A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Crathorne is a small agricultural parish cut into two nearly equal parts by the River Leven. The total acreage is 2,600 acres, of which about half is under cultivation. (fn. 1) The soil is clay on a subsoil of Keuper marls, and wheat, oats, beans and turnips are grown. There are about 226 acres of woodland in the parish, all on the banks of the Leven, which are steep and picturesque. The river is noted for its trout and the whole parish for its shooting. (fn. 2)
In the centre of the parish and on the banks of the Leven is the village of Crathorne. It is also the central point of the manor, which except for a small estate near the eastern boundary is coterminous with the parish. The main high road from Yarm to Thirsk runs southward through the village and coincides with the main village street. At the northern end of the latter is Crathorne Manor at the point where Crathorne Grange Farm used to stand. It was the residence of the lords of the manor until Mr. J. L. Dugdale, the present lord, built the new Crathorne Hall in 1906. The latter is a stone house facing the Leven. The old manor-house of the Crathornes stood at the end of a second street branching off to the east from the south end of the first. A house has probably been in existence on this site since the beginning of the 14th century, when the Crathorne family first came into possession. (fn. 3) In 1808, however, the Hall was described by a local writer as plain and modern. (fn. 4) It was converted into cottages by the last member of the Crathorne family.
A Roman Catholic chapel south of the church dates from 1777 and is served from Stokesley. (fn. 5) A large part of the population was Roman Catholic in 1808, (fn. 6) a natural result of the long occupation of the manor by a Roman Catholic family.
The rest of the parish consists of the land attached to several farms. Of these the most important is Mill Farm, opposite the village on the other side of the Leven. The river is here crossed by a stone bridge with one arch which must have been built first to connect the manor-house with the other most important manorial buildings. In 1483–4 a Robert Kirton of Crathorne left 2s. to the ' causy of Crathorne.' (fn. 7) The first mention of a mill in Crathorne is in 1328–9, when it was quitclaimed to William de Ayermin, then lord of the manor. (fn. 8) Two mills were an appurtenance of the manor in 1517 (fn. 9) and continued to follow it in descent. In 1717 Ralph Crathorne had a water corn-mill and a fulling-mill leased to George Flownders. (fn. 10) The bleaching industry flourished in Crathorne in the 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 11) In 1808 there was an extensive bleach ground and two bleaching-mills, with the old flour-mill near by. The water for the bleaching-mill was brought from a fine chalybeate spring on the west bank of the Leven. (fn. 12) In 1844 only the cornmill was working. (fn. 13)
Low Foxton is in the extreme north-east corner of the parish, while High Foxton lies less than a mile to the south of Low Foxton on a height about 225 ft. above the ordnance datum. This farm with about 200 acres of land belongs to the Turner Hospital at Kirkleatham and is sometimes known as Hospital Farm. There are traces of a moat suggesting that this was the capital messuage of the manor of Little Foxton.
At the time of the Domesday Survey 5 carucates in CRATHORNE were Crown land previously held by Ulf. (fn. 14) Another carucate was in the soke of Hutton Rudby and belonged to the Count of Mortain. (fn. 15) Shortly afterwards Crathorne became part of the fee of Robert Brus in Yorkshire, (fn. 16) and was held of his descendants, forming with the manors of Kildale, Barwick and Thornaby one knight's fee. (fn. 17) The overlordship followed the descent of the manor of Yarm (q.v.), passing to the Thwengs and later to the Darcys of Knaith. (fn. 18) After the division of the Darcy lands in 1418 between the two heirs of Philip Lord Darcy Crathorne is generally described as held of the Strangways family as of their manor of Whorlton (fn. 19) (q.v.).
