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 was composed in 1831 of the townships of Aislaby, Cawthorn, Cropton, Hartoft, Lockton, Middleton, Rosedale Eastside and Wrelton, of which Cropton, Lockton and Rosedale were chapelries. (fn. 1) Rosedale Westside is in the parish of Lastingham, divided from Rosedale Eastside, in which the chapel stands, by a brook. (fn. 2)
The area of the parish is 27,934 acres, of which, excluding Lockton, (fn. 3) 4,364 acres are arable, 5,290 permanent grass and 519 woodland. (fn. 4) Now principally moorland, (fn. 5) there were once extensive woods. In 1086 the wood of Cawthorn and Cropton was 3 leagues long by 1 league wide, that of Wrelton 3 furlongs long. (fn. 6) In 1334 Hartoft and Stainehowecliff Woods were appurtenant to all the townships in the parish except Lockton, to which Horcombe and Crossdale Woods belonged; Risebrough Wood was appurtenant to Cropton township. (fn. 7) The surveyors of 1538 said that timber could be obtained from Cropton for the repair of Pickering Castle. (fn. 8)
The subsoil is Corallian Beds, Kimmeridge and Oxford Clay, Middle and Upper Lias, the soil lime, redstone, loam, peat, clay, sand, gravel. Wheat, barley, oats, turnips and peas are grown and horse and cattle breeding is a great industry. King John confirmed to Rosedale Priory the grant of Eustace de Stuteville of the site of his forge in Bagthwaite on condition that it was removed and never rebuilt. (fn. 9) In 1583 there were a coal mine and quarries of coarse stone and ironstone in the wood called Cropton Spiers in the demesne and waste lands of Cropton, the vein of coal being 6½ ft. in thickness. The profits were 40s. yearly. (fn. 10) The name Coal Pit Rigg is now found in Hartoft. Gravel and stone were once worked at Lockton and there are ironstone mines on Rosedale Moor, a vein of great richness having been discovered some years ago, but being now nearly exhausted. Jet, alum shale, cement stones and excellent freestone are found in Rosedale, as well as coal, which, however, is no longer worked. In 1334 the Prioress of Rosedale was said to have made an inclosure twenty years before in Clot Park, and new inclosures in Brownthwaite and Pesewra in Rosedale, all parcel of the township of Cropton. (fn. 11) In 1580 William Horsley was alleged to have inclosed four intakes in Cropton Manor and William Metham to have made three intakes in Staindale and Haulesike End in his manor of Lockton. (fn. 12) An inquiry was held in 1597 as to whether closes called Farwath, Michelhead and Saltergate Bothome had been taken from the commons of Lockton or the Queen's common in Pickering Forest. (fn. 13) In 1676 a dispute arose about the tithe of cherries from Cherry Garth, a very ancient inclosure in Middleton; at the inquiry in the following spring reference was made to the general inclosure of the township of Lockton in 1676. (fn. 14) An inclosure award was made for Lockton in 1784, (fn. 15) and Lockton Low Moor and Saltergate Moor were inclosed by award of 1872. (fn. 16)
West Gill and North Gill rise over 1,300 ft. above the ordnance datum, unite to form Northdale Beck, and join the River Seven at Rosedale Abbey; within the triangle thus formed lie the conventual ruins, now converted into barns and cottages, the abbey church, rebuilt in 1894, and the mill in the grounds. (fn. 17) 'The capital messuage, priory or mansion-house, known as the manor-house' of Rosedale had in 1649 'several lower and upper rooms very ancient and decayed.' (fn. 18)
The village is built along the road from Pickering to Cropton, with back lanes to North and South Middleton. It contains a few old cottages, the post office being an example of a type fast disappearing in the district. It is now divided into two floors and otherwise altered, but the main timbers are intact. The roof is supported on heavy curved principals carried down to the floor and evidently originally open to the ridge.
Middleton Hall is a stone-fronted Georgian building with a balustraded parapet. Eustace de Stutevill held the capital messuage of Middleton in demesne in the early 13th century, (fn. 19) and in 1246 his successor Joan widow of Hugh Wake and wife of Hugh Bigod granted it to Rosedale Priory. (fn. 20) There was no capital messuage attached to the manor in 1349. (fn. 21) The church lies down a lane in the north of the village, opposite being a field known as Nun's Garth.
