T. Bulmer & Co.

(Courtesy of the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes)




"Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Hang West - Electoral Division and Poor Law Union of Aysgarth - County Court of District Leyburn - Rural Deanery of West Catterick - Archdeanery of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.


This is an extensive parish, surpassing in magnitude any other in the North Riding. It stretches from the borders of Sedbergh and Westmorland eastward, to the vicinity of Redmire and West Witton, a distance of 18 miles occupying the upper part of the beautiful valley of Wensleydale. Its average breadth is about six miles, and its total area 81,012 acres, an extent considerably more than the half of the whole county of Rutland. These were the limits of the ancient parish of Aysgarth, which comprised the township of Aysgarth, High and Low Abbotside, Askrigg, Bainbridge, Bishopdale, Burton-cum-Walden, Carperby-cum-Thoresby, Hawes, Newbiggin, Thoraldby, and Thornton Rust, which still form the civil parish; but for ecclesiastical purposes the district has been sub-divided, and the jurisdiction of the ancient mother church extends only over the townships of Aysgarth, Bishopdale,  Burton-cum-Walden, Carperby, Newbiggin, Thoraldby and Thornton Rust. ...


The whole district is full of beautiful and varied scenery - elevated moorlands and clumps of woodland intermingling with fertile dales - while down the hillsides pour numerous mountain torrents, which look like streams of molten silver, when viewed from afar, as they rush down the steep declivities, or roaring with noise are precipitated over rocky ledges that vainly impede their onward course. ...


The village of Aysgarth is a quaint straggling little place, overlooked by a bleak hill, in the south bank of the Yore or Ure, five miles E. by S. of Askrigg, and eight miles W. by S. of Leyburn. On an eminence about three-quarters of a mile from the village is the parish church (St. Andrew), originally built in the reign of Henry III., but restored in the time of Henry VIII., by Adam Sedbergh, the last abbot of Jervaulx, to which the monastery the rectory was appropriated. It was almost wholly rebuilt in 1866, the tower and the columns of the nave being the only portion of the former edifice that were retained in the reconstruction. The beautiful old rood-screen and loft were renovated at the same time. These elaborate carvings are supposed by some writers to have been brought from the Abbey of Jervaulx, and part of the abbot's stall from the same church now forms the prayer desk. An elegant brass eagle lectern was presented by the congregation, and in 1880 a fine-toned organ was added. ...


In the village are chapels belonging to the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and a Meeting House belonging to the Society of Friends. The National School, erected by subscription in 1837, is endowed with the rent of a field left by Chris Tomlinson Esq., and now let at £6 per. annum. (pp.332-334) ...


UNION WORKHOUSE (for Aysgarth Union): Chairman of the Board of Guardians, J.C. Winn,

Esq., J.P., C.C., The Grange, West Burton; George Whitton, master; Mrs. Elizth. Whitton,

matron; Clerk to the Guardians, Wm. E.M. Winn, solicitor, Askrigg; Relieving Officer and

Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths for Askrigg District, E. Chapman, Worton. (p.349)



BISHOPDALE township, comprising 4, 791 acres, includes a considerable portion of the valley of that name, containing some of the richest meadow land in the county. Among the hills which bound the dale on either side are numerous waterfalls, some of great height and beauty. The dale is supposed to have been at a very early period, probably during the Saxon age, the property of the Archbishops of York. In Leland's time [1538-43] this chase belonged to the king, and "yn the hillies about hit there were redde deer." The principal proprietors of the soil are the trustees of H.T. Robinson, Thomas Metcalfe, W. Purchas, and J.W. Lodge, Esquires.


The township is valued, for rateable purposes, at £2,398, and contains eighty-seven inhabitants, who reside in the scattered farmhouses. The far-famed Wensleydale cheese is manufactured here. (p.342)














NEWBIGGIN township, comprising 1,683 acres, is situated between Bishopdale and Walden beck, and consists chiefly of high moorlands, in which led ore is found. The principal landowners are the trustees of H.T. Robinson (lords of the manor); Wm. Purchas, Esq., West Burton; R. Chapman, Esq., Leyburn; Exors. of R. Lodge, Esq., Bishopdale; Mrs. E. Ryder Hammond, and Mr. S. Thwaite. Rateable value, £1,600, and population, 104. The village is situated about 6 miles S.E. of Askrigg. (p.345)

















THORALBY township (2,840 acres) is situated between Aysgarth and Bishopdale. The lordship was formerly held by the citizens of London, from whom it was conveyed in 1661, to Major Thornton of St. Nicholas', near Richmond. The manorial rights now belong to the trustees of Hy. T. Robinson, who was also one of the principal landowners. The following also have estates here, viz.: Robt. Sadler, exors. of Robt. Lodge, Rev. 0. Sadler, Wm. Purchas, Sept. Sadler, and Leonard Jacques.


