A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The parish is composed of the townships of Agglethorpe with Coverham, Caldbergh with East Scrafton, Carlton High Dale (including the village of Horsehouse and hamlets of Arkleside, Blackrake, Bradley, Coverhead, Fleensop, Gammersgill, Hindlethwaite, Pickhill, Swineside, West Close and Woodale), Carlton Town, Melmerby and West Scrafton. Its area is 20,564 acres, of which 55 are covered by water (fn. 1); 87 acres only are arable land, 115 acres woods and plantations, 6,935 permanent grass and the rest moorland. (fn. 2) The population of this large parish is only 769. (fn. 3)
In 1240 Ranulph de Middleham granted to his under-tenant the lord of Coverham 40 acres of wood here. (fn. 4) The lord of Coverham in 1252 granted to Coverham Abbey 40 acres of wood in Caldbergh called 'Almehawe' Wood and received in return a quit-claim of 'Hyppeslyth' Wood in the same place. (fn. 5) Geoffrey le Scrope received licence in 1338 to impark his woods of Coverham and Caldbergh, provided they did not lie within the forest. (fn. 6) Geoffrey Pigott of Melmerby in 1257 gave the lord of Middleham permission to make an inclosure in Carlton pasture. (fn. 7) Inclosures from the common were made in about 1569 by the tenants of Coverham, (fn. 8) and in 1613 there were many small inclosures from Carlton pasture and 306 acres in Gammersgill. (fn. 9) There were great disputes in the 16th century as to the wastes between Middleham and Agglethorpe. (fn. 10)
In 1301–2 Roger 'Ledebeter' was assessed at 9d. for the subsidy in Coverham, (fn. 11) and lead was excepted in the grant of the site of Coverham Abbey in 1557. (fn. 12) James I leased to Sir William Cecil a coal mine near Hindlethwaite, an ironstone mine and all mines of coal and lead in West Scrafton, Arkleside, Caldbergh, Hindlethwaite, and Swineside which had belonged to the abbey and been granted after the Dissolution to the Earl and Countess of Lennox. (fn. 13)
In 1675 a caveat was entered by Sir Herbert Price against the grant of a newly-discovered lead mine in Swineside in lands which had belonged to the abbey. (fn. 14) There is now a coal mine at Coverham and a colliery at Fleensop; on the right bank of the Cover, opposite the abbey, are old lead mines, while on Caldbergh Moor and at Coverhead are old coal-pits. (fn. 15) Geoffrey Pigott of Melmerby granted in 1257 to his overlord Ralph de Middleham in fee millstones from the quarry at Melmerby for all his mills in Richmondshire, besides the pair he was entitled to take for his mills at Griff. (fn. 16) It is long since millstones have been obtained from Melmerby, (fn. 17) but there are now a slate quarry and a flag quarry at Coverham and slate quarries in Carlton High Dale.
There are two water corn-mills at Coverham; one, the High Mill, near the abbey, by Coverham Bridge, the other the Low Mill, on the opposite bank. One of these belonged to the abbey at the time of the Dissolution (fn. 18) and was called the 'ancient mill' in 1604–5, when the second mill was said to have been erected about seven years before by Robert Loftus. (fn. 19)
The River Cover, a tributary of the Ure, rises in Craven, just outside the parish boundary, at a height of 1,652 ft. above the ordnance datum and flows north and east through the parish in the district known as Coverdale, moors from 900 ft. to 1,950 ft. in height rising on both sides, the great slopes of Whernside and Penhill on the south being everywhere visible. Near its source it receives Slape Gill, (fn. 20) where there is a ford, known as 'Slaype wath' in the 13th century. (fn. 21) Then follow, on the west bank, Hunter's Hall (the old 'Hunting Hall' (fn. 22) of the lord of Middleham, of whose forest of Coverdale this district was part), (fn. 23) Woodale, Bradley, Horsehouse with Deerclose, Gammersgill (fn. 24) and Carlton, a village composed of one street with Coverham Vicarage in the middle. On the south side of the road and nearly opposite the vicarage is a farm known as the Old Hall, which shows signs of 17th-century building. West of Horsehouse is Fleensop. Then the stream flows above St. Simon's Chapel by St. Simon's Wath, Well and Dub, with Griff Mill lying to the west on a tributary beck and the scattered hamlet of Melmerby, with its Hall Garth and Manor Farm, to the north. Then, as the Cover proceeds to the northeast, it reaches Coverham Abbey, on the site of the Praemonstratensian abbey established here in 1212–13 by Ranulph de Middleham. (fn. 25)
The abbey stood on the north bank of the stream, about a mile and a half south-west of Middleham. Little is now left above ground, but part of the ruins have been incorporated into a modern residence erected on the site to the west of the church, the remains of which stand picturesquely in the adjoining garden. (fn. 26) For a monastic establishment the church was small, being only about 157 ft. in length. It appears to have consisted of an aisled presbytery, north and south transepts, a nave with aisles and probably a central tower. All that remains above ground is shown by the hatched portions of walling on the accompanying plan. These remains are of two dates, the transepts and the east end of the building being of the early part of the 13th century, while the nave arcades and the west wall were erected about 1340. The base to the east respond of the south arcade of the presbytery suggests a rebuilding of the arcade or possibly the addition of aisles to the eastern arm of the church about the same time. Little of the story of the building can, however, be made out with any certainty from what is now left, but the earlier work is no doubt part of the original church, while the later is probably a rebuilding after the destruction of the abbey by the Scots in the early part of the 14th century. (fn. 27)
