A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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This parish consists of the townships of Whorlton, Faceby and Potto, and includes also the hamlets of Swainby and Goulton. The total area is about 8,200 acres, of which the greater part is pasture land, (fn. 1) though 1,719 acres are under cultivation and 303 are given up to woods and plantations. The parish lies on the slopes of the Cleveland Hills and has a gradual fall towards the north, where it is fertile and well watered. In its south and east parts it is for the most part open and uncultivated moorland.
One deep valley known as Scugdale runs up between two ranges of hills in the south-east corner. The bottom of the valley is under cultivation, and the sides are sparsely covered with trees. A road runs down to connect the few farms there with the village of Swainby. In the 14th century Scugdale was pasture land. In 1339 Peter, parson of Rudby, successfully claimed common of pasture in places called 'Eykedal,' 'Scukedale' and 'Raverath' against Nicholas de Meynell, then lord of the manor. (fn. 2) There is mention in the suit of a way called Skarff, to the west of which Peter had common of pasture as far as Cribedale in breadth and to Nelyshou in length. The herbage of Scugdale Wood was valued thirty years later at 40s. a year. (fn. 3)
Scugdale Beck, a small and swift stream, rises in Scugdale and is joined at the foot of the valley by Pipers Beck, which flows from Far Moor. The united streams then flow north under the name of Cold Beck. At the lower end of Scugdale there were in 1808 bleaching grounds of considerable extent, (fn. 4) connected with the small linen-weaving industry then existing at Swainby. (fn. 5)
On the west of Cold Beck is Scarth Wood, a hamlet granted by Stephen de Meynell to the monks of Guisborough for the establishment of a cell. (fn. 6) There is reason to believe that the cell never came into existence, though Burton states that 'its present remains are (1758) very small, and there is a stone coffin and some banks of earth, which were thrown up when the foundation stones were removed about a.d. 1746, adjoining on the south of which is a little close yet called the Chapel garth.' (fn. 7)
On the other side of the stream is Live Moor, a hill which reaches a height of just over 1,000 ft.; on its northern slope one or two small streams take their rise. To the north-west is the small round hill called Whorl Hill, at the western foot of which was the village of Whorlton; of this there are scarcely any remains, for the population has shifted to the village of Swainby close by.
Whorlton Castle, the stronghold of the Meynells, occupies a striking position at the end of the steep spur of the Cleveland Hills. The ground slopes on the north side to the Leven Valley, and the site is backed by the high summits which flank the entrance to Scugdale. The castle is of the 'mount and bailey' type, and its earthworks were probably thrown up not long after the Conquest. These earthworks, which have already been described, (fn. 8) cover 3 or 4 acres, and some outer works possibly inclosed the 'burgus' or town which usually grew up under a castle. Like other strongholds of this type, its buildings and defences were at first of wood. There is no evidence of the date at which masonry buildings took the place of those of timber, and very little is now left of the castle buildings except the gate-house. This building is a 14th-century rectangular structure of dressed stone, measuring externally 58 ft. by 33 ft., with a projecting vice at the north-west angle. It stands at the east end of the moated mound on which the castle was built, and faces north-east with the moat immediately below it on three sides. The outer walls are 7 ft. 6 in. thick, except on the inner side, where the width is reduced to 5 ft. 8 in., but all the internal walls and floors have gone. The end walls are now about 20 ft. in height above the level of the ground floor and the long side walls some 7 ft. or 8 ft. higher, but the ground falls rapidly from back to front, giving a greatly increased height to the building above the moat, the basement wall to the top of the plinth on either side of the entrance being 15 ft. in height. The plan followed the usual arrangement of vaulted passage-way through the middle of the building with a guard chamber on either side about 9 ft. high, and outer and inner portcullises, the grooves for which still remain. Above were two other floors the disposition of which can now only be conjectured. Externally the building is divided at about half its present height by a flat moulded string. Over the entrance are three shields with the arms of Meynell, Darcy and Greystock, and a fourth higher up between the windows of the upper floor charged with Meynell impaling Darcy. The entrance is 10 ft. wide with a segmental-headed arch of two orders 11 ft. high, the outer order rounded and the inner chamfered, the same detail being repeated on the inner entrance from the courtyard. The ground floor rooms are lighted by loops with wide internal splays at either end of the building and on either side of the entrance, with smaller ones towards the courtyard. There are fireplaces in the west wall and a small mural chamber in the south-west angle with garderobes in the end walls on each floor. The vaulting over the passage-way is said to have been standing till 1876; the springing of the ribs remains in the angles at a height of 9 ft. 6 in. above the present level of the floor. The wall ribs of the vaulting remain at the ends and have two hollowchamfered members. The loopholes facing the courtyard have trefoiled heads and inner pointed arches, but the heads of the others are simply pointed and the inner arches are segmental in shape. The loops to the room on the north side of the entrance have been widened. The vice is entered from the outside by a round-headed doorway, there being no access internally from the ground to the first floor. At the first-floor level there is a fireplace in each of the end walls, and L-shaped mural chambers 4 ft. wide lighted by loops in the external angles except at the northwest, where the vice is situated. On the east side are two tall square-headed windows of two lights with transom, the openings 3 ft. 6 in. wide, and the mullions flush with the face of the wall. There is also a similar window in each end wall. These mullioned openings form perhaps the most distinctive architectural feature on the outside of the building, and internally form deep recesses in the walls from which the garderobes and mural chambers are approached. At the south end of the west side a straight staircase in the thickness of the wall, lit by a loophole, gives access to the floor above, at which height the walls are reduced in thickness to 4 ft. 6 in. There is a passage-way the full length of the west wall lighted by a mullioned and transomed window similar to those on the front, and by two loopholes, with two doorways on the inner side. On the east are two other mullioned and transomed windows immediately above and similar to those below, between which are the slits for the chains of the drawbridge. The structure is in a more or less dilapidated state, and the entrance is now approached by a causeway with stone walls across the moat.
