Hodnet (St. Peter and St. Paul)

HODNET (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Drayton, Drayton division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop, 6 miles (S. W.) from Drayton; containing, with the chapelry of Weston-under-Redcastle, 2185 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from Shrewsbury to the Staffordshire potteries, and comprises by measurement 10,700 acres, of which, with the exception of 520 acres waste, two-third parts are arable, and the remainder pasture and wood. The soil is fertile; and the surface is generally flat, with the exception of that part of the parish around Hawkstone Park, which for three or four miles is diversified with hills and dales. Hawkstone is a spacious modern mansion, consisting of a centre and two wings, which latter were added to it by the late Sir Rowland Hill, who also greatly improved the other parts of the building. The centre is ornamented with a noble portico of lofty columns of the Composite order, supporting an enriched entablature and cornice, and opening into a magnificent saloon; the interior contains numerous stately apartments, and an elegant chapel, the ceiling of which is adorned with an emblematical representation of the Reformation. The park abounds with romantic scenery, and the grounds are embellished with various buildings, among which are a tower, and a lofty obelisk crowned with a finely-sculptured statue of Sir Rowland Hill, Knt., first Protestant lord mayor of London. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £26. 0. 10., and in the gift of the family of Macaulay: the tithes have been commuted for £1730, and the glebe contains 20 acres. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style. There are chapels at Weston and Peplow, and a place of worship for Independents. The benefactions for the poor amount to £117 per annum. Lord Clive, celebrated for his extension of the British empire in India, was born at Styche, in the parish, in 1724; Reginald Heber, D.D., late Bishop of Calcutta, was also born in the parish, in 1783, and was for fifteen years rector, during which period he constantly resided at Hodnet.

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

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