From: History, Gazetteer and Directory of the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire, (1840), by William White.
Reeth, a small market town, picturesquely seated at the southern foot of the lofty moors of Arkengarth-dale, on the small river Arkle near its confluence with the Swale, 8 miles N.W. of Leyburn, and 10 miles W. of Richmond, has in its township 1,456 inhabitants and 5,491 acres of land, including the hamlets of Fremington 1 mile E., and Healaugh 2 miles W. of the town; also many scattered houses, and about 2,000 acres of open moors, which rise abruptly on the north side of the town to a considerable altitude; abounding in lead ore and commanding extensive and highly diversified prospects. The lead mines of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale serve to enrich the town and neighbourhood, and give employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants. Thos. Smith Esq. is lord of the manor of Healaugh, which comprises Reeth, Melbecks, and part of Grinton, but a greater part of the soil is held by copyholders, subject to small certain fines. Reeth market is held every Friday, and the cattle fairs are on the first Friday in May, and on Nov. 3rd. Fairs for merchandise are held on the Fridays before the following days, viz., Palm Sunday, Old May-day, July 6th, Sept. 5th, Nov. 23rd, and Dec. 21st. The cattle fairs were formerly held at Grinton, where the parish church is situated; the only places of worship in Reeth being the Independent and Wesleyan Chapels, the former built in 1783 and the latter in 1796; and the Quaker’s Meeting House in the Friends’ School built in 1778 by George and John Raw, who in 1814 endowed it with £2,000, of which £200 was paid for the legacy duty. The master teaches 30 free scholars, and the charity is not confined to the children of members of the Society of Friends. Fremington School was built by James Hutchinson, who in 1643 endowed it with two small gardens; 2 acres called Langley croft; an estate at Gate Fulford now let for £52; and with a yearly rent charge of £10 out of his estate at Fremington. An allotment of 5 acres was awarded to the school at the enclosure, so that its yearly income now amounts to about £73, for which the master teaches about 80 free scholars on the Madras system. To the west of Healaugh, in a field called Hallgarth, are vestiges of a house said to have belonged to the renowned John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who was lord of the manor. Healaugh village is situated between the lofty hills of Harker and Calver, on the former of which are traces of an entrenchment called Maiden Castle, 100 yards square, and from this a line of other entrenchments may be traced across the valley. These earth works are supposed to have been thrown up by the Romans. The Dispensary for the benefit of the poor of Grinton and Marrick parishes is endowed with £30 a year from Hutton’s charity and is open on Tuesday and Friday. Mr J. R. McCulloh is the dispenser and surgeon. Post Office at Mr. Thos. Coates’s. Letters arrive from Richmond &c. at 9 morning; and despatched at ½ past 2 in the afternoon. Directory: