Sutton upon Derwent

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Sutton upon Derwent', in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake, (London, 1976) pp. 173-179. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section


The parish of Sutton upon Derwent lies about 7 miles south-east of York, on the east bank of the river. (fn. 1) The village stands on the slopes of the Escrick moraine, which is broken here by the Derwent, and the situation of Sutton and Elvington on opposite banks of the river suggests that this was a natural crossing point from early times. The placename, which indicates an Anglian settlement, had received its distinctive suffix by the 13th century. In the east of the parish 'Woodhouses' had come into existence by the later 12th century, (fn. 2) and a grange of Kirkham priory was established there. Another part of the parish was apparently known by the name Cathwaite. References to it as an appurtenance of Sutton manor occur in the 14th century; (fn. 3) an inhabitant of it was mentioned in 1447 (fn. 4) and Cathwaite House in 1554; (fn. 5) and land formerly belonging to one Cathwaite was in the hands of the Crown in the 16th century. (fn. 6) The Beck, on the southern parish boundary, was said in 1323 to flow through Cathwaite, (fn. 7) and ground near the stream was called Cathards in 1850. The irregularly-shaped parish covers 3,681 a., of which Woodhouse accounts for 1,229 a. (fn. 8)

The river Derwent forms the entire western boundary of the parish, and on the south the boundary partly follows the Beck and a dike marking an abandoned course of the Derwent. Along the eastern boundary Sails beck flows towards the Beck, and Blackfoss beck separates the townships of Sutton and Woodhouse. Most of the parish lies at more than 25 ft. above sea-level, but lower ground borders the river and streams. The ridge of the moraine exceeds 50 ft. in the north of Sutton township. The moraine is capped with glacial sand and gravel, and most of the lower ground consists of outwash silt, clay, and sand, with alluvium alongside the streams. (fn. 9) The open fields of Sutton lay mainly on the slopes of the moraine, with meadows occupying the low riverside ground, and by the 18th century commons were restricted to the southern parts of the township, where they included South wood. Final inclosure took place in 1777. Much of the township was occupied by ancient inclosures, however, including an area around North wood. Woodhouse grange, too, was inclosed at an early period. These names suggest that woodland was extensive in the parish before medieval colonization, and the large Sutton wood still survives in the north of the township.

The road from York is carried over the Derwent by a bridge mentioned as early as 1396. (fn. 10) The bridge may have replaced a ferry recorded in 1368, (fn. 11) but another ferry (passagium) between 'the head' (capud) of Sutton and Wheldrake, mentioned in 1218, (fn. 12) was presumably situated south of the village. Near the Derwent bridge the road was said in the 18th century to be frequently damaged by flooding, (fn. 13) and it now occupies a raised causeway across the meadows. In Sutton the road divides, one branch forming the main village street and continuing towards Melbourne, crossing the Beck at Hagg bridge. (fn. 14) The other branch leads through Woodhouse and on towards Barmby Moor. It crosses Blackfoss beck by Sandhill bridge, presumably the 'Wandebrugg' mentioned in 1252 and the Woodhouse or Foss bridge recorded in 1370. (fn. 15) The road was improved at that point in the 1950s and the bridge rebuilt. (fn. 16) Another road leads northwards along the moraine to Newton upon Derwent, and in Woodhouse a minor road formerly leading into Thornton (fn. 17) survives only as a field road.

The river Derwent was improved for navigation in the early 18th century, but the cut and lock near Sutton mill are on the Elvington bank. (fn. 18) A Sutton dealer used the river in 1807, (fn. 19) and there was a landing-place in Sutton, near the bridge, in 1850. (fn. 20) A cut was made across the neck of a sharp meander near the village in the 20th century. (fn. 21) In the south of the township Bank island marks an earlier change in the river's course; the 10-acre Banks close was already in 1690 'environed and compassed' by the river. (fn. 22)

