KNARESBOROUGH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1750.
"KNARESBOROUGH, a parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 13 m. from York, 149 cm. 175 mm. from Londcn, is an ancient Bor. by prescription, called by foreigners the Yorkshire-Spaw. It is almost encompassed by the r. Nid, which issues from the bottom of Craven- Hills, and had a priory, with a castle, long since demolished, on a craggy rock, from whence it took the name. The T. is about 3 furlongs in length; and the parish is famous for four medicinal springs, near each other, and yet of different qualities. 1. The sweet-spaw, or vitrioline well, in Knaresborough-forest, 3 m. from the T. which was discovered in 1620 by Mr. Slingsby. 2. The stinking spaw, or sulphur, which tinges silver with the colour of copper, but is very faetid, and therefore used only in bathing. 3. St. Mungo's, a cold bath, 4 m. from the '1'. 4. The dropping-well, which is in the T. and the most noted petrifying well in England, so called by reason of its dropping from the spungy rock hanging over it. There is a tradition that mother Shipton was born near this rock. The ground which receives it, before it joins the well, is, for 12 yards long, become a solid rock. From the well it runs into the Nid, where the spring-water has made a rock, that stretches some yards into the r. The adjacent fields are noted for liquorice, and a soft yellow marle, which is a rich manure. The Lp. was formerly Piers de Gaveston's, and is since parcel of the duchy of Lancaster, and the T. is governed by a bailiff. The Slingsby family, who have a seat here, were made hereditary rangers of its forest, by K. Edw. I. Its baths are not so much frequented, since Scarborough-Spaw came in vogue. The Mt. is W. Here is a stone-bridge over the r. near one end of which is a cell dug out of the rock, and called St. Robert's chapel."
[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]