Of the east wall little is left, but part of the base mould to the east respond of the south arcade of the presbytery can be seen, and pieces of the external plinth are also visible. The west jamb of the doorway in the north wall of the north transept is still in situ, and though now decayed appears to have been of three moulded orders, with attached shafts to the two outer orders, having moulded capitals, which, though broken, still remain. In the west wall of this transept are two pointed windows, each of a single light. The walling round the northern window has much decayed and the outer jambs have perished, but the jamb mouldings of the southern window are in a fairly good state of preservation, as is also the ashlar wall facing. The outer jambs are of two continuous moulded orders of good section, under a moulded label, while worked on the angle of the inner splays is a plain bowtel with a moulded label over the rear arch. Between the windows and at the north-west angle are traces of buttresses. The remaining piece of the nave arcade has pointed arches of two wave-moulded orders under chamfered labels, carried on piers composed of four attached filleted shafts, separated by sunk half-rounds and having moulded capitals. There are two complete arches in position with the springing of those on either side and the three supporting piers, though the bases of these are now underground and no walling above the apex of the arches remains. The respond at the north end of the west wall of the south transept was added in the 14th century and is of a similar section to the piers of the nave arcade. The lower part of the west wall of the church, north of the central doorway to the nave, is still standing. Only the north jamb of this doorway remains. The jambs were of three orders with attached shafts in the angles, but these have all gone, though fragments of their moulded caps are still in situ, now only 3 ft. above the present ground level. A swelled chamfer is worked on the angle of the inside splay. The doorway in the west wall of the north aisle is twocentred and of three moulded orders, the centre one having been carried on detached shafts (both of which are now gone), while the inner and outer ones are continuous. There were buttresses taking the thrust at the west end of the arcades and at the west end of the aisle walls, but both of those which survive on the existing piece of walling are much broken away and have lost all their detail. At the south-west corner of the church are the remains of what was probably the guest-house, which have been incorporated into the modern residence, known as Coverham Abbey. They are of early 16th-century date and are two stories high, but the interior is now completely modernized. The old building is in the centre of the present house and the remains suggest that the ground floor was occupied by one large room, the full width of the structure, which was probably used as the guests' refectory. It is now subdivided into several smaller rooms, but the large original stone fireplace with its segmental head still remains in the north wall. In the west wall of the house is a large square-headed window composed of nine trefoiled lights, subdivided by a transom and having over its head a heavy moulded label. Some of the mullions and the transoms have been restored, but in the main the window is original. The wall to the south of this has been much renewed. Save the three original windows in the west wall (of five lights, two lights and four lights) there is little of interest on the first floor. These windows are low and square-headed and have moulded labels; the label to the southernmost has carved stops. Reset in the east wall of the house is a fine early 16th-century doorway.
The remains of the early 16th-century gatehouse, with part of an adjoining range of buildings to the south, stand a little distance to the north-west of the church on the south side of the road. The gateway, which measures internally about 16 ft. 9 in. in length by 17 ft. in width, appears to have had large threecentred entrance arches of two chamfered orders (only one of which is now standing) and to have been vaulted in two bays. In the east wall of the adjoining building is a blocked square-headed window, but other details are modernized. The western half of the building retains a barrel-vault to the lowest story.
Among the fragments of masonry preserved in the garden of the present house are two stone effigies of mid-13th-century knights. The less mutilated is 7 ft. 3 in. long, and though now propped up against a wall was originally in a recumbent position. The legs of the knight are crossed, and his hands, the fingers of which are broken off, are in prayer, while over the mail armour, in which he is completely clad, is a linen surcoat. Under his mail is a gambeson and over his head, which rests upon a pillow, is a coif of mail. On his left side is his shield and suspended from his belt a long sword. He wears leather knee cops. His feet, the ends of which have been broken, rest upon the back of a mutilated animal. The features have been badly defaced. The second figure is also now in an upright position and is similarly clad in gambeson, mail armour and coif and long surcoat, while on the left side are the remains of his long sword and shield. Over his head is a cusped and crocketed canopy, much of which has been broken. Both arms and the right leg are broken and the face is also damaged. On the right side are three dogs, two of which are chasing a stag, while the third is biting the scabbard of the knight's sword. There is also a coffin slab carved with a foliated cross and a shield, having a chief dancetty, while two other slabs are carved respectively with a plain and a foliated cross.
Other fragments of mediaeval stonework lying loose in the garden include two 14th-century capitals similar to those of the piers still in position, a section of a 14th-century pier, a bit of a 13th-century capital, enriched with nail-head ornament, some pieces of an arch of the same date and a number of quatrefoil panels. Built into the wall of a modern outhouse is a reversed stone shield carved with the emblems of the Passion and below it a mutilated foliated boss, with the ends of the vaulting ribs and a complete quatrefoil panel. A coffin-lid is preserved, having incised upon it a cross and chalice, and inscribed 'Hic jacet dominus helyas quondam abbas istius ecclesie de Coverham.'
Agglethorpe Hall is near by the ancient boundary butts of the 'town' of Agglethorpe; new butts lately erected by Edward Topham are mentioned in 1575. (fn. 28)
On the right bank of the Cover, starting from the source, come Pickle, Arkleside (Arkelsit, xiii cent.), where there is a bridge, Soursett, Hindlethwaite with its Hall and Grange, Swineside, (fn. 29) and West Scrafton.
