TADCASTER: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.
"TADCASTER, a market town and township, in the parish of its name, which is partly in the upper division of Barkstone-Ash, West Riding, and partly in the Ainsty of the city of York, is 186 miles n.n.w. from London, 56 n.e. from Manchester, 15 e. by s. from Harrogate, the like distance n.e. from Leeds, and 9 s.e. from York ; situate on the river Wharf, over which is one of the finest bridges in the county, built out of the materials which once formed the castle that stood on the south bank of the river : the centre of the bridge marks the divisions of the West Riding and the ainsty of the city of York. This place was the Roman station, Calcarea, so named from the nature of the soil, which abounds with calx or limestone, and one of the outports or gates, on the consular way to their chief military station, Eboracum, the city of York. Upon the Wharf are corn mills, and in the immediate neighbourhood are stone quarries, one in particular, named ' Jack-daw cragg,' is said to have furnished the stone with which the minster, at York, is built. This town is one destitute of manufactures, but it is a great thoroughfare, on the road leading from Leeds & other manufacturing towns in the West Riding to the city of York, Scarborough and other places in the North Riding, from which local circumstance its retail trade is well sustained ; and the neighbourhood abounds with seats of the nobility and gentry.
The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome structure, with a noble tower. A fine toned organ, built by Elliott and Hill, of London, has recently been erected in the church, purchased by a subscription of the parishioners. The living is in the gift of the Earl of Egremont ; the present incumbent is the Rev. Benjamin Maddock, M.A. The methodists here form a numerous and respectable congregation ; a new Weslayan chapel was completed in 1828, which will seat nine hundred persons, and to this establishment is attached school rooms, capable of accommodating three hundred children. There are besides, a chapel each for the independents and Inghamites ; a free grammar school and alms houses, founded in 1557, by Owen Oglethorp, Bishop of Carlisle ; and a well endowed establishment, called ' Dawson's charity,' for the sustenance of poor widows and the education of forty girls. The general appearance of the country around here is diversified ; the walks by the river are delightful, and the views pleasing ; to the east the land is flat and agricultural, and the soil very fertile in this district. The market is held on Wednesday ; and the fairs on the last Wednesdays in May and October, chiefly for cattle : another cattle fair has recently been established which is held every alternate Wednesday throughout the year. The entire parish of Tadcaster contained, by the census taken in 1831, 2,825 inhabitants, of which number 1,996 were returned for that part in the wapentake of Barkstone-Ash, and 859 for that part in the Ainsty of the city of York : at the same period the township of Tadcaster contained 2,403."
[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]