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AYSGARTH:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"AYSGARTH, a parish in the western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, comprising the chapelries of Askrigg and Hawes, and the townships of High Abbotside, Low Abbotside, Aysgarth, Bainbridge, Bishop-Dale, Burton with Waiden, Carperby, Newbiggin, Thoralby, and Thornton- Rust, and containing 5621 inhabitants, of which number, 293 are in the township of Aysgarth, 83 miles W. from Middleham. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, rated in the king's books at £19. 6. 8., endowed with £400 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is a spacious structure, and has an elegant screen and rood-loft between the nave and the chancel, supposed to have been brought from the abbey of Jervaulx. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends and Wesleyan Methodists. Here is an endowed grammar school, also almshouses for six widows. The river Ure, which rises in this parish, passes over a precipitous and irregular ledge of rocks, and produces some fine waterfalls, called Aysgarth Force, Mossdale Fall, and Hardraw Fall. At some distance above there is a curious and highly ornamented bridge of one arch, having a span of seventy feet, from which a beautifully picturesque prospect may be obtained. Several veins of lead and some strata of coal exist in the neighbourhood. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned for a short time in Nappa Hall, an ancient mansion in this parish."


"ASKRIGG, a market-town and chapelry in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 57 miles W.N.W. from York, and 247 N.N.W. from London, containing 765 inhabitants. The town is situated on an eminence rising from the northern bank of the river Ure, and the surrounding country exhibits some fine waterfalls and picturesque scenery: it was formerly a place of considerable note, but has fallen into decay; there are a flax and a wool-carding mill. In the neighbourhood are lead mines, but they are not very productive. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held on May llth, the first Thursday in June, and October 28th. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £1000 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Aysgarth. The chapel is an ancient structure, dedicated to St. Oswald. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Almshouses were founded and endowed, in 1807, by Christopher Alderson, for six poor widows of the townships of Askrigg and Low Abbotside, each of whom has a stipend of £10 per annum. In this township is the free grammar school of Yorebridge, founded by Anthony Besson, in the 43rd of Elizabeth, with an endowment of £64. 10. per annum."


"BAINBRIDGE, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, l£mile S.W. from Askrigg, containing 872 inhabitants. The village is situated upon the river Ure, which is here crossed by a good stone bridge of three arches. A free grammar school was- founded by Anthony Besson, Esq., in the 43rd of Queen Elizabeth. In this township there exists a custom of blowing a horn every night at ten o'clock, from September 2?th to Shrovetide, intended as a signal to the benighted traveller, and said to have originated when the country was an open forest. On a neighbouring eminence, called Brough Hill, are vestiges of a Roman fortress, near which, among other relics, a statue of the Emperor Commodus was found."


"BISHOP'S DALE, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 12 miles W.S.W. from Middleham, containing 95 inhabitants. The neighbourhood contains several waterfalls, and abounds with picturesque scenery."


"BURTON, a township, joint with Walden, in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 7-? miles S.W. from Middleham, containing, with Walden, 478 inhabitants. The village is situated in a district abounding with fine scenery, on a small stream which falls into the river Ure,' and contains a great quantity of salmon. Wool-combing is carried on here. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists."


"CARPERBY, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 9 miles N.W. from Middlewich, containing 283 inhabitants."


"HARDROW, a chapelry in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 18 miles N.W. from Middleham. The population is returned with the township of High Abbot-side. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £800 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Lord Wharncliffe, who has recently endowed a school with £10. 10. per annum. Within the parish is a tremendous waterfall, called Hardrow Scarr, with immense masses of rock overhanging it on each side; during the severe frost in 1740, this cascade was entirely congealed into a stupendous cone of ice."


"HAWES, a market-town and chapelry in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 17i miles W. from Middleham, and 251 N.N.W. from London, containing 1408 inhabitants. This place is pleasantly situated near a branch of the river Ure, and the houses, which are in general built of stone, display the appearance of neatness and respectability. Here is a well-selected subscription library. Hardraw Scarr, or Force, a magnificent cascade, falling perpendicularly one hundred and two feet, is at a short distance from the town. In the neighbourhood are lead mines, which are worked, but are not very productive. The principal articles of manufacture are those of knit hosiery, caps, &c., with some other kinds of woollen goods. A market is held on Tuesday; and there are fairs on Whit-Tuesday and the 28th of September; besides cattle fairs every alternate Tuesday from the last Tuesday in February until Whitsuntide. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £400 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Land-owners. The chapel is a low plain edifice. Here are places of worship for the Society of Friends and Sandemanians. A charity school was founded in 1764, with an endowment of £10. 10. per annum: the school-room was built by subscription."


"HELBECK LANDS, a chapelry in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 12miJes N.W. from Askrigg. The population is returned with the parish."


"HIGH ABBOTSIDE, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile W.N.W. from Hawes, containing, with the chapelry of Hardrow, and the hamlets of Cotterdale, Litherskew, Lund, Sedbusk, Show, and Simonstone, 641 inhabitants. The river Ure, on which are several beautiful waterfalls, rises in this township."


"LOW ABBOTSIDE, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, containing 181 inhabitants. Whitfield Gill, in which is the picturesque waterfall called Whitfield Force, separates High Abbot- Side from this township. Here is an almshouse for six widows."


"NEWBIGGIN, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 8 miles S.W. from Middleham, containing 12S inhabitants."


"STALLING BUSK, a chapelry in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 17 miles S.W. from Middleham. The population is returned with the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Aysgarth. The river Ure here forms a fine cataract."


"THORALBY, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 85 miles S.W. from Middleham, containing 342 inhabitants. Four children are instructed for about £8 a year, arising from the rent of certain lands bequeathed by Elizabeth Whithay, in 1748."


"THORNTON RUST, a township in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 10 miles W. from Middleham, containing 135 inhabitants."


"WALDEN, a township, joint with Burton, in the parish of AYSGARTH, western division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 10 miles W.S.W. from Middleham. The population is returned with Burton."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]


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