Monthly Archives: December 2015

How the new beer houses of the 1830s kept dales folk off the gin

In a commercial directory of the North Riding of Yorkshire published in 1840, the entries for the five townships of upper Swaledale and Arkengarthdale list between them 23 inns and 15 beer houses. The difference between the two types of … Continue reading

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When dales children were taught by the Madras System

A gazetteer of the North Riding of Yorkshire for 1840 reported that the 80 free scholars of Fremington School in upper Swaledale were taught by the Madras System. This once widespread but now obsolete system was the invention of Andrew … Continue reading

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How country folk resisted moving Christmas

While transcribing a description of the upper Swaledale township of Muker from an 1840 gazetteer of the North Riding of Yorkshire, I came across the phrase ‘Sheep fairs are held on the Wednesday before Old Christmas Day.’ It illustrated how … Continue reading

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