Astley (St. Mary)

ASTLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Nuneaton, Kirby division of the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick, 4½ miles (W. S. W.) from Nuneaton; comprising 2555 acres, and containing 371 inhabitants. A short distance to the north of the church is a mansion, erected in the sixteenth century, on the site of a more ancient baronial castle: in the interior are a chair and table, which, according to an inscription, were those used by Henry, Marquess Grey and Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey, when concealed in a hollow tree in the vicinity. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £60; patrons and impropriators, the family of Newdegate. The church was made collegiate, and rebuilt in the form of a cross, with a lofty spire, in the reign of Edward III., by Lord Thomas de Astley, many of whose family were interred here; the ancient choir, now forming the body of the church, is the only portion of the building remaining. The revenue of the college, at its dissolution, was £46. 8.

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

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