A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Marrick parish is composed of the village of Marrick and hamlets of Hurst, Shaw, Oxque, Owlands and Ellers. The area is 6,206 acres, of which rather more than half is permanent grass; woods and plantations cover about 50 acres, and the amount of arable land (fn. 1) is small, the chief crop being wheat.
The subsoil is Yoredale Rocks. There are numerous old quarries, but neither the stone nor the lead mines at Hurst are now worked. These lead mines are supposed to be some of the oldest in the kingdom, and that they were worked during the Roman occupation of this country may be inferred from the fact that an ingot bearing the name of Adrian, now in the British Museum, was discovered in one of the workings. Documentary evidence for them has not, however, been found until the time of Henry VIII, when the nuns of Marrick had 24s. from the tithes of the lead ore. (fn. 2) That the working was considerable in the 17th century is shown by the large amount of £750 being paid to the owner of the rectory by William Bulmer of Marrick in 1634 for these tithes. (fn. 3) The lead mines belonged to the lord of the manor in 1689 (fn. 4) and 1780. (fn. 5) To Marrick Mill lead from Grinton (q.v.) used to be brought for smelting. (fn. 6)
The village of Marrick lies among hills sloping down to the Swale; about three-quarters of a mile to the east the church and the ruins of Marrick Priory, a Benedictine nunnery founded in the 12th century, lie in the valley close to the riverside. The ruins, backed by woods and hills rising abruptly to 1,100 ft. above the ordnance datum, were engraved by Turner for Whitaker's Richmondshire. A mile east of the village is Marrick Park, mentioned in 1605 (fn. 9); it is the property of the lord of the manor and the residence of Mr. J. C. Coates. Hurst Moor rises to a height of 1,500 ft. and leads to the higher moors of Arkengarthdale.
A water-mill once belonged to the manor of Marrick, and the founder of the priory granted the tithe to the nuns, together with free multure of their corn. (fn. 10) Conan de Aske, in 1380, granted them the farm of the mill for fifty years. (fn. 11) Close to the priory ruins are remains of a disused dam.
The following are the boundaries of land in Marrick granted to the nuns of the 12th century: 'From Alinepol in the Swale by threllesgate (the road called the Rail's-gate) to [the hill called] Wechnesberg and thence by the side of Wechnesberg to where the tofts of the church adjoin the tofts of the vill, and thence by the side of the wood by the heads of the crofts of the vill to the beck running into the road coming from Bacestaingrave (Backstonegrave), and thence by the beck to the Swale.' (fn. 12)
The following place-names occur in the 16th century: Applegarth, Snawden, Tabby Strand, Wyntryng Holme, St. John Carre, Methorn Flatt, Cote Flat, Colte Park, Dynnyshage and Ulland (fn. 13); and in the 17th century: Sander Springe, East Riddings, Croft Howe (still existing), Middle Riddings, Little Riddings, West Riddings and Potter Croft. (fn. 14)
William Blenkison, who was born at Marrick in or about 1807 and died in 1871, attained great notability as a breeder of race-horses. His stud at Middle Park, Kent, 'was considered one of the sights of England,' and he was founder of the Two-YearOld race at Newmarket. (fn. 15)
MARRICK was part of the fee of Count Alan at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 16) and continued to belong to the honour of Richmond. (fn. 17) Archil had a 'manor' and 5 carucates there before the Conquest, and these in 1086 were held by Gospatric under the count. (fn. 18) Gospatric must have been succeeded immediately by the family of Aske, for in the time of Henry II it was said that the grandfather of Roger de Aske, then lord, had been previously seised of Marrick. (fn. 19) In 1302–3 Roger de Aske held Aske and Hugh de Aske held Marrick, (fn. 20) but with this one exception the head of the family held both manors until 1512, (fn. 21) when William Aske died leaving granddaughters and heirs Anne and Elizabeth. He had settled one-third of the manor on a marriage to be made between Elizabeth and Richard, or in default Robert, son of Sir Ralph Bowes, and two-thirds on a marriage between Anne and Ralph, son and heir of William Bulmer, or in default Ralph, son and heir of John Bulmer, or one of his brothers. (fn. 22) Anne, who married Sir Ralph Bulmer, died in 1543 seised of the whole manor; her husband survived her and held the manor until his death, when it passed to their daughter and heir Dorothy wife of John Sayer. (fn. 23) John survived Dorothy, and died in 1584, leaving a son and heir John, on whom the manor had been settled in 