Parishes: Bowes

A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.

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, 'Parishes: Bowes', in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914) pp. 42-49. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Bowes", in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914) 42-49. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

. "Parishes: Bowes", A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914). 42-49. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

In this section


Bogis, Boues, Bouys (xii cent.); Bouas, Boghes (xiii cent.); Bouexe, Boughes, Bowes (xiv cent.).

This parish is composed of the township of Bowes, containing the hamlets of Bowes Cross, Stoney Keld (Staynhoukeld, xiii cent.), Gallow Hill (where the lords of Bowes had their gallows), (fn. 1) Low Field, Mellwaters, Sleightholme, Spital Houses, (fn. 2) Applegarth Forest (fn. 3) and part of Tan Hill and of the township of Gilmonby. In 1831 the township of Boldron, now in Startforth parish, also belonged to Bowes. (fn. 4) The present township contains 16,927 acres; there are 85 acres of arable land, bearing oats and barley, 6,619 acres of permanent grass, 97 acres of woods and plantations, (fn. 5) and 46 acres of land covered by water in the present parish. The subsoil is Yoredale Rocks, with tracts of Millstone Grit forming the fells to the south.

There were coal mines belonging to the Earl of Richmond at 'Tackan Tan' (Takomtanne) in 1387–8, when they were 'not accounted for this year because Lord de Clifford claims the soil unjustly.' (fn. 6) Coal was worked at Tan Hill in Bowes parish in Gale's time, and he suggests that this was the old Tackan Tan Mine. (fn. 7) The coal mine 'in Whitgyll in Esgyll within the lordship of Bowes' belonged to the owner of Richmond in 1436. (fn. 8) In 1670 Christopher Hamby, John Hamby, Ralph Clavering and Mary his wife, William Riddall and Margaret his wife and Matthew Middleton conveyed all minerals, lead and coal in Bowes, Sleightholme, Stonykeld and Spital to Sir John Lowther, bart., (fn. 9) with the profits of the toll of Bowes. These grantors were evidently the freeholders to whom the manor (q.v.) had been conveyed. Wingate Pulleine, who held Bowes Manor in trust for the freeholders, made a grant of the manor, all minerals, tolls, &c., to Peter Hammond and his heirs in 1724. (fn. 10) Coal is still worked at the Tan Hill Colliery, but in small quantities. All mines of lead in the parish of Bowes were in 1771 conveyed by Charles Christopher, Thomas Christopher and Elizabeth his wife and William Tatham and Jane his wife to George Hutton. (fn. 11) There was a 'new quarry' belonging to the Earl of Richmond at 'Erllestorage in the forest of Bowes' in 1436. (fn. 12)

Bowes Moor was inclosed by an award dated 17 October 1859 which is in the custody of the clerk of the peace. (fn. 13)

The parish is bounded on the north by Deepdale Beck, which rises in the high tract of ground between Yorkshire and Westmorland and runs east to join the Tees at the confines of Yorkshire and Durham. Before it reaches Lartington it passes beneath the viaduct (740 ft. long and 161 ft. high in the centre) of the Barnard Castle and South Durham railway, which cuts across the parish and has a station at Bowes; it then flows on in a wooded ravine through romantic scenery to the eastern border of the parish. South of Deepdale Beck on the Westmorland border 'rises that mountainous waste tract always exposed to wind or rain called . . . Stanemore, all the country around being a desart, except an inn to entertain travellers in the very middle of this stoney waste, and near it a fragment of a cross which we call Rerecrosse, and the Scots Reicrosse.' (fn. 14) This inn must have been the Old Spital Inn (where stood the hospital erected on Stainmore in the 12th century on the track of the Roman road), (fn. 15) for the 'Blue Bell,' 4 or 5 miles into Westmorland, would hardly be called near Rerecross, unless, indeed, as John Buncle suggests, Camden never visited Stainmore. (fn. 16) The Hospital of Rerecross, or 'Spital of Stainmore,' was given to Marrick Priory in 1171 by Ralph son of Ralph de Moulton; it continued in possession of the nuns till the dissolution of the monasteries, (fn. 17) and was granted in 1541 to Reginald Alderson and Christopher Maunsell. (fn. 18) The Old Spital does not seem to have been used as an inn in John Buncle's time. He wrote: 'Before we separated at the edge of Stanemore we stopped at the Bell to breakfast, which is a little lone house on a descent to a vast romantic glen, and all the public-house there is in this wild silent road till you come to Jack Railton the Quaker's house (fn. 19) at Bows.' (fn. 20) Lord Harley wrote a witty account of his journey over Stainmore in 1745, and mentions the Spittle Inn. (fn. 21) The New Spital Inn on Stainmoor was built in 1773 or 1774. (fn. 22) All this district was a favourite haunt of Allen-a-dale. (fn. 23) An Act of Parliament for making the road over Stainmore a turnpike was obtained in 1743. (fn. 24)

To the south of Stainmore is Mirk Fell (1,700 ft.), and from thence Mirk Fell Gill descends and, joined by other streams, becomes Frumming Beck, which in its turn unites with Dry Gill to form Sleightholme Beck. Sleightholme Beck for a short space coincides with the southern boundary of the parish which is, after the junction of the two streams, formed by the Greta. The famous River Greta rises in the bleak waste tract described above, gathers into its bed the numerous gills that descend from Bowes Moor and Stainmore, and flows between Bowes village and Gilmonby through miles of solitary moorland before it reaches the scenery described and painted by Scott and Turner.

