Kington

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

KINGTON, a parish in the hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, comprising the market town of Kington, and the townships of Barton and Bradnor with Rustrock, Chickward and Pembers-Oak with Lilwall, and Both-Hergists, and containing 2813 inhabitants, of which number, 1980 are in the town of Kington, 19 miles (W.N.W.) from Hereford, and 154 (W. by N.) from London. The town, which is of considerable antiquity, is situated on the hanks of the river Arrow, and consists of two spacious streets. Charles II. is said to have visited it prior to the fatal battle of Worcester, and to have slept at an inn then called the Lion, but now the Talbot. In a barn still standing here, the celebrated tragic actress, Mrs. Siddons, made her first public appearance on the stage.

The manufacture of woollen cloth, which was formerly carried on very extensively, has entirely ceased; and glove-making, which, until a very recent period, furnished employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants, has much declined: there is an iron-foundry and nail manufactory, established in 1815, in which about one hundred persons are employed. A rail-road has been constructed from the foundry to Brecon, joining the canal at Newport. An act of parliament was obtained, in 1791, for making a canal from Kington, by Leominster, to join the Severn at Stourport; but it has been left unfinished for want of capital.

There is a good market for provisions on Wednesday: fairs are held on Whit-Monday, August 2nd, and September 19th, and annual cattle markets take place on the Wednesdays previously to February 2nd, Easter Sunday, Old Michaelmas-day, October 11th, and Christmas-day. Courts leet and baron for the manor, at the former of which a bailiff is appointed, are held annually. The county magistrates hold here petty sessions for the hundreds of Huntington and Wigmore every Friday. A court for the recovery of debts under 40s. is held once in three weeks. The living is a vicarage, with the curacies of Brilley, Huntington, and Michaelchurch, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king's books at £25. 2. 11., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Hereford.

The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyan Methodists. A free grammar school was founded pursuant to the will of Lady Hawkins, who, in 1619, bequeathed money for the purchase of an estate producing £224. 10. per annum, of which the master receives three-fourths as his salary, and the usher one fourth; the school is open to the children of Kington, Brilley, Huntington, and Michaelchurch, and the present number of free scholars is forty-two. On Bradnor hill, about a mile north of the town, are traces of an ancient camp; and there is a rocky eminence the vicinity, called Castle hill, though it does not appear that any castle ever stood there, or that it was the site of an encampment.

BARTON, a township, joint with Bradnor and Rustrock, in the parish of KINGTON, hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, ¾ of a mile (N.E.) from Kington, containing, with Bradnor and Rustrock, 357 inhabitants.

BOTH-HERGESTS, a township in the parish of KINGTON, hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, containing 145 inhabitants.

BRILLEY, a chapelry in the parish of KINGTON, hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, 6 miles (N.E. by N.) from Hay, containing 506 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to St. Mary.

CHICKWARD, a township, joint with Pembers-Oak and Lilwall, in the parish of KINGTON, hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, containing, with Pembers-Oak and Lilwall, 331 inhabitants.

HERGESTS (BOTH), a township in the parish of KINGTON, hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, 1 mile (S.W. by W.) from Kington, containing 145 inhabitants.

HUNTINGTON, a chapelry in the parish of KINGTON, hundred of HUNTINGTON, county of HEREFORD, 4 miles (W.S.W.) from Kington, containing 215 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. There is a place of worship for Independents.

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