A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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The Village of Elvington lies about 6 miles southeast of York on the west bank of the river Derwent. (fn. 1) It faces Sutton village on the opposite bank and it seems likely that this was a natural crossing-point of the river from early times. Elvington, which was an Anglian settlement, (fn. 2) stands alongside a small stream near its confluence with the Derwent, and another stream forms the southern parish boundary. The entire eastern boundary follows the Derwent except where the course of the river has been straightened across a small meander. Near the river the ings occupying the flood-plain lie at less than 25 ft. above sea-level and the rest of Elvington lies at 25 ft. to 50 ft. The area of the parish, which is roughly triangular in shape, is 2,372 a. (fn. 3)
A small area of boulder clay and glacial sand and gravel in the south of the parish represents the northern edge of the Escrick moraine. The rest of the parish, including the sites of the former open fields around the village, consists of outwash sand and clay. (fn. 4) The common moor lay on the sand in the north-west where much of the parish is now occupied by an airfield.
The road from York, forming the main village street, is carried over the river to Sutton upon Derwent by a stone bridge of two arches. A bridge was mentioned in 1396, when Robert Holme, a York merchant, left money to build a new one. (fn. 5) It was of stone by 1535 (fn. 6) and was constantly repaired by the county in the 18th century. (fn. 7) The road was straightened near Elvington Hall in 1937. (fn. 8)
From the village Dauby Lane leads northwards to Kexby. Church Lane leads southwards and formerly continued to Wheldrake. About 1767, however, a new road was laid out from the York road 1½ mile west of the village to link up with the old Wheldrake road, and at inclosure two years later part of the old road was evidently blocked up. (fn. 9) Stray Lane, men tioned in 1774, (fn. 10) follows part of the northern parish boundary and gave access to the common. Ings Lane formerly led from Church Lane towards the river. (fn. 11)
The river Derwent was improved for navigation in the early 18th century and by 1723 a cut with a lock had been made at Elvington, bypassing a new weir across the river. A lock-keeper's house had been built by 1782 but the present house dates from the 19th century. In 1807 an Elvington trader regularly used the navigation (fn. 12) and in the mid 19th century coal yards lay on the river bank near the bridge. (fn. 13) The navigation ended c. 1900 (fn. 14) and the Derwent was closed as a public waterway in 1932. (fn. 15) The lock subsequently decayed, but it was restored for pleasure craft in 1972. (fn. 16) About a mile upstream of the weir Sheffield corporation built a water intake and treatment plant, completed in 1965. (fn. 17)
The Derwent Valley Light Railway, opened in 1912, crossed the parish and the former station adjoins the York road west of the village. The line was closed for passenger traffic in 1926 (fn. 18) and the sections south and north of the station for goods in 1968 and 1972 respectively. (fn. 19) The track has been lifted.
The village houses and cottages, which are all of brick and date from the 18th century and later, stand in the long main street and around its junction with Church Lane. In the village centre a stream runs alongside a small green, and in the mid 19th century Cross bridge carried Church Lane over the stream. (fn. 20) The church stands a short distance from the green and Elvington Hall at the east end of the village overlooking the river. (fn. 21) Noteworthy buildings include Belvoir House, beside the green, a later18th-century building, and the early-19th-century Roxby Farm. The Grange, known in the mid 19th century as Annfield Villa, (fn. 22) stands in its own grounds to the south of the village. It is an early19th-century stuccoed house with a cast-iron ground-floor veranda. Later-19th-century buildings include in Church Lane a row of thirteen mottledbrick cottages, dated 1860, with ornamental bargeboards and entrance porches; they were built by A. J. Clarke, rector 1865-85. (fn. 23) There are several substantial detached Victorian houses, including the Villa, Bank House, and Derwent House. Much 20th-century development has taken place, reflecting the proximity of York, notably at the west end of the village where three new streets have been laid out and about 50 private houses built. There are also 22 council houses, and seven houses were built c. 1965 for the employees of Sheffield corporation. (fn. 24) An alehouse was licensed in the village from 1754 onwards (fn. 25) and in 1823 it was called the Bay Horse. (fn. 26) Since at least 1840 it has been known as the Grey Horse. (fn. 27) From 1916 to 1962 the building which formerly served as a Primitive Methodist chapel and later a school was used as a church hall. In 1972 the school building of 1858 was used as a village hall. (fn. 28)
Buildings away from the village include Brinkworth Hall, a large early-19th-century house. It stands in a small park about a mile west of the village and was probably built between 1803 and 1823 for Alexander Mather, who held a small estate at Elvington. (fn. 29) The isolated farm-houses all date from after the inclosures of 1743 and 1769. Two had been built on the former common by 1772 (fn. 30) and Cheesecake House in the south of the parish had also appeared by that date. (fn. 31)
A Royal Air Force station has occupied the western part of the parish since 1943 (fn. 32) and was still in use in 1972. A long new runway extending into Langwith was built in 1956. (fn. 33) Beside the York road west of the village is a memorial to a Free French air force squadron which was based at Elvington in 1944-5.