The gray-roofed village of Bowes lies among the hills at a height of nearly 1,000 ft. above sea level. Its single street is built along the old Roman way from Greta Bridge by Brough northwards; and Bowes, it is thought, is the Roman station of 'Lavatrae.' On Stainmore, at the highest point of the Roman road, is a camp covering nearly 20 acres. (fn. 25) Bowes is not mentioned in Domesday Book, and the town seems to have been constructed in the 12th century. (fn. 26) The castle (q.v.), which commanded the pass into Westmorland, was in ruins in 1325, but a deponent at that date said he had seen a gate called Boghes in the castle, and that from that gate the town was named. (fn. 27) The decayed Norman keep, built within the Roman wall partly of the Roman materials, (fn. 28) looks down from the summit of a hill on the Greta. On the opposite bank, connected by a bridge, is Gilmonby, and Boldron lies to the north. Two miles above Bowes is God's Bridge. (fn. 29) From this point the Greta periodically disappears from view in hollows in the limestone.

Bowes has a dismal association with the cheap school system. Whether or not it was the 'Dotheboys Hall' of Nicholas Nickleby, Bowes Academy was certainly watched by Dickens as an example of the type, (fn. 30) and the place is said to have abounded in schools of this description, now all closed. (fn. 31) Another gloomy recollection of Bowes is preserved in the ballad called Bowes Tragedy; or, A Pattern of True Love, (fn. 32) whose author was master of the grammar school. It is founded on the following entry in the parish register: 'Roger Wrightson junior and Martha Railton, both of Bowes, buried in one grave. He died of a Fever, and upon tolling his passing Bell, she cry'd out "My heart is broke," and in a few hours expired, purely (or supposed, interlined in a different hand) thro' Love. March 15, 1714–15, aged about 20 years each.' (fn. 33) On this ballad Mallet founded his poem Edwin and Emma, (fn. 34) Dr. Dinsdale's edition of which contains valuable material for the history of Bowes. John Railton, brother of the heroine of the ballad, was landlord of the George Inn at Bowes. He 'is supposed to have ruined himself by improving the road over Stanmore. . . . The result, however, dis- appointed him; as formerly, travellers whose horses were exhausted by the bad state of the roads were glad to stop at the "George," the first inn after crossing Stanmore, but when the road was improved they preferred going on to Gretabridge.' (fn. 35) He sold the inn in 1760. (fn. 36) This house is still an inn, but already in 1810 the sign was the 'Unicorn,' (fn. 37) as it still is. There was a King's Head Inn at Bowes in 1735. (fn. 38)

At a court leet in 1440 presentment was made that an inn was maintained and beer brewed against the assize in Bowes, and that the villagers played football against the order of the late statute. (fn. 39) Michael Aislabie Denham, collector of folk-lore, and Thomas Kipling the divine, who edited the Codex Bezae, were both born at Bowes, (fn. 40) and the village, being on the usual route to the north, has associations with the rising of the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland under Elizabeth, (fn. 41) the Civil War, (fn. 42) and George III. (fn. 43)

A document of the 15th century gives the names Jenkynholme, Cravepark, Gilridding, Cougill, Shirefeld, and Ladielees. (fn. 44)

There is a Wesleyan chapel at Bowes, a Primitive Methodist at Boldron; and there are a grammar school (fn. 45) and a public elementary mixed school at Bowes.


Bowes from Startforth

BOWES CASTLE was built on the site of a Roman station, hence the local rhyme:

'When Julius Caesar was a king Bowes Castle was a famous thing.' (fn. 46)

It is not definitely known when the mediaeval castle was originally constructed, but its earthworks were probably thrown up late in the 11th or early in the 12th century. The masonry work was apparently begun in 1171, when the honour of Richmond, of which this castle was always a member, fell into the hands of Henry II by the death of Conan le Petit without heir male, and the kingdom was threatened by an invasion from Scotland. In this year the king expended £100, a large sum at that date, on the works, which were under the charge of Richard the Engineer, (fn. 47) probably the architect under whom the masonry part of the castle, including the existing keep, was laid out. In the following year the much larger sum of £224 was spent on the same works, which were then under the charge of Torphin son of Robert (of Manfield, q.v.), Wallef or Waldef de Barforth and Warin de Scargill, (fn. 48) and in 1173 another £100 was paid for works under the charge of the same persons. (fn. 49) The castle seems to have suffered some damage from the Scottish raids of 1173, as repairs were carried out in the following year, when money was spent on the chamber of the castle, in the repair of the gates, and in making bulwarks (propugnacula) of the tower in preparation for the coming of King William the Lion of Scotland, (fn. 50) who was aiding the sons of Henry II in their revolt.

The castle was placed in the custody of Robert de Vipont in 1203–4, (fn. 51) and King John stopped here on his way from Richmond to Carlisle in February 1206–7 (fn. 52) and again in 1212. (fn. 53) Eleanor his niece, sister of the unfortunate Prince Arthur, was removed from Brough Castle and detained here before her final removal to Corfe Castle. (fn. 54) After Vipont's death the custody was granted by Henry III in 1228 to William de Blockley and Gilbert de Kirketon during pleasure. (fn. 55) The castle remained in the hands of the Crown till it was granted with the manor in February 1232–3 to Peter de Braîne, Duke of Britanny, who had married the eldest daughter of Constance of Britanny by her third husband Guy de Thouars.

From 1314 to 1322 the north of England was devastated by Robert Bruce. In 1314 the Scots came over the Tees, ventured further south than Richmond, and, returning by Swaledale and Stainmore, led away most of the cattle. (fn. 56) A record of 1322 throws light on the disorder that Bruce, aided by the great English noble Lancaster, had produced in Yorkshire. Bowes Castle was besieged and taken by neighbouring lords, tenants of the Earl of Richmond, its constable expelled and prevented from levying the customary toll, rents and services. (fn. 57) In 1340–1 6 carucates of land in the parish were declared to lie uncultivated and destroyed by the Scots, (fn. 58) and the castle at this period was reported weak and worth nothing. (fn. 59) It is said to have been dismantled in the 17th century. (fn. 60)

The only part now remaining is the keep, which stands alone on a site broken by mounds and ditches in all directions. The lines of what may be the inner ward of the castle can be traced on the south of the keep, lying within a far larger inclosure, which has at its south-west angle a small circular mound. The keep, though now roofless and floorless, its outer walls dismantled and in part stripped of their facing, is a fine massive building, originally of three floors, probably of 1171–4, the date at which very considerable sums were expended on the castle, as already mentioned. The walls are 9 ft. 3 in. thick, faced where perfect with wrought and squared stones, some of the blocks in the lower courses of the wall being of quite unusual size for their date.

The ground story is a basement, and was only entered from a staircase at the south-east angle, having no external doorway. It was divided unequally into two parts, the larger room being on the east, and was covered by stone vaults inserted in the 13th or 14th century. The first floor was the principal one; on the east was its chief entrance, a wide round-headed archway to which an external stair, now entirely destroyed, must have led. The archway is near the north-east corner, the angle of the keep being occupied by a guard-room, and to the south of the entrance passage is a smaller room in the thickness of the wall, commanding the head of the stair. This floor was divided into two or perhaps three rooms, the larger room, as on the ground floor, being on the east. In its north and south walls are large roundheaded openings, apparently doorways, like that on the east. Their purpose is obscure in their present condition, as there is nothing to show to what they gave access. There is a like doorway on the west from the smaller room, and in the south-west are the garderobes. Except for these doorways the only piercings in the walls are narrow round-headed loops lighting the wall passages, and the elevations are very plain, having wide clasping buttresses at the angles and narrower buttresses in the middle of each side. The level of the third floor is marked at the outside by a moulded string, but above this the walls are ruined, and there is no evidence of the manner in which they were finished. The west wall has suffered more than the rest from stripping, having lost all its lower face and a good deal of the core of its walls.

Vipont. Gules six rings or.


BOWES is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but its early descent seems to have followed that of the castle of Richmond as parcel of that honour. The custody of the manor passed with that of the castle to Robert de Vipont (fn. 61) in 1203–4, and after his death his son John de Vipont was summoned in 1232–3 to show by what title he held the manor, as his father had the custody only. (fn. 62) It evidently returned to the Crown, as in the same year seisin of it was granted to Peter de Braîne, who had married Alice (fn. 63) daughter and co-heir of Constance daughter of Conan le Petit Earl of Richmond. (fn. 64) Early in the autumn of 1236 William Bishop-elect of Valence (fn. 65) was granted the manor of Bowes to be held at the will of the king, and he demised it to Ranulf son of Henry. (fn. 66) After the death of Ranulf, his widow, Alice de Staveley, entered upon a third of the manor as her dower, and Henry, Ranulf's son, took the remainder. (fn. 67) The king, however, in 1244 seized the two-thirds from Henry, Alice apparently retaining her dower for her life. (fn. 68) In 1321–2 Henry Fitz Hugh, descendant of Ranulf, unsuccessfully claimed the manor. (fn. 69)

Henry III in 1241 granted the castle and manor as parcels of the honour of Richmond to Peter of Savoy, his uncle. (fn. 70) The manor remained with the lords of Richmond till 1444, (fn. 71) when it was alienated to the Nevills. (fn. 72) It then followed the descent of the lordship of Middleham (fn. 73) (q.v.) until James I sold the reversion to the citizens of London, from whom various trustees in or about 1656 purchased the manor. (fn. 74) In about 1657 these trustees made conveyances to the tenants, (fn. 75) and the manor has ever since been held by trustees who represent the tenants. The most valuable of the manorial rights is that of shooting over the moors. The lands of St. Leonard's Hospital of York in Bowes are sometimes called a manor, and may have been the manor of the rectory. They followed the descent of the advowson (fn. 76) (q.v.).

