"BOWES, a parish, in the wapentake of Gilling West, in the North Riding of the county of York, 4 miles to the S. W. of Barnard Castle, its post town. It is a very extensive parish, comprising an area of 18,334 acres, and is situated in a bleak country, on the verge of Stainmoor Forest, and on the banks of the river Greta. It contains the township of Gillmonby, the hamlet of Bowes-Cross, and also several other hamlets Bowes is a very ancient place, and the site of the Roman station, Lavatrae. The military road may still be traced in the neighbourhood. Subsequently a castle was founded here by Alan Earl of Richmond, who had a gallows, and was called the Black Earl. This castle was afterwards held by John Duke of Bedford, and later by Henry VI. The ruins of the pile stand on the brow of a hill above the Greta. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ripon, value £90, in the patronage of T. Harrison, Esq. The church is partly in the Norman style, and is dedicated to St. Giles. This village was the home, and this church is the burial-place, of the lovers "Edwin and Emma," over whose passion and mournful fate, as told in Mallet's pathetic ballad, so many hearts have ached, and so many eyes grown moist. They rest in one grave. Their actual names were Roger Wrighton and Martha Railton, and they died in March, 1714. In the village is a chapel for Wesleyans, and a free grammar school, established near the close of the 17th century by William Hutchinson, which has an income from endowment of £260 per annum, and an exhibition at Cambridge University. There are some other small charities. Many Roman relics, coins, and stones with inscriptions, have been found in the parish. Camden mentions the use of one of the latter in the church as a communion table. Two miles from the village is God's-bridge, a natural bridge over the Greta, consisting of a rock of limestone through which the river has worn its way. It is about 15 feet in span, and, broad enough to serve for a good carriage way. A market was formerly held here on Friday, and a fair on the 1st October, but both are disused."
"APPLEGARTH FOREST, a hamlet in the township and parish of Bowes, wapentake of Gilling, in the North Riding of the county of York, 11 miles to the N. of Muker."
"GALLOW HILL, a hamlet in the parish of Bowes, wapentake of West Gilling, North Riding county York, 4 miles S.W. of Barnard Castle."
"GILLMONBY, a township in the parish of Bowes, wapentake of West Gilling, North Riding county York, 4 miles S.W. of Barnard Castle. It is situated on the banks of the Greta."
"LOWFIELD, a hamlet in the parish of Bowes and wapentake of Gilling, North Riding county York, 5 miles S.W, of Barnard Castle. It is situated on the river Greta, near God's bridge, a natural arch of 15 feet span."
"MELLWATER, a hamlet in the township and parish of Bowes, North Riding county York, 4 miles S.W. of Barnard Castle."
"SLEIGHTHOLME, a hamlet in the parish of Bowes, wapentake of Gilling, North Riding county York, 9 miles N. of Reeth. It is situated in the vale of the Greta, which here flows through a natural arch called God's-bridge."
"STONEYKELD, a hamlet in the parish of Bowes, wapentake of Gilling, North Riding county York, 5 miles S.W. of Barnard Castle, on God's Bridge, on the river Greta."
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
by Colin Hinson ©2013