Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 934 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
YORKSHIRE, a north-eastern county of England, bounded N. by Durham, E. by the North Sea, S.E. by the Humber estuary (separating it from Lincolnshire), S. by Nottingham-shire and Derbyshire, S.W. for a short distance by Cheshire, W. by Lancashire and N.W. by Westmorland. It is the largest county in England, having an area of 6o66.1 sq. m., and being more than double the size of Lincolnshire, which ranks next to it. In a description of the county it is constantly necessary to refer to its three great divisions, the North Riding, East Riding and West Riding (see RIDING, and map of ENGLAND, Sections I., II.). The centre of the county is a plain, which in the S., about the head of the Humber, resembles the Fens in character. The hills W. of the central plain, covering nearly the whole of the W. Riding and the N.W. of the N. Riding, are part of the great Pennine Chain (q.v.). These hills consist of high-lying moorland, and are not generally remarkable for great beauty of outline. The higher parts are bleak and wild, and the slope towards the central plain is gradual. The chief beauty of the district is to be found in the numerous deeply scored valleys or dales, such as Teesdale, Swaledale, Wensleydale (q.v.), Nidderdale, Wharfedale and Aire-dale, in which the course of the streams is often broken by water-falls, such as High Force in Teesdale and Aysgarth Force in Wensleydale. The hills E. of the central plain cannot be similarly considered as a unit. In the N., wholly within the N. Riding, a line of heights known as the Cleveland Hills, forming a spur of the N. Yorkshire Moors, ranges from Iwo to nearly 1500 ft., and overlooks rather abruptly the lowest part of the Tees valley. The line of greatest elevation approaches the central plain, and swings sharply S. in the Hambleton Hills to overlook it, while to the S. of the line long deep dales carry tributary streams S. to the river Derwent, thus draining to the Ouse. Eastward the N. Yorkshire moors give immediately upon the coast. Their higher parts consist of open moorland. The remarkable upper valley of the Derwent (q.v.) marks off the N. Yorkshire moors from the Yorkshire wolds of the E. Riding, the river forming the boundary between the N. and E. Ridings. The wolds superficially resemble the moors, inasmuch as they abut directly on the coast E.,'run thence W., and swing S. to overlook the central plain. At the S. extremity they sink to the shore of the Humber. Their greatest elevation is found near the W. angle (Howardian Hills), but hardly reaches 80o ft. Eastward they encircle a low-lying fertile tract bounded S. by the Humber and E. by the North Sea. The name of Holderness is broadly applied to this low tract, though the wapentake of that name includes properly only the E. of it. The diverse character of the coast may be inferred from the foregoing description. In the north, S. of Teesmouth, it is low for a short distance; then the E. abutments of the Cleveland Hills form fine cliffs, reaching at Boulby the highest elevation of sea-cliffs in England (666 ft.). Picturesque valleys bearing short streams break the line, notably that of the Esk, reaching the sea at Whitby. The trend of the coast is at first S.E. and then S. South of Scarborough it sinks with the near approach of the Derwent valley, begins to rise again round the shallow sweep of Filey Bay, and then springs seaward in the fine promontory of Flamborough Head (see BRIDLINGTON). South of this, after the sharp incurve of Bridlington Bay, the low coast-line of Holderness succeeds, long and unbroken, as far as Spurn Point, which encloses the mouth' of the Humber. Encroachments of the sea are frequent, but much land has been reclaimed. There are several watering-places on the coast in high favour with visitors from the manufacturing districts. The principal, from N. to S. are Redcar, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, Scarborough (the largest of all), Filey, Bridlington and Horn-sea. There are numerous mineral springs in Yorkshire, the principal being those at Harrogate. There is also a spa at Scarborough, and others are Askern near Doncaster, Boston Spa near Harrogate, Croft on the Tees near Darlington, Hovingham, near Malton, Guisbrough in Cleveland and Slaithwaite near Huddersfield. The springs are chiefly sulphurous and chalybeate. By far the greater part of Yorkshire is within the drainage basin of the Ouse, which with the Trent makes the estuary of the