There are Wesleyan chapels at Horsehouse and Carlton Town, Primitive Methodist chapels at Horsehouse and Melmerby, and public elementary schools at Horsehouse (erected 1878), Melmerby (1893) and Carlton Town. The name 'Quakers' Field' occurs in Coverham in 1780. (fn. 32)
Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, the translator of the Bible, is known to have been born in Yorkshire, and is supposed to have come from this valley (fn. 33); yet Coverham Abbey was one of the places where the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace assembled and kindled beacons. (fn. 34)
Bringley, Westratton, Caldelayg, Luppleslythe, Roulagill or Rauleygill are among the 14th-century place-names of Coverham. (fn. 35)
On the division of the Fitz Ranulph lands in 1270 (fn. 36) the forest of Coverdale, as an appurtenance of the manor of Carlton, was allotted with Middleham lordship to Robert de Nevill, with a reservation for his two coparceners of £4 10s. rent from the forest and chase. (fn. 37) The forest and chase subsequently descended with the manor of Middleham, (fn. 38) the last mention found being in 1613, when a forester was appointed. (fn. 39) The wage of the foresters was 30s. 4d. (fn. 40) Courts were held at Carlton. (fn. 41)
COTESCUE PARK (Scotescogh, Cotescough, Cottescouth, Cotiscugh, Cotskowe, xv-xvi cent.; Skotteskew, xvi-xviii cent.) seems to have been formed in the middle of the 15th century. In 1465–7 payments were made for 72 roods of hedge to be newly made between Coverham Close and Cotescue, from the plantation ('spring') to the fish-pond, repair of the hedge between Cotescue and the moor, making of a ditch and hedge from 'le Halhede,' and repair of the wall. (fn. 42) The king's tenants of Middleham granted the vaccary at Slape Gill 'called Coverhead,' within boundaries stated, to Coverham Abbey in 1484 in exchange for 63 acres of arable land and about 8 acres of waste land which the king had inclosed in his park of Cotescue. (fn. 43)
The office of keeper was committed to Henry Pudsey in 1486 (fn. 44) and to Ambrose his son with the forestership of half Coverdale Forest in 1520, (fn. 45) when two of the king's grooms of the pantry and livery were appointed, no doubt as purveyors for the royal table, palers of Cotescue and other parks and bow-bearers of Bishopsdale and Coverdale. (fn. 46) Ambrose Pudsey was succeeded in 1522 by Sir John Nevill, whose offices were granted in 1526 to George Lawson for the maintenance of the garrison at Berwick, (fn. 47) and assigned in 1536–7 to Ralph Croft. (fn. 48) Christopher Croft, captain of a train-band for Charles I, was described as of Cotescue in 1649. (fn. 49)
At COVERHAM, where 4 carucates of land were at geld, the two 'manors' held by Tor and Egbrand before the Conquest were in 1086 held by Count Alan in demesne. (fn. 52) The count's younger brother Ribald (fn. 53) was already tenant of 3 carucates of land in Scrafton, but Coverham, according to an 'old roll' transcribed by Dodsworth, was acquired by his descendant Robert, who married Helewise daughter and co-heir of Berta daughter of Theobald de Valoignes the elder by her husband Ranulph de Glanville, Chief Justice of England and lord of Coverham. (fn. 54) Helewise died in 1195 and her son and heir Waleran gave the church of Coverham to the abbey founded by his mother at Swainby in the parish of Pickhill (q.v.). The abbey, however, was removed to the bank of the Cover by Ranulph, brother and heir of Waleran, in 1212. (fn. 55) To this spot the bones of Helewise were removed, and here the subsequent lords of Middleham found burial. (fn. 56)
The Fitz Ranulphs only retained a mesne lordship, assigned to Robert de Nevill, in Coverham in 1270, (fn. 57) and this mesne tenancy in 1286–7 extended over half a carucate of land held of Roald son of Roald under the Earl of Richmond. (fn. 58) Mary de Nevill, lady of Middleham, released in 1312 to the lord of Coverham and his heirs all customs and services for all lands held by them in Coverham and Caldbergh (4½ carucates of land) and in Agglethorpe (2 carucates), except the payment of one barbed arrow every Christmas, a rent which continued to be paid. (fn. 59)