There were 59 poll-tax payers in 1377. (fn. 34) In 1672 48 households were recorded in the hearth-tax assessment, of which 14 were discharged from paying. Of the 34 chargeable households 27 had one hearth each, 4 had 2, and the others had 4, 5, and 7 hearths, the last being the manor-house. (fn. 35) There were 26 families in the parish in 1743 and 29 in 1764. (fn. 36) The population rose from 225 in 1801 to 478 in 1841. It fell to 372 in 1851 but rose again to 472 in 1861, before decreasing steadily to 335 by 1901 (fn. 37) and 301 by 1911. It rose to 423 in 1951 and was 559 in 1971. (fn. 38)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1066 there was one estate of 6 carucates at Elvington held by Ulchil. (fn. 39) It passed to William Malet who held it until c. 1070; (fn. 40) in 1086, despite a claim that it was the right of William's son Robert, it was held by Alulf of William de Percy. (fn. 41) The overlordship descended in the Percy family until at least 1368. (fn. 42)
William de Morers was enfeoffed of the estate probably between 1166 and 1175 (fn. 43) and in 1284-5 Richard de Morers was demesne lord. (fn. 44) ELVINGTON manor descended in the Morers family (fn. 45) until 1394, when William Morers granted it to three men, apparently trustees of Ralph, Lord Neville, (fn. 46) created earl of Westmorland in 1397. (fn. 47) The manor, still comprising 6 carucates, was held by Ralph's widow Joan in 1428. (fn. 48) It was forfeited by her grandson Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury, on his attainder in 1459 and restored to him the following year when his attainder was reversed. (fn. 49) His son Richard Neville (d. 1471), earl of Warwick, 'the kingmaker', succeeded him and held the manor until his death. (fn. 50) Upon the forfeiture and partition of his estates by Act of Parliament in 1474 between the dukes of Clarence and Gloucester, Elvington was assigned to the latter and was confirmed to him in 1475. (fn. 51) On ascending the throne Richard III kept it in hand and in the 1490s it was accounted for along with Sheriff Hutton (Yorks. N.R.). (fn. 52) It was let to members of the Eglesfield family for much of the 16th century. (fn. 53) In 1628 it was alienated to the Ditchfield grantees as security for the City of London's loan to the Crown. (fn. 54) The grantees sold it to Sir John Gibson and Ralph Radcliffe in 1632, (fn. 55) and Radcliffe and Sir Arthur Ingram to Sir Roger Jacques in 1646. (fn. 56) The manor passed to the Sterne family on the marriage c. 1700 of Mary, daughter of another Roger Jacques, and Simon Sterne. (fn. 57) The writer Laurence Sterne (1713-68) was their grandson. (fn. 58)
The manorial estate, comprising about 1,500 a. in 1772, (fn. 59) descended in the Sterne family until the later 18th century. In 1774 Richard Sterne sold 837 a. to Ralph and John Dodsworth, (fn. 60) 83 a. to Ambrose Etherington, and 172 a. to John Daniel. (fn. 61) The following year he sold the manor and 321 a. to John Ramsey. (fn. 62) After Ramsey's death in 1801 (fn. 63) the manor, divided into moieties, passed to his nieces Susannah Spence and Dorothy Garwood (fn. 64) and in 1857 the trustees of their six children sold the whole manor with about 200 a. to Smith Wormald. (fn. 65) Wormald's devisees sold the 125-acre Manor farm to John Barker in 1871 (fn. 66) and the manor and about 30 a. to John Dobby in 1876. (fn. 67) Thomas Dobby sold the manorial rights to Thomas Masterman in 1891 (fn. 68) and no more is known of them.