Till the beginning of the 14th century the tenants of Crathorne were the Percys of Kildale. Arnald de Percy granted the church of Crathorne to Guisborough Priory at some time between 1114 and 1140, (fn. 20) and his descendants continued to hold the manor, which followed the descent of Kildale (q.v.) for the next two centuries. It was among the estates which William de Percy, while of unsound mind, was induced to grant to his younger son William. The younger William held it in 1284–5 for his life, paying a rent to his father of £19 2s., 40 quarters of corn and 54 quarters of oat-malt. (fn. 21) After his death the manor was to revert to the heirs of William the father. (fn. 22) In spite of the decision that William de Percy was incapable of managing his affairs when he made this lease, the manor was restored to the younger William in the next year, (fn. 23) and he probably held it till his father's death in or about 1294. (fn. 24) It then reverted to Arnald de Percy, his elder brother, with the exception of a carucate and a half, which William at his death in 1295 was holding of Arnald. (fn. 25) This was probably by a grant for the term of his life, for in 1302–3 Arnald held the whole vill (6 carucates), (fn. 26) and paid 12s. subsidy for his land. (fn. 27) Seven years later he sold a moiety of the manor, consisting of three messuages and 3 carucates, to a certain John (fn. 28) son of Stephen le Teuler (fn. 29) of York. John le Teuler claimed two-thirds of the manor in 1310. (fn. 30) His son William, who took the name of William de Crathorne and was the ancestor of the Crathorne family, paid 2s. in subsidy for land in Crathorne in 1327. (fn. 31) The other principal landowner at that date was William de Ayermin, (fn. 32) Bishop of Norwich. (fn. 33) He received a grant of free warren here in 1331, (fn. 34) and was evidently the purchaser of the other half of the manor.
In 1332 William de Crathorne paid 7s. subsidy and William de Ayermin only 2s. (fn. 35) It is reasonable to suppose that the greater part of the estate of William de Ayermin had been sold to William de Crathorne during the interval. The Crathorne family held 5 carucates in the early 15th century. (fn. 36)
William de Crathorne became a knight and was killed at the battle of Neville's Cross in 1346. (fn. 37) His wife Isabel in applying for probate of his will declared that he had gone into the church of Crathorne before he started for the war and had there made his last testament. (fn. 38) He had a son William, who doubtless succeeded him. (fn. 39) The heir of the younger William is not known, but was possibly the Nicholas de Crathorne who witnessed charters in 1362 and 1365. (fn. 40) Tradition makes the Thomas de Crathorne who with his wife Elizabeth has a monumental inscription in the parish church alive in 1398. (fn. 41) If this is so, he was succeeded before 1425 by John de Crathorne, (fn. 42) who in 1428 held in Crathorne the 5 carucates of land which William de Crathorne once held. (fn. 43) He continued in possession (fn. 44) till 1454 at least, (fn. 45) and seems to have had a son John. (fn. 46) His successor in the manor, however, was probably an elder son Ralph Crathorne, who had twelve children in 1464. (fn. 47) He died in January 1489–90, leaving a son and heir Thomas. (fn. 48) Thomas Crathorne lived till 1509, (fn. 49) and married Alice, one of the daughters and heirs of Sir John Eland of Hull. (fn. 50) His son and heir Ralph, on whom the manor was settled by his father's will, died without issue in 1517. (fn. 51) In accordance with the settlement he was succeeded by his brother James, (fn. 52) who paid subsidy in 1524. (fn. 53) James died in 1543, (fn. 54) leaving £4 a year for a priest to sing mass during four years for his father and mother and brother Ralph, his godfathers and godmother and himself, 'with all his elders' soules that Almightie God wolde have prayde for.' (fn. 55) His eldest son was Thomas, (fn. 56) who succeeded to the manor and died in 1568, leaving a son Ralph. (fn. 57) Ralph was in possession of Crathorne at the Visitation of 1584. (fn. 58) He died in 1592, (fn. 59) and was succeeded by Thomas his son, (fn. 60) who had livery of the manor in 1603. (fn. 61) In the next year he and his wife Katherine were described as recusants (fn. 62); his mother Bridget was said to have been a recusant for twenty years. (fn. 63) This family never abandoned the Roman Catholic religion and suffered considerably for their recusancy. Thomas Crathorne died in 1639, (fn. 64) leaving a son and heir Ralph, then thirty years old. (fn. 65) The latter was still alive in 1665. (fn. 66) Two-thirds of his estates were sequestered during the Commonwealth for recusancy, and he petitioned to be allowed to compound for them in 1653–4. (fn. 67) He was succeeded by a son and grandson, both called Thomas, (fn. 68) of whom the latter had a son Ralph. (fn. 69) In 1717 Ralph Crathorne made a return of his estates as a Papist. They included the manor or lordship of Crathorne, with a court leet and a court baron. (fn. 70) Ralph was succeeded by his nephew Thomas son of his brother George. (fn. 71) Thomas died in 1764, (fn. 72) leaving a son and heir Henry Ralph, (fn. 73) who was holding the manor in 1778 (fn. 74) and died in 1797. (fn. 75) His heir was his brother Thomas, (fn. 76) who was in turn succeeded by his younger brother George. (fn. 77) The latter had taken the name of Tasburgh, (fn. 78) and had a daughter and heir Mary Tasburgh. (fn. 79) Her husband Michael Anne of Burghwallis also took this name. (fn. 80) On the death of Mary Tasburgh in 1844 (fn. 81) the manor of Crathorne was sold by auction (fn. 82) to Mr. James Dugdale of Burnley. (fn. 83) Mr. James Lionel Dugdale is the present lord.