Most of the houses in Sutton village are loosely strung out for about a mile along the road leading from the bridge towards Melbourne; a few others stand on the Woodhouse road. The church lies at the northern end of the village, on the edge of the Derwent flood plain, together with the manor-house and mill-house, and there was a chalybeate spring called Spa well near by. From the village street a track known as Rake Lane formerly led to the riverside meadows. (fn. 23) The most noteworthy of the 18th and 19th-century cottages and farm-houses are Derwent and Glebe Farms; both have internal chimney plans and may be of the late 17th century in origin. Cherry Farm has a wheelhouse. There are 20 council houses, about 10 houses built by the Crown, mostly in the 1950s, and some 30 private houses contributing to the recent expansion of the village. A village hall was built in 1929-31. (fn. 24)

There was at least one alehouse in Sutton in the early 18th century (fn. 25) and two or three licensed houses later in the century. (fn. 26) By 1823 the Cross Keys and the Ram's Head were in existence. The latter was replaced by the Clarges Arms by 1840 and renamed the St. Vincent Arms by 1879. (fn. 27) The Cross Keys closed c. 1970 and a newly-built house on the site was opened in 1974 as Turpin's Tavern. (fn. 28)

The four or five isolated farm-houses in Sutton township include Sutton Farm, south of the village, which was sometimes called Sutton Hall, (fn. 29) and St. Loys, standing near the river north of the village. (fn. 30) About 500 yd. south of St. Loys, in Sutton wood, is the so-called Giant's Hill, which may be the site of a small moated homestead. (fn. 31) Of the three scattered farm-houses in Woodhouse township, Woodhouse Grange may stand near the site of the former monastic grange. It is not known whether 'Woodhouses' comprised a distinct hamlet in the 12th century before the grange was established. Two of the Woodhouse farm-houses, together with St. Loys, already existed before inclosure in 1777. (fn. 32)

There were 94 poll-tax payers at Sutton in 1377. (fn. 33) In 1672 57 households were included in the hearthtax return, 7 of them exempt. Of those that were chargeable 43 had only one hearth each, 4 had 2 or 3, and 3 had six. (fn. 34) There were 40 families in the parish in 1743 (fn. 35) and 38 in 1764. (fn. 36) The population in 1801 was 274, rising to 417 in 1831; it fell to 299 in 1891 and stood at 313 in 1901. (fn. 37) Numbers fluctuated in the 20th century, falling as low as 270 in 1931 but reaching 353 in 1971. (fn. 38)


In 1086 there were two estates of 6 carucates at Sutton upon Derwent. The first consisted in 1066 of 5 carucates held by Bernulf and Norman and one held by Segrida. Picot de Percy held the whole estate under William de Percy in 1086. (fn. 39) The overlordship descended in the main branch of the Percy family. (fn. 40) The second estate was held in 1066 by Orm, Colgrim, Ulf, and Game, and in 1086 Niel Fossard held it of the count of Mortain. (fn. 41) In the 12th century the estate was apparently held from William Fossard by William Aguilon. (fn. 42) The overlordship later passed to the Mauley family and was still mentioned in 1384. Anketin Malore had a mesne lordship in 3 carucates of it in 1284-5. (fn. 43)

Picot de Percy and succeeding demesne lords of the manor of SUTTON UPON DERWENT were members of a minor branch of the Percys whose chief estates lay in Bolton Percy (Yorks. W.R.), Carnaby, and Sutton. (fn. 44) The manor comprised both the Percy and the Mauley estates. (fn. 45) After the death of Peter de Percy in 1315 the manor was held successively by his father Robert and Robert's wife Beatrice. (fn. 46) By 1336, however, Peter's surviving heir Eustacia had come of age and held it with her husband Walter of Heslerton. (fn. 47) After Walter's death in 1349 and during the minority of his son, another Walter, the manor was in the possession of Thomas Ughtred, Martin of Skerne, and Walter de Cotes until Eustacia, an idiot, died. (fn. 48) The younger Walter died in 1367, (fn. 49) and in 1394 livery of the manor was granted to Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland (d. 1425), cousin and heir of Walter's widow Euphemia. (fn. 50)

Like Scoreby (fn. 51) the manor was held by the Nevilles and after the partition of the earl of Warwick's estates in 1474 by the duke of Gloucester. (fn. 52) 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. 53) In 1489 and later the Eglesfields were among those holding the bailiwick of the manor. (fn. 54)

