The ancient British inhabitants of this part were the Brigantes, the most numerous and powerful of all the tribes that shared in the possession of Britain before its conquest by the Romans. The latter succeeded in subjugating the Brigantes about the year 71, after defeating them in several sanguinary battles, and ravaging the whole of their territory. The Caledonians having overrun a great part of the country north of the Humber, the Emperor Adrian arrived in Britain, in the year 120, to oppose them in person, and fixed his residence at Eboracum; on his approach the invaders retired, and the emperor, having made provisions for the future security of the province, soon returned to Rome. But no sooner had he departed than the Caledonians renewed their predatory inroads, which became more frequent and extensive, until, in the reign of Antoninus Pius, the Brigantes at the same time attempting to throw off the Roman yoke, that emperor sent Lollius Urbicus with strong reinforcements to suppress the commotions. This commander, having first reduced the revolted Brigantes, drove the Caledonians into the highlands of Scotland, and thus restored tranquillity. The northerns, however, renewing their irruptions, in the year 207 the Emperor Severus came over with a numerous army, and immediately advanced to York, thence marched northward, and expelled them. The barbarians again renewed their incursions, about the year 364, but were at length repelled by the Roman general Theodosius, in 368.
In the latter period of the Roman empire in Britain, the territory at present contained in Yorkshire was included in the division called Maxima Cæsariensis. After the accession of Honorius, one of the sons of Theodosius, to the empire of the West, in 393, the invasions of the Picts and Scots became incessant; and when the Romans, about the year 410, abandoned Britain in order to defend their continental dominions, the Romanized Britons fell into a state of anarchy, amidst which it is only known of Yorkshire, that it formed the greater part of a British kingdom named Diefyr, or Deira, the conquest of which by the Saxon chieftains was not completed until after a lapse of 111 years from the first arrival of Hengist in Kent. Bernicia, situated to the north of the Roman wall, having been subjugated by Ida about the year 547, Ella, another Saxon leader, about 560, penetrated southward from that territory, and effected the conquest of Deira. These two kingdoms, at different times forming one sovereignty, derived, from their situation north of the Humber, the name of Northumbria. In the beginning of the 9th century, the victorious Egbert made Northumbria a tributary kingdom, shortly after which it was seized upon by the Danes, who were the principal occupants of it until its final subjugation by Edred in 951. It was subsequently governed by a succession of earls or viceroys, who, like the ancient kings, had their residence at York.
The county is in the dioceses of York and Ripon, in the province of York, and forms the archdeaconries of York, the East Riding, Cleveland, Craven, and Richmond: the number of parishes is 604. The grand civil and military division of Yorkshire is into three ridings, West, North, and East, the term riding being corrupted from trithing, a third part. The West Riding comprises the wapentakes of Agbrigg (Upper and Lower), Barkstone-Ash (Upper and Lower), Claro (Upper and Lower), Morley, Osgoldcross (Upper and Lower), Skyrack (Upper and Lower), Staincliffe and Ewcross (East and West), Staincross, and Strafforth and Tickhill (North and South), with the liberty of Ripon and soke of Doncaster. By the act 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the ainsty of York, also, was annexed as a wapentake to the West Riding. The North Riding is divided into the wapentakes of Allertonshire, Birdforth, Bulmer, Gilling-East, Gilling-West, Hallikeld, Hang-East, Hang-West, and Ryedale, also Pickering Lythe, and the liberties of Langbaurgh and Whitby-Strand; and the East Riding into the wapentakes of Buckrose, Dickering, Harthill (Bainton-Beacon, Holme-Beacon, Hunsley-Beacon, and Wilton-Beacon, divisions), Holderness (Middle, North, and South), Howdenshire, and Ouse and Derwent; besides which it comprehends the borough and liberties of Beverley, and the county of the town of Hull. Yorkshire contains the city of York; the borough, market, and sea port towns of Hull, Scarborough, and Whitby; the borough and market-towns of Beverley, Bradford, Doncaster, Halifax, Huddersfield, Knaresborough, Leeds, Malton, Northallerton, Pontefract, Richmond, Ripon, Sheffield, Thirsk, and Wakefield; the market and seaport towns of Bridlington and Goole; and the market-towns of Askrigg, Barnsley, Bawtry, Bedale, Bingley, Boroughbridge, South Cave, Dewsbury, Guisborough, Hawes, Hedon, Helmsley, Howden, Keighley, Kirkby-Moorside, Leyburn, Market-Weighton, Masham, Middlesbrough, Otley, Patrington, Penistone, Pickering, Pocklington, Reeth, Rotherham, Sedbergh, Selby, Settle, Sherburn, Skipton, Stokesley, Tadcaster, Thome, Wetherby, and Yarm.
On the disfranchisement of the Cornish borough of Grampound, the privilege of returning to parliament two additional members was granted to this large and populous county, which accordingly then sent four; and under the act passed to amend the representation in the 2nd of William IV., two more were added, making two for each Riding. Two citizens are returned for the city of York; and two burgesses for each of the boroughs, except Northallerton and Thirsk, which, under the act of the 2nd of William IV., were deprived of one; and except also Huddersfield, Wakefield, and Whitby, which are empowered to send only one each. The shire is included in the Northern circuit; the assizes are held at York, where is the county gaol. The quarter-sessions for the West Riding are held as follows: the Easter sessions at Pontefract; the Midsummer quarter-sessions at Skipton, whence they are adjourned to Bradford, and thence to Rotherham; the Michaelmas quarter-sessions at Knaresborough, whence they are adjourned to Leeds, and thence to Sheffield; and the Christmas quartersessions at Wetherby, Wakefield, and Doncaster. On the termination of each session there is an adjournment to Wakefield for the purpose of inspecting the prison, which generally takes place within a month or six weeks after that time. In pursuance of an act passed in the year 1704, the office for the registration of deeds, conveyances, and wills, relating to property within the West Riding, was established at Wakefield, where also are kept the records of the sessions. The quarter-sessions for the North and East Ridings are held respectively at Northallerton and Beverley, in each of which towns are also offices for the registration of all deeds relating to landed property within those ridings.
The West Riding, which, whether considered with regard to its extent and population, or to its trade and manufactures, is by far the most important, is bounded on the north by the North Riding; on the east by the river Ouse, to its junction with the Trent; and on the south and west, by the arbitrary limits of the county. Its greatest length, from east to west, is 95 miles; its extreme breadth, from north to south, 48 miles; and its circumference about 320 miles, including an area of 2450 square miles, or 1,568,000 acres. The surface of this portion of Yorkshire is much diversified, but may be divided into three large districts, gradually varying from a level and marshy to a rocky and mountainous region. The flat and marshy district, forming part of the extensive Vale of York, lies along the borders of the Ouse, and in most places extends westward as far as within three or four miles of an imaginary line drawn from Doncaster to Sherburn. Its general level is broken only by low sandy hills, which occur in the vicinities of Snaith, Thome, and Doncaster, and the altitude of which is seldom more than 50 feet above the level of the sea; so that the great rivers Ouse, Aire, and Don, which traverse this extensive tract, have often changed their channels. The middle parts of the Riding, as far westward as Sheffield, Bradford, and Otley, contain a variety of beautiful scenery, formed chiefly by noble hills of gentle ascent. Further westward the country becomes rugged and mountainous, scarcely any thing being seen beyond Sheffield, in that direction, but high black moors, which, running north-westward, join the lofty hills of Blackstone Edge, on the border of Lancashire. The north-western portion of the Riding, forming the western part of Craven, presents a confused heap of rocks and mountains, among which Pennygant, Wharnside, and Ingleborough are particularly conspicuous. The last of these, nearly in the centre of Ewcross, is one of the most majestic mountains in the country, rising to an elevation of 2360 feet from a base nearly 10 miles in diameter. The general appearance of this part is rugged, and the scenery barren, with little wood. The deanery of Craven, comprising East and West Staincliffe, part of Ewcross, and the Upper division of Skyrack, contains little arable land, being one wide expanse of luxuriant verdure, interspersed with tracts of wood, in which the prevailing timber is ash of spontaneous and stately growth, and abounding with beautifully diversified scenery in the vales of the Wharfe, the Aire, and the Ribble, whose sources are within its limits.
The North Riding, the next most extensive division, is bounded on the north by the river Tees; on the northeast and east by the ocean; on the south-east by the rivers Hertford and Derwent, which separate it from the East Riding; on the south by the river Ouse and the West Riding; and on the west by the county of Westmorland. Its greatest length is 83 miles, from east to west; its extreme breadth, 47 miles, from north to south; and it comprises an area of 1,311,187 acres, or about 2048 square miles. The face of the country along the coast, from Scarborough nearly to the Tees, is bold and hilly, the cliffs overhanging the beach being generally from 60 or 70 to 150 feet high; while Stoupe Brow, vulgarly "Stow Brow," about seven miles to the south of Whitby, rises to the stupendous height of 893 feet. From the ordinary elevation of the cliff the ground rises, in most places very rapidly, to the height of 300 or 400 feet; and the maritime tract thus formed, comprising about 64,920 acres, is tolerably productive. A little further inland, successive hills, rising one above another, form the elevated tract of the Eastern Moorlands. This wild and mountainous district, which occupies a space about 30 miles in length from east to west, and 15 in breadth from north to south, is intersected by numerous beautiful and fertile dales, some of which are rather extensive; but, rising to the height of more than 1000 feet, the general aspect of the tract is bleak and dreary, and the whole is destitute of wood, excepting only a few dwarfish trees among the scattered habitations in the valleys. On the roads leading from Whitby to Guisborough, Stokesley, and Pickering, at the distance of a few miles, commence dreary wastes, bounded only by the horizon. Some of the hills, however, near the edges of this rugged and mountainous region, command magnificent prospects. But the most remarkable object in the topography of these wilds is the singular peaked mountain called Rosebury-Topping, situated near the village of Newton, about a mile eastward of the road from Guisborough to Stokesley, and rising 1488 feet above the level of the sea: the view from its summit is celebrated for its great variety. The total extent of the Eastern Moorland district is 298,625 acres.
The Vale of Cleveland, situated to the north-west of these mountains, is a fruitful tract bordering on the river Tees, in the lower part of its course. In this county it comprises an area of 70,444 acres, under good cultivation, and lightly marked with gentle eminences. The extensive Vale of York is considered by Mr. Tuke, author of the General View of the Agriculture of the North Riding, drawn up for the consideration of the Board of Agriculture, to reach from the border of the Tees to the southern confines of the county, the northern portion of it only being in the North Riding. This northern part, bounded by the Eastern and the Western Moorlands, has a gentle slope from the river Tees, southward, as far as York, where it sinks into a perfect fiat. Its ordinarily level surface, however, is broken by several bold swells; and on the east it is separated from Ryedale by a range of hills called by Mr. Marshall, in his Rural Economy of Yorkshire, the Howardian Hills. This part of the vale, together with the hills, comprises an extent of 456,386 acres, of which about 15,000 are uncultivated. Ryedale (so called from its being traversed by the river Rye), and the East and West Marshes, form an extensive level, situated between the Eastern Moorlands and the river Derwent, and containing 103,872 acres, of which about 3000 are waste. The surface of its lower parts is flat, but towards the north it rises with a gentle ascent for three or four miles towards the foot of the moors; its lower levels are also broken by several isolated swells of considerable extent and elevation. The Marshes are separated from Ryedale by the Pickering beck. The Western Moorlands, occupying the rest of the North Riding, west of the Vale of York, and of far greater elevation than the Eastern Moorlands, resemble in general character the mountainous parts of Craven, and are, like them, intersected by numerous fertile dales. Their total extent is 316,940 acres.
