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West Tanfield

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[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"WEST TANFIELD, a parish in the wapentake of Halikeld, and liberty of Richmondshire; 6 miles NW. of Ripon. William the Conqueror gave this village, and East Tanfield, to Alan, Earl of Richmond: they afterwards became the property of the family of Fits Hugh. Robert, Lord Marmion, married the heiress of this family, and succeeded to these lordships." (There is further information for West Tanfield).

"BINSOE, in the parish of West Tanfield, and wapentake of Halikeld; 1¼ miles WNW. of West Tanfield, 2 miles ESE. of Masham."

"FISHER'S LODGE, a single house in the township and parish of West Tanfield; 7 miles from Ripon, 5 from Masham."

"NOSTERFIELD, in the parish of West Tanfield, wapentake of Hang East, and liberty of Richmondshire; 1¼ miles NNE. of West Tanfield, 3½ miles E. of Masham. There is here a small Methodist chapel."

"THORNBROUGH, in the parish of West Tanfield, wapentake of Hang East, and liberty of Richmondshire; 1¾ miles ENE. of West Tanfield, 6 miles E. of Masham. Here is a small Methodist chapel.

At Thornborough, upon Thornborough Moor, (now enclosed) are three of those circular enclosures, which arc attributed to the Danes and called camps. They lie in a line passing from north-west to south-east, about nine hundred yards distant from each other. The first thing observable is the outermost ring, which consists of a very small ditch; about twenty-four paces from that is a mound of earth, not less than twelve or fourteen feet high, covered with sod, and sloping both outwardly and inwardly. At the foot of this, a terrace, fourteen paces broad, surrounds a very deep ditch, at least sixteen paces broad at top; this encloses a circular area, smooth and even as could be formed, about one hundred and thirty-two yards in diameter. To this are two entrances exactly in the middle, and opposite to each other. These are cut through the dyke, and fill the ditch in that part to the level of the area. One of these circles is very entire, the other has been injured by the plough; the third, mentioned by Pennant, is now only to be discovered from the unevenness of the field in which it has been situated. The perfect one must have been that which Pennant has so accurately described as above, and which was some years ago planted upon by the Earl of Ailesbury, by way of preserving it. It is near Nosterfield. These rings, Pennant calls Tilting circles and were used for the purpose of tilting or fighting duels in, a custom, very prevalent among the northern nations. --See Pennant's tour from Alston Moor to Harrogate."

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



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