North-west of Middleton is Cropton. The village is of some size and stands 500 ft. high on the moors, the ground sloping towards the west. It is built about lanes which curve from one another and again meet at the north end of the village where stands the church. A short distance to the west of the church on Hall Garth Hill is the site of Cropton Castle. The earthworks are of the early keep and bailey type, the circular keep mound being on the west side, with an extensive moated inclosure adjoining it on the east. Within the latter are the well-defined foundation mounds of the domestic buildings, including the rectangular great hall with smaller apartments at either end. The mound commands a magnificent view over the surrounding country to the west, north and south. Cropton Castle, the head of the Wake 'barony of Middleton,' is mentioned in 1334. (fn. 22) It was in ruins in 1349. (fn. 23) William Horsley, who died seised of the manor in 1609, held a messuage called the 'Hall House.' (fn. 24) The church of St. Gregory, erected in 1840, is close by Hall Garth Hill at the end of Church Lane. An offender was sentenced to be set in the stocks in the chapel yard at Cropton in 1613. (fn. 25) William Scoresby, the Arctic navigator (1760–1829), was son of a small farmer at Cropton, and his son William, master mariner, clergyman and writer, was born there in 1789. (fn. 26)
Cawthorn stands to the east of Cropton. It has earthworks on a hill in the line of the Roman road that may in places be traced between Dunsley and York. (fn. 27) The site is now covered with the larch and fir trees planted by the father of Mr. James M. Mitchelson, the present owner of the manor. Other earthworks can be traced both on the east and west of West Moor Road. At Bibo House, a farm near Cawthorn, Roman foundations have been discovered. Cawthorn had a capital messuage in the 16th century. (fn. 28)
Lockton faces Levisham across Levisham Beck. The village is picturesque and stands on an elevated site. The church stands between two roads which meet at either end of the village, the houses being mostly of stone with tiled roofs. On the south side of the main street in a railed in space is a disused well with the following inscription on an adjoining house: 'This well was founded in 1697 at the charges of Robart Merrey, John Robinson, Edward Thornhill, Robart Richinson, Robart Harrisson, James Wamsley, William P o . . d.' The manorhouse is mentioned in 1554–5. (fn. 29)
Half a mile west of Middleton along the high road is a small hamlet of Aislaby. On the south side of the road is the Hall, a mid-18th-century building with piers in front supporting four lead statues of Eros, Hermes, Athene and Aries. Adjoining is a large walled garden with a square summer-house at the north-east angle.
Still further west is the hamlet of Wrelton, built round a green. It contains several thatched cottages and one on the Kirkby Moorside road dated 1665. The Hall is an unpretentious building of no great age on the north side of the street.
Local names in Rosedale in 1538 and 1570–1 include: Ellerker, Angrove, Harchill, Lathgarth, Bromefeld, Bromehede, Kilnegarth, Kirkegarth, Hermit's Holme, Cotehill, Yeowe Ing, Angarham, Bothom Close, Errington Thwayte (fn. 30); in 1649 Batlingbrighill (fn. 31) is found. The boundaries of the 'barony of Middleton' have been printed. (fn. 32)
There are Wesleyan chapels at Middleton, Cropton (erected 1897), Rosedale and Wrelton; Primitive Methodist chapels in the same places and at Hartoft. Public elementary schools were erected at Middleton in 1884, at Cropton in 1874, at Hartoft in 1876, at Lockton in 1879, at Rosedale in 1822, and at Wrelton in 1843.
In 1086 5 carucates at MIDDLETON were soke of the 'manor' of Pickering. (fn. 33) The manor was subsequently held not of Pickering Castle (fn. 34) but in chief; the two water-mills, however, belonged to the honour, (fn. 35) and the tenants of Middleton, Cawthorn and Wrelton from the 13th to the 17th century paid a commutation to the lord of Pickering for 'water-boones' (fn. 36) and in 1651 for boon days in harvest. (fn. 37) Middleton and Aislaby formed part of the honour of Rosedale (fn. 38) and descended with it until the 15th century. In 1619–21 it was doubtful who was the owner; the lord of Cropton claimed Middleton, Aislaby and Wrelton as members of Cropton, but as they were members of the honour of Pickering this was said to be an intrusion on the possessions of Prince Charles, then lord of Pickering. (fn. 39) In January 1712–13 the owner of the manor of Cropton seems to have possessed a good deal more land in Middleton than did the Crown. (fn. 40) It now belongs, like Cropton, to Mr. James Mitchelson Mitchelson.
The 4 carucates at AISLABY (Aslachebi, Aslachesbi, xi cent.; Aslakeby, Asalaceby, xiii-xv cent.; Ayeslaby, xiii cent.) had been held by Gospatric as one 'manor' before the Conquest and were in the king's hands in 1086. (fn. 41) In 1166–7 Aislaby was with Middleton in the hands of Baldwin Buelot; by 1260 it was in the fee of Wake, (fn. 42) and it afterwards descended with Wrelton, (fn. 43) apparently as a member of that manor.
A William de Aislaby held lands in Yorkshire in 1189–90. (fn. 44) Shortly afterwards Guy (de Aislaby) the Hunter held 2 carucates at Aislaby by the serjeanty of training a hound for the king. (fn. 45) His son Richard obtained the commutation of the serjeanty by an annual rent of 40s. to the service of one-twentieth of a knight's fee. (fn. 46) Richard died about 1261, leaving a son and heir Richard. (fn. 47) The heirs of Arnald de Aislaby held 7 oxgangs of the fee in 1284–5 (fn. 48); it was apparently still held by a descendant of the family, though the Prior of Malton was in possession of 2 carucates, in 1428. (fn. 49) Roger Marshall of Aislaby Grange, who died in 1568 leaving a son and heir Roger, (fn. 50) married Mary daughter of Thomas Curtes by Elizabeth daughter of Francis Aislaby (fn. 51) of South Dalton. Ralph eldest son of Francis left an only child Ursula, who married Marmaduke Cholmley of Brandsby and died childless. (fn. 52) The Marshalls held Wrelton, (fn. 53) and were thus owners of the manor of Aislaby, but the 2 carucates formerly held by the Aislabys were probably the lands 'late Cholmley's' for which in 1619–21 (fn. 54) Thomas Chapman paid 40s. to the lord of Pickering.
