Aberford Yorkshire Family History Guide

Aberford is an Ancient Parish in the West Riding of the county of Yorkshire.

Alternative names: Aberforth, Abberford

Other places in the parish include: Parlington, Sturton Grange, and Sturton.

Parish church: St. Richard, St Ricarius

Parish registers begin: 1540

Nonconformists include: Roman Catholic and Wesleyan Methodist.

Fairs for cattle, sheep, and pedlary, are held here on the last Mondays in April and May, the first Monday in October, Monday after the 18th of October, and Monday after the 2d of November.

Manufacturing: Cordage, baskets, ironwork and pins.

Parishes adjacent to Aberford

Historical Descriptions of Aberford

Beeton’s British Gazetteer 1870

Photo of St Ricarius Church, Aberford. View from graveyard. by Chemical Engineer, some rights reserved.

Aberford, a market town and parish of England, in the W. Riding of Yorkshire, 15 miles S.W. from York. Post town, South Milford. It has a money 0rd. off. Manf. Cordage, baskets, and ironwork. Pop. 1009.

Source: Beeton’s British Gazetteer 1870. Ward, Lock & Tyler, Paternoster Row, London.

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Abberford, 186 miles N.W. by N. London. P. 1071
Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1845

Aberford (St. Richard), a parish (formerly a market-town), in the Lower division of the wapentake of Skyrack, W. riding of York, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Wetherby, and 186¾ (N. N. W.) from London, on the road to Carlisle; comprising the townships of Aberford, Parlington, and Sturton-Grange, and containing 1071 inhabitants, of whom 782 are in the townships of Aberford. The town, which is situated in the parishes of Aberford and Sherburn, is built on the gentle acclivity of a rock of limestone, near the small river Cock, a stream abounding with trout and eels, over which is an excellent stone bridge. It consists principally of one long street : the houses are in general of stone, and many of them are handsome ; the air is pure and salubrious, and the environs are thickly studded with elegant villas.

The parish comprises 3820 acres of fertile land; there are extensive strata of limestone, and a productive coal-mine, from which a railway has been laid down to a depot in the town, and an extensive trade is carried on in that article. The Leeds and Selby railway passes within three miles. The market, which was on Wednesday, has been discontinued; but a customary market is held on Friday, and fairs take place on the last Monday in April and May, the first Monday in October, the first Monday after the 18th of that month, and the first Monday after the 2nd of November. The magistrates hold a petty-session for the division every Thursday, and a court of requests for the recovery of small debts was established by act of parliament in 1839; the town has also lately been made a polling-place for the West Riding. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £6. 1. 8., and in, the patronage of Oriel College, Oxford, to which establishment, and the Misses Gascoigne, the impropriation belongs ; net income, £305. The church is an ancient structure, in the early, decorated, and later styles of English architecture. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans ; and a national school has been built on the site of one formerly endowed, by Lady Elizabeth Hastings, with £10 per annum. At the distance of a mile north of Aberford are vestiges of Castle-Cary, an ancient Norman fortification. The battle of Towton, which decided the long continued war between the Houses of York and Lancaster, took place within two miles of the town. The Roman road is the parish boundary south of the bridge, and cuts off a small district on the north, called Greystone Field. The Rev. Mr. Waters, a former incumbent, died at the advanced age of 114 years.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1840

Aberford Methodist Church, Main Street South, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3DA. now sold for dwellings by Chemical Engineer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Aberford, a parish in the lower division of the wapentake of Skyrack, west riding of Yorkshire; comprising the greater part of the township of Aberford, and the townships of Parlington and Sturton-grange. Living, a discharged vicarage, formerly in the archd. and dio. of York, now in the archd. of Craven and dio. of Ripon; rated at £6 1s. 8d.; gross income, £305; and in the patronage of Oriel college, Oxford. Two portions of the township of Aberford are detached from the parish: one being in the liberty of St Peter, York, and the other in the parish of Sherburn. The village consists of a long straggling street, built on a gentle acclivity of limestone rock, near the small river Cock, on the Great North road, about 3 miles north of the Leeds and Selby railroad, 5½ miles south-west from Tadcaster, and 186 north-north west from London. The church is an ancient structure of mixed architecture. There is a Catholic chapel here, and also a Methodist chapel. In 1738, Lady Elizabeth Hastings founded a small charity school here, which has been converted into a National one on Bell’s plan. In the days of Camden this town was celebrated for the manufacture of pins; but this branch of trade no longer exists. Fairs for cattle, sheep, and pedlary, are held here on the last Mondays in April and May, the first Monday in October, Monday after the 18th of October, and Monday after the 2d of November. The town is under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates; and petty sessions for the lower division of the wapentake of Skyrack, and the upper division of Barkstone Ash, are held here. Pop. of the parish, in 1801, 894; in 1831,925. Houses 194. Acres 3820. A. P. £6,456. Pop. of the township, in 1801, 650; in 1831, 644. Houses 138. Acres 1,480. A. P. £1,516. Poor rates, in 1837, £159 This parish is in the line of the Roman road; and about a mile to the north are the remains of Castle-Cary, an ancient Norman fortification. Coal and lime, and a fine white building-stone, are plentiful here. — In the neighbourhood is Huddlestone hall, a building of great antiquity.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.

