A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The parish, which is bounded on three sides by the liberty of Pickering Lythe, comprised in 1831 the townships of Hackness, Broxa and Suffield with Everley (fn. 1) and the chapelry of Harwood Dale (Haradale, xii–xiii cent.) with Silpho, (fn. 2) now the township of Silpho. (fn. 3) The united area is 12,064 acres of land and 40 acres of inland water. The subsoil is Inferior Oolite, Oxford Clay and Corallian Beds, the soil gravel, loam and sand. In Hackness and Harwood Dale there are several limestone and sandstone quarries. The principal crops are barley, oats, seeds, turnips and wheat. An inclosure award was made in 1821 for Inn Moor in the townships of Hackness, Suffield with Everley and Silpho with Broxa, another in 1861 for High Moors in the township of Harwood Dale. (fn. 4) The height varies from 150 ft. to 650 ft. above the ordnance datum.
Hackness is situated at the foot of two wellwooded moorland valleys, Lowdale and Highdale, and is 3 miles from Scalby station on the Whitby and Scarborough branch of the North Eastern railway, and 4 miles from Forge Valley station on the Pickering and Seamer branch of the same. The River Derwent, the southern boundary of the parish, flows under Hilla Green Bridge past Hackness village. From the parsonage the village street goes past the pinfold and then forks, one branch descending to Brown Beck and Hackness corn-mill, the other ascending by the 'Johnstone Arms' and Red Hill and leading, as Storr Lane, to St. Peter's Church. The public elementary school was built in 1859. On the west of Storr Lane are Chapman Banks Wood and Hackness Head Wood; on the east, and adjoining the church, the fine grounds of Hackness Hall, the seat of Lord Derwent. The Hall is a good 18th-century Renaissance building, two stories high, with a central facade having four tall fluted pilasters of the Greek Ionic order supporting an entablature and pediment. The front is ashlar faced and finished with a balustraded parapet. The house was completely gutted by fire in 1910.
The large fish-pond, the site of the old manorhouse and supposed site of the monastic foundation of St. Peter (fn. 5) are to the south-west of the grounds. In 1798, when Sir Richard Johnstone had nearly finished the hall, the old timber manorhouse was doomed to destruction because it impeded the view. (fn. 6) The architect of the new house was Peter Atkinson. (fn. 7)
Storr Lane continues north under a stone archway across the road above the church to the sawmill and Upper Pond. Into the Upper Pond flows Lowdale Beck, which descends south from Whisperdales (Whitspotdale, xii cent.) by Lowdale hamlet. The woodlands rise steeply on either side. Highdale Beck descends parallel to Lowdale Beck; on its western side is the moorland hamlet of Broxa. East of Lowdale Beck are Binkleys and Silpho (650 ft.) on Kirk Gate, the lane to Hackness on the south. At Silpho there is a Primitive Methodist chapel. Further south is Thirlsey hamlet. The woods south of Hackness Hall extend eastwards through Crossdales to Pepperley Wood, in which is the pedestal of a stone cross; above is Stonesty Wood. Suffield Hill ascends to Suffield (with Northfield adjoining), the border of the liberty.
Harwood Dale occupies the northern half of the parish. It is divided from Pickering Lythe on the east by a boundary marked with many tumuli and stones, and by Thirley Beck, which passes Thirley Cotes, by the East Syme and by the pedestal of a stone cross at Stone Cross Gate (Staincrossegate, xii cent.). (fn. 8) In the north-west, near the Fylingdales boundary, is the tract known as Tranmires. Helwath Beck forms part of the boundary, descends through Castlebeck Wood, near which is Chapel Farm, the site of Harwood Dale Hall, and passes the modern St. Margaret's Church, not far from the mill-race. The beck which joins it south of Harwood Dale Mill and the ancient chapel of St. Margaret is crossed by Gatela Road and Bridge, from which a lane leads east to Harwood Dale endowed school and the hamlet of Keasbeck, formerly a vaccary of Whitby Abbey. (fn. 9) Near Keasbeck is Cowgate Slack. Hingles, (fn. 10) Tiphurst and Breckenhurst are small hamlets here, and near them is Clocks or Pits Wood. There is a Wesleyan chapel in Keasbeck, built in 1880.
