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Eccleshall (Holy Trinity)

ECCLESHALL (Holy Trinity), a town and parish, in the union of Stone, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford; comprising the townships of Aspley, Bromley, Broughton, Charnes, Chatcull, Chorlton, Chorlton-Hill, Coldmeece, Cotes, Croxton, Eccleshall, Horsley, Millmeece, Pershall, Podmore, Slindon, Sugnall Magna and Parva, Three-Farms, Walton, and Wootton; and containing 4730 inhabitants, of whom 1439 are in the township of Eccleshall, 7¼ miles (N. W. by W.) from Stafford, and 149 (N. W.) from London. This place, which is supposed to be of very remote antiquity, belonged at the time of the Conquest to the see of Lichfield. In 1160, Bishop Durdent procured for it the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair; and about the year 1200, Bishop Muschamp obtained from King John licence to embattle the episcopal residence, and to empark the adjoining grounds. The castle was extensively repaired, or entirely rebuilt, by Bishop Langton, in 1310. During the civil war, it sustained so much damage in a siege, prior to its being taken by the parliamentarians, as to be unfit for the residence of the bishops, until Bishop Lloyd, in 1695, rebuilt the south part, and connected it with the remaining old buildings, then occupied as a farmhouse; since which time it has continued to be the palace of the see, and has been repeatedly improved. Bishop Hough planted the grove, which has been more recently laid out in shrubberies and plantations; and Dr. Cornwallis, a late bishop, by draining the lands, added greatly to the salubrity of the situation. Bishop Ryder also much improved the house, and the ancient moat was beautifully laid out in pleasure-grounds by his lady. The environs are pleasant, and the woods belonging to the palace are extensive. The town, which is agreeably situated on a tributary of the river Sow, contains some good houses, and is amply supplied with water; it is about 2½ miles distant from the Norton-Bridge station of the Liverpool and Birmingham railway. The market is on Friday; the fairs are on the Thursday before MidLent, on Holy-Thursday, Aug. 16th, and the first Friday in November, for cattle, sheep, and horses. Two constables and four headboroughs are appointed at the court leet of the Bishop of Lichfield, who is lord of the manor. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 14. 4.; net income, £200; patron, the Bishop, The great tithes of Eccleshall township have been commuted for £149, and the impropriate glebe consists of 61 acres. The church was the sanctuary of Queen Margaret, after Lord Audley's defeat by the Earl of Salisbury, at Bloreheath; it is a spacious structure in the ancient English style, and contains several monuments. At Broughton, Chorlton, Croxton, and Cotes-Heath are additional churches; and there is a place of worship for Independents. An act for inclosing waste lands was passed in 1841. About a mile to the north of the town is a paved vicinal way; and a mile to the east of it are some ancient remains.

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