Eccleshall

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

ECCLESHALL, a parish in the northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, comprising the market-town of Eccleshall, the chapelries of Broughton and Chorlton, and the townships of Aspley, Bromley, Charnes, Chatcull, Chorlton-Hill, Coldmeece, Cotes, Croxton, Horseley, Mitmeece, Pershall, Podmore, Slindon, Great Sugnall, Little Sugnall, Three-Farms, Walton, and Wootton, and containing 4227 inhabitants, of which number, 1254 are in the town of Eccleshall, 7½ miles (N.W. by W.) from Stafford, and 149 (N.W.) from London. This place, which is supposed to be of very remote antiquity, belonged at the time of the Conquest to the bishops of Lichfield, Bishop Durdent having procured for it, in 1160, the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair; and about the year 1200 Bishop Muschamp obtained from King John license to embattle the episcopal residence, and to empark the adjoining grounds.

The castle was extensively repaired or entirely rebuilt by Bishop Langton, in 1310; during the parliamentary war, it sustained so much damage in a siege, prior to its being taken by the parliamentarians, as to be unfit for the residence of the bishops, until Bishop Lloyd, in 1695, rebuilt the south part, and connected it with the remaining old buildings, then occupied as a farm-house; since which time it has continued to be the episcopal palace of the see of Lichfield and Coventry, and has received repeated additional improvements. Bishop Hough planted the grove, which has been since beautifully laid out in shrubberies and plantations; and Dr. Cornwallis, the late bishop, by draining the grounds, added greatly to the salubrity of the situation. The environs are pleasant, and the woods belonging to the palace are extensive. The town, which is pleasantly situated on the river Sow, contains some good houses, and is amply supplied with water.

The market is on Friday: the fairs are on the Thursday before Mid-Lent, Holy-Thursday, August 16th, and the first Friday in November, for cattle, sheep, and horses. Two constables and four head-boroughs are appointed at the court leet of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, who is lord of the manor.

The living is a discharged vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Eccleshall in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield, rated in the king's books at £7. 14. 4., endowed with £400 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £700 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was the sanctuary of Queen Margaret, after Lord Audley's defeat by the Earl of Salisbury, at Blore Heath; it is a spacious structure in the ancient style of English architecture, and contains several monuments. There is a place of worship for Independents. A charity school, which is supported by the parishioners, has a trifling endowment; and a National school, in which nearly one thousand children are instructed, is supported by subscription. About a mile to the north of the town is a paved vicinal way; and about a mile to the east of it are some ancient remains.

ASPLEY, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 24 inhabitants.

BROMLEY, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 40 inhabitants.

CHARNES, a township (formerly a chapelry) in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, 5 miles (N.W. by W.) from Eccleshall, containing 91 inhabitants. The chapel has been destroyed.

CHATCULL, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 71 inhabitants.

CHORLTON-HILL, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 94 inhabitants.

COLDMEECE, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 61 inhabitants.

COTES, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 241 inhabitants.

HORSELEY, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, 2 miles (S.W.) from Eccleshall, containing 4 8 7 inhabitants.

MITMEECE, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 131 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendal Court of Eccleshall.

PERSHALL, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL county of STAFFORD, 1 mile from Eccleshall, containing 80 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Eccleshall in the Cathedral Church of Lincoln.

PODMORE, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, 3 miles from Eccleshall, containing 75 inhabitants: it is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Eccleshall in the Cathedral Church of. Lichfield.

SUGNALL (MAGNA), a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, 2 miles (N.W. by W.) from Eccleshall, containing 109 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Eccleshall in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield.

SUGNALL (PARVA), a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIKEHILL, county of STAFFORD, 3 miles (N.W.) from Eccleshall, containing 79 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Eccleshall in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield.

THREE-FARMS, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 55 inhabitants.

WALTON, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 109 inhabitants. It is in the peculiar jurisdiction of the prebendal court of Eccleshall.

WOOTTON, a township in the parish of ECCLESHALL, northern division of the hundred of PIREHILL, county of STAFFORD, containing 146 inhabitants.

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