Birkin (St. Mary)

BIRKIN (St. Mary), a parish, in the Lower division of the wapentake of Barkstone-Ash, W. riding of York; comprising the townships of Birkin, West Haddlesey, Chapel Haddlesey, Temple-Hurst, and Hurst-Courtney; and containing 921 inhabitants, of whom 169 are in the township of Birkin, 4 miles (N. E. by E.) from Ferry-Bridge. The parish is intersected by the Selby canal, and bounded on the south by the river Aire. It is nine miles long, and comprises 5890 acres, of which about 3355 are arable, 2000 pasture, and 45 woodland; the soil varies in quality, part being light, and adapted to the growth of barley and turnips, and part being of a stronger nature, and well suited for wheat and beans. The surface is varied, the scenery pleasingly diversified, and the air salubrious. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £36; net income, £1008; patron, the Rev. Thomas Hill. The church, erected in the 12th century, is a very curious and perfect specimen of Norman architecture, and contains a chancel particularly worthy of notice: there is an inscription by Whitehead, the poet laureate, commemorating Elizabeth Wright, wife of a former rector. A chapel of ease was erected, in 1836, at Chapel Haddlesey, upon the site of one which, being very dilapidated and insufficient for the accommodation of the parishioners there, was pulled down. The Wesleyan Methodists have small places of worship at Chapel Haddlesey and Temple-Hurst.

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

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