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Help and advice for SELBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

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SELBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"SELBY, a parish, post and market town, in the lower division of Barkstone-Ash wapentake, West Riding, and within the liberty of St. Peter's, East Riding, county York, 15 miles S.E. of York, and 178 N.W. of London. It is a junction station on the Hull, Selby, and Milford section of the North-Eastern railway, where the Selby and Market Weighton branch turns off. It is situated on the river Ouse and a branch of the Aire and Calder canal, and has daily communication, by steamboat, with Hull, London, and other ports. The town is built close to the Great North road from London to Edinburgh, and is a petty sessions town and sub-port to Goole. It is supposed to have been a Roman station, and was formerly designated Salebeia In the early part of the great civil war it was captures: by the royalists, but recovered in 1644 by Sir T. Fairfax, when many of the king's party were taken prisoners, with several pieces of ordnance and a large quantity of ammunition. The town, which is well built, paved, and lighted with gas, contains a townhall, erected in 1824, two commercial banks, savings-banks, and other institutions. It has been much improved of late years, and a new street has been formed, called the Crescent. The magistrates hold their meetings for the wapentake of Barkstone-Ash at the court-house on every alternate Thursday, and the county court sits on a fixed Thursday in each month. Courts leet and baron are held twice a year. Boat and barge building is extensively carried on in a yard where many steam-packets and sailing vessels have been built, also rope making, sail making, tanning, iron-founding, and brewing are carried on to some extent. The preparation of flax, once the staple industry, had greatly declined, but is now fast reviving. The land is chiefly in meadow, but considerable tracts are cultivated in wood for dying, and as flax grounds. The fertility of the surrounding district has been greatly increased by a process of irrigation, by which the water of the rivers Ouse and Aire is detained upon the land until a sediment has been deposited, forming excellent manure. The Ouse is here crossed by a timber bridge built in 1795, which, though weighing 70 tons, can be opened and closed with the greatest facility for the passage of ships; also by a swivel bridge on the line of the Hull and Selby railway, which opens to admit vessels to the quay at this place. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of York, value £97. The church, dedicated to St. German, is an ancient cruciform structure with a tower containing six bells. The church, formerly conventual, and belonging to the abbey, was made parochial by letters patent of James I. in 1618. It is an interesting and venerable pile, 300 feet long, having been originally founded by William the Conqueror in 1069, who built the abbey of which it formed part. The S. transept was destroyed by the falling of the tower in 1690. The present tower was rebuilt in 1702, but in a style not corresponding with the original. The parochial charities produce about £283 per annum, of which £168 goes to the feoffee's estate for repair of the church, and relief of the poor., There are National schools for both sexes and infants, also a blue-coat and several subscription schools. The Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Unitarians, Friends, and Roman Catholics have each a place of worship. On the Doncaster road is a cemetery, and an armoury for the Volunteer corps. The union poorhouse was finished in 1841, at an outlay of upwards of £5,000. The Selby Poorlaw Union comprises 8 parishes in the East Riding and 7 in the West Riding. It is also the seat of a new County Court and superintendent registry district. Lord Londesborough is lord of the manor. Market day is on Monday. Fairs for sale of cattle, &c., are held on Easter Tuesday, on the Monday following 22nd June, and on 8th October."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013