A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Witcham (St. Martin)
WITCHAM (St. Martin), a parish, in the hundred of South Witchford, union and Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge, 5½ miles (W.) from Ely, on the road to Chatteris; containing 502 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 11. 0½.; net. income, £100; patrons and appropriators, the Chapter of Ely. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Witchampton (All Saints)
WITCHAMPTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Wimborne and Cranborne, hundred of Cranborne, Wimborne division of Dorset, 5 miles (N. by W.) from Wimborne; containing 461 inhabitants. It is situated a little west of the road from Wimborne to Cranborne, and comprises by admeasurement 1462 acres, chiefly arable. The surface is undulated, the soil in some parts a gravelly loam, and in others a black earth, resting principally on chalk and flint. The grounds are intersected by the rapid river Allen, which turns a paper-mill giving employment to about 27 persons. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 12. 3½., and in the gift of H. C. Sturt, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £269. 10.; there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe comprises 20 acres. The church is a large handsome edifice in the later English style, with a square tower, which is the only remaining part of the original fabric erected in the 14th century. Here is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Remains exist of a monastery that was subordinate to the abbots of Crawford.
Witchford (St. Nicholas)
WITCHFORD (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the hundred of South Witchford, union and Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge, 3 miles (W. S. W.) from Ely; containing 561 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ely (the appropriators), valued in the king's books at £9. 18. 9. The great tithes have been commuted for £421. 13., and the vicarial for £134; the appropriate and vicarial glebes contain respectively 21 and 22 acres.
Witchingham, Great (St. Mary)
WITCHINGHAM, GREAT (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of St. Faith, hundred of Eynsford, E. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (S.) from Reepham; containing 624 inhabitants. It comprises 2153a. 3r. 7p., of which 1577 acres are arable, 448 meadow and pasture, and 63 woodland; the surface is undulated, and the views from the higher grounds are interesting. The Hall is a handsome mansion of brick, in the Elizabethan style: there are some remains of the old Hall, built by John Norris, founder of the Norrisian professorship of Cambridge. The hamlet of Lenwade is situated on the road from Norwich to Fakenham, and near the river Wensum, on which is an extensive flour-mill. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the rectory of Little Witchingham annexed, valued in the king's books at £4. 17. 11.; patrons and impropriators, the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford. The great tithes have been commuted for £488. 12., and the vicarial for £250; the glebe comprises 34 acres, with a good house, lately rebuilt by the Rev. William Howard. The church is a handsome structure, chiefly in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. John Britton, Bishop of Hereford, who died in 1275, and Sir William Wychinghara, judge of the common pleas in 1363, were natives of the parish.
Witchingham, Little (St. Faith)
WITCHINGHAM, LITTLE (St. Faith), a parish, in the union of St. Faith, hundred of Eynsford, E. division of Norfolk, 2¼ miles (S. E. by S.) from Reepham; containing 45 inhabitants. It forms a surface of high table land, and comprises about 730 acres, of which 80 are pasture, and the remainder arable. The road from Norwich to Reepham runs through. The living is a rectory, annexed to the vicarage of Great Witchingham, and valued in the king's books at £5: the glebe contains 7½ acres. The church is chiefly in the early style, with a square tower.
Witchling (St. Margaret)
WITCHLING (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Hollingbourne, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 2½ miles (N. N. E.) from Lenham; containing 124 inhabitants, and comprising 1318a. 2r. 20p., of which 350 acres are in wood. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 1. 8.; net income, £158; patron, the Rev. Edwin Bosanquet.
Witcomb Magna (St. Mary)
WITCOMB MAGNA (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Cheltenham, Upper division of the hundred of Dudstone and King's-Barton, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 3½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Painswick; containing 179 inhabitants. The parish is situated among the Cotswold hills, and contains 918 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 6. 8., and in the gift of Trustees: the tithes have been commuted for £132, and the glebe comprises one acre. Near the foot of Cooper's Hill, in a delightful part of the parish, the remains of a Roman villa, with a sacrarium, baths, &c, were discovered in 1818. The walls, to the height of nearly six feet, are still remaining, some of them covered with stucco painted in panels of different colours, elegantly ornamented with ivy leaves. Several of the apartments were paved with red-sandstone, others with beautiful mosaic work, and in many of them have been found fragments of columns, and cornices of white marble, numerous coins, domestic utensils, and other relics.
WITCOMB PARVA, a hamlet, in the parish of Badgeworth, poor-law union of Cheltenham, Upper division of the hundred of Dudstone and King'sBarton, E. division of the county of Gloucester; containing 210 inhabitants.
WITCOMBE, a hamlet, in the parish of Martock, union of Yeovil, hundred of Martock, W. division of Somerset; containing 59 inhabitants.
