Wittenham, Little - Witton, West

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

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'Wittenham, Little - Witton, West', A Topographical Dictionary of England, (London, 1848), pp. 636-639. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp636-639 [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "Wittenham, Little - Witton, West", in A Topographical Dictionary of England, (London, 1848) 636-639. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp636-639.

. "Wittenham, Little - Witton, West", A Topographical Dictionary of England, (London, 1848). 636-639. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp636-639.

In this section

Wittenham, Little (St. Peter)

WITTENHAM, LITTLE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Wallingford, hundred of Ock, county of Berks, 4¼ miles (N. W. by N.) from Wallingford; containing 125 inhabitants, and comprising 869a. 2r. 19p. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 10.; net income, £400; patron, the Rev. F. J. Hilliard. The church contains monuments to the Dunche family. Sinodun Hill, in the neighbourhood, is surrounded by an ancient intrenchment supposed to be British, and to have been afterwards occupied by the Romans, Roman antiquities being found occasionally.

Wittenham, Long, or Earls (All Saints)

WITTENHAM, LONG, or EARLS (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Wallingford, hundred of Ock, county of Berks, 4 miles (S. W.) from Abingdon; containing 580 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the Isis, and comprises 2168a. 2r. 22p. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 12. 6.; net income, £166; patrons and appropriators, the Rector and Fellows of Exeter College, Oxford: the tithes were commuted for land in 1809. Funeral urns and other Roman antiquities are found.

Wittering, East

WITTERING, EAST, a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Manhood, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 6 miles (S. W. by S.) from Chichester; containing 261 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the south by the English Channel, and comprises 1000 acres of land, mostly arable. From the mouth of Chichester Harbour to the extremity of Selsey Hill, a distance of nearly eight miles, the sea has absorbed a very considerable portion of the prebendal manor of Bracklesham; and the bay thus formed, called Bracklesham Bay, affords at low water a delightful ride upon the sands, which are particularly firm and level, occasionally interspersed with patches of soft clay, in which beautiful fossil shells are found. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 16. 8.; net income, £190; patron, the Bishop of Chichester. The church is an ancient structure, with a Norman font, and a fine south doorway in that style, highly enriched. There was an endowed chapel at Bracklesham, annexed to the vicarage by Bishop Shirborne, in 1518.

Wittering, West

WITTERING, WEST, a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Manhood, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 7½ miles (S. W.) from Chichester; containing 575 inhabitants. This place was visited in 477, by Ella, a Saxon adventurer, who, with his three sons, landed here and defeated the Britons drawn up to oppose him; on the shore is a spot still called Ella-nor-point. Wittering was the occasional residence of the bishops of Chichester from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, when the episcopal palace, now called Cakeham Manor Place, became the property of the Ernley family; the ancient mansion has partly disappeared, and the remainder has been converted into a farmhouse. Bishop Shirborne, induced by the beauty of the sea view, bounded by the Isle of Wight, built a lofty hexagonal tower of brick, which is still remaining, and from the summit of which most extensive prospects are obtained. The parish is bounded on the south by the English Channel, and on the west by the mouth of Chichester harbour; and comprises by computation 2500 acres, of which 2000 are arable, 30 woodland and the rest pasture. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 3. 4.; net income, £165; patron, the Bishop of Chichester. The church is an ancient edifice combining various periods of English architecture, with a tower on the north side, and contains some specimens of oak carving in the pews, and three stalls. It has also a very fine Norman font of cylindrical form, and a monument of Caen stone, with effigies of William Ernley and family richly sculptured in bas-relief, and carved representations of the Resurrection and the Salutation of the Virgin. A few years since, coins of the Emperors Constantine, Valentinianus, and others were found.

Wittersham (St. John the Baptist)

WITTERSHAM (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Tenterden, hundred of Oxney, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 5¼ miles (S. by E.) from Tenterden; containing 998 inhabitants. It consists of 3601 acres, of which 618 are in wood. The living is a rectory, in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, valued in the king's books at £15. 8. 6½.; the tithes have been commuted for £730; there is a parsonage-house, and the glebe comprises 17 acres. The church has portions in various styles. Here is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a national school supported from land purchased by the Rev. W. Cornwallis, in 1820.