The under-tenants in the 12th century were the family of Sutton. At Sutton in Nottinghamshire and at Warlaby in Ainderby Steeple parish (q.v.) one Hervey was tenant under Count Alan in 1086, (fn. 60) and in 1177–9 a Hervey de Sutton held one knight's fee in Coverham and Warlaby with the appurtenances. (fn. 61) Hervey by the spring of 1234–5 (fn. 62) had been succeeded by his younger son (fn. 63) Richard, who in 1240 received from Ranulph of Middleham £5 and 40 acres of wood in Coverham. (fn. 64) Richard (his son Thomas having died in his lifetime) left daughters and co-heirs Agnes, who married Gilbert de Muschamp, (fn. 65) and had a son Adam, Margery (or Margaret), who married Stephen son of Wischard de Charron, Alice, who died unmarried, and a fourth daughter who married a Cawton (Calveton) and had a son William. (fn. 66) In 1258 Adam son of Gilbert de Muschamp and William de Cawton, the nephews, with Alice the daughter of Richard de Sutton, quitclaimed to Stephen 'de Coverham' and Margery Margery's share of her father's lands in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. (fn. 67) Stephen and Margery obtained the Yorkshire lands, (fn. 68) and in 1269 Stephen and his heirs received a grant of free warren in their demesne lands of Coverham, Caldbergh and East Scrafton. (fn. 69) Bailiff of the honour and constable of Richmond Castle, Stephen was accused of employing informers and wrongfully extorting fines. (fn. 70) He was assessed for the subsidy in Coverham in 1301–2. (fn. 71) Stephen son and heir of Stephen and Margery (fn. 72) had succeeded by 1310, when he and Agnes his wife were pardoned for the death of Agnes Pilly, (fn. 73) and in August of the same year he conveyed the manor to Geoffrey le Scrope, (fn. 74) who in 1311 obtained a grant in fee of free warren in all his demesnes in Coverham, Caldbergh and Agglethorpe (fn. 75); he received a quitclaim of services from Mary de Nevill in 1312, (fn. 76) and was lord of the vill in 1316. (fn. 77) The manor descended with the Scropes' manor of Masham (fn. 78) (q.v.) in Hang East until the attainder of Henry le Scrope in 1415. It was then granted by Henry V with other manors to Sir Henry Fitz Hugh, kt., and in 1441–3 it was granted with the manor of Bellerby by John Lord le Scrope, brother and heir of Henry, to Sir William Fitz Hugh, kt., son and heir of the grantee. (fn. 79) Sir Thomas Strangways, Sir Christopher Danby and John Fitz Randolf, who in 1517–18 were claiming these manors as heirs of the last Lord Scrope of Masham (q.v.), were then sued by the heir of the Fitz Hughs for the observance of the above agreements. (fn. 80) The Fitz Hughs retained Bellerby, (fn. 81) and in 1518 Sir Thomas Parr (fn. 82) was said to have died seised of the manor of Coverham, although his title was disputed by Lord Scrope of Bolton. (fn. 83) The manor probably escheated on the attainder of William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, in 1553. (fn. 84) From this time its descent is obscure, but it was probably, like the demesne lands of Middleham (q.v.), mortgaged by the Crown and ultimately sold to the freeholders. From the freeholders it has probably been purchased in recent times by the Tophams, (fn. 85) Thomas Topham being lord in 1879 and Mr. Lupton Topham Topham of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, and of Middleham House, Middleham, eldest son and successor of the Rev. Edward Charles Topham of Hauxwell, being the present lord.
COVERHAM ABBEY received in 1271 a grant of free warren in its demesne lands of Coverham, Caldbergh and (West) Scrafton. (fn. 88) The abbey held 1½ carucates of land in Coverham of Stephen de Coverham in 1286–7, (fn. 89) and at the close of the 15th century held the same of the Earl of Westmorland, (fn. 90) lord of Middleham. In 1557 the reversion, on the expiration of a lease (fn. 91) of the site and precincts including the mill, was granted in fee to Humphrey Orme and Cecily his wife, (fn. 92) who in 1563 granted tenements and the mill to Ralph Croft and Anne his wife. (fn. 93) Ralph Croft, Francis Bainbridge and 'others' were said in 1575 to be the 'owners of Coverham.' (fn. 94) Ralph Croft was succeeded by a son Christopher, who had a son Thomas, owner of the mill in 1610. (fn. 95) Another Christopher died seised of the 'site, precincts and mill' in January 1630–1, leaving a son and heir Thomas, (fn. 96) but Thomas had livery of only one-third of the site. (fn. 97) Francis Bainbridge died seised of part of the demesne lands in 1594 and was succeeded by a son and heir Anthony, (fn. 98) who died in 1609, leaving a son and heir Francis. (fn. 99) George Wray bought the abbey in about 1674; it descended through Dorothy, daughter of his younger son George and wife of Robert Atkinson, to her son Wray Atkinson. (fn. 100)
In 1780 the lands of Coverham were divided in accordance with the will of Edward Lister into seven parts, the 'capital messuage or abbey' being allotted to Edward Atkinson Lister. (fn. 101) In 1857 Thomas Lister lived there, in 1879 and in 1889 Christopher Other, who inherited this property from his mother, Jane daughter of Edward Lister of Coverham Abbey, and wife of Thomas Other of Elm House, Redmire; it is now the residence of Mrs. A. A. Wright, daughter and heir of Mr. Christopher Other. (fn. 102)
The 'manor' of AGGLETHORPE (Aculestorp, xi cent.; Acceltorp, xiii cent.; Aclethorpe, Akelthorpe, xiii-xv cent.; Akilthorpe, Agelthorpe, xiv cent.; Aggilthorp, xvi cent.) and 3 carucates of land were still held in 1086 by the Saxon tenant Torchil, (fn. 103) who was afterwards succeeded by or became under - tenant of Ribald or his successors.
At the division in 1270 (fn. 104) the mesne lordship of Agglethope was assigned to Robert de Tateshall, (fn. 105) but ultimately came to the Nevills, (fn. 106) and the manor in 1612 was still held of Middleham Castle by the yearly payment of a catapult. (fn. 107)
William de York held 1½ carucates here in 1286–7 of Robert de Tateshall, and under him held William de Middleton. The remaining 1½ carucates were held of Robert by William son of Walter, (fn. 108) probably the William de Agglethorpe assessed for the subsidy here in 1301–2. (fn. 109) Geoffrey le Scrope and his heirs received in 1311 a grant of free warren, (fn. 110) renewed, as far as Agglethorpe was concerned, in 1328 and 1393. (fn. 111) Part of the manor perhaps passed, like that of Sedbury, (fn. 112) from the Scropes to the Gascoignes through the Boyntons. Sir Henry Gascoigne, kt., was holding the manor (or part of it) in the early 16th century, and his ancestors were said to have been enfeoffed. (fn. 113) In 1563 Richard Gascoigne and Jane his wife conveyed half the manor to Edward Topham, (fn. 114) who in 1567–8 received from Thomas Salkeld a similar conveyance. (fn. 115)
The family of Topham (Toppan, Tophan), who now own a considerable portion of the lands in this parish, were holding lands in Carlton before 1465–7. (fn. 116) Edward Topham, described as of Agglethorpe, died seised of the manors of Agglethorpe, Melmerby and East Scrafton in 1591, leaving a son and heir Francis, (fn. 117) who died childless in 1600 and was succeeded by his brother Henry. (fn. 118) Henry Topham died in 1612, leaving a brother and heir Edward. (fn. 119) Edward Topham 'of Agglethorpe' died seised of these three manors in 1628 and was succeeded by his son Francis, (fn. 120) who took the king's side in the Civil War, (fn. 121) and died in 1643, leaving a son and heir Edward, aged fifteen. (fn. 122) Edward's guardian compounded for his estate in 1648. (fn. 123) Edward Topham died about 1651 and was succeeded by his brother Francis, (fn. 124) who was concerned with these three manors in 1655. (fn. 125) Lionel son and heir of Francis (fn. 126) made a conveyance in 1677. (fn. 127) He was succeeded first by his son Francis, who died childless, and then by his daughter Dinah (or Diana), wife of Thomas Frankland of Thirkleby, who succeeded as baronet on his father's death. (fn. 128) Dinah died in February 1740–1, leaving daughters and co-heirs Elizabeth, who married John Morley Trevor of Glynde, Sussex, and Dinah, who in January 1744–5 married George Henry third Earl of Lichfield. (fn. 129) The manorial court for 'the manor of Agglethorpe and Little Scrafton' was held in 1750 in the name of the Earl of Lichfield, (fn. 130) who died in 1769. Dinah died childless in 1779, (fn. 131) and in 1782 Thomas Lord Pelham and Anne his wife, daughter and heir of Frederick Meinhart Frankland, third son of Sir Thomas Frankland, (fn. 132) conveyed the three manors to Thomas Walley Partington. (fn. 133)
The manor came into the hands of the Chaytors of Spennithorne, and was conveyed by them in 1837 to the family of Ewbank, from whom it was purchased by Mr. Frank Brown of Stockton-on-Tees in 1901. (fn. 134)
The question was raised in 1575 as to whether this place was a manor, and among other evidence it was stated that the Abbot of Coverham had been a freeholder and his tenant here did suit of court. (fn. 135)
The 'manor' and 5 carucates of land at geld at CALDBERGH (Caldeber, xi cent.; Caldeberh, Caldebury, xiii cent.; Caldbergh, Caudeberg, xiii-xvii cent.; Caldberth, Caldburgh, Caldbargh, xvi-xvii cent.; Caldbridge, xix cent.) were held by the Saxon owner Orm, and retained by him as the count's under-tenant in 1086. (fn. 136)
Caldbergh probably belonged to the Suttons and the Coverhams (fn. 139); in 1286–7 Stephen de Coverham held 2 carucates as tenant of Mary de Nevill, (fn. 140) and in 1310 he granted this land to Geoffrey le Scrope. Geoffrey le Scrope and Ranulph Pigott ('Reyner Stiget') were in 1316 joint tenants of Caldbergh and Carlton, (fn. 141) but the Abbot of Coverham, who had a grant of free warren here in 1271, (fn. 142) had acquired the whole of Caldbergh by the close of the 15th century (fn. 143) and kept it until the Dissolution. (fn. 144) Fish worth £5 were poached from the abbey's fishery here in 1388. (fn. 145)
After the Dissolution the grange and lands descended with the manor of West Scrafton, (fn. 146) but an estate called the manor appears in the hands of the Topham family. Edward Topham of Agglethorpe in 1584 disposed of lands here which were bought by his cousin Geoffrey in 1598. Laurence brother of Geoffrey left a son Thomas, who was father of Francis, purchaser of the lordship of Caldbergh in 1611, (fn. 147) and of Matthew, ancestor of the Tophams of Hemingbrough. (fn. 148) Caldbergh descended in the Topham family until 1895, (fn. 149) when Sir William Topham bequeathed it to the family of Harrison. It is now in the possession of Major Thomas HarrisonTopham.
