Last Updated on

Whitchurch is an Ancient Parish mostly in Shropshire and partly in Cheshire.

Other places in the parish include: Ash Magna and Ash Parva, Alkington, Black Park, Broughall, Bubney, Budney, New Woodhouse, Edgeley, Grindley Brook, Grindleybrook, Hinton, Hollyhurst, and Chinnell.

Parish church: St. Alkmund

Parish registers begin: 1627

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Whitchurch

Historical Descriptions

Whitchurch

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

WHITCHURCH, a town in Salop, a parish partly also in Cheshire, a district partly likewise in Flint, but all registrationally in Salop, and a division electorally in Salop. The town stands at the terminus of a short branch of the Ellesmere canal, and at the junction of the railways from Shrewsbury and Oswestry to Crewe, 19 miles N by E of Shrewsbury; was anciently called Blancminster; had an hospital before the time of Henry II., and an ancient castle; is a seat of petty-sessions and county-courts, and a polling place; occupies a gentle eminence, amid pleasant environs; was recently improved by the formation of sewage-works; carries on brewing, malting, iron-founding, and machine-making; and has a head post-office, r. stations with telegraph, two banking-offices, three chief inns, a police station, a town hall, a newsroom, a church rebuilt in 1713, four dissenting chapels, an endowed grammar-school with £459 a year, another endowed school with £50, a working men’s club, a young men’s institute, alms houses with £216, a workhouse, general charities £209, a weekly market on Friday, and 4 annual fairs. Pop. in 1861, 3,704. Houses, 793. The parish includes 12 townships in Salop, and one in Cheshire; and comprises 15,416 acres. Real property, £34,477; of which £225 are in gasworks. Pop., 6,093. Houses, 1,280. The manor belongs to Earl Brownlow. The living is a rectory, united with Marbury, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £1,458. Patron, Earl Brownlow. A chapel of ease is at Dodington; and the p. curacies of Ash and Tilstock are separate benefices. The district contains three entire parishes, and a large portion of Malpas parish; is divided into the sub-districts of Whitchurch and Malpas; and was formerly a part of Wem district. Acres, 39,076. Poor rates in 1863, £5,044. Pop., 11,272. Houses, 2,337. Marriages in 1863, 95; births, 384, of which 64 were illegitimate; deaths, 253, of which 87 were at ages under 5 years, and 7 at ages above 85.-The division contains four parishes and a part; and is part of North Bradford hundred. Acres, 30,474. Pop. in 1851, 9,519. Houses, 1,941.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

St Alkmund's Church, Whitchurch.
St Alkmund’s Church, Whitchurch.

Whitchurch, or Blancminster, a market-town and parish partly in the Whitchurch division of the hund. of Bradford, county of Salop, and partly in the hund. of Nantwich, co.-palatine of Chester; 20 miles north by east of Shrewsbury, and communicating with the Ellesmere canal by a branch. That part of the parish which is in Chester contains only part of the small township of Wirswall; the other portion includes the townships of Alkington, Great Ash, Little Ash, Black Park, Broughall, Doddington, Edgeby, Hinton, and Hollyhurst with Chimnal, the chapelry of Tilstock, the town of Whitchurch, and part of Wirswall. Acres 15,380. Houses 1,148. A.P. £30,062. Pop., in 1801, 4,618; in 1831, 5,902. Living, a rectory with that of Marbury, formerly in the archd. of Salop and dio. of Lichfield and Coventry, now in the dio. of Lichfield; rated at £44 11s.8d.; gross income £2,004. Patrons, in 1841, the trustees of the late earl of Bridgewater. Tithes of of Doddington commuted in 1839; aggregate amount £30 2s. 8d. By the munificence of Lady Shrewsbury, a new church, in the Grecian style, with accommodation for 700 persons, was erected here in 1838. St. Catherine’s is a curacy, and Tilstork a perpetual curacy, also within the parish. One of the chapels was built in 1835. From the ancient name of this place, which was Album Monasterium, or Blancminster, it is supposed that a monastery formerly existed here. Of this no account has been handed down, and no traces of the building have ever been discovered; but there was an hospital, of which the following account is given by Bishop Tanner in his Not. Mon. : — “Here was an hospital of several poor brethren, to which John le Strange, in the reign of Henry III., gave the town of Winelecote, which, together with the hospital, were afterwards annexed to the abbey of Haghmen.” Here are a Presbyterian church, formed in 1706; an Independent, formed in 1813; a Baptist; a Wesleyan Methodist, formed in 1810; and a Unitarian chapel. In 1833, there were 17 daily, 2 day and boarding, and 3 day and Sunday, schools in the parish. One of the daily is a free grammar-school, the original founder of which was the Rev. John Talbot, sometime rector of this parish. The earl of Shrewsbury is hereditary visiter, and the government of it is in the hands of certain trustees: income in 1830, £454 per annum. Another of the daily schools is conducted on the National system, and was attended, in 1833, by 150 boys: it is supported chiefly by subscription. There are also 2 daily schools, supported by voluntary donations. One of the day and Sunday is supported by endowment: salary, £40 per annum. There is a lending library open to the town at large. Another is partly supported by subscription, and the third is a Lancasterian school, supported by the Independents, and attended by 100 children of both sexes. There is a lending library also attached to this school. The charities of Samuel and Jane Higginson for education and alms, yielded, in 1830, an income of £242, of which £12 were applied to education at the National school, and £63 to the inhabitants of 6 alms houses belonging to the charity: the remainder is divided between Hanmer, in Flint, Ludlow, and Ellesmere. Other charities, about £200 per annum, besides Austin’s legacy of £2,000, not paid at period of inquiry. There is here an excellent house of industry. Poor rates, in 1838, £1,665 12s.

