A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Aylesbear (St. Christopher)
AYLESBEAR (St. Christopher), a parish, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of East Budleigh, Woodbury and S. divisions of Devon, 8 miles (E.) from Exeter; containing, with the tything of Newton-Poppleford, 982 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 2701 acres, of which 1033 are arable, 823 meadow and pasture, 92 orchard, 53 coppice, and 700 common or waste land; and is bounded on the east by the river Otter: the surface is hilly, and the soil divided between a stiff cold clay and light sand. There is a silk and ribbon manufactory. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 2. 4.; net income, £123; patron and incumbent, the Rev. H. W. Marker, to whom, and the rector of Huxham, the impropriation belongs. The glebe contains about 44 acres. There is a chapel of ease at Newton-Poppleford.
Aylesbury (St. Mary)
AYLESBURY (St. Mary), a borough, market-town, parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Aylesbury, county of Buckingham, of which it is the county town, 16½ miles (S. E. by S.) from Buckingham, and 38 (N. W. by W.) from London by way of Watford; containing, with the hamlet of Walton, 5429 inhabitants. This place appears to have been one of the strongholds of the ancient Britons, from whom it was taken in the year 571 by Cutwulph, brother of Ceawlin, King of the West Saxons; and to have had a castle of some importance, from which circumstance probably it derives its Saxon appellation Aeglesburge, of which its present name is only a slight modification. In the reign of the Conqueror it was a royal manor; and some lands here were granted by that monarch, upon the extraordinary tenure that the owners should provide straw for the monarch's bed, sweet herbs for his chamber, and two green geese and three eels for his table, whenever he should visit Aylesbury. In the civil war of the seventeenth century, the town was garrisoned for the parliament; but it does not appear to have had any further connexion with the transactions of that period.
The town is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence, in a fertile vale extending from Thame, in Oxfordshire, to Leighton in Bedfordshire; and is lighted with gas, and paved under the direction of a body called "the Incorporated Surveyors," who derive their funds from land and houses devised by John Bedford: the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The houses are principally of brick, and the town has been greatly improved by the erection of some handsome private residences at the entrances into it from London and Buckingham. The only manufacture is that of bone lace, which is carried on upon a very limited scale. Ducklings and tame rabbits are bred in great numbers, for the supply of the London market. The market, which is amply supplied, is on Saturday; and fairs are held on the Friday after the 18th of Jan., the Saturday before Palm-Sunday, May 8th, June 14th, Sept. 25th, and Oct. 12th: those in Jan., May, and Oct. not being chartered, are free from toll, and those in Sept. and Oct. are also for hiring servants. The river Thame, which separates the town from Walton, is not navigable; but a canal, beginning at the hamlet, communicates with the Grand Junction canal at Marsworth. The branch railway from this town, to the London and Birmingham line, was opened in June 1839, and is one continued level throughout, seven miles in length. There is a florists' and horticultural society, which from its foundation has been liberally supported, and has produced some fine shows of flowers and fruit.
The inhabitants received their first charter from Queen Mary, in the year 1554, but the corporation soon lost their privileges, by neglecting to fill up vacancies: the town is now within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold petty-sessions daily; and constables and other officers are appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor. The elective franchise was conferrred also in 1554, and notwithstanding the loss of its charter, the borough has continued, since that time, to return two members to parliament. The right of election was originally vested in the corporation alone; and in the reign of Queen Anne, a disputed return for this place, in the cause of Ashby v. White, occasioned so serious a contest between the two houses, respecting the power of electors to bring actions against returning officers, for refusing to receive their votes, that the queen was obliged to prorogue the parliament, leaving the case undecided. After the loss of the charter, the two members were elected by the pot-wallopers; and in 1804, in a case of notorious bribery, an act was passed, extending the right of voting to the freeholders of the three hundreds of Aylesbury. The constables are the returning officers. The Lent assizes, and the quartersessions for the county, are held, and the knights of the shire elected, here: the powers of the county debt-court of Aylesbury, established in 1847, extend over the greater part of the registration-district of Aylesbury, and twelve adjacent parishes. The county hall, the magistrates' chamber, and offices of the clerk of the peace, form one range of brick building, of modern erection, with the county gaol and house of correction, which is well adapted to the classification of prisoners.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £24. 18. 1.; net income, about £300; patron, the Bishop of Lincoln. The great tithes have been commuted for land: the vicar has a house and garden, with two plots of land in lieu of tithes. An afternoon lecture, long supported by subscription, was endowed by the Marquess of Buckingham, about the close of the last century, with a rent-charge of £18, in consideration of which the vicar has for many years given a third service. The church is an ancient cruciform structure in the decorated English style, with some earlier portions, and a low central tower; the western entrance is very rich: on the north side of the chancel is a chantry chapel, now used as a vestry-room, in which are still remaining some traces of Norman character; and on the south side is another chantry chapel, now belonging to the grammar school. From the number of Roman tiles still found in several parts of the building, it is probable that a tessellated pavement originally constituted the floor of the whole. At Walton is a church, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Church-Patronage Society. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans, and one for Particular Baptists in the hamlet of Walton.
The Free Grammar School was founded by Sir Henry Lee, Knt., about the year 1611, and endowed with about £8 per annum, which was greatly augmented by Henry Phillips, Esq., who, by will in 1714, left £5000 in trust to be invested in land: the property consists of a manor and estate at Broughton-Abbots, in the parish of Bierton, and upwards of £1800 in the three per cent. consols, producing together an income of about £540. Thomas Hickman, in 1695, bequeathed land and houses (five of which are occupied as almshouses) now let for £73 per annum, which, after defraying the expenses of repairs and other small charges, is distributed among decayed tradesmen and tradesmen's widows not receiving parochial relief. William Harding, of Walton, by his will proved in 1719, devised certain lands and tenements now let for £289 per annum, by means of which about fourteen children are apprenticed annually, with premiums of £20 each; and there are also several charities for different purposes under the management of the churchwardens. A county infirmary, erected at the northern end of the town, chiefly through the exertions of John Lee, Esq., of Hartwell House, was opened for the reception of patients on the 23rd of October, 1833; it is a spacious building, consisting of a centre and two wings, the former of stone, and the latter of brick stuccoed in imitation of stone. The poor law union of Aylesbury comprises 40 parishes and places, and contains a population of 22,134. A monastery was founded here about the year 600, and dedicated to St. Osyth; and there were also two hospitals for lepers, dedicated respectively to St. John and St. Leonard, which had fallen into decay prior to the year 1360. A convent for Grey friars, the only one in the county, was established in 1387, by James, Earl of Ormond: its site was subsequently occupied by a mansion belonging to Sir John Baldwin, Knt., lord chief justice of the common pleas; but during the civil war the house sustained so much damage, that it has never since been inhabited as a seat. John Wilkes resided at Aylesbury for a long time, and for some years represented the borough in parliament. The place gives the titles of Earl and Marquess to the ancient family of Bruce.
Aylesby (St. Lawrence)
AYLESBY (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Caistor, wapentake of Bradley-Haverstoe, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Great Grimsby; containing 201 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the road from Grimsby to Brigg, comprises by computation 2000 acres; there are several plantations, but the greater portion of the land is arable. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £73; patron and incumbent, the Rev. T. T. Drake. The tithes have been commuted for £537. 6. 8., and there are 36 acres of impropriate glebe. The church is an ancient structure, with a tower, on the outside of which, near the summit, are two large elder-trees which bear fruit and are flourishing.
Aylesford (St. Peter)
AYLESFORD (St. Peter), a town and parish, in the union of Malling, hundred of Larkfield, lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 3½ miles (N. N. W.) from Maidstone; containing 1344 inhabitants. This place was called Saissenaighobail by the Britons, in commemoration of their having here defeated the Saxons; and by the latter, after their settlement in the country, Eaglesford, of which the present name is a corruption. In the battle above mentioned, which took place in 455, Horsa, the brother of Hengist, on the side of the Saxons, and Catigern, the son of Vortigern, on the side of the Britons, were slain. In 893, Alfred defeated the Danes at Fenham, in the parish; and in 1016, Edmund Ironside, in a fierce encounter with those invaders, pursued them to this place with great slaughter, and drove them hence to Sheppy. In 1240, Ralph Frisburn, on his return from the Holy Land, founded a Carmelite monastery, under the patronage of Richard, Lord Grey, of Codnor: many parts of the building are entire, though the greater portion of the site is occupied by a mansion erected by Sir William Sedley, and now the residence of the Earl of Aylesford. The parish contains 4260a. 2r. 29p., of which 1721 acres are arable, 628 meadow and pasture, 1428 woodland, 152 hop plantation, 53 orchard, and about 196 common and waste: the surface is marked by numerous chalk hills. In the northern part the soil is various; the southern part, which is often overflowed by the Medway, has a soil of loam and gravel: the substratum abounds with stone, which is quarried for building sea-walls and for the roads. The town is pleasantly situated on the northeast bank of the river, over which is an ancient stone bridge of six arches; and has one principal street, on whose north side the ground rises abruptly to an elevation of 100 feet. A paper-mill, by the side of a small stream, is the only manufactory. A pleasure-fair is held on the 29th of June.
