"YARM, a parish and market town in the W. division of Langbaurgh liberty, North Riding county York, 43 miles N.W. of York, 16 N.E. of Northallerton, and 4 S.W. of Stockton. It has stations on the Stockton and Darlington, and on the North-Eastern railways. This town, formerly spelled Yareham, is situated on a peninsula formed by the river Tees, which is navigable for vessels of 60 tons, and is here crossed by a stone bridge of five arches, built in 1400, connecting Yarum with the county of Durham. It consists principally of one long spacious street, and contains some good houses, extending N. and S., with a covered market-cross standing in the centre. It was flooded in the years 1753 and 1771, when the water in the river rose 20 feet higher than usual. In addition to the advantages derived from the navigation of the Tees, this place enjoys with Stockton a salmon fishery, the tide flowing some distance above the town. The population in 1861 was 1,401. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the coasting trade and in a paper-mill. The town was first lighted with gas in 1856. Running nearly parallel with the whole length of the town on its western side is the viaduct of the North-Eastern railway, 780 yards in length, and crossing the valley of the Tees upon 43 arches formed of red bricks with stone dressings, the two central arches being 83 feet span and 71 feet in height. In 1803 an attempt was made to span the river by a cast-iron bridge of 180 feet span, but owing to some defect in the abutments the whole fabric gave way on the 12th January, 1806, when just completed, and has not been since resumed. The Friarage, now the property of Edward Meynell, Esq., to whom the manor belongs, occupies the site of a Black Friary, founded in the early part of the 13th century by Peter de Brus, who also founded St. Nicholas's hospital. The steward of the manor holds a court-leet annually, and the magistrates meet fortnightly in a chamber over the market-cross, where the old curfew bell is kept. The living is a rectory in the diocese of York, value £210, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. The Roman Catholics, Wesleyans, and Primitive and Association Methodists have chapels. There are a free grammar school, founded by Thomas Conyers in the reign of Elizabeth, and National, infant, and Sunday schools. The charities produce about £40 per annum, including the school endowment. The market, which was on Thursday, has become extinct. Fairs are held on the first Thursday in April, Ascension Day, the 2nd August, 18th to 20th October for horses, cattle, and sheep, the last being the great fair of the year."
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
by Colin Hinson ©2013