Barnoldswick (St. Mary)

BARNOLDSWICK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Skipton, E. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. riding of York, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from Skipton; containing 2844 inhabitants, of whom 1849 are in the township of Barnoldswick. This place was the original seat of the monks of Kirkstall, who were settled here from 1147 until 1153, and of whose abode there are still some remains. The parish includes the townships of Brogden, Coates, and Salterforth, and comprises 6073a. 2r. 8½p.; the surface is boldly diversified, rising into hills of lofty elevation, and in some parts intersected with deep and narrow glens. In the vicinity are extensive and valuable limestone-quarries. The Leeds and Liverpool canal passes through the parish in a direction nearly north and south. The village, which is spacious, is situated in a secluded part of a valley, and sheltered by lofty hills; the inhabitants are chiefly employed in the cotton manufacture, for which there are three mills, and many are engaged in hand-loom weaving. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Richard Hodgson, Esq., with a net income of £162; impropriators, the landowners. The original church was built probably as early as 1080, and the existing structure bears marks of a date not long subsequent to the removal of the monks, who built it after having levelled the first edifice to the ground in consequence of the opposition made by the rector and inhabitants to their intrusive entry among them; it is seated on the brink of a deep glen, from which it obtained the name of Gill church. A chapel of ease, dedicated to St. James, was erected in the centre of the village in 1837, at an expense of £1700, raised by subscription, aided by a grant of £200 from the Ripon Diocesan Society, and the same sum from the Incorporated Society; it is a neat structure in the early English style. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans.

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

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