About 24 yards to the west are the remains of the castle. In a drawing of 1725 (fn. 9) they are shown standing some considerable height above the ground, but at the present time only some vaulted cellars, with walls 6 ft. in thickness, remain. When the new church was built at Swainby in 1876 'the foundations of the buildings inside the base court were dug up for the foundations' of the new building, and no plan appears to have been made of them. (fn. 10) The vaulted cellars which remain probably belong to a building older than the gate-house, but are not very extensive, the largest being 29 ft. by 13 ft. 9 in.
The castle was described in 1343 (fn. 11) as ruinous and without yearly value, and in Camden's time it was 'old and ruinous.' The date of its dismantling, however, is not known. A dwelling-house was built against the north-west end of the gate-house within the courtyard, probably at the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century, but has since been demolished. It is shown in the drawing of 1725 already referred to, and was of two stories with gabled dormer windows in the roof. The fireplace of the north guard chamber was broken through as a doorway from the dwelling, the position of which may still be seen on the west wall of the gate-house.
There is nothing to show at what date the Meynells first imparked land in Whorlton. A park certainly existed in the 13th century. (fn. 12) The parks of Whorlton and Awmond are mentioned in 1543, (fn. 13) while the Great Park, the Alman or Aumond Park, the North Skeugh and the Red Deer Park, mentioned in 1645, (fn. 14) were among the possessions of the lords of the manor as late as 1826. (fn. 15)
The old church of the Holy Cross which stood just outside of the castle of Whorlton is also in ruins. A new church was built in 1877 in the hamlet of Swainby on the banks of the Cold Beck, which flows along the whole length of the village street. Just south of the village it works what was once the manorial water-mill. (fn. 16) Swainby has chapels of the Wesleyans and the Primitive Methodists, and an Oddfellows' Hall stands at the north end of the village street, where it is joined by the main highway through the parish, the road running north-east from Thirsk to Stokesley. This road crosses the stream at Maynard Bridge and runs 'along Whorlton Parke side within the lordship of Gowton . . . from Swainby to Stokesley,' to quote the description of it given in 1607, when it was 'in great decay.' (fn. 17)
Just before the road reaches Swainby it is crossed by a lane running north to Potto and Hutton Rudby. Black Horse Farm and Whorlton Cottage are at the cross roads, and less than a mile further north, at another cross road, where Butcher Lane branches off to the village of Potto, is Potto Hall, the residence of Mr. E. B. Richardson. Potto is a small village near the stream, containing Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels. A lane leads north from it to Potto station on the North Eastern railway, which runs east and west across the parish. A disused branch of the railway once ran from Swainby to Potto in connexion with the mining industries of the neighbourhood. Ironstone is plentiful in the hills and there are abundant traces of the working of jet, which was mined till 1892. The southern hill at the lower end of Scugdale has a slope called Limekiln Bank, and Limekiln Road runs down from the bank to Swainby. Near Potto station is a cottage called Potto Tilery, which indicates the presence of another manufacture.
The village of Faceby, east of Potto, is reached by a lane branching off from the Stokesley road, which then runs on to Carlton. In 1610 Thomas Skarth was presented at the quarter sessions for 'stopping the common or usual waie betwixt Faceby and Carleton, in a place there called the Head of the Lyne Lands betwixt Langelands and Lynelands, and for stopping of the water-sewer upon the west shorte flat.' (fn. 18)
The lane to Faceby becomes the village street running north and south. On the west is the church of St. Mary Magdalene, which was rebuilt in 1875. Near it there is a Primitive Methodist chapel, erected in 1866, and to the north is Faceby Manor, the residence of Mrs. Morrison. Mill Lane leads from the north end of the street to Faceby Mill, worked by Faceby Beck.
An Inclosure Act for Faceby was passed in 1748 for 'several common fields, consisting of 12 large oxgangs of land, and 36 small oxgangs of arable and meadow lands, containing 700 acres or thereabouts, and a common pasture, &c., containing 400 acres, and a common or waste containing 500 acres.' (fn. 19) About half the ground of Faceby was under cultivation in 1808. (fn. 20)
In the 11th century WHORLTON was part of the soke of Hutton Rudby, and was among the possessions of the Count of Mortain. Of the six vills in this soke Whorlton alone was not waste. (fn. 21)
William Paynel of Appletonle-Street (q.v.) gave Archbishop Hubert Walter (1193–1205) seven knights' fees held by Robert de Meynell (fn. 22); this was known as 'Canterbury fee' in the county of York. (fn. 23) It was practically co-extensive with the fee held by the family of Meynell, (fn. 24) who are known to have held land in Yorkshire at the beginning of the 12th century. (fn. 25) In 1302–3 it was found that all the lands of Nicholas de Meynell in the wapentake of Langbaurgh were held of the archbishop, (fn. 26) and were consequently not subject to geld.