The manor-house occupied by Sir Roger Jacques in 1646 had 7 hearths in 1672. (fn. 69) Elvington Hall was apparently built by the Sternes in the later 18th century. It remained the manor-house until 1881, when John Dobby sold it to Harriet Whitaker. (fn. 70) On the death of her daughter Harriet Von Beverhoudt in 1934 the hall passed to the latter's cousin Judith Bury-Barry (d. 1947), (fn. 71) whose executors sold it to Mr. K. Wadham in 1957. (fn. 72) He sold it in 1962 to Mr. R. M. Pontefract, (fn. 73) the owner in 1972. The house has been extended and remodelled in the 20th century. The oldest part appears to be the north front, which may be 17th-century in origin. A new drawing room and staircase were added on the south-west in the later 18th century, perhaps from designs by Carr of York, and the south front was made symmetrical by the addition of another room in the earlier 19th century.
Ralph Dodsworth (d. 1794) devized his share of the estate purchased from Richard Sterne to his brother John (fn. 74) who, in 1803, sold 416 a. to the Revd. Thomas Preston. (fn. 75) In 1837 Dodsworth's trustees sold about 150 a. to P. B. Lawley, later Baron Wenlock, and in 1838 a further 125 a. to Lawley and 195 a. to William Massey. (fn. 76) P. B. and B. R. Lawley also increased their Elvington estate by the purchase of 75 a. from Joseph Dresser in 1846 and 168 a. from Henry Preston in 1847. (fn. 77) The estate descended like Escrick manor (fn. 78) until 1920, when Irene Lawley sold about 400 a. in two farms. (fn. 79) She sold the remaining 165 a. in 1927. (fn. 80)
There was land for three ploughs at Elvington in 1086, on which Alulf had one plough and three villeins another, as well as woodland a league long and half a league broad and 10 a. of meadow. The estate had decreased in value from £2 in 1066 to 10s. (fn. 81) Between 1182 and 1197 William de Morers granted Meaux abbey a cartload of rods a year from his woodland. (fn. 82) In the 13th century Elvington and Wheldrake intercommoned in their fields and woodland. Thus an Elvington holding in 1228 had commonage in Wheldrake (fn. 83) and later in the century the lords and inhabitants of the two townships agreed that each should have commonage in the territory of the other. It was further agreed that reclamation of the waste, which had evidently been carried on extensively at Elvington since 1235, should proceed at an equal pace in both townships. (fn. 84)
The manor was worth about £50 in 1487 (fn. 85) and the rents of four freeholders amounted to 13s. in 1510. (fn. 86) In 1569 a 64-acre wood called Ragarth and in 1583 waste land called Norwood were let by the Crown. (fn. 87)
Two waste plots were brought into cultivation c. 1600 (fn. 88) and closes called West intake and Penridding were first mentioned in 1624. The 40-acre Wood close was recorded in 1670. (fn. 89) In the 17th century the remaining waste covered much of the north and west of the parish. Turbary rights in it were mentioned in 1620 (fn. 90) and it was unstinted in 1624. In the latter year the manor contained 34 bovates of openfield land and 224 a. lying in about 30 closes. Nine free tenants held a total of 9½ bovates and 11 a. by suit of court and there were 29 leaseholders, 20 of whom held only cottages and garths. The other nine leaseholders held a total of 20½ bovates and 107 a. The demesne, held by two lessees, contained 4 bovates and 93 a. The manor was then worth about £150 but was let for only about £53. (fn. 91)
The open fields were first named in 1663, when they were West or Boondike, North, East, and South or Little fields. East came to be known as Innam field by 1685 (fn. 92) and as Cocking field by 1769. (fn. 93) The main areas of common meadow in 1663 were North ings, Thackmire, West carr, Mask, and Agles, the last-mentioned no doubt the area in the south-east of the parish known as Hagghill Leas ings in the mid 19th century. Hawk ing had been inclosed from Agles by 1663 and Ellerker and Chancellor ings, mentioned in 1685, may also have been inclosed meadow land. (fn. 94) In 1763 40 a. of meadow lay in 17 closes. (fn. 95)
Much of the remaining common or moor, but not the most northerly part, was inclosed in 1743 (fn. 96) under an Act of the same year. (fn. 97) In all, 576 a. were allotted, Richard Sterne as lord of the manor receiving 469 a. and the rector 91 a. There were three other allotments totalling 16 a. The rest of the common, together with the open fields and ings, was inclosed under an Act of 1769. (fn. 98) About 800 a. were involved, of which at least 250 a. were from the common. (fn. 99) The rector received 147 a. and two other men a total of 54 a. The rest went to the lord of the manor.
In 1795 the parish contained about 1,000 a. of arable, 800 a. of pasture, 300 a. of waste, and 30 a. of woodland. Oats (375 a.) was the main crop grown. (fn. 100) In 1801 697 a. were under crops, mainly oats (268 a.) and wheat (185 a.). (fn. 101) There have usually been 12-16 farmers in the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 102) Of the 13 farms in 1851 7 were of 100-200 a. and 2 of over 200 a., (fn. 103) and of the same number in 1937 3 covered 150 a. or more. (fn. 104) In 1905 there were 1,192 a. of arable, 760 a. of grassland, and 58 a. of woodland. (fn. 105) The proportion of pasture has increased in more recent years and in 1965 it represented over half the area of the parish not covered by the airfield. (fn. 106)
In 1086 there were two fisheries at Elvington rendering 1,000 eels a year. (fn. 107) In 1332 Henry of Moreby had a weir, presumably for fishing, which was said to obstruct boats and cause flooding. (fn. 108) It was ordered to be diminished in 1337 but this had not been done by 1356, when it was held by William de Morers. Another of William's weirs at Elvington had recently been destroyed by floods. (fn. 109) The fishing rights, which have since descended with the manor, were worth £1 in 1510, about 10s. in 1624, (fn. 110) and £10-12 a year in 1769. (fn. 111) Salmon fishing was carried on in the 19th and early 20th centuries (fn. 112) but ceased in the 1940s. (fn. 113)
Weavers at Elvington were mentioned in the 1390s. (fn. 114) A brick and tile works beside the Wheldrake road existed by 1850 (fn. 115) and brick-making continued there until the 1930s. (fn. 116) In 1972 the site was marked by a 19th-century brick wind-pump and a water-filled pit. There is no evidence of a mill at Elvington and the three corn-millers who lived in the parish in 1851 (fn. 117) were presumably employed in the large mill at Sutton upon Derwent. In 1892 willows were said to be grown in the parish for basket-making. (fn. 118) In 1972 a firm of fertilizer manufacturers provided some employment and huts formerly belonging to the airfield were occupied by several industrial concerns, including a manufacturer of pre-cast concrete and an agricultural engineer.
Although the assize of ale was a franchise of the court, matters dealt with and recorded in estreats for manorial courts held by the Crown in 1610, 1621, 1623, and 1624 were mostly agricultural offences and petty misdemeanours. (fn. 119)
No parochial records before 1835 are known. In 1743 there were 'three or four' unendowed almshouses (fn. 120) and in the mid 19th century a row of poorhouses adjoined the York road west of the village. (fn. 121) In 1837 Elvington joined York poor-law union. (fn. 122) It became part of Escrick rural district in 1894, Derwent rural district in 1935, (fn. 123) and the Selby district of North Yorkshire in 1974.
There was a church at Elvington in 1086. (fn. 124) The advowson descended with the manor in the Middle Ages and later (fn. 125) but was retained by the Crown in 1628 when the manor was granted away. (fn. 126) Between 1856 and 1866 it passed to the Revd. J. E. Clarke (fn. 127) and the Clarkes have since retained it. (fn. 128)
The church was valued at £5 6s. 8d. in 1291 (fn. 129) and about £6 net in 1535. (fn. 130) It was worth £50 in 1650 (fn. 131) and £45 in 1706. (fn. 132) The net income in 1829-31 was on average £280, (fn. 133) in 1884 it was £290, and in 1914 £249. (fn. 134)
Most of the income in 1535 and later was from tithes. Their payment from a plot of newly cultivated waste was disputed in 1603. (fn. 135) Only part of the ings was tithable in 1685 (fn. 136) and by 1698 the lord of the manor paid a composition of £1 a year for the meadow called Mask. (fn. 137) In 1535 the glebe comprised 2 bovates of land and 2 a. of meadow (fn. 138) and in 1685 it amounted to about 30 a. (fn. 139) The rector was awarded 91 a. for tithes and glebe at the inclosure of 1743 (fn. 140) and 147 a. and a rent-charge of about £23 at that of 1769. (fn. 141) Tithes on certain old-inclosed lands were commuted in 1844 for a rent-charge of about £20. (fn. 142) The glebe, comprising 208 a., was sold in 1920. (fn. 143)
There was a parsonage house in 1535 (fn. 144) and it was said to be in disrepair in 1582. (fn. 145) It had five hearths in 1672, (fn. 146) and in 1770 was a thatched brick building with three ground-floor rooms and three bedrooms. It had been rebuilt by 1809, when it contained six rooms on each floor. (fn. 147) The house, close to the church, was sold in 1970 and a new Rectory built near by in 1971-2. (fn. 148)
Land given to support a light in the church was granted to Francis Barker and Thomas Blackway in 1566. (fn. 149)
The rector was licensed to be absent for three years in 1309. (fn. 150) In 1743 the incumbent stated that he spent only one night a week at Elvington and the rest at York. (fn. 151) The rector resided on his other living at Sutton upon Derwent in 1764 (fn. 152) and Knaresborough (Yorks. W.R.) in 1835, in the latter year employing an assistant curate at Elvington. (fn. 153) In 1972 the rector was also curate-in-charge of Sutton upon Derwent. (fn. 154) Henry Ayscough, rector 1618-25, who also held the living of Dunnington, was a Puritan. (fn. 155)
There were two services each Sunday in 1743 and Holy Communion was celebrated four times a year, with about 40 communicants. (fn. 156) In 1764 services were held fortnightly. By 1865 there were two services each Sunday. In the 1860s and 1870s communion was usually celebrated monthly, with 16-18 people receiving. In the 1880s and 1914 it was celebrated fortnightly and in 1936 weekly. (fn. 157) There were still two services each Sunday in 1972.