The Earl of Richmond's courts of Boldron and Bowes are mentioned in 1280, (fn. 77) and at the same date he claimed gallows and custody of the prison at Bowes. (fn. 78) The customs of cowgeld and sheriffgeld (schirvegeld) belonged to the manor in 1280, (fn. 79) and still were paid in 1538–40. (fn. 80) Three 'gresmen' paid rent in 1280, (fn. 81) and fines called gressoms were paid in 1436–7. (fn. 82) Among the profits of the lordship in 1436–7 (fn. 83) were the works of carrying sixty cartloads of wood to the castle and cutting the hay of 4 acres of meadow and carrying it to the castle. As in other forest regions, (fn. 84) the tenants in early times paid a rent of hens for the right of collecting dry wood, but this custom had ceased in 1341. (fn. 85) There was a common oven and bakehouse belonging to the manor which are referred to in the 14th century. (fn. 86)

In 1244 a grant was made to Peter of Savoy and his heirs of a weekly market on Tuesdays at his manor of Bowes and a yearly fair there on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Martin. (fn. 87) John of Britanny, Earl of Richmond, and his heirs were granted in 1310 a weekly market on Friday at Bowes and a fair there yearly on the vigil and day of translation of St. Swithun and the two following days. (fn. 88) In 1344 a grant was made to John of Gaunt Earl of Richmond of a market every Tuesday and of two fairs every year to last eight days, viz. the eve and day of St. Barnabas the Apostle and two following days and the eve and feast of St. Giles the Abbot and two following days. (fn. 89)

The Earl of Richmond in 1280 had thorough toll (fn. 90) or market toll in Bowes. (fn. 91) All toll in this manor was granted with Middleham by Charles I to the citizens of London in 1628. (fn. 92) The earl had a water-mill here in 1280, (fn. 93) and in 1296 Alan de Ulveshou, whose family is often mentioned in Bowes, (fn. 94) held a mill here by the earl's charter. (fn. 95) According to the account of 1436–7 the lord of Richmond had the farm of a water-mill for corn here, and two mills called 'grynstones milnes.' (fn. 96) Free warren was attached to the manor in 1351. (fn. 97)

The family of Bowes held lands and the church of Bowes in the 12th or 13th century, and in 1473–4 the overlord was receiving the farm of 1 lb. of cummin of the free rent of William Bowes in Bowes, (fn. 98) which was still paid in 1538–40. (fn. 99)

Bowes. Ermine three long-bows gules.

BOLDRON (Bollerton, xiv cent.) was held in demesne by the Earl of Richmond in the 13th and early 14th centuries, (fn. 100) when it is coupled with Bowes as if parcel of it. The manor (now first socalled) was settled with Startforth (q.v.) by Edmund Charles in 1349, (fn. 101) and in 1531; when the next reference to it is found, it was in the possession of John Fulthorpe of Startforth. Boldron and Startforth descended to the Wandesfords of Kirklington, Christopher Wandesford, who died in 1590, being the last person said to hold a manor here. (fn. 102) The lands are now the property of a large number of freeholders.

The vill of GILMONBY (Gillemannebi, Gilmanby, xiii cent.) paid tallage in 1206, (fn. 103) when the honour of Richmond (q.v.) was in the hands of the Crown; but the abbey of St. Mary of York is said to have been already enfeoffed in it by Count Alan, (fn. 104) or, more probably, Earl Conan, (fn. 105) in exchange for 'the Earl's orchard' opposite Richmond Castle. (fn. 106)

Abbot S[avericus] granted Gilmonby to R[anulf de Glanville] the sheriff on condition that he maintained an inn there, fire, hay for horses and other conveniences to receive the abbot and his train. (fn. 107) Abbot Clement (who died in 1184) granted 6 oxgangs of land here to Warin de Scargill on the same condition. (fn. 108) Haswyn or Hasculf de Bowes and John his son, whose family were evidently under-tenants of the earl in Gilmonby before its grant to the abbey, quitclaimed half the vill to Abbot Clement and received half a carucate of land in return. (fn. 109) The under-tenants are not further mentioned, and the abbey seems to have held Gilmonby in demesne until its surrender on 29 November 1539. (fn. 110)

