Bowdon, or Bowden (St. Nicholas)
BOWDON, or Bowden (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Altrincham, hundred of Bucklow, N. division of the county of Chester; comprising the chapelries of Altrincham and Carrington, the townships of Ashley, Baguley, Bowdon, Dunham-Massey, Hale, Partington, and Timperley, and part of the townships of Agden, Ashton-upon-Mersey, and Bollington; the whole containing 9373 inhabitants, of whom 549 are in the township of Bowdon, 1 mile (S. W. by S.) from Altrincham. The manor was anciently parcel of the barony of Dunham-Massey; a moiety of it was given, about 1278, to the priory of Birkenhead by Hamon de Massey, the fifth of that name, and the other moiety passed to a younger branch of the Massey family. The Bowdens, Booths, Holcrofts, and Breretons afterwards possessed the lands; and more recently the whole manor became the property of the Earl of Stamford and Warrington. The parish comprises by admeasurement 16,918 acres, whereof 770 are in the township of Bowdon; the soil of the latter is a sandy loam. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £24, and in the gift of the Bishop of Chester: the tithes have been commuted for rent-charges amounting altogether, for the bishop, to £1671. 6., and for the vicar, to £364; the vicar's glebe comprises 37½ acres. The rectorial tithes are leased by the bishop to the Earl of Stamford and Warrington, who, as lord of the barony of Dunham-Massey, appoints four churchwardens for the parish. The church is an ancient structure, commanding an extensive and pleasing panoramic view of the surrounding country: it was annexed to the see of Chester by Henry VIII., on the dissolution of Birkenhead priory. There are three chapels, forming separate incumbencies; viz., Altrincham, built in 1799; Carrington, built about 1760, at the cost of the Countess of Stamford; and Ringway, the date of which is uncertain. Edward Vawdrey, about the year 1600, gave £4 per annum towards the endowment of a grammar school: the schoolroom was rebuilt at the expense of the parishioners, about 1670, and again in 1806. A national school is supported by subscription; and there are also a school for boys at Scamons Moss, and one for boys and girls at Littleheath, the latter founded and endowed by the late Mr. Thomas Walton. The Earl of Warrington in 1754 gave £5000, now amounting to £5610 three per cent. reduced bank annuities, for educating or apprenticing children of the parish, and for the relief of the poor of this and the parish of Barnwell All Saints. A Roman road passed through the parish.