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Help and advice for ALDBOROUGH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

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ALDBOROUGH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"ALDBOROUGH, a parish in the West riding of the county of YORK, comprising the chapelry of Lower Dunsforth, and the township of Upper Dunsforth with Branton-Green, in the upper division, and the boroughs of Aldborough and Boroughbridge, the townships of Minskep and Rocliff, and part of the township of Humberton with Milby, in the lower division, of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, and containing 2129 inhabitants, of which number, 484 are in the borough of Aldborough, 16 miles W.N.W. from York, and 205 N.N.W. from London. The town, which stands upon the southern bank of the river Ure, and upon the line of the northern Watling-street, was the celebrated and important Roman station called%isurium Brigantium, and received from the Saxons the name of Eald-burg, denoting its antiquity even in their time. Its destruction is attributed to the Danes, and it has now become a very inconsiderable place, being irregularly built, and the houses in general mean and detached from each other. The elective franchise was granted by Philip and Mary, in 1558. The right of election is vested in the inhabitants paying scot and lot, in number about sixty; and the bailiff, who is appointed by the lord of the manor, is the returning officer. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York, rated in the king's books at £9. 19. 5. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew. The foundations of the walls of the ancient city, which included a quadrilateral area of two thousand five hundred yards, may still be traced; near the centre are vestiges of a mount, called the Borough Hill, removed in 1783, and believed, from the remains then discovered, to have been the site of a Roman temple. About a hundred paces from the south wall is a semicircular outwork, called Studforth, two hundred feet long, having a slope of thirty feet, forming a lofty terrace on the south side of the town. Many Roman remains, consisting of tesselated pavements, domestic utensils, military weapons, coins, &c., have at various times been discovered."


"BOROUGHBRIDGE, a borough and market-town and chapelry, in that part of the parish of ALDBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 17 miles W.N.W. from York, and 206 N.N.W. from London, containing 860 inhabitants. This place, which has risen into importance since the decline of Aldbdrough; within half a mile of which it is situated, derives its name from a bridge erected here over the river Ure, soon after the -Conquest, when the road was diverted from Aldborough, and brought through this town. Near this bridge a battle took place, in 1322, between the forces of Edward II. and those of the celebrated Earl of Lancaster, in which the latter were defeated. The earl having taken refuge in the town, which was assaulted on the following day, was made prisoner and conveyed to Pontefract, where he was soon afterwards beheaded. Of this battle, a memorial has been obtained in the number of human bones, swords, fragments of armour, and other military relics, which, in raising the bank of the Ure, in 1792, were found near the spot. The town is pleasantly situated on the southern bank of the river, which is here navigable, and has been greatly improved and enlarged by the erection of several respectable houses on the opposite side of the river, over which a handsome stone bridge has been constructed, on the site of a former one, which was built of wood. The streets are partially paved, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from springs, and from the river. There is a small subscription library at the Crown Inn; and races are annually held in the vicinity.. The trackis principally in hardware, but the town derives its chief 'support from being situated on the high road to Edinburgh. The market is on Saturday; and fairs are. held on-April 27th, June 22nd, and October 23rd, each for two days: the fair in June is chiefly for hardware and woollen cloth f the others are for cattle and sheep. In the market-place, which is conveniently situated in the centre of the town, there is a handsome fluted column of the Doric order, twelve feet high. A bailiff and other officers are chosen annually at the court leet of the lord of the manor, but they do not exercise magisterial authority. The elective franchise was conferred in the reign of Mary, since which time the borough has returned two members to parliament: the right of election is vested in the burgage tenants, in number sixty-five, who are chiefly in the interest of the Duke of Newcastle; the bailiff is the returning officer. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Aldborough. There are places of worship for Methodists. A National school, established in 1814, is supported by subscription. To the west of the bridge are three large pyramidal stones, ranged in a straight line, in a direction from north to south, and each in a separate enclosure, the central one of which is the largest, being thirty feet and a half in height: they are vulgarly called the Devil's Arrows, and were originally four in number. The purpose of their erection is involved in obscurity; some suppose them to have been raised in memory of a reconciliation effected between Caracalla and Geta, sons of the Emperor Severus, who died at York. Camden considers them to have been Roman trophies; though they may probably have been used by that people as mette in the celebration of their chariot races, yet their origin appears to be more remote. Stukeley refers them to the earliest times of the Britons, and is of opinion that here was the great Panegyre of the Druids, where the inhabitants of the neighbouring district assembled to offer the sacrifices. From its proximity to Aldborough, a celebrated Roman station, numerous relics have been found here, consisting of tesselated pavements and coins; and, in the immediate vicinity, the remains of a Roman wall are still discernible."


"BRANTON GREEN, a township, joint with Upper Dunsforth, in that part of the parish of ALDBOROUGH, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.E. from Aldborough. The population is returned with Upper Dunsforth."


"LOW DUNSFORTH, a chapelry in that part of the parish of ALDBOROUGH, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles E.S.E. from Aldborough, containing 115 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £400 royal bounty, and £ 200 parliamentary grant, and in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York. The chapel is dedicated to St. Mary."


"MINSKIP, (or MINSKEP) a township in that part of the parish of ALDBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile S.W. from Boroughbridge, containing 243 inhabitants."


"ROCLIFFE, a township in that part of the parish of ALDBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile. W.S.W.: from Boroughbridge, containing 248 inhabitants. A school for children of both sexes is supported by voluntary contributions."


"UPPER DUNSFORTH, a township, joint with Branton-Green, in that part of the parish of ALDBOROUGH, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles E.S.E. from Aldborough, containing 156 inhabitants."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]