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The Ancient Parish of BRAFFERTON

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"BRAFFERTON, a parish in the wapentakes of Bulmer and Halikeld, and liberty of St. Peter's; 5 miles W. of Easingwold. Population, 178. Here is a National School for children of both sexes, supported by subscription. Brafferton and Helperby are apparently but one village, occupying opposite sides of the same street. The village takes its name from a ford across the Swale, it being originally Broad-Ford-Town, and now by a natural contraction Brafferton. This village has a parish church dedicated to St. Peter (see Churches for photograph); the living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Crown.

On the outside of the chancel (south) are the arms of the Nevilles and other quarterings, carved on stone, and underneath, running round in Saxon Monastic Characters: "orate pro animo Radulphi Neville fundatoris hujus Ecclesioe" - "soi deo honor et gloria!" and on the largest bell is also inscribed "Radulphus Neville Armiger, I.H.S. 1598.""

"HELPERBY, in the parish of Brafferton, wapentake of Bulmer, and liberty of St. Peter's; ¼ mile S. of Brafferton, 4 miles NE. of Boroughbridge. Population, 611."

"THORNTON BRIDGE, in the parish of Brafferton, wapentake of Halikeld, and liberty of Richmondshire; 4 miles NE. of Boroughbridge. Pop. 43.

Here stood, till lately, a very ancient mansion of brick, lofty and spacious, successively the residence of the ancient families of Courtney, Nevile, and Strickland, of whom Sir Thomas Strickland was one of the Privy Council to King James II. whose fortunes he followed into France, and died there. --Hargrove. It is now, with some extensive farms adjoining, in the hands of the crown.

About 6 or 7 years ago, a quantity of silver coins was found, here, in removing an old wall, chiefly of the reign of William and Mary, in 5s. and 2s. 6d. pieces. Mr Paley, the present tenant, sent them to government -value upwards of 40L. as old silver.

Thornton-Bridge came to the Stricklands, by the marriage of Sir Walter Strickland, Knight, with Catharine, daughter of Sir Ralph Nevile, descended from a Sir Ralph, a son of Ralph Lord Raby." "The Stricklands forfeited Thornton-Bridge by being concerned in the rebellion of 1715." --Tunstal's remarks."

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]


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