Leek in 1841
Leek is in the northern division of Totmonslow hundred, 23 miles north-north-east from Stafford. The town is pleasantly situated on an eminence ; the streets are well paved, and lighted with gas. The church, which stands on an eminence, is an old building, and has a tower with eight pinnacles. It contains, amid many alterations and additions, some ancient work worthy of notice. There are places of worship for Quakers, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists. The area of the parish, which extends into the southern division of the hundred, is 34,370 acres: the population, in 1831, was 10,780 ; the township of Leek and Lowe (in which the town stands) contained 6,374 inhabitants. The chief manufacture of the town is of silk, especially ribands ; 559 men were, in 1831, employed in manufactures, besides women and children.
The Caldon Canal passes near the town, with which it communicates by a short cut. The market is on Wednesday, and there are seven yearly fairs, chiefly for cattle. The living is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £218, with a glebe-house ; and the vicar presents to three of the four perpetual curacies of the chapels in the parish. There were, in 1833, in the township seventeen day or boarding and day schools (one of them having a school-house and a trifling endowment), with 244 boys and 171 girls : and five Sunday-schools, with 761 boys and 796 girls. There was anciently a Cistercian abbey, called Dieulacres, a short distance north of the town, the yearly revenues of which at the dissolution were £243, 3 shillings, 6 pence gross, or £227, 5 shillings clear. There are some remains of the buildings. Lord Chancellor Parker, first earl of Macclesfield, was a native of Leek.