Backford (St. Oswald)

BACKFORD (St. Oswald), a parish, in the union of Great Boughton, partly in the Higher division of the hundred of Wirrall, and partly in the Lower division of the hundred of Broxton, S. division of the county of Chester; comprising the townships of Backford, Caughall, Chorlton, Lea, and Mollington-Tarrant; and containing 556 inhabitants, of whom about 200 are in the township of Backford, 4 miles (N.) from Chester, on the road to Birkenhead. During a great part of the 13th and 14th centuries, the manor was held by the Masseys, of Timperley; about the year 1580 it was sold to Thomas Aldersey, by whom it was soon afterwards alienated to the Birkenheads, who resided at Backford Hall until the family became extinct in the male line in 1724. The parish comprises 3006 acres, whereof 687 are in Backford township, and of a sandy and clayey soil. The Ellesmere canal skirts the parish on the south; and at Mollington is a station of the Chester and Birkenhead railway. The vicinity of the place to the city of Chester renders it cheerful and desirable for residence. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 0. 5.; net income, £230; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Chester: the tithes of Backford township have been commuted for £64 and £46. 3., payable respectively to the bishop and the vicar. The church was rebuilt in the reign of Anne, with the exception of the tower and chancel, built in that of Henry VI. A school is partly supported by subscription; and an excellent school-house was erected in 1844, under the auspices of the vicar, the Rev. Francis Bryans, at a cost of £345, raised by subscription, aided by public grants.

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

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