The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester. The rectorial tithes have been commuted for £630. 15., and the vicarial for £597. 11.; the glebe contains 14 acres, with a house. The church is an ancient structure, and contains monuments to the memory of Sir Paul Rycaut, Sir John Colepepper, and Sir Caleb Banks. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. An hospital, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was founded in 1617, for a warden and six aged persons, by Sir William Sedley, partly in performance of the will of his brother John, dated in 1605, and partly of his own free gift; it is endowed with two farms in the parish of Frittenden, let for £135 per annum. Fragments of military weapons are frequently discovered here. At Horsted is a monument of upright stones, erected, as is supposed, to the memory of Horsa; and three miles distant is another, called Kit's Cotty House, to the memory of Catigern. Sir Charles Sedley, a celebrated wit and poet in the reign of Charles II., was born at the Stoars, in the parish. Aylesford confers the title of Earl on the family of Finch.
Aylestone (St. Andrew)
AYLESTONE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Blaby, partly in the hundred of Guthlaxton, and partly in that of Sparkenhoe, S. division of the county of Leicester, 2½ miles (S. by W.) from Leicester; containing, with the township of Glen Parva and the chapelry of Lubbesthorpe, 757 inhabitants. It is situated on the road to Lutterworth, and contains about 2700 acres; the Duke of Rutland is lord of the manor. The Union canal passes through the parish, and soon after joins the river Soar. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £31. 8. 11½.; net income, £845; patron, the Duke of Rutland. The tithes were commuted for 350 acres of land, in 1767.
Aylmerton (St. John the Baptist)
AYLMERTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 2¾ miles (W. S. W.) from Cromer; containing 289 inhabitants. It is intersected by the road from Cromer to Holt, and comprises 1581a. 8p., of which 916 acres are arable, 190 pasture and meadow, and 470 woodland and water; the views of the ocean from the high grounds are exceedingly fine. The living is a discharged rectory in medieties, with the livings of Felbrigg, Melton, and Runton united, valued together in the king's books at £6. 11.; net income, £370; patron, W. H. Windham, Esq. The tithes of Aylmerton have been commuted for £220, and the glebe consists of 41½ acres. The church is in the decorated and later English styles, with an embattled tower; in the interior is a handsome carved screen, and on the south side of the chancel a piscina and two stone stalls.
Aylsham (St. Michael)
AYLSHAM (St. Michael), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of South Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 12¼ miles (N. by W.) from Norwich, and 121 (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 2448 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on the high road from Norwich to Cromer, was during the reigns of Edward II. and III. the chief seat in the county for the manufacture of linens, then distinguished by the appellation of "Aylsham Webs." This branch of manufacture was subsequently superseded by that of woollen cloths; and in the time of James I. the inhabitants were principally employed in the knitting of worsted hose, and in the manufacture of stocking-pieces for breeches, and waistcoat-pieces, which was carried on here till the introduction of machinery. The town is pleasantly situated on a gentle acclivity rising from the south bank of the river Bure, and is well built, containing many handsome houses. The trade consists for the most part in corn, coal, and timber, for which its situation is extremely favourable; the river is navigable to Yarmouth for barges of 40 tons' burthen, and a spacious basin and commodious wharfs have been constructed here for the greater facility of trade. The market, formerly on Saturday, is now on Tuesday, and is amply supplied with corn and provisions of all kinds: fairs, which are well attended, are held on March 23rd, and the last Tuesdays in Sept. and Oct., the last one being a statute-fair. The town was formerly governed by a bailiff, and had several privileges, of which exemption from serving on juries at the assizes and sessions still remains. The powers of the county debt-court of Aylsham, established in 1847, extend over the registrationdistrict of Aylsham.
