1) A pool of water in which quantities of hemp and flax were left to putrefy in order that the fibres might be more easily separated from the stems.
1600 and one hempe pitt for to rayt hempe in, Malham
1611 makeinge a rating dubb in the syke, Airton
1636 land at the towne end of Kylnsey and 1 rating dubbe . Such pools were necessary because it was forbidden by law from the reign of Henry VIII to place the stems in any running water: in 1607 a number of North Riding men were indicted for watering or rating their hemp ... in the brook or watercourse called Kyle Water, Easingwold. There is early evidence for this process in an undated Monk Bretton charter of the thirteenth century: ‘Grant by Adam de Byri ... of land in ... Hepworth ... following the causeway ... to the great water of Rachet and thence to Retingpolsnappe’. See MHW125-35.