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EASINGWOLD:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer West - Rural Deanery of Easingwold - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish lies in the eastern part of the vale of York, which, if we may accept the testimony of Chevalier Bunsen, is the most beautiful and romantic in the world, the vale of Normandy excepted. The parish comprises 11,953 acres, and includes the townships of Easingwold and Raskelfe; but the latter is now, for all ecclesiastical purposes, a distinct parish. The first named township, containing 6,923 acres, includes the town of Easingwold, and has a population of 2,044. Its rateable value is 12,185. The soil is fertile and well cultivated, and the scenery of a lovely pastoral character, diversified with patches of sylvan beauty. Joseph Horatio Love, Esq., J.P., Hawkhills, Easingwold, is the largest landowner, having bought up several estates here in recent years; W. B. Richardson, Esq., J.P., Huby Burn; the Hon. Payan Dawnay, J.P., Beningbrough Hall; exors. of William Whytehead, of York; Thomas Flawith, Haverwith; and Mrs. Haxby have lands in the township. There is also a large number of small freeholders. Sir George Orby Wombwell is lord of the manor, but does not own any of the land.

The town is pleasantly situated at the foot of the Howardian hills, about 13 miles from York by the great North Road. Alne, the nearest railway station, is distant nearly three miles, an inconvenience sorely felt by the inhabitants, especially on market days. To remedy this, a company has been recently formed for the construction of a branch line, for which the necessary parliamentary powers have been obtained, and the work will he commenced as soon as the directors of the North Eastern Railway sanction the plans for the junction. Though much modernised in recent years, there is just a spice of picturesque antiquity left in the timber and plaster houses, with their quaint gables, that remain - a relic of the 16th century. Easingwold is a market town, the head of a Poor Law Union, and also gives name to a County Council Electoral Division.

Nothing is known of this place before the Norman Conquest; but it is evident from the great number of bronze celts which have been found in the vicinity, that there must have been a very populous British settlement here before the advent of the Romans. About 100 of these were found on Easingwold moor in 1735, and many have been dug up since. They are in shape something between a chisel and an axe-head, but antiquarians are not agreed either as to their origin or their purpose. Some have ascribed them to the Romans, but the most common and probable opinion is, that they belonged to the ancient Britons, but whether as tools or weapons is doubtful. A Roman road or stratum from Aldby to Catterick passed through Easingwold, and doubtless suggested the name of Long or Low Street, which part of the town still bears but no other traces of that people have been found in the district, nor is it known by what name this place was called in the language of the ancient Britons.

The conquering Saxons gave to each place a descriptive or significant name in their own tongue, and these appellations have come down to our time, but frequently with so much change, that it is impossible to tell the original meaning. Such appears to be the case with Easingwold. Three or four derivations have been suggested. A popular one is the "Eases' or place of rest and refreshment on the "wold" or wood*; but this is improbable even though fortified by Camden's statement, "heere upon the Causeys (the old Roman roads) were Innes, furnished with all necessaries belonging to this life for travellers and way-faring persons to abide and rest in." Mr. Gill in his Vallis Eboracensis, says the name is most probably derived from "Ease" still common in the adjoining county of Lancaster for rich irriguous land, occasionally overflowed; and "wold" a wood or forest. Of the meaning of the latter part of the name there can be no doubt, but may not the first portion be the clan or family name of the early Saxon owners. The Esings were the descendants of OEsc, and are mentioned in the pedigree of Ida, king of Northumbria.

* Easingwold was on the border of the Forest of Galtres.

Easingwold had risen to some importance under the Saxons, and at the time of the Domesday Survey it had both a church and a priest. The manor, which comprised within its soke ten townships, had previously been held by Earl Morcar, but was then in the King's hands. In the reign of the Confessor it was valued at 32 - at the time of the Survey it was only worth 20 shillings - melancholy evidence of the devastation inflicted on the district by the Normans. The manor appears to have remained in the possession of the Crown until 1265, when it was granted by Henry III. to his second son, Edmund Crouchback, first earl of Lancaster, to whom, according to Dugdale, his nephew, Edward I. granted an annual fair to be held on the eve and festival of Our Lady. This connection involved Easingwold and its neighbourhood in the turbulent proceedings of Thomas, the second earl of Lancaster, against Edward II., which terminated in the battle of Boroughbridge, March 16th, 1321, and the execution of the earl at Pontefract six days later. The attainder was reversed in 1327, and the possessions of the deceased earl were restored to his brother Henry, styled the "Good duke of Lancaster." Henry died in 1361, leaving two daughters, between whom his vast estates were divided. Blanche, the younger, married John of Gaunt, earl of Richmond, and afterwards duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III., and conveyed to that nobleman, among numerous other lordships, the manor of Esyngwold.

We next find Easingwold in the possession of Ralph Neville, the first earl of Westmoreland, to whom it was probably transferred by his marriage with Joan, daughter of John of Gaunt, by Catherine Swinford, first his concubine, and afterwards his wife, The manor subsequently reverted to the Crown, probably by forfeiture during the contests between the Houses of York and Lancaster; and so it appears to have remained until 1633, when it was granted by Charles I. to Thomas Belasyse, first Lord Fauconberg. Henry, the last Earl Fauconberg, who died in 1802, left issue, four daughters, co-heiresses of whom, Anne, the second daughter, married Sir George Wombwell, Bart., from whom Sir George Orby Wombwell, Bart., the present lord of the manor, is descended.

The archdeacons of Richmond had a capital mansion and estate here, over which they exercised manorial privileges distinct from those of the Crown and the several grantees of the manor above mentioned. This office was instituted by Archbishop Thomas, about the year 1090, and then, or soon afterwards, the church and manor were granted towards the endowment of the archdeaconry.

Gale, in his "Honour of Richmond," gives some interesting particulars of the archdeacon's manor of Easingwold. Their manor-house, which, in the time of Archdeacon Henry de Newark (1281), was in excellent condition, had, during the incumbency of his two immediate successors, Gerard de Wypas and Cardinal Francis Gayton, from 1290 to 1317, become ruinous and greatly in need of repair. William Paycocke, a free tenant of the manor, held a house with two others, paying to the archdeacon a yearly rent of 2s.; Beatrix, a widow, held one toft and two oxgangs of land, with their appurtenances, paying for the same 4s. per annum, with one cock and three hens at Christmas, 40 eggs at Easter, and one day's mowing; William Fitz-hugh held one toft and one oxgang of land with an additional portion, at a rent of 3s.; and Robert in le Wra one toft and one oxgang, at 2s. per annum, each rendering by moieties the same services as widow Beatrix. Robert Folyfant held one toft, with a croft, for which he paid a rent of 12d., and was bound to help to make the lord's hay, receiving his meat once in the day; and John Taylor held a toft, with a croft, at 16d. per annum and similar services. Even allowing for the scarcity and, consequently, greater value of money at that time, the tenants of the manor were certainly not paying a rack-rent.

After the foundation of the bishopric of Chester, in 1541, and the transference of the archdeaconry of Richmond to that see - though Easingwold always was, and still remains, in the archdeaconry of Cleveland - the archdeacons ceased to reside here, and the manor-house was occupied by several persons of distinction as lessees of the successive bishops. In the reign of William and Mary it was the residence of the Right Hon. Thomas Raynes, Lord Mayor of York; and William Salvin, Esq., of Newbiggin Hall, having married that gentleman's niece, became possessed, as lessee, of the manorial residence and its appurtenances. Mary, daughter of Thomas Salvin, the next possessor, married Peter Bell, Esq., who re-leased part of his freehold estate to Sir William Vavasour. This family was the last of its gentle owners, and after their time the Manor House became the residence of farmer. The building was taken down a little over 50 years ago, and the present farmhouse erected on the site; but a few venerable pines, the fish pond, and the moat as it then was, were left to point out the former importance of the place. The latter two were filled up about 11 years ago, by the present occupant and owner of the house, John Allison, yeoman, and only one of the Weymouth pines now remains.

The town of Easingwold, small and picturesque, consists of two parts, known respectively as Uppleby and Lessimers. The former name is applied to the northern or higher part of the town, and in the opinion of Mr. Gill indicates a Danish origin. He supposes it to have been a distinct village, or suburb, founded by some Danish settlers, under a chieftain named Upple. May not the name rather signify its more elevated situation, and simply mean Upperby or Upper town. The lower part of the town bears the designation of Lessimers, a corruption of lease-mires. It was, according to Mr. Gill, frequently covered with water, and called, in consequence, the mires, which mires were afterwards leased by a member of the family of Bourchier, of Beningbrough, to the inhabitants of Easingwold, for a trifling sum.