The New Yorkshire Gazetteer 1828

Abberford, W. R. (5) a parish, township, and market-town, in the wapentake of Skyrack, 5½ miles S.W. from Tadcaster, 16 S.W. from York, 186, from London; inhabitants, 579; a vicarage, value 6l. 1s. 8d.; patron, Oriel College, Oxford. Corn market, Monday; market, Wednesday, but discontinued; fairs, the last Mondays in April and May, first Monday in October, first Monday after October 18, first Monday after November 1. Part of the township is in the adjoining parish of Sherburn. On the site of the school endowed by lady Elizabeth Hastings, in 1758, a national school, on the Madras system, has been erected. Abberford is pleasantly situated on a lime stone soil, near the small river Cock, and on the line of the ancient high Roman road. It is a long straggling town; in Camden’s time it was noted for its manufacture of pins, “in great request among the ladies,” which has long since fallen to decay. A mile north, are the vestiges of an ancient fortification, called Castle Cary, supposed to be of Norman erection; and at no great distance is Becca Hall, the seat of W. Markham, Esq.; near which is a farm-house, once an inn, called the Black Horse, noticed by topographers on the account that one Nevison, a notorious highwayman, in the reign of Charles II., here baited his mare, that carried him from London to York between sun-rise and sun-set, which feat procured him an acquittal, when tried for the robbery which he had committed early in the morning of that extraordinary day, by enabling him to plead successfully an alibi. The parish of Abberford contains the townships of Parlington and Sturton Grange. Entire population, 900.

Source: The New Yorkshire Gazetteer or Topographical Dictionary; Stephen Reynolds Clarke; London 1828

A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire 1822

The White Swan public house at Aberford, West Yorksire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Abberford, a market-town, in the parishes of Abberford and Sherburn, wapentakes of Skirack, (lower division) and Barkston-Ash, liberties of Pontefract and St. Peter; 6 miles from Tadcaster, 8 from Wetherby, 9 from Ferrybridge, 11 from Leeds and Pontefract, 14 from Selby, 16 from York, 186 from London. – Market, Wednesday. – Fairs, last Mondays in April and May, first Monday in October, first Monday after St. Luke, first Monday after All Saints, for horses, horned cattle, sheep, &c.; if either of the two last St. days fall on a Monday, the Fair will be held on that day. – Principal Inn, the Swan. – Pop. Lotherton with Abberford, 427 – Abberford, 579 total, 1,006.

The Church is a rectory, dedicated to St. Richard, in the deanery of the Ainsty, value 6l. 1s.8d. Patron Oriel College, Oxford. Abberford is thus singularly situated with respect to the townships, viz. the west-side of the town, from the river Cock, (south-end) is Abberford-cum-Parlington; the east-side of the same end, is Lotherton-cum-Abberford; and all north of the river is Abberford alone.

Abberford is situated on the great north road, upon the small river Cock, a river rendered famous in history by the battle of Towton, in 1461, a village a few miles lower down; the market is almost discontinued. At the north end of the town is the vestige of a Roman station, to which place the Roman road from Castleford runs. Abberford had once a good trade for pins, but has long since fallen to decay. On the site of the School, endowed by Lady Betty Hastings, in 1738, is built a National School, conducted on the plan of Dr. Bell. About half a mile north from Abberford, is a farm house, formerly a public house, and known by the name of the Black Horse, which is said to have been the occasioned retreat of the notorious Nevison, and at which house he baited his favourite mare, on his expeditious journey from London to York. This mare was afterwards given to the Gascoignes of Parlington.

Drunken Barnaby seems to have visited this place, for thus he sings :-

“Veni Aberford, ubi notum
Quod aciculis emunt potum
Pauperes sunt et indigentes
Multum tamen sitientes;
Parum habent, nec habentur
Ulla, quae non tenet venter.”

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire By Thomas Langdale. Second Edition. Printed and Sold by J. Langdale; and sold by T. Langdale, Ripon. 1822.

