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WHITKIRK: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1891.

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"WHITKIRK, a parish in the West Riding.

Austhorpe, Colton, Garforth, (east & west), Great and Little Preston, Halton, Kippax, Moor Garforth, Newsam Green, Osmondthorpe, Skelton, Swillington, Temple Newsam, Templethorpe, Thornes, Thorpe Stapleton and neighbourhoods.

The Scargill and Ingram families; several generations of the latter family held the title of Viscount Irwin. There is also a memorial tablet of John Smeaton, the builder of the Eddystone lighthouse, who was born at Austhorpe Lodge near Whitkirk. The tablet is surmounted by a model of the lighthouse. The living is a vicarage, value £250 pa, in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge.

About a mile and a half distant is the hamlet of Colton and almost a mile east is that of Halton, in the township of Temple Newsam. Newsam Green, Templethorpe, Skelton, Thornes and Osmondthorpe are hamlets in the same township. At the last named place are extensive collieries. The parish of Whitkirk contains no township of its name, but comprises those of Austhorpe (part of), Temple Newsam (part of), Seacroft (part of), and Thorpe Stapleton and had in 1891 a population of 3,851. West Garforth is a a parish containing besides the hamlet of its name, those of Moor Garforth and Church Garforthj in the same wapentake and riding as Aberford, situated from 3 to 4 miles south from that town. At Moor Garforth is an extensice colliery. The parish church of St.Mary is a small neat edifice. The benefice is a rectory in the patronage of the incumbent, the Rev. R.C. Wilford M.A. and is valued at £366 annually. Population of west Garforth parish in 1871, 1,715 and in 1881 2,241.

Kippax is a parish in the Lower Syrack wapentake, West Riding, 9 miles E.S.E. from Leeds and includes the townships of Great and Little Preston and Ledston (part of). The living is a vicarage of the value of £260 annually in the patronage of the Bishop of Ripon. Population of the parish in 1871, 4,154 and in 1881 4,109. Swillington is a parish in the same wapentake, about 5 miles E.S.E. from Leeds. The Church is dedicated to St.Mary, the living being a rectory in the gift of Sir C. Lowther Bart.and is valued at £175 annually. Population in 1871 890 and in 1881 823."

[Transcribed from White's History, gazetteer and directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire 1891]