Dean, Mitchell (St. Michael)

DEAN, MITCHELL (St. Michael), a market-town and parish, in the union of Westbury, hundred of St. Briavell's, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 11 miles (W.) from Gloucester, and 113 (W.) from London; containing 665 inhabitants. This place, the origin of which is anterior to the Conquest, derives its name, denoting its situation in a dell, from the Saxon Dene, a dell; and its adjunct from Mycel, Great, in contradistinction to Little Dean, in the neighbourhood. It was the principal town in the Forest of Dean, and consists of three streets, diverging obliquely from a common centre: it was formerly a staple town for the wool-trade; at present the manufacture of leather is carried on to a small extent. The market is on Monday; fairs are held on Easter-Monday and Oct. 10th, for horses, cattle, and sheep. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 16. 0½.; patron, M. Colchester, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £173. 13. The church is a spacious structure, built at different periods, and exhibiting various styles of English architecture, with a tower surmounted by an octagonal spire: in the east window of the north aisle are some remains of the stained glass with which the edifice appears to have been generally ornamented; the roof of oak is decorated with flowers and other ornaments, exquisitely carved. A subterraneous passage leads from the church to a wood, about half a mile from the town. A school, now conducted on the national plan, was founded by means of a bequest of £1000 by William Lane, Esq., of Gloucester, in 1789, and one of £300 by his widow, in 1806; these sums, with other benefactions, produce an annual income of £62.

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

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