SPOFFORTH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.


"SPOFFORTH, a parish-town, in the upper-division of Claro; 3 miles NW. of Wetherby."

"WETHERBY, is a small market town and township, in the parish of Spofforth, and upper division of the wapentake of Claro, West Riding, 192 miles from London, 57 n.e. from Manchester, 15 s.w from York, 7 s. from Knaresborough, 7 n.w. from Tadcaster, and three n.w. from Thorpe-Arch. It is agreeably situate on the left bank of the river Wharf, over which there is a handsome stone bridge ; and across the stream is a fine stone weir for raising the water, by means of which several flour, oil and logwood mills are worked. With the exception of these branches, no particular trade attaches itself to the place, and manufactures are unknown in the town ; but at Clifford mills, a short distance hence, are the bleaching works, and shoe thread manufactory of Messrs. Grimstons'. The occupation of the inhabitants in the parish is chiefly agricultural, the land is fertile and productive, and the country around presents some beautiful and diversified scenery. The manor formerly belonged to the Duke of Devonshire, under whose direction very important improvements were made in the town ; a considerable number of old ruinous buildings pulled down, and small, neat and comfortable houses of stone, erected in their stead. The present lord of the manor is R.F.Wilson, Esq. who holds a court leet and baron, at Lady day & Michaelmas ; and quarter sessions for the the West Riding, are held on the Tuesday in the first whole week after Christmas day.

The places of worship are, a chapel of ease under Spofforth, and one each for methodists and independents. The living of Wetherby is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the vicar of Spofforth, and incumbency of the Rev. William Raby. The market, which is held on Thursday, is a tolerably extensive one, for corn, &c. The fairs are on Holy Thursday, August 5th and October 10th ; there are besides, fortnight fairs for cattle. The parish of Spofforth contained, at the last census taken in 1831, 3,233 inhabitants, and the township of Wetherby 1,321 of that number."

[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]