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Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Hang West - Electoral Division, County Court District, and Poor Law Union of Leyburn - Rural Deanery of Catterick West - Archdeaconry of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.
Hauxwell or Hawkswell is a small parish lying between Finghall and Catterick, and is wholly of rural character. The soil is light and gravelly, and chiefly laid down for grazing. The parish includes the townships of East Hauxwell, West Hauxwell, Barden, and Garriston, covering a total area of 4,590 acres. The townships of East and West Hauxwell comprise respectively 1,249 and 892 acres, and are valued for rating purposes at £936 and £607. The population of the former in 1881 was 95, and of the latter 40. The estate, which comprises the two townships, with all manorial rights, formerly belonged to the Daltons, and a stone column in the grounds in front of the hall, thus records an act of generosity of a daughter and heiress of this family; "In memory of Mrs. Eliza Dalton, daughter and one of the co-heiresses of Fr. Marmaduke Dalton, who, in regard to her family, restored this estate to her uncle, Fr. Charles Marmaduke Dalton, Gentleman, Usher of the Black Rod, in the year 1717." It afterwards came into the possession of the Gales, and on the deaths of the Misses Gale, it was inherited by their niece, the wife of Col. Hamlet Coote Wade, who, thereupon, assumed the name of Dalton, in addition to his own.*
* Just as these sheets were going to press, the newspapers armounce the death of the gallant Colonel on the 8th of December, 1889, at the age of 80. He was a magistrate for the North Riding, and succeeded the Duke of Leeds as commander of the North York Militia.
The Hall is a good stone mansion, erected about the time of James I., and consists of a centre and two wings, surrounded by a well-wooded park. The north entrance gateway to the latter bears the arms of the Dalton family.
The village of East Hauxwell occupies a pleasant but secluded situation on the road leading from Constable Burton to Richmond.
West Hauxwell consists of Hauxwell Hall, above mentioned, the rectory, two farmhouses, and two cottages.
The Church (St. Oswald) is an ancient Gothic edifice, consisting of nave, chancel with north chapel, and an embattled tower, in which are three bells. It was thoroughly restored in 1861, at the sole expense of the late Misses Gale. The north chapel was a chantry founded by one of the junior branches of the family of Burgh or Brough, of Brough Hall; and in the old florid stall work the swan, the cognizance of the de Burghs, is a prominent figure. In the chancel floor is a fragment of a Saxon tombstone, on which is carved a serpentine figure with large gills, perhaps the Midgardsworm of northern mythology; and in the churchyard is the shaft of a stone cross with Saxon knot-work on the sides. The benefice is a rectory, in the patronage of the lord of the manor. In Henry VIII.'s time it was valued at £20 14s. 4½d.; its present worth is about £350. Rev. Charles Edward Topham, M.A., is the rector.
BARDEN township, comprising 1,780 acres, is generally of a high moorland character, and contains only a very small portion of arable land. It is valued for rateable purposes at £842. The Rokeby family were formerly the owners of a large part of the township; it is now the property of the exors. of Col. Wade-Dalton, the trustees of the late William Carter, Mr. Robert Deacon, Stainton; and Mr. Robert Brigham, Weatherby.
The village is situated on the side of an eminence, four miles N.N.E. of Leyburn. A chapel was erected here by the Wesleyans in 1877; it is a small but neat brick building. Barden Dykes is a hamlet about one mile N.W. of Barden.
By the side of the road which proceeds across Hawkswell Moor to Richmond is "Hart-Leap Well," the story of which forms the subject of one of Wordsworth's poems. The legend briefly told is to the following effect: At that indefinable period usually indicated by the story teller as "Once upon a time," there occurred here a chase remarkable alike for its speed and its duration, which so fatigued both horses and hounds, that one by one they dropped off, until a single horseman remained.A rout this morning left Sir Walter's Hall, That as they galloped made the echoes roar; But horse and man are vanished one and all; Such race I think was never seen before.At length the hart - the finest specimen of his kind - worn out and exhausted with its extraordinary run, bounded down the declivity in three tremendous leaps and dropped dead beside this well. Three rough hewn pillars of stone long marked the site of the marvellous leaps, and were still standing when Wordsworth enshrined the story in immortal verse.
GARRISTON township, containing 670 acres, is chiefly the property of Marmaduke Wyvill, Esq. The soil is loamy, resting on a subsoil of clay. Rateable value £578, and population about 30.
[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.