Gresley, Church

GRESLEY, CHURCH, a parish, in the union of Burton-upon-Trent, hundred of Repton and Gresley, S. division of the county of Derby, 5 miles (S. E.) from Burton; comprising the townships of ChurchGresley, Drakelow, Linton, and Swadlincote, the hamlet of Castle-Gresley, and part of the hamlets of Donisthorpe and Oakthorpe; and containing 2764 inhabitants. A priory of canons, of the order of St. Augustine, was founded here in the reign of Henry I. by one of the Gresley family, and dedicated to St. Mary and St. George; its revenue at the Dissolution was valued at £39. 13. 8. Henry VIII. granted the site in 1543 to Henry Criche. In 1556 Sir Christopher Aleyne, Knt., purchased the estate, with the manor of Church-Gresley, of the Seymours; and it was afterwards in the Meynells, of whom it was purchased, about 1775, by Sir Nigel Gresley, Bart. The parish is partly bounded on the north by the river Trent, and comprises 4712a. 2r. 13p., in about equal portions of arable and pasture; the soil is generally a strong clay, and the scenery is of pleasing character, in some parts richly embellished with woods and plantations. The substratum abounds with coal and various kinds of clay, of the former of which an extensive mine is in operation in the township of Church-Gresley, and four others are wrought in the hamlet of Swadlincote. A very extensive manufacture of earthenware is carried on, affording employment to more than 300 persons; a peculiar vein of clay is found, for making fire-bricks; and there is an abundance of common clay for bricks, in making which a great number of the population is engaged. Ironstone is raised for the roads; and there is a quarry of soft stone, which is used in the coal-mines, and, when pulverised, is substituted for sand. Tramways have been formed to the Ashby canal. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £108, with a good residence, built in 1837; patron, the Rev. George Wood Lloyd, D.D. The church is an ancient structure, of which the tower is in the Norman style, and the remainder of more modern date. At Donisthorpe, a church was built and endowed by three ladies of the name of Moore, in 1838; and another church has been built at Swadlincote. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Wesleyans; and a national school supported by subscription.

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

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