"GRINTON, a parish partly in the western division of the wapentake of HANG, and partly in the western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK, 9 miles S.W. from Richmond, containing, with the chapelry of Muker, and the townships of Melbecks and Reeth, which are in the wapentake of Gilling, 6300 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, rated in the king's books at £12. 5. 7., and in the patronage of the Crown. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, has been lately repaired; its windows exhibit some beautiful specimens of ancient stained glass. James Hutchinson, in 1643, gave a school-house and dwelling-house, with other premises, and £20 a year, for the maintenance of a master: the annual income is £73, which is paid to the vicar for the education of about eighty children on the National system. There are in this extensive parish considerable mines of iron, lead, and copper. On an eminence near Helagh is an ancient British encampment, approached from the east by an avenue about one hundred and twenty yards long, formed of stones, at the commencement of which is a large barrow, composed of stones and gravel, and about three hundred yards south-westward from the camp is another barrow, six yards high; there are vestiges of other intrenchments, and several cairns in the neighbourhood."
"MELBECKS, a township in that part of the parish of GRINTON, which is in the western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK, 14 miles S.W. from Richmond, containing 1726 inhabitants."
"MUKER, a chapelry in that part of the parish of GRINTON, which is in the western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK 6 miles N.N.W. from Askrigg, containing 1435 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Grinton, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £1000 parliamentary grant. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, was consecrated in 1580. The river Swale runs through the parish, and forms a romantic cataract, called Keasden Force. Anthony Metcalfe, in 1678, bequeathed a messuage for the foundation of a free school, the income arising from which is about £20. 10. a year. A subscription library was formed here in 1819. A customary market is held on Wednesday, and a fair for sheep, &c., on the Wednesday preceding Christmas - day. The parish abounds with lead and iron ore, coal, and limestone."
"REETH, a market-town in that part of the parish of GRINTON, which is in the western division of the wapentake of GILLING, North riding of the county of YORK, 9 miles S.W. from Richmond, containing 1460 inhabitants. This town is situated on an elevated spot of ground, at a short distance from the confluence of the rivers Arkle and Swale, and commands a beautiful and picturesque view of the adjacent country. It is nearly quadrangular, and is irregularly built. The knitting of stockings is extensively carried on, and in the neighbourhood are lead mines in operation. A market, granted by charter in the 6th of William and Mary, is held on Friday; and fairs are on the Friday before Good Friday, Old May-day, Old Midsummer-day, the festival of St. Bartholomew, Old Martinmas-day, and St. Thomas' day. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. The Friends school was erected at the expense of George and John Raw, the former of whom, in 1814, bequeathed £1500 for its support, and the latter, in 1815, left £500 for a similar purpose} the interest of these benefactions, amounting to £72 per annum, is paid in support of a master, who educates thirty-three poor children. Opposite to Healaugh, in this township, on Harker- hill, are the remains of an intrenchment, one hundred feet square, called Maiden's Castle; on the east side of the hill and in the dale are others, in one of which some pieces of armour have been found: they are supposed to be of Roman origin."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]