Witham (St. Nicholas)
WITHAM (St. Nicholas), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Witham, N. division of Essex, 8 miles (N. E. by E.) from Chelmsford, and 37 (N. E. by E.) from London; containing 3158 inhabitants. The original erection of the town, or at least of that part of it which is situated on Cheping Hill, is attributed to Edward the Elder, about the commencement of his reign. The place was subsequently in the possession of the Knights Templars, who had a preceptory at Cressing, three miles distant. Some consider this to have been the Roman station Canonium of Antoninus, which opinion receives confirmation from the quantity of Roman bricks in the walls of the church, and from the coins of different emperors that have been discovered in levelling the fortifications. There are remains of a circular camp, defended by a double vallum, yet visible in the vicinity of the town. A mansion here, formerly the property of the Earl of Abercorn, has been repeatedly honoured by the presence of royalty; George II. rested at it in his progress to and from his Hanoverian dominions, and Queen Charlotte, consort of George III., was received here on her first arrival in England. The town is pleasantly situated near the confluence of a small stream called the Braine, with the river Blackwater, on the main road from London to Colchester. It is of respectable appearance, and consists principally of one long street, lighted with gas, paved, and supplied with water from wells. Here is a station of the Eastern Counties railway, 12½ miles from that of Colchester. In 1846 an act was passed for a railway from Maldon, by Witham, to Braintree; it was opened towards the close of 1847. The market, granted by Richard I., and kept originally at Cheping Hill, from which it was removed by Richard II., is on Tuesday; fairs take place on the Monday before Whit-Sunday, on June 4th, and September 14th. The county magistrates hold petty-sessions for the division every Tuesday; and manorial courts, at which constables and other officers are appointed, are held as occasion requires.
The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £22. 0. 7½., and in the gift of the Bishop of London, the appropriator: the bishop's tithes have been commuted for £820, the vicarial tithes for £285, and a rent-charge of £75 is paid to an impropriator; there is a handsome parsonage-house, and the glebe contains 102¼ acres. The church, situated at Cheping Hill, half a mile north of the main town, is a spacious and handsome edifice with a tower of brick, in the later English style, and contains many ancient monuments, including a large tomb erected in the reign of Elizabeth, to the memory of Judge Southcote and his lady, by whose effigies it is surmounted. The chapel of All Saints, within a few yards of the chief street of the town, was consecrated in November 1842; it is in the early English style, and cost about £3500: the east window is of stained glass. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Roman Catholics; also a national school supported partly by the rent of a house conditionally bequeathed in 1630, by Catherine Barnardiston. Two almshouses on Cheping Hill, for four widows, were endowed by Thomas Green, in 1491, with a farm in Springfield, let for £80 a year; and an almshouse for two widows was founded in the reign of Charles I., by means of a bequest from George Armond, Esq. Others established by Matthew Harvey, Esq., are occupied by nine persons; and there are five, for ten widows, endowed with a farm at Goldhanger and another at Fairstead, and having a total income of £165 per annum. Dr. Warley, amongst other benefactions, in 1719, left £100 in aid of a school; and C. Barnardiston bequeathed a similar amount to be distributed in bread and fuel. The union of Witham comprises 17 parishes or places, and contains a population of 15,407. In the neighbourhood is a mineral spring, which was formerly in great repute.
Witham-Friary (St. Mary)
WITHAM-FRIARY (St. Mary), a parish, and formerly an extra-episcopal liberty, in the union and hundred of Frome, E. division of Somerset, 5½ miles (S. S. W.) from Frome; containing, exclusively of Charterhouse-on-Mendip, which is in the hundred of Wintersoke, 581 inhabitants. Here was anciently a nunnery; and subsequently, in 1181, a monastery, said to be the first establishment of Carthusians in England, was founded by Henry II., in honour of the Blessed Virgin, St. John the Baptist, and All Saints. At the Dissolution it had a revenue of £227. 1. 8.; the ruins were taken down in 1764, and a farmhouse now stands upon the site. About 4000 acres of land here were formerly possessed by the Wyndham family, and a splendid residence was built by the Earl of Egremont, who died in 1763; the manor is now the property of the Duke of Somerset. The parish is intersected by the river Frome, and comprises altogether 5414 acres, of which 878 are arable, 3441 pasture, and upwards of 1000 woodland and plantations. The subsoil is in general a blue or whitish clay, under which are veins of soft limestone, which is burnt into lime; in some places are found layers of hard stone with shells imbedded in it, which is well adapted for building. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £106; patron, the Duke of Somerset. The church, supposed to have been either the chapel or another portion of the ancient friary, has an arched groined roof, with a semicircular chancel: being in a very dilapidated state, it was repaired and enlarged in 1828, when anew tower was built. A neat parsonage-house was erected near the village in 1830, and a capacious schoolroom has been built by the Duke of Somerset.
