ELLESMERE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1831.
"ELLESMERE, a parish, and market-town, in the hundred of PIMHILL, county of SALOP, 16 miles (N.N.W.) from Shrewsbury, and 178 (N.W.) from London, containing, with the chapelries of Cockshut, Dudlaston, and Penley (the last of which, is in the county of Flint), 6056 inhabitants. This place takes its name from an adjoining lake, or mere, which, being more extensive than some others in the neighbourhood, was, by way of pre-eminence, called Al, or Aelsmere, from which its present appellation is derived. The lake comprises more than one hundred acres, and is bordered on one side by the town, and on the other by Oatley park, in which are some of the finest elm trees to bo found in any part of the country. The town consists of some tolerably well paved streets; the houses are in general well built, and have a respectable appearance, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. On the elevated site of an ancient castle, which was alternately in the possession of the princes of North Wales and of the English monarchs, (having been a frontier fortress of considerable note during the unsettled period which preceded the final subjugation of Wales,) and which was probably demolished after the parliamentary war, is a very fine bowling-green, commanding a pleassing view, where an annual festival, called the meeting of Ellesmere club, is celebrated at Midsummer. The trade is principally in malt, which is carried on to a very great extent, and in leather; and many of the labouring class are employed in the spinning of flax, and in the manufacture of stockings. The Ellesmere canal passes to the south of the town, and, with its different branches, forms a connexion between the Severn, the Dee, and the Mersey, being a line of navigation from Liverpool to Bristol, and a communication witli North Wales. The market, granted to Sir Edward Kynaston, Knt., in 1598, is on Tuesday, and is noted for corn: the fairs are on the Tuesday after February 2nd, the third Tuesday in April, Whit-Tuesday, August 26th, and November 14th, for horses, cattle, and sheep. Ellesmere formerly gave name to a hundred, which, with its dependencies, was annexed to the hundred of Pimhill, in the 27th of Henry VIII.; a hundred court is held for the recovery of debts under 40s. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, rated in the1 king's books at £17. 18. 1., and in the patronage of the Trustees of the late Earl of Bridgewater. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure in the decorated style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles; the east window is a remarkahly fine composition in the later style. The livings of the chapelries in this parish are perpetual curacies, in the patronage of the Vicar. A National school is supported by subscription; and near the margin of the lake, at a short distance from the town, is the house of industry, for the reception of the poor of five adjoining parishes."
" COCKSHUT, a chapelry in the parish of ELLESMERE, hundred of PIMHILL, county of SALOP, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Ellesmere, with which the population is returned. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Ellesmere, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £1000 royal bounty. The chapel is dedicated to St. Helen."
" DUDLESTON, a chapelry in the parish of ELLESMERE, hundred of PIMHILL, county of SALOP, 4 miles (N.W. by W.) from Ellesmere, with which the population is returned. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, endowed with £510 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage ,of the Yicaf of Ellesmere. The chapel, dedicated to St, Mary, has lately received an addition of one .hundred and eighty free sittings, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £200 toward defraying the expense. There is a trifling endowment for the education of children."
[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1831](unless otherwise stated)
[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2015]