Kinfare, or Kinver (St. Peter)

KINFARE, or Kinver (St. Peter), a parish, in the union, and S. division of the hundred, of Seisdon, S. division of the county of Stafford, 4 miles (W. S. W.) from Stourbridge; containing 2207 inhabitants. This place was anciently a borough and market-town of some importance, but the weekly market has long been discontinued, and the market-house pulled down. It was noted for the manufacture of woollen-cloth, and has now several forges for the manufacture of bar, rod, and sheet iron, and iron-wire. One of them, at a place called "The Hyde," is said to have been the first rolling and slitting mill in England; the works here are now carried on by Messrs. Lee and Bolton. A mill for the making of screws on a peculiar principle, is conducted under the immediate superintendence of the patentee, Mr. T. M. Woodyatt; and there is a large manufactory for spades and implements of husbandry. The parish comprises by admeasurement 8926 acres; the soil is fertile. There is an abundance of red sandstone, of which part of the church was built; but, from the facility of procuring bricks, it is not much used. The Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton railway runs on the borders of the parish; the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal passes through its centre, and within its limits is joined by the Stourbridge Extension canal. Fairs for cattle, sheep, and horses are held on the last Tuesday in February, the second Tuesday in May, and the first Tuesday in December.

The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £151; patrons and impropriators, certain Trustees. The church is a very ancient structure, in the Norman style, with later additions; the east window is of elegant design, and enriched with flowing tracery. A schoolroom was erected at Halfcot in 1837, at the expense of J. H. H. Foley, Esq., in which divine service is performed by licence: Mr. Foley gives £35 per annum to the minister, and also supports the school, it being on his own estate. The Primitive Methodists have a place of worship. There is a free grammar school, in support of which William Vynsent, in the 34th of Elizabeth, bequeathed land which, with subsequent gifts, produces about £200 a year; the school was rebuilt in 1819: it has one exhibition to Oxford or Cambridge. A national school is maintained by subscription. The Stewponey Agricultural Society, under the presidency of Mr. Foley, was established in 1841, on principles similar to those of the Royal Agricultural Society; it is supported by 200 gentlemen and farmers of the district, and attached to it is a club or benefit society. Within the parish is an ancient fortification, forming a parallelogram, deeply intrenched on two sides, and on the other two defended by a hill: in the neighbourhood is a tumulus; and here also was a large block of stone, called Battlestone, six feet high, and about twelve in girth, but it has been removed. Cardinal Pole was born at Stourton Castle, in the parish.

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

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