Frodsham (St. Lawrence)

FRODSHAM (St. Lawrence), a market-town and a parish, in the union of Runcorn, Second division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester, 4 miles (W. S. W.) from Preston-Brook, 10 (N. E. by N.) from Chester, and 192 (N. N. W.) from London; comprising the lordship of Frodsham, and the townships of Alvanley, Frodsham, Helsby, Kingsley, Manley, Newton-by-Frodsham, and Norley; and containing 5821 inhabitants, of whom 1806 are in the township, and 1022 in the lordship, of Frodsham. This place is mentioned in Domesday book as the property of the Earl of Chester. A charter was granted about 1220 by Ranulph de Blundeville, sixth earl, to the inhabitants of Frodsham, which was pleaded in answer to a writ of Quo Warranto issued in the 22nd of Henry VII., and was confirmed in the 33rd of Henry VIII. and 21st of Elizabeth; but the manor having been separated from the earldom, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, the chartered privileges of the burgesses expired.

The town is situated on an eminence on the bank of the river Weaver, near its confluence with the Mersey, and consists of a broad street, a mile in length, extending along the road from Chester to Warrington, and another branching from it and leading to the church. At the east end is a stone bridge of four arches over the Weaver, which is navigable here; and at the west end stood a Norman castle. Courts leet and baron are held in the spring and at Michaelmas. The lord of the manor, the Marquess of Cholmondeley, has the tolls of a market held on Saturday, and of two fairs, on the last Tuesday in April, and the last Thursday in October; but the market, owing to the vicinity of Warrington, is inconsiderable. The Liverpool and Birmingham railway has a station at Preston-Brook. The parish (whose population is entirely agricultural) is 32¼ miles in circumference, and contains about 15,000 acres, whereof 2169 are in the township, and 2522 in the lordship, of Frodsham. The Living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £23. 13. 11½.; net income, £590; patrons, the Dean and Canons of Christ-Church, Oxford. There are 50 acres of glebe. The church stands on elevated ground, in the village of Overton, is built of red freestone, and appears to be of high antiquity, the nave displaying traces of Norman architecture. At Alvanley is a church, and at Norley another; and the Wesleyans have a place of worship. A school, erected about 1660, near the church, was rebuilt in 1824, and is supported by endowment; national schools for girls are maintained by subscription, and various benefactions are distributed among the poor.

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

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