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Wapentake of Birdforth - Electoral Division of Osmotherley - Petty Sessional Division of Allertonshire - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Northallerton - Rural Deanery of Northallerton - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This small parish contains 2,400 acres of land, 190 inhabitants, and is rated at £4,534, of which sum, £2,958 is the assessment on 2 miles, 280 yards of the North Eastern Co's. line lying within the parish, The manorial rights belong to the Earl of Harewood, who is also the largest landowner. The other proprietors are Strangeways' exors., J. B. L. Merryweather, Esq., Geo. Hy. Chapman, Esq., and Messrs. Dickinson and Blackburn. The soil is a strong clay of good quality, and the surface is pleasingly undulated. From the higher grounds some fine views of Cleveland and the surrounding country may be obtained.
The village stands about a quarter of a mile from the railway station, and appears to have originally received its name from the presence of a well, and burh a fortress or town. The Church (St. Leonard) was rebuilt about 70 years ago, and restored in 1887, at a cost of nearly £700. It is in the Gothic style, and consists of nave, chancel, porch, and bell turret. The windows, especially the east and west ones, are filled with beautiful tracery. In the chancel are two marble tablets commemorating the Revs. William and Francis Lipscomb, the former of whom was rector from 1789 to 1832, and the latter from 1832 to 1885. Some of the stone work of the interior belongs to an early edifice. The register commences in 1690, which date appears also on the church door. The living, a rectory in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, is worth £420 per annum. The tithes were commuted for a rent-charge of £320; there are also 63 acres of glebe land. The present rector is the Rev. Ed. L. Marrett, M.A.
The parish school was built in 1858, and is attended by 23 children. The Congregationalists have a small chapel in the village.
An Agricultural Show, established in 1884, is held yearly in August, and so far, has been very successful.
About half-a-mile north of the village is Hill House, the property and residence of J. B. L. Merryweather, Esq., by whom it was erected in 1884; It commands a fine view of the Cleveland hills. Further north, near Appleton Wiske, is Ingram Grange, formerly the property and residence of Marmaduke Bowes, Esq., who was executed at York on the 26th of November, 1685, for having given shelter to Hugh Taylor, a priest, who was hanged, drawn, and quartered at the same time.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.