Go to main page

 Return to
"Romantic Richmondshire"


Press reviews of the book

"Romantic Richmondshire"


Harry Speight

Please note that this index is given in good faith as a guide to the contents of the book, but there may be errors in both the original index and the transcription of the index.

Numbers in brackets give the number of pages referenced when greater than one.


With Map, Plans, and numerous Illustrations.


"Although there is no part of Yorkshire richer in historic interest or more fascinating in picturesqueness, Richmondshire has lain almost as fallow ground for the topographer since early in the century, when Dr. Whitaker brought out his monumental work. But that work is somewhat restricted in its survey, whereas Mr. Speight has left nothing of moment untouched. Both valleys have been studied with unwearied diligence and with obvious vest by Mr. Speight. His work is thorough and exhaustive, and in addition it has the charm of extreme readableness. If the remainder of Yorkshire could be covered and described as carefully and systematically as have the localities forming the subjects of Mr. Speight's volumes, something like literary justice would be done to the story of this great county." - Leeds Mercury.

In this volume, well illustrated with photographic views, portraits, coats of arms, &c., Mr. Harry Speight tells us all he has been able to glean about the town and district of Richmond, Catterick, Bedale, and the upper parts of Swaledale; and then crossing over to Wensleydale, takes us to Danby, Bolton, Aysgarth, and the romantic region about Hawes. Many of its chapters are pleasant reading to everybody, while to the Yorkshire dalesmen, it ought to prove a most valuable storehouse of local information. " - Times.

"Mr. Speight has a happy versatility. He can write with confidence on the history, topography, geology, ecclesiastical antiquities, and ancient customs of these romantic districts in which he has spent his life. Much folk-lore, much family history, and many a streak of native humour lend variety to the pages, which are abundantly illustrated. " - Academy.

"The volume contains chapters of original research, mainly historical, and is admirably furnished with photographs, engravings, and maps. Two contributions to history are of importance: one an account of the Knight Templars Hospice and Chapel on Penhill, and the other the story of the Raydale Riot. * * * Dr. Whitaker's book cannot now be purchased for less than £12, but even if it were worth while reproducing it, Mr. Speight's volume would compete with it successfully. In this volume Mr. Speight has produced the best piece of work which stands in his name. - Yorkshire Post,

" Mr. Speight works carefully, takes pains to come at the best sources of informa- tion, and in the case of Richmondshire as in that of each district which he has hitherto treated, succeeds in giving us something distinctly better than former writers have produced." - Manchester Guardian,

"The villages of the two dales are full of interest. The monastic houses of Easby, Jervaulx, Penhill, and Marrick, all add to the mediaeval importance of the district, and a locality whence came John Wycliffe can never be regarded as obscure. Mr. Speight seems to have made a very complete perambulation of the whole district and describes from personal acquaintance the most remote places. * " * * Gradually he is covering the county with a series of local histories such as few, if any other parts of England can show." - Bradford Observer.

"Mr. Speight is to be congratulated on having, at immense labour and research, added another standard work to the literature of Yorkshire. There is not a page in the volume that does not reveal some fresh fact or correct some old error. The illustrations, too, are excellent and many of them of great rarity." "It is certainly the ablest contribution to the history and antiquities of Richmondshire since the time of Dr. Whitaker, whose history is now so scarce and valuable." - Darlington and Stockton Times.

"The moors are noted for their stock of grouse, and the rivers Swale and Yore with their tributaries, have an attraction for the trout fisher. Such points are by no means neglected by Mr. Speight, who also devotes a page to a concise history of the well-known Bedale Hounds. * " * * This book should be in the hands of every pleasure tourist who wishes to make the most of his visit." - Field.

"In this work Mr. Speight has sustained his reputation as one of the best of Yorkshire topographers. His previous works were models of accuracy and completeness, but the volume under notice is one of even more pretentious nature. The histories of the towns and villages of interest in both of the grand dales with which he deals are adequately given. * * " " The work should be in the hands of every Yorkshire antiquary and lover of the Yorkshire hills and dales," - West Yorkshire Pioneer.

Page last updated at 13.47 on Friday, 16 February 2024, ©2010
Valid HTML 4.0!