A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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The parish of Sutton-on-the-Forest covers about 6,000 acres of that stretch of level moorland to the north of York which is still known as the Forest of Galtres. This tract of land is, as Camden says, 'in some places thick and shady, with spreading trees, but in others is flat, wet, and boggy.' (fn. 1) The greater part of Sutton parish falls under the second description, though it is well wooded in the eastern half. The soil is alluvial and covered with old marlpits, and no point in the parish exceeds a level of 100 ft. above the ordnance datum. The stretches of flat ground which keep their old names of Brown Moor, West Moor, and the like have now for the most part been brought under cultivation, and 3,400 acres of the whole are arable land. (fn. 2) Grain crops are largely raised, as well as turnips and potatoes.
The old common fields of the manor surrounding the village still retain their ancient names, and a road running north to Stillington and separating the north field from the middle field is still known as Wandell Balk. The boundaries of the lordship of Sutton in the reign of Elizabeth were as follows:—
On the Northe it beginneth at Oddenskar Gate comonlie called Huby Oxclose Gate and goeth north easte to Mousby More and so to Skughe Gate butting upon the Comon on the north easte from the towne. And from Skughe Gate along the hedge of Mowsby moor and Mouseby grounds until the water of Fosse on the north easte. And from thence eastwarde alonge the river of Fosse until Fosse Paddocke. And from thence eastward . . . to Foss House Gate. And from thence south east along the said river to an old cast dyke, . . . Thence south to Scabcarr . . . to a dole stone . . . then south to another in Rudcarre . . . then to another at the North end of Hessel Dykes . . . then south to another at the south end of Hessel Dykes. . . . Then righte south to a dole stone east of Stayne cross. . . . Then south west to Stonecrosse and south west from dole to dole along Rudcar . . . to a dole stone lately set by Haxbie and Wigginton. . . . Then west to Grenthwaite nooke . . . and northwest to the Hagge side. . . . North west to Blaye pooles . . . and Gibhall . . . and west along Trentecarr. Then north up Sorrell Sykes . . . to Cockelarke. . . . Northe up Cockeclarke joining upon Hubie Comon . . . eastward along an old ditche. Along by Huby closes to Grene Carr Leyes . . . and follow Skate Dyke to Stutfawde ende and so to Oddenskarr Gate. (fn. 3)
The village of Sutton is picturesque and stands on either side of a broad portion of the great high road from York to the north, this section running east and west. Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels here were opened respectively in 1864 and 1861.
Opposite the church and south of the road stands Sutton Hall, the residence of Mrs. Grey, widow of Mr. Arthur Grey. It stands in a considerable park and is an 18th-century building of red brick with an entrance of the Doric order. The main building has a large pediment the full width of the house, and at the sides are low quadrant-shaped wings with balustraded parapets. The hall was for two centuries the home of the family of Harland, whose monuments are in the church. It probably occupies the site of the earlier Sutton Hall built by Humphrey Barwick in the reign of Elizabeth. Barwick seems to have caused some dissatisfaction among the tenants by taking possession of land for this purpose. The house is described at this date as 'a mansyon house having one hall . . . twoe chambers over the same, one garner over the chambers at the west end of the house, one little chamber next the greate chamber, one little gallerye, twoe little chambers over the kitchinge, a little chamber on the southe side, a buttery at the west end of the house, a kitchen, a larder house.' There was near by 'an old house with three or four Rowmes in it decayed.' The mansion-house was covered with slate and had six stone chimneys. The old house was covered with thatch. There was a garden, an orchard and a dovecote. (fn. 4)
At the west end of the village is the cemetery, the site of which was provided by the Hon. A. Duncombe when the churchyard was closed in 1866. (fn. 5) St. John's Well stands by the roadside about a mile and a half to the east of the village. It is a plain square conduit head of stone of small size and fed by a spring.