Humber (q.v.). It is formed in the central plain by the junction of the Ute and Swale, both rising in the Pennine hills; but whereas the Swale drains the N. of the plain, the lire, traversing Wensleydale, is enclosed by the hills over the greater part of its course. The Ouse also receives from the Pennine district the Nidd, traversing Nidderdale, the Wharfe, the Aire, with its tributary the Calder, and the Don. The Aire rises in the fine gorge of Malham Cove, from the subterranean waterways in the limestone. None of these trihu_ taries is naturally navigable, but the Aire, Calder and Don are part canalized. From the E. the principal tributary is the Derwent, which on entering the central plain follows a course roughly parallel to that of the Ouse, and joins it in its lower part, between Selby and Howden. The Foss joins the Ouse at York. In the W. the county contains the headwaters of several streams of the W. slope of the Pennines, draining to the Irish Sea; of these the principal is the Ribble. In the N. the Tees forms most of the boundary with the county of Durham, but receives no large tributary from Yorkshire. In the S. of the W. Riding a few streams drain to the Trent. In Holderness, debarred by the wolds from the general drainage system of the county, the chief stream is the Hull. The only sheets of water of any size are Semmer Water, in a branch of Wensleydale; Malham Tarn, near the head of Airedale. the effluent of which quickly disappears into an underground channel; and Hornsea Mere, near the flat seacoast at Hornsea. Geology.—The great variety in the scenery of Yorkshire is but a reflection of the marked differences in the geological substructure. The stratification is for the most part regular, but owing to a great line of dislocation nearly coincident with the W. boundary of the county the rocks dip towards the E., while the strike of the strata is from N. to S. The bold and picturesque scenery of the western hills and dales is due to the effects of denudation among the harder rocks, which here come to the surface. The strata in the Penninesconsist of (I) older Palaeozoic rocks, viz. a faulted inlier of Silurian and Ordovician at Horton in, Ribblesdale, and a small patch of Silurian at Sedbergh with inliers of Coniston limestone; (2) the Carboniferous or Mountain Limestone, which has been subjected to great dislocations, the more important of which are known as the N. and S. Craven faults; (3) the Yoredale series, consisting of shales, flagstones, limestones and thin seams of coal; and (4) the Millstone Grit, forming part of the hilly moorlands, and capping many of the loftier eminences. In the W. Riding the Pennine range forms part of the elevated country of Craven and Dent. The scenery in the W. of the N. Riding is somewhat similar to that in Craven, except that the lower hills are of sharper outline owing to the perpendicular limestone scars. To the intermingling of the limestone with the softer rocks are due the numerous "forces" or waterfalls, which are one of the special features of the scenery of this district. The action of water on the limestone rocks assisted by joints and faults has given rise to extensive caverns, of which the best examples are those of Clapham and Ingleton in the W. Riding, as well as to subterranean watercourses. At Brimham, Plumpton and elsewhere there are fantastic masses of rocks due to irregular weathering of the Millstone Grit. The Pennine region is bounded on the S.E. by the Coal Measures, forming the N. of the Derbyshire, Nottingham and Yorkshire coal-field, which in Yorkshire extends from Sheffield N. to Leeds. The noted fireclays of the Leeds district are obtained from this formation. To the E. the Coal Measures dip beneath the unconformable Permian beds, with magnesian limestone and marl slate, of which a narrow band crops up from Masham southwards. The Permian strata are overlain to the E. by the Than or New Red Sandstone, scarcely ever exposed, but having been partly worn away is covered with Glacial deposits of clay and gravel, forming the low-lying Vale of York, extending from the Tees S. to Tadcaster and E. beyond York to Market Weighton. Near Middlesbrough red rock with gypsum and rock-salt (too ft.) have been proved. Farther E. the Triassic beds are overlain by Lias and Oolite; Rhaetic beds have been recorded from near Northallerton. The Lias crops to the surface in a curve extending from Redcar to the Humber. In the Middle Lias there is a seam of valuable iron ore, the source of the prosperity of the Cleveland region. The moorlands