Chapel-En-Le-Frith (St. Thomas Becket)

CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH (St. Thomas à Becket), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of High Peak, N. division of the county of Derby, 41 miles (N. W. by N.) from Derby, and 167 (N. W. by N.) from London, on the road from Sheffield to Manchester; containing 3199 inhabitants, and comprising the townships of Bowden-Edge, Bradshaw-Edge, and Coombs-Edge. The town is pleasantly situated on the acclivity of a hill rising from a vale embosomed in the mountains that bound this extremity of the county; it is partially paved, and amply supplied with water. A small subscription library was established a few years since. The principal branch of manufacture is that of cotton, in which more than 300 people are employed: about 100 persons are engaged in the manufacture of paper, chiefly for the London newspapers; and there are a rope-walk and an iron-forge near the town; also several coal-mines in the parish. The Peak Forest canal passes three miles to the north-west, and, by means of a railway, communicates with the Peak Forest limeworks, about three miles to the east of the town: there is a reservoir in the parish that occasionally supplies the canal with water. The market, which is on Thursday, has greatly declined: the fairs, most of which also are insignificant, are on the Thursday before February 13th, on March 24th and 29th, the Thursday before Easter, April 30th, Holy-Thursday, and the third Thursday after, for cattle; July 7th, for wool; the Thursday preceding August 24th, for sheep and cheese; and the Thursday after September 29th, and the Thursday before November 11th, for cattle. The High Peak court, for the recovery of debts under £5, at which the steward of the Duke of Devonshire presides, is held every third week: the powers of the county debt-court of Chapel-en-le-Frith, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Chapel-en-le-Frith, and part of that of Hayfield and Glossop. The parish comprises about 8370 acres, the surface of which is in general hilly. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the resident Freeholders, of whom a committee of 27, chosen in equal numbers from the three "edges," or hamlets, into which the parish is divided, elect the minister by a majority; net income, £145. The glebe contains about 60 or 70 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a neat edifice in the later English style, with a square embattled tower, which, with the south front, was built in the beginning of the last century, at the expense of the parishioners. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The union of which the town is the head, comprises 17 parishes or places, and contains a population of 11,349. At Barmoor-Clough, about two miles to the east, is an ebbing and flowing well; and on a hill two miles to the south, are the vestiges of a Roman encampment, from which a Roman road leads to Brough, about eight miles distant.

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

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