Knockin Shropshire Family History Guide

Knockin is an Ancient Parish in the county of Shropshire.

Other places in the parish include: Heath Farm.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1661

Nonconformists include: Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Knockin

  • Kinnerley
  • Ruyton of the Eleven Towns
  • Great Ness
  • West Felton

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

KNOCKIN, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Oswestry district, Salop. The village stands on or near an affluent of the river Severn, 4¼ miles SSW of Rednall r. station, and 5½ SE by S of Oswestry; was anciently called Cnukyn; was the scene of a defeat of Welsh insurgents, under Madoc, in the time of Henry III.; was once a market town; and has now a post office under Oswestry. The parish, with the small extra-parochial tract of Heath-Farm, comprises 1,561 acres. Real property, £6,489. Pop., 289. Houses, 50. The property is divided among a few. The manor belonged anciently to the family of L’Estrange, had a strong castle of theirs, and belongs now to the Earl of Bradford. Knockin Hall is now the chief residence. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St. Asaph. Value, £330. Patron, the Earl of Bradford. The church is ancient and Very neat. The sub-district contains also three other parishes, and part of another. Acres, 19, 422. Pop., 4, 423. Houses, 887.

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

Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Knockin. A parish in the lower division of the hundred of Oswestry, a rectory discharged, in the diocese of St. Asaph, and the deanery of Marchia. 45 houses, 225 inhabitants. 5 ½ miles south-east of Oswestry.

Knockin Castle was built by Lord L’Estrange, the first of whose family was Guy L’Estrange, a younger son of the Duke of Bretagne. He had three sons, Guy, Hamon, and John, all of whom held lands in Shropshire, by gift of Henry the second. The younger Guy was Sheriff of this county, from the sixth of Henry the second to the eleventh of Henry the second; and again from the seventeenth of Henry the second to the twenty fifth of Henry the second. Ralph, his son, gave (the first of Richard the first) the chapel of Knockin to the canons of Haughmond. He left no issue, and his three sisters became his coheiresses. John, grandson of Guy, in the thirty third of Henry the third, procured a market for the town on Tuesday, and a fair on the eve day, and day after the anniversary of the decollation of St. John the Baptists. Madoc, who was head of the insurrection against the Kings officers in North Wales, marched against Lord Strange, and defeated him at Knockin. The male line of the family failed in John L’Estrange, who died in the seventeenth of Edward the fourth, leaving only a daughter, Joan, who married George, son and heir of Thomas Stanley, who was created Earl of Derby, by Henry the seventh. The castle was first demolished in the civil wars in the reign of King John, and repaired by John Le Strange, in the third of Henry the third. The title of Knockin is still kept up, though the family is extinct, the eldest son of the Derby family being styled Lord Strange. At present there is scarcely a vestige of the castle remaining. The property having been entrusted to improper hands, the stones have been worked up to build the church yard walls, and a bridge over the brook: a few years ago a quantity of them was carried away, and broken to mend the roads. The Keep may still be seen; it has a few straggling fir trees upon it. The town has now neither market nor fair.

There is a singular story relating to the castle narrated by Phillips, on the authority of Mr. Gough’s manuscript account of Middle and its neighbourhood. It is without date:-

‘One Thomas Elkes, being guardian to his eldest brother’s child, who was young, and stood in his way to a considerable estate, in order to remove the child, hired a poor boy to entice him into a corn field to get flowers. Elkes met the two children in the field, sent the poor boy home, took his nephew in his arms to the further end of the field, where he had placed a tub of water, into which placing the child’s head he left it there. The child being missed, and enquiry made after him, the poor boy told how he was hired, and where he had left him. Elkes fled, and took the road to London. The neighbours sent two horsemen in pursuit, who riding along the road near South Mims, in Hertfordshire, saw two ravens sitting on a cock of hay, making an unusual noise, and pulling the hay about their beaks; upon which they alighted, and found Elkes asleep under the hay: he confessed that these two ravens had followed him from the time he did the fact. He was brought to Shrewsbury, tried, condemned, and hung in chains on Knockin heath.

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 Registers

Knockin Parish Registers 1661-1812

Shropshire Parish Registers Diocese of St. Asaph Vol. III (1913)

Author: Shropshire Parish Register Society

General editor; 1900-1906, W.P.W. Phillimore; 1907- W.G.D. Fletcher

Publisher: Privately printed for the Shropshire Parish Register Society

Knockin Parish Registers 1661-1812 – Archive.org

Administration

  • County: Shropshire
  • Civil Registration District: Oswestry
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of St Asaph (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: St Asaph
  • Rural Deanery: Oswestry
  • Poor Law Union: Oswestry
  • Hundred: Oswestry
  • Province: Canterbury
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