Little is known of the medieval church of HOLY TRINITY. It was out of repair in 1663 (fn. 158) and 1744 (fn. 159) and was entirely rebuilt, largely at the rector's expense, in 1803. The new church was of brick with stone dressings and had an embattled west tower and an apse. The windows were in 'semigothic' style and there was a west gallery. (fn. 160) The church was repaired in 1849 (fn. 161) and 1868 (fn. 162) before being rebuilt on a site a little to the south in 1876- 7. (fn. 163) The new building, of stone, was designed by William White and consists of chancel with polygonal apse, nave with north aisle and vestry, and north-west tower. The belfry stage of the tower is wooden and is capped by a short spire. The aisle arcade has four semicircular red-brick arches on red sandstone columns with leaf capitals. A round Norman font with a scalloped base remains in the church and in the churchyard is a font dated 1685.
There were two bells in 1552 and later, (fn. 164) and two still: (i) 14th century, Thomas de Wald; (ii) n.d. (fn. 165) The plate consists of a flagon, cup, and paten of silver plate. (fn. 166) The registers date from 1600 and are complete, except for gaps for 1643-53 and 1741-4. (fn. 167)
There were two recusants at Elvington in 1586 and three were discovered in the 1630s. (fn. 170) Houses, barns, and other buildings were licensed for worship in 1785, 1789, 1819, 1821, 1830, and 1833. (fn. 171) Between 1790 and 1816 the Wesleyan Methodists usually had 18-29 members at Elvington (fn. 172) and they built a chapel in 1810. (fn. 173) It was rebuilt or extensively repaired in 1833 (fn. 174) and restored in 1899. (fn. 175) It was said in 1914 to be not well attended. (fn. 176) It was still used in 1972.
Elvington was the base for the Primitive Methodist mission to York in 1819. (fn. 177) A Primitive Methodist 'chapel' mentioned in 1840 (fn. 178) seems to have been a licensed house or barn. It had ceased to be used by 1856. (fn. 179)
A master, supported by fees, taught at Elvington in 1764. (fn. 180) The school was still unendowed in 1819, when it contained about 50 children, 20 of whom were supported by subscriptions. (fn. 181) By 1835 there were two schools with a total of 55 pupils (fn. 182) but in 1856 there was only one, housed in the former Primitive Methodist 'chapel'. (fn. 183) It was rebuilt in 1858 on a new site and in 1864 the average attendance was 56. (fn. 184) It first received an annual government grant in 1870. (fn. 185) Between 1908 and 1938 the attendance varied between 30 and 50. (fn. 186) A new school was built in 1969 (fn. 187) and in April 1972 there were 78 on the roll. (fn. 188) Both the former school buildings were later used as village halls. (fn. 189)
The vicar held a night school 'with little success' in the 1860s. (fn. 190)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
Robert Spence, by will proved in 1906, left £50, part of the interest on which was to be used for the upkeep of family memorials in Elvington and Durleigh (Som.) churches and the residue for the poor of Elvington. In 1972 £50 stock and £21 cash produced an income of £4, all of which was transferred to the churchyard account. (fn. 191)
Elvington benefited from the charity of John Hodgson for parishes in York poor-law union. (fn. 192)