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Offley, High (St. Mary)

OFFLEY, HIGH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Newport, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 4½ miles (S. W.) from Eccleshall; containing 658 inhabitants. It comprises about 2700 acres, of which 1250 are arable, 1200 pasture, 50 woodland, and 200 in roads and canal. The road from Eccleshall to Newport, in Shropshire, and the old road from Stafford to Newport, unite in the parish, which is also intersected by the Birmingham and Liverpool canal. The village obtains the prefix to its name from its situation upon a bold eminence, and commands an extensive view including the Wrekin, in Shropshire, and hills in Wales. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 6. 0½., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield: the rectorial tithes, leased to Sir Delves Broughton, Bart., have been commuted for £300, and the vicarial for £157. 10. Portions of the glebe land were taken by the Birmingham and Liverpool Canal Company, and the purchase money invested in the funds for the benefit of the vicar: there are now 86 acres of glebe. The church is an ancient edifice, neatly pewed with oak, and has a good organ, presented in 1816 by John Salmon, Esq., of London. Sir Charles Skrymsher, in 1708-9, left a rent-charge of £10 per annum, which is paid by Lord Anson (who purchased the estate), and applied to apprenticing a boy; £6 per annum are also paid by Lord Anson for the poor, the gift of Mrs. Baldwin. The foundations of a Roman road are traceable in the fields a little north of the church; and Roman coins, bricks, armour, and fragments of pottery, have been found.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.

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