The town still retains some of its quaint picturesque timber and plaster houses, but they are rapidly diminishing. One in Uppleby bears the inscription GOD . WITH VS. 1664, recording probably some old parliamentarian's recollections of Marston Moor, where this was the rallying cry of the party. Others bear indications of still greater antiquity.

The Market Place is a spacious square about two acres in extent. The old Toll Booth, with its flight of stone steps, and the base of the ancient Market Cross still remain, but a commodious Public Hall has taken the place of the double row of shambles which disfigured the square. It was erected in 1863, by a company of shareholders, at a cost of 1,423, and is let for public meetings, entertainments, &c. The County Court is held here every alternate month, and Petty Sessions the second and last Wednesdays in each month. The Fire Brigade occupy a portion of the ground floor. The building is of brick, of a neat design, and surmounted by a tower at the west end, in which is a clock, presented by Thomas Rocliffe, Esq., of Sowerby, Thirsk. Near the Market Cross is a circle, formed of large sized paving stones, with a larger one in the centre. This was the bull-ring, when the barbarous sport of bull-baiting was a favourite amusement in many a Yorkshire village. The Stocks and Whipping Post are gone, and the Ducking Stool, for the reformation of scolds, was long since taken down as totally useless and superfluous.

The market is held under letters patent granted to George Hall, gentleman, the owner of an estate here, by Charles I., in 1638, whereby he and his heirs and assigns for ever were to have a free market, to be held in the town of Easingwold every Friday, and also two Wakes, or Fairs, on the feasts of St. John the Baptist and the Holy Rood, and another market for cattle every alternate Friday. This charter, it appears from the Records of the Duchy of Lancaster, did not originate the market, but simply revived or extended the privileges of one which had been held from time immemorial. In 1646 the bye-law men, on behalf of the inhabitants, agreed by indenture to grant the present Market Place to George Hall, - he undertaking that the inhabitants within the manor should be for ever free from all tolls in the market; and that he and his heirs should repair the pavement in the Market Place, and build and keep in repair the Toll Booth, 10 yards long and six broad. In 1838 the Rev. William Lockwood, on behalf of himself and others, owners of the Market Place, endeavoured to enforce the payment of tolls. An action at law was commenced against George Lund and James Wood. The case was argued four times at York and six times at Westminster. Finally it ended by a compromise - the claim to exemption being admitted, and both parties agreeing to pay their own costs.

The market is held on Fridays, and is well supplied with butter, bacon, and eggs, which are chiefly purchased for York Market; a large quantity of corn is also sold by sample. Fairs for horses, cattle, and sheep are held on the 2nd of April, 6th of July, and 26th of September; and one for entire horses on the first or second Friday in April. An Agricultural Society was established in 1860. Its annual show is held on or about the 19th of September, and is open to exhibitors resident within 15 miles of the Market Cross. Easingwold has long been noted for the manufacture of butcher and table steels, which are sent to all parts of the country.

The town has been lighted with gas since 1857, when works were erected by the Easingwold Gas and Coke Co., Ltd. The capital of the company is 1,500, in 5 shares. There are two gasholders, with a capacity of 10,000 cubic feet. The gas is sold at 5s. per 1,000 cubic feet.* Besides the numerous wells that supply the town with water, there are several medicinal springs in the vicinity, but they have not hitherto attracted much notice.

* In laying some gas pipes in Long Street and the Market Place, during the past year, the bones and horns of deer were found, some of the latter quite perfect. How many centuries must have passed away since those denizens of the forest perished on the spot where their remains were found?

The church is pleasantly situated on an eminence commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country, reaching as far southward as the towers of York Minster. It consists of chancel, nave, with north and south aisles, and tower at the west end. Easingwold, as we have seen, had its church in Saxon times. The oldest part of the present structure is the north doorway, which belongs to the Early English period: but it is doubtful whether this stands in situ, or has been an insertion. An arcade of five pointed arches flanks the nave on each side, dividing it from the aisles. The body of the church appears to belong to the early part of the fourteenth century, the square-headed windows are probably later insertions. The tower is also a later addition. Several of the windows are of stained glass. The east one, of three lights, on which are depicted scenes in the life of our Blessed Lord, is a memorial of the Rev. John Armitstead, the Rev. David Paley, and the Rev. Samuel James Allen, successive vicars of the parish from 1771 to 1856, In the north aisle is a mural tablet to Thomas Raynes, Esq., once lord mayor of York, who died in 1713, and lies buried in the chancel. The tower contains a clock and a peal of six bells, the sixth one having been added in 1887, in commemoration of Her Majesty's jubilee, and called "Victoria." In the belfry is preserved a large oak coffin with iron rings, which, if we may believe tradition, was used as a public bier for carrying the dead to the grave with no other covering than the shroud. Torr, in his MSS., mentions several testamentary burials in the church previous to the Reformation, but not a trace of any of them is now to be seen. One was that of Thomas Rawson, who died in 1452. He was chaplain of the fraternity of St. Mary, in the high church of Esyngwold, and was buried in the sanctuary.