extending from Scarborough and Whitby are formed of Liassic strata, topped with the estuarine beds of Lower Oolite, rising gradually to the N.E. and attaining at Burton Head a height of 1489 ft., the greatest elevation of the Oolite formation in England. In the Oolitic " Dogger " series the magnetic iron ore of Rosedale is worked. Corallian rocks form the scarp of the Hambleton hills and extend E. on the. N. of the Vale of Pickering through Hackness to the coast, and S.W. of the vale to the neighbourhood of Malton. The, Vale of Pickering is underlaid by faulted Kimeridge Clay. Lias and Oolites fringe the E. of the Vale of York to Ferriby on the Humber. In the S.E. of the county, Cretaceous rocks cover up the older strata, N. to the Vale of Pickering and W. to the Vale of York. The Chalk forms the Yorkshire wolds and the country S. through Driffield, Beverley and Holderness. The Yorkshire coast between Redcar and Flamborough presents a continuous series of magnificent exposures of the strata from the Lower Lias to the Chalk. The Upper Lias fossils and jet of Whitby and alum shale of Saltwick are well known. At Scarborough the Corallian, Oxford Clay, Kellaways Rock, Cornbrash and Upper Estuarine beds are well exposed in the cliffs. In Filey Bay the Kimeridge Clay appears on the coast, but it is covered farther S, by the historic beds of Speeton, representing the marine equivalents of Portland, Purbeck, Wealden, and Love er Greensand of S. England. Over the Speeton beds lies the Red Chalk, the Yorkshire equivalent of the Upper Greensand and Gault. The evidences of glacial action are of unusual interest and variety; the great thickness of boulder clay on the coast is familiar to all, but inland also great deposits of glacial clay, sand and gravel obscure the older geology. The Vale of Pickering and many of the smaller northern valleys were at, we period the sites of Glacial lakes, and the " warp " which covers much of the Vale of York is a fluvio-glacial deposit. The Cleveland Dike is an intrusive igneous dike of augite-andesite of Tertiary age which can be traced across the country in a N.W. direction from the neighbourhood of Fylingdales Moor. Minerals.—The coal-field in the W. Riding is one of the chief sources of mineral wealth in Yorkshire, the most valuable seams being the Silkstone, which is bituminous and of the highest reputation as a house coal, and the Barnsley Thick Coal, the great seam of the Yorkshire coal-field, which is of special value, on account of its semi-anthracitic quality, for. use in iron-smelting and in engine furnaces. Associated with the Upper Coal Measures there is a valuable iron ore, occurring in the form of nodules. Large quantities of fireclay are also raised, as well as of gannister and oil-shale. Middlesbrough is the most important centre of pig-iron manufacture in the kingdom. Lead ore is obtained in the Yoredale beds of the Pennine range in Wharfedale, Airedale, Nidderdale, Swale-dale, Arkendale and Wensleydale. Slates and flagstones are quarried in the Yoredale rocks. In the Millstone Grit there are several beds of good building stone, but that most largely quarried is the magnesian limestone of the Permian series, which, however; is of somewhat variable quality. Agriculture.—Nearly nine-tenths of the E. Riding is under cultivation, but of the N. and W. Ridings only from three-fifths to seven-tenths—proportions explained by the different physical conditions. The till or boulder clay of Holderness is the richest soil in Yorkshire, and the chalk wolds, by careful cultivation, form one of the best soils for grain crops The central plain bears all kinds of crops excellently. Wheat is grown in the E. and W. Ridings, but oats are the principal grain crop in these ridings, and barley exceeds wheat in all three. The bulk of the acreage under green crops is devoted to turnips and swedes. A little flax is grown, and liquorice is cultivated near Pontefract. The proportion of hill pasture is greatest in the N. Riding and least in the E., and the N. and W. Ridings are among the principal sheep-farming districts in England. Cattle, for the rearing of which the W. Riding is most noted, do not receive great attention. The Teeswater breed, however, is increasing in Yorkshire, and in Holderness there is a short-horned breed, chiefly valuable for its milking qualities. Cheese-making is largely carried on in some districts. Of sheep perhaps the most common breeds are the Leicester, Lincoln and South Down, and crosses between the Cheviot and the Leicester. Large numbers of pigs are kept at the dairy farms and fed mainly on whey. The small breed is that chiefly in favour. Yorkshire bacon is famous. Draught horses are generally of a somewhat mixed breed, but the county is famed for its hunters and carriage and saddle horses. The breed of Cleveland bays is much used for carriages. Manufactures.