The East Riding is bounded on the north and northwest by the little river Hertford, and by the Derwent as far down as the vicinity of Stamford Bridge, where an irregular boundary line commences, which joins the Ouse, about a mile below York: from this point it is bounded, on the west and south-west, by the Ouse. On the south it is washed by the Humber, and on the east by the North Sea. Its greatest length is 52 miles, from south-east to north-west; its extreme breadth is 42 miles, from south-west to north-east; and it includes an area of 819,193 acres, or nearly 1280 square miles. This division is far less conspicuously marked with the bolder features of nature than the other parts of the county. It may be distinguished into three districts, viz., the Wolds, and two level tracts, one of which lies to the east, the other to the west and north, of that elevated region. The Wolds are a magnificent assemblage of lofty chalk hills, extending from the banks of the Humber in the vicinity of Hessle, in a northern direction, to the neighbourhood of Malton on the Derwent, whence they range eastward, within a few miles of the course of that river, to the coast. They form the lofty promontory of Flamborough Head, and, near the villages of Flamborough, Bempton, and Specton, rise in cliffs to the height of 100, and in some places of 150 feet. The surface of the Wolds is for the most part divided into numerous extensive swells, by deep, narrow, and winding valleys; and occupies an extent of about 400,000 acres. Their eastern side, at Bridlington, sinks into a perfect flat, which continues for eight or nine miles southward. At the distance of about seven miles southward of Bridlington, begins the wapentake of Holderness, the eastern part of which, towards the sea-coast, is a finely varied country, containing Hornsea Mere, the largest lake in the county, being about a mile and threequarters long, and three-quarters of a mile across in the broadest part. The western edge of the wapentake is a fenny tract about four miles in breadth, and extending nearly 20 miles in length, southward to the Humber: the fenny lands are provincially called "Cars." The southern part of Holderness also falls into marshes, bordering on the Humber; and the county terminates south-eastward in the long low promontory of Spurnhead, the Ocellum Promontorium of Ptolemy. The Humber is known to have made considerable encroachments in former ages on the shores of Holderness; but in later times it has gradually receded from very extensive tracts. About the commencement of the reign of Charles I., an island, since called Sunk Island, began to appear in the Humber, nearly opposite Patrington. At first a few acres only were left dry at low water; but, as it increased in extent every year, it was at last embanked, and converted into pasture-ground; successive embankments were made, and large tracts each time secured, so that, at the present period, it comprises about 4700 acres of fertile land, and towards the west end is separated from the Holderness marshes only by a ditch a few feet broad. It is held on lease from the crown. The Holderness marshes have also been increased by the retiring of the Humber; and a large tract of land, called "Cherrycob Sands," which was left dry, and embanked in the same manner as Sunk Island, is particularly worthy of notice. The third natural division of the East Riding, which extends from the western foot of the Wolds to the boundary of the West Riding, is commonly called The Levels, and, though generally fertile, and interspersed with villages, is every where uninteresting.
One of the most important agricultural improvements in the county is the drainage of the cars and marshes of the East Riding, together with those in the North Riding, bordering on the course of the Derwent. The Holderness Drainage lies chiefly adjoining to and on the eastern side of the river Hull; it extends from north to south about eleven miles, and contains 11,211 acres. In 1762, an act of parliament was obtained for draining this level, much of which before that period was of small value, being usually covered with water for above half the year. The Beverley and Barmston Drainage, executed under the provisions of an act passed about the year 1792, lies parallel to the last, but on the opposite side of the river Hull, extending from the sea-shore at Barmston, a few miles south of Bridlington, along the course of that river nearly to Hull, a distance of about twenty-four miles. Its northern part contains more than 2000 acres, and has an outfall into the sea at Barmston; whilst the southern division, extending southward from Foston, contains upwards of 10,000 acres, and has its outlet into the river Hull at a place called Wincolmlee. The Keyingham Drainage, lying between Sunk Island and the main land, was originally completed under an act passed in 1722. A new act was obtained in 1802, under which the course of the drainage in some parts was altered, and an additional quantity of land included, making a total of 5500 acres. The management is vested in three commissioners, and on a vacancy occurring by death or resignation, another commissioner is elected by the proprietors. The Hertford and Derwent Drainage contains upwards of 10,500 acres, of which 4500 are in the East, and the remainder in the North, Riding. The act for this was obtained in the year 1800, and its execution was vested in three directors and three commissioners. The directors have power to levy an annual assessment, not exceeding an average of three shillings per acre, for the purpose of maintaining and repairing the existing works and drains, and of making such new works as may, from time to time, become necessary. Spalding Moor and Walling Fen, lying westward of the southern part of the Wolds, were drained, allotted, and inclosed, about seventy years since.
Every kind of agricultural crop is cultivated in the county; and the systems of tillage, owing to the diversity of soils and situations, are extremely various. Wheat is grown to a great extent on all the lower and more fertile lands; and no district in the north of England, in proportion to its size, is considered to produce so much of it, or of so good a quality, as Cleveland, whence large quantities are shipped to the southern coast of England, and much is conveyed to Thirsk and Leyburn, where it is bought up for the manufacturing districts. Rye is sometimes sown on the lighter soils, more particularly of the North Riding, where wheat is not unfrequently mixed with it: of this mixture, provincially called "meslin," the common household bread of that portion of the county is chiefly made. The quantity of land annually sown with Barley is no where remarkably great, except on the Wolds, the soil of which is peculiarly adapted to its culture: in the North Riding, in Ryedale and the dales of the Eastern Moorlands, are occasionally seen plots of the species provincially called big, which is six-rowed barley; and of bear, four-rowed. Besides being occasionally grown in other places, Oats are very much cultivated in all the arable parts of the North Riding, more particularly in Ryedale, which is as remarkable for the quantity and excellent quality of its oats, as Cleveland is for its wheat: two crops are here always taken in succession, and frequently three. In the western parts of the West Riding, too, this corn is the prevailing crop; and oaten bread is in common use in the manufacturing districts. Considerable quantities of Flax are grown in the West Riding, in the neighbourhood of Selby; in the East Riding, about Howden and on the eastern bank of the Derwent; and in the North Riding, a small quantity in Ryedale, and a few other situations. Woad, for dyeing, is cultivated near Selby, among red clover. In the vicinity of York, Mustard is a valuable article of cultivation; and fields of it are occasionally to be seen in different places in the northern and eastern parts of the county: that which is grown near York is prepared for use in mills at that city, and afterwards sold as Durham mustard. The wapentake of Barkstone-Ash, in the eastern part of the West Riding, is distinguished for an extensive growth of Teasel, which is also occasionally cultivated to a small extent in other places having a strong soil: it is purchased by the clothdressers, for the purpose of raising the nap on cloth, before it undergoes the operation of shearing. Sainfoin is grown in different situations.
The grass-lands are very extensive, for, besides the tracts included with the arable districts, the productive parts of the western side of the county are kept almost exclusively in grass, and from Ripley to its western extremity the whole country is employed in grazing; while corn, and that almost entirely oats, is raised only in very small quantities on the inferior moorish soils. The old pasture lands, forming by far the greater portion of the lands in grass, have remained in that state from time immemorial, and in the West Riding are frequently mown, producing hay held in great esteem. Some of them are, nevertheless, of a very mean quality, and, especially in the North Riding, are often covered with thistles, ant-hills, and occasionally furze: in the dales of the Western Moorlands, however, remarkable attention is paid to the meadows. The extent of natural meadow, namely, such as derives the whole, or the greater part, of its fertility from the overflow of rivers, is not very great: many of the old fields of this kind in the Vale of York and in Ryedale have been constantly mown for ages, and are still highly productive. The East Riding contains the smallest quantity of grass-land; its sheep pastures on the Wolds, for which it was formerly so distinguished, having been mostly brought under various courses of tillage. On the banks of the Derwent, above Malton, and again at Cottingwith, it contains low tracts of marshy meadows, occasionally overflowed by that river, and producing abundant crops of coarse flaggy hay, of which that obtained from the last-mentioned district is of a peculiarly nutritive quality. The whole of the West Riding is an eminent grazing district, where cattle and sheep of all kinds are fattened to great perfection, chiefly to supply the manufacturing parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire. For this purpose, great numbers of lean cattle and sheep are brought from Scotland and the northern counties contiguous to Yorkshire. It has also numerous small dairies, for the supply of its own manufacturing towns and those of Lancashire with butter; and some large dairies in the vicinity of the large towns, to which the milk is principally sold. In the North Riding, the pastures are for the most part appropriated to the dairy; though grazing is also practised in some parts of it, more particularly in the Vale of York: the butter produced in this riding is chiefly packed in firkins, and sold to factors, who ship it for the London and other markets. In the East Riding, grazing and fattening, also stall-feeding, are practised to a very considerable extent.
A great deal of oak and ash timber is produced in the West Riding, and great attention is paid to the management of the woods; the timber meets with a ready sale in the ship-building and manufacturing towns, and much is also used in the mines and collieries. The extent of the woodlands in the North Riding is estimated at about 25,000 acres, dispersed in all quarters, the Moorland and Cleveland having the smallest proportion: this division yields also a considerable quantity of timber in its hedge-rows, particularly in the Vale of York, on the Howardian hills, and in Ryedale. The spontaneous produce of the best woodlands, is oak, ash, and broadleaved or wych elm; of those in mountainous situations, chiefly birch and alder; and the produce of the hedgerows, various kinds of trees, for the most part of artificial plantation. In this riding it is the custom to sell the falls of wood to professed wood-buyers, who cut up the trees on the spot, according to the purposes for which the different parts of them are best calculated: the ports of Scarborough and Whitby consume most of the ship timber, excepting only such as grows towards its western extremity. The oak-timber grown in the greater part of the riding, though not large, is extremely hard and durable. The only peculiar application of the ash-timber, which grows abundantly and in great perfection, is in the manufacture of butter-firkins, in which it is chiefly consumed. Plantations have been made on the sides and summits of several of the Moorland and other barren hills, chiefly of Scotch fir, larch, and spruce. The East Riding is little remarkable for its timber. The natural woods are almost confined to the levels between the rivers Ouse and Derwent and the Wolds, where are also abundance of timber-trees in the hedge-rows of old inclosures: the only woods to the east of the Wolds are those of Rise and Burton-Constable. The fine elevations of the Wolds have been ornamented in different parts by plantations of Scotch and spruce firs, larch, beech, ash, &c, to the amount of several thousand acres; and various plantations have been made in the low country to the west of them.
The wastes, about the end of the last century, were calculated in the whole at 849,272 acres, but the amount has, since that period, been lessened by numerous inclosure acts, obtained both for the detached wastes and for parts of the Moorlands. The surface of some of the higher hills in the Eastern Moorlands is entirely covered with large freestones; while upon others are beds of peat bog, in many places very deep, frequently not passable, and never without danger: these are invariably overgrown with ling, in some parts mixed with bent and rushes. Near the old inclosures are considerable tracts of loamy and sandy soils, producing furze, fern (here called "brackens"), thistles, and coarse grass, with but little ling; but wherever ling is the chief produce, the soil is invariably black moor or peat. The subsoils of these extensive wastes are various. In some places a yellowish, in others a reddish, clay occurs. A loose freestone rubble, resting either upon a freestone rock or upon clay, is also very common; and in different other places is found a rotten earth of peaty quality (which produces very luxuriant ling, bent, and rushes), a hard cemented reddish sand, or a grey sand. The basis of the whole is freestone. The Hamilton hills, forming the western end of these wastes, have generally a fine loamy soil on a limestone rock, which produces great quantities of coarse grass and bent, in some places intermixed with ling, more particularly towards the south-western parts of them. The mountains of the western side of the county differ materially in their produce from the Eastern Moorlands. Some, instead of black ling, are covered with a fine sweet grass; others with extensive tracts of bent; and though the higher parts produce ling, it is generally mixed with a large proportion of grass, bent, or rushes. The soil on the lower parts is a fine loam, in many places rather stiff, resting upon a hard blue limestone. The bent generally covers a strong soil lying upon a gritstone or freestone rock; the black ling, a reddish peat upon a red subsoil, or, in many places, a loose grit rubble, beneath which is a gritstone rock.
Some of the lower tracts of the Eastern moors, the lower parts of the Western moors in general, and in certain instances the higher parts of the latter, are stinted pastures during the summer; and those who have the limited right in summer, have a right in winter of turning upon them whatever quantity of stock they choose. These pastures are chiefly stocked with young cattle, horses, and such sheep as are intended to be sold off the same year. The remainder of the moors is common without stint, and is stocked for the most part with sheep, though a small, hardy, and very strong kind of horse is also bred and reared upon the Western Moorlands, and chiefly sold to the manufacturing parts of the West Riding and of Lancashire. The Moorland sheep are remarkable for their wretched appearance and great activity; they are wholly supported on these mountain wastes, and their mutton is of a particularly fine quality. The wastes of the East Riding consist chiefly of low, sandy, barren, and moory tracts lying between the Wolds and the rivers Ouse and Derwent; their principal natural produce is short heath.
To the geologist Yorkshire affords interesting fields of study. All its strata, with slight variations, dip eastward, those which appear at its western extremities being of the oldest formation. The mineral productions are various and important, and have given rise, and afford support, to some of its principal manufactures; they consist chiefly of coal, iron, lead, stone of various qualities, and alum. The best coal is obtained in the West Riding, which comprises one of the most valuable and extensive coal-fields in the kingdom. This coal district is bounded on the east by a narrow range of magnesian limestone, extending from Tickhill northward by Doncaster, Ferrybridge, Wetherby, Knaresborough, and Ripon; and consists of a great number of alternations of sandstone, clay, shale, coal, and ironstone, which form the substrata of the most populous parts of the riding. Its surface is characterized by successive parallel ranges of high ground, extending from north to south: the ascent to these hills on their western sides is abrupt, while on the east they decline more gradually, each one to the foot of the next range, under which its strata dip. Next to the magnesian limestone and its subjacent sand, proceeding westward, appear, first, the blue shale and thin coal of the Vale of Went, and then the grit-freestone of Ackworth and Kirby, beneath which is found the swift-burning coal of Wragby, Shafton, Crofton, and other places in the great clay district of the Dearne below Barnsley, and of the Calder below Wakefield. These various measures rest upon the grit-freestone of Rotherham, Barnsley, Newmiller Dam, and East Ardsley, through which pits are sunk near Barnsley to several thick seams of hard furnacecoal, one of them as much as ten feet thick. The next great sandstone stratum forms high ground, and frequently projects beyond the general range into detached hills; it occurs near Sheffield, Wentworth Park, and Bretton Park, and forms the elevated land of Horbury and Dewsbury, and of Middleton near Leeds. Beneath it are found valuable beds of ironstone, which are worked at Rotherham, Haigh-bridge, Low Moor, and several other places, where an abundance of muscle shells is found in contact with them. Contiguous to this ironstone are several strata of excellent coal. Next in the series lies the sandstone of Wortley-Chapel, Silkstone, Elmley, and Whitley-hall, with the valuable bituminous coal of Silkstone and Flockton, the best seams of the whole formation. This rock, entering the West Riding from Derbyshire, and passing by Sheffield, Penistone, Huddersfield, Elland Edge, and the Clayton heights, afterwards takes its course parallel with the river Aire, by Idle and Chapel-Allerton, towards the magnesian limestone. In this part of the coal district, near Sheffield, Bradford, and Leeds, is dug the galliard stone, so much in request for making and mending roads. The coal-mines are most numerous in the tract between Leeds and Wakefield, and in the neighbourhoods of Bradford, Barnsley, and Sheffield.