The Meynells held their fee of the archbishop by the service of doing the 'office pertaining to the pantry' on the day of his enthronement, (fn. 27) or, in another version, 'serving the Archbishop on the day of his consecration with a cup from which he should drink on the same day.' (fn. 28) This overlordship lasted till the manor of Whorlton came into the hands of the Crown in the 16th century. (fn. 29)
The earliest member of the family of Meynell of whom any record is known is the Robert de Meynell who granted the church of Ayton to Whitby Abbey (fn. 30) and the vill of Myton to St. Mary's, York, (fn. 31) before 1112. His wife was named Gertrude and he had a son Stephen. (fn. 32) This Stephen was a witness in about 1145 to the foundation charter granted by Walter d'Espec to Rievaulx Abbey, and was described as one of Walter's neighbours. (fn. 33) Robert son of Stephen (fn. 34) was his heir. He was living in 1168–9 (fn. 35) and was the father of Stephen de Meynell, his successor, who appointed Hugh de Rudby his deputy for granting the church of Whorlton to Guisborough Priory at the end of the 12th century. (fn. 36) This Stephen had a son and heir another Robert, (fn. 37) who was living in 1202. (fn. 38) In 1207–8 Richard Malebiche paid fine for the marriage of his daughter Emma, then widow of Robert. (fn. 39) Robert's son and heir Stephen (fn. 40) was under age, (fn. 41) and the castle of Whorlton was granted to Robert de Roos (fn. 42) in 1214 and subsequently to Hugh de Balliol. (fn. 43) In 1219, however, the custody of all the lands of Robert de Meynell was restored, as of right, to the Archbishop of Canterbury, since they were of his fee. (fn. 44)
Stephen de Meynell was plaintiff in a suit concerning land in Whorlton in 1226, (fn. 45) and made grants to Byland Abbey in 1230. (fn. 46) His eldest son Robert died without issue. A younger son Nicholas succeeded him (fn. 47) and obtained a grant of free warren in Whorlton in 1269. (fn. 48) He was summoned to Parliament as a baron in 1295. (fn. 49) His wife Christiana, whom he accused of attempting to poison him, (fn. 50) proved her innocence, and at the death of Nicholas in 1299 (fn. 51) had various lands allotted to her as dower. (fn. 52) Nicholas son of Nicholas de Meynell had seisin of his father's lands. (fn. 53)
This younger Nicholas carried on an intrigue with Lucy daughter of Robert de Thweng and wife of William Latimer, (fn. 54) which led to some litigation as well as a private quarrel of considerable violence. A curious story is told of one Robert Bordesdeyne, who swore before the assize that he had been hired by Nicholas de Meynell to kill William Latimer, and later reversed his evidence and declared that William Latimer had paid him for a false accusation against Nicholas. (fn. 55) There was one son by this irregular alliance, and in 1315 Nicholas settled on him and his issue the reversion of Whorlton and other manors if he himself should die without legitimate issue male. (fn. 56) Nicholas de Meynell was summoned to Parliament, like his father, as Lord Meynell, (fn. 57) and was Sheriff of York. (fn. 58) During his term of office he 'made a trench to save the fish in the stew of Fosse in order that the course of the water might flow through it until he should cause the mill pond, which had been carried away by a flood, to be reconstructed.' (fn. 59) He died without legitimate issue in 1322, (fn. 60) and the manor of Whorlton descended under the settlement of 1315 to Nicholas son of Lucy de Thweng, (fn. 61) who was also allowed to succeed to the barony. (fn. 62) He died in 1342, (fn. 63) and the custody of his lands and of his daughter and heir Elizabeth came into the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 64) Elizabeth had seisin of her father's lands in 1348, (fn. 65) when she was the wife of John Darcy of Knaith. (fn. 66) The manor was settled on her and her first husband in tail in 1353, with remainder to Edward III and his heirs. (fn. 67) Her eldest son John Darcy (fn. 68) predeceased her, and her heir when she died in 1368 was a younger son Philip, then aged fifteen. (fn. 69) He succeeded to the barony of Meynell, which his mother had held in her own right. (fn. 70) Philip was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 71) who died in 1411, leaving a son and heir Philip. (fn. 72) The latter died under age (fn. 73) in 1418, (fn. 74) and his lands were divided between his two daughters and heirs, (fn. 75) Elizabeth, who married Sir James Strangways, and Margery, who married Sir John Conyers. Elizabeth inherited Whorlton, which remained in the Strangways family till 1541, (fn. 76) following the descent of their manor of West Harlsey (fn. 77) (q.v.). Whorlton was settled in 1541 by the younger Sir James Strangways on himself and his heirs, with remainder to Leonard Dacre and other sons of William Lord Dacre in tail-male. (fn. 78) At his death in 1541 his heirs were his aunt Joan, wife of William Mauleverer, and Robert son of Mary, another aunt, who had married Robert Roos of Ingmanthorpe. (fn. 79) The possession of his wide estates was disputed by these families and the Dacres of Greystock, (fn. 80) and the matter was settled by an award made by the Crown, as a result of which Whorlton came into the king's hands, apparently as the price of his decision. (fn. 81)
In 1544 he granted this manor with that of East Witton (fn. 82) (q.v.) to Matthew Earl of Lennox and Margaret his wife and their heirs. (fn. 83) With East Witton it was granted in 1603 to Edward Bruce Lord Kinloss, whose descendant Charles, afterwards third Earl of Ailesbury, was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Bruce of Whorlton in 1711. (fn. 84) It was purchased from his family before 1890 by the late Mr. James Emerson of Easby Hall. (fn. 85) His second son (fn. 86) Mr. Eleazer Biggins Emerson is the present lord of the manor.