—The industrial district of south Yorkshire occupies the S. of the W. Riding, and may be taken as marked off approximately by the watershed from the similar district in S. Lancashire. The W. Riding is now the chief seat of the woollen manufacture of the United Kingdom, and has almost a monopoly in the production of worsted cloths. The early development of the industry was in part due to the abundance of water-power, while later the presence of coal helped to maintain it on the introduction of steam-power. In this industry nearly all the most important towns are engaged, while the names of several of the largest are connected with various specialities. Thus, while almost every variety of woollen and worsted cloth is produced at Leeds, Bradford is especially concerned with yarns and mixed worsted goods, Dewsbury and Batley with shoddy, Huddersfield with fancy goods and Halifax with carpets. The cotton industry of Lancashire has also penetrated to the neighbourhood of Halifax. Among the characteristics of the industrial population, the love of music should be mentioned. Choral societies are numerous, and the work of some of those in the larger towns, such as Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford, has attracted wide notice. Next to the woollen industry comes the manufacture of iron and steel machinery and implements of every variety, which is common to most of the larger centres in the district. Sheffield is especially famous for iron-work, fine metal-work and cutlery. The development of the iron ore deposits of Cleveland dates only from the middle of the 19th century. About two and a half million tons of pig-iron are produced in this district annually, and there are considerable attendant industries, such as the production of steel, and shipbuilding. The chemical manufacture is important both here and in the W. Riding, where also a great variety of minor industries have sprung up. Such are leather working (at Leeds), the manufacture of clothing, printing and bleaching, and paper-making. Besides coal and iron ore, great quantities of clay, limestone and sandstone are raised. Excellent building-stone is obtained at several places in the W. Riding: The sea-fisheries are of some importance, chiefly at Hull, Scarborough, Whitby and Filey. Communications.—N. and E. of Leeds communications are provided almost wholly by the North-Eastern railway, the main line of which runs from Leeds and from Doncaster N. by York, Thirsk and Northallerton. The main junction with the Great Northern line is effected immediately N. of Doncaster, at which town are the Great Northern works. This company serves the chief centres of the W. Riding, as do also the Midland, Great Central, London & North-Western, Lancashire & Yorkshire, and North- Eastern companies, the trains working over a close network of lines, while the system of run!.ing-powers held by one or more companies over the lines of another assists intercommunication. The Midland main line to Carlisle runs by Leeds, Skipton and Settle through the hilly country of the W. The Hull & Barnsley line runs from Hull to Barnsley. A complete system of canals links the centres of the southern W. Riding with the sea both E. and \V., the Aire & Calder Navigation communicating with the Ouse at Goole; the Huddersfield canal runs S.W. into Lancashire, crossing the watershed by the long Stanedge tunnel, and other canals are the Leeds & Liverpool, Calder & Nebble Navigation, and the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation, which gives access from Sheffield to the Trent. The Aire & Calder Navigation, the most important of these canals, which has branches from Castleford to Leeds and Wakefield, and other branches to Barnsley, Bradford and Selby, has a total length of 85 m., and has been much improved since its construction. It was projected by John Rennie and opened in 1826, with a depth of 7 ft. and locks measuring 72 by 18 ft. Its depth now varies from 8 ft. 6 in. to to ft., and over a distance of 28 in., between Goole and the collieries, the locks have been enlarged to 46o by 25 ft., and the width of the canal to 90 ft. The chief ports are Middlesbrough on the Tees, Hull on the Humber, and Goole on the Ouse. Population and Administration.