turret, and contains 1100 sittings. Within a few yards of it the same gentleman has built a large house called the "Sailors' Home," for the temporary lodging and accommodation of sailors while on shore. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics.

The boys' school, established in 1711, affords instruction on the national system. The free school, founded in 1816, contains 300 boys and 200 girls; a schoolroom for boys, and another for girls, with houses for the master and mistress, have been erected at an expense of £3037, on a piece of ground given by the East India Company, and the institution has an income of £240, arising from bequests. A Roman Catholic school is maintained; and in the Ladies' charity school, in union with the National Society, 90 girls are taught. An infants' school is supported by Mr. Green, who has been a munificent benefactor to the parish, and a zealous promoter of the schools, to the establishment and support of which, and to other charitable uses, he has appropriated more than £10,000. There is also a school for Irish Protestants, of whom 125 are clothed and partly supported. The East India hospital was established for the maintenance of widows of officers and seamen in the company's service. It was rebuilt in 1802, and is a spacious and substantial quadrangular structure, comprising 38 tenements: the south front contains the chaplain's residence in the centre, and on each side dwellings for the hospitallers; and to the north of the chapel are 18 dwellings for the widows of superior officers. There are various bequests for distribution among necessitous and aged parishioners. The poor-law union comprises Poplar, Blackwall, Bromley, and Stratford-leBow, and contains a population of 31,091.

George Steevens, editor of Shakspeare's plays, was born here in 1736, and was buried in the chapel, where is a monument to his memory, with a fine bas-relief, in which he is represented contemplating the bust of his favourite author. In the cemetery are the tombs of Dr. Glo'ster Ridley, minister of Poplar, who died in 1774, and of his son, the Rev. James Ridley, author of the Tales of the Genii, who died in 1765. Among the literary men who occasionally resided here were, Robert Ainsworth, compiler of the Latin Dictionary, who kept a school in the neighbourhood; and Sir Richard Steele, who is said to have had a laboratory here.

Poppleton, Nether

POPPLETON, NETHER, a parish, in the E. divivision of Ainsty wapentake, W. riding of York, 4 miles (N. W.) from York, on the road to Boroughbridge; containing 240 inhabitants. It comprises 1169 acres, of which 669 are arable, and 500 pasture and meadow: the surface is level; the soil is various, but rich, except on the moorland, and the scenery is pleasing, embracing views of the river Ouse, and York cathedral. The York and Newcastle railway passes east of the church, and crosses the Ouse on a bridge of three semi-elliptical arches, thirty feet above the bed of that river, which forms the northern boundary of the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £155; patron and appropriator, the Archbishop of York, whose tithes are held under lease by Richard F. Wilson, Esq. The church was rebuilt, with the exception of the chancel, in 1842, at a cost of £400; it has a turret with two bells of reverberating sound, and contains some monuments to the family of Archbishop Hutton, who resided here in 1620. Prince Rupert, with his army, crossed the river at this place, on his way to Marston-Moor, in 1644.

Poppleton, Upper

POPPLETON, UPPER, a chapelry, in the parishes of Nether Poppleton and St. Mary Bishopshill Junior, E. division of Ainsty wapentake, W. riding of York, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from York; containing 373 inhabitants, and comprising by measurement 1340 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Copmanthorpe: the tithes for the manor of Poppleton were commuted for land in 1769. The chapel is a neat edifice, dedicated to All Saints. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Porchester (St. Mary)

PORCHESTER (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Fareham, hundred of Portsdown, Fareham and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from Fareham; containing 767 inhabitants. This place, the Caer Peris of the Britons, and the Portus Magnus of the Romans, was by the Saxons called Port ceastre, either from the castle which defended its capacious harbour, or from Porth, a Saxon chief, who landed here with his two sons, Bieda and Maegla, and, having obtained a settlement in this part of the island, assisted Cerdic in establishing the kingdom of the West Saxons. A castle of great strength was erected on the old Roman works, which was much enlarged, or more probably rebuilt, soon after the Conquest; and previously to the destruction of the harbour by the retiring of the sea, this place was the principal station of the British navy, subsequently removed to Portsmouth. Porchester Castle is situated on a neck of land projecting a considerable way into the harbour. The walls, which are from eight to twelve feet in thickness, and eighteen feet high, inclose a quadrangular area of nearly five acres, are defended by numerous towers, and surrounded by a broad and deep moat. The keep is a strong square building, with four towers, the largest of them forming the northwest angle; it contains many spacious rooms, of which some are vaulted with stone, and one appears to have been the chapel. The entrance to the outer area is through massive Norman towers on the east and west sides: the parochial church is within the outer area. Several of the towers, and a considerable portion of the walls of the castle, are now in ruins. The parish comprises 1113a. 1r. 3p., of which 183 acres are down-land: the village, called by way of distinction Porchesterstreet, extends for about a mile on the road to Fareham, and contains some neat houses. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6, and in the patronage of the Crown; impropriator, Lord Powerscourt. The great tithes have been commuted for £320, and those of the vicar for £180: there are 11 acres of glebe. The church is a venerable cruciform structure principally in the Norman style, with a low central tower; the west front is a fine specimen of that style: the south transept has been destroyed; the chancel, which is small, is of later date, and has a window of three lights in the later English style. Numerous Roman coins have been dug up.

