Bishops Castle

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"BISHOP'S CASTLE, a parish, market town, and municipal borough, in the Bishop's Castle division of the hundred of Purslow, in the county of Salop, 18 miles to the S.W. of Shrewsbury, and 159 miles to the N.W. of London. It lies near the border of Wales, not far from a branch of the river Clun, and was formerly the site of a castle, the seat of the bishops of Hereford, from which it derives its name. The parish contains the townships of Broughton, Colebatch, Lee, with Oakley and Woodbatch. The town is built on the side and summit of a hill, and contains a townhall, with two prisons, erected in 1750, and a handsome stone market-house of modern erection. There are a few good houses, but the majority are poorly built, and thatched. Queen Elizabeth granted the town a charter of incorporation, and soon after the elective franchise. Under that charter, extended by James I., the government of the borough is vested in a bailiff, recorder, and 15 burgesses, with subordinate officers. It returned two members to parliament till the Reform Act, when it was disfranchised. Quarter sessions for the borough are held, and polling for the county elections takes place here. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Hereford, of the value of £350, in the patronage of the Earl of Powis. The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The body of the building is modern, having been erected after the destruction of the old church in the civil war of the reign of Charles I. The ancient tower, a square embattled structure in the Norman style, still remains. A free school for 50 children of both sexes was founded here in 1737, by Mary Morris, and has an income from endowment of £48 a year. There are other small charities, producing about £13 per annum. A National school for 200 children was established in 1839. This town was the birthplace of Jeremy Stephens, the assistant of Sir Henry Spelman in compiling his "English Councils." Friday is the market day. Fairs for the sale of cattle and sheep are held on the 13th February, the Friday before Good Friday, the 5th July, the 9th September, and the 13th November. A hiring and pleasure fair is held on the Friday after May-day."[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015]

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Gazetteers

Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015

  • BROUGHTON, a township in the parish of Bishop's Castle, hundred of Purslow, in the county of Salop, 1 mile from Bishop's Castle.
  • COLEBATCH, a township in the parish of Bishop's Castle, in the county of Salop, 1 mile S. of Bishop's Critic.
  • COLSTRY, a hamlet in the parish of Bishop's Castle, in the hundred of Purslow, in the county of Salop, 3 miles S. of Bishop's Castle, and 20 S.W. of Shrewsbury.
  • LEE, a township in the parish of Bishop's Castle, county Salop, 2 miles E. of Bishop's Castle. It is joined to Oakley.
  • OAKLEY, (or Oakeley), a township in the parish of Bishop's Castle, county Salop, 1 mile N.E. of Bishop's Castle, and 17 miles S.W. of Shrewsbury. It is situated near the river Clun, and is joined with Lee to form a township.
  • WOODBATCH, a township in the parish of Bishop's Castle, county Salop, 2 miles S.W. of Bishop's Castle."

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Historical Geography

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