THORP ARCH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of the Ainsty of York - Rural Deanery of Selby - Archdeaconry of York or the West Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish is situated in the beautiful vale of the Wharfe, about three miles south-east of Wetherby, and is supposed to derive the latter part of its name from the family of D'Archis, who came in with the Conqueror, and had considerable possessions in these parts. The parish contains 1,390 acres, rated to the poor at £3,315, and has a population of 393. Mrs. Hatfield, Thorp Arch Hall, is lady of the manor and principal landowner. The village is picturesquely situated on the north or left bank of the Wharfe, opposite Boston Spa, and connected with it by a beautiful stone bridge, of four arches. The railway station, on the Church, Fenton, and Harrogate line, is half-a-mile from the village. It is also the station for Boston Spa. The soil is limestone, and the subsoil clay. Wheat, barley, oats, and turnips are the chief productions.

The Church (All Saints) stands one-third of a mile east of the village, without a house near. It consists of a nave, north aisle, chancel, and tower, containing three bells. The original edifice, there is reason to suppose, was erected probably before the Conquest. Two runic columns, found in the walls when the church was restored, and now in the west wall of the porch, denote the Saxon period. The arch in the entrance porch points to the time of the Normans. The church was rebuilt in 1756, in the later English style; and was again restored in 1868, at a cost of £1,200, when practically all was new stone work, except the tower and the Norman arch. A rude stone image, minus the neck and head, and supposed to be of early British workmanship, was discovered during the alterations, and is now in the east wall of the porch. The pillars of the arches of the aisle are round, the others Gothic. A Gothic arch divides the chancel from the nave. The floor of the chancel is of Gothic tiles, and the roof and walls are richly decorated. In a recess on the north wall is a child's altar:-


In 1878 a new organ was placed in a chamber on the north side of the chancel. The body of the church is furnished with pitchpine stalls to seat 175 persons. The roof is open timbered. The east window consists of three lights, filled with stained glass, the figures representing the Ascension, and inscribed - "To the memory of Colonel and Lady Frances Harriet Lane, by friends, 1880." On the chancel south wall is an ornamental window of two lights, the subjects being the Nativity and Baptism. There are monuments on the walls to members of the Gossip and Hatfield families, and to the memory of a youth, Lewis Irwin, who was drowned in the Wharfe. On the south wall of the nave is a tablet to the memory of the Rev. R. Hemington, who was the vicar of this church for 45 years.

The living is a vicarage of the value, according to the Diocesan Calendar, of £450, in the patronage of C. W. Wheeler, Esq., and the incumbent is the Rev. W. H. Jackson, M.A., who resides in the vicarage, which stands in its own grounds, near the village.

In the churchyard is an ancient stone coffin, also part of the shaft and base of an ancient cross, and the remains of an antique font.

Endowed School. - On a stone over the door of this school is inscribed "This school was erected from the funds bequeathed for charitable purposes by the late Right Hon. Lady Elizabeth Hastings, A.D. 1836. F. H. Stuart Monteath, vicar." It is a plain stone building, well furnished, and providing accommodation for 65 scholars, 20 of whom are free. A teacher's residence is attached.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.