TADCASTER: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.


"TADCASTER, a parish and market town, partly in York Ainsty, and partly in the upper division of Barkstone Ash wapentake, West Riding county York, 9 miles S.W. of York, and 4½ N.W. of Church Fenton station. It is a station on the Harrogate section of the North-Eastern railway. It is situated on both banks of the river Wharfe, which is navigable for vessels of 50 tons, and is crossed by a stone bridge of nine arches, built out of the ruins of the old castle, which stood on a hill to the N.W. of the town. The parish comprises the townships of East and West Tadcaster, Stutton-cum-Hazlewood, Catterton, and Oxton. The town, which is of great antiquity, occupies the site of the Roman station Calcaria, or Calca-ceaster of Bede, so named from the limestone which abounds in the vicinity. At Towton, within 2 miles of the town, was fought the battle which dis-placed Henry VI. and elevated Edward IV. to the throne. In 1642 Tadcaster was taken by the Duke of Newcastle from Fairfax. The town contains about 2,500 inhabitants, and is situated at the intersection of the great road from London to York, and the road from York to Leeds. It is lighted with gas and partially paved. There is a townhall, recently presented to the town by the late Lord Londesborough, also several malt-kilns, a brewery, large corn-mill, and a poorhouse for Tadcaster West. The occupations of the inhabitants are chiefly connected with agriculture, and some business is done in the general trade, though the railways have destroyed its transit traffic, which was once very considerable. The surrounding district is fertile and well wooded, and in the vicinity is Marle quarry, from which the stone was obtained of which York cathedral and several other churches were built. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of York, value £240. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a stone structure of the 14th century, with a tower containing six bells. The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Independents have each a chapel. There are a grammar school, founded in 1558 by Bishop Oglethorpe, of Carlisle, and a girls' school, founded by Mrs. Dawson, also National and Sunday schools-the last being the first opened in England. The charities include 4 almshouses and 20 female annuitants on Mrs. Dawson's foundation; each receive from £10 to £15 per annum. Petty sessions are held fortnightly on Monday, and a new county court monthly. It is the head of a superintendent registry district. The manor anciently belonged to the Vavasours, but now to Lord Londesborough, of Grimston Hall. Many Roman antiquities have been found in the neighbourhood, and there are still traces of the Roman entrenchment round the town. Market day is on Monday. Fairs are held on the last Wednesdays in May, October, and November, chiefly for cattle and hiring servants."

"CATTERTON, a township in the parish of Tadcaster, Ainsty, in the county of York, 2 miles to the N.E. of Tadcaster."

"OXTON, a township in the parish of Tadcaster, York Ainsty, county York, 1½ mile E. of Tadcaster, and 8 miles S.W. of York. It is situated near the bridge over the river Wharfe."

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