Leigh - Leigh-Wooley

Pages 62-65

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

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LEIGH, a tything, in the parish of WimborneMinster, union of Wimborne and Cranborne, hundred of Badbury, Wimborne division of the county of Dorset, 1 mile (E.) from Wimborne-Minster; containing 574 inhabitants. Here was anciently a chapel.


LEIGH, a chapelry, in the parish and hundred of Yetminster, union of Sherborne, Sherborne division of the county of Dorset, 6½ miles (S. by W.) from Sherborne; containing 396 inhabitants.

Leigh (St. Clement)

LEIGH (St. Clement), a parish and sea-port, in the union and hundred of Rochford, S. division of Essex, 4½ miles (S. W.) from Rochford; containing 1271 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the bank of the river Thames, and includes an island called Leigh Marsh, and the eastern extremity of Canvey Island. The grounds rise gradually from the river to a considerable elevation, commanding beautiful views of the surrounding country; and the variety of the scenery, and the numerous pleasant rides and walks, render the place a favourite resort during the summer for the company visiting Southend, in its immediate neighbourhood. A trade in shrimps employs about 200 persons and nearly 100 boats. A small port is formed here by a channel from the Thames towards South Benfleet; a customhouse has been erected, and vessels of 180 tons come up with coal to the quay. A fair is held on the second Tuesday in May. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15; net income, £284; patron, the Bishop of London. The church, situated on the summit of a hill, is a handsome structure with a lofty tower. Here is a meeting-house for Wesleyans.

Leigh (St. James)

LEIGH (St. James), a parish, in the union of Tewkesbury, partly in the lower division of the hundred of Westminster, but chiefly in the Lower division of that of Deerhurst, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Cheltenham; containing, with the hamlet of Evington, 489 inhabitants. It is situated in the vale of Gloucester; the surface is nearly level, but richly embellished with timber, of which oak and elm are the prevailing kinds. The soil is a blue clay, and the chief crops are wheat and beans; the pastures are rich, and the lands are watered by the river Severn, and intersected by the Coombe-Hill canal. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 16. 3.; the patronage and impropriation belong to the Crown, and the net income of the incumbent is £247. The church is ancient.

Leigh (St. Mary)

LEIGH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of SevenOaks, partly in the hundred of Somerden, but chiefly in that of Codsheath, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 3¾ miles (W.) from Tonbridge; containing, with the hamlet of Hollanden, 1245 inhabitants. This parish, from various ancient records, appears to have been formerly of considerable importance, and to have included a portion of that of Penshurst. It comprises 4659a. 3r. 15p.; about 150 acres are hop plantation, and about 70 orchard grounds: the soil is a retentive clay, with a substratum of sandstone rock; the prevailing timber is oak. The manufacture of gunpowder is carried on in some mills here. The river Medway flows through the parish, and the South-Eastern railway nearly bisects it, passing along an excavation of 513,420 cubic yards, cut through a stratum of hard marl, in the removal of every 1000 yards of which 100 lbs. of gunpowder were employed; the soil was used in forming the embankment of the river, which is crossed by the railway. The village is situated on the road from London to Penshurst; a fair, chiefly for pleasure and pedlery, is held in it on the 16th of June. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 18. 9.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. T. May; impropriators, Sir J. S. Sidney, Bart., and others. The great tithes have been commuted for £555, and the vicarial for £510. 15.; the glebe comprises three acres. The church, which contains some ancient tablets, had a chantry, but it was suppressed by Edward VI. There is a mineral spring similar to, and even more powerful than, the water of Tonbridge Wells.

Leigh (St. Mary)