Laurence Sterne was nominated to the vicarage of Sutton in 1738, and held the living for more than twenty years, being for a part of the time also curate of Stillington. (fn. 6) Sterne lived at the vicarage from 1741 and entered in the parish registers the various expenses he incurred in repairing the house and grounds. In October 1742 he laid out the garden, planting cherry trees, an espalier apple hedge, nectarines and peaches. In the following autumn he inclosed the orchard and planted apple trees, pears and plums. (fn. 7) He not only officiated in the church at Sutton, but at one time attempted, with his wife, to keep a dairy farm, which appears to have been a complete failure. (fn. 8) He drew on his own parochial experiences for his account of Parson Yorick in Tristram Shandy, and gave some offence by his use of local characters. He held a small amount of land here, and obtained about 60 acres more when he joined with Lord Fauconberg, lord of the manor, and Philip Harland in securing the inclosure of the common fields of Sutton. (fn. 9) The only common land left to Sutton is a small moor south-east of a house called the Manor House which stands near the village.
The process of inclosing the waste and of bringing it into cultivation had been going on for many years. Robert de Nevill (fn. 10) in 1252 had licence to bring 200 acres of his demesne in Sutton into tillage 'in that part where he had begun to make a dike without the covert of the forest, and to inclose the said land with a dike so that the king's deer should have free entry and exit.' (fn. 11) Four years later he received licence to assart the land, (fn. 12) and his grandson and heir Ranulph de Nevill, first baron of Raby, held of the Crown an assart called 'Bulford Toftes.' (fn. 13) During the tenure of Ranulph several yeomen under-tenants also received licence to inclose and cultivate small tracts of forest ground. (fn. 14)
When the Forest of Galtres was disafforested in the reign of Charles I (fn. 15) 1,500 acres were assigned to the tenants of Sutton to compensate them for the rights of pasture and turbary which they thereby lost. (fn. 16) A third of this was south-west of the village separating it from the farm and holding oddly named Bohemia, and mentioned by that name in 1656. (fn. 17) The rest was on Brown Moor in the east of the parish. Even in 1660 the Lord Fauconberg of the day was attempting to have this inclosed, and in 1756 his successor achieved his object.
The township of Huby is separated from Sutton by what are practically the old boundaries on this side of the manor of Easingwold and Huby. 'So by the hedge unto North Carr, and as the hedge directeth on the righte hande unto Roseberye gate holding ryghte forwarde unto Moxbye feilde hedge, that divideth the manor of Esingwalde and Hubye from the lordship of Moxbye, from thence followinge the sayd hedge southwarde unto Sutton north feilde hedge where the bounde begins betwene this manor and the lordship of Sutton, thence from the sayde north feilde hedge south westwarde to Scate lane, and so leaving Sutton feilde hedge on the easte unto Browne moore, And leaving Greene Carr parcell of the Lordship of Sutton on the easte unto the weste corner thereof, where turne eastwarde by the hedge unto a caste dike beinge a water Sewer which seemeth to be a bounder betwene Esingwald and Sutton . . .' (fn. 20) Scate Lane is the present Skates Lane, which runs from the west end of the village of Sutton to the south end of Huby village street, a mile to the west. Huby is a pretty village with cottages standing back from the road on either side of the green, at the southern end of which is the maypole, 'sixty feet high and painted with various colours.' A feast is held here on the third Sunday in June.
At the north end of the main street Gracious Street branches off to the east. It is said to have had its name since the last visitation of the plague, when this street alone in Huby escaped infection. The inhabitants left the town and encamped on the meadows west of the village, called in consequence Cabin Lands. (fn. 21)
Where Gracious Street meets the lane running northward from Huby to Stillington stand the ruins of the old house called Huby Hall, with its gardens and fish-ponds. It was once the home of the celebrated architect William Wakefield, who designed Duncombe Park and Gilling Castle. (fn. 22) The site of the chapel served by the vicars of Sutton in the 13th century can be traced on the east side of the street. The field surrounding it is called Chapel Garth.
The road that runs westward from Huby to Tollerton, known as Baston Lane, passes the site of 'the Moat,' an old mansion long since ruined; its history is unknown. Further along the road are some modern brick and tile works.