In 1788 Hugh Duke of Northumberland, whose ancestor Sir Hugh Smithson made a settlement of his lands in Caldbergh in 1680, was concerned with one-third of the manor. (fn. 150)
The Saxon tenant Bernulf still held the 'manor' of CARLTON and 6 carucates of land in 1086, (fn. 151) but this afterwards came into the hands of Ribald (fn. 152) and his successors, who held the manor in demesne from the early 13th century until at least 1628, (fn. 153) after which its history is probably the same as that of Coverham. In 1674–5 William Foxgill and Sarah (fn. 154) his wife conveyed a sixth of the manor to George Wray, who in this year purchased Coverham Abbey, and in 1762 Jane Atkinson, widow, perhaps second wife of Robert Atkinson, was concerned with the manor, (fn. 155) or part of it. Miles Geldart and Margaret his wife and others named in 1681 conveyed a watermill and tenements in Carlton and Melmerby to George Snaid and his heirs and Richard Dawson, (fn. 156) and in 1811 John Geldart, Henry Constantine and Richard Geldart conveyed a quarter of the manor to Thomas Midgley. (fn. 157) The Rev. E. C. Topham and Thomas Geldart were lords of the manor of Carlton in 1879, when a manor of Carlton Highdale was held by the Hon. Amias Christopher Thomas Orde-Powlett of Spennithorne (fn. 158) and Thomas Geldart. Thomas Geldart bequeathed his rights to the present owner, Mr. R. W. Geldart of New York, his nephew. (fn. 159)
Mary de Nevill had free warren in all her demesnes, (fn. 160) and in 1331–2 Ralph Nevill had a grant of free warren in Carlton. (fn. 161) The warrener of Carlton held the forest courts for Coverdale. (fn. 162) The Hall Cote and Hall Eng, common oven, brewery, water corn-mill and rent for the services of eighty boon days in harvest are mentioned in the Middleham accounts of 1465–7. (fn. 163)
The lords of Middleham also held in this territory in the 13th and 14th centuries the vaccaries of Arkleside (Arkelsit), Bradley (Bradeleie), Fleensop (Flemmishope), Hindlethwaite, Slape Gill, Swineside (Swinesate) and Woodale (Wlvedale, xiii cent.; Wolfedale, xiv cent.; Woldale, Vldale, xv cent.), (fn. 164) and in the 15th century those of Horsehouse, Gammersgill (Gamylscale) and Rallyngill. (fn. 165) In February 1404–5 Ralph Earl of Westmorland had licence to grant the messuages of Arkleside, Hindlethwaite and Swineside and all lands as far as 'Hautreygill' in Coverdale, tenements in Scrafton, Hall Flatt in Carlton with houses upon it, and common specified to Coverham Abbey in exchange for half the manor of Kettlewell in Craven. (fn. 166) The abbey acquired Slape Gill or Coverhead vaccary in 1484. (fn. 167) Edward Loftus, who was bailiff of Swineside for Coverham Abbey, (fn. 168) was father of Adam, Archbishop of Armagh and Dublin, (fn. 169) and of Robert (the eldest son), who died seised of a messuage called Wool House and other abbey lands in 1606, leaving a son and heir Adam, (fn. 170) Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and created in 1622 Viscount Loftus. (fn. 171) Adam had a further grant of Coverham lands, (fn. 172) the Loftus lands here being estimated at £60 to £100 rent. (fn. 173)
A conveyance was made in 1765–6 of the 'manor' of Hindlethwaite, (fn. 174) and in 1817 Thomas Tattersall, Jane his wife, Elias Woodrup and Elizabeth his wife conveyed the 'manor' of Fleensop to Christopher Topham. (fn. 175)
Eldred the Saxon tenant held the manor of MELMERBY (Melmerbi, xi cent.) and 6 carucates of land of Count Alan in 1086. (fn. 176)
The under-tenants were a branch of the family of Pigott (Picot). In 1208 John son of Meredith (Meriaduc) granted 2 carucates in Melmerby to Geoffrey Pigott and his heirs. (fn. 179) A Geoffrey was lord in 1257, (fn. 180) Geoffrey son of Geoffrey in 1286. (fn. 181) Geoffrey was assessed at 11s. 2d. for the subsidy in 1301–2 in Melmerby and 4s. 8d. in Carlton, (fn. 182) and his widow Joan made grants in those places in 1310. (fn. 183) Ranulph Pigott was lord in 1316, (fn. 184) holding 5 carucates of land of the lord of Middleham by the sole service of one barbed arrow. (fn. 185) He was knighted, built a chapel here, in 1328 had licence to found a chantry, (fn. 186) and in 1334 received a grant of free warren in fee in Melmerby and Scrafton. (fn. 187) A Geoffrey Pigott was living in this neighbourhood in 1365, while Sir Ranulph Pigott, kt., died in 1404 (fn. 188) and was succeeded by a Geoffrey who in 1414 sued the Abbot of Coverham for breaking his free warren. (fn. 189) This must have been the Geoffrey who married the heiress Emma de Leeds (fn. 190) and founded the line of Pigott of Clotherham. His son Ranulph (fn. 191) made his will in 1466 and left a son Geoffrey, (fn. 192) whose son Ranulph (fn. 193) died childless in 1503 seised of two messuages and 2 carucates of land in Melmerby and one messuage 1 carucate in Little ('West') Scrafton, and was succeeded by his brother Thomas. (fn. 194) Thomas, who had rents from Melmerby, Carlton and Little Scrafton, was dead by 1509 (fn. 195) and left three daughters and heirs, Margaret wife of Sir James Metcalfe, kt., of Nappa, Joan, who married first Sir Giles Hussey and secondly Thomas Folkingham, and Elizabeth, who married first James Strangways, secondly Charles Brandon, natural son of the Duke of Suffolk, and thirdly Francis Nevill of Chevet. (fn. 196) Margaret died seised of one-third of the manors of Melmerby and Little Scrafton in 1531, leaving a son and heir Christopher Metcalfe. (fn. 197) Elizabeth's third was settled in 1545 on Charles Brandon (who died childless in 1551) and herself and issue with remainder to the right heirs of Charles, (fn. 198) but in 1555 she conveyed her share to Thomas Layton and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 199) Thomas Layton and Elizabeth conveyed this part to George Cartington and William Atkinson in 1567, (fn. 200) but as escheat to the Crown it was granted in 1573 to Edward Forth and Henry Bett, (fn. 201) and in 1585 one-third of the sites of the manors of Melmerby and Little Scrafton was granted by the Crown to Anthony Collins and Laurence Woodneth. (fn. 202) In 1586, however, Edward Topham of Agglethorpe, to whom the manor of Melmerby had been granted in 1583–4 by Christopher Croft, Elizabeth his wife and Nicholas Croft his younger brother, (fn. 203) stated that Thomas Layton, enfeoffed by the Brandons, had in 1568–9 granted the hamlet of Little Scrafton to himself, and that six or seven years ago he had purchased the manor of Melmerby; the actual date of purchase was 1579. (fn. 204) The manor then descended with Agglethorpe till at least 1782, and is now the property of Mr. A. C. T. Orde-Powlett, son of Anne Martha Topham. (fn. 205)
WEST SCRAFTON (Scalftun, Scrafton, xi cent.), where 3 carucates of land were at geld, belonged to Ghilepatric before the Conquest, and seems to have been the only place in the parish in the hands of Ribald in 1086. (fn. 206)
Before the abbey had been removed to Coverham Ribald's descendant Waleran granted it small tenements here, (fn. 207) and the abbot had a grant of free warren in 1271. (fn. 208) By 1286–7 this place had become divided into East (Parva) and West Scrafton, and the latter, composed of 1 carucate of land, was then held of Ribald's descendant, the lord of Middleham, by the Abbot of Coverham. (fn. 209) The abbey held the vill until the Dissolution by the payment of 3d. yearly to the mesne lord. (fn. 210)
In 1538 Sir Arthur Darcy received, with lands elsewhere, a grant of all lands in Scrafton, Caldbergh, Carlton, Arundel House and Slape Gill, with the five respective granges, which had belonged to Coverham Abbey, in exchange for the manor of Green's Norton, Northants, (fn. 211) but in 1539–40 he granted the same back, as 'manors,' to the Crown. (fn. 212) These five granges and lands were then granted in 1544 with the manor of Whorlton to Matthew Earl of Lennox and Margaret his wife in tail, (fn. 213) and so returned to the Crown with the accession of their grandson James 1. They were leased in 1625 (fn. 214) and 1631 (fn. 215) to trustees for the City of London, and subsequently granted to John Rushworth and William Claxton in trust for John Lambert (fn. 216) of Calton Hall in the neighbouring parish of Kirkby in Malham Dale. Fifty-four tenants begged in 1660 for a continuation of their leases of the five granges, as they were disturbed by Ralph Freeman and Colonel John Lambert. (fn. 217) The new lord, the celebrated Parliamentary Major-General, was attainted at the Restoration and died a prisoner in the winter of 1682–3. (fn. 218) This manor and the granges were leased in March 1661–2, (fn. 219) but by conveyances of 1662 and 1663 were granted to John Lord Belasyse in trust for Dame Frances Lambert and her children. (fn. 220) John Lambert, son of the imprisoned general, Barbara his wife and Thomas Lambert made a settlement of this property in 1690. (fn. 221) John was Sheriff of Yorkshire, and died in 1701, leaving two daughters, Frances wife of Sir John Middleton, bart., of Belsay Castle, Northumberland, (fn. 222) who had the Lambert property, and another daughter who married Captain John Blackwell, Governor of Pennsylvania. (fn. 223) Frances died in 1712, Sir John in 1717, leaving a son Sir William, (fn. 224) who in 1727 sold this property with his Malhamdale estate to the Rev. Oliver Marton, vicar of Lancaster. (fn. 225)
In 1889 Christopher Other was lord of the manor, which is now in the possession of his daughter, Mrs. A. A. Wright, together with the farms of West Scrafton, Arkleside, Arundel Grange and Hindlethwaite Hall. No courts have been held for many years. (fn. 226)
The church of HOLY TRINITY consists of chancel with organ chamber and north vestry, nave, south aisle and west tower. The earliest details in the building are the 13th-century windows in the south wall of the chancel, to which date both this and the nave probably belong. The south aisle appears to have been added early in the 14th century, while the present west tower was erected during the succeeding century. The church was largely restored in 1854, and again in 1878. The east wall of the chancel and the north wall of the nave have been rebuilt.
The east window of the chancel is of three lights with flowing tracery in the head. In the south wall is an ogee-headed 14th-century piscina with rude crockets and the initials T. P. in the spandrels; near this is a 14th-century square-headed traceried window of two trefoiled lights, and to the west two 13th-century lancets. In the north wall are a modern vestry doorway and a pointed window of two traceried lights. The chancel arch is modern, and is designed in the style of the 14th century.
The modern north wall of the nave is built of rubble and is divided by buttresses into four bays, in each of which is a pointed window of two cinquefoiled lights with flowing tracery in the head; on the south is a 14th-century arcade of four bays with pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers without capitals or bases. The nave and chancel roofs are steep pitched, of modern timber.
