Leominster (St. Mary Magdalene)

LEOMINSTER (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the hundred of Poling, rape of Arundel, W. division of Sussex, 2 miles (S. S. E.) from Arundel; containing, with the tything of Warningcamp, 785 inhabitants. This was the seat of a priory of Benedictine nuns, established by Roger de Mortimer, Earl of Arundel, in the reign of William the Conqueror, and which, on the suppression of alien priories, was granted to Eton College. At Pynham de Calceto, or the Causeway, a priory of Black canons was founded by Adeliza, second wife of Henry I., which continued till the Dissolution, when its revenues, amounting to £43, were given to Cardinal Wolsey, for the endowment of his intended colleges. The parish is situated on the Brighton and Chichester road, and bounded on the west by the river Arun. The Brighton and Chichester railway, opened in 1846, crosses the river here by a bridge of very peculiar construction, called a telescope-bridge, the first of its kind: it was necessary to have a clear water-way for shipping, of 60 feet, and this object was attained by the erection of the present bridge, which can be opened in a few minutes. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 1. 3., and in the patronage of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College (to whom the impropriation belongs), on the nomination of the Bishop of Chichester: the great tithes have been commuted for £375, and the vicarial for £350; the impropriate glebe comprises 5 acres. The church is an ancient structure in the early English style, with a lofty embattled tower. Richard Wyatt, Esq., of Court Wyche, in 1822 bequeathed £5000 three per cents., to be applied to the erection and endowment of a school after the death of his lady, which took place in 1839. There is a chalybeate spring on the Causeway Hill.

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

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