Castleford (All Saints)

CASTLEFORD (All Saints), a parish, in the Upper division of the wapentake of Osgoldcross, W. riding of York; containing 1850 inhabitants, of whom 1414 are in the township of Castleford, 3 miles (N. W.) from Pontefract. This place is by some writers supposed to have been the site of the Roman station Legiolium, or Lagetium, described in Antonine's Itinerary as being situated on the river Aire, where it was crossed by a ford, on the line of the Herman-street between Doncaster and York: Roman antiquities have been frequently discovered, including a scarce denarius of Caracalla, with a lion on the reverse. It is related, that the citizens of York, being pursued by Ethelred's army, in 750, turned at this place, and committed great slaughter on their pursuers. After the Norman Conquest, the parish was given to Ilbert de Laci, the heiress of whose family conveyed it by marriage, with the whole honour of Pontefract, to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

The village is situated on the south bank of the river Aire, at a short distance from its junction with the Calder, the latter of which, in 1698, was made navigable to Wakefield, and the Aire to Leeds. The united rivers are crossed by a handsome stone bridge of three arches, which was rebuilt in 1808, and connects Castleford with the village of Allerton-Bywater on the north side of the river. The parish comprises the townships of Castleford and Glass-Houghton, and contains 1534a. 2r. 18p., of which 517 acres are in Castleford; 300 of these are arable, and 213 meadow and pasture. It has a station of the York and North-Midland railway. There is a dock-yard for building sloops, and a dry-dock for repairs: many owners of small craft reside here; and among the manufactories and branches of trade are a timber-yard, some oil and corn-mills, several granaries, a pottery of black and stone ware, a whiting-mill, and glass-bottle works. A court leet, baron, and view of frankpledge, is held in May and October. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 13. 1½., and in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster; net income, £555: the tithes were commuted for cornrents, under an inclosure act, in 1816. The church is thought to stand on part of the Roman camp above mentioned; it is a cruciform structure, with a tower rising at the intersection. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans in each of the townships.

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

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