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Wapentake of the Ainsty of York - Rural Deanery of Ainsty - Archdeaconry of York or West Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish, sometimes called LITTLE ASKHAM, adjoins that of Askham Bryan, in which manor it was formerly included. Its estimated extent is 932 acres; rateable value, £1,847; and the population in 1881 was 226. Sir Andrew Fairbairn is the most extensive landowner; Robert Fearby and John Cundall have also estates in the parish. The surface of the land is generally level, and the soil a variable mixture of gravel and clay.
The village of Askham Richard or West Askham is small and scattered, and stands near the York and Leeds road, about 5½ miles S.W. of the former town. The North-Eastern railway fringes the parish, but the nearest station is at Copmanthorpe. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient edifice in the Norman style, restored and partially rebuilt in 1878, at a cost of about £1,000. It consists of chancel and nave, with south porch and central ambulatory. The ceiling of the nave and chancel is flat and panelled. The vestry door is an ancient Saxon one, which was discovered built up in the north wall, and placed in its present position at the restoration, The south door is the original Norman one which was repaired at the same time. In the floor of the chancel is an old monumental slab of the Milners; and there is also preserved in the church the base of an ancient Celtic cross found during the restoration. The living is a vicarage worth about £200 a year with residence, in the gift of Sir Andrew Fairbairn, and incumbency of the Rev. Usher Beere Miles, M.A., Dublin. This church was given by William de Arches, and Ivetta, his wife, to the nuns of NunMonkton priory, which grant, with the rectorial tithes, was afterwards confirmed to them by Pope Celestine.
There is a small Wesleyan Chapel in the village, but no school; the children attend either Bilbrough or Askham Bryan.
Askham Hall is a large and commodious mansion of brick, relieved with stone dressings, the property and residence of Sir Andrew Fairbairn, who purchased the estate in 1879. It has been entirely rebuilt and enlarged during the past five years in a mixed but pleasing style of architecture, and will be lighted throughout by electricity. At the north end of the mansion stands a water tower and engine for pumping water from an artesian well to supply the house. The old stables and out offices have been removed, and new ones of a very superior character erected near the home farm, a little distance from the hall.
CHARITIES. - The Rev. Mr. Hudson, rector of Marston, in the year 1786 gave to the poor of this parish £100, the interest whereof to be applied yearly to their use; and John Calvert, of Stillington, yeoman, left £100 in 1888 to poor widows of Askham Richard. The income of these charities is distribnted by the vicar and churchwardens at Christmas.
[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.