LEIGH (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 46 miles (S. S. E.) from Lancaster, and 197 (N. W.) from London; containing 22,229 inhabitants, and comprising the parochial district of Tyldesley cum Shakerley, the chapelries of Astley, Atherton, and Bedford, and the townships of Pennington and Westleigh. The name is derived from the Saxon Ley, synonymous with the English word Lea, a field or pasture: the parish appears to have been under the feudal control of the barons of Warrington, and several of its townships, at an early date, communicated their names to local families. The manufacturers of Lancashire are eminently indebted to the ingenuity of Thomas Highs, a reed-maker of Leigh, who in 1764 constructed the first spinning-jenny, which he named after his daughter Jenny or Jane; and in 1767 invented the water-frame, subsequently improved and extensively introduced by Sir Richard Arkwright. The manufacture of silk, cambrics, muslins, and fustians is carried on here, but that of the first, introduced in 1824, is the most considerable. The general trade of the place has been greatly improved by the Bolton, Leigh, and Kenyon railway, and a branch of the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, which here forms a junction with a branch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Coal is found in great abundance in the parish, and also a peculiar kind of limestone, which forms an excellent cement, impervious to water. The town is principally in the township of Pennington, and partly in that of Westleigh: courts baron are held here for the manors of Pennington and Westleigh, by their respective lords, and petty-sessions for the Warrington division of the hundred of West Derby are held on every alternate Thursday. The powers of the county debt-court of Leigh, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Leigh. The market is on Saturday; and fairs are held on the 24th and 25th of April, and the 7th and 8th of December, for cattle, pigs, pedlery, &c.

The parish comprises 11,969 acres, of which 2767 are arable, 8304 pasture, and 150 woodland; it is bounded on the north by the parish of Deane, on the east by that of Eccles, on the south by the parishes of Newchurch and Lowton, and on the west by Wigan parish. A rivulet from the parish of Deane enters the township of Atherton, and passes by Shakerley, near which it is joined by three small rivulets in the township of Bedford: it is increased by a stream that flows out of West Houghton, and by another from Little Hulton; and the whole of these rills make their final confluence on the margin of Chat Moss, where they give rise to the little river Glazebrook. The features of the country in all the townships of the parish are interesting, though little varied by hill and dale; the meadows are luxuriant, the hedge-rows numerous, and tolerably well stocked with trees in the more sheltered parts. The soil of the parish is chiefly a stiff rich loam, except on the border of the moss land, where it is peaty. Light-Oaks Moss and Bedford Moss, as also the heath called BlackMoor Moss, in Astley, are all portions of Chat Moss; and Tyldesley Moss, though now separated from it by cultivation, once formed a part of that extensive tract. Potatoes are grown to a considerable extent; and the dairies, which are remarkable for the quality rather than the quantity of milk they produce, yield excellent cheese. Few parishes in the kingdom combine so extensively the elements of manufacturing and of rural prosperity.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9, and in the patronage of Lord Lilford; net income, £270, chiefly derived from land and houses, for the most part bequeathed subsequently to the Reformation: there is a good glebe-house. The church is a large stone structure in the Tudor style, consisting of a nave, aisles, and a chancel, with two sepulchral chapels; that on the north side formerly belonged to the family of Tyldesley, of Tyldesley, and that on the south to the Athertons, of Atherton, of whom Lord Lilford is the present representative. At the west end is a handsome embattled tower, containing an excellent peal of eight bells. At Astley, Atherton, Bedford, Tyldesley, and Westleigh are other churches. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, Roman Catholics, and others. The free grammar school was endowed in 1655, by Piers Ranicar, with a rent-charge of £5; and subsequent bequests have raised the endowment to £28. Among the other schools are spacious national and infant schools, built in 1841, and endowed with two cottages worth about £12 per annum. The poor-law union of Leigh consists, in addition to this parish, of the adjoining parishes of Newchurch and Lowton, and comprises a population of 28,568.


LEIGH, a hamlet, in the parish of Asthall, poorlaw union of Witney, hundred of Bampton, county of Oxford; containing 191 inhabitants.


LEIGH, a tything, in the parish, liberty, and union of Havant, Fareham and S. divisions of the county of Southampton; containing 547 inhabitants. Leigh Park, the seat of Sir George Thomas Staunton, Bart., is a handsome residence here; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and are ornamented with lodges of pleasing appearance.

Leigh (All Saints)

