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ROMALDKIRK

ROMALDKIRK, a parish in the wapentake of Gilling West, and liberty of Richmondshire; 6 miles NW. of Barnard Castle. A most extensive parish, situated in Teesdale, extending from Deepdale, near Barnard Castle, to the confines of the three counties of York, Durham, and Westmoreland. This parish includes the townships of Lartington, Cotherstone, Hunderthwaite, Mickleton, Lune, Helwick, and Romaldkirk. Population, 377.

The church is a very ancient structure, dedicated to St. Romald (see Churches for photograph), and is supposed to have been built by Fitz-Hugh. The living is a rectory, in the patronage of John Hodgson, Esq. and the incumbent is the Rev. James Blackburn, A.M. In the church is a full length figure in marble, to perpetuate the memory of the founder; likewise several marble tablets to the memory of the ancient and respectable family of the Maires, of Lartington hall.

In the north transept is the recumbent effigy of a cross legged knight, in link mail, his right hand on the hilt of his sword. This is supposed to be the tomb of Sir Fitzhugh, who died in 1304, most probably at Cotherston castle.

The saint to which this church is dedicated, from Mr. Whitaker's account, appears to stand alone in this country; nor is it known who this St. Romald was, although there can be no doubt of his being a popular saint at the time of its erection. This parish extends in one direction at least 30 miles.

High up the Tees in this parish, but not till after the river has become wider, one of the finest cataracts in the island, whose roar is audible at a great distance. Its character is that of Aysgarth, but more magnificent, the projection deeper, the waters more entire, and equally precipitous. -Whitaker.

Here is a hospital for six poor persons, founded by Wm Hutchinson, Esq. of Clement's Inn, London; and a Free Grammar school, endowed with 20. per ann. by the Rev. Charles Parkin. St. Romald's hall, the manor house, belongs to the rector, who is also lord of the manor.

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. 2010]


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