KNARESBOROUGH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.


"KNARESBOROUGH, a parish comprising the manor of Beach Hill within the liberty of ST-PETER-of-YORK, East riding, county of YORK, and the borough and market-town of Knaresborough, a portion of which is also within the above liberty, the chapelry of Arkendale, and the townships of Bilton with Harrogate, Brearton, and Scriven with Tentergate, in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding, of the county of YORK, and containing 9101 inhabitants, of which number, 5283 are in the borough of Knaresborough, 18 miles N.W. from York, and 197 N.N.W. from London. This place is supposed to derive its name from the German word Knares, a rocky mountain, thus indicating the situation of its ancient castle, erected by Serlo de Burgh, who accompanied William the Conqueror to England, and became lord of this manor. During the civil war in the reign of Charles I., the castle was garrisoned for the king, but was eventually taken by Lord Fairfax, after the battle of Marston Moor. A priory was founded in the thirteenth century, by Robert Flower, whose father was mayor of York, who was afterwards canonized: it was endowed by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the brother of Henry III., for friars of the order of the Holy Trinity, the revenue of which, at the dissolution, was £35.10.11. The town is situated on the north-eastern bank of the river Midd> and is surrounded by picturesque and beautiful scenery; the streets are well paved, and lighted with gas; the houses, many of which are handsome buildings, are in general constructed of stone found in the immediate vicinity. There are a subscription library and a news-room. Knaresborough was formerly a favourite watering-place, but has been of late years superseded by Harrogate. The linen and cotton manufactures, which were formerly very extensive, yet employ a considerable number of the inhabitants, though they have somewhat declined, in consequence of the inland situation of the town and the want of facilities for the carriage of goods, and for obtaining coal. The market, held on Wednesday, is one of the principal corn markets in the county; fairs, chiefly for horses, cattle, and sheep, are on the first Wednesdays after January 13th, March 12th, May 5th, August 12th, October llth, and December 10th, for cattle, horses, and sheep. A statute fair for hiring servants is held on the Wednesday before November 23rd. The county magistrates hold petty sessions weekly for the wapentake of Claro. Courts of record, for the recovery of debts to any amount within the honour of Knaresborough, comprising the. borough, the Forest, and the Forest liberty, are held once a fortnight, before the-steward (a barrister), and the under steward, who are appointed by the Duke of Devonshire, lessee of the honour under the duchy of Lancaster, Attached to this court is a gaol for debtors, consisting of a single room, part of the remains of Knaresborough castle, which will afford accommodation for two prisoners only. Sessions for the West riding are held here annually at Michaelmas. Borough courts are held after Michaelmas and Easter, by the Duke of Devonshire. The elective franchise was granted in the first year of the reign of Mary; two, representatives are sent to parliament; the right of election is in the proprietors of burgage tenements, eighty-eight in number, who are chiefly non-resident: the bailiff, in whom the government of the borough is vested, is the returning officer j and the influence of the Duke of Devonshire is predominant. The living is a vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the court of the honour of Knaresborough, rated in the king's books at £9. 9. 4., and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York. The church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, has been erected at various periods; it is an extensive edifice, with a tower between the nave and the chancel, and a decorated east window. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists, and a Roman Catholic chapel. A free grammar school was founded and endowed by Dr. Robert Chaloner, in 1616, with a rent-charge of £20 per annum, for the education of boys, but there are none on the foundation. A school for boys and girls was endowed by Thomas Richardson, in 1765, with £400 and a dwelling-house, which donation, with subsequent legacies and benefactions, produces an annual income of £101. 16.: thirty boys and girls are educated. A National school for children of both sexes was erected in 1814; and, in 1823, Charles Marshall left £500 to trustees, to apply the interest in providing four suits of clothes every Easter for four scholars who have made the greatest proficiency; the surplus to be used at their discretion in support of the school: Various Sunday schools are well supported and numerously attended. There is a charitable fund of £200 per annum for apprenticing poor children; and another of £150 per annum, distributed in gratuities of £5 each to indigent persons, arising from the joint benefactions of Mrs. Alice Shepherd, in 1806, and Dr. William Craven, in 1812.

The ruins of the castle extend over a circular area about three hundred feet in diameter, and consist of part of the keep and some round towers of excellent masonry, with arches and windows displaying the decorated English style of building. Southward of the castle is an excavation in the rock, called St. Robert's Chapel, founded, in the reign of Richard I., by a native of York; and above it is a hermitage, which contains a figure of the hermit in monastic attire, surrounded by his books. A little higher up is Fort Montagu, an ornamental structure consisting of excavations in the rocfc, and so called in honour of the Duchess of Buccleuch, ;wjth appropriate arbours, green-house, and tea-rooms; in the vicinity is St. Robert's cave, remarkable in mo-> dern times as the scene of a horrible murder committed on the body of Daniel Clarke, by Eugene Aram, a schoolmaster in this town. About a mile from the town are the remains of an ancient encampment, on the point of a hill two hundred feet above the surface of the river, whence there is a fine view of the town and castle. In this parish there are four mineral springs; the sweet, or vitriolic spa, in Knaresborough Forest, discovered in 1620, the sulphureous spa, which is very fcetid, and changes silver to the colour of copper; St. Mungo's cold bath; and a dropping well, the water of which is the most noted petrifying spring in England."