In 1546 the manor with all mills and manorial rights was granted to John Halliley, Elizabeth his wife, Robert his brother, and the heirs and assigns of John. (fn. 111) William Halliley died seised in or about 1604, leaving as heir his grandson William son of Thomas Halliley, a minor. (fn. 112) In 1614 the manor was regranted by the Crown to this William Halliley, called 'of Sherburn,' Yorks., his heirs and assigns, (fn. 113) and in the same year he and Joan his wife obtained licence to alienate it to Henry Newcombe and others. (fn. 114) Like Bowes and Boldron, Gilmonby seems now to have come into the hands of the freeholders. In 1728 Wingate Pulleine, who held Bowes in trust for the freeholders, held Gilmonby also, (fn. 115) and in 1740 a gamekeeper was appointed by 'the several joint lords of the manor of Gilmonby.' (fn. 116) Mr. Adam Dugdale of Gilmonby Hall is now the chief landowner.

With Gilmonby St. Mary's Abbey received 'as much common of pasture as the vill of Bowes has,' viz. 'from Thwatteyate to Gilmundby Selyhede and thence to Russel Spanom and thence to Routankeld in Hampstowe and thence ascending Williamgill to the summit of Mirkfell and thence to Takomtanne and thence to Langwithgilhede and thence to Moldhowe, thence to Blakrake in le Graygrete, thence to Rupecastell, thence to Sandewath on Staynemore.' (fn. 117)


The church of ST. GILES is cruciform in plan, and has a chancel 31 ft. by 17 ft. 6 in., nave 54 ft. by 22 ft., north and south transepts 14 ft. 6 in. square, and north and south porches. Parts of the walling of the nave and the two nave doorways date from about 1150, and the chancel, though probably preserving the width of a 12th-century chancel, seems to have been rebuilt and lengthened in the 13th century. The transepts were added in the 14th century and the south porch in the 15th. (fn. 118) The church has been nearly rebuilt in modern times (1865), and the west wall of the nave with the bell gable over is entirely new, as are all the windows except the east window of the chancel, which has three cinquefoiled lights with tracery of late 15th-century style, the glass line being nearly in the middle of the wall. The walling generally of the church is of small rubble with larger ashlar stones near the ground level.

The north and south windows of the chancel are single trefoiled lights, and between the second and third on the south side is a modern priest's door. In the south wall is a piscina, probably of 14th-century date, with a projecting half-round bowl. In the back of the recess has been set the head of a beautiful 13th or 14th-century cross from a coffin slab, of the same pattern as one at Wycliffe Church; a hole 4 in. deep has been sunk in its centre.

The chancel arch has jambs of two chamfered orders with half-octagonal shafts on the inner order and moulded bell capitals; the shafts have been cut away about 3 ft. above the floor in each jamb. In the southern jamb the abacus ends in a trefoiled leaf of 13th-century style.

The transept arches are pointed, each of two chamfered orders, which die on to the square jambs of the openings; both openings are set as far west as the transepts will allow, leaving 3 ft. of wall in the eastern responds.

In the north transept is a plain piscina.

The windows of the nave and transepts, like those of the chancel, are single trefoiled lights, except that at the north-east of the nave, which is a two-light window, close to the north transept arch. The north doorway is of a single chamfered order in its jambs and semicircular arch, with a string at the springing moulded beneath; the label is square above and chamfered below. The north porch is modern. The south doorway has a plain chamfered label and strings, and a human head as a stop to the label on the west. The 15th-century south porch has its outer doorway blocked; its jambs and arch have a wide hollow with a double ogee and a moulded label. In the gable over the doorway is a rood with our Lady and St. John under a traceried and gabled canopy, and part of the gable cross above is old. The west window of the nave is of three lights with a traceried head; over it in the west gable are two small bells hung in the arched openings of a modern bellcote.

In the church are two fonts; the one in use has a round 12th-century bowl, altered and adapted to its present stem; round the upper edge is a band of incised zigzag ornament, and at the base are capitals fitting the engaged shafts of the stem. They are bell-shaped with rolls above and below. The stem, which has engaged shafts at the four angles and three hollows on each face, seems to belong to the second font, which now consists of a bowl only, set on a 17th-century gravestone, which does duty for a stem. The bowl is 13th-century work, with two bands of leaf-work like the Romaldkirk font. In the south transept is a Roman altar with an inscription showing that it has been used as a gravestone in modern times, and next it is part of an inscribed Roman stone, which has in later days served as a millstone. A stone coffin by it is probably mediaeval; it was found in the churchyard in 1865. In the nave near the north door is a blue coffin slab carved with a cross having a small round floreated head, and a stepped base resting on a dog; to the left of the cross is a sword. In the south transept is another coffin slab, and the upper half of a third in the churchyard near the north door; all are of 14th-century date. In the churchyard near the south transept is a large stone slab, which has two rectangular sinkings in it for the head and tail stones—its date is impossible to fix; and in the south transept gable is a small marble coffin lid, probably 15th-century work. Two cross slab heads have been built into the north transept gable, one having a strong likeness to that in the back of the piscina recess in the chancel.

