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Forest of Knaresbrough.-Harrogate.Har.
On the arrival of the Romans, in this island, they found the woods and mountains abounding with animals, savage and domestic; but, upon the enclosing and cultivating the most fruitful parts, the wild-beasts fled into the wild, woody, and desolate tracts of land, where they foạnd-shelter, and fed undisturbed; whereby, all those parts becaine replenished with all sorts of game, especially the wild-boar, and the red and fallow-deer. These several extents of ground, were afterwards called forests. William the conqueror, not only seized upon all these forests; but, pretended an absolute right over them, and instituted new and ar. bitrary laws concerning them, unknown before in this kingdom: he confined all hunting or fowling, in any of these forests to himself, or, such as he should permit or appoint. He punished, with the loss of eyes, any that were convicted of killing the wild-boar, the stag, or the roebuck.
The british forests, also, contained the wild-bull, the wolf, and the bear.
In the reigns of William Rufuz, and Henry I., it was less criminal to destroy a man, than a beast of chase.
PETER OF Blois, who was preceptor to king Henry II., tells us, that when that prince was not reading, or at council, he had always in his hand a sword or hunting-spear, or a bow and arrows; the spear was used against the wild-boars, which were then in our forests; and, adding greatly to the danger, added also, to the honor of the recreation.
The prelates, also, indulged themselves much in the pleasures of the chase; the see of Norwich, being at one time, possessed of 13 parks; not regarding the advice of the good king Edgar: “Docemus etiam, ut sarcedos, non fit venator, neque accipitrarius, neque potator, sed incumbat suis libris sicut ordinem ipsius decet."
The forest of Knaresbrough extends, from east to west, upwards of 20 miles; and, in some places, is 8 miles in breadth. By the general survey, completed in the year 1086, we find there were then only 4 townships in this forest, i. e. Birstwith, Fewstone, Beckwith, and Rosset. Two hundred and eighty-two years
afterwards, namely, in the year 1968, there appears to have been 3 principal towns, and 16 hamlets,' many of which, had originated from waste lands, after the conquest:
1. THRUSCROSS; with its seven hamlets, Hill, BRAMLEY, PADSIDE, THORNTHWAITE, MENWITH, HOLME, and DARLEY.
2. CLINT; with its five hamlets, BIRSTWITH, FELLESCLIFFE, FEARNHILL,
HAMPSTÀWAITE, and ROWDEN.
3. KILLINGHALL; with its four hamlets, BeckWITH, Rossett, Bilton, and HARROGATE.
THESE have since been divided into eleven constab. leries : BILTON-with-HARROGATE, KILLINGHALL, CLINT, HAMPSTHWAITE, FELLESCLIFFE, BirstWITH,
MENWITH-with-DARLEY, THROSCROSS, TIMBLE, CLIFTON, and PANNAL.
This hamlet hath apparently originated from a few cottages, erected near a part of the road, or gate, leading from Knaresbrough to Heywra-park, and from that circumstance, called Heywragate*.
* Vide a grant of lands to St. Robert
To this place, during the summer months, the nobility and gentry resort, from all parts of GreatBritain, and Ireland, to drink the waters, for which Harrogate is so deservedly celebrated; nor can any part of Britain boast a more healthy situation, or a
THESE medicinal waters are of two sorts, the cha. lybeate, and the sulphur; of the former, there are two springs at High-Harrogate; the most ancient of which, is situated opposite the Granby-inn, and called,
THE OLD-SPAW, DISCOVERED by captain William Slingsby, in the year 1571, who made several trials of it, and, preferring it to the Saviniere, in Germany, ordered it to be enclosed and taken care of: after which, it was much resorted to. Dr. Bright wrote the first treatise on its virtues and uses; Dr. Dean, in 1626; Dr. Stanhope, in 1631; Dr. French, in 1651; Dr. Neale, in 1656; Dr. Simpson, in 1668.
Dr. GEORGE NEALE, who attended this place about the time of the above date, observes, they were in danger of losing the spring, by digging too deep (when they made the terrace) on the west and northwest sides.
THE terrace was sixty yards square, and enclosed
the well in the middle of the area. Upon the top, was a firm and dry walk, affording a view of a large extent of country. Here, the company amused themselves during the intervals of drinking the water; and, to prevent any one from claiming the land enclosed by these walks, the following inscription was cut on a stone, on the west-side of the well; near which it still lies, but, little of the terrace now remains :
The dome that now encloses this spring, was built, in the year 1786, at the expence of ALEXANDER LORD LOUGHBOROUGH, about which time, his lordship ordered the plantation to be laid out on his estate here, consisting of oak, ash, fir, sycamore, beech hornbeam, american-chesnut, mountain-ash, poplar, &c., which now afford a very agreeable shade, to a walk, eight feet wide, and two miles long: It is certainly a great improvement to Harrogate, which, Dr. Smollet (about 30 years ago,) described,* as a “wild common, " bare and bleak, without tree or shrub, or the least
• Vide Humphry Clinker.