"LEOMINSTER, a parish in the hundred of WOLPHY, county of HEREFORD, comprising the borough of Leominster, having separate jurisdiction, the chapelry of Ivington, and the township of Broadward, and containing 4646 inhabitants, of which number, 3651 are in the borough of Leominster, 13 miles (N.) from Hereford, and 137 (W.N.W.) from London. This place, according to Leland, partly derives its name from a minster, or monastery, founded here by Merwald, King of West Mercia, about 660; ... The monastery founded by Merewald having been destroyed by the Danes, a college of prebendaries, and, subsequently, an abbey of nuns, were established here; but these institutions were destroyed previously to the time of Edward I., who endowed the abbey of Reading with the monastery of Leominster, ... The town is situated in a rich and fertile valley, on the banks of the river Lugg, which bounds it to the north and east, the Kenwater and Pinsley, two smaller streams, passing through the town itself, and three other rivulets within half a mile; the streets are indifferently paved and lighted, ... A neat stone bridge has been lately erected across the Kenwater, at the estimated expense of £500, ... There are, a public reading-room, or subscription library, and a theatre recently erected. ... The manufactures chiefly consist of gloves and flannel: the wool produced in the neighbourhood is proverbially excellent; and the cider and hops are held in high estimation. The market is on Friday; and fairs are held on February 13th, the Tuesday after Mid-Lent Sunday, May 2nd, July 10th, September 4th, and November 8th; to each of which is attached a court of pie-powder; there is also a great market on the Friday after the llth of December. A neat market-house, for the sale of grain, was erected in 1803. ... This borough has sent two members to parliament since the 23rd of Edward I.; ... The town-hall, or butter-cross, is a singular building of timber and brick, supported by curiously-carved pillars of oak.; it was built in 1633. A new gaol was erected in 1750. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Hereford, rated in the king's books at £10. 3. 8., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Crown. The church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, ... There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Moravians, and Unitarians. The free grammar school was founded by Queen Mary, ... There is a National school, for children of both sexes. An almshouse for four poor widows was founded and endowed by Hester Clark, in 1735, ..." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) ©Mel Lockie]
- The transcription of the section for Leominster from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
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