A 'manor' and 1 carucate in CAWTHORN (Caltorn, xi cent.; Calthorne, xiii–xvii cent.; Cawthorne, xvi cent. onwards) were held by Gospatric before the Conquest; they were in the king's hands in 1086 and were among the lands given to Robert de Brus after the Domesday Survey was made. (fn. 55) In 1284–5 2 carucates here belonged to the fee of Wake (fn. 56); it was still held as of the manor of Cropton in 1577. (fn. 57)
In 1564 William Dobson died seised of the capital messuage, leaving a son and heir Francis, (fn. 58) who died seised of the same in 1577 and was succeeded by his brother Roger. (fn. 59) Roger in 1578 conveyed the 'manor' of Cawthorn, of which this is the first mention found, to Sir William Fairfax, kt., (fn. 60) who in 1588 conveyed it to William Horsley, sen., (fn. 61) of Skirpenbeck. William Horsley and his sons William, Richard and Francis (fn. 62) in 1604 conveyed the manor to Ralph Thorpe, Robert Gere and Samuel Brasse, (fn. 63) who in the following year obtained a similar grant from William Dawnay and Julia his wife. (fn. 64) In 1607 Ralph Lord Eure, who married Mary daughter of Sir John Dawnay of Sessay, (fn. 65) granted the manor in fee to John Okeley, (fn. 66) probably in trust for Giles Fenay. The manor of Cawthorn was settled in 1615 on Stephen Norcliffe and Elizabeth his wife, a granddaughter of Giles Fenay. (fn. 67) In 1620 Francis Fenay and Priscilla his wife granted the 'manor' to Stephen Norcliffe, (fn. 68) who died in January 1621–2 seised of two-thirds, the widow of Giles Fenay holding the remaining third. Stephen left two daughters, Elizabeth and Katharine. (fn. 69) Elizabeth married Sir James Pennyman of Marske, Katharine Sir John Goodrick of Ribstone. (fn. 70) In 1636 James Pennyman and Elizabeth conveyed the manor to Henry Fairfax of Oglethorpe (fn. 71) and Mary his wife, (fn. 72) and in 1650 Francis Goodrick with Leonard Conyers, clerk, and Mary his wife granted it to John Hill and his heirs and to Ralph Yorke. (fn. 73) Mr. James Mitchelson Mitchelson is the present owner.
Before the Conquest Gospatric held a 'manor' and 5 carucates in CROPTON (Croptun, xi cent.); these were in the king's hands in 1086. (fn. 74) During the 12th century it was a member of the honour of Rosedale. (fn. 75) In the 15th century Cropton was said to be a member of the Stutevills' manor of Cottingham. (fn. 76) William de Stutevill was lord of Kirkby Moorside (q.v.) in 1200. His brother Nicholas had livery of all William's lands in 1205–6. (fn. 77) Nicholas held the six knights' fees of Cottingham in 1210–12, having apparently enfeoffed his son Robert (fn. 78) of one knight's fee in Middleton. (fn. 79) Robert left a son Eustace, (fn. 80) to whom his uncle Nicho'as assigned lands of Liddell in Cumberland until his majority, giving the custody to William de Valoines, who bequeathed it to the Earl of Winchester. The earl on his death gave it to Roger his son and heir, who was guardian in 1220. (fn. 81) Eustace died without issue before 1246. His lands then reverted to Joan daughter of his uncle Nicholas de Stutevill (fn. 82) and wife of Hugh Bigod, who in that year held Cropton and Middleton in demesne. (fn. 83) In 1282 the knight's fee of Cropton and Middleton, the half fee of Wrelton, Aislaby and Middleton, and one-eighth fee of Wrelton were said to be parcel of the manor of Kirkby Moorside (fn. 84) with which they descended (fn. 85) and were divided between the heirs of Edmund Earl of Kent in 1408. (fn. 86) Sir John Nevill died in 1423, before his father, leaving by Elizabeth a son Ralph, afterwards second Earl of Westmorland. (fn. 87) Edmund Earl of March, Henry Brounflete, who had married Joan Duchess of York, and Thomas Earl of Salisbury were her parceners when Elizabeth widow of Sir John Nevill died in 1422–3. (fn. 88) Edmund died seised in January 1424–5, and his heirs were Richard afterwards Duke of York, son of his sister Anne, and his half-sisters Joan wife of John (Grey) Earl of Tankerville and Lord Powis (fn. 89) and Joyce wife of Sir John Tiptoft, kt. (fn. 90) Henry Brounflete held 6½ carucates in Cropton, Middleton and Aislaby in 1428 (fn. 91) in right of Joan, who died in 1434 seised of the manor of Cropton and the reversion of its appurtenance the advowson of Middleton Church, her heirs being Margaret Duchess of Clarence, Richard Duke of York, Henry Grey (son of John and Joan), Joyce wife of John Tiptoft, Alice Countess of Salisbury, and Ralph Earl of Westmorland. (fn. 92) Henry Grey had a son Richard Lord Powis, attainted in 1459 (fn. 93); the Duke of York's lands merged in the Crown in March 1460–1. (fn. 94) John Tiptoft, created Earl of Worcester in 1449, was attainted in 1470 (fn. 95); John only son of the second Earl of Westmorland died in his father's lifetime and John younger brother of the earl, slain at Towton in 1461, was attainted. The earl's nephew, Ralph son of John, thereupon became third earl and obtained the restoration of the greater part of his estates, (fn. 96) but not of Cottingham, (fn. 97) Cropton or Sheriff Hutton (q.v.).
The custody of the vill and demesne of Cropton, now called parcel of the lordship of Sheriff Hutton, was early in 1489–90 granted by Henry VII to Roger Bell (fn. 98); in 1500 the king granted the profits of the courts, as part of the lordship of Pickering, to Sir Richard Cholmley, his steward there, (fn. 99) but in the same year the place is called 'a little town belonging to Sheriff Hutton.' (fn. 100) William Horsley, yeoman of the guard, had grants of the office of bailiff from 1514 and a lease of the manor in 1545, (fn. 101) and a William Horsley was said in January 1579–80 to have made inclosures. (fn. 102) Queen Elizabeth leased the manor in 1573 (fn. 103); in 1592 she granted it with other possessions of 'Thomas Wake of Liddell' to the 'fishing grantees,' William Tipper and Robert Dawe, their heirs and assigns, (fn. 104) and in 1599–1600 conveyed it to Henry Best and John Burges of London, their heirs and assigns, as a 'possession of Richard, late Duke of York.' (fn. 105) They apparently sold it to William Horsley, who died seised in 1609, leaving a son and heir William, then a middle-aged man. (fn. 106) In 1619–21 it was said to belong to the dukedom of York and to have been lately sold to one Horsley. (fn. 107) William Horsley was concerned in settlements in 1634 (fn. 108) and 1682, (fn. 109) and in 1702 William Horsley, senior, and William Horsley, junior, conveyed it to Thomas Robinson (fn. 110) of Thornton Riseborough. (fn. 111) Gamekeepers were appointed for the manor by the Robinsons until 1741. (fn. 112) Mr. T. Mitchelson was in possession in 1859 (fn. 113) and Mr. James Mitchelson Mitchelson of Pickering Hall is the present owner.
In 1284–5 the lords of Cropton were said to have had their courts and gallows and had amendment of the assize of ale time out of mind. (fn. 114) They had the right to strays found in the moors and woods, but not in the arable land of this 'barony,' if taken before the foresters of the lord of Pickering had made any attachment. (fn. 115) Henry III granted Eustace de Stutevill right of chase at the king's pleasure, but Thomas Wake had no free chase for fox, hare, wild cat and badger as he claimed in 1338. (fn. 116) They held the woods called Frith and Holtwaitbank, which were outside the regard, and appointed a forester for them and a woodward at Riseborough. In these woods they had an aerie of sparrow-hawks and merlins, and the right to bees, honey and millstones and turf, bracken and heather for themselves and their tenants. (fn. 117)
Before the Conquest LOCKTON (Lochetun, xi cent.; Lochintun, Lokinton, xii–xiii cent.), assessed as 5 carucates of land, was held by Ulchil as a 'manor'; it was in the king's hands in 1086. (fn. 118)
One of the several manors in the township descended from 1252 with Levisham (fn. 119) (q.v.).
Another fee was held here by serjeanty by the family of Boie (Boye), hereditary foresters. William Boie and Alan (de Kingthorpe) (fn. 120) the Forester rendered account of the forest issues in 1165–6, (fn. 121) as did William Boie and Alan son of Geoffrey (de Kingthorpe) in 1189–90. (fn. 122) An Alan Boie holding 3 carucates of land in Lockton by this service (fn. 123) had forfeited his bailiwick in 1200, when he offered a fine of 300 marks for its restoration. (fn. 124) Walter Boie held these lands and was forester in fee in 1221–4. (fn. 125) His brother William died childless, (fn. 126) and by 1245–6 the inheritance was in the hands of co-heirs, Ellen wife of John de Thornton, Alice widow of Alan de Bulmer and Agnes wife of John de Barkesworth. (fn. 127) John de Thornton, as husband of the eldest co-heir, held the 'serjeanty' of Lockton, only part of the land being in demesne. (fn. 128) In 1318 John de Bulmer of Wrelton quitclaimed to the lord of Pickering any claim he might have in the forestership as great-grandson of Walter Boie and grandson of one of his daughters and co-heirs, Helen mother of Roger de Wrelton, (fn. 129) who also had been forester in fee. (fn. 130) The bailiwick was restored with Lockton to Alan son of Roger de Wrelton in 1321, (fn. 131) but was granted by the Earl of Lancaster in the same year for life to John de Monmouth, (fn. 132) against whom Alan brought a suit in 1328. (fn. 133) Alan paid the subsidy in Lockton in 1332–3. (fn. 134) He recovered his office and granted it in fee to William de Percehay, (fn. 135) who held the Levisham (q.v.) manor of Lockton, with which this now merged. Lyon Percehay at the end of the following century denied that he owed the service of forester for his Lockton lands. (fn. 136)
