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Delamere

DELAMERE, a parish, partly in the union of Northwich, and partly in that of Runcorn, First division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester; containing 914 inhabitants, of whom 412 are in the township of Delamere, 5¾ miles (W.) from Northwich. This tract, which includes the ancient and royal forest of Delamere, was almost wholly common land, and extra-parochial, before 1812, when it was inclosed and erected into a parish by act of parliament, certain allotments having been reserved to the crown and others. On its inclosure it gave the title of Baron Delamere, of Vale Royal, to Thomas Cholmondeley, Esq., the proprietor of the ancient possessions of the Cistercian monks of Vale Royal, whose sumptuous abbey, completed in 1330 by Edward III., at a cost of £32,000, was dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas, and St. Nichasius, and in the 26th of Henry VIII. had a revenue of £540. 6. 2. The sessions for the division are held on the 22nd of March, also meetings of the county magistrates monthly, at the Abbey Arms, in the centre of the Forest; and at the time of the meeting in March there are races, termed the Tanfield Hunt, at which two cups are given to be run for by the county, and one by the trainers. Delamere Forest, comprising about 10,000 acres, once contained a great number of red and fallow deer; it exhibits a pleasing variety of well-wooded hills, rich valleys for pasturage, meres affording plenty of fish and aquatic fowl, and mosses producing an abundance of turf and peat for fuel. Upon the highest hill stood the Saxon fortress of Finborrow, and near it a city, both of which are said to have been founded by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great; the latter, called Eadesbury (the happy town), gave name to the hundred: the ancient residence of the chief forester is all that now remains; this house is termed the "Chamber in the Forest," and at convenient distances around it are neat lodges for the keepers of the several walks. About half of the forest, still belonging to the crown, has within the last thirty years been planted by order of government with forest-trees, which promise a vast supply of timber for the royal navy: the remaining 5000 acres were sold or allotted to private individuals, under whose superintendence the land is rapidly advancing in cultivation upon the most approved system of agriculture. The living is a rectory not in charge, in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes were commuted for land, under the act of inclosure; the glebe comprises 140 acres. The church, which is a neat edifice, with a parsonagehouse adjoining, was consecrated in 1817.

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