Poringland, Great or East (All Saints)

PORINGLAND, GREAT or EAST (All Saints), a parish, in the union and hundred of Henstead, E. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Norwich; containing 520 inhabitants. The parish comprises 916a. 2r. 14p.; and the road from Norwich to Bungay runs through it. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 2½.; net income, £274; patron and incumbent, the Rev. S. Brereton: there is a glebe of 18 acres. The church was founded before the Conquest, and the body of it rebuilt about 1432; it is chiefly in the decorated style, with a tower which in the lower part is circular and in the upper part octagonal.

Poringland, Little or West (St. Michael)

PORINGLAND, LITTLE or WEST (St. Michael), a parish, in the union and hundred of Henstead, E. division of Norfolk, 5¾ miles (S. S. E.) from Norwich; containing 57 inhabitants. It comprises 629a. 2r. 6p., of which 572 acres are arable, and 47 pasture. The living is a rectory, united in 1728 to the rectory of Howe: there are no remains of the church.

Porlock (St. Dubritius)

PORLOCK (St. Dubritius), a parish and small port, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Williton, hundred of Carhampton, W. division of Somerset, 6 miles (W.) from Minehead; containing, with the tythings of Bossington and Yearnor, 892 inhabitants, of whom 106 are in the hamlet of Weir-Porlock, and 100 in that of West Porlock. This place, which derives its name from the Saxon Portlocan, "an inclosed harbour," is of considerable antiquity, having been a residence of the West Saxon kings, who had an extensive chase here. About the year 918, a band of pirates entered the harbour; but the greater number were slain by the inhabitants, and the rest escaping to the island of Steepholmes, died of hunger. In 1052, Harold, son of Earl Godwin, having sailed from Ireland with nine ships, entered Porlock bay, and, being unsuccessfully opposed by the inhabitants, slew great numbers, set fire to the town, and carried off much booty. The village is romantically situated near the Bristol Channel, and surrounded on all sides, except in the direction of the sea, by lofty hills, winding valleys, and deep glens: it comprises two streets, composed of straggling houses of a mean order. The trade consists in the importation of coal and lime from Wales; fairs are held on the Thursdays before September 13th, October 11th, and November 12th, for cattle, and a small breed of sheep called Porlocks. A manorial court occurs annually. The parish contains 5075 acres, of which 2850 are common or waste land. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18. 11. 8.; and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £339. The church is a fine structure in the ancient English style, and contains some monumental effigies, supposed to represent the early feudal lords. In an adjacent wood are the remains of an imperfect oval encampment, thought to have been constructed at the time of Harold's invasion, and within the area of which swords and other warlike implements have been dug up. John Bridgewater, a controversial divine, and Matthew Hales, D.D., the intimate friend of Dr. Stukeley, and author of Vegetable Statics, were rectors of the parish.

Portbury (St. Mary)

PORTBURY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bedminster, hundred of Portbury, E. division of Somerset, 6 miles (W. by N.) from Bristol; containing, with the tythings of Abbot's, Caswell, Clapton'sWick, Court, Cross, Failand, Hamgreen, Happerton, Honor, Peter's, Sheepway, Watchhouse, and Woolcombe, 647 inhabitants. This place, which gives name to the hundred, was occupied by the Romans, as is evident from the discovery of foundations, and from traces of a Roman road being still visible through the parish to the sea at Portishead, whence was a passage to Caerleon, anciently Isca Silurum. Here was subsequently a cell to the Augustine priory of Breamore, Hants. The parish is situated a short distance south of the navigable river Avon, and is intersected by the road between Bristol and Portishead. An act for the construction of a pier here, and the formation of a railway to Bristol, was passed in 1846; the railway to be eight miles in length, independently of a branch of nearly a mile. Stone is quarried for building and roadmaking. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Tickenham annexed, valued in the king's books at £10. 11. 3.; net income, £379; patron, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol; impropriator, J. Adam Gordon, Esq.: there are a few acres of glebe. The church is a plain edifice.


