Wensleydale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical and geographical information

 

 

 

  

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Introduction

 

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This webpage about the Wensleydale has the following section headings:

 

 

The Farndales of Wensleydale

 

The Wensleydale Line ae the descendants of Alfred Farndale (FAR00683), 1897 to 1987

 

Gale Bank Farm was farmed by Alfred Farndale (FAR00683),and his son Geoff (FAR00922).

 

 

Wensleydale

 

Wensleydale is the dale  of the River Ure within the Yorkshire Dales.

 

Wensleydale is one of only a few Yorkshire Dales not currently named after its principal river, but the older name, Yoredale, can still be seen on some maps and as the Yoredale Series of geological strata. The dale takes its name from the village of Wensley, once the market town for the dale. Wensley derives from Woden's ley, or meadow of the pagan god Woden.

The valley is famous for its cheese, with the main commercial production at Hawes. Most of the dale is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Part of lower Wensleydale, below East Witton, is within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

 

The Metcalfes

 

Wensleydale was the home of one of Yorkshire's most famous clans, the Metcalfes, after they emigrated from Dentdale. The Metcalfe Society hold records dating back to Metcalfes living in the area during the 14th century. They were one of the most prominent families in Yorkshire for more than five centuries. Sir James Metcalfe (13891472), who was born and lived in Wensleydale, was a captain in the army which fought with King Henry V in the battle of Agincourt in 1415. A fortified manor, Nappa Hall near Askrigg was built by his son Sir Thomas Metcalfe. Metcalfe is still one of the most common surnames in Yorkshire.

 

Bolton Castle

 

Bolton Castle in the village of Castle Bolton is a notable local historic site. Building of the structure was begun by Richard le Scrope, Lord Treasurer and Lord Chancellor to Richard II, in 1378. The building was finally completed in c.1399; the total cost was approximately 18,000 marks. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned there for six months, ending in January 1569, under head keeper Sir Francis Knollys, housed in the apartment of Henry Scrope; she was allowed a retinue of 51, with 30 housed in the castle. The story goes that she once escaped and made her way towards Leyburn but was captured at a spot on "The Shawl" called "Queen's Gap".

 

Wensley

 

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The Victoria County History Yorkshire, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 Parishes: Wensley, 1914: This parish contains the townships of Castle Bolton, Leyburn, Preston-under-Scar, Redmire and Wensley, and covers some 8 miles of the northern slope of Wensleydale, and certain lands of the township of Wensley on the south side of the river. Its level ranges between 1,800 ft. in the north and about 350 ft. near the river. Its area is about 14,445 acres, over 7,000 of these being permanent grass, nearly 825 wood and barely 273 arable land. The chief crop is hay. A large portion of the parish consists of high moorland. The subsoil is limestone and the soil various. Coal and lead were worked here in the 16th and 17th centuries, and old smelting-mills, quarries and limekilns abound; freestone and lime are still worked. Stations at Leyburn, Wensley and Redmire, on the Northallerton and Hawes branch of the North Eastern railway, were opened in 1877.

Wensley has been described as the prettiest village in Wensleydale. It lies on the Ure, at the point where it is crossed by a 15th-century bridge, probably built with 40 left by Richard first Lord Scrope for the repair of an earlier bridge. It was repaired in the 17th century and was widened about 1812. The road from the bridge runs through the village green, with its groups of picturesque cottages. This probably represents a former market-place, for in 1202 Hugh Malebiche gave King John a palfrey for having a market here on Thursdays. James de Wensley in 1307 obtained a market on Wednesdays and an annual fair on the eve, feast and morrow of the Holy Trinity, this grant being renewed in 1318. Leland described Wensley as a 'litle, poore market.' Both fair and market have been long disused. The church is at the south end of the green and there is an elementary school in the village. On the west side of the green is Wensley Hall, the residence of the Hon. William G. A. Orde-Powlett, M.P., J.P.; Wensley House, the residence of Mr. E. T. Umpleby, Lord Bolton's agent, is in Bolton Park. Between them and faced by a large elm is the entrance to Bolton Park, whence an avenue leads to Bolton Hall, the seat of Lord Bolton. The house has projecting wings on the east and west, with steps leading to the main entrance in the centre. Though the park is mentioned in 1630, the building originally dated from about 1655. It was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1902 and has since then been rebuilt. Several highly decorated lead water-pipes from the previous building dated 1678 are fixed on the present walls. A mill at Wensley is mentioned in 1203 and 1672.

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