Bispham

BISPHAM, a parish, in the union of the Fylde, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster; comprising the townships of Bispham with Norbreck, and Layton with Warbreck; and containing 2339 inhabitants, of whom 371 are in Bispham with Norbreck, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Poulton. This place, which is of great antiquity, is styled in Domesday survey Biscopham. It was early a possession of the Boteler family; and in the 13th of Elizabeth, the manors of "Litle and Grete" Bispham were held by the Fleetwoods. The parish includes the chapelry and bathingplace of Blackpool, and a part of South-Shore. The sea forms its western boundary, and the parish of Poulton incloses it on the north, south, and east. It comprises about 4200 acres, whereof 1606a. 3r. 20p. are in Bispham township; of the latter number 619 acres are arable, 271 meadow, 675 pasture, and 40 acres homesteads, sites, and water. Two small rills irrigate the soil; namely, Blackpool brook, so called, perhaps, from the tinge which it receives from its source in Marton moss; and Bispham brook, which, after a short course, falls into the Wyre at Thornton. The growth of wood here, is checked by the vicinity of the sea, and even the hedges which are planted from time to time are stunted by the blighting influence of the saline atmosphere. Bispham Lodge is the seat and property of Frederick Kemp, Esq.

The living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £210; patron, the Rev. Charles Hesketh; impropriators, B. Crosse, Esq., and Messrs. Bence and Bacon. The church was granted to the nunnery of Sion at the dissolution of alien priories, and remained attached to that establishment till the Reformation: its date and dedication are unknown. About eighty years ago, the building was partially modernised, and other alterations have been since made; it is situated in the hamlet of Great Bispham, and its whitened tower is seen at a considerable distance. At both Great and Little Bispham are places of worship for Independents; and there are distinct Church incumbencies at Blackpool and South-Shore. In 1659, Richard Higginson, of London, founded a school here, which he endowed with a rent-charge of £30; the income, by subsequent benefactions, has been increased to £70 per annum.

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

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