Characterised by its irregular texture, its numerous quartz pebbles, and its frequently craggy surface, the millstone-grit, with soft alternations both above and below it, occupies the wide and barren moors to the west of Sheffield, Penistone, Huddersfield, Bradford, Otley, Harrogate, Ripley, and Masham. In the numerous alternations of this stone, thin seams of coal frequently occur, which in certain situations are worked with advantage. Of the millstone-grit, an excellent and almost imperishable building-stone, great quantities are sent down the rivers Don and Aire. Wharnside, Ingleborough, Pennygant, and other lofty mountains on the western boundary of the county, are crowned with coalmeasures, but their base consists wholly of limestone. The principal lead-mines in the West Riding are at Grassington, about ten miles west of Pateley-Bridge, in a limestone tract which occupies also a great part of Craven; but here the ores are far less abundant than in the vales of the Nid and the Wharfe. Howgill Fells, on the western boundary of the county, consist of the kind of slate called by geologists greywacke.
In the North Riding, seams of an inferior kind of coal, which is heavy, sulphureous, and burns entirely away to white ashes, are wrought in different parts of both the Eastern and Western Moorlands, at Gilling Moor on the Howardian hills, and in the Vale of York, between Easingwould and Thirsk. Cleveland and the coast of this riding abound, in all their hills, with inexhaustible beds of aluminous strata; and extensive works for the manufacture of alum are established in the vicinity of Whitby, where the art is stated to have been first introduced from Italy, in the year 1595. Alum is also found, but not worked, in the Eastern Moorlands and in the vicinity of Bradford. In the Western Moorlands are many Lead mines, some of which have been, and others still are, very valuable: these are situated in Swaledale, Arkendale, and the neighbouring valleys: their annual produce is estimated at 6000 tons, of which one-half is yielded by the mines of Swaledale. Veins of Copper have been discovered at Richmond and Middleton-Tyas, at which latter place the metal was worked about the middle of the last century; copper pyrites is procured in considerable quantities in all the alummines, and copperas was formerly extracted from it. Great quantities of Ironstone are found in Bilsdale, Bransdale, and Rosedale, in the Eastern Moorlands, where iron seems to have been extensively manufactured in ancient times; but Ayton is the only place where forges have been erected at a modern period, and these are now abandoned. The iron-ore found in the northern parts of the Eastern Moorlands is sometimes in detached pieces, but more frequently in regular strata, from six to fourteen inches thick, dipping towards the south. In the neighbourhood of Whitby, some of these beds are wrought, and their produce carried to the works in the north, where the ore is of great use in fluxing the more obdurate ores there obtained.
Freestone, or gritstone, of an excellent quality for building, is found in many parts of this riding, particularly on Gatherly Moor near Richmond, at Renton near Boroughbridge, in the neighbourhood of Whitby, in all parts of the Eastern Moorlands, of which it forms the chief basis, and in many parts of the Western. Nor is Limestone less abundant. The Western Moorlands in a great measure consist of it; the Hamilton and Howardian hills, almost entirely; and a narrow ridge, producing lime of a peculiarly excellent quality for agricultural purposes, extends for at least thirty miles along the southern edge of the Eastern Moorlands. Various isolated masses are also found in different situations. In Coverdale, one of the smaller valleys of the Western Moorlands, and at Pen-hill, between this and Wensleydale, a kind of Flagstone, used for covering roofs, is dug; and in Swaledale a kind of purple Slate, resembling that of Westmorland, but thicker and coarser, the use of which extends little beyond the spot where it is produced. Marble of various kinds, some much resembling that worked in Derbyshire, and some, in closeness of texture and distinctness of colours, superior to it, is found in many parts of the calcareous hills of the Western Moorlands; but it is only used for burning into lime, or mending roads. Some of the limestone on the northern margin of Ryedale also greatly resembles the marble of Derbyshire, and is susceptible of nearly an equal polish. In the vicinity of the small river Greta, and in other places in the north-western extremity of the county, large blocks of a light-red Granite are found scattered over the surface, and in some places a light-grey kind of the same stone. Gypsum, or alabaster, is found in the North Riding portion of the Vale of York, and in some parts of the levels in the East and West Ridings. Near Thornton-bridge, on the Swale, where it is worked for the use of plasterers, it lies in strata several feet thick, and in some places not more than four feet from the surface.
The principal mineral productions of the East Riding are, the chalk of the Wolds, which is occasionally used in building, and frequently for burning into lime; and the coarse hard limestone of the vale of Derwent, which is of little value either for building or burning. The springs in the chalk are remarkably powerful, and many of them breaking out through the gravel at the eastern foot of the Wolds, combine to form the river Hull. In the gravel beds resting on the chalk, to the east of where this substance appears next the surface, very perfect remains of large animals are found: vertebræ, eighteen feet in length, and from eight to ten inches in diameter, have here been exhumed; as are frequently teeth, measuring from eight to ten inches in circumference. Great quantities of remarkable crystals of gypsum selenites and prismaticum are discovered in a bed of clay at Knapton.