There are two bells, the smaller, of 1664, inscribed 'Iesvs be ovr speed,' each word being reversed; the founder's mark is a crown. The larger bell was cast in 1828.

The plate consists of a silver communion cup and a handled paten of 1713, presented in 1832, both of silver, and a tankard and large flat dish, both of pewter.

The registers begin in 1670.


The church of BOWES was granted with half a carucate of land in Bowes to the Hospital of St. Peter (afterwards called St. Leonard's Hospital) at York by Stephen Count of Britanny, who died in 1137, (fn. 119) and Alan his son, and confirmed to that house by Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury (fn. 120) (1139–62). (fn. 121) At the close of the 12th century the church was within the castle wall, (fn. 122) held as a free chapel by the Crown as the owner of the castle. Like other royal chapels, it was not subject to the visitation of the ordinary. (fn. 123) By 1272 the church had been again conveyed to St. Leonard's Hospital. (fn. 124) Possibly the Crown had granted it to the family of Bowes, who enfeoffed the hospital, for in 1294 Edward I confirmed to St. Leonard's a charter of John son of Hasculf de Bowes granting them the church and half a carucate of land, and another half-carucate of land and the messuages where he dwelt in Bowes as his ancestors had given them. (fn. 125) In 1293 the hospital had a grant of free warren (fn. 126) and continued in possession of the lands and advowson (fn. 127) until the surrender of their house in December 1539. (fn. 128) On 9 July 1545 the rectory, church and advowson of the vicarage, now first mentioned, were granted with the site of the manor, &c., to Thomas Dalston of Carlisle and Eleanor his wife and the heirs and assigns of Thomas. (fn. 129) In 1580 John Dalston granted the rectory to John his son and died the same year. (fn. 130) John Dalston and Frances his wife conveyed the site of the manor, the rectory, all tithes and the advowson of the vicarage to Philip Brunskell of Barnard Castle in 1594. (fn. 131) Philip Brunskell died seised in 1634 (fn. 132) of the advowson, the site of the manor and a capital messuage here called Grange Hall, bought from Robert Coates and Katharine his wife; he was succeeded by Reginald his son, (fn. 133) who in 1641 left a son and heir Philip. (fn. 134) Philip Brunskell and his son Philip (fn. 135) made a settlement of the rectory and advowson in 1671. (fn. 136) Philip the younger died in 1675, his son Thomas in 1743 and a fourth Philip, son of Thomas, in 1794 (fn. 137); this last Philip married Mary Whytell of Gilmonby and left co-heirs. Anne, the eldest, married Cornelius Harrison of Stubb House, Durham, and had this advowson. Her son Thomas Harrison died in 1842, leaving it to Philip Holmes Stanton, a descendant of Margaret the other Brunskell heiress, whose grandson Mr. John Harrison Stanton is now patron and lay rector. (fn. 138)

In 1404 Thomas Woodcock of York left a bequest for a chaplain to celebrate at the altar of St. Mary in the parish church of Bowes for one year for his soul and that of Marion his wife. (fn. 139)

There was a chapel attached to the hospital of Rerecross on Stainmoor, belonging to the mother church of Bowes. (fn. 140)


Joseph Kipling, by will dated 18 January 1762, charged his land known as Mirekeld with a rent-charge of £4, whereof £2 was to be paid yearly to the Dissenting meeting-house then lately erected at Cotherstone in the parish of Romaldkirk and £2 a year to poor within the township of Bowes. The rent-charge is paid by Mr. Ralph T. Scott and the £2 for the poor is distributed in sums of 5s. to each of eight recipients.

The Free School was founded by will of William Hutchinson dated 30 September 1693, and exhibitions by Rev. Charles Parkin, will 1789.

The Bowes and Romaldkirk Charity is endowed with 500 acres or thereabouts, producing about £500 a year, three-sixths of which are applicable for the support of the school. The official trustees also hold a sum of £813 12s. 3d. consols, the dividends of which are applicable in exhibitions (see article on Yorkshire Schools). (fn. 141)

J. T. Roper, by will proved in 1865, bequeathed £500 consols, the dividends to be applied for church purposes.

Abraham Hilton, by deed dated 13 March 1878, conveyed to trustees 17 a. 2 r. 15 p., the rents thereof to be applied, under the title of Bowes Cross Charity, for the benefit of the parishes of Bowes, Boldron, Rokeby, Brignall, Barningham and the township of Cotherstone in Romaldkirk. The charity is administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 1881. The rents, amounting to £28, are applied in pensions of £6 and £3 to persons selected from these parishes.

The John Bousfield Charity, founded by will proved 1893, consists of £550 6s. 4d. consols, held by the official trustees, arising under a will proved in 1893. The dividends, amounting to £13 15s., are under the trusts applied in pensions to four poor persons.

Township of Boldron.—This township is entitled to participate in the Bowes Cross Charity, founded in 1878 by Abraham Hilton.

