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SPOFFORTH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"SPOFFORTH, a parish and township in the upper division of Claro wapentake, West Riding county York, 3¼ miles N.W. of Wetherby, its post town, and 4 S.E. of Knaresborough. It is a station on the York and Harrogate section of the North-Eastern railway. The parish is extensive, and is bounded on the N.E. by a branch of the river Nidd, and on the S. by the river Wharfe. It includes the townships of Wetherby, Follifoot, Linton, Plumpton, Little Ribston, and Spofforth. In the vicinity are ruins of the castle of the Percys, built prior to 1309, and demolished by the Yorkists after the battle of Towton. The village is neatly built, and contains several good houses. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ripon, value £1,538. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient stone structure with a tower and four bells. There is also a district church at Wetherby, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £120. The parochial charities produce about £8 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel. Lord Leconfield is lord of the manor."


"COLTHORPE, a hamlet in the parish of Spofforth, in the West Riding of the county of York, 3 miles N.E. of Wetherby."


"FOLLIFOOT, a township in the parish of Spofforth, upper division of the wapentake of Claro, West Riding county York, 1 mile N.W. of Spofforth, and 6 miles N.W. of Wetherby. It includes the hamlet of Spacey Houses. There is a chapel-of-ease, and the Wesleyans have a place of worship. The principal residence is Rudding Park, the seat of Sir Joseph Ratcliffe, Bart. The park is very extensive, and the mansion a substantial stone edifice."


"LINTON, a township in the parish of Spofforth, upper division of the wapentake of Claro, West Riding county York, 3½ miles S.E. of Spofforth, and 2 S.W. of Wetherby. It is a small agricultural village, situated on the N. bank of the river Wharfe. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The manor belongs to the Wyndham family."


"LITTLE RIBTON, a township in the parishes of Spofforth and Hunsingore, West Riding county York, half a mile W. of Great Ribston, and 3 N.W. of Wetherby. The township, which is of small extent and wholly agricultural, is mostly the property of the Earl of Harewood and Joseph Dent, Esq."


"PLUMPTON, (or Plompton), a township in the parish of Spofforth, upper division of Claro wapentake, West Riding county York, 2 miles S. of Knaresborough, and 2¼ N.W. of Spofforth. It contains-the village of Plumpton Square, and was formerly held by the Percys and Plumptons, of Plumpton Hall, till about the middle of the 18th century, when the last descendant of the Plumptons sold the estate to the Lascelles, of Goldsborough, ancestors of the Earl of Harewood, its present proprietor. The hall is now occupied as a farmhouse."


"STOCKELD, a hamlet and township in the parish of Spofforth, upper division of Claro wapentake, West Riding county York, 2 miles N.W. of Wetherby. Here is a singularly formed rock, 65 feet in diameter, and 30 in height. Stockeld Park is the principal residence."


"WETHERBY, a township, chapelry, and small market town in the parish of Spofforth, upper division of Claro wapentake, West Riding county York, 7 miles N.W. of Tadcaster, 12 N.E. of Leeds, and 13 S.W. of York. It is a station on the Harrogate branch of the North-Eastern railway. It was anciently called Wederby, from the Saxon word "to turn," descriptive of its situation on a bend of the river Wharfe, which is here crossed by a stone bridge of six arches. About 3½ miles below the bridge is St. Helen's Ford, where the Roman military way crossed, and a little above it is a modern weir, or dam, for working a largo corn-mill. The town consists of several streets and a market-place. It has recently been much improved. The houses are principally built of stone, and there are some good shops, a branch bank, corn, oil, and dyewood mills, and an extensive brewery. It is not incorporated, but is under the board of guardians for the Wetherby division. The quarter sessions for the West Riding are held in the townhall at Christmas, in rotation with Knaresborough, Skipton, and Pontefract. The petty sessions are held fortnightly, the Earl of Harewood being chairman, and courts leet and baron are held on Lady-day and Michaelmas-day. Previous to the year 1824 the whole town belonged to the Duke of Devonshire, but at that time it was sold in small lots or freeholds. It is famed in history for the noble defence made by the small garrison under Sir Thomas Fairfax, who twice repulsed a much superior force of royalists in 1642. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Ripon, value £120, in the patronage of the Rector of Spofforth. The church is dedicated to St. James. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel, and there are National and Wesleyan day schools. Market day is Thursday for corn and provisions, and is well attended. Fairs are held every alternate Thursday for horses and cattle, and statute fairs in November."

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