Astbury (St. Mary)

ASTBURY (St. Mary), a parish, chiefly in the union of Congleton, consisting of the townships of Eaton and Somerford-Booths in the hundred of Macclesfield, and the market-town of Congleton, and the townships of Astbury-Newbold, Buglawton, Davenport, Hulme-Walfield, Moreton with Alcumlow, Odd Rode, Radnor, Smallwood, and Somerford, in the hundred of Northwich, county of Chester; and containing 14,890 inhabitants, of whom 641 are in Astbury-Newbold. This parish comprises by computation 20,000 acres, and contains a bed of limestone, from twenty-five to thirty yards in thickness, of which considerable quantities are procured and burnt; it is based on a species of gritstone, excellent for building. The Macclesfield canal passes at a short distance to the east of the village. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £68, and in the patronage of the Trustees of Lord Crewe; net income, upwards of £1500. The church is a spacious and beautiful structure, in every style of architecture from the early English to the later English, but chiefly the latter: the interior contains several stalls, a rood-loft, and some fine screen-work; the roofs are of oak, richly carved; the east window is highly enriched, and there are some fine specimens of stained glass. The tower, which stands at the north-west angle of the church, and is surmounted by an elegant spire, appears to have belonged to a former edifice. There are also churches or chapels at Congleton, Buglawton, Mossley, Rode, Smallwood, and Somerford; together with several places of worship for dissenters, in the parish. The sum of £50 per annum, the bequest of John Holford in 1714, is partly distributed among the poor, and partly applied in apprenticing children. The parish contains some petrifying springs.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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