The strata of the West Riding contain few fossil remains except at Bradford, where, in a stratum of sandstone, are found beautiful impressions of euphorbium, bamboo cane, and other tropical productions. At a little distance from Knaresborough exists a bed of strontian earth, which is very rare in this kingdom. Various remarkable petrifactions of animals have been discovered in the alum rocks in the vicinity of Whitby, in the North Riding; as also cornua ammonis, or snake-stones. Some of the strata in the same neighbourhood contain petrified cockle, oyster, and scallop shells, jet, and petrified wood; also trochitæ, or "thunderbolts," as they are vulgarly called, which are singular conical stones, from half an inch to an inch and a half in diameter at the base, and from two to five or six inches long.
The Manufactures, the most valuable and extensive of which are confined to the West Riding, are of the highest degree of importance to the kingdom, as well as to the multitudes to whom they afford subsistence. The two distinguishing manufactures are those of woollen goods and cutlery: the seat of the former is the district including the towns of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, and Wakefield; and that of the latter, Sheffield and its vicinity. The principal inducement for the establishment of these great works in the situations which they now occupy, was the plentiful supply of water and fuel for giving motion to machinery, and for the various other purposes of their several departments. The river Aire is the eastern boundary of the clothing district, which extends over the county thence to the mountain ridge bordering on Lancashire. The bulk of the woollen manufactures consisted formerly of the coarser kinds of cloth; but at present "Yorkshire cloth" no longer conveys the exclusive idea of inferiority, as the manufacturers now produce also great quantities of black and blue superfine cloths of distinguished merit. Until of late years, when numerous extensive factories have been erected (in which the whole process of making cloth, from the first breaking of the wool to the finishing of the piece ready for the consumer, is completed), the first stages of the manufacture were carried on in villages and hamlets, where the wool underwent the respective operations of spinning, weaving, and fulling. This is now only partially the case; the cloth from these scattered establishments is sent in its unfinished state to the cloth-halls in the towns, where it is sold to merchants, who have it dressed under their own direction. Besides broad and narrow cloths of various qualities, serges, and kerseymeres, the woollen manufactures of the West Riding include great quantities of ladies' cloths, such as pelisse-cloths and shawls; stuff goods of various kinds; camlets, shalloons, tammies, duroys, everlastings, calimancoes, moreens, shags, baize, &c. Carpets much resembling those of Scotland are manufactured on a very extensive scale at Dewsbury, where is one of the largest factories for this article, and for woollen cloths and blankets, in the kingdom. Several factories have been established for spinning flax for canvass, linen, sacking-thread, &c.; an extensive branch of the Manchester cotton trade is also carried on, and at Barnsley the manufacture of linen prevails. There is a considerable trade in the spinning of worsted-yarn, and the manufacture of wool cards and combs. The Leeds pottery enjoys a good reputation both in the British dominions and in foreign countries: the wholesale tobacco trade is likewise pursued to a great extent in that town, where are mills for preparing the raw material. Sheffield has, from a remote period, been famous for its manufacture of cutlery, which, however, was of very small extent until the early part of the 17th century, when it began gradually to increase. There are also several foundries for iron, brass, and Britannia metal; and extensive works for refining steel: the iron-works at Rotherham are particularly celebrated, and produce all kinds of articles in cast-iron, and much wrought-iron, in bars, sheets, and rods, together with tinned plates and steel. At Sheffield is also a minor manufacture of hair-seating, with a more considerable one of carpets.
In the dales of the Eastern Moorlands, and in Cleveland, some coarse linens are manufactured by the small farmers; and at Crathorne in Cleveland, and various places near the Hamilton hills, are bleaching establishments. The dales of the Western Moorlands have long been famous for their manufacture of knit worsted and yarn stockings; but this has been, in a great measure, superseded by the spinning of worsted for the manufactures of the West Riding. Cotton-mills have been erected in Wensleydale, at Easingwould, and at Masham; at the last place is also a worsted-mill, and in its vicinity shalloons and shags are produced to a small extent. York and the East Riding have various isolated manufactures, which are mentioned under the heads of the places where they are carried on. In the vicinities of York and Hull a kind of coarse earthenware is made, as are bricks and tiles; and on Walling Fen, near Howden, great quantities of white bricks are made from a blue clay found there, which are exported in different directions, being in great demand for superior buildings, on account of their beauty of colour, accuracy of form, and durability. Almost every town in the North Riding, and many in the other parts of the county, have tanners and tawers, who manufacture the hides and skins produced in their respective neighbourhoods. To this enumeration of manufactures may be added ship-building, which is carried on to a considerable extent at Hull and Whitby, and in a minor degree at Scarborough and Thorne. At the three first-mentioned places are manufactures of sailcloth and cordage.
The chief port of the county is Hull, which may be deemed the fourth in England. Besides this, it possesses, of a smaller class, the ports of York, Selby, Goole, Thome, Bridlington, Scarborough, and Whitby. The commerce is of a very extensive and diversified character: the foreign and coasting trade is centred in the above-mentioned ports, more particularly in that of Hull, through which is poured an immense quantity of manufactured goods, coal, stone, &c., from the West Riding, and of cotton-twist and manufactured cottons from Lancashire. Hull and Whitby share in the Greenland fishery; and their imports of timber, deals, hemp, flax, &c., from the Baltic, are very considerable. The internal commerce of the West Riding is extensive, and is greatly faciliated by an excellent system of artificial navigation. Corn is exported from Hull, Bridlington, and Scarborough, to London, and the collieries of the north; and from the principal markets of the East and North Ridings, great quantities of grain are sent by water-carriage into the western division of the county, from which the East Riding receives in return coal, lime, flagstones, bricks and tiles, and sundry other articles. A large quantity of hams and bacon is sent from the eastern parts of Yorkshire to the metropolis and other populous districts of the kingdom.
The principal Rivers are, the Northern Ouse (so called to distinguish it from the Ouse of Buckinghamshire), the Swale, the Ure, the Wharfe, the Derwent, the Aire, the Calder, the Don, the Hull, the Tees, and the Esk; all of which, except the two last, pour their waters through the great estuary of the Humber. The Humber is navigable up to Hull for ships of the largest burthen; the Ouse up to the newly-formed port of Goole, for vessels drawing not more than sixteen feet of water, and to York, for vessels of 140 tons' burthen. Above that city the Ouse is navigable for barges of 30 tons, as also is the Ure past Boroughbridge to Ripon, and the Swale for a very few miles: the spring tides would turn the current of the Ouse to a little above York, were they not obstructed by locks about four miles below the city. The Wharfe is navigable as far as Tadcaster. The Derwent is navigable for vessels of 25 tons' burthen to Malton, above which town the navigation has been continued to Yeddingham Bridge, a further distance of about nine miles. The Aire becomes navigable at Leeds, and a few miles lower, near Castleford, is joined by the Calder, which is navigable up to Salter-Hebble, near Halifax. The Don having been joined by the powerful stream of the Rother, unites with the Ouse at Goole; the lower part of its channel, from the vicinity of Snaith, is artificial, and usually called the Dutch river. In 1751, this river was made navigable to Tinsley, three miles below Sheffield, and under the provisions of an act of parliament passed in 1815, the navigation has been continued by a cut, called the Tinsley canal, to Sheffield. The Hull falls into the Humber at the town of Hull, where its mouth forms a secure but narrow haven: this river is navigable to Frodingham Bridge, several miles above Beverley (with which town it communicates by means of a short cut), whence the navigation is continued by a canal to Driffield. Another canal extends eastward from the river Hull to Leven, a length of about three miles. The Tees is navigable for vessels of 60 tons to a short distance above Yarm, where the spring tides rise about seven feet: below Stockton it spreads into the fine estuary of Redcar, three miles broad.
