is the extract for Ercall Magna from the 1851 History, Gazetteer and Directory
HIGH ERCALL, or ERCALL MAGNA, is a considerable parish in the Wellington
division of the south Bradford hundred, comprehending the townships of
Cold Hatton, Cotwall and Mooretown, Cruddington, Ellerdine, Ercall Magna,
Haughton, Isombridge, Osbaston, Poynton, Rowton, this Sleap, Tern and
Walton, together containing in 11,152 acres of land, of which 179a, 3r,
24p, are in woods, roads, and waste, and there are 99a, 1r, 11p, of Glebe.
The parish in 1801 contained 1,091 inhabitants: 1831, 2,048 and in 1841
there were 364 houses and a population of 1,999 souls. Rateable value,
£14,140. 19s. 6 1/2d. The houses are in general, built of brick,
and slated; the cottages are also brick, and in many instances the occupants
have a small allotment of ground. The ancient residences of the gentry
in most instances converted into farm dwellings; there are, however, many
needed Villa residences in the modern style of architecture, of a respectable
character, surrounded with park like in closures. The soil is chiefly
a mixture of sand and loam, and the land is mostly used for arable purposes,
in some instances and large dairies of cheese are made, and the district
is celebrated for a fine breed of sheep. The land is chiefly tithe free,
the types on the rest of the parish will commuted in 1841 for £829.
15s. The village of Ercall is pleasantly situated eight miles N.E. From
Shrewsbury and five and a half miles N.N.W. from Wellington. Here are
several good shops and respectable residences; the air is salubrious,
and the country around beautifully diversified with picturesque scenery.
The township contains 1,589a. 1r. 18p. of land, at 1841 had 42 houses
and 213 inhabitants. Rateable value, £2453. Few districts possess
so good soil: the farms are extensive, and in most cases the land has
been greatly improved by superior cultivation, and removing the fences
and growing the land into large enclosures. The Duke of Cleveland is a
lord of the manor and owner of the whole township. The turnpike roads
to Newport, Shawbury, Wem, Whitchurch, Wellington, and Shrewsbury, intercept
the township. In the 51st of Henry III., John de Ercalewe had a ground
of a market here on Monday, and affair on the eve and the feast of the
Nativity of the Virgin Mary and the day after.
THE CHURCH, dedicated to St Michael, an ancient structure consists of
a, chancel, and side aisles, with a massive square tower containing six
Bells, and the clock. The side aisles are separated from the nave by four
pointed arches rising from circular pillars; the church is neatly pewed
with oak sittings, and the pulpit and reading desk are of carved oak of
the most elaborate of workmanship. The chancel is lofty and contains several
mural monuments, one of which remembers Sarah, the wife of Edward Steedman,
and children, dated 1834; another remembers the Rev. Henry Wood, who died
in 1795; there are also tablets to Cecil Frederick Juckes, the Rev. Lawrence
Gardener, and a full-length figure, which exhibits a fine specimen of
chiselling, near the north end of the church. In the churchyard are many
monumental tombs of fine workmanship, to some of the principal families
resident in the neighbourhood. The living is a vicarage valued in the
King's book at £17. 6s. 8d. Now returned at £290 in the patron
age of the Duke of Cleveland; incumbent,Rev. Robert Forrester, M.A., who
reside at the vicarage, a good brick building a short distance from the
church. Near the West End of the church are the ruins of an ancient structure,
which was formerly moated. Sir Richard Newport, of High Ercall, Knight,
by letters patent, bearing date at Bridgenorth,14th October,18th Charles
I., was advanced to the dignity of Baron of this realm, by the title of
Lord Newport, of High Ercall. That gentleman advanced £6,000 for
the Kings use when at Shrewsbury, by which means the artillery was but
to a position to march against the Parliamentary forces, upon which followed
the battle of Edge hill. THE HALL, an ancient residence with projecting
gables, was built by Sir Francis Newport, Knight. This house is said to
have been garrisoned in the time of the Civil War's. In levelling a mound
near it, Mr Steedman's Labourers discovered about a thousand silver coins,
the greater part of the reign of Charles I., some of Elizabeth, and others
of the reign of Philip and Mary. The hall is now in the occupancy of Edward
Blakeway Steedman, Esq. ERCALL PARK is a handsome structure, the residents
of William Halt Midgley, Esq.; it is built in the Elizabethan style of
architecture, and beautified with shrubberies and pleasure grounds tastefully
laid out; the house is surrounded by large enclosures containing some
thriving plantations. SHIRLOWE, the residence of George Townsend Forrester,
is a wooden structure built within the last three years, with farm premises
on a scale of considerable magnitude. THE LODGE, another good residence
of wooden construction, is in the occupancy of Mr Thomas Juckes. The above
houses have all very extensive out premises, and all the modern appliances,
with steam engines for carrying out the operations of extensive farms
in the most economical manner. THE FREE SCHOOL was founded by Thomas leeke,
one of the barons of the Court of Exchequer, in 1603. In January, 1816,
the attorney general, at the relation of Ralph Leeke, filed an information
against Rann Dolphin Edwards, and John Douglas, for the purpose of setting
aside a lease which had been granted in 1772 for a term of 99 years, at
the yearly rent of £30, and for obtaining the directions of the
court as to the future application of the rents. The master by his report,
made 18th February, 1828, and subsequently confirmed by the court, ordered
that the school should be for teaching English, writing, and accounts
free, and also Latin and Greek when required; the master to charge a guinea
a quarter and a guinea entrance for the latter; that the schoolmaster's
salary should be £50 per annum, with liberty for the trustees to
increase it at their discretion; that no boys should be admitted until
they are capable of reading the New Testament; that any surplus which
should arise from the accumulations of rents during a vacancy, or from
the annual income not expended in the Masters salary, or repairs, should
be expended in rewards to four or more of the scholars at the examination,
or who should be reported by the master to the trustees as deserving thereof,
or in providing a library of useful books for the school: that the trustees
should have power to displace the master in case of incapacity, immorality,
or neglect, and that the trustees should have power to make such orders
as a should think necessary for the better government of the school. The
master, in a report made June 3, 1828, found that the sum of £960
was due for rend up to Lady Day, 1828, out of which Mr Edwards was entitled
to retain costs, leaving £831. 1s., from which £428, 2s. 8d.
