Eccleston (St. Mary)

ECCLESTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland, N. division of the county of Lancaster; comprising the townships of Eccleston, Heskin, Parbold, and Wrightington; and containing 3319 inhabitants, of whom 771 are in the township of Eccleston, 5 miles (W.) from Chorley. This place gave name to a family as early as the reign of Richard I. Of the many families connected with the manor, have been the Dacres and the Molyneuxs, and more recently those of Dicconson and Longworth. The parish consists, by computation, of nearly 8000 acres, whereof 1988 are in the township of Eccleston; the soil is a strong loam, inclining to clay, resting on a bed of marl, and well adapted both for corn and pasture: the dairies produce excellent cheese. The surface of the townships of Eccleston and Heskin is tolerably even, but in Parbold and some parts of Wrightington very hilly: Parbold Hill commands an extensive view, embracing the Isle of Man and the mountains of Cumberland and Wales. The rivers Yarrow and Douglas intersect the parish; the former, flowing on the north from east to west, is crossed, a little below the church, by a handsome bridge of one arch, erected in 1826, when, also, the course of the road was improved. There are several coal-mines, and quarries of stone for building and other purposes; and facilities of conveyance are afforded by the Leeds and Liverpool canal. A weekly market and annual fairs were formerly held. A savings' bank was established in 1818, of which the deposits in 1845 were £22,796. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £28. 16. 0½.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. William Yates, whose tithes have been commuted for £1300, and who has 61 acres of glebe, with a house. The church is an ancient structure, with a tower; it underwent a thorough repair in 1828, and the interior was beautified in 1846: it contains numerous monuments, and a finely-executed window of stained glass by Ballantine, of Edinburgh, presented by the Rev. Mr. Yates. There is a second incumbency at Douglas, in the gift of the Rector. Two sums of £10 each, produced from rents, are distributed in coats and bread among the poor.

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

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