Crich with Whatstandwell

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

CRICH, a parish comprising the township of Crich, in the hundred of MORLESTON-and-LITCHURCH, the township of Wessington, in the hundred of SCARSDALE, and the hamlet of Tansley, in the hundred of WIRKSWORTH, county of DERBY, and containing 2961 inhabitants, of which number, 2024 are in the township of Crich, 4¾ miles (W. by S.) from Alfreton. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Derby, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, rated in the king's books at £6. 10. 10., endowed with £200 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £600 parliamentary grant. The Lord Chancellor, by reason of lunacy, presented in 1801. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has a tower surmounted by a spire, and contains several ancient monuments of the Dixie family. There are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, one at Crich, the other at Tansley.

This place, which is situated on an eminence commanding extensive prospects, was, not long since, an inconsiderable village, and rose into importance from the establishment of a cotton-manufactory at Frichly, in 1793: in 1810 it received the grant of a market, which was discontinued on the decline of the manufactory; fairs for cattle are held on April 6th and October 11th. Several of the inhabitants are employed in the adjacent quarries, which produce limestone of a superior quality, a considerable quantity being sent to London and Manchester; here are also kilns for burning it: the manufacture of stockings is carried on to a limited degree. The Cromford canal passes along the western side of the parish, and through a tunnel at its north-western and southern extremities: from the latter point a railway runs northward to within a short distance of the village.

In 1825, an infant school was established in the parish. Crich is evidently a place of some antiquity, coins of Adrian and Dioclesian having been found in an adjacent lead mine, whence it is conjectured that lead was first obtained here by the Romans: at the period of the Norman survey, "Leuric had a lead mine, at Cric", which is still wrought to a small extent. The manor of Wakebridge, in this parish, which formerly belonged to Darley abbey, still enjoys the privilege of exemption from king's duty on lead-ore, the mine of which is considered the richest in the county. About one mile north of the village is Crich cliff, a lofty hill, upon the summit of which an observatory was erected in 1789; it is principally composed of limestone, and contains mines of lead-ore, which were formerly more productive than at present.

WESSINGTON, a township in that part of the parish of CRICH which is in the hundred of SCARSDALE, county of DERBY, 3 miles (N.W. by W.) from Alfreton, containing 488 inhabitants.

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