The Old Grammar School. circa 1843 now in use as apartments
The Old Grammar School. circa 1843 now in use as apartments. Attribution: Andy and Hilary / The Old Grammar School / CC BY-SA 2.0

The town is well-built, and stands on a gentle eminence with many fine points of view in the vicinity. The petty-sessions for Whitchurch division are held here. The trade of the town is principally in grain and malt. In 1838. a cotton-mill here employed 39 hands. Friday is market-day; and fairs for horses, horned cattle, sheep, swine, and flaxen, hempen, and some woollen cloth, are held on the second Friday in April, Whit-Monday, nnd October 28th. Races are held in the vicinity of the town. The Northern and Central, and the Commercial banks of England, have branches here.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Ash Magna and Ash Parva

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Ash (Great). 2¾ m. S.E. and included in Whitchurch.

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Ash Magna. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 2 miles south-east of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Ash (Little), adjoining Great Ash, and included in Whitchurch pa.

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Ash Parva. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 2 ½ miles south-east of Whitchurch

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Alkington

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Alkington, 1¾ m. S. and included in Whitchurch.

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Alkington. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 2 miles south-west of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Black Park

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Black Park. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 2 miles north-east of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Broughall

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Broughall. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 1 mile south-east of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Chinnel

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Chinnell, a township in Whitchurch, Shropshire parish, Salop; 2 miles NNE of Whitchurch. Pop., 16.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Chinnel or Chimnel. Part of a township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. See Hollyhurst and Chinnel. 1½ mile north of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Dodington

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Dodington. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of Bradford, North, adjoining to Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Edgeley

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Edgeley, a township in Whitchurch, Shropshire parish, Salop; near Whitchurch. Pop., 73.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Edgeley. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Hinton

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Hinton, a township in Whitchurch parish, county of Salop. Pop. returned with the parish.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Hinton. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 1 mile north of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Hollyhurst with Chimnell

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Hollyhurst with Chimnell, a township in the parish of Whitchurch, Salop; 1¾ mile from Whitchurch. Returns with the parish.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Hollyhurst and Chinnell. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. Chinnel is 1 ½ mile north-east of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

New Wood Houses

Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

New Wood-Houses. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 3 miles north-east of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Old Wood Houses

Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Old Wood-houses. A township in the parish of Whitchurch, and in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of Bradford, North. 3 miles north-east of Whitchurch.

Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Parish Records

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death Census Migration & Naturalization Military Probate & Court – Shropshire

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death Census Migration & Naturalization Military Probate & Court – Cheshire

Maps

Vision of Britain historical maps

Whitchurch 1899: Shropshire Sheet 7.04 (Old O.S. Maps of Shropshire)

Directories

Ash Magna and Ash Parva Cassey Shropshire Directory 1875

Ash Magna and Ash Parva – Cassey Directory of Shropshire 1871

Alkington Kellys Shropshire Directory 1863

Photographs

Administration

  • County: Shropshire
  • Civil Registration District: Wem
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Lichfield
  • Rural Deanery: Market Drayton
  • Poor Law Union: Whitchurch Incorp
  • Hundred: North Bradford
  • Province: Canterbury

Photographs