Danby

DANBY, a parish, in the union of Guisborough, E. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, N. riding of York, 9½ miles (S. E.) from Guisborough; containing 1273 inhabitants. This place, which was formerly of considerable importance, was granted by the Conqueror to Robert de Brus, who held of the king in capite, and who built a castle here; which, with the estate, remained with the family till the time of Henry III. The parish forms part of the district called Cleveland, and comprises by computation 13,860 acres, of which about 400 are woodland: a large tract consists of high moors, and waste; and it includes the romantic dales of Great and Little Fryup, and the hamlets of Ainthorpe and Castleton, at the former of which an ancient stone bridge crosses the river Esk. The general appearance of the parish is rather barren, though much has been effected in the way of improvement; the vale produces good crops, and numerous flocks of sheep are pastured upon the common lands. Coal-mines are wrought, and there are several fine freestone-quarries. An act was passed in 1846, for extending the Whitby and Pickering railway to Castleton, a distance of 10½ miles. A market is held every Friday in that hamlet. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Viscount Downe, lord of the manor, and has a net income of £96: the church is a plain structure built about fifty years since, by a parish rate. There are three places of worship for Wesleyans, and one for the Society of Friends; and of several schools, two have small endowments. On a neighbouring hill are the ruins of Danby Castle, an edifice of uncertain antiquity, though supposed to be that built by Robert de Brus; and on the moors are a number of tumuli.

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

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