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Grinton (St. Andrew)

GRINTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Richmond, partly in the wapentake of Hang-West, and partly in that of Gilling-West, N. riding of York, 9½ miles (W. by S.) from Richmond; containing 4811 inhabitants, of whom 594 are in the township of Grinton. The parish includes the townships of Melbecks, Muker, and Reeth, and comprises by measurement 53,000 acres, of which 36,350 are moor and mountain (the former affording scanty pasturage), 16,000 meadow and grazing land, and 230 arable. A valley here forms the first twenty miles and upwards of the course of the river Swale, and hence is called Swaledale; the scenery in the neighbourhood of Keasdon Force, in the upper part of the parish, is peculiarly striking and romantic. The population is chiefly employed in the lead-mines, of which here are some of the most valuable in Great Britain; coal-pits are also in operation, and there is a factory for carpets. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 5. 7., and in the patronage of the Crown; impropriators, the landowners: the tithes have been commuted for £201. 7.; and on the glebe lands, which are among the high grounds above the church, is a commodious parsonage-house. The church is a very ancient and spacious structure in the early English style, and in excellent repair; the chancel is divided from two side chapels by a carved oak screen of very early date, and the windows present the remains of some choice specimens of stained glass. At Muker and at Melbecks are chapels, to which districts have been assigned; the former consecrated in 1580, and the latter in 1841. There are places of worship for Independents, Methodists, and Wesleyans; and endowed schools in the townships of Reeth and Muker. On an eminence near Healaugh, is a British encampment, approached from the east by an avenue about 120 yards long, formed of stones, at the commencement of which is a large barrow; and about 300 yards south-westward from the camp is another barrow, six yards high. There are vestiges of other intrenchments, and several cairns, in the neighbourhood.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.