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Bowes, North Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Bowes, a village, a township, and a parish in the N.R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Greta, and on the Roman road to Brough, adjacent to the South Durham and Lancashire Union railway, 4 miles SW of Barnard Castle, has a station on the railway, and a post and money order office under Darlington; telegraph office at Bowes railway station. It consists chiefly of one long street, and formerly was a market-town. The Roman station of Lavatrae occupied its site, and many Roman inscriptions have been found here, one of them narrating the reparation of a hath for the first Thracian cohort. The township includes also the hamlets of Bowes-Cross, Gallow-Hill, Low-Field, Moll-waters, Sleightholme, Stoney-Keld, Spital, Applegarth Forest, and part of Tan Hill. Acreage, 16,966, of which the greater part is moor and common land; population of township, 652; of the ecclesiastical parish, which contains the township of Gilmonby, 737. The manorial rights are held by trustees on behalf of the freeholders. 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, and also a very large stone sarcophagus, Roman altar, Saxon font on the shaft of a Roman altar, and other ancient memorials have been 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. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon; net value, £154 with residence. The church is an 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." It has been restored, and four handsome stained glass windows put in. A cheap boarding-school at Bowes, now extinct, is said to have been the Dotheboys Hall in Dickens' " Nicholas Nickleby." A grammar school. founded in 1693, has an endowed income of about £300 and a scholarship of the value of £60 a year, tenable at Pembroke College, Cambridge. There is a Wesleyan chapel, also a recreation ground, reading room, and library. In the churchyard is buried the Right Hon. Thomas Emerson Headlam, M.P., Q.C., judge advocate-general and chancellor of the dioceses of Durham and Ripon.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyYorkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBowes St. Giles 
Poor Law unionTeesdale 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bowes from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for the North Riding of Yorkshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following North Riding newspapers online: