Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for RICHMOND

RICHMOND, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in N. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on a curving eminence on the river Swale, at the terminus of a branch of the North eastern railway, 9½ miles W S W of Dalton-Junction, and 18½ W N W of Northallerton; is supposed, by some, to have been originally called Rich-Mount, with allusion to the fertility of the land around it; belonged to Edwin the Saxon; was given, with the title of Earl, by William the Conqueror, to Alan Rufus; became then the head of an honour of 164 manors, called Richmondshire; acquired, in the time of Alan, a great castle, serving as a bulwark of the Norman domination in the north; grew rapidly to consequence under the castle's shadow; became a market-town so early as the middle of the 12th century; suffered occasionally from raids and forays of the Scots; went into possession of John of Gaunt, and through him to the Crown; was given, with the title of Duke, by Henry VIII., to his son Henry; passed, with the title of Duke, in the time of Charles II., to the Lennoxes; continues to give the title of Duke to the family of Lennox; is a seat of sessions, a court of record and a court baron, and a polling-place; presents a well-built and pleasant appearance, with charming environs; and has a head post-office‡ designated Richmond, Yorkshire, a railway-station with telegraph, two banking offices, four chief inns, a handsome three-arched-bridge, a town hall, a market house, a borough jail, two churches, three dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, remains of three monastic institutions, a public library, a mechanics' institute, subscription news-rooms, a free grammar school, three other public schools, a work-house, three suites of alms-houses with aggregately £30 a year, and other charities £436.

The castle stood on a rock, 100 feet high, overlooking the Swale; underwent enlargements till 1146; occupied an area of about 5 acres; was the prison of William the Lion, King of Scotland, after his defeat at Alnwick; was never the scene of any notable event, in the military annals of the country; and forms now an imposingruin, including the Gold Hole tower, Robin Hood'stower, the Hall of Scotland, 72 feet by 27, and the Keep or Great Tower, with walls 11 feet thick, and 100 feet high. A modern terrace extends between thecastle and the river, 60 feet above the latter; and forms an agreeable promenade. The town hall is a handsome edifice, and contains an assembly-room and a court-room. The market house was built in 1854 St. Mary's church includes portions from Norman to later English; has a tower, erected about 1390; was restored in 1860; and contains several sedilia, some beautifulcarved wood stalls, and a few handsome monuments and armorial bearings. Trinity-church is supposed to have been the original parish church; belonged formerly to St. Mary's abbey at York; appears to have been rebuilt about 1260; and was repaired in 1740. A beautiful later English tower, rebuilt shortly before the dissolution at a Grey friary, founded in 1257, stands at the N entrance to the town; some remains of St. Martin's priory, foundedabout 1100, are near the railway station; and scantierremains of St. Nicholas hospital, founded in 1172, areincorporated with a modern house on the Catterick-road. The grammar-school was founded in the time of Queen Elizabeth; is now a handsome edifice, in the pointedstyle, rebuilt in 1849; and has about £300 a year from endowment, and two scholarships at Trinity College, Cambridge. A weekly market is held on Saturday; fairsare held on Holyrood-day, the Saturday before Palm-Sunday, and 2 and 3 Nov.; a weekly newspaper is published on Saturday; races are held about Michaelmas; and there are corn mills, a paper-mill, and a large iron and brass foundry. The town is a borough by prescription; was first chartered by Elizabeth; is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillers; sent two members to parliament both before and after the reform act of 1832; and was reduced to the right of sending only one member by the act of 1867. The municipal borough is conterminate with Richmond parish, but the parliamentary borough includes also Easby parish. Acres of the p. borough, 7, 411. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £2,069. Electors in 1833, 273; in 1863, 315. Pop. in 1851, 4, 969; in 1861, 5, 134. Houses, 1,046.

The parish comprises 2, 341 acres. Real property, £16, 499; of which £400 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4, 106; in 1861, 4, 290. Houses, 863. The hills command fine views. Roman coins were found in 1720. Greathead, the inventor of the life-boat, was a native. The living of St. Mary is a rectory, and that of Trinity is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Ripon. Value of the former, £470; * of the latter, £120. Patron of the former, the Bishop of Ripon; of the latter, L. Cooke, Esq.—The sub-district contains also the parish of Marske, three townships of Downholme, two of Catterick, three of Easby, one of Gilling, one of Middleton-Tyas, and the extra-parochial tract of St. Martin. Acres, 29, 913. Pop., 7, 174. Houses, 1, 456. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Catterick, containing nine townships of Catterick parish, one of Easby, one of Gilling, and one of Middleton-Tyas; the sub-district of Newsham, containing the parish of Kirkby-Ravensworth, a township of Hutton-Magna, and part of one of Barningham; and the sub-district of Aldbrough, containing the parishes of Stanwick, St. John and Melsonby, and two hamlets and a township of Forcett. Acres of the district, 78, 569. Poor-rates in 1863, £5, 435. Pop. in 1851, 13, 846; in 1861, 13, 457. Houses, 2, 840. Marriages in 1863, 74; births, 396, of which28 were illegitimate; deaths, 289, of which 70 were at ages under 5 years, and 16 at ages above 85. Marriagesin the ten years 1851-60, 984; births, 4,057; deaths, 2, 593. The places of worship, in 1851, were 25 of the Church of England, with 6, 318 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 300 s.; 15 of Wesleyans with 1,809 s.; 4 of Primitive Methodists, with 214 s.; 1 of the Wesleyan Association, with 55 attendants; and 3 of Roman Catholics, with 788 s.; The schools were 29 public day-schools, with 1, 659 scholars; 23 private day-schools, with 838 s.; and 31 Sunday schools, with 1, 700 s.


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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Richmond AP/CP       Richmond SubD       Richmond PLU/RegD       Yorkshire AncC
Place: Richmond

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