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Pickering, North Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Pickering, a town, a township, and a parish in the N.R. Yorkshire. The town stands on the side of a hill, at a rivulet or " beck" of its own name, 26 miles NE by N of York, and 220 from London. It has a station on the N.E.R. and a head post office. Acreage of the township, 15,604; population, 3676; of the ecclesiastical parish, 3704. Pickering is said to have derived its name from the recovery of a lost ring of a British king 270 years before the Christian era; dates from very ancient times; figured somewhat in connection with an ancient castle; sent members to Parliament in the time of Edward I.; serves as a centre for visiting some very fine surrounding scenery; is a seat of petty sessions; has two banks, a church, four dissenting chapels, an endowed grammar school with £70 a year, a workhouse, a court-house, and a police station; and is governed by an urban district council of nine members. The castle stood on an eminence at the N extremity of the town; appears first on record in the time of Henry III.; is believed to have succeeded a much more ancient fortalice; was the first prison of Richard II.; was visited by Richard III.,; besieged, captured, and dismantled by the Parliamentarians in the time of Charles I.; ,acd has left extensive and interesting ruins, occupying about 3 acres, and commanding fine views. The church is chiefly of the 14th century, includes some remains of Norman architecture, consists of chancel, nave, aisles, transepts, and embattled tower with spire, and was thoroughly restored and reseated in 1879. The walls on the N and S sides of the nave are adorned by frescoes painted about 1460. Some of the most interesting of these are the martyrdom of St Catharine of Alexandria, and that of St Edmund, and many others of equal interest. A weekly market is held on Monday; fairs are held on the Monday before 14 Feb., the Monday before 13 May, 25 Sept., and the Monday before 23 Nov.; and large quantities of brooms are made. There are agricultural implement manufactories, an iron foundry, and brick-yards, and lime and freestone are quarried. The manor belonged in the time of Edward the Confessor to Morcar, Earl of Northumberland, went at the Norman Conquest to the Crown, passed through various hands to John of Gaunt, and was afterwards annexed to the Duchy of Lancaster. The Queen is now lady of the manor. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of York; net value, £207 with residence. Patron, the Archbishop. Thereare Congregational, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist chapels, Society of Friends' meeting-house, and a church mission room.

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 parishPickering St. Peter 
Poor Law unionPickering 

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

Church Records

Findmypast, in conjunction with various Archives, Local Studies, and Family History Societies have the following parish records online for Pickering:


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Pickering from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Pickering are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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

CountyNorth Yorkshire
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Postal districtYO18
Post TownPickering