By a deed of 31 December 1867 a site at Boldron village green and building thereon was conveyed by the trustees for the freeholders of the manor of Bowes upon trust that it should be used for the education of children belonging to the Primitive Methodist Connexion. The school is and always has been used as a registered place of religious worship.

The Cotherstone and Three Chimneys Charity.— This parish is entitled to benefit by pensions from this charity, founded by Abraham Hilton by deed poll dated 2 May 1898 (see under Romaldkirk).


  • 1. See below.
  • 2. See below.
  • 3. See Romaldkirk.
  • 4. Pop. Ret. (1831).
  • 5. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 6. Gale, Reg. Hon. de Richmond, 100.
  • 7. Ibid. App. 255.
  • 8. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1085, no. 18.
  • 9. Feet of F. Yorks. Mich. 22 Chas. II.
  • 10. Ibid. Trin. 10 Geo. I.
  • 11. Ibid. East. 12 Geo. III.
  • 12. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1085, no. 18. As to forest of Bowes, see ref. at Arkengarthdale.
  • 13. Blue Bk. Incl. Awards, 193.
  • 14. Camden, Brit. (ed. Gough 1789), iii, 26.
  • 15. Dugdale, Mon. iv, 246.
  • 16. Life of John Buncle (1756), i, 99, 280; ii, 100 et seq.
  • 17. Dugdale, Mon. iv, 244, 246–7; see also Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 237.
  • 18. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, 727.
  • 19. The 'George,' now the 'Unicorn.' See below.
  • 20. Quoted by Dr. Dinsdale, Edwin and Emma (1849), 95.
  • 21. Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), vi, 133.
  • 22. Dinsdale, loc. cit. Both these Spittle Inns are now farms.
  • 23. Scott, Rokeby, Canto iii, Stanza xxx, Song 'Allen-a-dale.'
  • 24. Local and Personal Act, 16 Geo. II, cap. iii.
  • 25. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 17.
  • 26. Pipe R. 34 Hen. II, m. 7. Expenses for completing the work of the town of Bowes.
  • 27. Cott. MS. Nero, D iii, fol. 21.
  • 28. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 12.
  • 29. Sometimes called Thrush Bridge in 1725.
  • 30. Fletcher, Picturesque Hist. of Yorks. 223. Letter with notes by Dickens quoted.
  • 31. Murray, Yorks. Handbook, 375.
  • 32. Ingledew, Ballads and Songs of Yorks. 145.
  • 33. Ibid. 145 n., 147.
  • 34. Ibid. 145 n.
  • 35. Edwin and Emma (1849), 53.
  • 36. Ibid. Deed printed.
  • 37. Ibid.; Cary, New Itinerary (ed. 1810).
  • 38. Edwin and Emma (1849), 63.
  • 39. Harl. Roll, G. 23.
  • 40. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 41. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1566–79, p. 134.
  • 42. Ibid. 1644–5, p. 512.
  • 43. Speight, Romantic Richmondshire, 179.
  • 44. Mins. Accts. (Duchy of Lanc.), bdle. 648, no. 10485.
  • 45. See below.
  • 46. Longstaffe, Richmondshire, 139.
  • 47. Pipe R. 17 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 63.
  • 48. Pipe R. 18 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 55.
  • 49. Ibid. 19 Hen. II, 2.
  • 50. Ibid. 20 Hen. II, 49.
  • 51. Chart. R. 5 John, m. 9.
  • 52. Rot. Lit. Pat. (Rec. Com.), i, 59b.
  • 53. Yorks. Arch. Journ. vii, 80–5.
  • 54. Lanercost (Bannatyne Cl.), 12.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 177. The constable is mentioned in this grant.
  • 56. Chron. de Lanercost (Bannatyne Club), 229.
  • 57. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, p. 157.
  • 58. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 234.
  • 59. Chan. Inq. p.m. 15 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 43.
  • 60. Yorks. Arch. Journ. vii, 80–5.
  • 61. Chart. R. 5 John, m. 9.
  • 62. Cur. Reg. R. 111, m. 16 d.
  • 63. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, vi, 349.
  • 64. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, p. 10.
  • 65. William of Savoy. He was never consecrated, and was translated in 1238 to Liège (Gams, Series Episcop. 648).
  • 66. Cal. Close, 1234–7, p. 310; Cur. Reg. R. 132, m. 7; see Kirkby Ravensworth.
  • 67. Ibid.; Maitland, Bracton's Note Bk. iii. 643.
  • 68. Cur. Reg. R. 132, m. 7.
  • 69. De Banco R. 240, m. 371.
  • 70. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 259.
  • 71. Cal. Pat. 1258–66, p. 301; 1396–9, p. 13.
  • 72. See Arkengarthdale.
  • 73. L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, g. 1026 (21).
  • 74. Exch. K. R. Bills and Answers, Chas. II, no. 472.
  • 75. Ibid.
  • 76. Cott. MS. Nero D. iii, fol. 37 d.; G.E.C. Peerage, vi, 344.
  • 77. Cal. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, 213.
