Gilling (St. Agatha)

GILLING (St. Agatha), a parish, in the unions of Richmond, Northallerton, and Darlington, chiefly in the wapentake of Gilling-East, but partly in that of Gilling-West, N. riding of York; comprising the townships of North Cowton and Gilling, and the chapelries of South Cowton and Eryholme; and containing 1618 inhabitants, of whom 981 are in the township of Gilling, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Richmond. This is a place of great antiquity, and remarkable as the scene of the murder of Oswy, King of Deira, by his host, Oswin of Bernicia; in expiation of which crime, a monastery was founded on the spot by Queen Eanfleda; but not the slightest vestige of it can now be traced. There are quarries of excellent freestone. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £23. 11. 5½.; net income, £1029; patron and impropriator, John Thomas Wharton, Esq. The tithes were commuted for land and money payments, under an act of inclosure, in 1815. The church, which retains some traces of Norman architecture, was appropriated in 1224 to the monastery of St. Mary, York. South Cowton and Eryholme are separate incumbencies. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Sir Thomas Wharton, in 1678, founded Hartforth free school here, and endowed it with an estate now producing about £125 a year.

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

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