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STANWICK SAINT JOHN, a parish in the wapentake of Gilling West, and liberty of Richmondshire; 8 miles N. of Richmond. Lord Prudhoe, brother to the Duke of Northumberland, has a seat here, situated in a finely wooded park, well stocked with deer. In the park are the remains of some Roman intrenchments. The church is a very ancient stone building, dedicated to St. John (see Churches for photograph), and in it are two remarkably handsome marble full length figures, to the memory of Sir Hugh and Lady Smithson, formerly of Stanwick hall, from whom it has descended to the present proprietor. The patronage of the living is in John Wharton, Esq. M. P. the Rev. William Wharton is the vicar, and the Rev. R. M. Atkinson, A. M. curate. Pop. 59.

There is a singularity attending this church, of which it would be difficult to find a similar instance in England; viz. there is neither glebe nor parsonage, nor site to build one on, even the freehold and right of herbage of the churchyard belongs to Lord Prudhoe, in right of his Kirkbridge estate and the inhabitants of Stanwick have merely the right of burial. At Stanwick are the remains of some very extensive intrenchments called the Jack Dike Arches, the ramparts of which, in the field adjoining the church, cannot be less than five feet high. At no great distance from the parish church, is Stanwick Hall, for many generations the residence of the Smithsons, now of Lord Prudhoe; Sir Hugh Smithson, the last of that name, having married the heiress of the house of Northumberland, by which marriage this estate came into that family.

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

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