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The Ancient Parish of STOCKTON ON THE FOREST

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"STOCKTON ON THE FOREST, a parish in the wapentake of Bulmer, a part in the liberty St. Peter's; 4 miles NE. of York. On the 13th of January, 1792, a meteorous appearance was observed on the forest, near this village, (by several persons of credit and respectability,) resembling a large army, in separate divisions, some in black and others in white uniforms; one of these divisions formed a line that appeared near a mile in extent, in the midst of which appeared a number of fir trees, which seemed to move along with the line. These aerial troops moved in different directions, and sometimes with amazing rapidity.-(See a similar account in Clark's Survey of the Lakes, page 56.) A meteorous phenomenon, of the same kind, was seen in Heywra Park, near Harrogate, on Sunday, June 28th, 1812, between seven and eight o'clock in the evening, by Anthony Jackson, aged 45 years, and Martin Turner, a young man, the son of a farmer in the neighbourhood; both looking after their cattle, were suddenly surprised to see, at some distance, what appeared to them a large body of armed men, in white military uniforms; in the centre of which was a person of a commanding aspect, dressed in scarlet. After performing various evolutions, the whole body began to move forward, in perfect order, towards the summit of a hill, passing the spectators at the distance of about 100 yards. No sooner had this first body, which extended four deep over an enclosure of 30 acres, attained the hill, than a second body, far more numerous than the former, dressed in a dark coloured uniform, appeared, and marched after the first, to the top of the hill, where they both joined, and passing down the opposite side of the hill, disappeared; when a column of thick smoke spread over the plain. The time, from the first appearance of this strange phenomenon to the clearing up of the smoke, the spectators suppose was little more than five minutes.

"When these prodigies do so conjointly meet, let not men say, they are natural; for I believe, they are portentous things unto the climate that they point upon. --Julius Caesar."

The church living here is a perpetual curacy (see Churches for photograph), of which the Prebendary of Bugthorpe is the patron, and the Rev. William Noddins the incumbent. Here is a Methodist chapel, and a school with a small endowment, free to 10 poor children. Population, 357."


"CARLTON, a hamlet in the township and parish of Stockton-on-the-Forest, wapentake of Bulmer; 1 mile ENE. of Stockton on the Forest, 4 miles from York."


"SANDBURN, a hamlet in the township and parish of Stockton-on-the Forest, wapentake of Bulmer; 2¼ miles NNE. of Stockton on the Forest, 4 miles from York."

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

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