A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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In 1831 Glaisdale was a parochial township in the parish of Danby, of which, however, it is now entirely independent. (fn. 1) There is no fixed boundary between the two places, but an arrangement was made about 1870 by which the line of division runs south from the undivided moor north of Oakley Walls through Howlsyke to the Esk up Fryup Beck to within half a mile of Woodhead Farm; it then strikes further south-west. (fn. 2)
Glaisdale township contains the hamlets of Lealholm Bridge, Howlsyke, Green Houses, Stonegate and part of Great Fryup. (fn. 3)
Glaisdale is one of the many small valleys formed by the streams that flow from north and south to the River Esk. All these streams descend through the districts known respectively as their 'Head' and their 'Dale' to their 'End' at their junction with the Esk. From the south Danby, Little Fryup and Great Fryup Becks descend from Danby High Moor, about 1,300 ft. above the ordnance datum. Then follows Glaisdale Beck, which rises on Glaisdale Moor, at a height of 1,100 ft. above ordnance datum, and flows north through Glaisdale Head and Dale to the village of Glaisdale End. Through the erection in about 1864 of iron furnaces (now dismantled) Glaisdale End was transformed from a 'scattered hamlet' into a 'closely built and populous village.' (fn. 6) Its High Street leads from the vicarage and church at the south to the Green on the north. Glaisdale Hall, a farm, lies to the west, and to the south is the once haunted farm of Hart Hall. Here visited a beneficent 'Hob,' who rendered mysterious aid in the fields to the husbandman until he was driven away by a well-meant gift from the grateful farm-hands. (fn. 7) From the north the Esk is joined in Danby and Glaisdale parishes by Commondale Beck, part of the western boundary of Danby, Ewe Crag Beck which enters it at Dale or Danby End, Clither Beck which flows by 'Doubting Castle,' Park Head Beck which joins it at Lealholm Bridge, a hamlet three-quarters of a mile west of Lealholm Hall, and finally by Hardale Beck. Hardale Beck forms part of the northern and, with Glaisdale Beck, the eastern boundary of the parish, passing (beside those hamlets) under the names of Green Houses Beck and Stonegate Beck, and joining the Esk at Hole Trough Bridge by Rake Wath. The wooded valley of the Esk west of Lealholm is called Crunkley Gill. (fn. 8)
There were five mediaeval stone bridges over the Esk, three in Danby (q.v.), one in Glaisdale and the fifth near Sleights station; the earliest dated from about 1286, and all were built beside a previous wath or ford. (fn. 9) At the point where Glaisdale Beck enters the Esk is the Glaisdale 'Beggar's Bridge.' The original 14th-century bridge here had probably disappeared by 1577. (fn. 10) The present structure bears the date 1619 and the initials T.F. for Thomas Ferris (Ferries, Firris), an alderman of Hull, the traditional builder. According to some accounts Ferris was a poor native of Egton or Danby; according to others he came into the district as a tramp. Saved by stepping-stones at this point when crossing the stream in a time of flood, he vowed that if ever he were able to afford it he would build a bridge as a token of gratitude. The bridge was called 'Ferris Bridge' in 1676. (fn. 11) Lealholm Bridge is mentioned in 1630. (fn. 12)
The area of the parish has not been separately ascertained, but is reckoned with Danby (fn. 13) (q.v.). Glaisdale Moor and Lealholm Moor are common to the townships of Danby and Glaisdale. (fn. 14) The 'Forest of Heckedale' in Lealholm belonged to Danby Manor in 1272. (fn. 15) Glaisdale contains 1,719 acres of arable land, 2,676 of permanent grass and 290 of woods and plantations. (fn. 16) The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and potatoes. Like Danby, the parish is purely agricultural, containing small scattered farms. A water-mill in Glaisdale was appurtenant to the manor of Danby in 1327, (fn. 17) and there are now a water corn-mill at Lealholm, a water-mill at Stonegate, and Walk Mill, now disused, at Glaisdale End. There was once a paper-mill at Lealholm. (fn. 18)
