Brailes (St. George)

BRAILES (St. George), a parish, in the union of Shipston-upon-Stour, Brailes division of the hundred of Kington, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (E. by S.) from Shipston; containing, with the hamlets of Chelmscote and Winderton, 1284 inhabitants. Prior to the Conquest, this lordship was in the possession of Edwin, Earl of Mercia; and subsequently, including Chelmscote and Winderton, it yielded to the Conqueror "no less than £55 yearly, with 20 horseloads of salt." Henry III., in 1248, granted a charter for a market here on Monday, which has been long discontinued; also a fair, which is held on Easter-Tuesday. In the 13th of Edward I., William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, then owner of the manor, claimed by prescription, and was allowed certain privileges; viz., a gallows, with assize of bread and beer. The parish contains 5407 acres of land, whereof about 2000 are arable and 3000 pasture; the village is situated on the turnpike-road from Shipston to Banbury, and is of considerable extent. There is a manufactory for livery shag, plush, &c., in which nearly 100 persons are employed. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £25; net income, £344; patron, John Thornton, Esq. Under an inclosure act passed in 1784, land and annual money payments were assigned in lieu of all tithes and moduses, for Lower Brailes. The church was probably erected in the time of the Conqueror, and was given in the reign of his son, Henry I., to the canons of Kenilworth. It is a large and handsome edifice, combining the early, decorated, and later English styles, with a lofty tower (supported by tall buttresses and crowned with battlements and pinnacles) containing six bells, the largest of which weighs more than two and a half tons; the interior was modernised in 1824. A guild consisting of a warden, brethren, and sisters, was founded in the church by Richard Nevill, Earl of Warwick; the revenue, in the 37th of Henry VIII., was £18. 13. 2., out of which a grammar school was then supported. There was anciently a chapel at Chelmscote, in which a chantry for four priests was founded by Thomas de Pakinton, of Brailes, in 1322. The Society of Friends and the Roman Catholics have places of worship; and a free school, probably founded about the end of the reign of Henry VIII., is endowed with an improved income of £70. In Upper Brailes, at the distance of 1¼ mile from the church, is a chalybeate spring, the water of which has been used with considerable advantage in cases of scrofula.

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

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