One of the most interesting buildings in the parish is New Park, the hunting lodge of James I, which stands some 2 miles to the north of Shipton village and about half a mile to the east of the main York and Easingwold road. It is a plain rectangular building of no great size, and its external appearance is rendered uninteresting by the substitution of modern sashes for all the old windows. The house, which is two stories high, is built entirely of red brick in old English bond, two or three courses of stretchers alternating with one of headers. The front elevation is broken by a projecting porch with a room above it finished with a gable, and at the back the attics are fronted with three more gables. The two massive chimney stacks, one at the back and one in the centre of the building, though plain are good, and above the roof the flues are set diagonally. The chief feature of the interior is the handsome Jacobean staircase, the well of which has unfortunately been filled in. The square enriched newels support handsome vases and the well-moulded rail rests on turned balusters. The rail, newels and balusters are repeated against the outer walls to form a dado. At the head of this staircase is a handsome oak door-frame with Ionic side pilasters finished with terminal figures, male and female, and on the cornice is a carved basket with a cock on either side (one of these is missing). A room on the first floor has a plaster ceiling with a diamond-shaped panel in the centre, the border being enriched with coronets, falcons and escutcheons alternately. Other examples of modelled plaster occur elsewhere in the house. The house seems to have been built, and the park from which it took its name inclosed, in the reign of James I, for in 1660 there were still living persons who had known the park 'ever since it was a Park.' (fn. 23)
A survey made of the park in 1649 shows that there were at that date 270 deer in it. The house was a 'fairely built messuage dwelling-house or lodge . . . consisting of severall large and hansom Roomes, a hall, a parlour, a kitchinge, a buttery, a sellor and other necessary low roomes, six faire lodginge chambres above the stairs with large windowes setting out on the south side of the said howse . . . one little orcharde newly planted, one grasse courte on the sowth of the said howse surrounded with a stronge brick wall . . . two walkes paved with broade stones.' (fn. 24)
During the Commonwealth New Park was in the possession of that prominent Roundhead Colonel Robert Lilburne. (fn. 25) The neighbourhood of the Forest of Galtres suffered severely in the Civil Wars (fn. 26) and Lilburne's servants did not give enough attention to the park to make it an exception. There were about twelve deer there at the Restoration, and the whole place had fallen into decay. (fn. 27) 'There was some fruite trees and flowers and herbs,' said a woman-servant who lived here, 'in the said gardens and orchards, and a decaying rotten hedge about some part thereof, through which swine did sundry times get into the said gardens and orchards, to the prejudice of the said plants and flowers and herbs.' (fn. 28)
The house and park were restored to order by Richard Harland, the Royalist captain, who lived at Sutton Hall. (fn. 29) He was put in charge in 1660, but found the servants of Colonel Lilburne very hard to displace. His own servants were 'thrust out of the house,' and he only gained possession of it through a woman-servant who had a key, and 'immediately entered the said house and kept possession thereof for the use of Richard Harland.' (fn. 30)
It was at considerable sacrifice that Richard Harland left his own estate at Sutton and established his household at New Park. Apparently he was not able to keep up both houses, and Sutton Hall is said to have suffered much damage. (fn. 31) In 1661, however, he handed the park over to his successor, Henry Darcy, who had a lease of it for forty-one years. (fn. 32) At the same time a grant of it was made to George Duke of Albemarle and his heirs male, (fn. 33) presumably to take effect when Henry Darcy's lease expired. It is described as 'a park or lately a park,' (fn. 34) and probably it was never restored to its former condition, for Galtres was already disafforested.
An Inclosure Act was passed for the open and common arable fields and lands of the township of Huby in 1841. (fn. 35)
In 1086 the 3 carucates in SUTTON were royal demesne. The vill contained two holdings, equal in extent, of which one was soke of 'Caldenesche' (Galtres ?). The other had been held before the Conquest by Ligulf and Aifride. The second holding must have been the land included in the soke of Easingwold (fn. 36) (q.v.). Bertram de Bulmer in the reign of Henry I held the vill as one knight's fee, (fn. 37) and it followed the descent of his manor of Sheriff Hutton (q.v.) in the hands of the family of Nevill until the 14th century. In 1394 Ralph de Nevill fourth Lord Nevill of Raby had licence to grant all lands and services which he had in Sutton to his son John and John's wife Elizabeth Holland, with remainder failing their issue to Ralph's own heirs. (fn. 38) This was superseded by a later settlement, which entailed the manor on William Lord Fauconberg, younger son of Ralph by his second wife Joan, and his heirs male. (fn. 39) In his will Richard Earl of Salisbury, elder son of Ralph and Joan, (fn. 40) directed his wife and his son and heir Richard to take proceedings at a suitable time for the recovery of the lordship of Sutton in Galtres, which had been alienated by his brother Lord Fauconberg contrary to the form of the succession laid down by his father. (fn. 41)
Lord Fauconberg had no male issue, and Richard Earl of Warwick, son of Richard Earl of Salisbury, succeeded to the manor, (fn. 42) which was forfeited with his other lands after the battle of Barnet in 1471. (fn. 43) It was among the possessions granted by Edward IV to Richard Duke of Gloucester, (fn. 44) to whom various members of the Nevill family released their right in it. (fn. 45)
On the accession of Richard as Richard III Sutton passed to the Crown, and was occupied in the 15th and early 16th centuries by royal bailiffs, (fn. 46) and afterwards by persons who were still called bailiffs, but enjoyed most of the privileges of lessees. Thomas Tirrell, whom Edward VI appointed in this capacity, (fn. 47) was succeeded by his wife, and her second husband William Wortington was able to sell his interest in the manor to William Atkinson. (fn. 48) Under Elizabeth, Humphrey Barwick had a long lease of the manor. (fn. 49) Throughout this period the Crown held the manorial courts. (fn. 50)
George Kirke had a grant for life of the manor in 1628, (fn. 51) and in 1629 Sutton was granted to the citizens of London. (fn. 52) In March of the next year the trustees for the City were ordered to retain the manor in their own hands until it should be decided whether or not it was part of the Forest of Galtres. (fn. 53) In May, however, it was sold by them to George Lee and Francis Britten, probably acting on behalf of the tenants of the manor. (fn. 54) Lord Fauconberg was in possession of the 'royalties' of Sutton in about 1649, (fn. 55) and it seems likely that he was nominated by the tenants as in the case of Easingwold (q.v.). Sutton Hall was already in the possession of Richard Harland, a notable Royalist who fought in the battle of Marston Moor. In 1645 he held a lease of it with some years yet to run, and also the reversion after the expiration of another lease granted to George Kirke. (fn. 56) The Bellasis family were lords of the manor, which followed the descent of their seat at Newburgh (fn. 57) (q.v.) at least till the middle of the 18th century, (fn. 58) but they were finally bought out by the Harlands. Richard Harland suffered fines and imprisonment during the Commonwealth 'as much as any gentleman of those parts.' (fn. 59) He compounded for his estates in 1650, (fn. 60) and was resident in Sutton in 1660. (fn. 61) He died in 1689, at the great age of ninety-seven, (fn. 62) and was succeeded by his son Richard. (fn. 63) In the return which Lord Fauconberg made of his lands in 1717 it appears that several parcels of land were let to Richard Harland. (fn. 64) Lord Fauconberg was still lord of the manor in 1756, (fn. 65) when Philip Harland, probably the son of Richard, was 'Squire of Sutton' and lived at Sutton Hall. (fn. 66) Laurence Sterne was at that time vicar of the parish, and was not apparently on the best of terms with Mr. Harland. (fn. 67) Anne, the daughter and heir of Philip, married first the Rev. Henry Goodricke, (fn. 68) and secondly Charles Hoare, who was created a baronet in 1808. (fn. 69) She had no children by either marriage, but William Charles Hoare, her husband's nephew, inherited Sutton Hall and took the name of Harland. (fn. 70) He is the first Harland who is stated to be the lord of the manor, (fn. 71) though the purchase may have taken place at any time between 1756 and 1852. He married the daughter of R. E. Duncombe Shafto, and on his death without issue in 1863 the manor passed under the will of Lady Harland to Admiral Duncombe. (fn. 72) His son Mr. Arthur Duncombe assumed the name of Grey, and his widow Mrs. Grey is the present owner.
The lords of the manor of Sutton had right of pannage in the forest of Galtres. (fn. 73)
In 1331 Ralph de Nevill and his heirs had a grant of free warren in his demesne lands here. (fn. 74)
Various customs of the manor are enumerated in a survey made in the reign of Elizabeth. The probate of wills of all who died in the lordship was the right of the Crown and was usually made by the bailiff. The tenants had rights of common of pasture, drift of strangers' cattle, turbary and certain rights to firewood. Moreover, the bailiff of the town for the time being used to deliver one load of wood out of the wood growing upon the commons to every newlymarried man towards the charge of his wedding dinner, and every such married man gave to the bailiff a pair of gloves. The crops sown in the common fields in the year of the survey are also given. 'Westfeilde: sowen this yeare with hard corne, and the next yeare with Barley. Northfield this yeare with pease and beanes and next year to be faughe. Inhams and Morton fields this yeare Barleye next yeare beanes and pease. Southfeild and Thorpefeilde this yeare fawghe, next yeare winter corne, and so change yearlie.' (fn. 75)
In HUBY (Hobi, xi cent.; Hewbye, xvi cent.) Safford and Sinnard had 2 carucates of land before the Norman Conquest. The king held them in demesne with 4 carucates in the soke of Easingwold in 1086. (fn. 76) Part of Huby was always regarded as a member of the manor of Easingwold (fn. 77) (q.v.), and followed the same descent throughout. Sir George Wombwell is the present lord, but holds no land in the township.