A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom 1808

Abberford, a parish and market-town in Skyrack wapentake, west riding of Yorkshire, 8 miles from Leeds, and 186 from London; containing 123 houses and 650 inhabitants; a vicarage, value 6l. 6s. 8d. in the patronage of Oriel college, Oxford. The town is a straggling place, seated on the river Cook, where the Roman highway crossed. Here are the ruins of an ancient castle, built soon after the conquest. The chief trade is in pins. It has a tolerable market on Wednesdays.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom. Benjamin Pitts Capper. 1808.

Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales 1807

Abberford, or Aberford, (Yorks. W. R ) a small town, situated on the ancient Roman causeway, extending one mile from N.to S. on the direct road from London to Edinburgh. It consists of one entire street, and the houses are all built of Stone, with which the neighbourhood abounds. The church is a neat edifice, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, and a vicarage of considerable value, in the gift of Oriel college, Oxford. There are also, in the township of Lotherton, a chapel of ease, where divine service is performed monthly; a Roman-catholic chapel, and a good house adjoining, for the residence of the priest. A charity-school was founded here more than a century ago, for the education of 16 boys and 16 girls; and the endowment has been extended by the liberal gratuities of Lady Betty Hastings, and her sister, Lady Margaret Ingham. Here is likewise an academy for young gentlemen, kept by Mr. Sanderson, who has generally from 90 to 100 pupils under his tuition. The small river Cock, over which is a very good bridge, runs through the centre of the town in an easterly direction, and contains some excellent trout, eel, and minnow; this stream takes its rise a few miles west of Abberford, and, after performing a serpentine course from thence of 6 or 7 miles, it falls into the river wharf near Tadcaster.

Abberford is remarkable for the salubrity of its air, and the peculiarity of its situation; since a considerable part of the town lies in the parish of Sherburn, at a distance of 5 miles from its parish church: it is also situated in 2 distinct wapentakes, and is under the jurisdiction of 3 constablewicks. An old castle called Castle Cary, formerly stood here, but none of its vestiges are now remaining: near its site, however, is an elegant house erected by J. Roper, esq. The Roman causeway is distinguishable for several miles toward Castleford, as well as in the opposite direction, over part of Bramham Moor. Near the road on this part of the moor, stands the well-known house called the Black Horse, from its having formerly been a public-house, and the favourite resort of Nevison, the celebrated highwayman. Some of the oldest inhabitants assert, that Nevison was conveyed to this house, on his journey to York castle, after he was taken at Sandal Three Houses, near Wakefield; and that he expected a rescue at this place, but was disappointed. It is also said, that his famous mare was conveyed hence to Partington Hall, to the ancestors of Sir T. Gascoigne, bart. but that she pined away, and died soon afterward.

Abberford was formerly celebrated for its manufacture of pins, which continued till about the year 1790. The wire-drawing business has been carried on more recently, with some success. In the town and vicinity reside many people of rank and fashion; and the place has been frequented for a long series of years by a pack of fox-hounds, now kept at Bramham Park, by J. Lane Fox, esq. The neighbourhood affords abundance of lime; and Sir T. Gascoigne’s coal mines have long supplied an extensive range of country with that necessary article. Abberford is 7 miles S. of Wetherby, and 188 NNW. of London. The population, according to the last returns, was estimated at 1000, without including any part of the parish except the town.

Fairs &c. Here are 5 annual fairs, viz. the last Mon. in April and May; the first Mon. in Oct. and do. after St.Luke and All Souls; but if St. Luke or All Souls happen on a Mond. the fair is held on that day. A market was formerly held on Wed. but at present this is disused.

Post. The post arrives and goes out daily.

Inns. The principal inn is the Swan; though there are several other good public accommodations, particularly the Fox, and the Fox and Hounds.

Coaches. There are 3 coaches, the Carlisle and Glasgow mail, the Royal Charlotte, and the Carlisle heavy coach: the two former pass to and from London every day, and the latter every other day.

Gentlemen Seats. Becca Lodge, (seat of W. Markham.esq.) dist. 1 mile; Partington (Sir T. Gajcoigne, bart) 1 mile; Lotherton (– Jaques, esq.) 1 mile; Haslewood (Sir T. Vavasour) I mile and a half; Potterton Lodge ( E. Wilkinson, esq.) 2 miles; Bramham Park (J. Lane Fox, esq.) 3 miles; Toulstone Lodge (P. Wentworth, esq ) 3 mil. and ha.

Source: Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales; Crosby Rev. J. Malham; 1807

Poll Books

Aberford Poll Book W.R. Yorkshire 1841


Aberford Yorkshire Universal British Directory 1791

Aberford The Universal British Directory 1791 – Google Books

Family History Links

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  • County: Yorkshire
  • Civil Registration District: Tadcaster
  • Probate Court: Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
  • Diocese: York
  • Rural Deanery: New Ainsty
  • Poor Law Union: Tadcaster
  • Hundred: Skyrack
  • Province: York