Ampleforth (St. Hilda)

AMPLEFORTH (St. Hilda), a parish, in the union of Helmsley, partly in the wapentake of Birdforth, and partly in that of Ryedale, N. riding of York; containing 446 inhabitants, of whom 207 are in the township of Ampleforth, 4½ miles (S. W. by S.) from Helmsley. This parish, anciently Ampleford, comprises by measurement 2270 acres. The village, which is long, and pleasantly situated, extends into the three hamlets of Ampleforth St. Peter, Ampleforth-Birdforth, and Oswaldkirk-Quarter; it lies at the base of the hill which runs up to Hamilton, and on the south commands a beautiful view of the valley of De Mobray, embracing on the south-east Gilling Castle, and on the south-west Newborough Park, which give to the vicinity a rich and diversified appearance. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £4. 6. 5½.; net income, £261; patron, the Archbishop of York. By an inclosure act in 1806, 199 acres were allotted in lieu of the vicarial tithes of the parish, and of all tithes for the township of Ampleforth. The church is an ancient structure, with a Norman doorway beautifully carved and flowered. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. At Oswaldkirk-Quarter is Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic establishment, founded in 1802 by the members of the College of Dieulouard, near Pont à Mousson, in Lorraine, whose property was confiscated in the French revolution; the students, about fifty in number, are instructed in the ancient and modern languages, mathematics, &c. The establishment has been several times enlarged; it is situated in the midst of extensive pleasure-grounds, and commands some beautiful views of the surrounding country. Half a mile north of the village are the remains of a Roman camp; near which was discovered in March 1808, by the Rev. Robert Nixon, a barrow formed by a large circle of stones about ten feet in diameter, in which an urn and several ancient coins were found.

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

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