Kirk-Leatham (St. Cuthbert)

KIRK-LEATHAM (St. Cuthbert), a parish, in the union of Guisborough, E. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, N. riding of York, 4 miles (N. N. W.) from Guisborough; containing, with the chapelry of Wilton, 1075 inhabitants, of whom 714 are in the township of Kirk-Leatham. This place, anciently Lythum, appears to have been of considerable importance at an early period: in the Domesday survey it is stated that here was a church, with a minister; and in the time of Edward III. a chantry was founded by Thomas de Thweng, rector and patron, which existed for a short period. Including the hamlets of East and West Coatham, and Yerby, the parish comprises 3873a. 3r. 29p., of which about one-fourth are pasture, 100 acres wood, and the remainder arable. The surface is principally level: the soil is in general a strong clay, with a mixture of rich black loam, and towards the sea the lands are of a light marly loam. Kirk-Leatham Hall, the seat of Henry Vansittart, Esq., is a splendid mansion, erected by the Turner family, and beautifully situated in a tastefully embellished demesne. The village, which is pleasant and handsome, lies on the western bank of a small rivulet. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8., and in the gift of Mr. Vansittart (the impropriator), with a net income of £88: the tithes are principally merged; the glebe consists of 13 acres. The church is in the Italian style, with the nave separated from the aisles by columns of the Tuscan order: in the chancel is a monument to Sir Wm. Turner, who was buried near the spot; and adjoining the east end of the edifice is a stately mausoleum of circular form with a dome, containing the family vault, erected by Cholmley Turner, Esq., in 1740. At Wilton is a separate incumbency. Kirk-Leatham hospital, a spacious building, with a chapel in the centre of the principal front elegantly fitted up, was founded by Sir William, for the support of 10 aged men and 10 aged women, and for maintaining and educating 10 boys and 10 girls; for which purpose he endowed it with property now yielding £1330 per annum. Sir William also left £5000, which were appropriated to the establishment of a free grammar school; a handsome building was erected at a cost of £2000, and the remainder of the bequest laid out in the purchase of land worth £300 a year.

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

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