1562. (fn. 24) The Sayers of Worsall held the manor until the middle of the 17th century, (fn. 25) when it passed by the marriage of Dorothy, cousin and heir of Laurence Sayer, (fn. 26) whose estates were sequestered in 1650, (fn. 27) to the Bulmers. (fn. 28) Anthony Bulmer of Marrick, son and heir of William husband of Dorothy, sold in 1670 the manor, capital messuage, 'and all other possessions of John Sayer late of Worsall' to John Mitford and Christopher Cratford, (fn. 29) trustees acting on behalf of Charles Paulet Lord St. John of Basing, (fn. 30) eldest son of John fifth Marquess of Winchester, who died March 1674–5. Charles (sixth marquess) settled the estate of Marrick (with the exception of the lead mines) on himself for life in 1689 with remainder in tail-male to Lord William Paulet, (fn. 31) and died in February 1698–9. (fn. 32) Lord William Paulet was succeeded in 1729 by his son William, who died 1757, leaving a daughter and heir Annabel, married to the Rev. Richard Smyth of Itchen, Hants. Their son William Powlett Smyth, who assumed the name of Powlett in compliance with the will of his grandfather, sold Marrick in 1817 to Josias Morley of Beamsley, who died in 1827 and was succeeded by his son Francis. (fn. 33) His grandson sold the manor in 1895 to Mr. Edward Francis Riddell of Cheeseburn Grange, Newcastle-on-Tyne. (fn. 34)
Little now remains of what was once the priory of Benedictine nuns at Marrick. The nave of the church was used for divine service until 1811, when it was pulled down and rebuilt out of the old materials. Only part of the east and south walls of the original quire, 42 ft. east of the present church, and the western tower were left standing. The east wall contains part of a large 14th-century pointed window, of which the head and tracery have disappeared. Under the window are a string and a chamfered plinth, and there are traces of diagonal buttresses at the angles. In the south wall the upper part of the sedilia can be seen, now almost covered with earth and overgrown with ivy, and above it was a 14th-century two-light window with fragments of the tracery still remaining; westward is one jamb of the doorway of the former vestry.
The present church, dedicated to the honour of ST. ANDREW, is a rectangular building 75 ft. by 23 ft. attached to the tower, which is 9 ft. by 12 ft. Nothing on the exterior distinguishes the chancel from the nave, but they are divided internally by an arcade of one complete and two half-bays. The arches are of two chamfered orders, resting on round columns whose 13th-century capitals have circular bells and octagonal abaci. The east window is of three lights, with a transom trefoiled below, and on the segmental head. There is a window on both the north and south of the chancel of two lights, trefoiled, with square heads. The west window in the tower is of the late 13th century, and has a pointed head with three pointed uncusped lights. The north side has three square-headed windows with straight strings above them, and having two trefoiled lights with pierced and cusped lights above. The tracery and some of the jambs and mullions are re-used work out of the old church. The pointed doorway between the second and third windows is 13th-century work, has a moulded hood with small masked stops, and resting on fragments of capitals of the same date broken off at the bell. Above this door is a circular quatrefoil window with a label round it. There is a buttress of two stages between each door and window, and under the windows is a scroll-moulded string.
The east wall has diagonal buttresses, against which stops a chamfered string running under the window. This window is of the 15th century; it has no hood, and above it is a scroll and leaf label stop built into the wall. The south wall, divided into five equal bays by buttresses, has in the first four windows which only differ from those on the north side in having scroll-moulded labels returned down the sides and a deep chamfered string under them stopping at the buttresses. The western bay contains a door with a modern head, but having one beautiful moulded 14th-century jamb. The lofty and massive tower has a slightly projecting parapet and five-stage diagonal buttresses at the western angles; on the south side is a square projecting stair turret running the full height. On each side at the top story is a square-headed hollow-chamfered transomed and mullioned window in two lights, without label. The 13th-century west window in the lower story has a hood with masked stops and a relieving arch above it. Attached to the tower on the north side are farm buildings, to the east of which is a small vestry containing a two-light mullioned window.