When the manor was granted to Henry de Helyon in 1230 Huby was to be freed from forest jurisdiction, and 'quit of waste, regard, views of foresters, verderers and regarders and all other things pertaining to the forest.' (fn. 78) It continued, however, to be one of the towns where the kings held their forest courts of swainmote and attachment. (fn. 79)
Henry de Helyon and his men of Huby had estover in the forest for housebote and hedgebote (fn. 80) and the right to have his pigs in the forest 'at the time of mast' quit of pannage. (fn. 81) These continued to be the privileges of tenants in Huby. The men of Thomas Earl of Lancaster petitioned the Crown in the 14th century to enforce their rights. (fn. 82) The justice of the forest, they complained, prevented them from having their housebote and hedgebote in the manner in which they and their ancestors from time immemorial used and ought to have it, that is to say, 30 oaks a year for housebote, without reckoning the small underwood for hedgebote, and now by the command of Sir Robert de Clifford they were reduced to sometimes 15 oaks and sometimes 10 oaks a year. (fn. 83) Another complaint was that the king's officers 'prevented them from making their way through the forest from Easingwold to Huby, and from Huby to York and towards every other village, unless they paid a heavy and arbitrary ransom,' (fn. 84) and that Easingwold and Huby were compelled to pay more than their share towards the upkeep of two foresters, whose meat and drink had been chargeable to seven forest townships. (fn. 85) Their appeal was treated sympathetically by the Crown, and the forest officials were ordered to preserve to them their ancient rights. (fn. 86)
In the reign of James I the duties of the tenants were to accompany the justice in eyre to view the game and perambulate the forest and to assist the ranger to drive the king's drifts. (fn. 87) They had the privilege of herbage, pannage, common of estovers, turves, brakes and whins in the common woods of the manor. (fn. 88)
Henry II granted land here worth 40s. to the canons and nuns of Marton. (fn. 89) Before 1167 the nuns were removed to Moxby. (fn. 90) In 1177 the lands in Huby were still held by Marton Priory, (fn. 91) but there was subsequently a division of the endowments and these became the property of the Prioress of Moxby. (fn. 92) Her holding is described as 4 carucates, or two-thirds of the whole vill, the remaining third being in the royal demesne. (fn. 93) In 1199 the nuns complained that the king's men of Huby were breaking up and cultivating their pasture land, and an order was made to protect their right. (fn. 94) This holding is in one place described as 'the manor of Huby,' and it appears that the prioress held courts there. (fn. 95)
After the Dissolution the capital messuage which had belonged to Moxby Priory was granted in 1545 to Henry Wyldon and John Bell, (fn. 96) and subsequently the 'manor of Huby' was granted to Richard Burrell and his heirs. (fn. 97) Nothing more is heard of it as a manor, and it was probably split up into several holdings. William Wakefield, who in the 18th century lived in Huby Hall, (fn. 98) bought a messuage and land here in 1720 from William Radclyffe, Thomas Marshall and others. (fn. 99) The estate may have been purchased gradually by the Bellasis family, lords of Newburgh (q.v.), and their successors the Wombwells; Sir George O. Wombwell was a principal landowner in 1859. (fn. 100)
The prioress had in right of her lands here three parts of the pannage of pigs driven in the forest of Galtres. (fn. 101)
For centuries SUTTON GRANGE was among the temporal possessions of the hospital for poor men at York, which was variously known by the names of St. Peter and St. Leonard. Bertram de Bulmer, founder of the priory of Marton, was also a benefactor of this house. He granted it 'two oxgangs of land in Sutton, and a dwelling-house where the buildings of the brethren are placed, and all the pasture of the said town in frankalmoin, quit of all gelds and service save prayers, with stuff from his wood for their buildings, and mast for their pigs without payment of pannage, and wood for their fire.' (fn. 102) This grant was followed by others made by Bertram's heirs, the family of Nevill. Henry de Nevill gave to the poor men of the hospital 46 acres of land in Sutton (fn. 103) stretching from the corner on the east side of the grange of the hospital as far as the marsh called 'Tossocker' by the bounds 'at whose placing the donor was present on the day on which he gave seisin.' This land, with reasonable access for their carts along the hedge of the grange, they were to hold in frankalmoign, quit of all services save prayers. Robert de Nevill added 13 acres west of the close granted by Henry and also 23 acres on the south side of the grange of the hospital. (fn. 104) The farm of this grange in the reign of Henry VIII was worth £5 11s. (fn. 105)
After the surrender of the monastery Sutton Grange came into the hands of the Crown and was granted by Philip and Mary to the master and chaplain of the hospital of the Savoy, (fn. 106) a house for poor men founded by Henry VII on the site of the Savoy Palace. (fn. 107) It was at the time in the tenure of Robert Wharton. (fn. 108) There is no record of a grant of the grange after the hospital of the Savoy was dissolved by Queen Anne. Probably it was purchased by one of the landowners of Sutton.
