"YARM, is a market town, in the parish of its name, which has no dependent township, in the western division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, North Riding ; and under a late act of parliament it was made the head of a division, named 'Yarm Division,' comprising eighteen townships, taken partly from Langbaurgh liberty and partly from Allertonshire. It is 235 miles from London, 98 n. by e. from Manchester, 43 n. from York, 20 n. from Thirsk, 14 w. from Guisborough, 8 n.w. from Stokesley ; and nearly 5 from Stockton, in the county of Durham ; situate on the river Tees. Over this river a beautiful cast iron bridge was constructed by Mr. Wilson, the engineer of Sunderland bridge ; but owing to some defect in the foundation, on the 12th January 1806, a short time before it was to be opened to the public, it fell down and has not since been replaced. The present bridge was originally built in the year 1400, by Walter Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham, and has at various times since received great improvements. This town has been frequently visited by floods ; one in particular, the greatest ever remembered in the north of England, was in 1771, when the Tees rose twenty feet higher than the oldest man could recollect. From this period the town might certainly date its decline in commerce. The export of corn was a branch here of considerable extent at one period, and many granaries and warehouses, which were erected at a great expense, for the reception of that commodity, are now, for the most part, useless, or not employed for that purpose. The present trade of Yarm principally consists in the exportation of agricultural produce ; it also partakes, with Stockton, in the salmon fishery of the Tees ; and in addition to the advantages derived from the navigation of that river, a branch from the Darlington & Stockton railway facilitates the transmission of goods. Thomas Meynell, Esq. is lord of the manor, and holds courts twice a year, in which small debts can be sued for ; and the magistrates hold petty sessions once a fortnight.
The places of worship are the parish church, and a chapel each for Wesleyan methodists, independents, society of friends, and Roman catholics. The church which is dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, is a very neat structure, rebuilt in 1730, having an elegant painted window, containing the figure of Moses, delivering the law on Mount Sinai. The free grammar school here was founded, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, by Thomas Conyers ; and the national school was erected in 1816, by subscription. The market is held on Thursday ; and the fairs on the Thursday before April 5th, Holy Thursday, August 2nd, and October 19th and 20th, for horses, cattle and cheese. The increase in population in this parish has been but trifling during the preceding thirty years -- in 1801, it contained 1,300 inhabitants ; in 1811, 1,431 ; in 1821, 1,504 ; and in 1831, 1,636."
[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]