Crofton (All Saints)

CROFTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Preston (under Gilbert's act), Lower division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 3¾ miles (E. S. E.) from Wakefield; containing 389 inhabitants. This parish is in the honour of Pontefract, and comprises about 970 acres of fertile land, including the hamlet of Birkwood: the roads from Doncaster and Pontefract to Wakefield form a junction here. Coalmines were extensively wrought for several years, but have been discontinued for some time, though much coal yet remains. The village is pleasant and well built, and has an ever-flowing fountain in the centre. At Oakenshaw, in the parish, the Midland railway is carried over the Barnsley canal by a viaduct of five segmental arches of 60 feet span each, and at the height of 60 feet above the level of the water; the whole is constructed of brickwork with stone quoins. Here, also, one of the most extensive cuttings in the whole line was made through rock, shale, and bind, the greatest depth being 50 feet, and the quantity of earth removed amounting to 600,000 cubic yards, most of which was used to form the Oakenshaw embankment. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 0. 2½., and in the patronage of the Crown, in right of the duchy of Lancaster; net income, £334. The church is a small cruciform structure in the later English style, with a low central tower. The original church stood on low swampy ground, nearly a mile from the present site: the only remains of it are the names of "Church Field" given to a field of the glebe land, and "Church Hill" to the particular spot where it stood. Dr. Richard Fleming, founder of Lincoln College, Oxford, was a native of this place; the remains of his arms, carved in stone, still appear over the porch of the present church.

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

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