In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bowes like this:
BOWES, a village, a township, and a parish in the district of Teesdale, and N. R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Greta, and on the Roman road to Borough, adjacent to the South Durham and Lancashire Union railway, 4 miles SW of Barnard-Castle; and has a station on the railway, a post office under Darlington, and an inn. It consists chiefly of one long street; and formerly was a market-town. The Roman station of Lavatræ occupied its site; and many Roman inscriptions have been found here, one of them narrating the reparation of a bath for the first Thracian cohort.-The township includes also the hamlets of Bowes-Cross, Gallow-Hill, Low-Field, Mellwater, Sleightholme, Stoney-Keld, Applegarth-Forest, and part of Tan-Hill. ...
Acres, 16,090. Real property, £7,405. Pop., 769. Houses, 154.The parish contains also the township of Gillmonby. Acres, 18,334. Real property, £8,890. Pop., 849. Houses, 169. The property is much subdivided. Bowes House is the seat of T. Harrison, Esq. A quadrangular tower, 75 feet by 60, and about 53 feet high, part of a castle, built by Allan Niger, first Norman Earl of Richmond, stands on the crown of a hill. defended by a deep ditch; and is supposed to have been constructed of materials taken from the Roman station. A Roman aqueduct, formed for bringing water nearly 2 miles to the Roman baths at the station, was recently discovered. A natural bridge in limestone rock 16 feet in span, crosses the Greta, bears the name of God's bridge, and is occasionally used as a carriage road. Much of the parish consists of the dreary mountainous tract of Stanemoor. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Ripon. Value, £90. Patron, T. Harrison, Esq. The church is an humble ancient building, partly Norman; and the churchyard contains the grave and monument of the two lovers commemorated in Mallet's pathetic ballad of "Edwin and Emma." A cheap boarding-school at Bowes, now extinct, is said to have been the Dothaboys Hall of Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby." A grammar school, founded in 1693, has an endowed income of £261; other charities, £5.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bowes has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Teesdale. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bowes and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bowes, in Teesdale and North Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 12th December 2013
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