The churchyard was enlarged in 1858, and again in 1886.

The church appears under two separate dedications in old documents, viz., St. John the Baptist and All Saints. The latter, according to Archdeacon Churton, is indicative of a Saxon origin; but recent investigations have shown that the former is the oldest, and has now been adopted.

The living is a vicarage in the gift of the bishop of Chester, worth 300 a year, with residence and 30 acres of glebe, The Rev. N. Jackson, M.A., is the present vicar. The vicarage house is a commodious brick building, erected in 1884, at a cost of over 2,000, by the present vicar, aided by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The Catholic church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is a neat Early English structure, erected in 1830, with burial ground and presbytery attached. A handsome stone altar was presented by Madame Stapylton, of Myton Hall, in 1870. A fine wooden screen, of Gothic design, separates the sanctuary from the nave. This was added in 1888. The original church was at Newburgh Priory, but when Lord Thomas Fauconberg conformed to the Established Church the Catholics removed to Angram Hall, thence to Oulston, subsequently to Crayke, and finally to the present church. In connection with the church is a school, built in 1871, and attended by about 50 children.

The Wesleyan Methodists erected their first chapel in the time of John Wesley. This was replaced by a more commodious structure in 1815, at a cost of 970. A school was added in 1836. It is attended by about 130 children, and is supported by voluntary contributions, school fees, and examination grant.

The Primitive Methodist Chapel is a neat brick building, erected in 1840, at a cost of 562, but since enlarged and renovated interiorly, raising the total cost to over 1,000.

The Grammar School is an old foundation, endowed as a free school in 1781, by Mrs. Eleanor Westerman, who left 2,500 reduced three per cent. annuities for that purpose, but was reorganised by the Charity Commissioners in 1881. The governing body, of which the Hon. Payan Dawnay is the chairman, consists of two ex-officio, three representative, and four co-optative members. Five scholarships (free) are held by the sons of inhabitants of the parish of Easingwold, vacancies being filled up after a competitive examination. The tuition fees fixed by the governors are 6 a year for boys residing with their parents in the parish, and 10 for others. Boarders are received into the head master's house. The present head master is Mr. J. Davis, B.A., Cantab., who is assisted by a staff of masters.

The National School is a neat brick building, erected in 1862, to which an infants' room was added in 1877. Over the door is a significant warning to lazy children, "Learn or Leave;" but, fortunately for such children, though unfortunately for the teacher, the Compulsory Education Act gives no such choice. Seven boys and seven girls are taught free, from charities left for that purpose.

CHARITIES. - In 1599 the Rev. Ralph Stringer bequeathed Fossbridge House for the residence of two poor people. The house was rebuilt about 1800, at a cost of 90, for four poor widows. In 1666 the Rev. George Wilson gave 5 acres of land called North Moor Close, half the rent to be applied in supplying fuel to Fossbridge House, and the rest to be given to the needy poor. In 1640, John Foster left to the poor a yearly rent-charge of 10s., and Nathaniel Wilson, in 1726, left to the poor a rent-charge of 20s. and 10s. for a sermon on the 5th of November. In 1713, Toft Ings (7 acres) was purchased with poor's money; and, in 1810, on the inclosure of the town field, 4 acres 5 poles in Craikefield were allotted in lieu of land formerly devised to the poor. In 1728, Ann Cobb bequeathed 4 acres 3 roods 37 poles, called Whitebread Closes, 40s. of the rents to be applied to the poor of Sutton, and the remainder to be expended in bread to be given to the poor in church every Sunday. In 1783, George Westerman left 200 Old South Sea Annuities - the dividends, after paying for the repairs of his tomb, to be laid out in bread for the poor. In 1798, John Raper left 100 three per cent. console to provide for the yearly payment of 2 to four poor labouring housekeepers who had no trade, and 1 to the teachers of the Sunday School at Easingwold. In 1810 the Rev. William Comber left 50, the interest to be given to the poor. In 1761, William Kitchen left the rent of two roodlands in the Church field for the poor; and 10s. a year out of Raylands for teaching a poor boy. In 1778, William Driffield bequeathed the interest of 50 for teaching four poor children to read, write, and sew. Thomas Raynes, who died in 1713, left 10 to the poor of Easingwold, and the rent of Hardlegate Close, for educating five poor children. In 1698, Alice Smith left a rent-charge of 40s. for apprenticing one poor boy. In 1676, Francis Driffield bequeathed an almshouse here for the residence of four poor single women, and 12 acres of land, called Blakestell Closes, for their benefit and for apprenticing one poor boy. In 1759, William Coopland left the interest of 10 towards clothing two poor boys. In 1738, Thomas Wray left the interest of 20 to he divided among four poor widows. In 1834, Ann Driffield left the dividend of 100 Government Stock to be given in bread to the poor. Miss Rachel Whytehead, who died in 1857, bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens for the time being, 100, the interest thereof to be applied in the distribution of bibles, prayer books, and hymn books, and for educational purposes. John Haxby, in 1873, left to the vicar and churchwardens 100, the interest to be distributed in bread. These charities are now in the hands of the Commissioners, but the income is much reduced. There are now eleven almshouses.

