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HELMSLEY:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"HELMSLEY, a parish, post and market town, in the wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 5 miles N. of the Gilling station on the Thirsk and Malton railway, 6 W. of Kirby Moorside, and 23 N. of York. The town, which was formerly of more importance than at present, is situated on rising ground under the Cleveland hills, at the base of which flows the river Rye. The houses are mostly built of stone and roofed with tiles and thatch. It is well supplied with water from springs, and was thoroughly drained in 1853. The parish of Helmsley contains 7 townships and is 16 miles in length from N. to S. It is the head of a Poorlaw Union consisting of 31 townships. A court-leet and baron are held by Lord Feversham annually. There is a county court, and the magistrates meet monthly, on days appointed by the judge, alternately at Kirby Moorside and Helmsley. The board of guardians meet fortnightly. In 1850 a literary institute, with a news-room, was erected in the town. The Ryedale and Pickering-Lythe Agricultural Society meet every three years. The manor of Helmsley was purchased by Sir Charles Duncombe in 1685 for the sum of 90,000. It is a meet for the Sinnington hounds. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of York, value with the curacies of Harome and Pockley annexed, 464. There is also a district church at Bilsdale, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value 130. The parish church, the north aisle of which was rebuilt in 1349, is a stone structure with a tower containing a clock and eight bells. The interior of the church contains an unique hexagonal font and several monuments, one of which bears date 1410. The parochial charities produce about 10 per annum. There is a National school for boys, also a girls' and infant school, all of which are supported by Lord and Lady Feversham, who reside at Duncombe Park, a handsome building, supported by Corinthian columns and decorated with various statues, one of which is the "Dog of Alcibiades." In the gallery is a large collection of paintings by the most renowned artists. In the park, which is well wooded, and abounds with deer, are the ruins of a moated castle, which belonged to the families of Ross and Villiers, and was built in the reign of Edward I. It was taken and dismantled by Fairfax in 1644. The views obtained from the hall and terrace, the latter being half a mile in length, are of the most varied description. Lord Feversham is lord of the manor and principal landowner. Market day is Tuesday. Fairs are held on the 19th May, 16th July, 1st and 2nd October, and the 5th and 6th November, for cattle, sheep, and horses."


"BEADLAM, a township in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, in the North Riding of the county of York, 3 miles to the E. of Helmsley."


"BILSDALE MIDCABLE, a chapelry in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, in the North Riding of the county of York, 6 miles to the S. of Stokesley. Northallerton is its post town. It is situated near the source of the river Rye, and contains Bilsdale East-Side, and High Bilsdale, and the hamlet of Bilsdale Kirkham. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value 91, in the patronage of the Vicar of Helmsley. The Quakers have a meeting-house here."


"CARLTON, a hamlet in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, in the North Riding of the county of York, 2 miles to the N. of Helmsley."


"CHAPEL YATE, a hamlet in the chapelry of Bilsdale Midcable and parish of Helmsley, in the North Riding of the county of York, 11 miles N.W. of Helmsley."


"CHOP GATE, a hamlet in the chapelry of Bilsdale-Midcable and parish of Helmsley, in the North Riding of the county of York, 5 miles S.E. of Stokesley."


"CROSSETT, a hamlet in the chapelry of Bilsdale-Midcable and parish of Helmsley, in the North Riding of the county of York, near Helmsley."


"EAST MOORS, a hamlet in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding, county York, 5 miles N. of the Gilling station, and 4 from Helmsley."


"HARUM, a chapelry in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 2 miles S.E. of Helmsley, and 5 N. of Horingham railway station. It is watered by the rivers Rye and Riccal, which emerge here after a subterraneous passage of nearly a mile. The soil is sandy, alternating with clay, on a gravelly subsoil. The chief crops are wheat, oats, and barley. The living is a curacy annexed to Helmsley. The chapel-of-ease is a small but ancient structure. The Wesleyans have a chapel and Sunday-school. There is a school for boys and girls, with an endowment of 10 per annum."


"LASKILL PASTURE, a township in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 7 miles N. of Helmsley, and 13 N. W. of the Thirsk railway station. The township, which is small, is situated on the river Rye. In the year 1855 some ruins were discovered near Laskill Bridge, supposed to have been the remains of an abbey. The Society of Friends have a place of worship. The soil consists of clay and gravel, with subsoil freestone, gravel, and clay. Lord Feversham is lord of the manor and principal landowner."


"POCKLEY, a township and chapelry in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 3 miles N.E. of Helmsley, its post town, and 5 W. of Kirby Moorside. The village, which is of small extent and wholly agricultural, is situated on a branch of the river Rye. The soil consists of limestone and clay. The living is a curacy annexed to the vicarage* of Helmsley, in the diocese of York. The church, dedicated to St. John, is a modern edifice."


"RAISDALE, a district in the chapelry of Bilsdale-Midcable, and parish of Helmsley, North Riding county York, 5 miles S.E. of Stokesley."


"RIVAULX, (or Rieuvaulx), a township and village in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 2 miles N.W. of Helmsley. The village, which is small, is situated in a well-wooded spot near the river Rye, and on the high road betwixt Helmsley and Thirsk. Rievaulx is celebrated for the ruins of its once magnificent abbey for monks of the Cistercian order, founded by Sir Walter D'Espec in 1131, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its revenue at the Dissolution was valued at 238. The site was afterwards granted to the Villierses, from whom it came to the Duncombes in 1695. The principal remains are those of the church and the refectory, the choir of the former measures 144 feet long by 63 wide. Rye Vale takes its name from this place, There is a chapel-of-ease, also a partly endowed school for both sexes, in which a Sunday-school is also held."


"SPROXTON, a township in the parish of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 2 miles S. of Helmsley. It is situated on the river Rye, and is wholly agricultural. There is a school for both sexes. Lord Feversham is lord of the manor and solo landowner."


"URRA, a hamlet in the chapelry of Bilsdale Midcable, and parish of Helmsley, North Riding county York, 5 miles S.E. of Stokesley, on the river Rye, between Bolton Head and Wainstone hills."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson 2003


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