Another manor in Lockton descended from the Malcakes. Anscetil Malcake was living in the reign of Henry II (fn. 137) and had a son Alan. (fn. 138) William and Geoffrey Malcake held lands in Lockton in the time of Walter Boie. (fn. 139) In the spring of 1240–1 and of 1249–50 Geoffrey granted 13 oxgangs of land in Lockton to the Knights Templars. (fn. 140) Alan son of William Malcake of Pickering petitioned for these lands in 1322, saying that his grandfather William (whose heir he now was) gave these 13 oxgangs to his son Roger in fee-tail, that Roger had alienated them to the Templars, and that on the suppression of the order they had been seized by the Earl of Lancaster, whose lands the king now held. (fn. 141) Alan apparently recovered these lands. He left daughters Alice, Joan, and Margaret wife of Thomas Pickering, to whom Lockton was assigned. (fn. 142) Thomas and Margaret in 1334 established their right to have a woodward in their demesne wood of Lockton with other forest rights. (fn. 143) The Pickerings of Oswaldkirk (q.v.) were still holding Lockton in 1509 (fn. 144); but in 1544 the 'Templars' lands' in Lockton were granted to Stephen Holford, (fn. 145) who in the same year conveyed them to Robert Metham. (fn. 146) Robert was seised of the manor in 1553 (fn. 147) and died seised in January 1566–7, leaving a son and heir William, (fn. 148) who died in January 1590–1, leaving a son and heir Charles. (fn. 149)
The manor was said in 1619–21 to belong to 'Sir Richard Etherington and others,' and Richard Etherington was in possession in 1702. (fn. 150) Settlements were made in 1777 of four-twelfths (fn. 151) and in 1807 of a third of one twenty-fourth (fn. 152) of the manor. This division of the manorial rights into fractional parts suggests that they were already in the hands of the freeholders.
Roger de Wrelton was accused in 1276 of having sixteen years before appropriated chase within the forest and without; the jury did not know by what title. (fn. 153)
No mention of ROSEDALE (Russedale, Russendale, xii-xiii cent.; Rossedale, xiii–xiv cent.) is found in the Domesday Book. It must, however, have been in the king's hands together with Middleton and Cropton, for these places afterwards formed part of the honour of Rosedale. (fn. 154) The first lord of this fee was Turgis Brundos, lord of Liddell, (fn. 155) who is styled Turgis de Rosedale in a charter of about 1125. (fn. 156) He died before 1130–1 (fn. 157) and was succeeded by William his son, (fn. 158) founder of Rosedale Priory (fn. 159) for nuns of the Cistercian order. Turgis son of William (fn. 160) was living in 1164–5. (fn. 161) No further mention of this family has been found, and in 1166–7 Aislaby and Middleton were held by Baldwin Buelot. (fn. 162) Before the close of the 12th century the fee was acquired by the Stutevills, the lordship following the descent of Cropton. (fn. 163)
King John confirmed to the nuns of Rosedale the grant of William de Rosedale. (fn. 164) The nuns received confirmation of the lands of Rosedale by Robert de Stutevill, (fn. 165) successor of Turgis, (fn. 166) and continued in possession until the Dissolution, after which, in 1538, the reversion of the site of the priory, the manor and the advowson of Rosedale Church were granted to Ralph Earl of Westmorland in fee. (fn. 167) These then descended with Kirkby Moorside (fn. 168) until the attainder of Charles Earl of Westmorland in the Parliament of 1571, (fn. 169) when, for his services in suppressing the rebellion of that year, they were granted to Ambrose Earl of Warwick in fee. (fn. 170) In 1576 the Earl of Warwick resigned his grant. (fn. 171) The Crown then leased the manor until 1605, (fn. 172) when it was granted to Prince Charles in fee. (fn. 173) Charles I mortgaged it in 1626, (fn. 174) and in 1629 settled it on the queen for life. (fn. 175) It was retained by the Crown until the 19th century. (fn. 176) The Rev. Dr. Penfold, in possession in 1836, was said to have lately purchased it from the Crown. (fn. 177) In 1859 it was in the possession of Mr. H. B. Darley; it now belongs to the trustees of the late Mr. Henry Darley of Spaunton Lodge, Kirkby Moorside.