Between 1262 and 1280 William de Percy granted 8 oxgangs in Crathorne, previously held for life by Master Michael de Walkington, to the priory of Healaugh Park towards the maintenance of two chaplains in the chapel of St. Hilda at Kildale. (fn. 86) When the prior and convent were released from this obligation they retained the Crathorne lands, undertaking to find a chaplain for the chapel of St. Nicholas at Yarm. (fn. 87)
In 1428 the Prioress of Basedale had 4 oxgangs in the vill. (fn. 88) In 1285 Peter Bagot, a steward of William de Percy, (fn. 89) was probably enfeoffed of some land in the vill, which his family continued to hold. (fn. 90) Tradition declares that the Bagot estate was joined to that of the Crathornes by the marriage of Thomas de Crathorne with the heiress of Peter Bagot at the end of the 14th century. (fn. 91)
With Crathorne FOXTON (Foxtun, xi cent.) passed to Robert Brus before the end of the 11th century. (fn. 92) It was held of his descendants as of the manor of Skelton. (fn. 93) The tenants from very early times were the Tantons of Tanton and their heirs the Mowbrays of Easby. (fn. 94) In 1241 William de Mowbray granted the manor of Foxton to William de Grey, (fn. 95) who had married Agnes widow of William de Tanton. (fn. 96) A few years later William de Grey and Agnes conveyed it to the Abbot of Rievaulx. (fn. 97) The abbot granted it in 1252 to William Mowbray son of Walter in return for his reversion in lands at Raysdale and elsewhere. (fn. 98) The manor remained in the Mowbray family, (fn. 99) following the descent of Easby (q.v.), and passed with the latter to the Bulmers. (fn. 100) At the death of Ralph Bulmer in 1558 the manor was divided among his eight daughters. (fn. 101) As in the case of Easby most of the shares must have been acquired by George Bowes. Land in Foxton purchased from George Bowes, with the capital messuage called Foxton Hall, belonged to Francis Fulthorpe in 1570. (fn. 102) In 1600 he died in possession of a free tenement at Foxton, (fn. 103) and Francis Fulthorpe of Foxton, his son and heir, (fn. 104) was returned as a recusant in 1604. (fn. 105) Before the end of the 17th century, however, a capital messuage and various closes here had been purchased by Charles Turner of Kirkleatham for the Turner Hospital there, in accordance with the will of William Turner, (fn. 106) and have since remained the property of the hospital. The rest of the manor was purchased at some time by the Crathorne family, who in 1844 were the sole proprietors in Foxton, except for the Hospital Farm. The present owner of the land, with the same exception, is Mr. James Lionel Dugdale.
The church of ALL SAINTS stands at the east end of the village and consists of chancel 23 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft. with north organ chamber and vestry, nave 42 ft. 10 in. by 18 ft. 6 in., south porch, and west tower 11 ft. square, all these measurements being internal. The only ancient parts of the fabric are the north and south walls of the nave, which may be of 14th-century date, but the building contains several fragments of preConquest date, (fn. 107) and built in over the south doorway is a hog-back gravestone, which may, however, be of the late 12th century. (fn. 108) Other fragments of a 12thcentury church have been found and are now in the vestry. The chancel and porch were rebuilt and the tower added in 1888. (fn. 109)
The chancel was partly rebuilt and heightened in 1844, (fn. 110) and the windows on the south side of the nave were apparently altered at the same time or before. Previous to the rebuilding of 1888 the nave had a flat leaded roof hidden by straight parapets and was lighted at the west end by two single-light windows placed between three two-stage buttresses. There was a bell-turret over the west gable containing two bells. A new high-pitched roof was erected over the nave in 1888.
