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Wapentake of Langbaurgh East - Electoral Division of Lythe - Petty Sessional Division of Whitby Strand - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Whitby - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
GLAISDALE is an extensive township and ecclesiastical parish containing 11,687 acres, of which 5,597 are moorlands. The rateable value is £6,698, and the population 1,103. Viscount Downe is lord of the manor, and the following are the principal landowners:- William Wood, Oulton Grange, Leeds; Messrs. Z. and G. Brown, Glaisdale Hall; George Andrew, Saltburn-by-the-Sea; Robert Frank, Whitby; George Woodwark, Glaisdale Head; J. E. Thomas, Thirsk; Scarth Moon, Glaisdale Head; John Harding, Wind Hill; General Benson, Whitby; exors. of the late William Walker, Whitby; W. H. Rhodes, Whitby; Messrs. Frank and John Watson; Mrs. Petch, Kirby Moorside; Mrs. M. A. Gifford; exors. of the late J. J. Gutch, York; William Seaton Gray, Whitby; and R. Micklethwaite, St. Leonards-on-the-Sea.
The township stretches from the Esk southward to Shunnor Howe, embracing the richly wooded and picturesque valley of Glaisdale, and part of Great Fryup. The vale is remarkably fertile, and the barren hills by which it is surrounded, lend, by the contrast, an intensity to the richness of the verdant pastures and cornfields below.
The hills abound with iron ore, and in 1869, three blast furnaces were erected and fitted with the most improved appliances for smelting the ore, by Messrs. Firth & Hodgson, at Glaisdale End. They were, however, unable to compete with firms whose works were more conveniently situated for the delivery of ore and coke, and the furnaces were blown out in 1875. The works and 117 acres were recently purchased by J. Dickson, Esq., of Glaisdale Hall.
Glaisdale End is a small scattered village on the bank of the Esk. A chapel-of-ease was erected here in 1388, and in 1741 a district was assigned to it, and a perpetual curacy ordained. The old chapel was taken down in 1793, and the present church built on the site and thatched with straw. In 1860 the parish of Danby was divided, and part of Fryup was added to Glaisdale, and eight years later the living was constituted a new vicarage, and the church licensed for marriages. The fabric was restored by subscription in 1875 at a cost of £600.
A laudable effort was made to convert, as far as the means would permit, the churchwardenized building of last century into an ecclesiastical edifice more in harmony with the regenerated architectural taste of the present age. The north gallery was wholly removed, and the sash windows replaced by handsome mullioned ones filled with tinted glass. The old high-backed box pews gave place to open seats of pitchpine, and the flat ceiling to an open timbered roof. The tower was at the same time raised in height and furnished with a new bell. The burial ground was consecrated in 1793. The living is in the gift of the Archbishop of York and is worth £221 per annum. Present incumbent the Rev. Ph. Ahier, and curate-in-charge, the Rev. A. W. Hedges.
The Wesleyans have a chapel here, built in 1821, to which a burial ground was added in 1850, the land being given by Thomas Brown. There is also a Board School attended by about 24 children.
Lealholm Bridge, Stonegate, and Houlsyke are hamlets in the township. The first named place is delightfully situated on the bank of the Esk amidst some lovely scenery. Hard by is Crunkley Gill, a deep and narrow chasm richly clothed with wood, through which the Esk forces its impetuous course, and a little to the north on Danby Low Moors is a conspicuous eminence, 966 feet high, called Danby Beacon, on the summit of which the inhabitants of the district celebrated Her Majesty's Jubilee by a huge bonfire. A little further north on the moors are some pits arranged in parallel lines. These have been generally regarded as the remains of an ancient British village, but they have been cruelly robbed of their pre-historic interest by a recent investigator who says "they were the borings to the ironstone beneath."
Longstone, a tall, upright stone in the vicinity was long believed to have had some connection with Druidical worship, but is now said by modern researchers to have been erected as a boundary mark. About two miles west is a cottage bearing the curious name of Doubting Castle, and on a large stone in the wall by the roadside is inscribed "First draughtway made in the Common Lonin in 1699. T.H."
The North Yorkshire and Cleveland branch of the North Eastern railway passes through the parish, and there are stations at Castleton and Lealholm, the latter of which was opened on the 2nd of October, 1865.
Many of the houses in the township bear marks of antiquity. Plum Tree House was built in 1683, and Stang End, another farm house, in 1704. Underpark is the residence of Messrs. Robert and George Harrison, celebrated breeders of prize Leicester sheep, shorthorn cattle, and Cleveland bays.
The poor have five rent-charges amounting to £4 0s. 8d. a year.
Glaisdale township, though belonging to the liberty of Langbaurgh, now forms part of Wapentake of Whitby Strand.
A School Board of five members was formed in 1873, and schools have been erected at Lealholm Bridge, Glaisdale and Glaisdale End.
[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.