[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]
"BEDALE, a parish in the wapentake of Hang East, and liberty of Richmondshire; 6 miles from Masham, 8 from Northallerton, 9 from Middleham, 14 from Ripon, and 224 from London. The town is tolerably well built, and contains according to the census taken in 1821, a population of 1137. The church (see Churches
for photograph), dedicated to St. Gregory is a spacious structure, in the Gothic style of architecture, and has a good tower or steeple, in the deanry of Catterick, diocese of Chester, value 89L. 4s. 9½d. Patrons, Henry Peirse and Thomas Stapylton, Esqrs. The market is on Tuesday, and is well supplied with all kinds of butcher's meat, poultry, butter, and vegetables. Bedale is situated in a rich valley about two miles to the west of Leeming lane: the surrounding country is extremely fertile: and the crops, both of corn and grass, are abundant. Fairs, Easter and Whit-Tuesdays, for horned cattle and sheep; July 6 and 7, October 11 and 12, for horned cattle, sheep, and leather; Monday se'night before Christmas-day, for horned cattle, sheep, and pigs. Principal Inns, Black Swan, and Royal-Oak.
The Castle of Bedale, the residence and most probably the workmanship of Brian Fitzalan, stood a little to the south-west of the Church-Steeple, from which it appears to have been detached only by a street. The foundations have been traced to a considerable extent from the gardens of Henry Peirse, Esq. the present owner of the site, into a field north-west from the church, but no vestiges now remain above the surface. The church living is a rectory, in the gift of Henry Pierce, Esq. M. P. and of Miles Stapleton, alternately. Here is also a Methodist chapel, built A.D. 1821. The poor of Bedale enjoy the benefit of many munificent charitable bequests, and here is a hospital for 6 poor men of the parish, founded and endowed by Peter Samwaies, D. D. and rector, A. D. 1698. Also a hospital for three poor widows, founded by Richard and Thomas Young. There is also a free grammar school, endowed with the annual sum of £7. 11s. 4d. by the Crown paid annually, at the audit holden at Richmond, out of the land-revenues of the crown , and £13. 6s. 8d, by a Countess Dowager of Warwick, which is now converted into a National School."
Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.
- Benkil Grange
- Firby Grange
- Great Crakehall
- Kirkby Bridge
- Little Crakehall
- Little Leeming
- Low Holtby
- Rand Grange
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]