Chapel en le Frith

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

CHAPEL-en-le-FRITH, a market-town and parish in the hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 41 miles (N.W. by N.) from Derby, and 167 (N.W. by N.) from London, on the road from Sheffield to Manchester, comprising the townships of Bowden's Edge, Bradshaw-Edge, and Coomb's Edge, and containing 3234 inhabitants. This town is pleasantly situated on the declivity of a hill rising from a vale embosomed in the mountains that bound this extremity of the county: it is partially paved, but not lighted, and is amply supplied with water. A small subscription library has been recently established.

The principal branch of manufacture is that of cotton, in which more than three hundred persons are employed: about one hundred persons are engaged in the manufacture of paper, chiefly for the London newspapers; and there are a rope-walk and a forge for iron near the town: coal is found in the parish. There is also a large establishment for warehousing goods, this place being a medium of communication between Manchester and Sheffield. The Peak Forest canal passes within three miles to the north-west, and by means of a railway communicates with the Peak Forest limeworks, about three miles to the east of the town: there is a reservoir in this parish that occasionally supplies the canal with water.

The market, which is on Thursday, has greatly declined: the fairs, most of which are very insignificant, are on the Thursday before February 13th, March 24th and 29th, the Thursday before Easter, April 30th, Holy Thursday, and the third Thursday after, for cattle; July 7th, for wool; the Thursday preceding August 24th, for sheep and cheese; the Thursday after September 29th, and the Thursday before November 11th, for cattle. The High Peak court, for the recovery of debts under £5, at which the steward of the Duke of Devonshire presides, is held every third week.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £300 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the resident freeholders, of whom a committee of twenty-seven, chosen in equal numbers from the three "Edges" into which the parish is divided, elect the minister, by a majority. The church, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, is a neat edifice in the later style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower, which, with the south front, was rebuilt in the beginning of the last century, at the expense of the parishioners. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan. Methodists.

A school was founded in 1696, by Mrs. Mary Dixon, who endowed it with a house and land producing £18 per annum; this endowment was augmented by Robert Kirke, Esq., with a piece of land now let for £2. 10. per annum: nineteen scholars are taught reading and writing in this establishment. There is also a school at Bowden's Edge, founded by Mrs. Mary Bagshaw, who endowed it with £5 per annum, for the instruction of eight girls. A fund amounting to £13. 7. 6. per annum, arising from various benefactions, is applied to the apprenticing of poor children; and there are various bequests for distribution in bread and clothing to the poor. At Barmoor-Clough, about two miles to the east of the town, is an ebbing and flowing well; and on a hill two miles to the south are the vestiges of a Roman encampment, from which a Roman road leads to Brough, about eight miles distant.

BRADSHAW-EDGE, a township in the parish of CHAPEL en le FRITH, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, l mile (W.) from Chapel en le Frith, containing 1708 inhabitants.

BOWDEN'S-EDGE, a township in the parish of CHAPEL en le FRITH, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 1 mile (N.E.) from Chapel en le Frith, containing 1093 inhabitants. This township is in the honour of Tutbury, duchy of Lancaster, and within the jurisdiction of a court of pleas held at Tutbury every third Tuesday, for the recovery of debts under 40s.

COOMBS-EDGE, a township in the parish of CHAPEL en le FRITH, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 2 miles (N.W. by W.) fromBuxton, containing 433 inhabitants.

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