WITTON, a township and parochial chapelry, in the parish of Great Budworth, union of Northwich, S. division of the county of Chester, ¼ of a mile (E.) from Northwich; the township containing 3338 inhabitants. The chapelry lies partly in Eddisbury hundred, and partly in that of Northwich. In the former are the townships of Castle-Northwich, Hartford, and Winnington; in the latter, those of Witton-cum-Twambrooke, Northwich, Birches, Hulse, Lach-Dennis, and LostockGralam. The whole is divided into four districts called Quarters, namely, Northwich, Hartford, Lostock-Gralam, and Witton. In the township of Witton-cumTwambrooke are 482 acres, the soil of which is of a sandy nature. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £168; patron, the Rev. Richard Greenall. The chapel, dedicated to St. Helen, is a noble and spacious structure in the later English style, with an embattled tower. The free grammar school, adjoining the cemetery, was founded in 1588, by Sir John Deane, who endowed it with a salt-work at Northwich, and certain houses and lands in other parts of the county, now producing an income of about £270. The school-house, rebuilt about a century since, is a substantial structure of brick and stone, with a commodious suite of apartments for the master.

Witton, or Wytton (All Saints)

WITTON, or Wytton (All Saints), a parish, in the union of St. Ives, hundred of Hurstingstone, county of Huntingdon, 2½ miles (W. by N.) from St. Ives; containing 257 inhabitants. The living is annexed to the rectory of Houghton. The river Ouse passes through the parish.


WITTON, a township, in the parish, union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2 miles (W. N. W.) from Blackburn, on the road to Preston; containing 1073 inhabitants. This township comprises about 650 acres, mostly pasture and meadow land, and includes Billinge Hill and Billinge-End, a lofty ridge 633 feet above the level of the sea: there are several excellent quarries of stone. Witton House, an elegant stone edifice, is the seat of Joseph Feilden, Esq.; it is picturesquely situated, and surrounded by a finely-wooded park of 500 acres. The river Derwtnt flows through the park, and the Blackwater here empties itself into it. A district church, dedicated to St. Mark, was built in 1840; it cost £2000, and is in the Romanesque style: the eastern window has a representation of St. Mark. The living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £150; patron, the Vicar of Blackburn. Attached to the church are an infant school, which is also a Sunday school for boys; and a school of industry, used on Sundays as a girls' school.

Witton (St. Margaret)

WITTON (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blofield, E. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (E.) from Norwich; containing 162 inhabitants. The parish comprises 580 acres of land, chiefly arable; it is traversed by the road and railway from Norwich to Yarmouth, and bounded on the south by the navigable river Yare. The living is a discharged rectory, consolidated, with that of Brundall, with the rectory of Little Plumstead, and valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.: the tithes have been commuted for £242; the glebe comprises 17 acres.

Witton (St. Margaret)

WITTON (St. Margaret), a parish, in the Tunstead and Happing incorporation, hundred of Tunstead, E. division of Norfolk, 4 miles (E. by N.) from North Walsham; containing 280 inhabitants. It comprises 1744 acres, of which 172 are woodland, 94 pasture, 96 park, and the rest arable. Witton Hall, the property of Lord Wodehouse, is a large quadrangular mansion of white brick, situated on an eminence in a well-wooded park, and commanding a fine view of the sea and the intermediate country. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £4. 13. l½ and in the gift of the Bishop of Ely: the great tithes have been commuted for £262. 13., and the vicarial for £120; the glebe contains 7¼ acres. The church is in the early and decorated English styles, with a circular tower erected by the late Lord Wodehouse. John Norris, in 1777, bequeathed £855 three per cent, consols., directing £10 of the dividends to be appropriated for education, £10. 10. to the vicar for extra duty in Lent, and the remainder to the poor. A fund of £21 per annum, the produce of bequests from Richard Drake (in 1649) and Robert Annison, is wholly distributed among the poor, who also receive in coal the produce of 9½ acres allotted at the inclosure.

Witton, East

WITTON, EAST, a parish, in the union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York, 10 miles (W. by S.) from Bedale; containing 624 inhabitants, of whom 327 are in Witton Within, and 297 in Witton Without. This parish comprises 7730 acres, of which 4280 are in the former division. The surface is diversified with hills and dales; and from a hill called Witton Fell, within a mile and a half of the village, is obtained one of the most picturesque and extensive views in the county. A considerable portion of the southern part of the parish is lofty and hilly moor, but the remainder good arable, meadow, and pasture, with some woodland and plantations. The substratum contains coal and lead, the former indifferent, and the latter very superior; freestone is also abundant, of good quality for grindstones. The village is on the road from Leyburn to Ripon, near the confluence of the rivers Cover and Ure, and consists chiefly of one long and wide street of neatly-built houses.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 3. 6½., and has a net income of £93, of which £5 are paid out of abbey lands by the Marquess of Ailesbury, who is patron and impropriator; the remainder arises from glebe purchased by private donations and with Queen Anne's Bounty. The church is a handsome structure in the later English style, for the erection of which the walls of the ancient church, dedicated to St. Ella, were taken down to furnish materials. It was completed in 1812, at the expense of the marquess, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the accession of George III., and is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. The old churchyard is still retained as a place of sepulture. About a mile east of the village, romantically situated in Wensley dale, are the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey, founded for monks of the Cistercian order by Akarius, in the 12th century, and of which the revenue at the Dissolution was returned at £455. 10. 5. These interesting remains have lately been cleared from the briars and rubbish by which they were concealed; the transepts and choir of the church, and the chapterhouse, are now plainly apparent, and in tolerable preservation. Several of the tombs and stone coffins have been brought to light, and the tessellated pavement of the nave was also discovered, in a seemingly perfect state, but on exposure to the air, it rapidly crumbled into dust.