Peter de Brus I (fn. 19) granted to Guisborough Priory the pasture of Whaytelandehevedes and the banks of Stonegate Beck (Staingateside) bounded by Little Wood Dale (Parva Wluedale) (fn. 20) as it descends from the common path by Cnapetres to Hellewath, and by Hellewath Beck till it falls into Weltewath and Langwath. The canons were not to build there, and Peter's men of Danby were to be allowed to pasture their cattle. (fn. 21) He also granted the whole pasture of the ridge of Glaisdale from Blawath (fn. 22) to Glaisdale Beck (the boundary between the Brus lands and those of Peter de Mauley), (fn. 23) by this beck to Postegate (now Post Gate Hill), through the Lawn (fn. 24) of Postgate as the moorland road goes, (fn. 25) and from this road over the causeway of Busco (fn. 26) to Yarlegate (fn. 27) and by the ridge of Beanley Bank (Bainwitlith) (fn. 28) southwards, skirting the covert of the wood as far as the stream (Fryup Beck) (fn. 29) and from this stream to the road from Shunner Howe (Senerhou) to Loose Howe (fn. 30) (Lushou), with all the wood. None but the canons might build in this district. (fn. 31) Peter also granted them all Swinesheved with the wood on each side of the stream, and licence to dig, inclose and build at pleasure; the whole pasture from Swinesheved to Blakey (Blakenhou, Blakehou, the high moor south of Danby parish) by the road from Blakey to Ralph's Cross (still standing), then skirting the covert of Botton (Bothine) (fn. 32) to Mosebec, and from Mosebec skirting the covert of Fryup to Trough (Troch) (fn. 33) and thence outside the covert to Yubec. (fn. 34) The canons were not to carry bow or arrows in these boundaries nor to snare game. Finally Peter gave the whole forge (fabrica) that he had in Glaisdale with the sole right to take iron within the above boundaries. (fn. 35) All these gifts were confirmed to the priory by Peter de Brus II in 1223, (fn. 36) but the grant seems to have remained a dead letter. There was a dispute, and in 1227 the prior agreed that if Peter would again raise the prior's houses in Swinesheved that had been levelled and restore his cowsheds, hays (fn. 37) and forges he would pardon him the £9 0s. 8d. damage for the houses and the £20 for the cowsheds and forges destroyed in Glaisdale. (fn. 38) In 1227 and 1228 the prior surrendered all right in the pasture of Glaisdale except what pertained to his lands in Danby, and accepted in exchange 16 librates of land in Bottleburn near Market Weighton in the East Riding. (fn. 39) In 1234 the prior surrendered any claim to the moor (which Peter was to have 'in the state in which it was left when the prior's houses were last thrown down by the king's justices of the forest') in return for lands in Southburn, but the priory was to have three shelters (each 20 ft. by 12 ft.) on Glaisdale Moor for shepherds, carpenters and charcoal-burners, and access to the pasture and wood of Glaisdale. (fn. 40)
The subsoil is upper, middle and lower lias, Kimmeridge and Oxford clay; the soil, like that of Danby, is very varied, clay, sand and peat being found in the same field. There are quarries at Glaisdale End and disused quarries elsewhere in the parish. That iron was worked in the early 13th century is evident from the grants to Guisborough Priory already described. From 1234 the priory had no mineral rights here, and at the Dissolution the issues of its property in Glaisdale only amounted to 16s. (fn. 41) The mines descended with Danby (q.v.). In 1874 three furnaces had been erected in the previous ten years, and the South Cleveland Iron Works Company, to which the mines were leased, intended to open them out. The company were then working two mines in the Esk valley, one near Grosmont, the other at Glaisdale near the furnaces. About 100 men were employed, and there was an output of 1,000 tons per week, both output and labour being expected shortly to double. Only one of the furnaces in blast was worked with Cleveland ironstone; the other two were supplied with ore from Cumberland, Ireland and Spain. (fn. 42) The furnaces, however, are now dismantled, and iron is no longer worked.
The parish has two stations on the North Yorkshire and Cleveland branch of the North Eastern railway, one at Glaisdale, the other at Lealholm Bridge. There are Wesleyan chapels at Glaisdale End, Glaisdale Head, Great Fryup and Lealholm Bridge and a Primitive Methodist chapel at Howlsyke. A School Board was formed in 1873 (fn. 43) and the public elementary school at Lealholm Bridge was built in 1874, that at Glaisdale End in 1898.
In 1086 LEALHOLM (Lelum, xi–xvi cent.; Lelon, Lelom, Lelholme, xiv cent.; Lealam, Lealholme, xvii cent.) was a berewick of Crunkley, (fn. 46) and contained 10 oxgangs of land, (fn. 47) which descended with the manor of Danby. (fn. 48)
Richard de Lealholm in 1301–2 paid 3s. 3¼d. subsidy in Danby. (fn. 49) During the reign of Edward I a William de Lealholm (fn. 50) had acquired in fee from Peter de Mauley 70 acres of land and meadow in Egton (q.v.), and William his son and heir acquired 11 acres from the succeeding Peter de Mauley without licence, but was pardoned in February 1325–6. (fn. 51) William the son died in or before 1356. (fn. 52)
Emma widow of Thomas Lovell held 'the manor' in 1402. (fn. 53) Finally, in 1686, Richard Shipton of Lythe and Thomas his son conveyed the 'messuage or farm called Lealholm Hall in the manor of Danby' to George Metcalfe and Thomas Meriton of Northallerton. (fn. 54) It is now a farm-house.