The Prior of Bridlington, tenant of land in Scalby (q.v.), quitclaimed common in the south of this parish in 1230, in return for pasture from Hayburn (fn. 11) to Keasbeck and Helwath for fifty cows and twenty wild mares. (fn. 12)
Two mills were granted with Hackness to Whitby Abbey before 1096, (fn. 13) and at the Dissolution the abbey held two water-mills and a fulling-mill here. (fn. 14) The house of the gild of St. Hilda, near the manorhouse, is mentioned at the latter date. (fn. 15)
Reinfrid, first Prior of Whitby after the Conquest, was slain by an accident at Ormesbricge, somewhere in this neighbourhood, where workmen were making a bridge across the Derwent, and was carried to Hackness and buried in the middle of the east wall of St. Peter's Church, against the altar. (fn. 16)
Robert Perrot, the organist and composer, who died in 1550, was born at Hackness. (fn. 17)
In 1086 HACKNESS with Everley and Suffield formed one manor belonging to William de Percy. Of this land 2 carucates were soke of the king's manor of Falsgrave (q.v.) and the rest land of St. Hilda. (fn. 18)
The Conqueror's grant of 2 carucates of land in Hackness to Whitby Abbey (fn. 19) must have referred to the two belonging to Falsgrave. William de Percy, the founder, and Alan his son before 1096 (fn. 20) granted to the abbey the vill, two mills, the churches of St. Mary and St. Peter, Broxa, Everley, Harwood Dale ('Dales'), Gatela (Gaitelei, Gately), Northfield without Danegeld, Silpho and Suffield and the vaccaries of Thirley ('Thornleia'), Keasbeck ('Kesebec') and Billery ('Bilroche'). (fn. 21)
The abbey held these lands until the Dissolution, having a stud, 'bohous,' and grange here. (fn. 22) In 1563 Queen Elizabeth granted the manor, rectory and church to Lord Robert Dudley in fee. (fn. 23) In the following year he received licence to alienate it to John Constable of Burton Constable. (fn. 24) Walter Devereux, brother of the Earl of Essex, having married Margaret daughter and heir of Arthur Dakins of Hackness, (fn. 25) it was determined to purchase the manor and impropriate rectory for Walter and Margaret from Sir Henry Constable, kt., son of John; this was done in 1589, for £6,000, (fn. 26) but in 1591, before the settlement was concluded, Walter died childless; Margaret's hand was then sought by Thomas Sidney and Thomas Posthumus Hoby, and she was sent by her father to the Earl of Huntingdon before the year was out with letters requesting him 'to dispose of her in marriage.' The earl disposed of her to Thomas Sidney, paying his debts and, in February 1591–2, the money advanced by the trustees who had purchased Hackness. Before the close of the year Sidney had died without refunding this money and the earl was writing to Mrs. Sidney that Sir Thomas Hoby 'will not take her letter as denial of his suit.' (fn. 27) The suit was successful, and in 1597 Sir Thomas and Dame Margaret erected a memorial in Hackness Church to Arthur Dakins, who died in 1592. Margaret's death is also commemorated in the church. Sir Thomas and Margaret made a settlement in 1632 (fn. 28); in 1638, Margaret having died childless, Sir Thomas settled this manor, rectory and advowson on the marriage of his distant connexion John Sydenham of Brimpton, Somerset, with Anne granddaughter of Thomas Lord Coventry. (fn. 29) Hoby, who had established himself at Hackness, (fn. 30) had been a thorn in the flesh of his neighbours the Cholmleys of Whitby (q.v.), and Sir Hugh Cholmley wrote: 'The Sydenhams, now possessed of Hackness, may in some sort thank me for it; for Sir Thomas Hobby, to make the Lord Coventry his friend against me . . . proposed his cousin Sydenham in marriage to my Lord's grandchild, and so settled Hackness on him, which in right belonged to Mr. Dakyns, next to Sir Thomas's lady.' (fn. 31) John Sydenham was created a baronet in 1641 and died in 1643. His posthumous son Sir John died in 1696, leaving a son and heir Sir Philip, (fn. 32) whose extravagances compelled him to sell Brimpton to his cousin Humphrey (fn. 33) and Hackness to John Vanden Bempde (fn. 34) of Pall Mall, merchant. Charlotte van Lore, only daughter of John Vanden Bempde, married in 1718 as his second wife William first Marquess of Annandale, to whom she brought a large fortune, and after his death (January 1720–1) married Lieut.-Col. John Johnstone, killed at Carthagena in 1741. She died in 1762. (fn. 35) Her son by her second husband, Richard Vanden Bempde-Johnstone, succeeded to her inheritance in 1792, (fn. 36) assuming, in accordance with his maternal grandfather's will, the surname of Vanden Bempde instead of Johnstone, but resuming Johnstone in addition in 1795, when he was created a baronet. He died in 1807, leaving a son and heir John, succeeded in 1869 by his son Sir Harcourt Vanden Bempde-Johnstone. Sir Harcourt was created in 1881 Lord Derwent of Hackness, (fn. 37) and is the present owner of the manor and advowson.
Broxa, Everley, Dales, Harwood, Silpho and Suffield were in the soke of Hackness in 1394–5 (fn. 38) and are still part of that manor, but have some history before that date.
Abbot Nicholas (living 1132) (fn. 39) granted 12 oxgangs of land in BROXA (Brochesei, xi cent.; Brokesay, Brocesay, xii cent.) to Torphin, retaining the use of the ploughs and reapers of the 'manor' once a year. (fn. 40) Abbot Richard (1177–89) (fn. 41) granted the vill to Torphin son of Torphin, Odo his brother, and their heirs for a rent and the same services. (fn. 42)
The same abbot granted (or confirmed) EVERLEY and its appurtenances in fee to William de Everley for rent, the service of eight men and his share of the horngarth. (fn. 43) Ralph de Everley was mentioned in c. 1130–5. (fn. 44) A second William lived before and in the time of Abbot Roger (1222–44), (fn. 45) and was apparently succeeded (fn. 46) by William de Everley of Ugglebarnby, son of William de Everley, who quitclaimed to the abbey, about 1260, all right in this vill, with the homage and service of John de Gedding(es), son of John de Gedding, and his heirs. (fn. 47)
The Geddings had for some time been undertenants of the Everleys. In 1240 Roger de Gedding granted the 'manor' to Geoffrey de Gedding and Emma his wife in fee with reversion to himself and his heirs, (fn. 48) and he subsequently granted the same to Master Roger de Cantilupe to hold of himself and his heirs. (fn. 49) John de Gedding in 1260 granted the manor to the abbey in frankalmoign. (fn. 50)
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 32 ft. 3 in. by 17 ft., with north chapel and vestry to the east of it, nave 30 ft. 3 in. by 18 ft. 3 in. with north and south aisles each about 10 ft. wide, south porch and west tower about 15 ft. square. All the measurements are internal.
The earliest remaining portion of the existing fabric is the chancel arch, which dates from late in the 11th century or earlier, the church at this date no doubt consisting of an aisleless nave and chancel. During the first half of the next century the south arcade was built, followed by the north arcade and tower towards the close of the second half. Little more appears to have been done to the church until the 15th century, when the chancel was rebuilt and the spire added. The north aisle was rebuilt at the same time, and towards the close of the century the nave clearstory was added. The vestry was probably built early in the 17th century and the north chapel window was inserted at the same time. The church has been much restored in modern times, the south aisle being entirely and the north aisle mainly rebuilt. The south porch is also modern.
The east window of the chancel is of three lights with a pointed traceried head of the 15th century. In the north wall is a modern door to the vestry and a modern arch to the north chapel. In the south wall there is a two-light square-headed window of the 15th century in the first bay. In the second bay is a two-light window with modern tracery placed high up in the wall, and farther west an entirely modern window also of two lights. South of the altar in this wall is a small trefoil-headed piscina. The chancel arch dates from the 11th century and might possibly be pre-Conquest. It is 9¾ ft. in span with plain chamfered responds and a simple semicircular arch. The responds have square imposts, the south face of the northern one being enriched with a panel of interlaced knot work. The masonry above the arch is wide-jointed, of fairly large stones. The chancel is finished externally with 15thcentury 'crow-stepped' gables and embattled parapets. The east end has diagonal buttresses, and another buttress divides the two bays of the south wall. All are carried up above the parapet and finished with small gables.
The nave has a north arcade of three bays, with pointed arches of two chamfered orders, which bear traces of having been tampered with when the clearstory was added. The piers are cylindrical with moulded bell capitals and the responds are square with a half-round attached shaft having a voluted capital and square abacus. The western pier has cable ornament round the base. The south arcade is of two bays only and dates from the early 12th century. The arches are round and of one plain order with a hood moulding chamfered on the lower edge. The pier is cylindrical with half columns as responds, all having scalloped capitals and square abaci. The clearstory, added in the 15th century, has three square-headed two-light windows on each side. The tower arch dates from the close of the 12th century. It is pointed and has three deeply moulded orders and a hood. The jambs have each five engaged shafts, the central and larger one being keeled on the face. They have each a moulded bell capital and square abacus.
The north chapel has a five-light early 17thcentury window placed just below the roof in the north wall. The lights are four-centred and uncusped under a square head. The north aisle is almost entirely modern and is lighted by two two-light windows in the north wall and a third in the west end. The south aisle is entirely modern and has single-light windows at the ends and a two-light window and a doorway in the south wall. The modern south porch is plain and gabled and the clearstory is finished externally with an embattled parapet. The vestry was possibly added by Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby early in the 17th century. The walls are ancient but much restored, and in the north wall is a three-light window.
The tower at the west end of the church is three stages high and dates from about the year 1200. The ground stage has a modern lancet window in the west and south walls and stands on a deep plinth. The second stage is low and marked by string-courses, and the bellchamber has a window in each face consisting of two lancet lights under a semicircular head with a moulded external hood. At the south-west angle of the tower is a massive square projection inclosing the vice and tabled back at the belfry stage. The north-west angle has two buttresses, and the tower is finished with an embattled parapet of the 15th century. The spire of the same date is octagonal and ashlar faced. It is similar to that at Brompton near Pickering.
The bells are three in number; the first cast by Dalton of York in 1792; the second by C. & G. Mears in 1847; and the third by E. Seller of York inscribed, 'Cum sono busta mori cum pulpita vivere disce, 1742.'
The font is modern, but the cover dates from the early 16th century. It is handsome, though of poor workmanship, and rises in three diminishing stages. The form is octagonal with buttressed angles and pierced traceried panels with crocketed canopies to the lowest stage. It is finished with a short spire. On either side of the chancel are seven stalls with arm-rests of the 15th century, but much repaired. The misericordes on the north are all plain except the second, which is carved with grapes and foliage. On the south the first and fourth bear grotesque faces, the second a large scallop shell, the third foliage, the fifth an angel with a shield charged with a maunch, the sixth foliage and fruit, and the seventh the Percy badge of a crescent and shackle bolt. In the vestry is a large painted shield of the arms of William and Mary, 1699, and a small library mainly given by Sir Philip Sydenham.
The church contains several interesting monuments. On the north wall of the chancel is a Jacobean mural monument to Arthur Dakins, who died in 1592, erected by his daughter. It has a remarkable display of incorrectly painted heraldry illustrating the three marriages of the daughter. (fn. 51) The first shield bears Argent an anchor sable for Dakins; the second Quarterly of 16, (1) Argent a fesse gules with three roundels gules in the chief and the difference of a crescent or upon the fesse, for Devereux; (2) Bourchier; (3) Holand; (4) Bohun; (5) Miles of Gloucester; (6) Mandeville with ten other quarters among which Wydvile and Ferrers may be distinguished. The third shield bears Or a pheon and a molet for difference, for Sidney quartering; (2) Argent three cheverons gules a label azure, for Barrington; (3) Quarterly or and gules an escarbuncle sable, for Mandeville; (4) Barry argent and gules a lion or crowned, for Brandon. The fourth shield bears the arms of Hoby of Radnor, Argent a fesse between three hobbies sable with a crescent or for difference, with seven quarterings. On an escutcheon of pretence is Dakins. The fifth shield bears Devereux impaling Dakins; the sixth Sidney impaling Dakins, and the seventh Hoby impaling Dakins. On the south wall of the chancel is a tablet with an ornamental border to Margaret wife of Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby, who died in 1633. It bears the arms, Argent a fesse between three hobbies sable, for Hoby of Kent impaling Dakins. On the north chancel wall is a white marble monument by Chantry to Margaret Anne wife of George Johnstone, 1819.
Preserved at the east end of the south aisle are two fragments of large Saxon crosses. The larger has scroll work and an inscription on one face, similar scroll work and the head of a Christ on another face, and interlaced knot work on a third. It is 40 in. high and tapers towards the top. On the smaller fragment are the lower parts of two griffons in relief on one face, the remains of an inscription on a second reading: '+ Sce . . . os A (bb)adissa Oedilbvrga Orate P(ro Nobis),' and on the third an inscription partly in 'twig runes.' (fn. 52)
The plate includes an almsdish (London, 1690?), the rest being modern. There is, however, a fine set of pewter plate, including a flagon and two plates bearing the arms of Sir Philip Sydenham and inscribed, 'St. Mary's Church Hackness,' a large early 17th-century flagon inscribed, 'Hacknes Parish' on the handle, and two flagons belonging to Harwood Dale and inscribed, 'St. Margret's Chapell, 1633.'
The modern church of ST. MARGARET, Harwood Dale, consists of a rectangular body, with a semicircular apsidal sanctuary and a south porch. The style is 'Early English' Gothic, and at the west end is a small stone bellcote, with a spirelet, containing one bell.
The ancient church stands about a mile farther up the valley and is now almost a ruin. It was built by Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby in 1634, and is a plain but interesting example of the period. The building is a simple rectangle measuring 45¾ ft. by 15¼ ft. internally, and is lighted by a three-light squareheaded transomed east window, and by three two-light windows, also with square heads, in each side wall. At the east end of the north wall is a blocked door. Both north and south doors have depressed pointed heads plainly chamfered. The bellcote on the west gable is partly destroyed and the south porch is ruined. It is approached by a flight of stone steps. The roof of the main building still exists, but is in a precarious state. The stone altar platform also remains, and against the east wall is a stone tablet inscribed, 'When Sr Thomas Posthumus Hoby Knight and the lady Margarett his wife were united together in this world they both resolved to have a Chappell erected for devine service for ye good of ye soules & bodys of ye inhabitantes dwelling wthin Harewooddale & in very fewe monthes next after his said wives decease he did erect this Chappell in ye yeare 1634, and as they had both formerly resolved he hath by conveyance provided that his assigne (unto whom he hath assured the inheritance of Harewooddale in reversion after his owne death) and his heires and assignes shall for ever find one sufficient preacher to preach Gods word and to Catechyse herin on every Lords day comonly called Sunday.' The church is faced externally with rough ashlar.
There were three churches (one possibly that of Whitby [q.v.]) and a priest at Hackness in 1086, (fn. 53) and before 1096 the founder of Whitby Abbey endowed it with the church of St. Mary here and the church of St. Peter (the monastic foundation) 'where our monks serve God, die and are buried.' (fn. 54) These two churches are again mentioned early in the 12th century. (fn. 55) After the Dissolution the rectory and advowson descended with the manor, and they are now the property of Lord Derwent. The living, which was formerly a perpetual curacy, has been since 1868 (fn. 56) a vicarage united to the rectory of Harwood Dale.
The chapel of St. Botulf, which belonged to the abbey in 1394–5, (fn. 57) was still standing in 1587. (fn. 58) The rector of Heslarton directed in 1472 that pilgrims should go after his burial to this shrine for him. (fn. 59)
The chapel of St. Margaret at Harwood Dale, founded by Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby, was endowed in 1636 with the tithes of Harwood Dale, Harwood, and Hingles for the maintenance of a curate. (fn. 60) The living is united to that of Hackness.
John Craven, who was interred in Hackness Church, 1 June 1692, by his will left to the poor of Hackness Constablery 52s. a year for the distribution of 12d. in white bread every Sunday in the year, to issue out of his house in Scarborough. The distribution of bread is duly made.