LEIGH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Uttoxeter, S. division of the hundred of Totmonslow, N. division of the county of Stafford, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Cheadle; containing 1012 inhabitants. This parish, including the township of Field, comprises 7037a. 39p., of which about one-third is arable, and a very little in wood, though hedge-row timber is abundant; the surface is varied, the soil clay, and the scenery generally pleasing. It is intersected by the river Blithe; and a branch of the North Staffordshire railway passes through. Park Hall, an ancient mansion now a farmhouse, is surrounded by a moat. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 0. 5., and in the gift of Lord Bagot: the tithes have been commuted for £688. 15., and the glebe comprises 69½ acres, with a house. The church is an ancient cruciform structure, mostly in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower rising from the centre; the south aisle has an altar-tomb, of the date 1523, to Sir John and Lady Aston, with their recumbent effigies, and in the north transept are monuments to the Ashenhurst family. This church was lately restored at a cost of nearly £6000. The chancel was entirely rebuilt at the sole expense of the late incumbent, the present Bishop of Bath and Wells; it has a stone groined roof, and the pavement is the most beautiful specimen of encaustic tiling that has yet been produced. The eastern window, a decorated one of seven lights, is filled with stained glass, by Wailes, of Newcastle; the subject is the "Communion of Saints," the church being dedicated to All Saints, and the design and execution of it are perhaps superior to any other modern performance: the north-east and south-east windows are filled with ancient stained glass. A free school for boys was endowed by Stephen Spencer, in 1620, with lands now producing about £72. 15. per annum; and other schools are supported by W. Evans, Esq.

Leigh (St. Bartholomew)

LEIGH (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union, and First division of the hundred, of Reigate, E. division of Surrey, 3 miles (S. W.) from Reigate; containing 495 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 2988a. 1r. 23p., of which 1965 acres are arable, 504 meadow and pasture, and 116 woodland. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £15. 10. 5., and in the patronage of the Dendy family; net income, £146. The church is in the early English style; on the floor of the chancel are several figures, scrolls, and shields in brass, principally memorials of the Ardern family. On the estate of Leigh Place, and in the moat surrounding the house, various coins of Edward I. and subsequent monarchs have been found, together with a cannon-ball and other military relics.


LEIGH, a chapelry, in the parish of AshtonKeynes, union of Cricklade and Wootton-Bassett, hundred of Highworth, Cricklade, and Staple, Cricklade and N. divisions of the county of Wilts, 3¼ miles (W. by S.) from Cricklade; containing 299 inhabitants. The tithes have been commuted for £280, and there is a glebe of above 45 acres.


LEIGH, a township, in the parish and hundred of Westbury, union of Westbury and Whorlwelsdown, Westbury and S. divisions, and Trowbridge and Bradford subdivisions, of Wilts; containing 1380 inhabitants.

Leigh (St. Edburgh)

LEIGH (St. Edburgh), a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Pershore, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Worcester; containing, with the chapelry of Bransford, and the ecclesiastical district of The Link, 2011 inhabitants. The parish comprises by measurement 6180 acres, whereof two-thirds are arable, and the remainder pasture, with many orchards. The surface is finely varied, in some parts swelling into gentle hills; the soil is fertile, and the place is celebrated for the best perry made in England, called "Squash Perry." The river Teme flows on the north of the parish, which is intersected by the road from Worcester to Hereford. The living is a rectory and vicarage, valued in the king's books at £29. 10. 10.; patron, Earl Somers: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £695, and the incumbent's for £330; the glebe comprises 20 acres. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style, with later details; it has a tower, and contains a monument to Sir Walter Devereux. The Huntingtonians and Wesleyans have places of worship. The sum of £50, arising from bequests, is appropriated to the support of a free school, and other charitable purposes.

Leigh, Abbot's (Holy Trinity)

LEIGH, ABBOT'S (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Bedminster, hundred of Portbury, E. division of Somerset, 3¼ miles (W. N. W.) from Bristol; containing 366 inhabitants. This place belonged to the abbot of St. Augustine's in Bristol, from which circumstance it derived its name. After the battle of Worcester, Charles II. was concealed in the old manorhouse, which has since been replaced by an elegant mansion called Leigh Court, commanding fine views of the Bristol Channel, Gloucestershire, and the Welsh hills. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Bedminster: the great tithes, which belong to St. Mary's College, Winchester, have been commuted for £75, and the small tithes for a like sum.

Leigh-De-La-Mere (St. Margaret)

LEIGH-DE-LA-MERE (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union and hundred of Chippenham; Chippenham and Calne, and N. divisions of Wilts, 4¾ miles (N. N. W.) from Chippenham; containing 113 inhabitants, and consisting of 1400 acres by computation. At this place Alfred encamped on the night before his attack upon the Danes at Edingdon; and near a field called Courtfield, is a garden surrounded by a moat, supposed to be the site of a palace of one of the Saxon kings. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8, and in the gift of Joseph Neeld, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £236, and the glebe comprises 47 acres. Mr. Neeld has rebuilt the church and the parsonage. The living was held by a brother of Bishop Latimer.