Witton-Gilbert (St. Michael)

WITTON-GILBERT (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Chester-le-Street, W. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 3½ miles (W.) from Durham; containing 1243 inhabitants. This place, which takes its distinctive affix from Gilbert de la Ley, its proprietor in the reign of Henry II., was formerly a portion of the parish of St. Oswald in the city of Durham, from which it was separated in 1423; and in 1593, the ancient rectory of Kimblesworth, of which the church had fallen into decay, was united with Witton-Gilbert. The parish comprises about 2535 acres, of which 1083, being church lands, are tithe-free; of the remainder, 886 are arable, 536 meadow and pasture, and 30 woodland and plantations. The surface is varied, the scenery in some parts enlivened with the windings of the Browney, and abounding with features of romantic character. The village stands on the north bank of the river, and is large, and neatly built. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £301. 11. The church is a small neat structure, without a tower; the nave and chancel are separated by a screen of oak rudely carved. Jane Furney bequeathed lands now producing £12 per annum for the instruction of children; and a national school is supported by subscription. An hospital for five lepers was founded by Gilbert de la Ley, of which the only memorial now remaining is a pointed window in a farmhouse occupying the site. On an eminence within a rapid sweep of the Browney, are the ruins of Beaurepaire, or Bear Park, consisting of the shattered and roofless walls of an ancient chapel, and of some adjacent buildings. The house and chapel were founded by Prior Bertram, in the 13th century, as a place of retreat for himself and successors; they suffered great injury at various times from warlike movements, and their ruin was most probably completed by the Scottish army, when in possession of Durham, in 1641 and 1644.

Witton-Le-Wear (St. Philip and St. James)

WITTON-LE-WEAR (St. Philip and St. James), a parish, m the union of Auckland, N. W. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Bishop-Auckland; containing 1017 inhabitants. It is intersected by the road from West Auckland to Corbridge, and comprises by computation 5060 acres, of which 2677 are in the township; of the latter, 1221 acres of arable, 1210 grassland, 186 wood, and 58 road and waste. The surface is much diversified, a ridge extending from west to east, with slopes to the north, and a steeper descent to the narrow river-vale on the south; the soil is chiefly sharp, gravelly, and alluvial, in some parts loam, and to the north a poor clay. The village is situated on the acclivity of an eminence rising from the north bank of the Wear, which is crossed by a bridge. The scenery around is of great beauty, and on the south bank of the stream is Witton Castle, skirted on the west by the narrow dell of the Lyn burn, which joins the Wear a little below the bridge. This castle, built about 1410, was the baronial mansion of the lords d'Eure, many of whom signalized themselves in border warfare; it is a large oblong edifice, with towers and turrets, and a handsome gateway entrance in the Norman style recently added by Sir W. Chaytor. In the great civil war it was held by Sir William d'Arcy for the king, and was besieged and taken by the parliamentarians, under Sir Arthur Haslerigg. The castle and estate have been sold by Sir W. Chaytor for nearly £100,000. Good coal abounds in the vicinity, at a moderate depth, and from the south side of the river large quantities are exported: sandstone, which is in general the substratum, is quarried for building purposes, and blue lias for the roads. At Witton Park pit is a manufactory for fire-bricks and draining-tiles. There is railway communication with the neighbourhood of Wolsingham, on one side, and with Darlington, Stockton, and Hartlepool, on the other. The living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £94: the church, an ancient structure, is in the early English style, but much disfigured by incongruous alterations and repairs. A school was endowed in 1766, with £8 per annum; and the interest of £110. 16. 6., the amount of various benefactions, is distributed among the poor.

Witton, Long

WITTON, LONG, a township, in the parish of Hartburn, union, and W. division of the ward, of Morpeth, N. division of Northumberland, 8 miles (N. by W.) from Morpeth; containing 135 inhabitants. This township comprises 2246 acres, wholly the property of Sir Walter Trevelyan, Bart.; about 692 acres are arable, 1484 meadow and pasture, and the remainder woodland and plantations. The northern district is chiefly uninclosed moor, but the soil in other parts is fertile. Long Witton Hall, an ancient mansion with additions by its late proprietors, the Swinburne family, is finely situated. The village stands on an elevated ridge on the road from Morpeth to Elsdon, and consists chiefly of irregularly-scattered houses. The tithes have been commuted for £57 payable to the impropriator, and £56 to the vicar of Hartburn. In a wood are three chalybeate springs rising from a thick stratum of sandstone rock, and containing sulphur and alumine; they are called Our Lady's Wells, and were formerly held in great reputation.

