Wickwar

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

WICKWAR, a market-town and parish in the upper division of the hundred of GRUMBALD'S-ASH, county of GLOUCESTER, 24 miles (S.S.W.) from Gloucester, and 111 (W.) from London, containing 919 inhabitants. The town is conveniently situated on two small streams, over one of which is a handsome stone bridge. It formerly participated largely in the clothing trade carried on extensively in the surrounding district, of which it was the central mart, but has greatly decayed. Of late, great improvements have taken place, among which is the formation of a new road to Wotton under Edge, whereby the distance has been shortened three miles, and, from other local advantages, it is expected to recover its former importance. Coal abounds in the adjacent waste lands. The market is on Monday; and there are fairs on the 5th of April and the 2nd of July, for horses and horned cattle. The town, under a very ancient charter, is governed by a mayor, and an indefinite number of aldermen, consisting of all who have held the office of mayor. A manorial court is held annually in October.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester, rated-in the king's books at £18, and in the patronage of the Rev. Thomas Cook. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a spacious edifice, with a lofty and handsome tower at the west end. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. The free school was founded by Alexander Hosea, a native of this town, who, by a bequest in his will, dated in 1683, endowed it with property producing about £100 per annum: a Latin master, with a salary of £28 per annum, and a writing master, with one of £10 are appointed by the trustees, who consist of the corporation, and some other gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood: the masters have also houses provided for them. The number of boys on the foundation in the classical school rarely exceeds three or four, but in the writing school the average number is about twenty-five. There are several small endowments for the benefit of the poor.

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