Newcastle under Lyme is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Staffordshire, created in 1849 from chapelry in Stoke upon Trent Ancient Parish.

Status: Ecclesiastical Parish 

Alternative names: Newcastle under Lyne

Parish church: St Giles

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1563
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1662

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Methodist New Connexion, Particular Baptist, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

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 NW of Longton, and 15 NNW 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 rise to the name Newcastle. What produced the suffix name “Under-Lyne,” or “Under-Lyme,” is thought by some to 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 forest which anciently extended over the NW portions of Staffordshire to the borders of Cheshire. The town presents an 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, in general, 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 a commodious building. The literary and scientific institute was built in 1836; and contains a library of about 5,000 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 red sandstone tower; and has also, at the W entrance, formerly the principal approach, a fine arch of the Norman period. 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 chapels also 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 school has £8; and there are national, infant, and British schools. Alms-houses, for 20 poor women, were founded in 1687, by the son of Monk, the famous Duke of Albemarle; 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 large structure, 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 Monday after Shrove-Tuesday, Easter-Monday, Whit Monday, the second Monday of July, 6 Aug., the third Monday of Sept., the first Monday of Nov., and 6 Dec.; and races are held once a year. Newcastle was once regarded as the capital of the Potteries; and, though now having no claim whatever to that character, still carries on considerable business in connexion with the Pottery towns. It was likewise long noted for the manufacture of the peculiar coarse grey felt caps worn by the potters; but it has, in great measure, 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 silk-throwing; some malting, brewing, tanning, watch-making, nail-making, pipe-making, and pottery work; a large amount of paper-making; and extensive trade in connexion with neighbouring collieries and iron-works. A local board of health was recently established; has already effected important general improvement; and has formed a public park of about 5 acres. The town was chartered by Henry VIII.; is governed, under the new act, 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 his teeth, 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 the vicinity.

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. A section, 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 5 years, 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, with 5,631 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, these not reported; 1 undefined, with 37 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 528 s. The schools were 15 public day-schools, with 1,543 scholars; 26 private day-schools, with 761 s.; and 26 Sunday schools, with 3,811 s.

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

Parish Records

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County: Staffordshire
Civil Registration District: Newcastle under Lyme
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Lichfield
Rural Deanery: Newcastle under Lyme
Poor Law Union: Newcastle under Lyme
Hundred: Newcastle under Lyme Borough
Province: Canterbury

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