Witton, Nether (St. Giles)

WITTON, NETHER (St. Giles), a parish, in the union, and W. division of the ward, of Morpeth, N. division of Northumberland, 7¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Morpeth; containing, with the townships of Coatyards, Ewesley, Healey with Comb-Hill, Nunnykirk, Ritton-Coltpark, and Ritton-Whitehouse, 464 inhabitants, of whom 295 are in Nether Witton township. The manor anciently belonged to Gospatrick, Earl of Durham, who gave it in marriage with his only daughter, Julian, to Ranulph de Merlay, from whom it passed to Roger de Somerville, Lord of Wichenor, in the county of Stafford. In the 14th century, it became the property of Roger de Thornton, who built the ancient baronial tower, and, dying in 1429, was succeeded by his son, whose daughter and heiress conveyed it by marriage to George, Lord Lumley, of Lumley Castle. The estate subsequently became again the property of the Thornton family, of whom James left two daughters, who, as co-heiresses, conveyed it by marriage to the Trevelyans and the Withams, whose descendants are at present its proprietors. The surface is pleasingly varied, and the scenery enriched with extensive tracts of woodland abounding in stately oak and larch trees. The manorhouse, a handsome mansion of white freestone, erected in the 17th century, is beautifully situated in tastefullyembellished grounds; it is said to have been visited by Cromwell in the summer of 1651, and to have been the hiding-place of Lord Lovat, after his flight from the field of Culloden.

The village, which was anciently a market-town, stands in a fertile vale, and consists chiefly of detached cottages with gardens neatly laid out; it is intersected by the river Font, over which a substantial bridge of stone was erected in 1837. Upon the village cross is the date 1698, which is most probably the time when the present village was built. A large cotton manufactory was erected here by the late Walter Trevelyan, Esq., in 1786, but the speculation did not succeed, and the works were soon abandoned. It was subsequently let for a woollen manufactory, which prospered for a few years, but afterwards declined; part of the building is still occupied in the manufacture of flannel, and the spinning of yarn by machinery driven by water. The living, from a remote period, was a stipendiary curacy under the vicar of Hartburn; but on the demise of a late vicar in 1833, it was erected into a separate incumbency, and endowed with £400 from Queen Anne's Bounty, to meet a gift of £70 per annum from the vicar. The church, of which the nave was rebuilt a few years since, is a neat plain structure; in the 14th century it contained a chantry in honour of St. Nicholas, also a chantry dedicated to St. Giles, which was granted by Edward VI. to the school of Morpeth. A parsonage-house was built in 1834.


WITTON-SHIELS, a township, in the parish of Long Horsley, union, and W. division of the ward, of Morpeth, N. division of Northumberland, 7 miles (N. W. by W.) from Morpeth; containing 13 inhabitants. Among the recorded proprietors here, occur the families of Ogle, Prestwick, Thornton, Trevelyan, and Witham. The township comprises 418 acres of land, divided from Stanton by a brook which has woody banks, and runs into the Wansbeck. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £40. 11., and the vicarial for 3s. A strong tower erected in 1608 by Sir Nicholas Thornton, has been converted into a Roman Catholic chapel.

Witton, Upper

WITTON, UPPER, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Aston, Birmingham division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick, 3½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Birmingham; containing 157 inhabitants. This place, at the time of the Domesday survey, was styled Witone, and subsequently Wicton. In Dugdale's time the manor belonged to William Booth, Esq., to whom the antiquary acknowledges his obligations for valuable assistance rendered to him in the compilation of The Antiquities of Warwickshire.

Witton, West

WITTON, WEST, a parish, in the union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York, 4½ miles (W.) from Middleham; containing 494 inhabitants. It includes the hamlet of Swinethwaite, and comprises by computation 5140 acres of land, the property of Lord Bolton, Sir William Chaytor, Bart, (lord of the manor), and several others. The village, which is large and pleasant, stands on the south side of Wensley dale, on the road from Middleham to Aysgarth: the river Ure passes at a short distance on the north. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £103; patron and impropriator, Lord Bolton. The church is a small building, supposed to have been erected in the reign of Henry I.: from the churchyard is a delightful view over the dale. There is a place of worship for Roman Catholics; and a national school has been established. On Penhill are vestiges of an ancient castle that belonged to Ralph Fitz-Randal.