"ARKENDALE, a chapelry in that part of the parish of KNARESBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles N.E. from Knaresborough, containing 285 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, within the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of the honour of Knaresborough, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Knaresborough. The chapel is dedicated to St. Bartholomew. There is a place of worship for WesJeyan Methodists."

"BILTON, a township, joint with Harrogate, in that part of the parish of KNARESBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles W. from Knaresborough. The population is returned with Harrogate. A free school is endowed with about £30 per annum, given by Richard Taylor, in -1785. In tlie neighbourhood are several petrifying springs, and one with a sulphureous impregnation."

"BREARTON, a township in that part of the parish of KNARESBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles N.N.W. from Knaresborough, containing 226 inhabitants."

"HARROGATE, a watering-place and township, joint with Bilton, in the parish of KNARESBOROUGH, lower division of the, wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.W. from Knaresborough, 15 N. from Leeds, 21 N.W. from York, and 200 N.N.W. from London, containing, with Bilton, 1934 inhabitants. This place, originally called Heywragate, derives its appellation from being situated on the direct road from Knaresborough to Heyward park. It comprehends the two villages of High and Low Harrogate, which are half a mile apart, both standing on part of what was formerly the Forest of Knaresborough, now enclosed and cultivated. High Harrogate occupies an eminence which commands the view of an extensive landscape, diversified with woods, fields, towns, and villages, and bounded by the mountains of Craven, Hambleton hills, and the wolds of Yorkshire. Low Harrogate is pleasantly situated in a valley, and is adorned with many handsome stone houses, erected principally for the accommodation of visitors. The rapid increase of buildings renders it probable that the two villages will at no distant period become united. The mineral waters, which have long rendered Harrogate a place of fashionable resort from May to October, are of three kinds, chalybeate, sulphureous, and saline chalybeate, similar to the Cheltenham waters. In High Harrogate is the old spa, a chalybeate spring, which was discovered in 1571, by Captain William Slingsby, surrounded by a -terrace sixty yards square in 1656, the sides of which furnish an agreeable promenade, and surmounted by a handsome dome, in 1786, at the expense of Lord Loughborough. About three quarters of a mile to the westward is the Tewit well, the water of which possesses similar proper ties. These were the only chalybeate wells known for a long time; but in 1819 a saline chalybeate spring was discovered, which is daily increasing in repute.: the water is called Cheltenham water, from the similarity of its properties to those of the purgative waters of Cheltenham j and being private property, persons are admitted to the spa on subscribing two shillings and sixpence a week, and also to the grounds, in which are pleasant walks, a large sheet of water, and various ornamental plantations. In Low Harrogate is the old sulphur well, situated at the foot, of a hill which rises to the south-west, the water of which is received in a circular stone basin, surmounted by a large cupola covered with lead and supported on stone pillars. In the grounds adjoining the Crown Hotel is a new sulphur well, enclosed in a Chinese octagonal building, and surrounded by walks and shrubberies tastefully arranged; the water is raised by a pump, and resembles the former in its medicinal qualities. The sulphur wells are numerous, but only four are used; and their sanative properties were not discovered till several years after the wells at the upper village were generally frequented. A sulphureous chalyheate spring, called the Crescent water, discovered in 1783, is situated in the garden of the Crescent: it is private, property, and the.terms of subscription are half a guinea for the season. The medicinal quality of the chalybeate waters is principally tonic and alterative 5 that of. the sulphureous strongly purgative; the latter are used externally and internally, and are considered particularly serviceable in scorbutic complaints, and dis- prders of the skin. The principal place of public resort is a large and elegant room near the sulphur wells, called the Promenade room, which is supplied with periodical publications, an appropriate library, and an organ, on which, during the season, an organist plays every morning and evening, and on Sunday evenings there is a performance of sacred music: the terms of subscription are moderate. In High Harrogate are also a good library and a theatre, the latter being open during the months of July, August, and September. Assemblies are held at the different hotels three or four nights in the week during the season; and there are races in summer. A chapel, dedicated to St. John, was erected in High Harrogate in 1749, by subscription, Lady Elizabeth Hastings having been a liberal contributor; it is a neat edifice of freestone, containing several marble monuments to the memory of visitors who have died here 5 and it has lately received an addition of two hundred and forty sittings, of which one hundred and eighty-six are free, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £200 towards defraying the expense. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Richmond, and diocese of Chester, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Knaresborough. In Low Harrogate is a small church or chapel, erected in 1824, and containing about seven hundred and fifty sittings, of which five hundred are free, the Incorporated Society having granted £ 500 for that purpose. The living is. a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, and in the patronage of the. Crown. There is a place of worship for Independents in High Harrogate, and one for Methodists midway between the two, villages. There is also an endowed school for the children of the poor of Bilton cum Harrogate. The Bath hospital was erected by subscription in 1826, upon a plot of land near the bogs, granted for that purpose by the Earl of Harewood; and here the poor may obtain the benefit of the mineral waters free of expense; at present only twenty-four patients can be accommodated, but it is in contemplation to enlarge the building, and extend the benefits of the institution."

"SCRIVEN, a township, joint with Tentergate, in that part of the parish of KNARESBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile N.W. from Knaresborough, containing, with Tentergate, 1373 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the court of the honour of Knaresborough."

"TENTERGATE, a township, joint with Scriven, in that part of the parish of KNARESBOROUGH, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK. The population is returned with Scriven."

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