"BOWES, a parish in the western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK, comprising the townships of Boldron, Bowes, and Gillmonby, and containing 1438 inhabitants, of which number, 1095 are in the township of Bowes, 6 miles N.W. from Greta-Bridge. Bowes was formerly a market-town. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £1500 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of T.Harrison, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Giles, contained, in the time of Camden, a hewn slab, bearing an inscription dedicatory to the Roman emperor Adrian, and at that time used for the communion table. From this and other circumstances, particularly its situation on a military way, and the discovery of an aqueduct, on a late enclosure of waste land, Bowes evidently occupies the site of a Roman station, which antiquaries identify with the Lavatris of Antonine. At the time of the Conquest here were the remains of a town, which had been destroyed by fire. A castle was built soon afterwards by Alan, first earl of Richmond, on the elevated site of the Roman fort, and there are still considerable remains of the building and its intrenchments. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Bowes, consisting principally of one street, three quarters of a mile in length, is bleakly situated on the verge of Stanemoor, and on the banks of the river Greta. The market, which was on Friday, and a fair on the 1st of October, have dwindled into insignificance. A free grammar school was founded, about I693,by William Hutchinson, Esq., who assigned for its support an estate now producing £258 per annum, for which all children within the parish are entitled to gratuitous instruction. This place is interesting as the scene of Mallet's pathetic ballad of Edwin and Emma, a youthful pair in humble life, who, thwarted in their mutual attachment, died of grief, and, according to the parish register, were interred in the same grave, March 15th, 1714. At the distance of about two miles there is a natural bridge across the river Greta, called God's bridge, formed by a rude arch of limestone rock, sixteen feet in the span, and twenty broad at the top, along which carriages usually pass."
"BOLDRON, a township in the parish of BOWES, western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles S.S.W. from Barnard-Castle, containing 168 inhabitants."
"GILLMONBY, a township in the parish of BOWES, western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles W.S.W. from Barnard-Castle, containing 175 inhabitants."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]