Gospatric had held a 'manor' and 1½ carucates at WRELTON (Wereltun, xi cent.; Wherlton, 1316; Warleton, 1405–6) before the Conquest; in 1086 Wrelton was in the king's hands. (fn. 178) It afterwards belonged to the fee of Wake. (fn. 179) In 1284–5 and 1301–2 the heirs of Walter Boie (the Wreltons or Bulmers) were under-tenants. (fn. 180) John son and heir of Alan de Bulmer of Wrelton was in 1306 ordered to surrender to Theophania widow of John de Bulmer of Bulmer tenements in Wrelton. (fn. 181) Alan de Wrelton probably enfeoffed William de Percehay, who paid the subsidy in 1333–4, (fn. 182) when he granted him the forestership of Lockton (q.v.). A manor of Wrelton now descended with the manor of Levisham (q.v.) until 1573, (fn. 183) when Henry Lord Compton granted it to Robert Gill, (fn. 184) who died seised in March 1586–7, leaving a son and heir Robert. (fn. 185) Thomas Gill and Mary his wife conveyed it to Thomas and William Marshall early in 1612–13, (fn. 186) Robert Gill conveyed it to John Woodward in the spring of 1627–8, (fn. 187) and Thomas Gill and Mary with Matthew Cowper and Ellis his wife conveyed it to John Woodward in 1629. (fn. 188) George and Hugh Woodward granted it in 1648 to Thomas Swale, (fn. 189) who early in 1651–2 conveyed it to Samuel Marshall (fn. 190) of Aislaby Grange. Samuel died in 1674, having bequeathed his manor, dwelling-place and lands at Wrelton to be divided equally between his eldest son Samuel and eldest daughter Susan and their heirs. (fn. 191) Samuel died before 1690, when Susan, a spinster, mentions in her will the sale of her manor and capital messuage in Wrelton to William Sawden. (fn. 192) Mr. James Mitchelson Mitchelson is the present owner.
Lands in Wrelton, called a 'manor,' were appurtenant to the chantry of St. Nicholas in the church of Sheriff Hutton. (fn. 193)
The church of ST. ANDREW consists of a chancel 39 ft. 8 in. by 19 ft. 3 in., nave 41 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 3 in. with north aisle 10 ft. 6 in. wide and south aisle 9 ft. wide, south porch, and western tower 11 ft. by 9 ft. 6 in.
The earliest portions of the existing fabric are the lower stages of the west tower, which have all the characteristics of 11th-century pre-Conquest work. The earliest Norman work appears to date from about 1130, when the nave was rebuilt with an aisle upon the north. Further considerable alterations were made at the close of the same century, a south aisle being added and the tower and chancel arches rebuilt. At the same time the upper stage was added to the tower. The chancel is the next work in point of date, but of this only the north wall is now standing and dates from the early 13th century. Towards the end of the 13th century both the nave aisles were completely rebuilt. Little further was done to the church until the 15th century, when the nave clearstory was added. The church has been extensively restored in modern times, the most important alterations being the rebuilding of the east and south chancel walls and the erection of the south porch.
The chancel with the exception of the north wall is modern 'Decorated' work and has a five-light traceried east window. The north wall is of the 13th century and is pierced by a 13th-century lancet about half-way along. The south wall, divided by buttresses into three bays, has three modern two-light windows and a priest's door. The wide and lofty chancel arch dates from the end of the 12th century and is pointed, of two chamfered orders, and springs from responds, each having two circular side shafts and a central shaft of bowtel form. The capitals are moulded and have square abaci. The roof is modern.
The nave has a north arcade of three bays of early 12th-century date with plain semicircular arches resting on cylindrical columns and half-round responds with fluted capitals having square abaci and standing on square plinths. The south arcade is half a century later in date and has three semicircular arches of two chamfered orders resting on round columns with moulded capitals and 'hold-water' bases. The responds are half columns and have good carved foliage capitals of early form. The clearstory is lighted by two-light 15th-century windows, and the roof, which is of similar date, is low pitched with heavy tie-beams and short king-posts.
The north aisle is entirely of 13th-century date and has a stone bench run round the walls as far east as the former altar platform. It is divided by a buttress into two bays only, and below the window sills is a double-chamfered string-course. The aisle is lighted by three windows, one at either end and one in the first bay of the north wall. They are of two lights each with tracery of early form. The north door has a trefoiled head of the same date. The south aisle, though somewhat narrower than the north, is of the same date and character. Here again it is divided into two bays only. The east window has modern tracery, but the opening is ancient. The window in the first bay of the south wall is of two trefoiled lights with an uncusped head light, and to the east of it is a plain pointed piscina. The south door is trefoiled like that on the north and has side shafts. The door itself is of the 15th century with traceried panelling, but the porch covering it is quite modern, as is also the west window of this aisle. Cut through the deep east respond on this side is a rebated opening, probably of 15th-century date.
The junctions of the Saxon, Norman and 13thcentury work are distinctly visible on the outside of the west wall on both sides of the tower. The tower arch of two orders is of the same date and character as the chancel arch and the inner order has a painted decoration running round. The lower stages of the tower are of Saxon workmanship, the masonry having very wide jointing with 'long and short' quoins, some of the latter being of large dimensions. The west door has chamfered imposts, a semicircular arch and a projecting strip of masonry carried round as a frame, of the common Saxon type. The head is cut into by a rough vesica-shaped window inserted about the year 1200. The tower was heightened by the addition of the bell-chamber about the same date, and the latter is lighted by a two-light window in each face and finished with an embattled parapet. It contains four bells.