The parish comprises 4311a. 2r. 4p., of which 350 acres are meadow, 100 woodland and plantations, and the remainder arable. The living is a vicarage, endowed with a portion of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £17. 19. 7.; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. The great tithes have been commuted for £716, and the vicarial for £684; the glebe comprises 4 acres, with a house. The church, founded by John of Gaunt, is a spacious and handsome cruciform structure in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a spire: on the south side of the choir are three sedilia of stone, richly canopied, and a double piscina, opposite to which is a monument to Bishop Jeggon; the font is elaborately sculptured, and in the north transept is the chapel of St. Peter, which had a guild in 1490. In the cemetery is the tomb of Humphrey Repton, author of a work on landscape gardening, who was buried here. There are places of worship for Baptists, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. The free grammar school, founded in 1517 by Robert Jannys, mayor of Norwich, who endowed it with £10 per annum, and for which, in conjunction with that of Wymondham, Archbishop Parker founded two scholarships in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, has been incorporated with the District National Society. The poor law union of Aylsham comprises 46 parishes and places under the care of 47 guardians, and contains a population of 20,056. About half a mile from the town is a chalybeate spring, now little noticed, which, from its former efficacy in asthmatic and other chronic diseases, was much resorted to by invalids. On Stowe heath, about two miles to the east of the town, are several large tumuli, in some of which, in 1808, were found urns containing human bones and ashes.
AYLTON, a parish, in the union of Ledbury, hundred of Radlow, county of Hereford, 4¼ miles (W.) from Ledbury; containing 69 inhabitants. It consists of 812 acres of land, undulated, with a full proportion of wood, and a soil of average fertility. The living is a discharged perpetual curacy, endowed with one-third of the tithes, and valued in the king's books at £3. 3. 4.; net income, £149; patron, the Earl of Oxford; impropriators of the remainder of the tithes, the Portionists of Ledbury church.
Aymestrey (St. John and St. Alkmund)
AYMESTREY (St. John and St. Alkmund), a parish, in the union of Leominster, consisting of the townships of Conhope and Over Lye in the hundred of Stretford, and the townships of Aymestrey, Nether Lye, Shirley, Yatton, and Leinthall-Earls, in the hundred of Wigmore, county of Hereford, 7 miles (N. W.) from Leominster; containing 958 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the river Lug, comprises by computation 5721 acres, whereof 1926 are arable, 2355 meadow and pasture, 1405 woodland, 315 common land, and about 35 garden-ground. The geological features are of considerable interest: the transition rocks from the old red-sandstone formation to the Wenlock shales, including the Upper Ludlow rock, the Aymestrey limestone, the Lower Ludlow rocks, the Wenlock limestone, and Wenlock shale, are well exhibited in the immediate neighbourhood, which abounds with the characteristic organic remains, most of which have been figured and described in Murchison's Silurian System. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 14. 2., and in the patronage of the Crown: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £341. 19. There is a chapel, a very ancient structure, at Leinthall-Earls, the living of which is in the gift of the Vicar. In the parish are two schools; one at Aymestrey, endowed by William Onneslo, in 1515; and the other at Leinthall-Earls, endowed by William Hewes, in 1634. Several small charities belong to the poor. On the north side of the village, above the inn, is the supposed site of a small Roman camp, recently used as a bowling-green; and in the township of Yatton are the sites of British and Roman camps, the former occupying the high ground called Croft Ambrey, and the latter the Pyon Grove: the embankments of both are well worth the visit of the antiquary.
Aynho (St. Michael)
AYNHO (St. Michael), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Brackley, hundred of King's Sutton, S. division of the county of Northampton, 2¾ miles (E. by N.) from Deddington; containing 662 inhabitants. The parish occupies the southwestern extremity of the county, on the borders of Oxfordshire, which bounds it on the west and south; it comprises 2219a. 1r. of rich and highly productive land. The road from Buckingham to Deddington, as well as the Oxford canal, intersects it. The village, which is of considerable extent, is situated on a rocky eminence, from whose base issues a copious spring called the "Town Well." A charter was obtained in the 17th of Edward II., for a weekly market and a fair annually at Michaelmas; but both have long since been discontinued. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £25. 5. 5.; net income, £500; patron, W. R. Cartwright, Esq. The church has a fine tower of the 14th century: the body of the building was taken down in 1723, and rebuilt in the tasteless manner of the period. A free school was founded by Mrs. Mary Cartwright, in 1671, and endowed with a rent-charge of £20. Here was anciently an hospital dedicated to St. John and St. James, founded about the time of Henry II., and in 1484 united to Magdalene College, Oxford, by gift of the patron, William Fitz-Alan. The Roman Portway, a vicinal road, ran through the parish, and is visible at the eastern end of the village. Shakerley Marmion, a dramatic writer, was born at the manor-house in 1602; and Robert Wild, a Presbyterian minister, and a poet and satirist, held the living during the Commonwealth.
