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Wensley, North Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Wensley, a village, a township, and a parish in N.R. Yorkshire. The village stands on the river Yore, 1½ mile SW of Leyburn. It gives the name of Wensleydale to the Ure's Valley from its head down to Jervaux Abbey, is a pretty place, and has a station on a branch of the N.E.R., a post office under Leyburn; money order and telegraph office, Leyburn, and a four-arched bridge. It was once a market-town, but was devastated by the plague in the 16th century, and has never recovered its position. The township comprises 2079 acres; population, 261; of the ecclesiastical parish, 1541. The parish includes Leyburn, Preston-under-Scar, Redmire, and Castle Bolton townships. The manor belongs to Lord Bolton. Bolton Hall, the seat of Lord Bolton, and Wensley Hall, the residence of the Orde Powlett family, are chief residences. There are lead mines. The living is a rectory, with Leyburn annexed, in the diocese of Ripon; net value, £640 with residence. Patron, Lord Bolton. The church is a handsome building in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of a chancel, nave, aisles, N and S porches, and a western pinnacled tower. It was made collegiate in 1399, and contains several memorials and brasses. The vicarage of Castle-Bolton-with-Redmire is a separate benefice. There is a library and reading-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 parishWensley Holy Trinity 
Poor Law unionLeyburn 

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 Wensley:


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Wensley 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 Wensley 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 districtDL8