The rude octagonal bowl of the font is scalloped on the under side and from each scallop rises a bracket supporting alternate shields and square panels. Its plinth is a fragment of a 13th-century round pier with its complete moulded base. In the pulpit are parts of carved Jacobean panels.
Of the many tombstones in the church some are broken, others have had their brasses removed. Those most worthy of note are at the east end, one on the chancel floor and the other just below it in the nave; the former has an inscribed floreated stepped cross with a book and flower on one side and a chalice on the other; the latter is a large stone to the memory of a nun with the inscription at the top: 'subiacit petra monialis ysabella soror dom pudsa de barfury.'
There are three bells: the first is pre-Reformation with the inscription 'Sancte Petre ora pro nobis' followed by two floreated crosslets and a stamp now illegible; the other two are by Mears and are dated 1837.
Advowson and Site of Marrick Priory
The church of St. Andrew (fn. 35) was granted in the time of Henry II to Marrick Priory with 1 carucate of land by Roger de Aske the founder, the donation being confirmed by King Henry and afterwards by Edward III. (fn. 36) The church was appropriated before 1292 to the priory, (fn. 37) which continued to hold it until its dissolution in 1539. (fn. 38) Thenuns' quire occupied the west of the nave, the other half with the chancel on the north side, which was the chantry of the family of Aske, being left for the use of the parish. (fn. 39) The site, rectory, church and advowson of the vicarage, now for the first time mentioned, were granted in 1545 to John Uvedale or Woodhall. (fn. 40) John died seised in 1549, leaving a son and heir Alfred, (fn. 41) who was in 1583 succeeded by his son John. (fn. 42) In 1589 John granted the site, rectory and advowson of the church and all tithes in grain sheaves and hay in Marrick, Carkin and Aiskew to Richard Brackenbury, (fn. 43) who conveyed them in 1592 to Timothy Hutton of Bishop's Auckland and Elizabeth his wife, their issue and the heirs of Timothy. (fn. 44) The Huttons (fn. 45) continued in possession until 1631, (fn. 46) when Matthew Hutton, Barbara his wife and Timothy Hutton sold the rectory, tithes and advowson of the vicarage to Robert Blackburne and his sons John and Giles. (fn. 47) An arrangement was made in 1649 'to enable Robert Blackburne and his sons to hold each his third part in severalty, (fn. 48) but no actual partition was made.' Robert died in 1651 and his third part descended to John, his eldest son, who died without issue in 1661. On John's decease the estate at Marrick was again united in possession of Giles Blackburne, who survived his brother eight years. During his occupancy the barn and tithes of Carkin were sold for £120 to John Johnson of Newsham, Yorks. By his will 26 October 1669 Giles Blackburne devised to his son John and his heirs all his manor-house of Marrick Abbey with the lands and tithes of Marrick and the free rents of Patrick Brompton and Aiskew belonging to Marrick. (fn. 49) John Blackburne was compelled by money difficulties to mortgage and finally sell the property. (fn. 50) In 1684 he conveyed all his property in Marrick except the site of the priory to John Mitford and Christopher Cratford, (fn. 51) and from this time the rectory and church descended with the manor (q.v.) until in about 1900 Mr. Edward Francis Riddell sold it to the Bishop of Ripon. (fn. 52)
The site of the priory was sold by the Blackburnes to the Piggots, (fn. 53) and is now the property of Rev. Edward John Cumming Whittington-Ince, rector of Wormington, a descendant of that family. (fn. 54)
In 1655 John Blackburne by will charged his estate in Gunnerside and castle in Grinton with the yearly payment of 52s., 12d. thereof to be laid out in bread to be given to the poor every Sunday and 5s. yearly to the churchwardens for their trouble. The bread is duly distributed.
This parish is entitled to benefits under the charity of Matton Hutton at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Infirmary and at the Reeth Dispensary in the parish of Grinton, and in the discretion of the trustees to a grant for the school and to share in the portion of that charity applicable in apprenticing.