In 1293 Nicholas de Meynell cited the charter of free warren granted in 1269 (fn. 87) in an action in which the Crown contended that he prevented his neighbours from fishing and hunting on the river banks. (fn. 88) Nicholas, however, denied that he had prevented anyone from fishing except in his park and close. (fn. 89)
Nicholas de Meynell received also in 1269 a grant of a market to be held every Tuesday and an annual fair on the eve, the day and the morrow of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. (fn. 90) This grant was renewed in 1337. (fn. 91) It is uncertain at what date the privilege fell into disuse.
Two 'manors' and 8 carucates in FACEBY (Fezbi, Feizbi, Foitesbi, xi cent.; Faytesby, xiii cent.; Faicebi, xiv cent.) appear in the Domesday Survey among the Crown lands; they had been in the hands of Aschil and Lesing. (fn. 92) Early in the 12th century 8 carucates here formed part of the fee of Robert de Brus, (fn. 93) and were subsequently held of him and of his descendants. On the partition of the lands of Peter de Brus in 1281 (fn. 94) the fees in Faceby, Sexhow and elsewhere were allotted to his sister Margaret de Roos. (fn. 95) She granted them to Marmaduke de Thweng, (fn. 96) and the manor was held of the Thwengs (fn. 97) until it passed by inheritance to the Lumley family, (fn. 98) and finally, by forfeiture of the under-tenant in 1471, (fn. 99) to the Crown.
In the 13th century Faceby was held of the Brus fee by the three families of Sturmy, Skutterskelfe, and Gower in equal parts. The first mention of any of them is in 1208, when Ingelisa wife of Philip de Colvill claimed against William Sturmy and Stephen Gower her dower third in a carucate in Faceby, which had belonged to William son of Robert, formerly her husband. (fn. 100) William Sturmy 'and his parceners' held two fees in Faceby and elsewhere in 1279, (fn. 101) and five years later the tenants of Margaret de Roos in Faceby were Robert de Skutterskelfe, Roger Sturmy and Robert Gower. (fn. 102) This arrangement may have been the result of marriage with co-heirs, possibly daughters of that William son of Robert whose widow was Ingelisa, but no evidence on this point has been found.
Robert de Skutterskelfe, whose 'manor of Faceby' was mentioned in 1279–81, (fn. 103) was succeeded by Richard, who was holding a third of the manor in 1316. (fn. 104) Later, however, he released to John Gower 6s. rent which he received from John for land in Faceby, and granted to him the advowson of the chapel there with the lordship of the vill, (fn. 105) thus reducing the families which shared the manor to two.
The Roger Sturmy of 1284 appears to have been followed by a Ralph Sturmy, who was living in 1299, (fn. 106) while in 1300 William Sturmy paid subsidy for his possessions here. (fn. 107) He was the coparcener of John Gower and Richard de Skutterskelfe in 1316, (fn. 108) and was still living in 1340. (fn. 109) The family held the manor of Dromonby (fn. 110) (q.v.), which their lands in Faceby appear to have followed in descent into the hands of the Constable family. John Constable held six messuages and 16 oxgangs in Faceby in 1619. (fn. 111)
The pedigree of the Gower family is somewhat obscure. The Robert Gower who was a tenant here in 1284–5 and was the son of Robert (fn. 112) must apparently be identified with the Robert Gower, husband of Christiana, to whom in 1314 John Gower of Faceby granted a third of the manor for life with reversion to his own heirs. (fn. 113) Robert and Christiana had two sons John and Laurence, (fn. 114) and it is probable that John Gower of Faceby was the elder of these. In 1316 a John Gower was in possession. (fn. 115) He died in 1346, leaving a son and heir John. (fn. 116) Laurence Gower, who was mentioned in the will of the elder John (fn. 117) and was perhaps his brother, held the manor in 1360, when it was claimed against him by the descendants of Richard de Skutterskelfe under an alleged settlement by Robert Gower. (fn. 118) This claim was renewed in 1371, when John son of Laurence was the defendant, (fn. 119) though he cannot have been in actual possession at that date. The manor had been released in 1364 by Richard Gower of Marton to Gilbert de Wauton, Christiana his wife and Elizabeth her sister. (fn. 120) Christiana and Elizabeth were daughters and heirs of Alice de Hapton, who was the widow in 1336 of John Gower. (fn. 121) Half the manors of Faceby and Carlton in Cleveland were granted in 1368 by Gilbert and Christiana to Donald de Hesilrigg and Joan his wife for the term of their lives, (fn. 122) with reversion to the heirs of Christiana. Elizabeth, the second co-heir, married William son of Adam de Clapham and was her sister's heir. (fn. 123) In 1377 the tenants of Faceby, Low Worsall, Skutterskelfe and Staindale Bridge were Roger de Fulthorpe in right of his wife, Gilbert de Wauton, William de Clapham and John Sturmy. (fn. 124)
