CATTERICK, a parish in the wapentake of Hang East, and liberty of Richmondshire; 5 miles ESE. of Richmond, and about one mile from the Southern banks of the Swale. Here is a large and ancient parish church, dedicated to St. Anne (see Churches for photograph); the living is a vicarage in the gift of the Crown, and the Rev. Alexander John Scott, D.D. chaplain to His Majesty, is the incumbent.
This Rev. gentleman was chaplain to the lamented Hero of Trafalgar, who expired in his arms. In Catterick is a free grammar school, founded by the Rev. Michael Siddall, vicar of this parish, in 1645, and very liberally endowed. Here is also a hospital for six poor widows belonging to the parish. The modern Catterick is only a village, containing 561 inhabitants.
It is a place of great antiquity, and was unquestionably a Roman city but finally destroyed by the Danes, about the year 766. Here the Roman road, the great Ermine Street (which in Saxon signifies a military way) crossed the river. The first cohort of the Thracians was garrisoned here when Virus Lupus was Propraetor of Britain. Catterick is called Cattaractonium and Cateracton by Ptolemy, and Cataracta by Bede: the former of which confers no small honor on it, in his second book of geography, from thence taking an observation of the posture of the heavens, describing the 24th parallel through this place, and making it distant from the equator fifty-seven degrees. Cade supposes this place to have been honoured with a academy for the study of the sciences, and that, he thinks, the high mountain mentioned by Camden and other authors, was the place set apart for astronomical observations. -Archaeol. He considers Burgh to have been the quarter including the Mint; Thornbrough the station; and the limits of the city from the village to the bridge. But whatever the Roman city was, it has now, as Camden observes, nothing great but the memory of what it once was, having been totally destroyed by the Danes; and the modern Catterick is now only a village. " Keterek," says Leland, "is now a very poor town." Here is an hospital for 6 poor widows, and teaching poor children, founded and endowed in 1658, by the Rev. Snydale - present value. 48L. per annum.
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]