Mainstone is an Ancient Parish in Shropshire and partly in Montgomeryshire.

Other places in the parish include: Edenhope, Knuck, and Reilth in Salop, and the township of Castle-Wright in Montgomery

Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church: St. John the Baptist

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1604
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1638

Nonconformists include: Primitive Methodist

Parishes adjacent to Mainstone

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

MAINSTONE, a parish in Clun district, and mainly in Salop, but partly in Montgomery; and a division in Clun hundred, and wholly in Salop. The parish lies on Offa’s dyke, 4 miles W by. S of Bishops-Castle r. station, and 7½ SSE of Montgomery; and comprises the townships of Mainstone, Edenhope, Knuck, and Reilth in Salop, and the township of Castle-Wright in Montgomery. Post town, Bishops-Castle, Shropshire. Acres of the Salop portion, 4,931. Real property, £9,925. Pop., 220. Houses, 41. Acres of the Montgomery portion, 1,332. Real property, with Aston, £2,228. Pop., 145. Houses, 32. The property is divided among a few. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Hereford. Valne, £293. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is a good building, with a belfry. Charities, £5. The division contains the Salop portion of the parish, and all of three other parishes. Acres, 21,315. Pop. in 1851, 1,318. Houses, 238.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

MAINSTONE (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Clun, partly in the hundred of Purslow, S. division of Salop, and partly in the hundred and county of Montgomery (North Wales), 4 miles (W. by S.) from Bishop’s-Castle; the English portion containing 276 inhabitants, of whom 91 are in the township. The parish occupies a considerable area of hilly and undulated ground, and is surrounded by the parishes of Clun, Bishop’s-Castle, Lydham, and Churchstoke. A small brook rises in, and flows through, the parish, which is also intersected by Offa’s dyke; and the main road from Bishop’s-Castle to Montgomery passes at the extremity of the township of Castlewright. The living is a rectory, valued in the king’s books at £4. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £293. The church is 112 feet long, by 22 wide, and contains 140 sittings.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Mainstone. A parish partly in the Mainstone division of the hundred of Clun, partly in the county of Montgomery. The entire parish contains 451 inhabitants. The Shropshire part 49 houses, 296 inhabitants. A rectory discharged, in the diocese of Hereford, the deanery of Clun, and archdeaconry of Salop. 4 miles south-west of Bishopscastle.

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

Castle Wright

Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Castle Wright. A township in the parish of Mainstone, and in the Mainstone division of the hundred of Clun.

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


Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Edenhope, Upper and Lower. A township in the parish of Mainstone, and in the Mainstone division of the hundred of Clun. 3 ½ miles west of Bishopscastle.

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


Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Reith or Reilth. A township in the parish of Mainstone, and in the Mainstone division of the hundred of Clun. 3 miles south west of Bishopscastle.

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

Mainstone Shropshire Parish Documents 1902

Documents in the custody of the Parish Meeting. – Kept at the Church, viz:-
Minute Book.
Documents, etc., in the custody of the Rector. – Kept in the parish chest in the Vestry, viz:-
“A true Register of Burialls in Wollen August the first “ Anno Dmi 1678-1690.” N.B. – There are many entries of sums raised on Briefs for various purposes entered at the end of this Register.
General Register (very badly mutilated), 1604 to (?) 1640. This Register contains a list of Churchwardens, Sidesmen, and Overseers.
Book containing Accounts of the Wardens, Overseers of the Poor, and Supervisors of the Wages, 1648-1712.
Book, 1713-1880, containing Churchwarden’s Accounts, collections for Churches, copies of Wills, and distribution of Charities. N. B. – This book is very interesting. It contains a record of very many “Collections of Briefs.”
In 1710 there is the following: – “Collected for ye Reformed “Episcopal Churches in Great Poland and Polish Russia, ‘01” (as this amount is in the £ column it is presumably £1.)
Also – “For Oyster Dredgers of Medway in Corn Kent, April 5th, 1742.”
The following is an interesting account for the year, 1801:-
The Accounts of John Homes, one of the Churchwardens for the Parish of Mainstone, for the year 1801.

Pd the late Warden115 ½
For Bread0011
For wine0172 ½
PD the Mason012 ½
A Proclamation013
A Prayer for the King013
PD Apparitor003
Mending a Box018
A Prayer for the King019
For writing the Register0010
Pd the singing Master0168
The Clarke084
The Dogman020
Expences 3 Visitations0150
for writing my street030
Repairing the Bier Cloth008
Pd the Apparitor047
Disbursed5210 ½
Recd. By Street31811 ½
due to me1311

