Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Hang West - Electoral Division, County Court District, and Poor Law Union of Leyburn - Rural Deanery of West Catterick - Archdeaconry of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.
Bellerby, formerly a township and chapelry in the parish of Spennithorne, is now a distinct parish for all ecclesiastical and civil purposes. Its area is 3,063 acres, and present rateable value, £1,940, and it had, in 1881, 311 inhabitants. The soil is a loam resting on limestone and clay, and is chiefly laid down in meadow and pasture. The manor and principal estate were purchased from the Chaytors of Spennithorne, in 1853, by Mr. John Osborne of Ashgill, and now belong to Mr. J. H. Osborne. The following are also landowners:- M. Wyvill, Esq., Denton Park; Miss Davison, Redmire; Mr. J. Tidyman, Bellerby; R. Osborne, Esq., Middleham; and Messrs. Benjamin Brockell, W. A. Bell, Thomas Horner, and Henry Topham, Bellerby.
The village of Bellerby, whose Norse name is equivalent to Cow town, is prettily nestled among trees, on the Richmond road. The houses are ranged in two rows, between which, through the whole length, flows a stream. This is crossed by a number of bridges, and, in allusion to this characteristic, Bellerby is known as the Village of Bridges. It is distant about 1½ miles N. of Leyburn, and seven from Richmond. Near the centre is the Old Hall, now a farmhouse, but formerly the seat and property of the Scott family, which, in the troublous times of Charles I., suffered much in consequence of its unshaken loyalty to the Crown.
The Church, dedicated to St. John, is a small, neat edifice, consisting of nave and chancel, erected in 1873 on the site of the former chapel. The total cost was about £600, which was raised by subscription. It was restored internally in 1886, at a cost of £100. The east window, of three lights, is a memorial to the late Mr. W. Osborne, and the west one, the late Francis Walker, gentleman, whose charitable bequests to the parish will be his most lasting memorial. The living is a vicarage worth £106, derived from glebe, and is in the gift of the Rev. G. Osborne, and incumbency of the Rev. J. Hamilton Bleasdell, B.A.
The Wesleyan Chapel is a neat building, erected by subscription in 1839, at a cost of £90, and enlarged in 1853, at an expense of £35. Its appearance has since been improved by the insertion of new windows. It is in the Middleham Circuit, and has an endowment of £300. (See Charities.) The National School was built by subscription in 1832, upon a site given by Mr. F. Walker, and enlarged in 1871. There is accommodation for 70 children, and an average attendance of 42.
Skelton Cote is an estate in this parish, the property of the Crown. Hall Garth, another estate with its ancient homestead, formerly belonged to the Dukes of Bolton. It was owned by a family of the name of Thorpe for about half a century, and then came into the possession of the Rev. Thomas Danson, Catholic priest, from whom it was purchased by the present owner, Mr. Henry Topham, in 1873.
CHARITIES - The late Mr. Francis Walker left by will the sum of £1,200, the interest of which is to be applied to the free education of 30 children (to be selected by his trustees), at the National School, Bellerby; and the interest of £300 for providing coals for the poor of the parish at Christmastide. The same benevolent gentleman also left the interest of £300 to the officiating minister of Bellerby, and the like sum to the Wesleyan Chapel in the village. A brass tablet has been recently placed in the church, by subscription, to his memory.
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