In 1320 the master of the hospital of St. Leonard held land in Huby called 'Hobyland,' and granted it to John de Ellerker and his family. (fn. 111) Land in Huby which had belonged to the hospital, probably the close in question, was granted in 1545 to Henry Wyldon and John Bell. (fn. 112)
Robert de Nevill granted a toft with 2 oxgangs of land in Sutton, which had lately been held of him by Robert Baxby, to the Prior of Marton in 1272. (fn. 113) The prior's possessions here were worth £12 12s. in the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 114) Among them was land known as Thrushouse and Thrushes Close, which was granted to Edward Archbishop of York in 1543. (fn. 115) A lease of some land in Sutton which had belonged to Marton was granted to William Davell in 1539. (fn. 116)
In 1315 John de Thornton of Skewsby had licence to reduce to cultivation a plot of brushwood and waste in Sutton called THE LUND. (fn. 117) It was held of the king in chief by a service of one two-hundredth part of a knight's fee, (fn. 118) and was inherited by the heirs of John. (fn. 119) After John de Thornton, who lived at the end of the reign of Edward III and seems to have been the grandson of the first John, (fn. 120) there is no record of the owners of this land until it appears among the possessions of the chantry of Cornbrough (q.v.) founded by Thomas Witham. (fn. 121) 'Two closes of pasture, the one called Sutton Lounde and the other called Sutton Haye,' were among the lands from which the chantry drew its support. (fn. 122)
The church was very largely rebuilt in 1877, only the tower and the south nave wall remaining of the old building. The rebuilding is regrettable, as the ancient structure was unique in this part of the country. It consisted of a nave and chancel with a north aisle of eight bays extending from the west face of the tower to the extreme east end of the chancel, the latter occupying three bays. It was at first, with the exception of the chancel, in which were traces of 14th-century work, entirely constructed of timber, with a row of posts to the aisle supporting a low pitched tie-beam roof which also rested on a series of posts against the south nave wall. The latter were irregularly spaced to avoid the windows, the ties resting on a heavy timber plate. The tie-beams were supported by curved struts and the whole appeared to date from the early part of the 15th century. Later on in the same century the outer walls were rebuilt in stone, leaving, however, the southern posts still standing against the new wall. At the same time a western tower was built within the south-west angle of the nave and communicating with it by arches in the north and east walls. A timber south porch was also added. In 1877 the whole of the timber structure was removed and the chancel rebuilt. The new nave was shorter than the old, the north arch of the tower being filled in and a stone south porch was substituted for the earlier timber one.
The chancel has a three-light 14th-century east window reconstructed in the new wall and two large four-light square-headed windows in the south wall, now almost entirely modern, but an exact copy of the old work. The north chapel is entirely modern. In the nave the south wall only is old and has a threelight traceried window of the 15th century towards its eastern end and near it a piscina. A two-light square-headed window of similar date pierces the wall near the opposite end. The modern north aisle opens into the nave by an arcade of three bays. The tower, which is wider from north to south than from east to west, is three stages high and faced like the south nave wall with ashlar. It dates from the 15th century and has a pointed three-light west window. In the north wall is a blocked archway formerly communicating with the north aisle and a second arch opens on the east side into the nave. The second stage is lit only by loops, but the belfry has a two-light square-headed window in each face. Within the south door is an octagonal stoup of the same section all the way up. The other fittings include an 18th-century oak pulpit with a soundingboard and a wooden almsbox dated 1673. In the nave and chancel are several 18th-century memorials to members of the Harland family of Sutton Hall. In the west window are a few fragments of ancient glass.
