Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LOSTWITHIEL

LOSTWITHIEL, a town and a parish in Bodmin district, Cornwall. The town stands in a deep valley, on the river Fowey, and on the Cornwall railway, 5 miles SSE of Bodmin; was originally called Lestwithiel, signifying the "lofty palace;'' was founded, together with "a palace ''or stannary court at it, by Richard, Earl of Cornwall; sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward II., till disfranchised by the act of 1832; was visited by Charles I. in 1644, prior to the flight of Essex to Fowey, and by the Prince of Wales in 1864; is governed, under a charter of George II., by a mayor, six aldermen, and seventeen councillors; was long the seat of the county courts of Cornwall; retains a monument of its former importance in the stannary court or county buildings; and has a head-post office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, a good inn, a picturesque old bridge, a town hall, a market-house, a church, three dissenting chapels, a mechanics' institute, a free grammar school, a girls' national school, and charities £19. The stannary court is in good preservation; was an oblong massive structure, flanked by graduated buttresses, and ornamented with the duchy arms; is built chiefly of local slate, without ashlar; has semicircular arches, constructed of thin slate laminæ; and includes portions which were used as the shire-hall and the prison. The town hall is a neat edifice of 1740. The church is chiefly of the 14th century; has an early English tower, with a decorated octagonal lantern and spire; has also a fine E window; and contains a curious octagonal sculptured font, and several old monuments. A weekly market is held on Friday; fairs are held on 31 March, 10 July, 4 Sept., and 13 Nov.; a cattle show is held on 12 Dec.; some business is done in tanning and wool stapling; and trade is carried on in connexion with neighbouring mines.—The parish comprises 110 acres. Real property, £2,038; of which £25 are on the railway. Pop., 1,017. Houses, 229. The manor belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall; was purchased, about the end of last century, by the Earl of Mount Edgecumbe; and was conveyed to the corporation. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £96. Patron, the Earl of Mount Edgecumbe. A House of Mercy, about ½ a mile from the town, was founded in 1862. The fine ruin of Restormel Castle crowns an eminence about 1 mile to the N.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town and a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Lostwithiel AP/CP       Bodmin PLU/RegD       Cornwall AncC
Place names: LESTWITHIEL     |     LOSTWITHIEL
Place: Lostwithiel

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