"ALDBOROUGH, a parish, in the wapentake of Upper and Lower Claro, in the West Riding, and of Hallikeld in the North Riding of the county of York, 15 miles to the N.W. of York. It comprises the chapelries of Boroughbridge, Dunsforth, and Rocliffe, with the townships of Humberton, Minskip, and Ellenthorpe, and is situated on the south bank of the Ure, and on the Roman road Wading Street. It is a very ancient town having been a station of great importance in the time of the Romans, and probably a chief place among the Brigantes at an earlier period. Its Roman name was Isurium. Its present name was given by the Saxons, and indicates its great age in their time, Aldburgh signifying Old Town. The old city appears to have occupied a square space, each side of which extended about the third of a mile. This is shown by the remains still traceable of the foundations of the ancient walls. In 1783, a mound called Borough Hill, which stood near the middle of the square, was removed, and from the pavements and other Roman remains then brought to light, it is supposed that a temple stood on the spot. The coins were of various dates, from the reign of Trajan to that of Constantine. In recent years, on several occasions, other pavements have been found, one of a very large size, measuring 14 feet in length and 13 feet in breadth, with pieces of urns, signets, &:c. Near the south wall is an outwork 200 feet long, in the form of a half circle, forming a terrace with a slope of 30 feet. Some of the walls and pavements in Aldborough and Boroughbridge have been formed out of the materials of the old Isurium. Near Boroughbridge are three obelisks roughly shapen of ragstone, about whose origin and character antiquarians are not agreed. They are locally named the Devil's Arrows or Bolts, and by different authorities have been assigned to a British, a Roman, and a Celtic origin. Aldborough was made a borough in 1558, receiving the elective franchise from Philip and Mary, and returning two members to parliament from that time till 1832, when it was disfranchised under the Reform Act. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of York, value £380, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York. The church, which is old, is dedicated to St. Andrew, and contains a Saxon gravestone and a brass of the 14th century. There are three chapels of ease, one at Boroughbridge, a perpetual curacy, value £115; one at Dunsforth; and the other at Roccliffe; and a parish school with a small endowment at Boroughbridge. Petty sessions are held in the town. Its trade is inconsiderable, and the houses poorly built. A fair is held on the 4th September."
"ELLENTHORPE, a township in the parish of Aldborough, wapentake of Hallikeld, North Riding county York, 1 mile E. of Boroughbridge."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013