The Ancient Parish of TOPCLIFFE
[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]"TOPCLIFFE, a parish in the wapentake of Birdforth, a part in the liberty of St. Peter's; 4 miles SSW. of Thirsk. In the time of Leland, this was " a pretty uplandish town," and here stood one of the seats of the Percy family. It is now only a village, and the few vestiges of the baronial mansion that remain are called the " Maiden Bower." Here Henry, the fourth Earl of Northumberland, then lord lieutenant of the county. was, on St. Vitalis's day, in 1489, seized by the populace, and murdered, for enforcing a ten per cent tax, imposed in the time of Henry VII. by the advice of Empson and Dudley. Here Thomas Percy, the succeeding Earl, conspired against Queen Elizabeth, and was beheaded at York, on the 22d of August, 1572. In this house Charles I. was a prisoner; and here the £200,000. was paid by the Parliament to the Scotch, for quitting the country, and delivering up the King. The church, which bears evident marks of antiquity (see Churches for photograph), is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York, and is dedicated to St. Colomb; the incumbent is the Rev. R. D. Waddilove, D. D. There is here also a Free Grammar school, founded and liberally endowed in 1549, of which Mr. William Bell is the master. Amongst the modern buildings, which are not very numerous, may be mentioned a Methodist chapel. The population amounts to 659." (There is further information for Topcliffe).
Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.
- Here are photographs of Churches in the parish:
- St. Columba's Church, Topcliffe, view 1. (The Church's website is here.)
- St. Columba's Church, Topcliffe, view 2.
- The former Methodist Church, Topcliffe, opened in 1840 as a Wesleyan chapel.
- St. John's Church, Skipton on Swale.
- The former Wesleyan Chapel, Skipton on Swale, built in 1810
- St. James' Church, Baldersby St. James.
- Christ Church, Dishforth (view 1).
- Christ Church, Dishforth (view 2).
- The Methodist Church, Dishforth.
- St. John The Evangelist's Church, Dalton.
- The Methodist Church, Rainton. This building was closed in 2015, and the congregation were worshipping in the village hall, however that ceased officially in Sept 2021.
- The former Wesleyan Chapel, Dalton. Opened in 1880, now a private dwelling.
- St. Mary's Church, Marton le Moor, view from the road.
- St. Mary's Church, would you have trees this close to a building you owned?
- St. Mary's Church, - rear view.
- The Wayside Pulpit, Catton.
- Transcript of the entry of "professions and trades" in the Baines's Directory of 1823, of the North Riding.
- Transcript of the entry of "professions and trades" in the White's Directory of 1840, Yorkshire section.
- Transcript of the entry of "professions and trades" in the Bulmers Directory of 1890. of the North Riding.
- There is further information about this parish from the Pigot's 1834 Directory, Yorkshire section.
- There is further information about this parish from the National Gazetteer 1868, Yorkshire extracts.
- There is further information about this parish from the Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835, Yorkshire extracts.
- There is further information about this parish from the Stephen Whatley's Gazetteer 1750, Yorkshire extracts.
- There is further information about this parish from the Bulmer's 1890 History and Directory of the North Riding.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Topcliffe to another place.
- In 1842 the townships of Skipton on Swale and Catton, (in this parish), were constituted an ecclesiastical parish. See Skipton on Swale Parish.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SE400760 (Lat/Lon: 54.178232, -1.388665), Topcliffe which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- This parish is covered by the following Society: