Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for BISHOPS-STORTFORD, or Bishop-stortford

BISHOPS-STORTFORD, or Bishop-stortford, a town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district in Herts. The town stands on the river Stort, and on the Eastern Counties railway, 12 miles ENE of Hertford, and 32¼ NNE of London. A castle was built here by William the Conqueror, and given to the Bishops of London; but was resumed and destroyed by King John. Bishop Bonner used the ruin as a gaol; and burnt a martyr on Goose-green. The town stands partly on the side of a hill; consists principally of four streets, in the form of a cross; and contains many respectable buildings. It has a head post office,‡ a railway station with telegraph, three banking offices, two chief inns, a market house, two churches, three dissenting chapels, several public-schools, alms-houses, and a workhouse. The market house was built in 1828; has a handsome Ionic front; and contains a large public hall. The parish church is later English, spacious and elegant: and has a lofty tower and spire. Newtown church was built in 1859, and is in the early English style. The Independent chapel was built in 1860, and is in the Italian style. The Wesleyan chapel, in the Gothic style, was built in 1867. The diocesan training college for sixty school-mistresses, was erected in 1851, at a cost of £12,000. The grammar school was founded n 1579; and counts among its pupils Sir H. Chauncey, the county historian. The workhouse cost £11,585; and can accommodate 400 persons. A church estate yields £107 a year; and other charities £66. A weekly market s held on Thursday; and fairs on Holy Thursday, the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, and 11 Oct. Malting is extensively carried on in numerous malt-houses. A railway from the Eastern Counties line at Bishops-Stortford, to the Braintree branch at Braintree, was opened in May 1869; and was to be joined, at Dunmow, by a branch from the Epping. The river Stort has been made navigable from Bishops-Stortford to the Lea at Roydon. Pop: of the town, 4,673. Houses, 953. The parish comprises 3,241 acres. Real property, £25,743. Pop., 5,390. Houses, 1,049. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £419. Patron, the Precentor of St. Paul's. Newtown vicarage is a separate benefice, in the patronage of the Vicar. Value, £300. Hockerill vicarage also is a separate benefice. See Hockerill.

The subdistrict contains the parishes of Bishops-Stortford, Great Hadham, Little Hadham, and Farnham,- the last electorally in Essex. Acres, 12,385. Pop., 7,982. Houses, 1,598. The district comprehends also the subdistrict of Braughin, containing the parishes of Braughin, Albury, Furneux-Pelham, Stocking-Pelham, and Brent-Pelham; the subdistrict of Sawbridgeworth, containing the parishes of Sawbridgeworth, Thorley, Great Hallingbury, and Little Hallingbury,-the two latter electorally in Essex; and the subdistrict of Stansted, containing the parishes of Stansted-Mountfitchet, Birchanger, Elsenham, Henham, Ugley, Berden, and Manuden,-all electorally in Essex. Acres, 53,689. Poor-rates in 1866, £13,855. Pop. in 1861, 20,212. Houses, 4,186. Marriages in 1866, 132; births, 631,-of which 36 were illegitimate; deaths, 382,-of which 114 were at ages under 5 years, and 17 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,115; births, 6,368; deaths, 3,633. The places of worship in 1851 were 22 of the Church of England, with 7,018 sittings; 11 of Independents, with 3,540 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 199 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 200 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 620 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 70 s.; and 1 undefined, with 60 s. The schools were 29 public day schools, with 2,413 scholars; 31 private day schools, with 588 s.; and 26 Sunday schools, with 2,171 s.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Bishops Stortford CP/AP       Bishop Stortford SubD       Bishops Stortford RegD/PLU       Hertfordshire AncC
Place: Bishops Stortford

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