Shortly afterwards Faceby appears in the possession of the Earls of Westmorland. John Nevill of Raby held one close, six messuages and 8 oxgangs in 1389. (fn. 125) In 1425 Ralph Earl of Westmorland died in possession of the manors of Busby, Faceby, and Carlton in Cleveland. (fn. 126) From this date this part of the estate appropriated the name of the 'manor of Faceby.' It is always mentioned with the manors of Busby and Carlton in Cleveland, and the three were settled on William Nevill Lord Fauconberg in tailmale in 1430. (fn. 127) They were regarded as part of the lordship of Sheriff Hutton (q.v.) and followed the same descent. (fn. 128) Various appointments of bailiffs were made during the 16th century, (fn. 129) when it was in the hands of the Crown. Faceby was granted by Elizabeth in 1576 to Anthony Rotsey and William Fisher, (fn. 130) and appears in 1596 in the possession of Henry Jenkins (fn. 131) of Great Busby (fn. 132) (q.v.). His son Tobias (fn. 133) inherited his lands and sold Faceby in 1700 to Christopher Prissick, (fn. 134) who was succeeded by Codrington John Prissick, (fn. 135) lord of Faceby in 1741. (fn. 136) Seven years later, however, the lords of the manor were William Sutton and Edmund Bunting, (fn. 137) who must have purchased it from Codrington Prissick. (fn. 138) William Sutton probably bought out his partner; he was succeeded by his son George, (fn. 139) who died without issue. His great-nephew George William Hutchinson succeeded him, and assumed the name of Sutton in 1817. (fn. 140) John Stapylton Sutton, son of George, was his heir, (fn. 141) and was lord of the manor in 1879. It was purchased from him by his son-in-law, Mr. Martin Morrison, who died in 1900; his widow is now lady of the manor. (fn. 142)
POTTO (Pothou, xiii cent.; Pothowe, xv cent.) is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but it is clear that it then consisted of two holdings, one of which formed part of the fee afterwards held by the Meynells, (fn. 143) while the other passed to the Brus family and their descendants. (fn. 144) The second and part of the first were held by a family taking its name from the place, (fn. 145) the remainder was held by the Meynells in demesne. (fn. 146)
Nicholas de Meynell died in 1299 seised of 2 oxgangs here worth 20s. (fn. 147) They followed the descent of his manor of Whorlton (fn. 148) (q.v.) until the 16th century, when, on the division of the Strangways' lands, Potto was awarded to Dame Elizabeth Strangways for life, (fn. 149) with reversion to Robert Roos of Ingmanthorpe, one of the heirs of Sir James Strangways. (fn. 150) This reversion Robert Roos granted in 1547 to William Tancred and his heirs. (fn. 151) Elizabeth, who had married Francis Nevill, subsequently leased the manor to Leonard Dacre, but he was shortly afterwards attainted of treason. (fn. 152) Elizabeth and her third husband Sir Charles Brandon consequently re-entered upon possession of the manor, (fn. 153) and after her death it should have descended to the heirs of William Tancred. His son and heir Thomas, however, granted the reversion of Potto to the Earl of Rutland, (fn. 154) who succeeded on the death of Elizabeth in 1580. (fn. 155) His daughter Elizabeth Lady Roos inherited his estates, (fn. 156) and with her husband William Cecil was in possession at her death in 1591. (fn. 157) She was succeeded by her son and heir William Cecil Lord Roos, (fn. 158) who died in 1618 without issue. (fn. 159) The manor passed to his uncle Sir Richard Cecil. Richard Cecil and his wife Elizabeth were in possession of the manor of Potto in 1622, when they quitclaimed it to William Warde. (fn. 160) The latter was described as lord of the manor in 1629, (fn. 161) but after that date nothing further is heard of his estate.