The church of ST. THOMAS stands on the slope of the hill-side, the ground falling from west to east, and is a plain stone building erected in 1793–4, in plan a rectangle measuring internally 66 ft. 6 in. by 25 ft., with a tower 7 ft. 6 in. by 7 ft. at the west end. Of the building which preceded it no record has been kept. (fn. 55) The present structure, which was restored in 1876–9, is of no architectural interest. It is built of coursed stone without buttress, and the roof is covered with blue slates overhanging at the eaves. The tower, which contains one bell, finishes with a pyramidal slated roof behind an embattled parapet, and the building is lit by three pointed windows on each side and a wide one of three lights at the east end. There is a west gallery 13 ft. 6 in. deep, approached through the tower by an external staircase. The entrance is by a doorway on the south side of the tower, the lower stage of which forms the porch. There are no monuments or other features of interest.
The plate consists of a set of two chalices, two patens and a flagon of 1876, each piece inscribed, 'Presented to Glaisdale Church by the Corporation of the Trinity House in Hull in memory of Thomas Ferres their mutual benefactor.' There is also a brass almsdish given in 1876 by the Rev. Edwin Evers, vicar. (fn. 56)
The tradition that there was a mediaeval chapel at Glaisdale arose from a memorandum in the 18th-century parish register that the old chapel was supposed to have been consecrated in 1383, as appeared 'by the date upon a stone now fixed in the new chapel steps leading into the gallery' formerly over the south door in the old chapel. (fn. 57) The date on the stone, however, is 1585, (fn. 58) a date that agrees with the earliest documentary evidence. In 1542 John Nevill Lord Latimer (fn. 59) bequeathed 5 marks 'towards building the chapel of Glaisdale.' (fn. 60)
The living is a 'new vicarage,' and has always been in the gift of the Archbishop of York. (fn. 61)
Until the latter half of the 19th century half of all expenses payable out of the church rate in Danby was paid by Glaisdale township, and among other ecclesiastical restrictions which then became disused all marriages were solemnized in Danby Church. The rights of Danby respecting marriages were resigned about 1872. (fn. 62)
Charities for the poor.—The poor of Glaisdale receive annually a sum of £4 0s. 8d. derived from the charity of John Frankland and the charities known as the Annual Payments. In 1906 sums varying from 1s. to 5s. were distributed amongst twenty-four recipients. In 1890 William Wilson, by deed, gave £52 15s. 3d. consols (with the official trustees) for the poor, the dividends of which, amounting to £1 6s. 4d., were divided among ten recipients in sums varying from 2s. 6d. to 4s. 6d. The poor are also entitled to 6s. 8d. from Ralph Marshall's charity (see under Egton).
Charities for education.—The school founded by Samuel Prudom (1741) is endowed with an annuity of 10s. charged on the Laws Gate Farm, paid by Mr. F. W. Wood of the Laws House, Turvey, Beds.; £53 8s. 1d. consols, known as the Lord and Freeholders' Gift (1863), and £52 9s. 10d. consols, John Watson's gift. The sums of stock are held by the official trustees, and the dividends, amounting to £2 12s. 8d., are applied towards the expenses of the public elementary school.
The Lealholm Lane School is endowed with £154 9s. 10d. consols (including £48 6s. 5d. consols derived from the will of Robert Dale in 1855), producing £3 17s. a year. The stock is held by the official trustees, and the school and its subsidiary endowments are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 13 June 1876.
Nonconformist charities.—The Wesleyan Methodist chapel, schoolroom, caretaker's house and burialground in Glaisdale were acquired by deeds of 8 May 1821 and 13 July 1850, and are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated 11 July 1902, whereby the trust property is directed to be held by the trustees thereby appointed upon the trusts of a deed dated 3 July 1832, being the trust deed of the Wesleyan chapel at Skircoat in Halifax.
The Wesleyan chapel at Fryup in Glaisdale was founded by deed dated 24 November 1838. It is endowed with a rent-charge of £7 issuing out of property at Westerdale belonging to the Featherstone family—£6 is paid to the Danby Circuit Board and £1 to the chapel trust.