The east window of the south aisle, an insertion of the 15th century, is of three cinquefoiled lights, with vertical tracery above within a four-centred head. In the south wall, which is built of random rubble, are three pointed windows of original early 14th-century date; each is of two trefoiled lights, with a plain pierced spandrel in the head, which has an external label. The pointed south doorway has a continuous wave mould, and leads into the porch, which has diagonal angle buttresses in two stages and a continuously chamfered doorway with a label. The 16th-century west window of the aisle has a segmental head, and is of three uncusped lights with a small flower in each spandrel. To the right of it is a locker.
The tower, built in the 15th century, is of three stages with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles, and diagonal buttresses in five stages rising to about one-third of its height. The bell-chamber windows are each of two plain square-headed chamfered lights, and the west window of the ground stage is of three trefoiled lights under a four-centred head.
The font (fn. 227) is modern. In the sacristy are two old carved chairs.
The advowson seems afterwards to have had the same history as the manor of Coverham, and in 1715 it was stated that an intending curate obtained the approval of the parishioners and was then licensed by the bishop. (fn. 230) The king presented in 1727, (fn. 231) the Rev. S. Hardcastle (one of the impropriators) (fn. 232) in 1817 and 1822, the Rev. William Otter, perpetual curate of Coverham, in 1836, (fn. 233) the Rev. William Cuthbert, curate here, in 1841, the Tomlinson family 1850–67, and Thomas Topham in 1868. (fn. 234) The living, with Horsehouse annexed, is now in the gift of Mr. Lupton Topham-Topham; it is a perpetual curacy designated a vicarage since 1868 under the Act of that year.
At Horsehouse is a small chapel of which Whitaker in 1824 remarked that it bore no evidence of date. (fn. 235)
Ranulph Pigott had licence in 1328 to grant tenements in Melmerby to Coverham Abbey for finding a canon as chaplain to celebrate divine service daily for his soul and those of his ancestors in the chapel of SS. Simon and Jude or in that of St. Thomas the Martyr in Melmerby. (fn. 236) Nothing further is heard of the latter chapel, but in January 1582–3 the former as a 'ruined chapel,' with 3 acres of land appurtenant, was granted by the Crown to Theophilus Adams of London, his heirs, and Robert Adam, citizen and grocer of London, for the yearly payment of 20d. (fn. 237) This chapel was stated in 1586 to have been built for the convenience of the inhabitants of Melmerby and Scrafton in winter, when storms made it difficult to get to Coverham, and several people declared that they had seen a stone in the chapel wall bearing the arms of Pigott and an inscription: 'Yf ye require or ye desire to wete who built this place Sir Randall Pigott.' Edward Topham declared that he had seen the record in an ancient book in the chancel and said there were coats of arms of the Pigotts in the glass of the windows. (fn. 238) The Abbots of Coverham used to appoint a hermit (afterwards called King's Hermit) to clean the chapel and assigned him all offerings made to 'St. Symond.' The hermits used to dwell at the end of the chapel, and here in 1586 John Prat kept an alehouse. (fn. 239) The ruins of this chapel are still to be seen by St. Simon's wath or ford on the River Cover.
Thomas Foster, by will dated 25 June 1692, devised one-fourth part of the rents and profits of his lands situate in Swineside to the curate of the parish church of Coverham, and three-fourth parts of the said premises to the curate and churchwardens of the parish for distribution among the poor at the feasts of Pentecost and Christmas. The trust property now consists of 16 a. 3 r. (including an allotment of 2 a. 3 r. made on the inclosure of Swineside Wood) and a slate quarry, producing about £40 a year, which is applied for the benefit of the poor by the churchwardens of the several divisions of the parish.
John Constantine, by will dated 24 November 1724, charged his lands at Gammersgill with certain annual payments amounting in the aggregate to £25 15s., whereof £12 was to be paid to the curate of Horsehouse Chapel on certain conditions, £3 for education, £9 in apprenticing, £1 to two poor families of Gammersgill, 10s. to trustees, 2s. 6d. to the minister of the said chapel and 2s. 6d. to the poor of Coverham. By an order of 18 July 1905, under the Board of Education Act, 1899, the educational portion of the trust was made separate under the title of the Constantine Educational Foundation.
In 1714 William Swithenbank, by will, charged his estate with certain fixed payments amounting to £9 16s. a year, whereof £1 6s. was for the poor of Stonebeck Up, £1 for sermons, 10s. for the poor of Horsehouse chapelry, £5 for education and apprenticing in Carlton and £2 for poor widows and old people of the same district. These payments were made at the date of the reports of the former commissioners of inquiring concerning charities (1821), but appear to have been discontinued without reason assigned, together with other fixed payments amounting to £4, the gifts of J. and T. Hammond and others. (fn. 240)
James Croft, by will proved 1872, bequeathed a sum, represented by £346 3s. 2d. consols with the official trustees. The dividends, amounting to £8 13s., are, in accordance with the trusts, applied in the distribution of articles in kind among the poor. The same testator also left a legacy, represented by £230 15s. 5d. consols, the dividends to be applied as to two-fifths for the Sunday schools of the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists at West Scrafton, two-fifths to their Sunday schools at Horsehouse and one-fifth to the Sunday schools of the Wesleyans at Carlton. The sum of £46 3s. 1d. consols, being one-fifth part, has been apportioned by the official trustees to each of these purposes.