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KIRKDALE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"KIRKDALE, a parish in the wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 1 mile S.W. of Kirkbymoorside, and 4 N.E. of Helmsley, its post town. It is situated on a branch of the river Wye, and contains the townships of Wombleton, Nawton, Welburn, Skiplam, Muscoates, and Bransdale Westside. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the stone quarries and in agriculture. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £137, in the patronage of the University of Oxford. The church, dedicated to St. Gregory, is an ancient structure standing in a valley. It has two very fine Saxon arches, with a Saxon inscription over the S. doorway bearing date 1065. It contains monuments of the Gibsons, Robinsons, and Caleys. In 1820, near the church, was discovered a cave extending for 300 feet into a solid white rock, at the bottom of which, embedded in a layer of mud, were found fossil bones of the elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, hyena, tiger, bear, wolf, fox, weasel, horse, ox, rabbit, rat, pigeons, &c. It was supposed to have been a hyenas' den, as the teeth of upwards of 300 of these animals were found. A very ancient ornamental tomb was discovered near the church, with Runic characters, supposed to be of the 7th century. The parochial charities produce about £8 per annum. There are Wesleyan chapels at Bransdale Westside and Norton, also National and Sunday schools."


"BRANSDALE WEST SIDE, a township in the parish of Kirkdale, wapentake of Ryedale, in the North Riding of the county of York, 9 miles to the N. of Helmsley. It lies in a hilly country."


"MUSCOATES, a township in the parish of Kirkdale, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 3½ miles N.W. of Slingsby, and 6 S.E. of Helmsby. It is situated on a branch of the river Wye. The soil is of a loamy nature, with a subsoil of clay and gravel."


"NAWTON, a township in the parish of Kirkdale, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 3 miles E. of Helmsley, and the same distance W. of Kirkbymoorside. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the high road between Beverley and Kirkbymoorside. There are two places of worship for the Wesleyans, in one of which is held a day school for both sexes, also a Sunday-school. Nawton Tower is a castellated mansion situated on rising ground, affording extensive views of the surrounding country. Francis Barr, Esq., is lord of the manor."


"SKIPLAM, a township in the parish of Kirkdale, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 2 miles N.W. of Kirkbymoorside, and 5 N.E. of Helmsley, on a branch of the river Rye. It includes the hamlet of Bransdale East Side."


"WELBURN, a township in the parish of Kirkdale, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 5 miles S.E. of Helmsley, and 2 S.W. of Kirkbymoorside."


"WOMBLETON, a township in the parish of Kirkdale, wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 4 miles S.E. of Helmsley."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013