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The Ancient Parish of GARGRAVE

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"GARGRAVE, a parish-town, in the east-division of Staincliffe, liberty of Clifford's-Fee; (Gargrave House, the seat of John Nicholas Coulthurst, Esq.) 4½ miles NW. of Skipton, 8 from Gisburn, 11½ from Settle, 12 from Colne, (Lanc.) 14 from Kettlewell, 45 from York. No Market. Fairs, Feb. 27, third Wednesday in June, October 13, and December 11, for horned cattle, &c. Pop. 972. The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Andrew (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of Craven, value, 12. 13s. 11½d. Patron, John Marsden, Esq.

About half a mile beneath the town, on a fertile plain, are the buried remains of a Roman Villa, called Kirk Sink, from a tradition that some great ecclesiastical edifice had here been swallowed up. The stones of which this building has been composed have gradually been removed, probably to build the present church; but the inequalities upon the surface, prove it to have been a parallelogram, about 300 feet long, and 180 wide. It was dug into, about 70 years ago, and the frame of a tessellated pavement discovered at that time, of which Dr. Whitaker had seen some remains, which induced him to apply for permission to open the ground again. But the walls had been so completely grubbed up to the foundation, that though it was just possible to ascertain the size of the apartments, which had been very small, no masses of cohering pavement could be taken up, and the whole lay in heaps mingled with mortar, consisting of cubes of various colours, some an inch, others not more than half an inch in diameter, together with floor tiles, of about three inches square. --Whitaker's Craven."

Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.

  • Bank Newton
  • Bell Busk
  • Braystay Wood
  • Coniston Cold
  • Eshton
  • Flasby
  • Friars Head
  • Stainton Cotes
  • Winterburn

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson 2007]

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