  • 78. Gale, op. cit. 89.
  • 79. Cal. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, 213.
  • 80. Mins. Accts. (Yorks.), 30 Hen. VIII.
  • 81. Cal. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, 213.
  • 82. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1085, no. 18.
  • 83. Ibid.
  • 84. See Pickering.
  • 85. Whitaker, Richmondshire, i, 58 (Inq. from Dods. MSS.).
  • 86. Ibid.; Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1085, no. 18; Pat. 36 Eliz. pt. xvii, m. 15; Exch. Dep. Mich. 20 Jas. I, no. 12.
  • 87. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 281.
  • 88. Chart. R. 3 Edw. II, m. 1.
  • 89. Ibid. 18 Edw. III, m. 4, no. 13.
  • 90. Gale, op. cit. 89.
  • 91. Cal. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, 213.
  • 92. Pat. 4 Chas. I, pt. xxxiii, roll B.
  • 93. Cal. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, 213.
  • 94. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 164; Lay Subs. R. bdle. 211, no. 6, 7a.
  • 95. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 40.
  • 96. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1085, no. 18.
  • 97. Cal. Pat. 1350–4, pp. 166, 288.
  • 98. Mins. Accts. Duchy of Lanc. bdle. 648, no. 10485.
  • 99. Ibid. Yorks. 30 & 31 Hen. VIII, no. 1.
  • 100. Cal. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, 213, 218, 343; Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 164, 333; Chan. Inq. p.m. 15 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 43.
  • 101. Feet of F. Yorks. 23 Edw. III, no. 19.
  • 102. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cclxiii, 15.
  • 103. Pipe R. 8 John, m. 20.
  • 104. Gale, op. cit. 100.
  • 105. Harl. MS. 236, fol. 36 d. (Chartul. of St. Mary's, York. It is a 12th-cent., whereas the passage in the Register is a 14th-cent., record).
  • 106. Gale, op. cit. 100.
  • 107. Harl. MS. 236, fol. 36 d.; Dugdale, Mon. iii, 569.
  • 108. Harl. MS. 236, fol. 36 d.
  • 109. Gale, op. cit. 100.
  • 110. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 180; Cal. Pat. 1396–9, p. 243; Mins. Accts. 31 & 32 Hen. VIII, no. 175; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 5.
  • 111. Pat. 37 Hen. VIII, pt. xi, m. 12.
  • 112. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxiii.
  • 113. Pat. 11 Jas. I, pt. xxix, m. 1. The reason for this regrant is not stated.
  • 114. Pat. 12 Jas. I, pt. xxxv, m. 11.
  • 115. Quarter Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), viii, 182.
  • 116. Ibid. 233. In a deed of 1786 Charles Lowe Whytell and Elizabeth his wife conveyed the manor to Joseph Lyon (Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 26 Geo. III).
  • 117. Gale, op. cit. 100.
  • 118. Thomas Woodcock in his will in 1404 ordered that the porch should be built and repaired at his expense (Test. Ebor. [Surt. Soc.], i, 335; cf. Anct. D. [P.R.O.], B 435–6).
  • 119. G.E.C. Peerage, vi, 344.
  • 120. Cott. MS. Nero D iii, fol. 37 d.
  • 121. Stubbs, Reg. Sacr. Angl. 221.
  • 122. Cott. MS. Nero D iii, fol. 5. A jury of 1325 said that the site of the castle and the great stones that were the foundation of its wall appeared outside the churchyard (ibid. fols. 19 d.-20 d.). Thus by 1325 the church was no longer within the wall.
  • 123. Ibid. fols. 17 d., 20, 21 d.
  • 124. Ibid. fol. 17 d.
  • 125. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 449.
  • 126. Ibid. 435.
  • 127. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 306b; Chan. Inq. p.m. 38 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 57.
  • 128. Mins. Accts. (Yorks.), 33 & 34 Hen. VIII, 196.
  • 129. Pat. 37 Hen. VIII, pt. xv, m. 2.
  • 130. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cxcii, 6.
  • 131. Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), iii, 4.
  • 132. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxi, 111.
  • 133. Fine R. 10 Chas. I, pt. ii, no. 30; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxxiii, 94.
  • 134. Ibid. 17 Chas. I, pt. iii, no. 7.
  • 135. Surtees, Dur. iv, 93.
  • 136. Recov. R. Mich. 23 Chas. II, R. 196.
  • 137. Surtees, Dur. iv, 93.
  • 138. Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), i, 335.
  • 139. This descent is taken from a pedigree in the above quoted edition of Mallet's Ballads and Songs, 48–9, and from additional information kindly given by Rev. E. S. Frost, formerly vicar of Bowes.
  • 140. MSS. of Mr. F. Bacon Frank, xxiii, K 23, fol. 111.
  • 141. V.C.H. Yorks. i, 487.