Barr, Great

BARR, GREAT, a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Aldridge, union of Walsall, S. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 5½ miles (N.) from Birmingham; containing 1078 inhabitants. This place lies on the road between Birmingham and Walsall, and comprises about 5000 acres: the surface is elevated; the soil varies from a light to a heavy quality, and the scenery is beautiful, presenting from the celebrated Barr beacon a very extensive view. Excellent limestone is obtained, of a peculiar degree of hardness suitable for under-water work, as it sets quickly and firmly. At Newton is a station of the Liverpool and Birmingham railway. The Hall, which has long been the seat of the Scott family, stands in a romantic vale, having an extensive lawn and deer-park, with a fine sheet of water in front; the grounds are abundantly planted, and the sylvan beauties of the place owe much to the taste of the poet Shenstone. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Aldridge. The chapel, dedicated to St. Margaret, stands on an eminence shaded by a number of lofty elms; it was rebuilt in the latter part of the last century by Joseph Scott, Esq., afterwards Sir Joseph Scott, Bart., and is in the Grecian style, with a handsome spire. There are seven painted windows, copied from designs by Sir Joshua Reynolds at New College, Oxford; the eastern window is elaborately painted by Eginton, of Birmingham. The chapel lands consist of about 66 acres of land on Barr common, obtained at the inclosure in 1799 from Sir Joseph Scott, in exchange for the Chapel Hills, which had been held from time immemorial. John Addyes, in 1722, bequeathed property for the erection and endowment of a free school for thirteen boys, which number by subsequent benefactions has been augmented to twenty; the endowment consists of a house and land, the latter let for nearly £50 per annum.

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

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