Bebington (St. Andrew)

BEBINGTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester; consisting of the ecclesiastical district of Tranmere, and the townships of Higher and Lower Bebington, Poulton cum Spittle, and Storeton; and containing 5008 inhabitants, of whom 844 are in Higher Bebington, and 1187 in Lower Bebington, 5 miles (S.) from Birkenhead. The manor of Higher Bebington was held for several generations by the family of Bebington, the elder branch of which became extinct in the reign of Richard II.: a younger branch settled at Nantwich. Richard Bebington, of this family, had six sons and a brother slain at the battle of Flodden Field. The manor passed with the heiress of the elder branch to the Minshulls, whose heiress, in the 17th century, brought it to the Cholmondeleys: it was sold in 1736, under an act of parliament, to several persons, among whom was the Orred family. The Lancelyns appear to have possessed lands in Lower Bebington as early as the Conquest; their heiress brought the manor in the reign of Elizabeth to the Greens, and it continued in the male line of that family till 1711. It was subsequently possessed by Mrs. Parnell, who died in 1792, bequeathing the estate to her relative, Joseph Kent, Esq., who, conformably with her will, assumed the name of Green. The parish is situated on the banks of the river Mersey, and is intersected by the road from Neston to Birkenhead, and the railway from Chester to Birkenhead; it comprises about 4700 acres of fertile land, whereof 893 acres are in Higher, and 892 in Lower, Bebington. The soil of these townships is chiefly sand and clay: freestone of a peculiarly fine texture, and of beautiful whiteness, is quarried for building. At Rock Ferry, in the parish, are several good mansions, some baths, and an hotel; and the neighbouring scenery is delightful. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £30. 13. 4.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. R. Feilden. The tithes have been commuted for £720; the glebe comprises only the grounds and garden of the rectory-house. The church is a noble structure, partly Norman, and partly in the style that prevailed in the reign of Henry VIII.; it suffered much by neglect and by injudicious repairs in past years, but has been recently restored, renovated, and considerably enlarged, by the liberality of Thomas Green and George Orred, Esqrs., and other spirited contributors, and now presents one of the finest specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in the county. There are two churches of recent erection, now the district churches of Rock Ferry and Tranmere. The church at Rock Ferry is dedicated to St. Peter, and is a handsome structure: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Rector and four Trustees. Three schools for boys, girls, and infants, are supported by an endowment of 30 acres of land, aided by subscription. In a white sandstone-quarry, 80 feet below the surface, have been found numerous marks of animals' feet, like the hand and foot of man.

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