Aberford (St. Richard)

ABERFORD (St. Richard), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the Lower division of the wapentake of Skyrack, W. riding of York, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Wetherby, and 186¾ (N. N. W.) from London, on the road to Carlisle; comprising the townships of Aberford, Parlington, and Sturton-Grange, and containing 1071 inhabitants, of whom 782 are in the township of Aberford. The town, which is in the parishes of Aberford and Sherburn, is built on the gentle acclivity of a rock of limestone, near the small river Cock, a stream abounding with trout and eels, over which is an excellent stone bridge. It consists principally of one long street: the houses are in general of stone, and many of them are handsome; the air is pure and salubrious, and the environs are thickly studded with elegant villas. The parish comprises 3820 acres of fertile land; there are extensive strata of limestone, and a productive coal-mine, from which a railway has been laid down to a depôt in the town, and an extensive trade is carried on in coal. The Leeds and Selby railway passes within three miles. The market, which was on Wednesday, has been discontinued; but a customary market is held on Friday, and fairs take place on the last Monday in April and May, the first Monday in October, the first Monday after the 18th of that month, and the first Monday after the 2nd of November. The magistrates hold a petty-session for the division every Thursday, and the town is a pollingplace for the West Riding. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 1. 8., and in the patronage of Oriel College, Oxford, to which establishment, and the Misses Gascoigne, the impropriation belongs; net income of the vicar, £305. The church is an ancient structure, in the early, decorated, and later styles of English architecture. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. At the distance of a mile north of Aberford are vestiges of Castle-Cary, an ancient Norman fortification; and the scene of the battle of Towton, which decided the long continued war between the houses of York and Lancaster, is within two miles of the town. The Roman road is the parish boundary south of the bridge, and cuts off a small district on the north, called Greystone Field. The Rev. Mr. Waters, a former incumbent, died at the advanced age of 114 years.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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