Ayott (St. Lawrence)
AYOTT (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Welwyn, hundred of Broadwater, county of Hertford, 3¼ miles (W. by N.) from Welwyn; containing 134 inhabitants. This parish, during the heptarchy, formed part of the possessions of the last of the Saxon monarchs; and a spot in the immediate vicinity, still called Dane End, commemorates a signal defeat of the Danes by King Ethelwulph. The parish comprises by computation 900 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 13. 4.; net income, £180; patron, Lionel Lyde, Esq. The glebe consists of 20 acres. The church is a neat brick edifice, with a handsome portico of stone, of the Doric order, the whole erected in 1787, at an expense of £6000, by Sir Lionel Lyde, from a design by Revett, the celebrated Italian architect: the ruins of the old church, a quarter of a mile distant, are considerable, and under the belfry of its embattled tower is an altar-tomb, with recumbent figures of a knight and his lady.
Ayott (St. Peter)
AYOTT (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Welwyn, hundred of Broadwater, county of Hertford, 1¼ mile (W. by S.) from Welwyn; containing 240 inhabitants. It comprises about 1200 acres of land; the surface is in general elevated, and the soil a mixture of gravel and clay. The river Marran divides it from the parishes of Welwyn and Codicote: the village is pleasantly situated on the side of the great north road, and is skirted by Brocket Hall Park, the property of Lord Melbourne, a small part of which stands in the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 8. 6½., and in the gift of Lady Mexborough: the tithes have been commuted for £245. 12. 6., and there are 49 acres of glebe. The church, a neat octagonal building, was erected about a century since by a former rector, Dr. Freeman, who built also the steeple, on the opposite side of the churchyard.
Aysgarth (St. Andrew)
AYSGARTH (St. Andrew), a parish, in the wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York; comprising the townships of High and Low Abbotside, Askrigg, Aysgarth, Bainbridge, Bishopdale, West Burton, Carperby cum Thoresby, Hawes, Newbiggin, Thoralby, and Thornton-Rust; and containing 5725 inhabitants, of whom 269 are in the township of Aysgarth, 8½ miles (W.) from Middleham. This parish, which is about 22 miles long, and from 4 to 8 or 9 wide, contains 96,000 acres. It comprehends the upper part of the splendid valley called Wensley dale, and the surface is strikingly diversified with high moorlands and fertile vales, famed for grouse and other game; the grounds are principally in pasture, and the district is noted for its superior dairy productions, butter and new-milk cheeses. The village is pleasantly situated near the river Ure, which rises in the parish, and in its progress forms cataracts at Aysgarth, Askrigg, Hardraw, and West Burton. There is a sheet of water, named Semer water, covering about 500 acres, and abounding with fish of several varieties; the Ure, also, abounds with trout of a rich flavour, as well as with the greyling, and affords to the angler at certain seasons sport not generally to be met with. At a short distance above Aysgarth Force, is Yore bridge, built in 1539, a curious and interesting structure, which rises in one elliptical arch of 32 feet, with a span of 70 feet, exhibiting numerous petrifactions in its concave, and having its battlements festooned with verdant ivy: this bridge commands a fine view of the falls made by the river in its course through rocks in some parts craggy and abrupt, and in others beautifully intermingled with foliage. There are some veins of lead, and strata of coal. A coarse description of knitted hosiery is manufactured by the females and children of the lower classes, for the use of sailors, and for exportation.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £19. 6. 8.; net income, £137; patrons and appropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The church is in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, which was heightened in the reign of Henry VIII., when the whole building was renovated: the chancel is separated from the nave by an elegant and highly enriched screen and roodloft, said to have been removed from the abbey of Jervaulx. There are other churches at Askrigg, Hawes, Hardraw, Lunds, and Stalling-Busk. The Society of Friends have places of worship at Aysgarth, Bainbridge, Hawes, and Counterside; and the Wesleyans at Aysgarth, Burton, Thoralby, Carperby, Askrigg, Bainbridge, and Gayle: at Thornton-Rust the Calvinists have a meeting-house; and at Hawes the Independents and Sandemanians one each. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned for a short time at Nappa Hall, an ancient mansion in the parish.—See Askrigg, &c.
