Alderley (St. Mary)
ALDERLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Macclesfield, containing 1538 inhabitants, of whom 455 are in the township of Upper Alderley, 679 in that of Lower Alderley, and 404 in that of Great Warford. This parish comprises by computation 6009 acres of fertile land, whereof 1971 are in Upper, and 2353 in Lower Alderley; the prevailing soils are clay and sand. The surface is greatly diversified, and towards the north-east rises gradually, forming an elevation called Alderley Edge, which terminates abruptly, and commands an extensive view. Alderley Park, the seat of Lord Stanley, forms an interesting feature in the landscape; in the grounds is a sheet of water called Radnor Mere, a wood near which contains some of the finest beech-trees in England. A few of the inhabitants are engaged in weaving for the manufacturers of the neighbouring towns. The Manchester and Birmingham railway passes through the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 10. 10.; net income, £514; patron, Lord Stanley. Besides the church, there is a chapel at Birtles, the incumbency of which is in the gift of T. Hibbert, Esq. The parish contains also places of worship for Wesleyans, and one for Baptists at Great Warford. An ancient school-house in the churchyard, some time after its erection, was endowed with the sum of £250, which has been placed at interest in the hands of Lord Stanley, who pays the master £10 per annum; another school is principally supported by his lordship. On Alderley Edge is a fine spring, called the Holy Well.