Coxwold (St. Michael)

COXWOLD (St. Michael), a parish, partly in the union of Easingwould, and partly in that of Helmsley, wapentake of Birdforth, N. riding of York; containing 1076 inhabitants, of whom 325 are in the township of Coxwold, 6 miles (N.) from Easingwould. The parish comprises the townships of Angram-Grange, Birdforth, Byland cum Membris, Coxwold, Newbrough, Oulston, Thornton cum Baxby, Wildon-Grange, and Yearsley, and consists of 12,025a. 2p. of fertile land, whereof about 3005 acres are arable, 7919 grass land, and 1099 wood, water, common, &c.; the township of Coxwold contains 1369a. 1r. 21p. The village is pleasantly situated on an eminence, amidst beautiful scenery of hill and dale, and woodland, and about 6 miles to the east of the York and Newcastle railway: there is a large cattle and sheep fair on the 25th of August, and races are held on the Monday after Michaelmas-day. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £351; patrons and impropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, whose tithes in Coxwold township have been commuted for £353. The church is a small ancient structure, with an octagonal tower, and is said to have been erected so early as 700; the chancel was rebuilt in 1777, by the Earl of Fauconberg: there is some stained glass in the windows, and the building contains many handsome monuments of the Belasyse family. A chapel of ease was built at Yearsley, in 1839; and there is a separate incumbency at Birdforth. A free grammar school was founded in 1603, by Sir John Harte, alderman of London, who endowed it with £36. 13. 4. per annum; and an hospital for ten poor men was founded in 1696, by Thomas, Earl of Fauconberg, the endowment of which consists of a rent-charge of £59. There are several other charities. Sterne wrote his Tristram Shandy and some other works at Shandy Hall, in the village, where he resided about seven years.

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

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