The family of Potto also held what was known as the manor of Potto. The first recorded member of his family is Robert de Potto, (fn. 162) who was party to a fine in 1202 with John de Goulton. John de Potto was a person of some importance in 1251–2. (fn. 163) In 1268 Stephen de Potto was called to warrant by his son Richard in a fine (fn. 164) concerning land in Potto which was to be held of William son of Ralph de Potto. Robert de Potto held a quarter of a knight's fee of the heirs of Peter de Brus in 1279. (fn. 165) It appears that he held besides 3 carucates of Nicholas de Meynell, (fn. 166) also for a fourth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 167) In 1315 Robert son of Robert de Potto (fn. 168) quitclaimed to Roger de Heslarton a mill, 12 tofts and 12 oxgangs in Potto, (fn. 169) and Roger was returned as lord of the manor in 1316. (fn. 170) It seems probable, however, that the Potto family retained their hold upon it, for the 'heirs of Robert Potto' continue to be mentioned as the tenants of the Fauconbergs. (fn. 171)
These heirs appear to have been the family of Percehay. In 1346 William Percehay, lord of Ryton, died, and left to his wife Agnes all his goods in Potto. (fn. 172) His son and heir was William, (fn. 173) who held 4 oxgangs in Potto of John Darcy in 1384. (fn. 174) He was succeeded by Robert Percehay, (fn. 175) who forfeited his lands at the beginning of the 15th century. The king granted his estate in Potto to John Fulthorpe for life. (fn. 176) A later Percehay must, however, have recovered it, for that family remained in possession till the 16th century at least, and was in constant conflict with the Strangways, who held the other estate here. Walter Percehay, son of Lionel Percehay, sued Sir James Strangways in the reign of Henry VII for detaining the documents which proved his claim to the manor of Potto, (fn. 177) and Robert son of Walter, who was seised of the manor in 1535, (fn. 178) accused Ann Strangways, widow, of ejecting him from his manor and holding it against him. (fn. 179) He quitclaimed the manor to Roger Cholmeley in 1537. (fn. 180)
During the 17th and 18th centuries the history of Potto is a blank. The manor appears in 1808 in the possession of Edward Wolley, who presumably acquired it by purchase. (fn. 181) In 1846 it had come into the hands of the Marquess of Ailesbury, lord of the manor of Whorlton, (fn. 182) and from that date it has followed the descent of Whorlton.
The hamlet of GOULTON, which was part of the Meynell fee, gave its name to a family who lived here. John de Goulton held 4 oxgangs of Robert de Meynell in Hutton in 1202. (fn. 183) Stephen de Goulton was living at Goulton in about 1301, (fn. 184) and a member of the family was still holding land here in 1579–80. (fn. 185)
In the 13th century Nicholas de Meynell granted to the Prior of Guisborough 2 acres 1 rood in the field of Goulton in exchange for other land in Goulton which lay near Whorlton Park. (fn. 186)
The hamlet of SWAINBY was regarded as part of the manor of Whorlton, (fn. 187) and followed the same descent.
The remains of the church of the HOLY CROSS stand on high ground a little to the east of the castle and about half a mile to the north-east of Swainby village. Since the erection of the new church at Swainby in 1877 the old building has been abandoned, the chancel and tower only retaining their roofs. The graveyard is still used and the chancel serves as a mortuary chapel. The building consisted of chancel 32 ft. by 18 ft. with a chapel on the north side, nave 52 ft. 9 in. by 23 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles, and tower on the south side forming a porch 8 ft. 9 in. by 10 ft., all these measurements being internal. The nave is now entirely dismantled, the aisle walls having totally disappeared, though the arcades still stand, together with the chancel arch and a portion of the west wall including the buttresses at its external angles. The oldest parts of the structure are the three easternmost bays of the north arcade and the chancel arch, which are of 12thcentury date, together with portions of the west end of the chancel. The corresponding bays on the south side are of c. 1200 and the western bay on the north side is of slightly later date. The chancel appears to have been rebuilt and lengthened c. 1300, to which period or a little later the south-west bay of the nave also belongs, and the tower dates from c. 1400. The chapel on the north side of the chancel (fn. 188) was pulled down in 1877.
The original 12th-century church consisted of a nave about 36 ft. long, and the same width as at present, with a north aisle. There is no evidence of a south aisle at this date, though there may possibly have been one. The chancel was also of the same width as at present, but of less length. A portion of the original 12th-century wall remains on the north side for about 12 ft. from the west end and contains the west jamb of a round-headed window, and on the south side the old plinth remains for a distance of about 20 ft. At the close of the 12th century the south aisle, the remains of which exist, was built, and shortly afterwards the nave was extended westward by the addition of a bay. The detail on the north side only is of this period, but it is unlikely that when the extension took place only the north aisle should be carried westward, and it is probable that the west arch of the south arcade was rebuilt afterwards when the chancel was reconstructed. This appears to have taken place late in the 13th century, when it was extended eastward, and the church then remained without alteration till about the beginning of the 15th century, when the tower was erected and possibly the chapel north of the chancel added. The north wall of the tower is built upon and over the third arch of the south nave arcade, the arch itself being closed up and a doorway inserted. It has generally been stated that at this time, or shortly after, the north and south aisles were taken down and the arcades built up, the tower thus standing free on three sides. Support is given to this view by the fact that portions of two square-headed windows with trefoiled lights formerly in the walls of the built-up arcade, and still preserved, are apparently of 15th-century date, and it is probable that the church assumed somewhere about the beginning of the 15th century the aisleless form which it preserved until the time of its dismantling. When that took place the existence of the north and south arcades was unsuspected, and was only discovered when the demolition of the nave was taken in hand. The arches had been walled up and windows inserted, the piers being effectually embedded in the later masonry. Some alterations were made in the chancel about 1593, (fn. 189) part of the south wall at the west end being reconstructed and a new window inserted. The upper part of the tower was repaired and a new roof erected in 1722. (fn. 190) The ruins of the nave were put into a state of repair in 1891, when the gable over the chancel arch was rebuilt, a buttress erected on the north side, and the tower again reroofed.
