PREES: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1831.

"PREES, a parish in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of BRADFORD (North), county of SALOP, comprising the chapelries of Calverhall and Whixhall, and the townships of Frees with Steel, and Sandford, and containing 3190 inhabitants, of which number, 1525 are in the township of Frees with Steel, 4 miles (N. E.) from Wem. The living is a vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Preston Gubbals, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Frees, otherwise Pipa Minor, in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield, rated in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. The church, dedicated to St. Chad, is an ancient cruciform structure, with a tower of modern erection; it contains two old figures of Moses and Aaron, and some pieces of tesselated pavement, also several monuments to the ancestors of General Lord Hill, who was born here in 1772. There is a place of worship for Independents. Frees had formerly a weekly market and an annual fair, the former of which has been long disused; two fairs are now held on the 2nd Mondays in April and October. Here are charity schools for about one hundred and sixty children, towards the support of which there are several small endowments. A considerable traffic in coal, lime, and slate, is carried on by means of Quise Brook canal, which runs through the parish."

" CALVERHALL, a chapelry in the parish of PREES, Whitchurch division of the hundred of BRADFORD (North), county of SALOP, containing, with Williston and Millenheath, 293 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Frees (otherwise Pipa Parva) in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield, endowed with £10 per annum and £400 private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £300 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of J.W.Dodd, Esq. The chapel is dedicated to St. Bartholomew."

" DARLESTON, a hamlet in the parish of PREES, Whitchurch division of the hundred of BRADFORD (North), county of SALOP, 6 miles (S.S.E.) from Whitchurch. The population is returned with the township of Sandford."

" SANDFORD, a township in the parish of PREES, Whitchurch division of the hundred of BRADFORD (North), county of SALOP, 5 miles (N. E.) from Wem, containing, with the hamlets of Darleston, Fauls, and Mickley, 561 inhabitants."

" WHIXHALL, a chapelry in the parish of PREES, Whitchurch division of the hundred of BRADFORD (North), county of SALOP, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Wem, containing 811 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Prebendary of Frees in the Cathedral Church of Lichfield, endowed with £1000 private benefaction, £800 royal bounty, and £1400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, has lately received an addition of one hundred and fifty free sittings, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £150 towards defraying the expense. William Higgins, in 1737, bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 for teaching poor children."

[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1831](unless otherwise stated)

[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2015]