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ABERFORD: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1837.

"ABERFORD, a parish-town, in the pleasant vale of the Cock rivulet, 10 miles E.N.E. of Leeds, and 7 miles E. of Wetherby, is a small but ancient market town, consisting of one street of scattered houses, extending on the turnpike road, nearly a mile in length and lying in the Wapentakes of Skyrack and Barkston Ash, in the Liberties of Pontefract and St. Peter, in the parishes of Aberford and Sherburn in Elmet, in the townships of Aberford, Parlington, and Lotherton. Though lying in so many jurisdictions, it does not contain more than one thousand inhabitants; the total population of the three townships of Aberford, Parlington, and Lotherton, being only 1277, in the year 1831. Aberford parish is all in the lower division of Skyrack Wapentake, and contains 3820 acres of fertile land, divided into the three townships of Aberford, Parlington, and Sturton Grange, containing together only 925 inhabitants. The latter is a large farm, 3 miles S. of the town. Parlington Hall, 1 mile S.W. of Aberford, is the seat of Richard Oliver Gascoigne, Esq., who owns most of the soil, and is lord of the manors in this parish and neighbourhood. The market is of small importance, being now only occasionally attended, on Mondays, by a few farmers, for the sale of corn by sample. Here are five annual fairs, for cattle, &c, held on the first Mondays after the following dates;- April 28th, May 26th, Oct. 6th and 20th and Nov 3rd. Aberford had formerly an extensive manufacture of pins, but it has long been obsolete. In the vicinity are vestiges of a Roman road; and rare curious plants are found growing wild, and affording ample field for the study of the botanist. The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Richard, is a large and venerable structure, which was thoroughly repaired in 1821, when R. O. Gascoigne, Esq., erected catacombs capable of receiving thirty bodies. The vicarage, valued in the King's books at 6. s 8d,. is now worth 308 per annum, and is in the gift of Oriel College, Oxford, and incumbency of the Rev. James Landon, B.D. The Roman Catholics and the Methodists have each a small chapel here. The National School, built by the inhabitants, on the site of the old town school, is endowed with 10 a year, left by Lady Eliz. Hastings, who also left 40s per annum for sacrament wine and bread. The Poors' Land, purchased with 50 left by John Hick, contains two acres, let for 4 10s., which is distributed yearly among the poor parishioners. The country around Aberford is beautifully diversified by woods and plantations, and adorned with many elegant residences. About half a mile north of the town is a farm house, formerly an inn, known by the name of the Black Horse, and said to have been the occasional retreat of Nevison, the notorious highwayman, and at which he baited his favourite mare, on his expeditious journey from London to York. The Post Office is at Mrs. Eliz. Jarmain's whence the mail departs, to the South, at half past eight morning, and to the North at half past seven evening."

[Transcribed from White's History, gazetteer and directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire 1837]