Witham, North (St. Mary)
WITHAM, NORTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Beltisloe, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 1½ mile (S. by W.) from Colsterworth; containing 300 inhabitants, of whom 246 are in the township of North Witham. The parish comprises 2000 acres, of which 1400 are in the hamlet of Lobthorpe: the river Witham runs through the lordship; the surface is rather hilly, and the soil in general rests on clay. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 19. 2.; net income, £300; patron, Viscount Downe: there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe contains about 100 acres. £55 a year, arising from bequests, are distributed among the poor.
Witham-On-The-Hill (St. Andrew)
WITHAM-ON-THE-HILL (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of-Bourne, wapentake of Beltisloe, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 4¼ miles (S. W.) from Bourne; containing, with the hamlets of Lound, Manthorpe, and Toft, 573 inhabitants, of whom 235 are in Witham township. This parish comprises 4365 acres, of which about 300 are woodland; of the remainder, three-fourths are arable, and one-fourth pasture. The soil is exceedingly various, embracing sand and clay, with numerous admixtures and modifications; the substratum is oolite, under which in some parts is freestone, but at too great a depth to quarry for use. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 1. 0½.; net income, £107; patron and impropriator, General Johnson. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1813. The church is a handsome cruciform structure, with north and south aisles, and a modern tower at the end of the south transept: the south aisle is in the later Norman style; the north aisle is early English, and at the west end of the edifice is a window in the later English style. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. The charitable bequests of the parish amount to more than £300 per annum.
Witham, South (St. John the Baptist)
WITHAM, SOUTH (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Beltisloe, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 3¼ miles (S. by W.) from Colsterworth; containing 506 inhabitants. It comprises about 1600 acres; the surface is hilly, and the soil clay: the river Witham has its source here. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £3. 12. 11.; net income, £120; patrons, the Talmash family. The glebe contains about 150 acres. A preceptory of Knights Templars existed here so early as 1164, which afterwards came into the hands of the Hospitallers.
Withcall (St. Martin)
WITHCALL (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Louth, Wold division of the hundred of Louth-Eske, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 3½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Louth; containing 90 inhabitants. It comprises about 2650 acres of land, the greater part of which is arable, in a high state of cultivation; the soil is a light loam, resting on limestone. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 16. 10., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £516. The church will hold about 40 persons.
WITHCOTE, a parish, in the union of Billesdon, hundred of Framland, locally in the hundred of East Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 5 miles (W. S. W.) from Oakham; containing 30 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises 734 acres by admeasurement, forms low ground, surrounded by small irregular hills with a smooth verdant surface. The Hall has been thoroughly repaired by the Rev. Henry Palmer, and enlarged with a new wing: the stone employed, and of which the grand staircase is entirely constructed, is a grey limestone, found in the parish beneath a stratum of brown stone, at a small depth from the surface. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 9. 4½.; net income, £133; patron, the Rev. H. Palmer. The church is a handsome structure with an embattled roof, ornamented with a pinnacle at each angle, and a turret for a bell on the west; on the sides of the altar are marble monuments to the Johnson and Palmer families. Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Bart., attorneygeneral to Charles II., lies buried in the church. At the south-western extremity of the parish may be traced the foundations and embankments of Solay or Sawley Castle, a place of great importance in the baronial wars, supposed to have been built by the Bassett family.
Witheridge (St. John the Baptist)
WITHERIDGE (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of South Molton, hundred of Witheridge, South Molton and N. divisions of Devon, 8¼ miles (E.) from Chulmleigh; containing 1399 inhabitants. This is a decayed borough and market-town. A fair for cattle is held on June 24th; and there are still great markets on the Wednesday after Sept. 21st, and the first Wednesday in November. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £23. 10. 5.; patron and impropriator, the Rev. W. P. Thomas. The impropriate and vicarial tithes have each been commuted for £350; there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe contains 100 acres. The church has a stone pulpit highly enriched. Richard Melhuish, Esq., in 1799 gave £500 stock, the dividends arising from which are applied in aid of instruction. William Chappie, the antiquary, who died in 1755, was born here.
WITHERINGTON, a tything, in the parish of Downton, union of Alderbury, hundred of Downton, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts; containing 14 inhabitants.
Witherley (St. Peter)
WITHERLEY (St. Peter), a parish, in the hundred of Sparkenhoe, S. division of the county of Leicester, 1½ mile (E. by S.) from Atherstone; containing, with the hamlet of Atterton, 509 inhabitants, of whom 425 are in Witherley township. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 2. 3½.; net income, £500; patron and incumbent, the Rev. J. C. Roberts. The church has one of the finest spires in the county, 156 feet high. The old Watling-street, which here separates Leicestershire from Warwickshire, crosses the river Anker at Witherley bridge.