—The area of the ancient county is 3,882,328 acres. Its population in 18gr was 3,208,521, and in 1901, 3,584,762, The population increased over fivefold between 18o1 and 19o1; the increase in the W. Riding exceeding sevenfold. The manner in which the population is distributed may be inferred from the following statement of the parliamentary divisions, parliamentary, county and muni•• cipal boroughs, and urban districts in the three ridings. It should be premised that each of the three ridings is a distinct administrative county; though there is one high sheriff for the whole county. The city of York (pop. 77,914) is situated partly in each of the three ridings. The West Riding has an area of 1,771,562 acres, with a population in 1891 of 2,445,033, and in 1901 of 2,750,493. Of this area the S. industrial district, considered in the broadest application of the term as extending between Sheffield and Skipton, Sheffield and Doncaster, and Leeds and the county boundary, covers rather less than one-half. The area thus defined includes the parliamentary divisions of Barnsley, Colne Valley, Elland, Hallamshire, Holmfirth, Keighley, Morley, Normanton, Pudsey, Rotherham, Shipley, Sowerby, Spen Valley. It also includes parts of the divisions of Barkston Ash, Doncaster, Osgoldcross, Otley and Skipton (a small part). The remaining parts of these last divisions, with that of Ripon, cover the rest of the riding. Each division returns one member. The following are parliamentary boroughs: Bradford, returning 3 members, Dewsbury i, Halifax 1, Huddersfield 1, Leeds 5, Pontefract 1, Sheffield 5, Wakefield 1. All these are within the industrial district. Within this district are the following municipal boroughs (pops. in 1901): Barnsley (41.086), Batley (30,321), Bradford, city and county borough (279,767), Brighouse (21,735), Dewsbury (28,060), Doncaster (28,932), Halifax, county borough (104,936), Huddersfield, county borough (95.047), Keighley (41,564), Leeds, city and county borough (428,968), Morley (23,636), Ossett (12,903), Pontefract (13,427), Pudsey (14,907), Rotherham (54,349), Sheffield, city and county borough (409,070), Todmorden (partly in Lancashire, 25,418), Wakefield, city (41,413). The only municipal boroughs elsewhere in the riding are Harrogate (28,423) and Ripon (cathedral city, 8230). Within the industrial region there are 113 other urban districts, those with populations exceeding to,000 being Bingley (18,449), Castleford (17,386), Cleckheaton (12,524), Elland (10,412), Feather-stone (12,093), Handsworth (13,404), Hovland Nether (12,464), Liversedge (13,980), Mexborough (10,430), Mirfield (11,341), Normanton (12,352), Rawmarsh (14,587), Rothwell (11,702), Saddle-worth (12,320), Shipley (25,573), Skipton (11,986), Sowerby Bridge (11,477), Stanley (12,290), Swinton (12,127), Thornhill (10,290), Wombwell (13,252), Worsborough (10,336). The only urban districts in the West Riding not falling within the industrial region are—Goole (16,576), Ilkley (7455), Knaresborough (4979) and Selby (7786). The North Riding has an area of 1,362,378 acres, with a population in 1891 of 359,547 and in 1901 of 377,338. It comprises the parliamentary divisions of Richmond, Cleveland, Whitby, and Thirsk and Malton, each returning one member; and the parliamentary boroughs of Middlesbrough (one member), Scarborough (one member), and parts of Stockton-on-Tees and York. The municipal boroughs are Middlesbrough, county borough (91,302), Richmond (3837), Scarborough (38,161) and Thornaby-on-Tees (16,054). The urban districts are Eston (11,199), Guisborough 5645') Hinderweil (1937), Kirklington-cum-Upsland (255), Loftus 6508), Malton (4758), Masham (1955), Northallerton (4009), Ormesby (9482), Pickering (3491), Redcar (7695), Saltburn-by-the-Sea (2578), Scalhy (135, Skelton and Brotton (13,240), South 1 A ~:. °ten Mao B Mao .. QS Ci l" / 1 t°JC)py T Cam y Bdton i. 1 53 t / / - I Md° d,9at>J w., / Verb ow L tool Y~ n n CS ~-,;,. 8 t ~op zxrti .,F -:s et'7r gn n . ''t„ I on 2 +'4.,tQ °? -'---N/f ih aa• *i` y ke G R gton 1', i , yd n.l, W lmt L< a ` 'Aq y a act•r en, 2 rhomt !' 4 z/ nae . t o acn tos OIES4Pl [on ~~~ ( 38 'a s FLdb~ Y ,Ng' WV .b ID,', e°A ' Wi . •_W.~ ~ ~. ilaw a% h W"'•.93„~ W F •( ~~/ d Q c ,I ` x rp,q,\ H«uha iih]~ T ,er~' S Sc ICd• -. 'l tl Yk:n sda t `T:ia ~~ `;Sj B 4 V Exr `.,<, hH ad ei,6 ett9; r ~< t th deli`\~ dty o 1-1.9~ / ®' e j..-,1M`"~ N re b tc' W tt N H /F `! 7dW Im r ~' x D tleford a End of Article: YORKSHIRE
CHARLES YORKE (1722-1770)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.