The Canals are nearly all within the limits of the West Riding. Under this head, however, may be classed the small navigable river Foss, the channel of which is believed to have been originally formed by the Romans, to effect the drainage of an extensive level tract lying between the Ouse and the Howardian hills. It rises near the western extremity of these hills, and thence takes first a south-eastern, and then a southern, course to the Ouse, at York. The navigation was made perfect from York to Sheriff-Hutton, a distance of about fourteen miles, under the provisions of an act of parliament passed in the year 1793. Market-Weighton and Hedon, which are both situated in the East Riding, and are considerable markets for corn, have each the advantage of a navigable canal to the Humber. The canals of the West Riding, in alphabetical order, are as follows. The Barnsley canal commences in the navigable channel of the river Calder, a little below Wakefield, and, taking a southern direction, unites with the Dearne and Dove canal near Barnsley. Its length is only fifteen miles, but it is of great importance, as forming part of the line from Sheffield to Barnsley, Wakefield, Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester, and Liverpool. The Bradford canal, which is three miles in length, commences in the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Windhill, in the parish of Idle, and terminates at Bradford, where extensive tramways connect it with the collieries and iron-works of Low-Moor and Bowling. The Dearne and Dove canal commences in a side cut from the river Don, between Swinton and Mexborough, and, passing north-westward, terminates in the Barnsley canal, at Eyming's Wood, after a course of nine miles. Together with the Barnsley canal, it forms a line connecting the navigable channel of the Don with that of the Calder. From the newlyformed commercial docks at Goole a canal passes westward to the river Aire, at Ferrybridge, and thus completes the water communication between that rising port and the manufacturing districts of the West Riding, together with the counties of Lancaster, Chester, and Stafford. The Huddersfield canal, nineteen miles and a half long, commences in Sir John Ramsden's canal, on the southern side of that town, and, proceeding westward, passes near Saddleworth, through the range of mountains on the borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire, by one of the largest tunnels in the kingdom, being nearly three miles and a half in length. It terminates in the latter county in the Manchester, Ashton, and Oldham canal. The Leeds and Liverpool canal enters this county from Colne in Lancashire, whence it proceeds by Skipton, Keighley, and Bingley, and across the river Aire, near Shipley, to Leeds, where it terminates in the Aire navigation. This extensive and important canal connects the port of Liverpool with the large manufacturing town of Leeds, and forms part of a line of water communication between Liverpool and Hull. The Ramsden canal, four miles in length, commences in the Calder and Hebble navigation at Cooper's-Bridge, and terminates in the Huddersfield canal at the King's Mills, near Huddersfield; thus completing, in conjunction with the Huddersfield canal, the important line of water communication between Manchester and the great manufacturing towns of Yorkshire. The Rochdale canal, entering from Rochdale in Lancashire, terminates in the Calder and Hebble navigation at Sowerby-Bridge, two miles from Halifax. The Stainforth and Keadby canal, partly in this county and partly in the Isle of Axholme, in Lincolnshire, branches from the Don navigation at Fishlake, near Stainforth, and, passing by Thome, terminates in the Trent at Keadby, after a course of fifteen miles.
Of the railways, the Leeds and Selby line was one of the first commenced; it is connected with the Hull and Selby railway, and from Hull a line runs to Beverley and Bridlington. The Manchester and Leeds railway enters the county at Langfield, and passing near Halifax, Dewsbury, and Wakefield, joins the Midland and the York and North-Midland railways near Normanton, and thence proceeds to Leeds. A short railway has been formed between Sheffield and Rotherham, which is connected with the Midland railway close to the latter town. The Midland line enters the county to the south of Rotherham, and runs northward, east of Barnsley, as far as Normanton. The York and North-Midland railway commences at the city, and proceeds to the river Wharfe, over which it is carried by a bridge 274 feet in length; then, after passing through a tunnel, it crosses the river Aire by a bridge of three arches, and joins the Midland line near Normanton. The Manchester and Sheffield railway enters the county between two branches of the river Don, west of Penistone, and passing close to the north of that town, proceeds to Sheffield. The Whitby and Pickering railway connects these towns, thus establishing a communication for the transport of the produce of the latter to the sea. Another great undertaking is the York and Newcastle railway, which proceeds nearly in a straight line north-west-by-west from York to the vicinity of Darlington, in Durham, and in its course passes close to the towns of Thirsk and Northallerton. It has a branch to Richmond. The Leeds and Bradford railway connects those two important towns, and has an extension to Bingley, Keighley, Skipton, and Colne, the last place being in Lancashire. The York and Scarborough railway passes by the town of Malton, near which it forms a junction with the Whitby and Pickering line; a branch leaves it near Scarborough, for Filey and Bridlington. There is also a railway between Middlesbrough and Redcar, at the mouth of the Tees.
