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THORP ARCH

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THORP ARCH, a parish, 3 miles SE. of Wetherby, (see also Boston Spa in the parish of Bramham in the West Riding of Yorkshire). Though situated different divisions of the county, these two places are so closely connected as to form only one village. The river Wharf runs with a rapid stream through this delightful place, and the cascade seen through the arches of the bridge, with the church and houses embosomed in wood, on the banks of the river, afford a rich and varied landscape that can scarcely be excelled.

In the year 1744 John Shires, an inhabitant of the village, while cutting brushwood on the banks of the river, accidentally discovered at this place a mineral spring, which, by its medicinal qualities, has tended to bring Thorp Arch into considerable repute. This water, when taken fresh from the pump, has a limpid, sparkling appearance, sailine taste, and a light sulphureous smell. It is possessed of purgative and diuretic virtues, and contains a small quantity of inflammabie air, generated from iron. The late Dr. Walker, of Leeds, an eminent physician, from whom we quote, submitted this water to a variety of experiments, in the year 1784, the result of which show that it contains inflammable air, fixed air, and muriatic salt, in the proportion of one ounce to a gallon; calcareous earth and selenitical earth, sixteen grains together in a gallon; and a small quantity of iron suspended by fixed air. As the proportion of salt which it contains is considerably less than that in the Harrogate water, it is taken in larger doses. The principles which compose Thorp Arch water give it a superiority over Harrogate water in general relaxation, bilious disorders, glandular obstructions, and sciryhosities, stomach complaints, and spontaneous vomitings. Harrogate water is to be preferred in cutaneous diseases, the piles, rheumatism, worms, ulcers; and probably in the stone and gravel. In many other cases the medical virtues of the two waters appear to be nearly equal. The chalybeate water of Thorp-Arch pretty much resembles that of other chalybeate springs; but the air here is of uncommon purity, and many have experienced its good effects who have scarcely tasted the medicinal waters. The accommodations at this fashionable watering place are extremely good; in addition to three capital inns there are a considerable number of lodging houses, suited to the various circumstances and condition of the visitors. Thorp-Arch is supposed to derive the latter part of its name from the family of D'Archis, who came in with the Conqueror, and had large possessions in these parts. The church, which is dedicated to All Saints (see Churches for photograph), was ordained a vicarage by Archbishop Sewall, In 1258, but in the early part of the last century the living was only of the yearly value of £24. till by the liberality of the Rev. Mr. Robinson, of Leeds, and Lady Elizabeth Hastings, added to a donation born Queen Ann's fund, and a contribution from the Rev. Mr. Wetherherd, vicar, the tythes were purchased as an augmentation to the living. The present church is a beautiful structure, of which the Earl of Huntingdon as the patron, and the Rev. Robert Hemington the incumbent. All the houses In Boston are of modern erection: it is said that the first house built in this division of the village was erected by the late Mr. Joseph Taite, in the year 1753, and that Mr. Samuel Taite, the gentleman who contributed tbe land upon which the episcopal chapel in that place was erected, seven years ago, was the first person born in Boston. There are here a charity school, founded by Lady Elizabeth Hastings, and a neat Methodist Chapel. The population, with Clifton included, is 1360, namely, Thorp-Arch 843, Boston 677, and Clifford 340.

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]