Withern (St. Margaret)
WITHERN (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Louth, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Alford; containing, with the hamlet of Stain, 435 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the road from Louth to Alford, and comprises 2415a. lr. 13p. It was formerly a seat of the Fitzwilliams, and a large moated area is still pointed out as the spot on which their mansion stood. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18. 10. 2½., and in the gift of Robert Vyner, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £484, and the glebe contains 48 acres. The present church is a brick edifice, erected about the year 1813, on the site of the old structure, at a cost of £1400. There is a place of worship in the parish for Wesleyan Methodists.
WITHERNSEA, a chapelry, in the parish of Hollym, union of Patrington, S. division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 19 miles (E. by S.) from Hull; containing 126 inhabitants. It comprises about 850 acres of land, upon which the sea encroaches nearly two yards every year; and is the property of Sir T. A. C. Constable, Bart., who is lord of the manor. The village is long and straggling, and situated near the sea cliff, about five miles north-east of Patrington. The tithes were commuted for land and annual money payments in 1793. The chapel, dedicated to St. Nicholas, and now in ruins, was apparently at one time a magnificent building, probably the church of a priory which existed here in the reign of John, a cell to the abbey of Albemarle, in France.
Withernwick (St. Alban)
WITHERNWICK (St. Alban), a parish, in the union of Skirlaugh, N. division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 11 miles (N. E. by N.) from Hull; containing 456 inhabitants. This place, sometimes written Whit-thorn-wick, is mentioned in the Domesday survey; and in the year 1115, the church and tithes of the village were given by Stephen, Earl of Albemarle, to the abbey of St. Martin, Albemarle. The parish comprises 2601 acres, of which 1720 are arable, 850 pasture, and 31 woodland. The village, situated on an eminence, is large and well built. The living is a discharged rectory, in the patronage of the Prebendary of Holme in York Cathedral, valued in the king's books at £6. 7. 1.: the tithes of the township were commuted for land and annual money payments in 1802. The church, a small edifice, consists of a nave, south aisle, and chancel, with a square tower of indifferent character; it presents several indications of ancient workmanship, but has been much mutilated by repairs, the chancel being the only portion of the building that has escaped injudicious alteration. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Withersdale (St. Mary Magdalene)
WITHERSDALE (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union and hundred of Hoxne, E. division of Suffolk, 4 miles (S. E. by E.) from Harleston; containing 184 inhabitants, and comprising by computation 750 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, annexed to the vicarage of Fressingfield, and valued in the king's books at £6. 16. 8.: the tithes have been commuted for £221. 10., and the glebe contains 28 acres. The church is a small edifice, without a tower.
Withersfield (St. Mary)
WITHERSFIELD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Risbridge, W. division of Suffolk, 2 miles (N. W. by N.) from Haverhill; containing 640 inhabitants. It comprises 2514 acres by admeasurement, and is situated at the south-western corner of the county, on the road to Linton. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 17. 1.; net income, £465; patron, G. T. W. H. Duffield, Esq.
WITHERSLACK, a chapelry, in the parish of Beetham, union and ward of Kendal, county of Westmorland, 7½ miles (W. N. W.) from Milnthorpe; containing 489 inhabitants. A fishery here in the river Belo, which passes through the chapelry, belongs to the Earl of Derby, who holds his manorial court at the Derby Arms, on the second Tuesday after Trinity: the ancient Hall has been converted into a farmhouse. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £93; patrons, the Trustees of Barwick's charity. The chapel, dedicated to St. Paul, was built in 1664, by Dr. John Barwick, a native of the place, and Dean of St. Paul's, London, who bequeathed the impropriate rectory of Lazonby, to which his brother, Peter Barwick, M.D., added an estate near Kirk-Oswald, to provide an annuity of £26 to the curate for teaching 40 children, one of £4 for repairing the chapel, and another of £10 for placing out apprentices or as a marriage portion to maidens. These allowances have been considerably augmented by the increased value of the lands, which now let for about £400 a year. About a mile from the chapel, a chalybeate spring was discovered, and named Holy Well, in 1656; but it has since disappeared.
WITHERSTONE, a parish, in the union of Beaminster, hundred of Eggerton, Bridport division of Dorset, 5 miles (E. N. E.) from Bridport; containing 41 inhabitants. This ancient parish pays rates to Poorstock, the church having been suffered to go into decay soon after the Reformation. The living is a sinecure rectory, valued in the king's books at £2. 13. 4., and in the gift of Lord Dorchester: the tithes have been commuted for £100. 9.