Besides the great station of Eboracum, at York, the chief seat of the Roman power in Britain, this county contained also, in the West Riding, the stations of Isurium, at Aldborough; Legiolum, a little below the junction of the rivers Aire and Calder; Danum, at Doncaster; Olicana, at Ilkley; Cambodunum, at Slack, near Halifax; and Calcaria, at Tadcaster. In the North Riding were Cataractonium, at Catterick; and Derventio, at Stamford-Bridge, or at Alby, a mile further northward; and in the East Riding, Delgovitia, at Londesborough; and Prcetorium, at Patrington. The most durable of the works of this people were the roads they constructed in order to facilitate the communication between their military stations; several of these traversed Yorkshire in different directions, the common centre from which they diverged being Eboracum. The great road since called the Watling-street, which ran the whole length of England, from the coast of Kent to the wall of Severus, enters from Nottinghamshire in the vicinity of Bawtry, and passes through Doncaster, Barnsdale, Pontefract Park, Castleford, Tadcaster, York, Aldborough, and Catterick, into the county of Durham at Pierse-Bridge. Another military road entered from Manchester, and passed through the vicinity of Halifax, by Wakefield, to the Watling street. A similar road, from Chesterfield, on the north-western confines of Derbyshire, passed by Sheffield, Barnsley, Hemsworth, and Ackworth, to the Watling-street, at or near Pontefract. A vicinal way also appears to have passed through Pontefract, in a southern direction, to the villages of Darrington, WTentbridge, Smeaton, Campsall, and Hatfield. From York a Roman road ran to Malton, and seems to have there divided into two branches, one, now commonly called Wades Causeway, leading to Dunsley bay, in the neighbourhood of Whitby; the other to Scarborough and Filey. Another road passed from York, by Stamford-Bridge, Fridaythorpe, and Sledmere, across the Wolds, to Bridlington bay, called by Ptolemy Gabrantovicorum Sinus Portvosus, or Salutaris. Further south was a Roman road from York, by Stamford-Bridge and Londesborough, to Patrington. From Londesborough, a branch of this, formerly styled Humber-street, passed in a straight line southward to the village of Brough on the Humber.
The most remarkable antiquities are the remains of castles and religious edifices; but there are also several specimens of military and other works of a more remote period. The three gigantic obelisks of single stones, vulgarly called The Devil's Arrows, situated near Boroughbridge, are by some thought to be Druidical, and by others of Roman origin. Traces of Roman encampments are found in several places, and the remains of Roman roads are more particularly conspicuous on the Eastern Moorlands, where the ancient road from Malton to Dunsley bay, now called Wade's Causeway, is in excellent preservation, being twelve feet broad, in some places raised more than three feet above the surface, and paved with flint pebbles; and on the Wolds, where the Roman road from York to Bridlington bay may be traced for many miles. The only remains of Roman structures now to be seen in York, the site of the ancient Eboracum, are the polygonal tower and the south wall of the Mint yard. A vast variety of Roman antiquities has at different times been found in York and its vicinity, such as altars, sepulchral and other urns, sarcophagi, coins, signets (both cameos and intaglios), fibulæ, &c.; and Roman urns, coins, &c, have been discovered in several other situations near the stations and roads of that people. Many tumuli are discernible in various parts of the county, particularly on the Wolds; and besides the Roman encampments, others of the Saxons and the Danes may be traced in the North and West Ridings. The remarkable assemblage of rocks called Bramham Crags, about nine miles north-west of Ripon, are supposed, from the marks of rude sculpture which some of them exhibit, to have been a Druidical temple.
The number of Religious houses was about 106, including seven alien priories. The ruins of several of them are amongst the most beautiful and picturesque in the kingdom. The principal ruins of abbeys are those of St. Mary's at York; of Fountains, Kirkstall, Roche, and Selby, in the West Riding; and Byland, Rivaulx, Easby, Eggleston, and Whitby, in the North Riding: and of priories, those of Bolton and Knaresborough, in the West Riding; of Guisborough, Mountgrace, and Wykeham, in the North Riding; and Bridlington, Kirkham, and Watton, in the East Riding. The most distinguished remains of ancient Fortresses, besides Clifford's Tower at York, are those at Cawood, Conisbrough, Harewood, Knaresborough, Pontefract, Great Sandall, Skipton, and Tickhill, in the West Riding; at Helmsley, Malton, Mulgrave, Pickering, Richmond, Scarborough, Sheriff-Hutton, and Skelton, in the North Riding; and at Wressell, in the East Riding. The most remarkable old Mansions are, Temple-Newsom, near Leeds; and Gilling-Castle, near Helmsley, formerly the seat of the ancient family of Fairfax. Several others in different parts of the county are now occupied as farmhouses. Yorkshire contains a great number of elegant seats of more modern erection, belonging to the nobility and gentry who possess estates within its limits: some of those particularly worthy of mention in the West Riding are, Wentworth House, Wentworth Castle or Stambrough Hall, Methley Park, Thundercliffe Grange, Sandbeck Park, Newby Hall, Harewood House, Scarthingwell Hall, Allerton-Mauleverer, and Bishopthorpe, near York, the archiepiscopal palace; in the North Riding, Hornby Castle, Stanwick, Castle-Howard, and Mulgrave Castle; and in the East Riding, Londesborough.
The chalybeate and sulphureous springs of Harrogate, discovered in 1571, are of great celebrity, and have rendered that once obscure hamlet one of the principal watering-places in the north of England. Askerne, about eight miles north of Doncaster, has of late years become much noted for its medicinal waters, which resemble those of Harrogate, both in smell and taste, but differ from them in their mode of operation. The chalybeate and saline springs of Scarborough, discovered early in the 17th century, have long been celebrated. In 1822, a mineral spring was discovered a mile southeast of Guisborough, which is greatly resorted to by persons labouring under different complaints; the waters are diuretic. There are, besides, mineral springs of various qualities at Aldfield, Boston, Gilthwaite, Horley Green, Ilkley, and Knaresborough, in the West Riding; and a chalybeate spring at Bridlington Quay, on the coast of the East Riding. At Knaresborough is the celebrated dropping and petrifying well; and at the bottom of Giggleswick Scar, near the village of Giggleswick, is a spring which ebbs and flows at irregular periods. On the Wolds, and near Cottingham on their eastern side, are periodical springs, which sometimes emit very powerful streams of water for a few months successively, and then become dry for years. Some of the most remarkable Waterfalls are, Thornton Force, formed by a small stream which is driven down a precipice about 30 yards in height, situated near the village of Ingleton, in the West Riding, and in the vicinity of Thornton Scar, a tremendous cliff about 300 feet in height; the cataract of Malham Cove, which is 300 feet high; Aysgarth Force; Hardrow Fall; High Force or Fall, on the Tees; Mallin Spout; Egton; and Mossdale Fall. Among the natural curiosities of the county must also be enumerated its caves. The principal of these, situated among the Craven mountains, are Yorclas Cave, in a mountain called Greg-roof, and Weather cote Cave, both of them in the vicinity of Ingleton, and in the latter of which is a cataract of twenty yards' fall; Hurtle-pot and Ginglepot, near the head of the subterranean river Wease, or Greta; and Donk Cave, near the foot of Ingleborough. At the foot of the mountain Pennigant, in the same neighbourhood, are two frightful orifices, called Hulpit and Huntpit Holes, through each of which runs a brook, passing underground for about a mile, and then emerging, one at Dowgill Scar, and the other at Bransil-head.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.