PORTCASSEGG, a hamlet, in the parish of St. Arvans, poor-law union of Chepstow, Upper division of the hundred of Raglan, county of Monmouth; containing 29 inhabitants.

Port-East, Cornwall.—See Chapel-Point.

PORT-EAST, Cornwall.—See Chapel-Point.


PORTFIELD, a tything, in the parish of CurryRivell, union of Langport, hundred of Abdick and Bulstone, W. division of the county of Somerset; containing 9 inhabitants.


PORTFIELD, a ville, in the parish of Oving, union of West Hampnett, hundred of Box and Stockbridge, rape of Chichester, W. division of the county of Sussex; containing 379 inhabitants.


PORTGATE, a township, in the parish of St. John Lee, union of Hexham, S. division of Tindale ward and of Northumberland, 5 miles (N. E. by E.) from Hexham; containing 18 inhabitants. It was so called from a passage through the great Roman wall, the site of which at this place has been levelled with the plough. Here is an old border tower, near which the Devil's Causeway branches from the Watling-street. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £8.


PORT-GAVORN, a small sea-port, in the union of Bodmin, parish of Endellion, hundred of Trigg, E. division of Cornwall, ½ a mile (E.) from Port-Isaac. It is on the coast of the Bristol Channel, and enjoys a considerable trade in the shipping of slate from the Delabole quarry, and the importation of coal from Wales. The pilchard-fishery, also, is carried on, for which there are four large warehouses.


PORT-GUIN, a sea-port, in the parish of Endellion, union of Bodmin, hundred of Trigg, E. division of the county of Cornwall, 2 miles (W.) from PortIsaac. This was once a large fishing-town; the trade is now confined to the importation of coal.


PORT-ISAAC, a small sea-port, in the parish of Endellion, union of Bodmin, hundred of Trigg, E. division of Cornwall, 8 miles (N. W.) from Camelford. It formerly carried on a very extensive trade in pilchards. The principal business at present is the shipping of corn, and the importation of coal from Wales; and thirty boats, averaging ten tons each, belong to the place, which is a member of the port of Padstow, and accessible to vessels of one hundred tons' burthen. A market is held on Friday, for provisions. There are meetinghouses for Baptists and Wesleyans.

Portingscale, or Coledale

PORTINGSCALE, or Coledale, a township, in the parish of Crosthwaite, union of Cockermouth, Allerdale ward above Derwent, W. division of Cumberland, 1¼ mile (W. by N.) from Keswick; containing 262 inhabitants. The village is situated on the margin of Derwentwater, of which, and of the lake Bassenthwaite, with the romantic tract from Swineshead to Skiddaw, there are fine prospects to be obtained from the adjacent heights.

Portingten, with Cavil

PORTINGTEN, with Cavil, a township, in the parish of Eastrington, union of Howden, wapentake of Howdenshire, E. riding of York, 3¼ miles (N. E.) from Howden; containing 123 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 1490 acres of land, partly the property of Viscount Galway. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £46. 10. 8.

Portisham (St. Peter)

PORTISHAM (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Weymouth, hundred of Uggscombe, Dorchester division of Dorset, 7¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Dorchester; containing 746 inhabitants, and comprising about 1500 acres. Stone is quarried for farm-buildings. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 14. 2.; net income, £74; patron, William Mansfield, Esq. There are nearly 5 acres of glebe, and a new vicarage-house has just been erected. The church is a large ancient structure, with a lofty embattled tower crowned by pinnacles. Here is the largest cromlech in the county, consisting of a flat stone ten feet by six, which rests horizontally on nine upright ones; it stands on a tumulus, having on the north-west an avenue leading to it, and to the east is a small barrow.

Portishead (St. Peter)

PORTISHEAD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Bedminster, hundred of Portbury, E. division of Somerset, 8½ miles (W. N. W.) from Bristol; containing, with the hamlet of North Weston, 1079 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the north by the Bristol Channel, and at Portishead Point is a battery for the defence of King's-road, where ships-of-war on the station usually anchor. The Britons, Romans, and Danes successively occupied the district. Here is an ancient camp, the form of which approaches an irregular rhomboid, its longer diameter being 400, and its shorter about 200, yards; it was converted to a similar purpose during the great civil war, and according to the parliamentary records of that period, the royalists posted at Portishead surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had been sent against them. The ancient boundary called Wansdyke terminates here. The parish comprises about 2000 acres; coal is supposed to exist, and limestone, firestone, and flagstone are found. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £32. 15. 7½., and in the gift of J. Adam Gordon, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £628. 12., and the glebe comprises 30 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with a fine tower. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and the Society of Friends.