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Caulk, or Calke (St. Giles)

CAULK, or Calke (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, hundred of Repton and Gresley, S. division of the county of Derby, 4¼ miles (N. by E.) from Ashby; containing 55 inhabitants. A convent of Augustine friars, in honour of St. Mary and St. Giles, was founded here before 1161; of which the Countess of Chester was a principal benefactor, on the condition that it should be subject to the priory of Repindon, or Repton. The site was granted by Edward VI., in 1547, to John, Earl of Warwick; and the Caulk estate subsequently came to the Wensleys, Bainbrigges, and Harpurs. Of the last-named family, Henry Harpur was created a baronet in 1626; and Sir Henry Harpur, the seventh baronet, took in 1808 the name of Crewe, in right of his great-grandmother, Catharine, daughter and coheiress of Thomas, Lord Crewe.

The parish comprises by measurement 900 acres. Quarries of limestone, in which, occasionally, much lead is found, are extensively wrought; and large quantities of the stone are burnt into lime, for the conveyance of which facility is afforded by the Swannington railway, to Ashby and Leicester, and by canal to other places. A handsome and substantial stone mansion, of the Grecian order, called The Abbey, has been erected amidst the remains of the conventual buildings, the walls of which are still found in the pleasure-grounds and garden; the house stands in an extensive park, well wooded, varied in its surface, and amply stocked with deer. The living is a peculiar; Sir John Harpur Crewe is patron and impropriator, and allows the minister £100 per annum. The church is a neat edifice in the early English style, built, on a former site, by the late Sir George Crewe in 1830. The poor are eligible to the hospital at Tickenhall, founded by Charles Harpur, Esq., in 1770.

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