"WELL, a parish in the eastern division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, comprising the townships of Snape and Well, and containing 1059 inhabitants, of which number, 370 are in the township of Well, 4 miles S. from Bedale. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Richmond and diocese of Chester, rated in the king's books at £8. 13. 7., endowed with £400 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £1100 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Charles Chaplin, Esq. The church, dedicated to St James, contains several monuments of the lords of Snape. This place derived its name from a celebrated well, dedicated to St. Michael, which, at all times of the year, is supplied with water by a spring issuing from a rock. An hospital, in honour of St. Michael the Archangel, for a master, two priests, and twenty-four poor brethren and sisters, was founded here, in 1342, by Sir Ralph de Neville, Lord of Middleham, which at the dissolution had a revenue of £42.12. 3. Thomas, Earl of Exeter, in 1605, established a charity, called Neville's workhouse, for the maintenance of a master and mistress and twelve poor girls, the latter of whom are also educated. A school for boys, and another for girls, were founded here, and two others at Snape, in 1788, and are supported from these funds, which amount to about £100 per annum."
"SNAPE, a township in the parish of WELL, eastern division of the wapentake of HANG, North riding of the county of YORK, 8 miles S. fromBedale, containing 689 inhabitants, who are principally employed in wool-combing for the worsted-spinners in this part of the county. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. An almshouse for eight aged persons, and free schools for children of each sex, have been founded and liberally endowed by the Nevilles."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]