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Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Hang East - Electoral Division of Masham - Poor Law Unions of Leyburn and Bedale - County Court District of Leyburn - Rural Deanery of Catterick - Archdeaconry of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.
This parish was formed out of Masham and Kirkby Malzeard in 1849, and comprises the townships of Healey (excepting that portion called Sutton), Ellingstring, Fearby, Ilton-cum-Pott, detached portions of the townships of Ellington, Masham, and Swinton-cum-Warthermarske, and the hamlet of Colsterdale, which was added to Healey township for rating purposes in 1886, but it remains for all ecclesiastical purposes in the parish of East Witton. The total area embraced within the parochial boundary is about 14,000 acres, a large portion of which is elevated moorland. The township of Healey (which, for all civil purposes, includes Sutton) comprises the hilly tract extending westward to the foot of Witton Fell and Broom Beck Moor, and contains 4,993 acres, chiefly the property of Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq., who is also lord of the manor. The gross estimated rental is £2,119; the rateable value, £1,946; and the population, including Sutton, 244. The soil is loamy, resting on clay and sandstone, and produces oats and barley, but the greater portion of the township is laid down in pasture.
The manor of Healey was formerly held by the Scropes, lords of Masham and Upsall, and about the middle of the 16th century, it came into the possession of Sir Christopher Danby, who had married one of the Scrope co-heiresses. The late William Danby, Esq., leaving no issue, bequeathed his estate to his widow, who subsequently married Admiral Vernon-Harcourt; and, after her death, the estate was purchased by Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq.
The village of Healey is small, but pleasantly situated on the side of a hill, three miles W. of Masham. The Church, which is dedicated to St. Paul, is a neat cruciform structure in the Decorated Gothic style, erected, in 1848, by Admiral Vernon-Harcourt and Annie Holwell Danby Vernon-Harcourt, his wife, by whom also the living was endowed. It comprises nave, chancel, transepts, and a handsome central spire containing one bell, and cost about £2,000. The east window was filled with stained glass at the expense of Sir R. Frankland Russell, and the west one was presented by Mrs. Vernon-Harcourt. The north window was given by the architect, Mr. F. B. Lamb, of London, and two small stained windows have been inserted on the south side of the chancel in memory of the late Rev. John Abraham Carter-Squire, M.A., first vicar of the parish, who died the 8th September, 1885. All the interior fittings, stalls, pulpit, reading desk, screen, &c., are of English oak, and harmonise in style with the rest of the edifice. An excellent organ and handsome lamps suspended from the roof have been added recently. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Vicar of Masham, and incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Powell, M.A. Its gross yearly value is £240. The Vicarage House, erected in 1858, by the late Admiral Harcourt, at a cost of £600, is pleasantly situated near the church. The present gross value of the vicarial tithes is £38 3s. 6d.; and of the rectorial. £69 5s. 0d. The latter are appropriated to Trinity College, Cambridge.
The School is situated at Kell Bank, midway between Healey and Fearby. It was built in 1820, by the late William Danby, Esq., who endowed it with 11a. 2r. 18p. of land, partly in consideration of £450 given by William Heslington, Esq., of Masham. The land now lets for £18 l0s. a year. The school is mixed, under a master, and has an average attendance of about 60.
At South Leighton, the residence of Mr. John Carter Constantine, there was anciently a chapel which was served by the monks of Fountains from their Grange at Pott. It has been disused since the dissolution of monasteries, and converted into a barn, but still bears traces of its original purpose. The Carter family, now represented by the present occupant of South Leighton, has been settled in Healey for nearly two and a half centuries.
ELLINGSTRING is a small township, containing 567 acres of land and 116 inhabitants. The soil is loamy, resting on sandstone, and is chiefly in meadow and pasture. The rateable value is £438. The manor and estate were purchased, after the death of the late Admiral Harcourt, by Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq. Sir John and Lady Cowell own about 58 acres in the township, and the exors. of Thomas Carter, 75 acres. There are also a few small freeholders.
The village is small and very scattered, and is situated about 4½ miles N.W. of Masham. The Wesleyans have a small chapel here, rebuilt in 1848, and church service is held every Sunday afternoon in the schoolroom. The present rateable value of the vicarial tithe is £5 17s.; and of the rectorial, £31 10s. The latter belongs to Trinity College, Cambridge. Ellingstring is in Leyburn Union.
FEARBY, called Federbi in Domesday Book, is a township containing 891 acres, lying about two miles W. of Masham. The surface is hilly, and the soil of a loamy character, resting on sandstone. The rateable value is £902; and the population, 222. A portion of the township is under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Masham. Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq. (lord of the manor); William Burrill, Esq., Masham; and Mr. Thomas and Miss F. L. Verity, Fearby, are the principal landowners. The Wesleyans have a chapel in the village, erected in 1849. An old cottage in the middle of the green occupies the site of an ancient chapel, the stone altar of which may still be seen embedded in the floor. Fearby Cross is a hamlet, consisting of an inn and some cottages. The poor of Fearby have a rent-charge of 10s. a year, left by William Ripley in 1722. The present gross value of the vicarial tithe is £10 11s. 6d.; and of the rectorial, £52. This township is in Leyburn Union.
ILTON cum POTT, the former a straggling village three miles S.W. of Masham, and the latter a moorland tract stretching from four to six miles W. of the same place, give name to a township containing 2,585 acres and 128 inhabitants. Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq., is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is stony and gravelly, and is chiefly devoted to pasture and meadow. The gross rental is £1,670; and the rateable value, £1,522. The township is in Bedale Poor Law Union and Ripon County Court District, The Wesleyans have a chapel in Ilton, built in 1876, at a cost of upwards of £200, which was raised by subscription; and church service is held in the school. The farmhouses generally occupy elevated situations along the ridge of a hill.
The monks of Fountains had a Grange at Pott. At the Dissolution it was seized by Henry VIII. and granted to Sir Rd. Gresham, who subsequently sold it to Mr. Wm. Singleton, from whom it was purchased by Sir Thomas Danby in 1576. Here was born William Ascough, Bishop of Salisbury, who was murdered by the mob in Jack Cade's insurrection. Pott Hall, which probably stands on the site of the ancient grange, has been tenanted by the family of the present occupant, Mr. George Barker, upwards of 200 years.
A little distance from the hall on the opposite side of the Pott beck is Arnagill, a romantic glen with numerous tiny rills tumbling down its steep sides, and immense masses of rock lying scattered about the lower grounds. In a wood between Ilton and Leighton is an imaginary model of a Druid's Temple, formed of large blocks of unhewn stone by the late William Danby, Esq.
The poor of Ilton-cum-Pott receive an ancient payment of 10s. a year out of a cottage and three small fields in the township.
Two instances of extreme longevity have been recorded in the township. Peter Hutchinson of Moorheads died at Grewelthorpe, near Masham, at the age of 105 years, and about 40 years ago, George Wharton, of the same place, "shuffled off this mortal coil" at the age of 115.
Colsterdale is a hamlet three miles west of Healey. Coal mines are said to have been worked here as far back as the year 1334; and iron, in the year 1250. Lead has also been found, but there is no record of the metal having been wrought here.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.