The chancel is built of coursed masonry and has a modern slated roof. The square angle buttresses are of two stages finishing in gablets, (fn. 191) and the east window is a pointed one of three cinquefoiled lights (fn. 192) with external hood mould terminating in heads. At the east end of the north wall is a single-light cusped lancet with wide inner splay, and on the south side two windows, (fn. 193) each of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoils above, all with external hood moulds terminating in heads. The pointed priest's doorway has been built up. At the west end of the south wall is a later square-headed three-light window above which externally are two shields, one inscribed 'orate p. nobis a.d. 1593,' and the other with the arms of Bate of Easby. Similar shields occur inside below the window with the name 'E. Bate' under each. Below the window opening in the usual position are the sill and part of the jambs of a small low-side window 3 ft. 6 in. from the ground. Internally there is a trefoilheaded piscina with floreated bowl in the usual position and an aumbry in the wall opposite. At the bottom of the mullions of the east window are stone brackets carved with the heads of a king and bishop, and to the north of the window at sill level is a corbel carved in the shape of a human head. A larger moulded corbel supported by a carved head occurs at a lower level on the south side of the window. In the middle of the north wall is an opening 9 ft. wide with rounded arch, below which stands the Meynell tomb, and to the west of this are the remains of the 12th-century window already referred to. Beyond this again the wall has been disturbed. The arch formerly opened into the chapel, the existing recess, which is only 5 ft. 6 in. deep, being modern. In 1877 a wall was built at the west end of the chancel within the chancel arch, which is now only visible from the nave. The walls are all plastered and the floor flagged.
The chancel arch is elliptical in shape and of two continuous moulded orders springing from half-round responds and angle shafts on either side. The hood mould towards the nave is carved with star ornament. The inner order has a large half-round moulding on the soffit and the shafts have cushion capitals with a band of cable moulding below. The width of the opening is 12 ft. 6 in. and the hood mould has been a good deal restored. On the gable above are the remains of a sanctus bellcote.
The original north arcade consists of three semicircular arches of two square orders with hood mould on both sides, springing at a height of 6 ft. 8 in. above the present level of the turf from circular piers and half-round responds. Each of the responds and the second pier from the east have scalloped cushion capitals, but that of the first pier is carved beneath the abacus with dragons. The wall above stands to the level of the crown of the arches, and the piers have been strengthened on the north side by modern masonry. The south arcade has three rounded arches of two square orders with hood mould only on the nave side springing at a height of 9 ft. 6 in. from circular piers and half-round responds, all with moulded capitals and bases. The bases have the water moulding and the capitals are circular in the neck and octagonal above. The second pier from the east is now partly embedded in the tower, the north wall of which fills up the original west arch. The extent of the old nave is marked by masonry piers on either side, the later bays having pointed arches. The arch on the north, however, has fallen. It has been of two chamfered orders springing from half-octagonal responds with moulded capitals in which the nailhead ornament occurs. On the south side the arch and responds are of similar type except for the capitals, which have the wave moulding. There is a piscina in the nave on the south side of the chancel arch.
The tower, which is without buttresses and of three unequal stages marked by strings, terminates in a straight parapet and slated pyramidal roof. The string below the parapet is ornamented with the four-leaved flower on three sides, and the belfry windows are square-headed openings of two trefoiled lights with transom at mid-height. The lower stage forms the porch, and has a pointed inner and outer doorway, the former of two chamfered orders, with a segmental inner arch to the nave. The tall middle stage has a square-headed window on the south side above the doorway and a loop on the west, but is otherwise plain. Two mediaeval grave covers with floreated crosses are built into the east and west walls and there are others inside the church. There is no vice. The foundations have given way on the south side and the tower now leans 22 in. out of the perpendicular in that direction.
The Meynell tomb on the north side of the chancel is surmounted by a crocketed canopy with cinquefoiled semicircular arch, and bears a hollow oak effigy. On each side of the tomb are seven mutilated shields, those on the south bearing the arms of Roos, Latimer, Darcy, Greystock (twice), Nevill and Fitz Hugh, the evidence of which points to a date about the first quarter of the 15th century. (fn. 194) The figure, that of an unknown knight, is older (c. 1305–10), and is supposed to represent Sir Nicholas de Meynell. (fn. 195) It is 6 ft. in length, and the costume represents the knight in mail coif with a narrow fillet round the temples, hauberk, and mail hose with knee cops, and long surcoat reaching nearly to the ankles. The head rests on two cushions and the right leg is crossed over the left. The feet, which rest on a dog, 'appear as if they were uncovered and the toes are visible, yet for all that they are armed with spurs and the straps still remain.' (fn. 196) The hands are in prayer, and a girdle with a long pendant is looped over the sword belt. The sword, in its scabbard, hangs in front of the figure.