The fittings of the church include two 15th-century oak stalls on either side of the quire. On the south is one carved misericorde and the western stall has two carved coats of arms: the one is fretty on a chief three annulets, the other three roundels and a quarter. The pulpit is a panelled work of the early 18th century with an octagonal sounding-board surmounted by a capping of ogee form. The church is particularly rich in fragments of pre-Conquest sculpture. The finest is the almost perfect cross now standing at the east end of the north aisle. The faces are covered with knotwork and four cylinders are inserted in the 'arm pits.' On the window-sill behind are two fragments of Saxon work, one being a mutilated cross head and the other a portion of a shaft with a grotesquely carved bearded figure. Above the west door of the tower outside is a square fragment bearing knotwork and in the north tower wall outside is another fragment of a shaft. Inside the tower at the level of the second stage is a small but wellpreserved cross bearing a bound dragon in relief, only recently discovered. Outside the tower is a stone coffin and a slab bearing a cross in relief. (fn. 194)
The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) mixed entries 1671 to 1793, marriages to 1753 only; (ii) a copy of the same period; (iii) marriages 1754 to 1802; (iv) baptisms 1792 to 1812; (v) burials 1792 to 1812; (vi) marriages 1802 to 1812.
The modern church of ST. GREGORY at Cropton, built about 1840, stands on an ancient site and consists of nave, sanctuary and north vestry. It is built in the Norman style with a door on the south and a three-sided apse at the east end. On the west gable is a bellcote with two small bells. The font is circular and plain and probably dates from the 12th century.
The church of ST. ANDREW at Lockton consists of chancel 22 ft. 6 in. by 11 ft. 6 in., nave 43 ft. by 17 ft., south porch and west tower. The total length is 74 ft. 6 in., all the measurements being internal.
The earliest portion of the church appears to be a lancet window in the south chancel wall, which appears to date from the early part of the 13th century. It is probable that the main walls of the nave and chancel are also of this date, as the masonry of small rubble is similar throughout, but there is nothing else to definitely date the building. The tower was added in the 15th century, when various windows were inserted in the chancel and nave and the chancel arch rebuilt. The east gable was rebuilt in 1723 and various windows have been subsequently inserted and a south porch built.
The chancel has a very small three-light traceried east window of the 15th century. In the north wall is one modern window and at the eastern end of the south wall is a single-light 15th-century window. Further west is a priest's door of similar date, and beyond it the 13th-century lancet mentioned above. The gable coping at the east end is dated 1723 on the southern kneeler. Internally the chancel walls are plastered and whitewashed and the roof timbers are cased in with match-boarding. The nave is lighted by three large square-headed early 19th-century windows, two in the south and one in the north wall. The opening of the latter is partly ancient and above it is a re-used 15th-century drip-stone. In the centre on this side is a blocked 15th-century north door. The south door is modern with a round head, and the porch is an early 19th-century addition. The low and narrow chancel arch dates from the 15th century. The roof is match-boarded and the tie-beams cased in like those of the chancel. The low tower arch is recessed in four orders at the back, dying into the side walls. The 15th-century tower is two stages high with diagonal buttresses and finished with an embattled parapet. The bell-chamber is lighted by a two-light square-headed trefoiled window in each face, and has a gabled roof running east and west covered with stone slabs and set within the parapet. The tower contains two bells, inaccessible except by ladder. The church is built throughout with small rubble, the nave having a slate roof and the chancel being tiled.
Of the fittings the font has a plain hemispherical bowl and circular stem, probably of the 13th century; the pulpit is Jacobean and of octagonal form with conventional flowers on the panels and a running design of chip carving on the framework. The communion rails have 17th-century turned balusters and the reading desk is made up of old pewing of the same date. A 17th-century chair is also preserved.
The present building was erected in 1839 on the site of the quire of the church of a Cistercian nunnery. It was much restored in 1894 and is lighted on the east by three grouped lancet lights. There are six long lancet lights on each side of the nave and between the westernmost pairs are pointed doors; there is a third door at the west. The church has a plain opentimber roof with king-post trusses, and there is a west gallery.
All the fittings are modern with the exception of the carved oak lectern, which is of 18th-century date. Over the north door is a stone inscribed 'omnia vanitas' in crude Gothic lettering. Near this door is a defaced coffin slab with an incised cross and the remains of an inscription in Gothic capitals. Lying outside the west wall are two trefoiled heads, apparently the remains of some form of canopy of late 13th-century date, and a stone sedile. Over the west wall is a small bell-gable containing one bell, apparently of 18th-century date.
The plate consists of a silver cup and cover and a plated metal salver and flagon. The cup is inscribed 'Capella de Rosedale 1635' and bears the maker's mark I.P. for James Plummer of York. The plated vessels bear no dates.
About twenty yards west of the present church are the remains of the north-west angle of the north transept of the monastic church. This is built of ashlar and has a moulded plinth and buttresses of slight projection to the north and west. The remains are some 20 ft. in height and contain a vice entered from a door with a shouldered head built in the wall, which is splayed across the internal angle. A second door is placed about 10 ft. above the ground level. The whole structure is of 13th-century date.