Aysleby, N. riding of York.—See Aislaby
Ayston (St. Mary)
AYSTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Uppingham, hundred of Martinsley, county of Rutland, 1 mile (N. W. by N.) from Uppingham; containing 88 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 870 acres, of which about one-quarter is arable, and the remainder pasture; the surface is undulated, and the soil partly a red loam, and partly a white clay. The village is situated a quarter of a mile from the road between Oakham and Uppingham. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 7. 8½.; net income, £183; patron, George Fludyer, Esq. The tithes are commuted for a modus of 14d. per acre, and there are 70 acres of glebe, and a glebe-house. The church is a plain neat structure, in the pointed style, except the three arches that divide the north aisle from the body of the church, which are round.
AYTON, EAST, a chapelry, in the parish of Seamer, union of Scarborough, Pickering lythe, N. riding of York, 5 miles (S. W. by W.) from Scarborough; containing 362 inhabitants. The village is situated in a valley remarkable for the beauty of its scenery, through which flows the river Derwent. The chapel, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is an ancient structure, with a square tower. The tithes were commuted in 1768, for land and a money payment. There is a place of worship for Primitive Methodists.
Ayton, Great (All Saints)
AYTON, GREAT (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Stokesley, W. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, N. riding of York; containing 1216 inhabitants, of whom 1014 are in the township of Great Ayton, 3 miles (N. E. by E.) from Stokesley. This parish, which is on the road from Stokesley to Guisborough, consists of the townships of Great Ayton, Little Ayton, and Nunthorpe, and comprises about 5640 acres; the lands are chiefly arable and pasture in nearly equal portions; the surface is diversified, and much of the scenery is very beautiful. A large seam of whinstone runs across the whole district, passes through the parish, and is wrought in several quarries; the stone is a hard blue, of excellent quality, and much used in making roads. Iron-ore is also found, and a mine was opened at Cliffrigg-Woods, but the works have been for some time discontinued. There are two oil-mills and three tanneries; and the manufacture of linen, once a flourishing trade here, still affords employment to a few of the inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the family of Marwood, the impropriators, with a net income of £82. The church is a neat unadorned edifice of considerable antiquity, with a square tower; the chancel is separated from the nave by an enriched Norman arch. There is a second church at Nunthorpe, forming a separate incumbency. The Independents, Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans, and Society of Friends have places of worship. A school founded in 1704 by Michael Postgate, and rebuilt in 1785, has an endowment of about £10 per annum: at this school the celebrated navigator, Captain Cook, received a portion of his education, at the expense of Thomas Scottowe, Esq., whom his father served as manager of a farm. There is also a large agricultural school connected with the Society of Friends; and in the middle of the village are three almshouses, built by subscription.
AYTON, LITTLE, a township, in the parish of Great Ayton, union of Stokesley, W. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, N. riding of York, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Stokesley; containing 65 inhabitants. At the time of the Conquest this was an ancient demesne of the crown; the manor was soon afterwards granted to the family of Malbisse, and subsequently passed to the Lords Eure, of Easby. There was once a chapel here, built by Sir William Malbisse, Knt., about 1215; but no remains are now visible. The township comprises about 1170 acres; its small and scattered hamlet is on a branch of the river Leven, and near the road from Stokesley to Guisborough.
AYTON, WEST, a township, in the parish of Hutton-Buscel, union of Scarborough, Pickering lythe, N. riding of York, 5¼ miles (S. W. by S.) from Scarborough; containing 305 inhabitants. This township is bounded on the east and south by the river Derwent, which separates it from East Ayton; and comprises about 2000 acres, of which one-third is woodland and moor, and the remainder arable and pasture. The surface is finely varied, and the scenery picturesque; the hills are richly wooded to their summits, and the low grounds are watered by the Derwent, over which is a handsome bridge of four arches. Stone of excellent quality for building and for burning into lime is quarried. The village is situated on the road from York to Scarborough, and above it are the remains of Ayton Tower: of this once spacious baronial residence, one wing only is remaining, but the extensive lines of foundations on every side still indicate its former importance. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment, under an act, in 1792.
AZERLEY, a township, in the parish of KirkbyMalzeard, Lower division of the wapentake of Claro, W. riding of York, 4 miles (N. W.) from Ripon; containing 836 inhabitants. It comprises 4470 acres, of which 57 are common or waste; and includes the villages of Galpha and Mickley. The tithes have been commuted for £220. 16. payable to Trinity College, Cambridge, £45 to the vicar of the parish, and £5 to the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. There is a chapel at Mickley, erected by the family of the late Col. Dalton, of Sleningford Park; also a place of worship for Wesleyans in the township.