Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for RUTLAND, or Rutlandshire

RUTLAND, or Rutlandshire, an inland county, thesmallest in England; bounded, on the N and the N E, by Lincolnshire; on the S E and the S, by Northamptonshire; on the S W, the W, and the N W, by Leicestershire. Its outline is irregular; and its boundary with Northamptonshire is traced by the river Welland, and with part of Leicestershire by the river Eye. Its greatest length, south-south-westward, is 17½ miles; its greatest breadth is 14½ miles; its circuit is about 63 miles; and its area is 95, 805 acres. Its surface is finely diversified; exhibits gentle swells and depressions; and has elevations extending E and W, and divided by pleasantvales. One range runs to the N E of Oakham; otherranges flank the Welland and the Eye; and the rich vale of Catmos is in the N W. The chief streams, besides the Welland and the Eye, are the Gwash and the Chater. Lias and lower oolite rocks occupy the whole area; theformer chiefly in the W, the latter chiefly in the E. Limestone is plentiful; and both it and freestone arequarried for building. Mineral springs are at Normanton, Martinsthorpe, Hambledon, Lyndon, and Luffendon. Little of the land is waste; nearly 300 acres are underwood; and a larger aggregate, proportionally to the entire area, is disposed in parks and lawns, than in almostany other county in England. The soils are various, butgenerally fertile. Those in the E and the S E are mostlyshallow clay, on limestone rock; and those elsewhere arechiefly strong red loam, on blue clay. Estates are ofvarious sizes; farms run from 15 acres upwards; and agriculture is principally of the same kind as in Norfolk. Wheat and barley are heavy crops, and yield fine seed; turnips are extensively grown; sheep are fed; and Stilton cheese is made. Manufactures make very little figure. The Rugby and Peterborough railway runs along all the S E border; the Syston and Peterborough railway deflectsfrom this at Luffenham, and runs through the interior, past Pilton, Manton, Oakham, and Ashwell; the Great Northern railway traverses a. small wing of 2 miles in the N E; and the railway from Stamford to Bourn intersectsthe Great Northern at Essendine. The river Welland isnavigable along the boundary; and the Oakham canalgives communication to the N W parts with the generalsystem of canals. The aggregate of turnpike and highways is about 300 miles.

Rutland contains 51 parishes, part of another, and 2 extra-parochial tracts; and is divided into the hundreds of Alstoe, East, Martinsley, Oakham, and Wrangdike. The registration county gives off 17, 442 acres to Lincolnshire; takes in 29, 365 acres from Northamptonshire and Leicestershire; comprises altogether 107, 728 acres; and is divided into the districts of Oakham and Uppingham. The county town is Oakham; the only other town with more than 2,000 inhabitants is Uppingham; and there are about 60 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets. The chief seats are Exton Park, Normanton Park, Cottesmore, Glaston Hall, Burley Hall, Burley-thorpe Hall, Ayston House, Clipsham Hall, Edith-Weston Hall, Glaston House, Ketton Hall, Ketton Lodge, Liddington House, Lyndon Hall, Morcott Hall, Preston Hall, South Luffenham Hall, Tickencote Hall, Tixover Grange, Tolthorpe Hall, and Upper Hall.

The county is governed by a lord lieutenant, a highsheriff, 3 deputy lieutenants, and about 18 magistrates; and is in the N E military district, the Midland judicialcircuit, and the diocese of Peterborough. The assizes and quarter sessions are held at Oakham; and the countyjail is there. The police force, in 1864, comprised 8men, at an annual cost of £800. The crimes committed in 1864 were 18; the persons apprehended, 21; the depredators and suspected persons at large, 67; the houses of bad character, 9. The county sends two members toparliament; and had 1, 774 electors in 1865 The poor-rates for the registration county in 1863 were £12, 387. Marriages in 1863, 157, of which 19 were not accordingto the rites of the Established Church; births, 736, of which 57 were illegitimate; deaths, 528, of which 194were at ages under 5 years, and 15 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 601; births, 7, 368; deaths, 4, 328. The places of worship within the electoral county, in 1851, were 53 of the Church of England, with 12, 131 sittings; 6 of Independents, with 1,086 s.; 12 of Baptists, with 1, 941 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 60 s.; 17 of Wesleyans, with 1, 901 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 150 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 30 s. The schools were 39 public day schools, with 2, 175 scholars; 74 private day schools, with 1, 230 s.; and 58 Sunday schools, with 3,038 s. Real property, in 1815, £138, 216; in 1843, £156, 988; in 1860, £168,088, of which £475 were in quarries, and £234 in gas-works. Pop. in 1801, 16, 380; in 1821, 18, 487; in 1841, 21, 302; in 1861, 21, 861. Inhabited houses, 4, 641; uninhabited, 183; building, 16. Pop. of the registration county in 1851, 24, 272; in 1861, 23, 479. Inhabited houses, 5,031; uninhabited, 203; building, 17.

The territory now forming Rutland was inhabited by the ancient British Coritani; was included by the Romansin their Flavia Cæsariensis; formed part of Mercia, with the name of Roteland, till 827; was given by the Confessor to Westminster abbey; reverted to the Crown at the Norman conquest; was then known as Rihale or Rihala; formed part of Northamptonshire or of Notts till the time of Henry III.; has never, as a separate county, made any figure in history; and gives the title of Duketo the family of Manners. Some barrows of the ancient Britons still exist; Roman settlements were at Rank-borough, Burley, Stretton, Casterton, Market-Overton, and Tixover; Ermine-street, here called Horne-lane, traverses the N E, past Casterton and Stretton; an oldcastle was at Oakham; and old churches are at Essendine, Edith-Weston, Ketton, and Tickencote.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "an inland county"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")
Administrative units: Rutland AncC
Place names: RIHALA     |     RIHALE     |     RUTLAND     |     RUTLAND OR RUTLANDSHIRE     |     RUTLANDSHIRE
Place: Rutland

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