Ecclesfield (St. John the Baptist)

ECCLESFIELD (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Wortley, N. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, W. riding of York; containing, with the chapelry of Bradfield, 15,150 inhabitants, of whom 8832 are in the township of Ecclesfield, 4½ miles (N.) from Sheffield. The manor, in Domesday book Eclesfelt, was anciently possessed by various families, and passed through the Viponts, Lovetots, Furnivals, Nevils, and Talbots, to the Howards. The parish is of great extent, being about 11 miles in length, and from 3 to 5 in breadth; and the strata on the north-eastern and north-western boundaries are rich in iron-ore and coal, both of excellent quality, and the working of which principally engages the population. The large village of Ecclesfield is situated on an eminence near the Barnsley road; the manufacture of files, nails, and forks, is carried on in it to a considerable extent. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £19. 3. 4., and in the patronage of the Rev. Edward Ryder, with a net income of £573; impropriator, the Duke of Norfolk: the tithes were commuted for land in 1811. The church, sometimes styled the "Minster of the Moors," is a very handsome edifice in the later English style, and contains 1196 sittings, onethird free; it was repaired in 1825, at a cost of £2151: in the interior is a fine monument of Sir Richard Scott, in armour. There are churches at Bradfield, Bolsterstone, Chapel-Town, Midhope, Oughtibridge, Stannington, and Wadsley; and places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and others.

The endowed schools comprise Lound school, endowed in 1711 by Ann Sylvester; Parson-Cross and Shire-Green schools, endowed by the Rev. Robert Turie in 1720; Grenoside school, originally instituted by the inhabitants, and subsequently aided by numerous bequests; and High-Green school, endowed with £500 left by Ann Reresby, in 1801, for teaching girls. An infants' school has within these few years been built, and endowed with £400, by Miss Hannah Rawson, who also left the interest of £500 to be distributed among poor widows. The other charitable endowments comprises the Feoffee estate, bequeathed by Sir Thomas Gargreaves and others for several purposes, one of which is the education of 28 children at the Ecclesfield township school; Sylvester's Hospital for seven persons, founded and endowed by Edward Sylvester in 1693, and the income of which, aided by a bequest of £200 from Ann Reresby in 1801, amounts to about £100 per annum; Barnes Hall hospital for six people, erected in the 15th of Charles I. by Richard Watts, to whom Sir Richard Scott, in 1668, devised certain estates for the purpose; an almshouse for three poor persons of Ecclesfield, and three of Owleston, erected by George Barnforth; and Freeman's almshouses, for six aged widows, at Chapel-Town, founded by Mr. Freeman, and endowed with £2000. Here was a priory of Benedictine monks under the abbey of St. Wandragisilius, in Normandy; at the suppression of alien priories, it was granted to the Carthusian monastery of St. Anne, near Coventry. In the neighbourhood are vestiges of a Roman intrenchment, termed "Devil's Ditch."

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

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