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WINWICK (St. Oswald), a parish, in the union of Warrington, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire; containing, with the township of Houghton with Middleton and Arbury, 896 inhabitants, of whom 603 are in the township of Winwick with Hulme, 3 miles (N.) from Warrington. Winwick is supposed, on good authority, to be the site of the British city Caer Guintguic, and to have been the seat of one of the twelve Saxon chiefs who formed their establishments in South Lancashire, before the institution of parishes. It also appears to have been the favourite residence of Oswald, King of Northumbria, who was slain in August 642 at a place which Bede calls Maserfelth. The district in which Winwick is seated has from a very distant period been denominated Makerfield, "a battle field;" and the parish claims to be the battle-field on which the gallant Oswald fell: a little more than half a mile north of the church, on the road to Golborne and Wigan, is an ancient well, known from time immemorial as St. Oswald's well. During the civil war, in 1643 and 1648, the parish was the scene of military operations. In the latter year, in an engagement between the parliamentarians and the Scots, Cromwell is said to have charged home upon the royalists, and to have driven them from their post, slaying 1000 men, and taking 2000 prisoners who had sought refuge in the church. The parish was, until lately, of great extent, and included the now distinct parishes of Ashton-in-Makerfield, St. Thomas in Ashton, Croft with Southworth, Lowton, Newchurch, and Newton-in-Makerfield; all which, by acts of parliament passed in 1844 and 1845, were formed into separate parishes. Winwick now comprises 2281 acres, whereof 1441 are in the township of Winwick with Hulme: of the latter area, 915 acres are meadow and pasture, 421 acres arable, 40 wood, and the remainder gardens and waste. The country around is for the most part flat and unvaried; the soil is chiefly a strong loam, on clay and red-sandstone. The road from Warrington to Newton passes through the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £102. 9. 9½., and in the patronage of the Earl of Derby: the net income, previously to the division of the parish, was £3616, arising chiefly from the glebe; the whole of the township, with the exception of an acre belonging to the free grammar school, being glebe land. The rectoryhouse is a large and substantial mansion, in a wellwooded park. The church stands on an eminence commanding a most extensive view. It consists of a nave, aisles, chancel, and a tower and spire; the fabric is large and irregular, of various ages, and evidently existed before the Conquest. The nave is separated from the aisles by five arches indented, resting on fluted capitals, bearing clustered columns adorned by the Tudor flower: on the south side of the nave is a chapel belonging to the family of Legh, and opposite to it on the north side is one belonging to Sir John Gerard, Bart. On the cornice or upper part of the south wall is an inscription in ancient Latin verse, in dedication of the church to St. Oswald. The remains of a cross, of great antiquity, exist in the churchyard. The free grammar school was founded in 1618, by Gwalter Legh, of Lyme, and was endowed by him with £10 per annum, since increased by benefactions to £34: the site of the school is supposed to have been the cell of some monks attached to the church.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 622-625. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51416 Date accessed: 25 June 2010.
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.
Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection
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Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
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