On Parishes

The areas of English local government units are still largely based upon clusters of civil parishes. Civil parishes themselves, though altered in function, are to a surprising extent still based on the ancient parishes that emerged between the tenth and twelfth centuries and which were in many cases also based upon or carved out of even more ancient boundaries. Some of these boundaries may be between 1500 and 2000 years old.

Until the seventeen century there was more or less only one sort of parish but from then there was a gradual divergence between their civil and ecclesiastical functions, formalised at the end of the nineteenth century where there was a formal separation between the two.

The following represents the text of one chapter of a book (unlikely to be published!) that will cover all sorts of those corners of present day life that are actually quite difficult to find out about.

Any comments, or additional information, will be especially welcome.

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