Knockin (St. Mary)
KNOCKIN (St. Mary), a parish, in the hundred of Oswestry, N. division of Salop, 5¾ miles (S. S. E.) from Oswestry; containing, with an extra-parochial farm called Heath, 271 inhabitants. The parish derives its name from a castle founded here by the family of L'Estrange, who possessed the manor in the reigns of Henry II. and Henry III., the latter of whom directed a precept to the sheriff of the county, commanding the aid thereof, to enable John L'Estrange to erect part of the "Castle of Cnukyn," and to repair the rest for the defence of the borders. His son received from the same monarch the grant of a weekly market, and a fair on the eve and morrow of the festival of St. John the Baptist, both of which are disused. In the reign of Edward III., Madoc, a Welsh nobleman, headed an insurrection, and defeated Lord Strange at Cnukyn. Thomas Stavely, first earl of Derby of that name, was, in his father's lifetime, summoned to parliament, by the name of Lord Strange, of Knokyn. Few vestiges of the castle remain, except the keep, which may still be seen. The living is a discharged rectory, in the gift of the Earl of Bradford: the tithes have been commuted for £328. The church, which has been renovated and enlarged at the cost of the Earl of Bradford and the parishioners, was re-opened for divine service in April, 1847.