The tower contains a mediaeval bell inscribed 'Sancta Maria ora pro nobis.' (fn. 197)
The plate consists of an Elizabethan cup, with the usual band of leaf work, the date letter of which is indistinct, but is probably that for 1570, and a modern plated paten and flagon. (fn. 198)
The new church of the HOLY CROSS in Swainby village was built in 1877, (fn. 199) and consists of chancel with north vestry, nave with north aisle and north-west tower forming the porch, surmounted by a spire. There is a ring of six bells cast by John Warner & Sons of London, and a clock was presented in 1891 by the Rev. Alleyne Fitz Herbert.
The church of ST. MARY MAGDALENE at Faceby stands on the hillside to the west of the village and consists of chancel 27 ft. 6 in. by 15 ft. with organ chamber on the north side, nave 28 ft. by 18 ft., and south porch. The structure was entirely rebuilt in 1875, but incorporates some fragments of an older church, the 12th-century west doorway having been re-erected on the south side and portions of 12th-century stonework built into the chancel arch. Before 1875 the plan of the building was a plain rectangle with bellcote over the west gable, but, although probably preserving a good deal of its 12th-century walling, it had apparently undergone many changes from time to time, three pointed windows on the south side and one at the east end having been fitted with barred sashes. There was a single similar window near the west end of the north wall and a square-headed opening of two trefoiled lights near the east end of the south wall. (fn. 200) Canon Atkinson relates that during the demolition of the old building he saw 'a large number of voussoirs and other stones connected with two Norman arches of exceeding beauty, and one of them an elaborate arch of three members dug out of the foundations of the church which were being removed.' (fn. 201) From this statement it is not quite clear whether these fragments were in addition to the stones of the Norman doorway which is shown in old views standing at the west end of the building, but only eight voussoirs, each carved with the cheveron moulding, are built into the modern pointed chancel arch. The semicircular arch of the old west doorway which was rebuilt on the inside of the south doorway facing the nave consists of two orders, the outer with a continuous moulding and the inner with the cheveron ornament, both springing from plain imposts. The hood mould has a plain star pattern, three stars to each stone. The jambs and imposts are new. The opening is 4 ft. wide.
Graves states that there was formerly a brass to Sir Lewis Goulton, kt. (fn. 202)
The plate consists of a silver paten of 1879, a modern plated cup, and a pewter plate. (fn. 203)
The registers begin in 1707. (fn. 204)
The history of the advowson of Whorlton vicarage is confused and doubtful. The church here was in existence at the end of the 12th century and was a domestic chapel of the Meynell family, lords of the manor. (fn. 205) It was considered a chapel to Rudby till the 18th century. Stephen de Meynell authorized Hugh de Rudby, parson of Rudby and of Whorlton, to make a grant of these churches and the 'chaplaincy' of his castle together with Scarth, a site in Whorlton, (fn. 206) to the Prior of Guisborough. Here a cell to the priory was to be established. The grant does not, however, seem to have taken effect, (fn. 207) and there is no mention of Whorlton Church among the possessions of the priory in the 16th century. Presumably the advowson remained with that of Rudby in the possession of the lords of the manor, and finally came with it to the Crown in 1545.
It must have been included in the grant of the advowson of Rudby (q.v.) to Arthur Ingram of Temple Newsam by James I, (fn. 208) for it subsequently followed the same descent, (fn. 209) coming to Lady Amherst, (fn. 210) who presented at the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 211) Before 1808, however, it had been sold to Edward Wolley of York. (fn. 212) He must have sold it again shortly afterwards, for in 1816 George Sutton presented. (fn. 213) Before the middle of the 19th century it had come into the hands of the Marquess of Ailesbury, (fn. 214) lord of the manor of Whorlton, and since then it has followed the descent of the manor. (fn. 215)
'Darcy's Chantry' in this church (fn. 216) must have been founded in the 14th or early 15th century, but the 16th-century survey found 'no foundacion of the same, nor any certificate of any dewtie whereunto the saide incumbent is bounde but at his own plesure.' (fn. 217) The nomination of the chantry priest was the right of the lords of the manor of Whorlton. (fn. 218)
The chapel of Faceby was described in the 18th century as a 'donative benefice.' (fn. 219) In 1313 John, parson of the church of Faceby, is mentioned. (fn. 220) In a grant, apparently of the reign of Edward II, Richard Skutterskelfe released to John Gower the advowson of the chapel of Faceby. (fn. 221) It must have descended with the Gower estate, for it appears at the end of the 16th century in the possession of the family of Jenkins. (fn. 222) From that time it has followed the descent of Faceby Manor. (fn. 223) Since 1898 the living has been held by the vicar of Carlton. (fn. 224)
The poor of the township of Faceby receive £1 a year in respect of a share of the charity of Christopher Prissick (fn. 225); also 10s. a year out of a farm in Faceby.
In 1634 Anthony Lazenby, by will, gave the sum of £50 to be laid out in land, the rents and profits to be applied in the distribution of twelve penny loaves among twelve poor people every Sabbath Day, the overplus to be parted among the parson, churchwardens, and parish clerk for their pains. The legacy was laid out on a rent-charge of £3 6s. issuing out of an estate at Carlton belonging to Mr. Benjamin Garbutt. The distribution is duly made in bread, and the overplus is given to the parish clerk.
The poor of the township of Potto receive 10s. a year in respect of David Simpson's charity. (fn. 226)