PICKERING: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.


"PICKERING, a parish in the wapentake of PICKERING lythe, North riding of the county of YORK, comprising the market town of Pickering, the chapelry of Goadland, or Goathland, and the townships of Kingthorp, Marrishes, and Newton, and containing 3555 inhabitants, of which number, 2746 are in the town of Pickering, 26 miles N.N.E. from York, and 222 N.W. from London. The origin of this town is of very remote antiquity, being dated two hundred and seventy years before the commencement of the Christian era, and ascribed to Peridurus, a British king, who was interred here, on the brow of a hill called Rawcliff. According to local tradition, its name is derived from the circumstance of a ring lost by the founder whilst washing in the river Costa, and subsequently found in the belly of a pike. An ancient castle, of great strength and extent, which occupied an eminence near the western extremity of the town, where some vestiges are still visible, wasthe prison of Richardl!., after his deposition, and previously to his removal to Pontefract, where he was murdered: in one of the towers still remaining Queen Elizabeth is supposed to have been imprisoned, during the reign of Mary, and it still retains the name of Queen Elizabeth's tower. During the great civil war this fortress was besieged by the parliamentary forces, and sustained considerable injury. The town, which is long and straggling, is situated on a declivity, at the bottom of which, and through a part of the town, flows a small stream, called Pickeringbeck; the castle hill commands a fine view of the fertile vale of Pickering, and on one side is a barren mountainous district, called Black, or Blake moor, which extends to a considerable distance, and furnishes materials for making brooms; on the river Costa, which rises at Kildhead, and upon the old Beck stream, are several flour-mills. The market is on Monday; and fairs are held on the Mondays before February 14th and May 13th, on September 25th, and on the Monday before November 23rd. Pickering was formerly of more importance than it is at present, having been the principal town in this district; in the 23rd of Edward I. it sent members to parliament. It is the head of an honour in the duchy of Lancaster, having jurisdiction throughout the lythe and wapentake, which are co-extensive, including two market-towns and forty-six townships. A manorial court, for all actions under 40s. arising within the honour, is held onthesecond and thirdMondays after Easter, and on the first and second Mondays after Michaelmas, in Queen Elizabeth's tower in the castle. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction and patronage of the Dean of York, rated in the king's books at £8. 3. 9. The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient and spacious edifice, with a lofty spire. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists. The free school is supported by the interest of various endowments, and rent-charges, of unknown origin, amounting to about £80, with some subsequent small legacies, vested in trustees, and applied, under their direction, for the instruction of the children of poor inhabitants; the average number is one hundred and fifty. On Pickering moor are vestiges of two Roman encampments of great strength, and several others between the barrows and the town, as well as on the western moors."

"GOATHLAND, (otherwise GOADLAND) a chapelry in the parish of PICKERING and wapentake of Pickering Lythe, North riding of the county of YORK, 13 miles N.E. from Pickering, containing 335 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean of York, endowed with £1200 royal bounty. The chapel, a neat edifice, was erected in 1821. In the dale of Goadland, within the ancient honour of Pickering Forest the tenants were bound to promote the breed of a large species of hawk that resorted to a cliff called Killing Nab Scar, and to secure them for the king; these birds continue to haunt the same place, but it is remarkable that there is seldom more than one brood produced in a year."

"KINGTHORP, a township in the parish of Pickering and wapentake of PICKERING LYTHE, North riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles E.N.E. from Pickering, containing 52 inhabitants."

"MARRISHES, a township in the parish of PICKERING, wapentake of Pickering Lythe, North riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.S.E. from Pickering, containing 210 inhabitants. This township is divided into East and West Marrish."

"NEWTON, a township in the parish of Pickering and wapentake of PICKERING LYTHE, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles N.E. from Pickering, containing 212 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Independents. Richard Poad, in 1726, bequeathed £178, directing the income to be applied to teaching poor children."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]