was paid for the costs of the other parties, leaving £402. 18s.
4d., which was ordered to be divided proportionably between the representatives
of the two schoolmasters, who had officiated between October, 1815, and
December, 1827. The charity estate is situated near Trefnanny, in the
parishes of Guilsfield and Myford, in the County of Montgomery, and produces
a yearly income of £93. Out of the income of the charity, the master
receives a salary of £50, and he also receives £6. 13s. 4d.
per annum, in respect of Stevinton's gift. The score is conducted according
to the scheme established by the Court of Chancery, except that the master
makes a charge of 10s. 6d. For the entrance of such boys as not classical
scholars, which appears to be contrary to the directions of the court.
Richard Stevinton, by his will, in 1652, devised an annuity of
£6. 13s. 4d., payable out of the lands of Arleston, to be applied
towards the maintenance of a schoolmaster of High Ercall, who should teach
children resident in the said parish without any reward from the parents
of the children.
The Hospital consists of seven dwellings, and each inmate has
a room above and a room below, and a small garden annexed. The hospital
was founded by the Newport family. The building is kept in repair at the
expense of the Duke of Cleveland, from whose agent of the inmates receive
£3 per quarter, with an additional payment of 21s. at Christmas,
and 5s. at Midsummer. The selection of these persons is not confined to
the parishioners or inhabitants of High Ercall, but are selected from
deserving objects residing in the neighbourhood, a preference team given
to those who have seen better is days, and have been reduced by misfortune
Poors’ land. There are two closes in the township of Eaton,
in the parish of Stoke upon Trent, which have for a long period been let
from time to time by the churchwardens. The last lease was dated 29th
August 1795, and it was therein recited that the churchwardens of High
Ercall were lawfully seized of the premises, in the trust to distribute
the rounds among the poor of the parish of High Ercall, two shillings
every fortnight in bread, and the remainder of the money on St Thomas's
day. There does not appear any documents in the parish to show from whom
this land was devised, or on what trust it is held. The two closes contained
together 3a. 3r. 4p. of land, and are let at a yearly rental of £8.
The amount is given away on St Thomas's day.
Several sums of money, amounting in the whole to £190, left by a
several donors, for the benefit of the poor of this parish, were for many
years placed out at interest on private security, and previous to the
year 1814 £40 of the above sum was lost. About that period, the
remainder was called in, and with £20 advanced from the poor’s
rates, was laid out in the purchase of certain premises for a parish workhouse.
Since 1814. The sum of eight pounds has been paid out in the poor’s
rates as the interest of this money, and distributed among the poor persons
in small sums, seldom exceeding one shilling.
Thomas and Edward Thomas, each gave £100 in trust, to invest
the same for the benefit of the poor in the parish of High Ercall. These
donations were invested by the trustees in 1798 in the purchase of three
per cent consols, which were increased in 1815 by the accumulation of
dividends to the sum of £500, when the stock was transferred to
John Colley and Edward Steedman. Of the sum of £193. 8s. 2d. received
in 1816 for the arrears of dividends, after payment of expenses of recovering
the same, and the purchases of the additional stock, there remained in
the hands of Mr Colley does some of the £74. 6s. 1d., out of which
he disposed of £38. 15. to different charitable purposes, and in
1830 when the charity commissioners published their report. He had still
£35. 11s. 1d. in his hands. The principal part of the dividends
is now applied in the purchase of bread, which is distributed among poor
persons of the parish, a preference being given to widows, the remainder
of the dividends is given among the necessitous pour in money.
Mr Henry Harris is the registrar of births and deaths for the High Ercall
Post office - at Mr Harris’s. Letters arrive daily from
Wellington by a foot messenger at 9:45 a.m. and are dispatched at 5 p.m.:
Bates, Richard, shoemaker and gardener.
Blakeway, William, farmer and victualler, Cleveland Arms.
Clarke, Robert, farmer and maltster.
Dingle, Rev. John, schoolmaster and curate, of Upton.
Forrester, George Townsend, Esq., Shirlowe.
Forrester, Rev. Robert Townsend, M.A., The Vicarage.
Harris, Henry, grocer, druggist, seed, corn, hop, iron and steel merchant,
ironmonger, guano and tillage dealer, cheese factor, and nail maker.
Jebb, William, thrashing machine man.
Juckes, Mr Thomas, The Lodge.
Large, Thomas, Joiner and wheelwright.
Midgley, Mrs, Park House.
Midgley, William Holt, Esq., Ercall Park.
Pigott, Mr John.
Powell, Thomas, farmer and corn miller.
Steedman, Edward Blakeway, Esq., The Hall.
Steedman, Mary, gentlewoman.
Taylor, William, blacksmith.
Vaughan, Elizabeth, Tailor.
Wilding, Ann, gentlewoman.