Meols, North (St. Cuthbert)
MEOLS, NORTH (St. Cuthbert), a parish, in the union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 9½ miles (N. N. W.) from Ormskirk; containing, with the township of Birkdale, 8348 inhabitants, of whom 7791 are in North Meols township. At the time of the Domesday survey, three thanes held this place in three manors. The district now called North Meols afterwards fell to the barons of Penwortham; and in the reign of Richard I., Hugh Bussell assigned to Richard Fitz-Hutred the whole of "Normoles" with its appurtenances, which grant was confirmed by John, Earl of Morton, afterwards king, in whose reign the place gave name to the proprietor, Robert de Meolis. The ancient Feodary of the duchy of Lancaster states, that Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, held the manor of "Northmeales" in right of Alicia his wife: the Aghtons, Bolds, Heskeths, and Hoghtons became subsequently proprietors here. The parish lies at the mouth of the Ribble, and is bounded on the north and west by that river and the Irish Sea. It comprises 10,797 acres, of which about 2376 are sandhills or waste; the remainder of the land varies much in quality, consisting of reclaimed peat-moss, light sand, and good loam or strong soil, chiefly arable, the potato being much cultivated: the surface is level. The workingclasses are mainly employed in agriculture, in fishing, and in hand-loom weaving. A court baron is held twice a year; a court leet appertains to Birkdale, and a fair is held in the parish on the Monday and Tuesday nearest the 20th of August, for cattle, pigs, &c. The township of North Meols contains the modern and rising bathing-place of Southport, and the villages or hamlets of Churchtown, Marshside, Crossens, Banks, and others. Meols Hall, now a farmhouse, the property of the Rev. Charles Hesketh, was the ancient seat of the Heskeths, afterwards of Rossall; and Bold House, several centuries ago, was the occasional seat of the family whose name it bears: both these mansions display marks of their former consequence.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 3. 4.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. Charles Hesketh: the tithes of North Meols township have been commuted for £800, and the tithes of Birkdale for £87. 10.; the glebe comprises 16 acres, with a good rectory-house. The church, which stands in Churchtown, is a small edifice consisting of a body, chancel, north transept, and tower; the interior is plain, and is lighted by five windows, of which three are on the south, and the others, of semicircular shape, in the chancel. There are three additional churches within the parish; two at Southport, and one at Crossens. The Independents, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists have places of worship at Churchtown. An ancient grammar school, endowed with £370, is now consolidated with a national school, erected in 1827.See Birkdale, Crossens, and Southport.