OVER, a small town, a township, and a sub-district in Northwich district, and a parish partly also in Nantwich district, Cheshire. The town stands near the river Weaver, 2½ miles W of Winsford r. station, and 4¼ W of Middlewich; belonged, till the 54th of Henry III., to the Earls of Chester; was given, by Prince Edward, to Darnhall abbey; passed to Vale Royal abbey; was given, at the dissolution, in exchange for Cartmel manor, to Sir Thomas Holcroft; went by sale to Edmund Pershall, and afterwards, about the middle of the 17th century, to T. Cholmondeley, Esq.; belongs now to Lord Delamere; acquired the rights of a market and a fair by charter of Edward I.; is nominally a borough, governed by a mayor; consists chiefly of one long irregularly-built street, with Over-lane going thence at right angles down to Winsford-bridge, and is supplied with gas from works near Winsford-bridge; and has a post-office under Middlewick, a quondam market-hall, three churches, four dissenting chapels, a working men's institute, an endowed school with £70 a year, and two national schools. The market-hall was erected in 1840; is a large brickbuilding; and has been converted into a national school. The parish church, or St. Chad's, stands about a mile S of the town; was rebuilt in 1543, by Hugh Starkey, Esq., usher to Henry VIII.; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower; and contains an altar-tomb, and brass effigies of its founder. St. John s church serves for a section of the parish formed into a chapelry in 1864, and containing about 2,000 inhabitants; was built in 1864, at a cost of about £5,000, as a memorial to Lady Delamere; is in the decorated English style, of Runcornstone; and consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and spire 140 feet high. Christ church stands in Over-lane; was built in 1844, by the trustees of the Weaver Navigation company; is in the early English style; and consists of nave and chancel, with tower and spire. The Independent chapel was built in 1866, at a cost of £2,000; measures 70 feet by 41; and is in a modified Gothic style, with a vestibule and columns in front, and with an open-timbered roof. The other dissenting chapels are Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, and United Free Methodist. The endowed school stands near the parish church; and was founded in 1689, by Mrs. Venables and T. Lee, Esq. The weekly market was discontinned about 1745; was re-established in 1840; was again almost discontinued; and has been superseded by a Saturday evening market at Winsford. Fairs for cattle and sheep are held on 15 May and 25 Sept., and are well attended. An extensive salt trade is carried on, and some boat-building is done.
The township contains also Swanlow hamlet, includes part of Whitegate parish, and comprises 4, 578 acres. Real property, £19, 672; of which £50 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 3, 167; in 1861, 3, 774. Houses, 790. Pop. of the Whitegate portion, in 1851, 592; in 1861, 636. Houses, 122. Vale Royal is the seat of Lord Delamere; Swanlow House, of J. A. Davenport, Esq.; Oak House, of P. A. Wood, Esq.; and Bark House, of J. Holland, Esq. The parish contains also the townships of Low Oulton and Wettenhall; and, together with the Whitegate portion of Over township, comprises 7, 469 acres. Real property, with the Whitegate portion of Over township, £22, 981. Pop., exclusive of the Whitegate tract, in 1851, 2, 926; in 1861, 3, 454 Houses, 720. The manor of Low Oulton belongs to Sir Philip de Malpas G. Egerton, Bart.; and that of Wettenhall, to W. Tollemache, Esq. The living of St. Chad is a vicarage, and the livings of St. John and Christ church are p. curacies, in the diocese of Chester. Value of St. Chad and St. John, each £150; * of Christchurch, £150. Patron of St. Chad and Christchurch, the Bishop of Chester; of St. John, Lord Delamere. The p. curacy of Wettenhall also is a separate benefice. A Wesleyan chapel is in Swanlow; and a church and a Primitive Methodist chapel are in Wettenhall.The sub-district contains Over and Low Oultontownships, three townships of Middlewich, three of Davenham, two of Whitegate, and all Little Budworth. Acres, 18, 146. Pop. in 1851, 7, 129; in 1861, 8, 304. Houses, 1, 699.
(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))
|Feature Description:||"a small town, a township, and a sub-district" (ADL Feature Type: "cities")|
|Administrative units:||Over AP/CP Nantwich PLU/RegD Cheshire AncC|
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