Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYNE, or Newcastle-under-Lyme

NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYNE, or Newcastle-under-Lyme, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Staffordshire. The town stands on a head-stream of the river Trent, on a branch of the Grand Trunk canal, and on the Longton and Silverdale branch of the North Staffordshire railway, 4¼ miles N W of Longton, and 15 N N W of Stafford. It dates from remote times, and was a place of some consequence before the Norman Conquest, but had then another name. It was given by King John to Ranulph, Earl of Chester; and it passed to the Audleys, the Legraves, Simon de Montfort, Edmund Earl of Lancaster, and John of Gaunt. A new castle, in lieu of a previous one, was built at Chesterton, in its vicinity, by Edmund Earl of Lancaster, second son of Henry III.; and that gave riseto the name Newcastle. What produced the suffix name" Under-Lyne, " or " Under-Lyme, " is thought by someto have been the central watershed or "backbone" of England, as in the case of Ashton-under-Lyne; but is supposed by others to have been a "lyme" or forestwhich anciently extended over the N W portions of Staffordshire to the borders of Cheshire. The town presentsan antiquated appearance, and contains many old houses. The principal street is spacious and well paved; and the market-place is central and excellent; but the streets, ingeneral, are irregular. The supply of water is good; and the facilities of communication, in all directions, particularly with the Potteries, are numerous and facile. The town hall stands in the market-place; is a large oblong, brick edifice, supported by pillars; and is surmounted by a cupola, with two lighted clock dials. A spacious covered market is in Penkhull-street. The theatre is acommodious building. The literary and scientific institute was built in 1836; and contains a library of about5,000 volumes and a museum. Three ancient churches and a black friary have disappeared. St. Giles' church was mainly rebuilt in 1720; retains a very ancient redsandstone tower; and has also, at the W entrance, formerly the principal approach, a fine arch of the Normanperiod. St. George's church was built in 1828, at a cost of £8,000. The Independent chapel is recent. The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1861, at a cost of £2, 500; and is in the Continental Gothic style. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1834. There are chapelsalso for Baptists and Primitive Methodists. The grammar school-was founded in 1602, and has an endowed income of £94; Orme's school has £172; Cowell's schoolhas £8; and there are national, infant, and Britishschools. Alms-houses, for 20 poor women, were founded in 1687, by the son of Monk, the famous Duke of Albe-marle; and have an endowed income of £160. The total of endowed charities is about £615. The workhouse was erected in 1840, at a cost of about £7,000; and is a largestructure, in the Tudor style.

The town has a head post-office‡ of the name of Newcastle, Staffordshire, a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, and two chief inns; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, .and a polling-place; and publishes a weekly newspaper. Markets are held on Mondays and Saturdays; fairs are held on the Mondayafter Shrove-Tuesday, Easter-Monday, Whit Monday, thesecond Monday of July, 6 Aug., the third Monday of Sept., the first Monday of Nov., and 6 Dec.; and racesare held once a year. Newcastle was once regarded as the capital of the Potteries; and, though now having no claimwhatever to that character, still carries on considerablebusiness in connexion with the Pottery towns. It was likewise long noted for the manufacture of the peculiar coarsegrey felt caps worn by the potters; but it has, in greatmeasure, ceased to produce them. It also, for some time, conducted a hat manufacture, which has recently declined. It now carries on a trade in corn and flour; a manufacture of shoes; considerable cotton spinning and silkthrowing; some malting, brewing, tanning, watch-making, nail-making, pipe-making, and pottery work; a largeamount of paper-making; and extensive trade in connexion with neighbouring collieries and iron-works. Alocal board of health was recently established; has already effected important general improvement; and hasformed a public park of about 5 acres. The town waschartered by Henry VIII.; is governed, under the newact, by a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors; and has sent two members to parliament since the time of Edward III. The borough boundaries are the same parliamentarily as municipally; and they include all Newcastle parish, and part of Penkhull township. Corporation income in 1855, £3, 188. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £2, 411. Electors in 1833, 973; in 1863, 977. Pop. in 1851, 10, 569; in 1861, 12, 938. Houses, 2, 659. Harrison, the republican general, Witrings, a butcher who could lift 168 lbs. with histeeth, and Astley, the founder of Astley's amphitheatre, were natives; and the family of Clinton take from the town the title of Duke. Keele Hall, the seat of the Sneyds, Butterton Hall, the seat of the Pilkingtons, Swinerton Park, the seat of the Fitzherberts, and Trentham Hall, a seat of the Duke of Sutherland, are in thevicinity.

The parish comprises 554 acres. Real property, £29, 249; of which £900 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 10, 290; in 1861, 12, 638, of whom 127 were in the workhouse, and 66 in barracks. Houses, 2, 597. Asection, which contains the barracks, and had in 1861 a pop. of 6, 807, was erected in 1842 into the chapelry of St. George. The living of St. Giles is a rectory, and that of St. George is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of the former, £285; * of the latter, £230. Patrons of both, Simeon's Trustees.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of Keele and Madeley. Acres, 8, 867. Pop. in 1851, 13, 177; in 1861, 15, 640. Houses, 3, 200. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Audley, containing the parishes of Audley and Betley, and the township of Balterley; and the sub-district of Whitmore, containing the parishes of Whitmore and Maer, and the township of Chorlton. Acres of the district, 26, 718. Poor-rates in 1863, £6,075. Pop. in 1851, 20, 814; in 1861, 24, 567. Houses, 5,002. Marriages in 1863, 173; births, 1,000, of which 72 were illegitimate; deaths, 533, of which 233 were at ages under 5years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years1851-60, 1,854; births, 8, 771; deaths, 5, 153. The places of worship, in 1851, were 13 of the Church of England, with5, 631 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 530 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 190 s.; 10 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 2,071s.; 2 of New Connexion Methodists, with 900 s.; 4 of Primitive Methodists, with 809 s.; 1 of Unitarians, thes. not reported; 1 undefined, with 37 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 528 s. The schools were 15public day-schools, with 1, 543 scholars; 26 private day-schools, with 761 s.; and 26 Sunday schools, with3, 811 s.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Newcastle under Lyme CP/Ch       Newcastle under Lyme SubD       Newcastle under Lyme PLU/RegD       Staffordshire AncC
Place: Newcastle under Lyme

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