The tower is finished with an embattled parapet, having modern pinnacles at the angles, and contains three bells, the first, inscribed in black letter, 'Dominus tecum ave gracia plena,' the second, inscribed also in black letter, 'Sum Rosa Pulsata Mun. Maria,' (fn. 125) the third, 'Gloria in altissimis deo 1716,' cast by E. Seller of York.
The plate includes a cup (York, 1678) inscribed 'Ex dono Richardi Harland generosi 1677,' a large cup without date mark, but with the maker's initials I L three times repeated, a large paten (London, 1694), 'the gift of Mr. William Vause late of Huby who dyed in ye year of our Lord 1695,' a paten (London, 1722) inscribed 'Sutton in the Forest 1729,' a small 17th-century paten with the date mark obliterated, a paten and almsdish (York, 1825), both presented in 1826, and two flagons (Newcastle, 1783) bearing the Harland arms.
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) mixed entries 1557 to 1652; (ii) baptisms 1665 to 1806, marriages 1665 to 1753, burials 1665 to 1807; (iii) marriages 1754 to 1806; (iv) marriages 1806 to 1812; (v) baptisms and burials 1808 to 1812.
Until the beginning of the 13th century the patronage of the church was in the hands of the lords of the manor. (fn. 126) It was then granted by Henry de Nevill to the priory of St. Mary, Marton, for his soul and those of his wife, father and mother, and for the support of the canons and brethren. (fn. 127) The canons had a grant of the church itself in 1218 to take effect on the death of the rector, (fn. 128) and in 1222 it was appropriated to the priory (fn. 129) and a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 130) It was later provided that the vicar was to have the capital messuage next the church. (fn. 131)
The Priors of Marton continued to present (fn. 132) till the Dissolution, (fn. 133) the last of them resisting an attempt on the part of Cromwell to secure the living for a poor relation of Elizabeth Lady Lawson. (fn. 134) This prior was the king's chaplain, and after the surrender of the priory continued to hold the advowson for his life. (fn. 135) It was among the benefices granted to the Archbishop of York in 1545 in exchange for other property, (fn. 136) and the archbishops presented until in 1879 the advowson was transferred to the Crown. (fn. 137)
When the church was appropriated to Marton Priory there was a chapel at Huby endowed with 12 acres of ground. (fn. 140) It was laid down in the appropriation that the vicars of Sutton were to serve honestly the chapel of Huby and to provide books and all ornaments and lights necessary. (fn. 141) This chapel seems to have fallen into disuse before the 16th century. 'Certayne money towards the finding of a preste' in the parish of Sutton was lying in the hands of various inhabitants of the parish in 1547, (fn. 142) and was probably the endowment of Huby Chapel. In 1572–3 the building with a garth was granted to Edward Forthe. (fn. 143)
By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 9 June 1899 the following charities for the benefit of the townships of Sutton-on-the-Forest and Huby are administered under the title of the United Charities, namely:—
William Charles Harland's charity, by will 1861, £1,001 13s. 5d. consols; the income of the last two mentioned is by the scheme made applicable as to two-thirds for Sutton and as to one-third for Huby.
William Vause's charity, for eleemosynary purposes, rent-charge of 50s. paid by Mrs. Grey, and William Vause's charity for educational purposes, rent-charge of 20s. paid by Mr. O. I. Kilvington, both founded by will 1695, and charged on land at Huby;
The scheme (inter alia) provides for a body of trustees for each of the two townships of Sutton and Huby, for the application of 20s. a year from William Vause's charity for prizes or rewards to children of Huby attending a public elementary school, and the income of the remainder of the charities in aid of provident clubs or direct gifts to the poor of the respective townships. The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees.
The above-mentioned Dorothy Gibson, by her will proved in 1904, left £50, the interest to be applied in coals for church poor. The money is invested in £54 17s. 3d. consols with the official trustees.