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Yorkshire is the largest and most important County in the Kingdom. It extends 90 miles from North to South, and 115 from East to West. Whether we consider its natural beauties, its mineral wealth, or its enterprising industry, it affords to the historian and the descriptive writer inexhaustible materials for the exercise of his pen. Its immense extent of highly cultivated surface-the wonderful sources of wealth beneath that surface, such as coal, iron, lead, jet, alum, and marble-the hives of industry so thickly planted in the West-Riding of the County, where skill in the production of all kinds of manufactured goods stands higher than in any other part of Great Britain, or of the world itself, and where engineering science has overcome obstacles that were once thought to be insurmountable, and mechanical contrivances are made to do everything but think-its numerous ports, spreading commerce to all parts of the habitable globe -its architectural grandeur, whether in its modern buildings, or the ruins of past ages-and last, but not least, its invaluable Mineral Springs and pleasant Bathing Places-all these are features which may well be deemed worthy of notice by the native pleasure-seeker, or travelling foreigner. Before proceeding to give an account of the localities more immediately associated with our plan, we subjoin a few particulars of the County in which we are placed, taken chiefly from that useful compendium the Cabinet Gazetteer.

Yorkshire is divided into three Ridings, each of which is larger than most counties. Its area contains 3,669,510 acres, of which about 2,500,000 are productive. Each Riding sends two Members to Parliament, has its separate Lord Lieutenant, and of which the area, population, and inhabited houses are as follows:- 


York City
E Riding
N Riding
W Riding


             1851              1861
Males Females Males Females
16,977 12,326 19,133 21,244
109,443 111,540 118,652 121,707
106,710 108,504 121,845 122,959
659,610 655,876 740,696 166,816
892,740 888,246 1,000,326 1,032,726

The extensive sea coast of Yorkshire is washed by the German Ocean, and landwards its boundaries are the counties of Durham, Lancaster, Nottingham, and Lincoln. Its chief rivers are the Ouse, Don, Wharfe, Calder, Aire, Ure, Swale, Nidd, Derwent, and Hull, all tributaries of the Humber, which important river increases in size into a vast estuary, and finally disembogues itself into the German Ocean, between Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The river Tees forms the Northern boundary, and the Ribble is the extreme West. In the West are some of the highest mountains in England, with limestone and coal strata, succeeded towards the East by lias, oolite, and chalk. In the North are elevated sterile moors, where ironstone has been recently discovered in large quantities, and in the East are the Welds, a hilly chalk district extending along the coast inland to Market Weighton and Pocklington. Within this circuit we find numerous towns, and villages as large as towns, where every variety of clothing, furniture, machinery, &c., is produced in immense quantities for home use and for exportation.

In Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, and the vast district around, are manufactured broadcloths, blankets, rugs, alpaca cloths, furniture, machinery, steam-engines, iron bridges, and churches. In Sheffield are produced cutlery, plate, edged tools, swords and ploughshares. At Low Moor the largest instruments of war, cannon and cannon-balls, are produced in incredible quantities, of which the supplies called forth by the last war with Russia bear ample testimony. Barnsley and Knaresborough are famed for their linen. Rotherham, in addition to its iron and steel, produces glass, stone-china, and earthenware. Ships are built at Hull, Scarborough, Whitby, Stockton, and Middlesborough. Wakefield, Leeds, and Hull have immense storehouses for grain of all kinds. Agricultural implements are largely manufactured at Beverley, Driffield, &c. The rivers of Yorkshire are navigable for vessel, of considerable tonnage, and a vast trade is carried on by means of water-carriage by river and canal.

Some of the most lordly dwellings of English noblemen are to be found in this County, such as Castle Howard, Wentworth House, Studley Hall, Harewood House, &c.; and the grandest remains of old abbeys, as Fountains Abbey, Rivaulx Abbey, St. Mary's Abbey, Kirkstall Abbey, Bolton Abbey ; as well as the noblest specimens of cathedral architecture, as at York, Ripon, and Beverley. In breeding and rearing of stock, in training horses for the turf and the chase, as a sporting County generally, Yorkshire is eminently distinguished; and finally, in its charitable institutions, public hospitals and asylums for the indigent and helpless, it stands at the head of all other counties.


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