The advowson of Middleton Church was appurtenant to the manor until 1455, (fn. 195) when the co-heirs of Edmund Earl of Kent obtained leave to grant it to the Abbot of Kirkstall. (fn. 196) A vicarage was ordained in 1456. (fn. 197) Among the leases of the advowson after the Dissolution (fn. 198) was one made in August 1585 to Martin Frobisher of the reversion of the rectory and church in 1606, for thirty years, for 'his good and acceptable service,' (fn. 199) a reward he did not live to enjoy. James Colcott presented in 1627 and 1632. (fn. 200) In 1666 Robert and William Skelton and others conveyed the rectory and advowson to Thomas Skelton. (fn. 201) Samuel Skelton, a minor in the guardianship of his mother Alice, was owner in 1676 (fn. 202) and presented in 1683. (fn. 203) He and Sarah his wife conveyed it to Luke Robinson early in 1689–90. (fn. 204) Thomas Robinson presented from 1701 to 1716 and the advowson followed the descent of the manor of Welburn, (fn. 205) being in the possession of the Rev. Francis Wrangham, the Rev. Arthur Cayley and T. Smith in 1824. (fn. 206) In 1830 the Archbishop of York presented (fn. 207) and is still patron.
The chantry of our Lady in the church in 1547 was of no foundation, but was to aid the performance of service. (fn. 208) The revenues of the Lady Gild in the parish church were applied to a grammar school. (fn. 209)
The chapels of Cropton and of St. Giles (mentioned in the early 13th century) (fn. 210) at Lockton belonged to the church of Middleton. (fn. 211) Cropton is now a chapelry, Lockton a chapelry styled a vicarage, united to the vicarage of Middleton. In 1566–7 it was said that marriages, burials and baptisms had been celebrated at Lockton chapel, which was in reasonable repair, time out of mind. Cropton chapel was then very small with only a slate roof. (fn. 212) The chapels were in 1608 granted in fee by the Crown to Sir Robert Wright, kt., and Robert Wright, gent. (fn. 213)
In 1311 the Prioress of Rosedale obtained leave to appropriate her church of Rosedale. (fn. 214) The church descended with the manor of Rosedale (fn. 215) (q.v.) until that was alienated by the Crown in the 19th century. It is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. The advowson of the priory followed the descent of the manor of Kirkby Moorside (fn. 216) (q.v.).
The school erected in 1844 receives £8 6s. 8d. a year from the charity of John Stockton. (fn. 217)
In 1892 Mary Ann Letitia Watson, by will proved 28 September, bequeathed £100, the income to be applied by the vicar and churchwardens for the benefit of the poor. The legacy was invested in £99 14s. 5d. consols with the official trustees.
The Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Saltergate in this parish, comprised in an indenture dated 31 December 1869, was by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 30 November 1906 authorized to be let to the county council of the North Riding, as the local education authority, at a yearly rent of £2 10s., with the reservation with the trustees of the exclusive use of the premises on Saturdays and Sundays and on two other evenings in the week.
Township of Aislaby—In 1892 Mary Ann Letitia Watson, by will proved 28 September, bequeathed £100, the income to be applied in purchasing literature for the library. The legacy was invested in £99 14s. 5d. consols.
In 1902 Mary Ann Thompson, by a will proved 1 August, left £150 for a library and reading room at Aislaby. The legacy was invested in £166 14s. 1d. consols. The two sums of stock are held by the official trustees. The dividends, amounting together to £6 12s. 8d., are duly applied.
Township of Cropton.—The Charity Land, known as Hobson's charity, consists of five closes of land in Cropton and part of a close in Wrelton, containing together about 11 acres, let to various tenants at £12 14s. a year, and about 4 acres of moorland unproductive of income, except that derived from sporting rights. The official trustees also hold £43 9s. 8d. representing poor's money and sale of timber.
By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 12 December 1890 the legal estate was vested in the official trustee of charity lands, the overseers of the poor were appointed ex officio trustees, together with three co-optative trustees, and the net income was directed to be applied for the general benefit of the poor in such way as the trustees should consider most conducive to the formation of provident habits.
In 1851 Thomas Mather, by codicil to his will proved at York 7 October, bequeathed a sum of £333 6s. 8d. consols with the official trustees for the advancement of the education of poor children resident in the townships of Cropton and Aislaby. The charity is regulated by scheme of the Charity Commissioners 13 February 1900, whereby the annual dividends, amounting to £8 6s. 8d., are made applicable in prizes and payments to public elementary school children in the said townships.
The National school receives £8 6s. 8d. a year from the charity of John Stockton. (fn. 218)
In 1886 John Skelton, by will proved at Oxford 30 November, bequeathed £1,000, represented by £987 4s. 10d. consols with the official trustees, the income to be distributed at Christmas for benefit of poor persons resident in Wrelton and Cropton. The dividends, amounting to £24 13s. 6d., are distributed in sums varying from 5s. to £1 and in gifts to sick persons.
Chapelry of Rosedale Eastside.—The school is endowed with £5 a year, charged by will of Thomas Pierson, 1720, as to £2, part thereof, out of lands in Bransdale, and as to £3, the other part thereof, out of lands on the west side of Rosedale.
The Rosedale Abbey Primitive Methodist chapel and school and Rosedale Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel, founded by deed of 1863 and Memorandum of 1886, are regulated by scheme of the Charity Commissioners 1889.