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ALDBOROUGH

ALDBOROUGH, a parish-town, in the lower-division of Claro, a part in the liberty of St. Peter; 1 mile from Boroughbridge, 7 from Knaresborough and Ripon, 16 from York. Pop. 484. The Church, peculiar, is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Andrew (see Churches for photograph) in the deanry of Boroughbridge, diocese of Chester, value, ~£9. 19s. 5d. Patron, the Dean and Chapter of York.

This was the Iseur of the Ancient Britons, and the Isurium of the Romans, of which scarcely a vestige of its former grandeur remains. And this once celebrated city, which has ever since the days of Leland, arrested the attention and engaged the particular notice of British antiquaries, is now sunk into a small village, and in danger of losing the remains of its ancient grandeur. Roman coins are frequently dug up, chiefly of Constantine and Carausius Maximian, Dioclesian, Valerian, Severus, Pertinax, and also of Faustina and Julia. In 766, it was attacked with great fury by the Danes, who murdered a great part of its inhabitants, and burnt the city to the ground. --Camden. --Higden's Polychron.

Though we have no account from history of its origin, yet we have incontestible evidence of its great antiquity; and that it was the metropolis of the Brigantes is a fact that can never be called in question. Many British princes resided here, and as it flourished many ages prior to York, it is probable that it was the seat of government. Venutius who opposed the brave Caractacus resided here in the year 50. --Tacitus

The brave Agricola, whose wisdom beamed a double lustre on triumphant Rome, after having subdued the Brigantes about the year 70, resided at York, and made it his head quarters, which shews that Isurium had sunk in the estimation of the Romans, while York was rising into eminence.

In the time of the Romans it was defended by a strong wall, a small part of which is still visible, though even in Leland's time the ruins were slender, who observes, "Vestigia quaedam, sed tenuaria."

The most fatal blow given to this once celebrated city, was the turning of the road, which went through it, by removing the bridge over the Ure to where it now stands at Boroughbridge, which happened during the reign of the Conqueror.

In the house famed for curiosities, may be seen a Roman pavement in great preservation, about 18 inches below the surface, first discovered in 1731, and in the same room are many other ancient remains, particularly a votive stone found in 1776, coins, &c. It sends two Members to Parliament; the first return of which was in 1542.

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]