BISHOPSCASTLE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1824.
"BISHOPSCASTLE, a parish and market town and ancient corporation which sends two members to parliament. The bishops of Hereford had anciently a castle in this town, from which circumstance it is probable the place derives its name. Part of the site of this castle, (which has long since been demolished) has been converted into a bowling green. The town is irregularly built, on a declivity near the course of the river Clun, and contains few objects of interest and curiosity: Bishopscastle is more noted for the nativity of Jeremiah Stephens, a man of great learning and industry. In consideration of the assistance he rendered to Sir Henry Spelman, in the compilation of the first volume of the English councils, he was presented to the prebend of Biggleswade. That erudite antiquary acknowledges his obligation in these terms. "Our loving friend Jeremiah Stephens, a man born for the publick good, by whose assistance this first tome comes out, and on whom the hope of the rest is founded." Mr. Stephens published "An Apology for the ancient right and power of bishops to sit and rule in parliament." "St. Gregory's pastoral Notes on St. Cyprian of the unity of the church and the good of patience." He left unpublished "A Comparison between the Belgick, Bohemian and Scotch Covenants;" "Of the principles and practices of the Presbyterians;" and "A Treatise on the English laws." He died at Wotton, in 1664.
Bishopscastle borough and out liberties, contain 364 houses, 1880 inhabitants, 20 miles south-west of Shrewsbury. A vicarage remaining in charge, in the diocese of Hereford, the deanery of Clun, and archdeaconry of Salop. Lat. 62. 0. north. Long. 3. 6. west.
Bishopscastle has fairs on the Thursday before February 13; the Friday before Good-friday, which is the largest mart for oxen of three or four years old, in the county; many are sold the day before the fair and the day after, as well as on the fair day: the Fridays after May 1, July 5, September 9, and November 13. The two last are great fairs for fat cattle and sheep, as well as for store oxen; Market on Friday."
" BROUGHTON, a township in the parish of Bishopscastle, and in the Bishopscsstle division of the hundred of Purslow. 1 mile north-west of Bishopscastle."
" COLEBATCH, a township in the parish of Bishopscastle, in the hundred of Purslow."
" LEA and OAKLEY, a township in the parish of Bishopscastle, and in the Bishopscastle division of the hundred of Purslow. Here, is the mansion house of Oakley, now a farm house, and the name is transferred to a house lately enlarged, that used to be called Fir Grove, in the same parish, and inhabited by the proprietor, the Rev. Herbert Oakley. Oakley Park is the seat of the Hon. Robert Henry Clive. It was purchased by his father, the late Lord Clive, from the first Lord Powis of that place. In these grounds the scene of Milton's Comus was laid."
" OAKLEY, a township in the parish of Bishopscastle, and in the hundred of Purslow. The seat of the Hon. R. Clive. 1 mile south-east of Bishopscastle."
[Transcribed information from A Gazetteer of Shropshire - T Gregory - 1824] (unless otherwise stated)
[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2015]