Audley (St. James)

AUDLEY (St. James), a parish, in the union of Newcastle-under-Lyme, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill, and of the county of Stafford, 5 miles (N. W.) from Newcastle, on the road to Nantwich; containing 4474 inhabitants, and consisting of the townships of Audley, Bignall-End, Eardley-End, Halmer-End, Knowl-End, Park-End, and Talk-o'-th'-Hill. This place was originally given by Hervey de Stafford to the barons of Aldeleigh, or Audley, who erected the baronial residence of Heyley Castle, commanding an extensive range of the surrounding country. The parish, which comprises about 11,000 acres, and is almost entirely appropriated to dairy-farming, abounds with excellent ironstone and coal, the latter of which is sent in large quantities by the Trent and Mersey canal to Cheshire, and to other parts. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; patron, the Rev. Edward Gilbert: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £430, and the impropriate, belonging to George Tollet, Esq., for £664. The church is in the early style of English architecture, with a decorated chancel, and an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles. At Talk-o'-th'-Hill is another church; and there are numerous places of worship for dissenters in the parish. The free grammar school, founded in 1622 by Edward Vernon, has an endowment in land producing £125. 18. per annum. Near the village are vestiges of an intrenchment; and on the western boundary of the parish are situated, on a lofty rock, the remains of the ancient and strong castle of Heyley, the ascent to which, on the south side, is more than 100 yards in height. About a mile from the church is a pellucid spring of water, always flowing. Audley gives the title of Baron to the family of Touchet.

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

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