REETH, in the parish of Grinton, wapentake of Gilling West, and liberty of Richmondshire; ¾ mile NW. of Grinton, 8 miles from Leyburn, 10 from Richmond, and 10 from Askrigg. Market, Friday. Fairs Fridays before Good-Friday, old May-day, old Midsummer-day, St Bartholomew, old Martinmas-day, St. Thomas' day, for woollen-cloth, pedlary-ware, &c. Principal Inn, Buck. Population 1,460.
Reeth is situated about half a mile above the conflux of the rivers Arkle and Swale, upon an eminence inclining to the south, and many of the views from the town and neighbourhood are extremely beautiful and highly picturesque. There is a market on Friday, held by charter, granted to Philip Lord Wharton, in the 6th of William and Mary, and a number of fairs, for which see list of fairs. The town is irregularly built, but its form approaches to a square. The places of worship are a chapel for the Independents, erected in 1783, and another for the Methodists in 1796. There is also a school erected in 1778, in sight of Marrick Abbey, and endowed with £80. a year by Messrs. Leonard and George Raw, of the Society of Friends, the school room of which is used on first day by that community as place of religious worship. The staple manufacture of the place is knitted stockings, of which article there is produced in the dales of Swale and Wensley, an amount of at least £40,000. a year, which is bought up principally by the neighbouring hosiers for exportation. The lead mines of Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Red Hurst, serve to enrich this neighbourhood, and it is estimated that their annual produce amounts to 6000 tons. The township of Reeth consists of Reeth, Fremington, and Healaugh. To the west of Healaugh, in a field called Hallgarth, are still to be seen the remains of a house said to have belonged to John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster who was lord of the manor. Opposite Healaugh, is a hill called Harker. where are the remains of an entrenchment called Maiden's castle, about one hundred yards square. Along the east of the hill there is another entrenchment, much larger than the former. There is also another entrenchment which runs in a direct line across the dale and passes through Fremington, where some pieces of armour have been found, from which it is inferred that these works were of Roman origin.
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]