Account of Overseers of the Poor, 1769-1820, which contains the following interesting and pathetic entry, viz:-
“November 21/1773.
Agreed in publick Vestry held on this day in the Parish Church of Mainstone that John Jones a poor boy maintained by the parish is to be settled as here followeth, viz: – that every householder shall keep this boy for half a year according to Lotts – first half year to be allowed fifteen shillings second half year twelve shillings and six pence and for every half year after two shillings and six pence less till he shall be able to get his living; only ye Parish to keep him in whole clothing and reasonably to be alowd if ye boy shall be sick.”
N.B. – This is signed by various persons, and a list of those persons who were to have the boy for the succeeding 12 half years is given.
Churchwarden’s Account Book, 1685-1712, containing many very interesting entries.
Highway Account Rate Book, 1855 – 1865.
Book, dated 1802-1821. Opening statement “An Assessment of one shilling in the pound made upon the inhabitants and occupiers of land in the Parish of Mainstone for the relief of the Poor of the said Parish for the year 1802, being the third Assessment.” Note:- This Book contains nothing but Assessments.
Rate Books, 1836-1848.
Conveyance, dated 10th and 24th June, 1673, of 3 acres of land more or less situate in the township of Mainstone, in a place called Cwm-y-Llan, for the use of the Poor in the Parish of Mainstone.
Receipt, dated 27th June, 1673, for £18 from John Bright the younger, for the purchase of a piece of meadow conveyed by an Indenture bearing date the 24th June, 1673.
Lease, dated 13th March, 1720, of the above, conveying it to the Rev. John Gifford, Rector, his Executors, &c. from the date thereof until the full term of 500 years thence, yielding and paying for the use of the poor yearly the sum of £1 10s. 0d., without any deduction or abatement.
Lease dated 28th April, 1727, between John Walcot of Walcot, and John Heycock Kevencallonog.
Conveyance, dated 1st May, 1741, from William Heycock, son and heir of John Heycock, of the unexpired part of Lease of 99 years to the Overseers of the Poor.
Lease, dated 16th January, 1747, between John Walcot and Francis Jones.
Conveyance, dated 4th May, 1767, between Francis Jones and Overseers of the Poor, conveying remainder of the Lease.
Release and Conveyance, dated respectively the 19th and 20th September 1734, and 20th April, 1735, of a parcel of land called Little Meadow, in the township of Mainstone, for the use of the Poor.
Conveyance, dated 2nd April, 1740, from the Revd. John Gifford to his successors, of a Cottage and garden situate near the Church.
Bond, dated 31st March, 1769, from Richard Beamond to the Revd. Samuel Dr. Edwards, Rector of Mainstone, for the sum of £19, and interest after the rate of £4 per cent. per annum.
A variety of Affiliation and Settlement Warrants.
Terrier, dated the 17th May, 1607, of the Glebe Lands belonging to the Parish Church of Mainstone, “Testifying that there is not any Glebe Land.
Tithe Map of the township of Castlewright, dated 24th June, 1841.
Tithe Map of the township of Edenhope, dated 31st Decr., 1840.
Tithe Map of the township of Reilth, dated 19th Decr., 1848.
Tithe Map of the township of Mainstone and Knuckshadwell, dated 19th Decr., 1848.
Source: Shropshire Parish Documents published 1902.  A report of the Inspection of Parish Documents made to Salop County Council under section 17 of the Local Government Act 1894.
Note: The location of the documents listed in this transcription are as cited in the book published in 1902 and should be used as a guide only. It should not be assumed that the documents are still kept at the stated location.  Interested parties should perhaps contact Shropshire records office to ascertain the documents current whereabouts.

Poll Books

Mainstone, Poll Book 1865

Below are the names of those that voted in the election of July 1865 between Col. The Hon. P. E. Herbert, Sir Baldwin Leighton, Bart., and R. Jasper More, Esq.

Poll Book of the Election, July 1865 for the Southern Division of Shropshire.

Bishop’s Castle Polling District

Mainstone, Parish of

271 Beddowes John

272 Davies Barzellai

273 Evans George

274 Harrison the Rev. John, dead

275 Herschell Rev. John Francis

276 Jones Edward

277 Jones Edward, see 2741

278 Jones Benjamin

279 Owen Edward, see 1814

280 Owen James

281 Sankey Richard

282 Sankey John, see 2036

283 Thomas John

284 Thomas Richard

285 Venables Thomas

286 Venables Thomas, jun.

287 Webster David


Mainstone Cassey Shropshire Directory 1875

Mainstone is a parish partly in Salop and partly in Montgomeryshire, comprising the townships of Castlewright, Edenhope, Knuck, and Reilth 4 ½ miles from Bishop’s Castle railway station, and 11 from Craven Arms station, in the southern division of the county, hundreds of Clun and Purslow, Clun union, and diocese of Hereford. From Bishop’s Moat (an ancient earthwork) a commanding view of the country for many miles round is obtained. Offa’s Dyke intersects the parish, and separates England from Wales. The church of St. John the Baptist is a neat old stone building, situated in a narrow valley at the foot of Clun Forest. The living is a rectory, yearly value £343, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. A school at Churchtown for girls and boys is supported partly by subscription. The charities are of £6 yearly. The Earl of Powis is lord of the manor; and the representatives of the late B. Botfield, Esq., H. Lister, Esq., the Rev. J. Harrison, and the Rev. J. Lloyd are chief landowners. The charities are of the yearly value of £3 17s. 0d. The soil is chiefly loam; subsoil is stone and gravel. The population in 1861 was 365, with an area of 3,343.a Or. 4p. ; gross estimated rental, £2,171; rateable value, £1,911.

Edenhope is a township, adjoining Mainstone.

Knuck is a township, adjoining Mainstone.

Reilth is a township, distance half a mile from Mainstone.

Castlewright is a township, in the parish of Mainstone, but in the county of Montgomery, with l, 331 acres, and a population in 1861 of 145.

Letters are received through Bishop’s Castle.


Beddoes John, farmer

Chester Joseph, farmer, Cwm Frydd

Huffer Thomas, farmer

Jones Edward, farmer

Morris George, blacksmith

Morris George, wheelwright

Powell Thomas, shoe maker


Davies Barzelah, farmer, Pant Glas

Jones Mary, farmer

Jones Benjamin, farmer

Thomas William, farmer, Lower Dolfawr


Evans Richard, farmer

Llewellin Edward, farmer, Cwm Colbatch

Lloyd George, landowner & farmer

Owen Thomas, farmer, Hetfield

Sankey Richard, landowner & farmer

Venables Thomas, farmer, Hill end

Source: Edward Cassey & Co.’s History, Gazetteer, & Directory of Shropshire. Printed Shrewsbury 1875.


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

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