The village of Thoralby (the by, or town of Thorald) is pleasantly situated on the north-east side of Bishopdale, about five miles from Askrigg. There was formerly a chantry chapel here, founded by Maria de Neville, Lady of Middleham, in 1316, for the benefit of her own soul, and those of her father and mother, and of Robert de Neville, her late husband, and their ancestors and heirs. It was suppressed with the other chantries by Edward VI., and its revenues seized for royal use. The place where it stood is still known as Chapel Close. The Wesleyans erected a small chapel here in 1823, but this will shortly be superseded by a new one, now in course of erection, at a cost of £350. The Primitive Methodist chapel dates from 1849. A Reading Room was erected in 1887, at a cost of £150, as a useful and permanent commemoration of Her Majesty's Jubilee.


Littleburn House, an ancient mansion near the village, but now a farmhouse, was for some time the residence of the Lords Rokeby; and on a bridge, leading to the house, is an elegant Latin inscription from the pen of the fourth Lord Rokeby, who, whilst resident here, published a drama, entitled "John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough," which was printed at Leyburn. Edgeley was formerly the property and seat of Matthew Robinson, Esq., father of Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, a lady of extraordinary talents and conversational powers. In 1769 she published "An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare," in answer to the objections of Voltaire, which obtained a great and deserved reputation, and still ranks with the best illustrations of the transcendent powers of the "immortal bard." She formed a literary society, which held its meetings in her house in London, and was nick-named the "Blue Stocking Club," from the circumstance that one of the gentlemen members always exhibited a preference for that colour in his hosiery. She assisted Lord Lyttleton in the composition of his "Dialogues of the Dead"; but it was in epistolary correspondence that Mrs. Montague particularly excelled, far surpassing her namesake, the Lady Mary Wortley Montague. She had her little crotchets and peculiarities, which she exhibited in various ways. One was a dinner which she gave every May-day to the chimney-sweepers of London, to commemorate the fact of her husband's kinsman, Edward Wortley Montague, having been for some time, during the wild period of his youth, a chimney-sweeper. She died at Denton Hall, near Newcastle, in 1800, at a very advanced age.


In the hills, near the village, is a very fine waterfall, called, from the adjacent farm, "The Heaning," but sometimes, and more poetically, named "Silver Chain Force." It consists of a succession of seven cataracts, formed by the Haw beck within a length of 200 yards, each fall constituting a link in the chain.


CHARITIES. - The poor of Thoralby and Newbiggin receive the rent of 4½ acres of land, left by one Butterfield; the interest of £3 6s. 8d., left by James Hammond; an annuity of 20s., left by Charles Robinson; and a yearly rent-charge of 20s., bequeathed by a person named Harrison. (pp.345-346)




Post Office; Ann Jane Webster, postmistress. One despatch daily at 4-10 p.m.; one delivery daily at 10-5 a.m.   Letters arrive via Aysgarth Station from Bedale. No delivery on Sunday.




Dent Mrs. Ann, Heaning hall

Dinsdale Thomas, tailor, Low Green House 

Fawcett Jas., farmer and vict., Volunteer Inn

Haw James Lamb, boot and shoe dealer

Heseltine Alice, apartments

Heseltine Matt., farmer and vict., George Inn

Metcalfe Mr. Robert

Nicholson Ellen, grocer

Sadler Mrs. Jane, Town Head house

Sadler The Misses, High Green house

Sayer Francis and Thomas, millers

Sayer Mr. John

Tomlinson James, boot and shoe maker 

Webster Ann Jane, grocer and postmistress

Willis Jane, draper and grocer

Willis Matthew Heseltine and Son (John),    blacksmiths

Willis Wm. and Jas., joiners and wheelwrights


Lodge John William, Esq., The Rookery

Percival Robert, gamekeeper, West  Newhouse


Dent William, Ribbahill farm

Dixon Matthias, Kidstones

Fawcett Rowland, Longridge







Foster William, Myresgarth farm

Fryer George, New Gill farm

Heseltine Jeffrey, Dalefoot house

Heseltine William, East Howgill farm

Stamp Edward, West Howgill farm

Wilcock (Robert) & Hully (William), Scarr  Top farm


Brown James, tailor and draper

Redmayne Mr. John

Thwaite Richard, cattle dealer

Thwaite Simon, farmer and vict., Street  Head Inn

Webster Rebecca, farmer and vict., Spotted  Cow


Bushby Henry

Dent Richard Lord



Dinsdale Francis Spence, senr. (and overseer)

Dinsdale Francis Spence, junr.

Fawcett Robert

Heseltine John

Heseltine Thomas, Lane house

Lambert Francis, Town Head house

Lambert Matthew (and grocer)

Metcalfe Jeremiah

Sayer John, Mill Scarr house

Webster Joseph (and cattle dealer), Lane house




Bolland Edward, Riddings farm

Coates Thomas and James

Dent Leonard, Gayling farm

Fawcett John, Spickels farm

Fawcett Thomas, Littleburn house

Furnish Ann

Heseltine Matthew, Swineycoate farm

Heseltine Robert

Jacques Leonard, Warnford cottage

Johnson John and Son (James), Heaning hall

Mason William



Metcalfe Thomas, Cotebottom farm

Metcalfe William, Blindsyke farm

Routh Richard, Town head

Sarginson John, Hallgarth

Scott John, Barker farm

Thwaite Hannah and Son (Thomas)

Thwaite Richard, Howsyke farm

Waller James, Chapel house

Watson Christopher, Town Head farm

Webster Michael

Webster Septimus (and cheesemonger) "