The history of Carlton in Coverdale, 1086-1910
This thesis brings together a wealth of evidence, from very scattered sources, to examine the history of a village and township in the Yorkshire Dales. At first sight Carlton in Coverdale appeared to be poorly documented, and in the past it has been written off as uninteresting; but a rich and varied history is here brought to light. The study takes a long view, from the first documentary record in Domesday Book to the 'New Domesday', the valuation which resulted from the Budget of 1909-10. Main themes considered are land ownership, land use, prosperity and poverty, and religion. Findings from fieldwork are combined with documentary evidence to demonstrate the development of the village and the landscape. Topics studied in detail include the consequences for Carlton of the dissolution of Coverharn Abbey; the fight by the tenants of the Lordship of Middleharn and Richmond to preserve their tenure by 'tenant right'; the transfer of the Lordship by the Crown to the City of London, and its eventual sale to the tenants. From monastic times, the parish church at Coverham was an impropriated living. The thesis considers the harmful consequences for the parish of its status as a perpetual curacy, and traces these through to a low point at the end of the eighteenth century. It goes on to examine the eventual recovery, and new energy, in the nineteenth century. Other religious groups, Roman Catholic, Quaker, and Methodist, each played a distinctive part in village history. The thesis charts the ways in which they contributed to a varied pattern of religious belief. The parliamentary enclosure of the West Pasture and the Moor is a major topic, and particular attention is paid to the fortunes of small landowners. The predictions of agricultural reformers were not fulfilled; the thesis demonstrates that there was very little increase in the amount of arable land being cultivated in the township after the enclosure. Arable later disappeared entirely. Other aspects of landownership are investigated: the balance between large and small owners, and resident and non-resident owners, and the numbers of owner-occupiers. For the second half of the nineteenth century census material is used to analyse the agricultural workforce, with due emphasis given to the role Of farmers' wives in the survival of family farms. Census material is also presented for the craftsmen and tradesmen, who served the surrounding area, as well as Carlton itself In the later nineteenth century there was large-scale outward migration, and some old yeoman families were lost. The study puts this in context as part of the general rural exodus, and demonstrates that enclosure cannot be put forward as the cause. The thesis examines the numbers who left the village, with evidence about their destinations, and about some who returned. The population which remained in Carlton was depleted, but was not out of balance in terms of age or gender. The thesis presents a community at the end of the period of study that was socially cohesive, with mixed housing, strong inter-personal links, and a well-developed sense of village identity.