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Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Whitby Strand - Electoral Division of Eskdaleside - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Whitby - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish lies on the S.W. of Whitby, and comprises 4,628 acres, of which 2,100 acres are moorland and 469 acres woodlands. The rateable value is £2,079, and the number of inhabitants 232. The Esk, which forms the northern boundary of the parish, flows through a dale full of picturesque beauty, and is here crossed by a handsome suspension bridge, erected by the late Col. James Wilson.
The Percys formerly had vast possessions in the district, and the foundations of their castle were still visible at the north end of the village a few years ago. In recent times, the estate belonged to Col. James Wilson (M.P. for York), who died in 1830, and subsequently it came into the possession of the late J. B. Richardson, Esq., by his marriage with Mary, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of the late Col. J. Wilson. It is still the property of his widow, who is also the owner of all the manorial rights. Captain Turton, J. W. Frankland, Esq., and E. H. Brooksbank, Esq., have land in the parish.
The village stands on rising ground, from which a splendid view of Whitby Abbey is obtained, nearly three miles distant. The Whitby and Pickering railway passes along the south bank of the Esk at the foot of the hill, but the nearest station is Ruswarp, a little over a mile away. The church, which comprises nave, chancel, and tower, with spire, was rebuilt by the late Col. Wilson in 1823. It is dedicated to St. John, but recent researches have shown that its original dedication was St. Hilda. It was given as a chapel, at an early period, to the monks of Whitby, but, in time, was made parochial. The font bears the date 1100. The pews are of the old fashioned type, and the organ chamber at the west end, standing on props, is an arrangement that does not improve the internal appearance. The living is a rectory, value £290, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and has been held by the Rev. J. B. Brodrick, M.A. since 1848.
There is a small school in the village, built by Col. Wilson in 1825.
Sneaton Thorpe and May Becks are hamlets in this parish.
[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.