Leigh, High, Chester.—See Legh, High.

LEIGH, HIGH, Chester.—See Legh, High.

Leigh, Little

LEIGH, LITTLE, a chapelry, in the parish of Great Budworth, union of Northwich, hundred of Bucklow, N. division of the county of Chester, 3½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Northwich; containing 387 inhabitants. It comprises 1523 acres, the soil of which is clay, loam, and gravel. The Grand Trunk canal passes in the vicinity. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £125; patron, the Vicar of Great Budworth. Tithe rent-charges have been awarded, of which £1. 10. are payable to an impropriator, £10 to the vicar, and £120 to the Dean and Chapter of Christ-Church, Oxford. The chapel is an ancient building, repaired in 1664. Here is a place of worship for Baptists.

Leigh, North

LEIGH, NORTH, a parish, in the union of Honiton, hundred of Colyton, Honiton and S. divisions of Devon, 3¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Colyton; containing 252 inhabitants. The parish comprises about 1000 acres, of which 150 are common or waste. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 9. 7., and in the gift of the Rev. H. Braddell: the tithes have been commuted for £169. 10.

Leigh, North (St. Mary)

LEIGH, NORTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Witney, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 3¼ miles (N. E. by E.) from Witney; containing 617 inhabitants. The parish comprises about 2460 acres of land. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 2., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £147; impropriators, the Governors of Bridewell Hospital. The church, an ancient structure, contains a chantry chapel with some fragments of painted glass, and a monument to William Lenthall, who was father of the speaker of the house of commons in the reign of Charles I., and died in 1596; also two recumbent figures in alabaster, the one a knight in complete armour, and the other a female sumptuously attired, the effigies of Sir William Wilcote and his lady. There are, besides, many handsome monuments to the Perrot family; of whose mansion near the church, only the dove-cote and some of the offices are remaining, mantled with ivy. About half a mile to the south of the Akeman-street, which passes by the northern boundary of the parish, the remains of a Roman villa were found in 1813.

Leigh, South (St. Lawrence)

LEIGH, SOUTH (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Honiton, hundred of Colyton, Honiton and S. divisions of Devon, 2¾ miles (W. by S.) from Colyton; containing 357 inhabitants. It comprises 2173 acres, of which 43 are common or waste. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 8. 9., and in the gift of Charles Gordon, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £220, and there are 30 acres of glebe. Near Wiscombe House is Blackbury Castle, one of the most perfect Roman encampments in the county; and immediately opposite to it is a long line of intrenchments, called Kingsdown. There are also numerous barrows.

Leigh, South

LEIGH, SOUTH, a chapelry, in the parish of Stanton-Harcourt, union of Witney, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 2¾ miles (E. S. E.) from the town of Witney; containing 326 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to St. James.

Leigh-Upon-Mendip (St. Giles)

LEIGH-UPON-MENDIP (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Frome, hundred of Mells and Leigh, E. division of Somerset, 5½ miles (W.) from the town of Frome; containing 619 inhabitants. The living is annexed to the rectory of Mells.

Leigh, West (St. Peter)

LEIGH, WEST (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Barnstaple, hundred of Fremington, Braunton and N. divisions of Devon, 2½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Bideford; containing 526 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the road to Barnstaple, comprises by computation 2300 acres. Many of the females are employed in glove-making, for the manufacturers of Torrington. Stone of excellent quality for building is quarried extensively, and this and other produce can be conveyed by the river Torridge, which flows in a direction parallel with the road, and is navigable for vessels of 300 tons' burthen. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 2. 1.; net income, £159; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; impropriator, R. N. Incledon, Esq.: the glebe comprises 45 acres. The church is an ancient structure, containing some handsome marble monuments to the Cleveland and Willett families; many of the old oak seats, elaborately carved, are still preserved.

Leigh, West, Lancashire.—See Westleigh.

LEIGH, WEST, Lancashire.—See Westleigh.


LEIGH-WOOLEY, a tything, in the parish and union of Great Bradford, hundred of Bradford, Westbury and N. divisions, and Trowbridge and Bradford subdivisions, of the county of Wilts; containing 1511 inhabitants.