Aysgarth (St. Andrew)
AYSGARTH (St. Andrew), a parish, in the wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York; comprising the townships of High and Low Abbotside, Askrigg, Aysgarth, Bainbridge, Bishopdale, West Burton, Carperby cum Thoresby, Hawes, Newbiggin, Thoralby, and Thornton-Rust; and containing 5725 inhabitants, of whom 269 are in the township of Aysgarth, 8½ miles (W.) from Middleham. This parish, which is about 22 miles long, and from 4 to 8 or 9 wide, contains 96,000 acres. It comprehends the upper part of the splendid valley called Wensley dale, and the surface is strikingly diversified with high moorlands and fertile vales, famed for grouse and other game; the grounds are principally in pasture, and the district is noted for its superior dairy productions, butter and new-milk cheeses. The village is pleasantly situated near the river Ure, which rises in the parish, and in its progress forms cataracts at Aysgarth, Askrigg, Hardraw, and West Burton. There is a sheet of water, named Semer water, covering about 500 acres, and abounding with fish of several varieties; the Ure, also, abounds with trout of a rich flavour, as well as with the greyling, and affords to the angler at certain seasons sport not generally to be met with. At a short distance above Aysgarth Force, is Yore bridge, built in 1539, a curious and interesting structure, which rises in one elliptical arch of 32 feet, with a span of 70 feet, exhibiting numerous petrifactions in its concave, and having its battlements festooned with verdant ivy: this bridge commands a fine view of the falls made by the river in its course through rocks in some parts craggy and abrupt, and in others beautifully intermingled with foliage. There are some veins of lead, and strata of coal. A coarse description of knitted hosiery is manufactured by the females and children of the lower classes, for the use of sailors, and for exportation.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £19. 6. 8.; net income, £137; patrons and appropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The church is in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, which was heightened in the reign of Henry VIII., when the whole building was renovated: the chancel is separated from the nave by an elegant and highly enriched screen and roodloft, said to have been removed from the abbey of Jervaulx. There are other churches at Askrigg, Hawes, Hardraw, Lunds, and Stalling-Busk. The Society of Friends have places of worship at Aysgarth, Bainbridge, Hawes, and Counterside; and the Wesleyans at Aysgarth, Burton, Thoralby, Carperby, Askrigg, Bainbridge, and Gayle: at Thornton-Rust the Calvinists have a meeting-house; and at Hawes the Independents and Sandemanians one each. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned for a short time at Nappa Hall, an ancient mansion in the parish.—See Askrigg, &c.