Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Ryedale - Electoral Division of Great Ayton - Poor Law Union of Stokesley - County Court District and Rural Deanery of Helmsley - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish lies on the east side of Ryedale, stretching from six to 12 miles north of Helmsley, and includes the hamlets of Chop Yat (Chop-gate), Crossett, Kirkham, Raisdale, Urra, and Fangdale Beck. Lord Feversham is owner and lord of the manor. The area of the parish is 21,104 acres. Of this, 5,000 acres consist of meadow or pasture land; 1,500 acres are arable land, producing oats, barley, turnips, &c.; and the remainder consists of rivers, roads, and extensive moors. The rateable value is £4,305, and the population 677.
Bilsdale-Midcable is a corruption of "Media Capella," middle or midway chapel, probably the ancient chapel-of-ease in the adjoining parish of Harome.
The Church, dedicated to St. Hilda, is supposed to have been originally built by Lord William, son of Walter de Espec, the founder of Rievaulx Abbey. It was rebuilt in 1851, from designs by Mr. Barry, son of Sir Charles Barry. It is a stone building of Gothic style, and consists of chancel, nave, and south porch, with a western turret, containing two bells. There are 300 sittings. Register dates from 1590. The east window and five others are filled with stained glass. The chancel arch is well proportioned, and edged with dog-tooth moulding. The roof and pews are of oak.
The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Earl of Feversham, and, according to the Diocesan Calendar, of the annual value of £220. It is now held by the Rev. Charles Wright, M.A., Trinity College, Cambridge, The house stands in its own grounds, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. It is a handsome modern structure of stone, erected in 1853, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Lord Feversham.
Chop Gate National School, with class-room, built by the lord of the manor, gives accommodation for 60, and has an average, at present, of 40, supported by grants, fees, and a subscription of £12 per annum from Lord Feversham.
The Primitive Methodists hold their services in a large room at Chop Gate, capable of accommodating 100 persons. The Wesleyans have a chapel consisting of one room, with pulpit and harmonium. It was built of freestone in 1858, at a cost of £250.
In the neighbourhood, due south of Blackhow Topping, are a number of huge rocks, fringing both sides of a deep glen, and known by the name of "The Bridestones." Some of these singular rocks are shaped like mushrooms, particularly one, called "The Salt Cellar," which is 30 feet high, and in one place, near the top, 20 feet broad, while the stalk which supports it is only three feet across in one direction, and six in another. These stones have a Druidical reputation.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.