The chancel has a modern three-light pointed east window and two square-headed windows on the south side. The chancel arch is modern and the floor is raised one step above that of the nave. The south nave wall is constructed of large squared stones and is lighted by three pointed two-light windows, the jambs, sills, heads and hood moulds of which are old or restored, the mullions and tracery being modern. On the upper part of the wall above the porch is a shield with the arms of Crathorne, and there is a chamfered plinth 4 ft. high. The north wall has a built-up doorway with pointed head in two stones opposite that on the south, and towards the east end an original square-headed window of two cinquefoiled lights with double-chamfered jambs but no hood mould. At the east end of the south wall in the usual position a plain pointed piscina recess chamfered on the edge shows the existence of an altar in the nave. The walls are entirely refaced with ashlar internally and the south doorway has been restored, the original outer jambs alone remaining. The opening is 3 ft. 10 in. wide, but the hog-back stone which forms the lintel is 6 ft. in length. It has an interlaced pattern on the lower half with flowing ornament above. The iron hinges and handle on the inside of the door are ancient. The roofs are eaved and covered with green slates.
On the north side of the chancel in a modern recess is a recumbent effigy bearing a shield charged with the Crathorne arms. A modern brass plate ascribes it to William de Crathorne, kt., slain at Neville's Cross (1346); in the nave is a second effigy, now very much worn, representing a deacon. A brass plate on a blue-stone slab in the chancel floor bears the inscription in Gothic characters, 'Hic iacet Thomas Crathorn Armig[er] et Elizabeth ux[or] ei[us] quor[um] animabz p[ro]picietur deus.' (fn. 111) The stone also bears a brass shield with the Crathorne arms.
The church contains a large number of mediaeval grave slabs or fragments of such, eleven of which are built into the walls of the tower inside. Two of the pre-Conquest fragments already mentioned are in the nave. Another, part of a cross-head with interlaced work, is in the vestry. In the churchyard is a stone coffin, and a loose stone now on the vestry wall outside bears the initials and date 'I.P. 1688.'
There is a ring of four bells, three cast by Taylor of Loughborough in 1888. The fourth, a mediaeval long-waisted bell without inscription, formerly hung in the bell-turret. (fn. 112)
The plate consists of a cup of 1593 made by William Rawneson of York, with the usual band of leaf pattern, a paten of c. 1660 with the mark of William Waite of York, and a flagon of 1878, the gift of Mr. John Dugdale of Crathorne. There is also a pewter flagon by Edmund Harvey of London. (fn. 113)
Arnald de Percy granted the church of Crathorne to Guisborough Priory in the time of Archbishop Thurstan (1114–40), (fn. 114) and the gift was confirmed by William de Percy (fn. 115) and Peter de Brus. (fn. 116) It was never appropriated to the priory, but a pension of half a mark was paid to the prior. (fn. 117) A third of the advowson appears among the possessions of Thomas and Ralph Crathorne in the early 16th century. (fn. 118) Apparently they had leased it from the priory.
After the Dissolution the advowson passed to the Crown. (fn. 119) It seems to have been granted by Elizabeth to the Crathorne family, (fn. 120) who, probably owing to their recusancy, must have disposed of it before 1674, when Sir James Pennyman presented. (fn. 121) It passed before 1768 to Viscount Cullen, who continued to present till the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 122) In 1827 and 1831 the patron was Mr. Godfrey Wentworth (fn. 123); in 1837 Godfrey Wentworth and Robert Chaloner. (fn. 124) Before 1844, however, the lady of the manor was in possession. The advowson was sold with the manor, (fn. 125) and has since remained in the same hands.
In 1769 Thomas Baxter by will bequeathed £100, on trust, to be put out at interest to be applied yearly towards teaching poor children whose parents paid under £5 a year rent. £50 of the legacy was lost through the insolvency of the holder. The remainder of the legacy, with accumulations, is represented by £87 11s. 7d. consols with the official trustees; the dividends, amounting to £2 3s. 8d., are applied in prizes at the Council school.