Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for GUISBROUGH

GUISBROUGH, a town, a township, a sub-district, and a district in N. R. Yorkshire. The town stands in a narrow but fertile valley, in the most beautiful part of Cleveland, 5 miles from the coast at Marske, 8½ ESE of Middlesborough, and 25 NE of Northallerton; and is connected by railway with the North-eastern coast-line at Middlesborough, and with the Cleveland line in the neighbourhood of Castleton. It is thought to occupy the site of a Roman settlement; it was known at Domesday as Ghigesburgh; and it came into the possession of Robert de Brus, Lord of Skelton, and ancestor of the Bruces. Camden says respecting it, -' ' The place is really fine, and may, for pleasantness, a curious variety, and its natural advantages, compare with Puteoli, in Italy; and, for a healthful and agreeable situation, it certainly far surpasses it." A priory was founded here, in 1129, by Robert de Brus; was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and occupied by Augustinians; suffered disaster, at various times, from fire and pirates; rose at each time into new prosperity, and at one time gave support to all the inhabitants of the town, comprising about 500 householders; and had, at the dissolution, a gross yearly rental of £712. The ruins of it stand near the eastern extremity of the town; have been very greatly curtailed, but still present a stately appearance; and include a Norman gateway, and the E end of the church, 98 feet high and 100 feet wide, with a window of decorated English date, 60 feet by 24. Ralph de Ireton, bishop of Car isle, was a prior; Pursglove, mentioned by Isaac Walton as a brother augler, afterwards bishop of Hull, also was a prior; and Walter de Hemingford, the chronicler, who died in 1347, was a canon. Robert de Brus and many of his descendants were buried in the priory; and a beautiful monument of him, in blue marble, with effigies of knights, is preserved. " Quenched is the golden statue's ray; The breath of heaven has blown away what toiling earth had piled; Scattering wise heart and crafty hand, As breezes strew on ocean's sand The fabric of a child." The town consists of one long, well built main street, with several new streets branching from the main one; and has, of late years, undergone much increase. The town hall stands in the market place; occupies the site of an ancient tolbooth; and was built in 1821. The mechanics' institute occupies an edifice, founded in 1861 The parish church was partly rebuilt in 1 791; includes some portions of an ancient structure; and has a fine E window. There are chapels for Independents, Quakers, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists, a grammar school with £114 from endowment, a school and hospital with £350, other charities with £129, and a workhouse with accommodation for 130 inmates. The town has a railway station with telegraph, a post office‡ under Northallerton, two banking offices, and two good hotels; and is a seat of petty sessions and a polling place. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; and fairs are held on the last Tuesday of March, April, June, and July, the Tuesday before Whitsunday, the third Tuesday of Aug. and Sept., and the second Tuesday of Nov. Sir Thomas Chaloner, to whom much of the property of the priory was given by Queen Mary, observed indications of alum here, and brought skilled persons from Italy to work it; and the alum works which he established were the earliest in England, and were long carried on with complete success. The mining of ironstone, and the extraction of iron in blast furnaces, were recently begun on a large scale in the neighbourhood; and have occasioned much change in both the trade and the appearance of the town. Leather working, malting, and brewing also are carried on. A sulphureous spring, of medicinal value in cutaneous, rheumatic, and bilious complaints, is about a mile SE of the town, but has been buried in shale. Pop. of the town, in 1861, 3, 794. Houses, 794. The. township includes the town, and extends considerably into the country. Acres, 6, 120. Real property, £23, 193; of which £8, 500 are in iron works, £332 i mines, and £65 in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 2, 062; in 1861, 4, 084. Houses, 834.—The parish contains also the townships of Pinchingthorpe, Hutton-Lowcross, Tocketts, and Commondale. Acres, 10, 357. Real property, £32, 176; of which £14, 158 are in iron works. Pop. in 1851, 2, 308; in 1861, 4, 615. Houses, 923 The living is a rectory in the diocese of York. Value, £400.* Patron, the Archbishop of York.—The sub-district excludes the township of Commondale, contains the other four townships of Guisbrough, and contains also the parish of Newton-in-Cleveland, and the townships of Upsall and Morton. Acres, 12, 316. Pop., 4, 762. Houses, 959.—The district comprehends also the subdistrict of Danby, containing the townships of Danby and Commondale, and the parish of Westerdale; the sub-district of Lofthouse, containing the parishes of Lofthouse and Easington, and the townships of Kilton, Skiningrove, and Mooresholm-cum-Gerrick; the subdistrict of Marske, containing the parishes of Marske and Upleatham, and the townships of Brotton, Skelton, and Stanghow; and the sub-district of Kirk-Leatham, containing the parish of Kirk-Leatham and the townships of Ormesby, Eston, and Normanby. Acres, 96, 862. Poor rates in 1863, £5, 770. Pop. in 1851, 12, 202; in 1861, 22, 128. Houses, 4, 366. Marriages in 1862, 140; births, 914, -of which 47 were illegitimate, deaths, 468, -of which 218 were at ages under 5 years, and 10 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 347; births, 8, 623; deaths, 3, 451. The places of worship, in 1851, were 17 of the Church of England, with 5, 478 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 642 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 500 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 550 s.; 16 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 2, 871 s.; and 8 of Primitive Methodists, with 763 s. The schools were 23 public day schools, with 1, 067 scholars; 22 private day schools, with 478 s.; and 27 Sunday schools, with 1, 418 s.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a township, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Yorkshire AncC
Place names: GHIGESBURGH     |     GUISBROUGH
Place: Guisborough

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