Easingwold Poor Law Union comprehends 29 townships, embracing 96 square miles; gross estimated rental, 101,447; and population, 9,533. The Workhouse is a commodious brick building, erected in 1837, at a cost of 2,000, and is capable of accommodating 130. The number of inmates in January, 1889, was 44. An Infirmary for infectious diseases was built in 1869, at a cost of about 700. It will accommodate 20 patients.

The following places are included in the Union:- Aldwark, Alne, Angram Grange, Brafferton, Brandsby-cum-Stearsby, Carlton Husthwaite, Coxwold, Crayke, Dalby-cum-Skewsby, Easingwold, Farlington, Flawith, Huby, Husthwaite, Linton-upon-Ouse, Marton-cum-Moxby, Myton-upon-Swale, Newburgh, Newton-upon-Ouse, Oulston, Raskelf, Stillington, Sutton-on-the-Forest, Tholthorpe Thormanby, Thornton-on-the-Hill, Whenby, Wildon Grange, Yearsley.

Hawkhills is a mansion and estate about two miles S. of Easingwold. It was lately the property of J. W. M. Walker, Esq., from whom it was purchased,. in 1873, by J. H. Love, Esq., J.P., for 30,000. Mr. Love has greatly improved the grounds, and the house is now undergoing extensive alterations and enlargement from the designs of Messrs. Woodd & Ainslie, architects London at an estimated cost of 12,000. When completed it will be lighted by electricity.

Huby Burn is a large brick mansion, the seat and property of William B. Richardson, Esq., J.P., and alderman of the County Council, by whom it was erected in 1888. It is pleasantly situated, and commands some fine views of the Hambleton Hills and the surrounding country.

LOCAL WORTHIES. - Shaw, the life-guardsman, who performed prodigies of valour on the field of Waterloo, was a native of Easingwold. He served his apprenticeship to a blacksmith at the sign of the Horse Shoe; but soon after the completion of his term he enlisted in the guards, in which regiment he attained the rank of corporal. At the battle of Waterloo he distinguished himself as a swordsman, and he is said to have slain or disabled ten Frenchmen before he fell, from loss of blood. His grave is still pointed out to the traveller close to La Haye Sainte, on the plain of Waterloo.

Mr. Thomas Gill, author of "Vallis Eboracensis, comprising the History and Antiquities of Easingwold and its neighbourhood," was also a native of the place. He was, for several years, a bookseller in the town, and during the time he edited the "Life and Times of Louis Philippe," and several other works. He also published and edited the "Easingwold Chronicle," a weekly newspaper. Poverty clouded his latter years, and he died, if we are not mistaken, a few years ago, in the York Union.

RASKELF is a township and ecclesiastical parish, comprising an area of 3,928 acres, chiefly the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The. population is 478, and the rateable value, 10,047. Formerly a large portion of the township was waste or common, and though all is now inclosed the names of Hagmoor, Lundmoor, and Pilmoor still survive.

