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Biddulph

"Biddulph parish, stretching from two to six miles SE of Congleton and from four to eight miles N of Burslem, is a hilly, moorland district, in the northern angle of Pirehill Hundred, comprising 5530 acres of land, and 2314 inhabitants, whose dwellings are scattered among the hills, and on the banks of the rapid stream of the Trent, which rises at the north end of the parish, under the high, rocky ridge called Mow Cop, near the boundary of Cheshire and Staffordshire. The soil, except an open common of 310 acres, is now in excellent cultivation, and is divided into four hamlets and manors, viz: - Over Biddulph, commonly called Overton, belonging to Lord Camoys; Middle and Nether Biddulph, the property of Captain Roland Mainwaring, RN; and Knypersley, the property of John Bateman, Esq. The parish abounds in coal, and has five large collieries; several quarries of hard and durable stone; a scrap iron and spade and shovel manufactory; and a silk mill. Here also is a bed of fine sand, of which great quantities are sent to the potteries.
Biddulph Hall, anciently the residence of the Biddulph family, was at the north end of the parish, and its site is now occupied by a neat house in the Italian style. A little beyond it, on the borders of Cheshire, are the remains of a Druidical temple, called the Bridestones, and consisting of eight upright freestones, two of which stand within a semicircle formed by the other six. Near these stones are the remains of three curious caves, excavated in the solid rock."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'Biddulph (Archive Photographs Series)'
by Derek J Wheelhouse.
Published 1997, by Chalford, Bath.

'Biddulph ("by the Diggings") A Local History'
by Joseph Kennedy.
Published 1980, by Dept of Adult Education, University of Keele.

Census

The population of Biddulph parish was as follows:
1831 -- 1987
1841 -- 2314

Church History

"The Parish Church, St Lawrence, was an ancient edifice, but was rebuilt, except the tower, in 1833. John Bateman, Esq, is patron of the benefice, which is a vicarage held by the Rev William Henry Holt, BA, since 1831.
John Bateman erected a handsome church at Knypersley, in the southern part of the parish in 1850 and conferred the incumbency on the Rev Philip Dowe, BA.
The Wesleyan Chapel, at Biddulph Moor, has been purchased by the Pastoral Aid Society, and licensed for divine service. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have chapels in the parish. At Bradley Green is an Oddfellows Hall, built in 1841 "

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Church Records

Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Lawrence commences in 1558. The original registers for the period 1558-1902 (Bapts), 1558-1900 (Mar) & 1558-1906 (Bur) (with gaps 1640-53) and Banns 1786-1901 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1661-1868 (with some gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers for the periods 1558-1642 (Vol 1) and 1653-1684 (Vol 2) was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1991 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Nonconformist Registers
The following original nonconformist registers are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office:
Biddulph Circuit, Primitive Methodist: Baptisms 1912-1950
Biddulph Central, Primitive Methodist: Baptisms 1856-1968; Marriages 1951-1966
Biddulph Park Lane, Methodist: Baptisms 1959-1974
Biddulph Station Road, Wesleyan Methodist / Methodist:
Baptisms 1838-1967; Marriages 1918-1949
Biddulph Wesley Hall, High Street, Methodist: Baptisms 1887-1967; Marriages 1951-1966
Biddulph Moor New Road, Primitive Methodist: Baptisms 1882-1931
Bradley Green, Primitive Methodist: Baptisms 1856-1916

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ885575 (Lat/Lon: 53.114540, -2.173274), Biddulph which are provided by:

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

The parish became part of Congleton Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.