Leigh (All Saints)

LEIGH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Uttoxeter, S. division of the hundred of Totmonslow, N. division of the county of Stafford, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Cheadle; containing 1012 inhabitants. This parish, including the township of Field, comprises 7037a. 39p., of which about one-third is arable, and a very little in wood, though hedge-row timber is abundant; the surface is varied, the soil clay, and the scenery generally pleasing. It is intersected by the river Blithe; and a branch of the North Staffordshire railway passes through. Park Hall, an ancient mansion now a farmhouse, is surrounded by a moat. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 0. 5., and in the gift of Lord Bagot: the tithes have been commuted for £688. 15., and the glebe comprises 69½ acres, with a house. The church is an ancient cruciform structure, mostly in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower rising from the centre; the south aisle has an altar-tomb, of the date 1523, to Sir John and Lady Aston, with their recumbent effigies, and in the north transept are monuments to the Ashenhurst family. This church was lately restored at a cost of nearly £6000. The chancel was entirely rebuilt at the sole expense of the late incumbent, the present Bishop of Bath and Wells; it has a stone groined roof, and the pavement is the most beautiful specimen of encaustic tiling that has yet been produced. The eastern window, a decorated one of seven lights, is filled with stained glass, by Wailes, of Newcastle; the subject is the "Communion of Saints," the church being dedicated to All Saints, and the design and execution of it are perhaps superior to any other modern performance: the north-east and south-east windows are filled with ancient stained glass. A free school for boys was endowed by Stephen Spencer, in 1620, with lands now producing about £72. 15. per annum; and other schools are supported by W. Evans, Esq.

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

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