The village of Raskelf is situated on an elevation about a mile from the railway station of that name, 2 miles from Easingwold, and nine miles from Thirsk. Its name was written Raschel by the scribes of the Domesday Book, and from that valuable record we learn that at the time of the Conquest this manor, which contained eight carucates of land, was held by Cnut, who was probably either a Dane, or of Danish descent. Soon afterwards we find it in the possession of Ascitel de Bulmer, whose name betokens a Saxon origin. From this Ascitel was descended Bertram de Bulmer, whose only daughter and heiress, Emma, married Geoffrey de Neville, and in this family Raskelf continued for several generations. In 1387 Ralph Neville, afterwards Earl of Westmoreland, received the royal license to inclose his wood at Raskelf, near the King's Forest of Galtres, and to construct there a park, and near to it three deer-leaps, each 100 feet in length. Charles, the sixth earl, having been concerned with the Earl of Northumberland and others in the Rising of the North - an attempt to reestablish the Catholic religion in the reign of Elizabeth - was attainted of treason, and his estates were forfeited to the Crown. The queen sold Raskelf to the Tancreds, from whom it descended to the Earl of Carlisle, and that nobleman, in 1650, conveyed it to Lord Belasyse, who died in 1689, bequeathing his estates, in equal portions, among his four surviving daughters. Three of them died without having had children who lived to the age of 21, and the surviving sister, Barbara, wife of Sir John Webb, Bart., became possessed of the whole. The present representative of the family, W. F. Webb, Esq., of Newstead Abbey,. Notts., and Cowton, Yorks., sold the estate to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1876, thus severing a connection which had subsisted for about 200 years.

The name of the township is of doubtful derivation. In some old documents it is written Raskell, which Mr. Gill supposes to be a relic of old forest lore. All animals not included among beasts of the chase were termed rascals; and the moors which once surrounded the village, he suggests, may have afforded shelter for such mean animals. He further adds that in later days the epithet, in its modern acceptation, was not inapplicable to the inhabitants who had the reputation of being "smugglers, thieves, robbers, and murderers." A more probable derivation, however, is Ra, a roe, and scylfe, a term applied to shelving land or the sides of hills; and we have seen above that one of the early Neville owners had three deer-leaps here.

The Church (St. Mary) is an interesting old edifice, with a singular wooden tower that cannot fail to attract the visitor's attention. It was partially rebuilt in 1879, but fortunately the restored church is a copy of the original, in which several of the ancient features have been retained. At the same time an aisle was added on the south side. The north aisle is evidently the oldest part of the structure; the small Norman window in the eastern part of the wall, and a few other traces indicating the transition period of the Norman style, which prevailed from about A.D. 1140 to 1200. It is, therefore, probable that it was built by Bertram de Bulmer, the sheriff, who gave his name to Sheriff Hutton, which place, according to tradition, was the burial place for Raskelf. The western part of the aisle was rebuilt in the early pointed style, and two of the original pillars, with their capitals, have been retained. "The arches and pillars which connect the eastern part of the aisle with the chancel," says Mr. Gill, "are of wood of very early character." The windows of the chancel exhibit the curvilinear tracery of the 14th century, and the east window of the north aisle is an insertion of the 15th century. All these have been re-inserted in the restored church, with their fragments of painted glass showing the armorial bearings of the Neville, Scrope, Dacre and Percy families. The font is of great antiquity, probably as old as the original church. There are three bells in the tower. One bears the invocation "Sancte Jacobe Ora pro nobis" (St. James Pray for us), which evidently fixes its date anterior to the Reformation. On another is "Remember thy end and flie Prid 1593. R.W. God save this Navel" (Neville), and some initials. The third bell is inscribed "Soli Deo Gloria, pax Hominibus," with some initials, and the date 1653. Mr. Gill conjectures, with great probability, that this bell fixes the date of the wooden tower, which, he conceives, was rendered necessary by the addition of a third bell - the original design having only included a campanile on the west gable for two bells.

The Living, formerly a perpetual curacy, is now a new vicarage, in the gift of the Bishop of Chester, gross value, 310, and held by the Rev. E. R. Mosley, M.A.

The Wesleyan Chapel is a plain brick building, erected in 1835. The Parochial School was built by W. F. Webb, Esq., in 1856, and is now the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

CHARITIES. - John Foster left to the poor of Raskelf 6 13s. 4d. per annum, in 1640. William Jackson bequeathed 100, with which five acres of land was purchased near White Houses - one-half of the rent is applied to the education of poor children, and the other half is distributed among the poor. The poor also receive the rent of a close near Easingwold, rent about 6 per annum; a rent charge of 5s. a year out of land at Dishforth; and the interest of 20, of which 10 was the bequest of Isabel Jackson.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]

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