In 1553 the Crown granted Sutton upon Derwent to John, duke of Northumberland, who was licensed to alienate it to John Eglesfield the same year. (fn. 55) In 1563 Eglesfield (d. 1566) bequeathed it to Sir Henry Gates, John Vaughan, John Herbert, and William Lakyn to the uses of his will. He was succeeded by his sisters Mary, wife of Andrew Milner, and Margaret Wallis, widow. (fn. 56) The Wallis and Milner shares were acquired in 1567 and 1570 respectively by John Vaughan. (fn. 57) The Vaughans held the manor until 1649, when it was conveyed to Sir Thomas Fairfax. (fn. 58)

Fairfax sold the manor in 1661 to George Monck, duke of Albemarle. (fn. 59) George's son Christopher, duke of Albemarle (d. 1688), left his estates in trust to several kinsmen and Sutton upon Derwent passed to one of them, Sir John Granville, created earl of Bath (d. 1701). Granville's grandson W. H. Granville, the 3rd earl, died in 1711 without issue and his estates passed to his aunts Catherine Peyton, Grace Carteret, and Jane Leveson-Gower. In 1731 Grace and Jane's son John Leveson-Gower, created Earl Gower, conveyed the manor to Sir Thomas Clarges (d. 1759). (fn. 60) Clarges's grandson Sir Thomas (d. 1783) was awarded 752 a. at inclosure in 1777, (fn. 61) and another Sir Thomas (d. 1834) had 1,955 a. in Sutton in 1823. (fn. 62) From the Clarges family the manor passed in 1857 to C. R. J. Jervis, subsequently Viscount St. Vincent (d. 1879). (fn. 63) The estate comprised 2,432 a. in 1929. (fn. 64) About 500 a. were sold by R. G. J. Jervis (b. 1905), 7th Viscount St. Vincent, in 1947, (fn. 65) and 1,744 a. more in 1948 to the Crown, (fn. 66) which already owned Woodhouse Grange. (fn. 67)

Robert de Percy had licence to crenellate his house at 'Sutton' in 1293 (fn. 68) and the manor-house was probably mentioned, as 'le maners' in the park, in 1309. (fn. 69) It was certainly recorded in 1368. (fn. 70) The park had been mentioned as early as 1280 (fn. 71) and ground south of the manor-house is still called the Park. It may have been in the manor-house, moreover, that the chapel was located where Aubrey, widow of Robert de Percy, was licensed to have a chaplain in 1232. (fn. 72) In 1314 Aubrey, daughter of Robert de Percy, was granted an oratory in the manor-house. (fn. 73) In the 19th century the manorhouse, close to the church, was often called Manor Farm, and the lords of the manor usually lived at Sutton Hall, or Sutton Farm, an isolated house south of the village. (fn. 74) The hall was sold by Lord St. Vincent to Ena Meadowcroft in 1947. (fn. 75) Manor Farm dates from the 18th century.

That part of Sutton upon Derwent known as Woodhouse was given by Picot de Percy (d. by 1135) and others to Kirkham priory. (fn. 76) Shortly before the Dissolution the priory let the property to Thomas Manners, earl of Rutland. (fn. 77) After passing to the Crown Woodhouse Grange was granted in 1558 to the Savoy hospital, London, (fn. 78) and in the 16th and 17th centuries it was often leased by the Constable family. (fn. 79) The hospital was dissolved in 1702 (fn. 80) and its property reverted to the Crown. The Coore family were lessees in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 81) Woodhouse Grange, which comprised 1,168 a. in 1785, (fn. 82) still belonged to the Crown in 1974.

Land in Sutton worth £6 13s. 4d. which belonged to one Cathwaite was forfeited to the Crown before 1526 and granted to a succession of life tenants. In 1553 the reversion was granted to John, duke of Northumberland, (fn. 83) and the estate was thus united with the manor.

Small estates in Sutton were held by Thicket priory, (fn. 84) the Knights Hospitallers, Wilberfoss priory, and Warter priory. The Hospitallers' land was briefly regranted to them by the Crown in 1558. (fn. 85) Wilberfoss priory was licensed in 1483 to acquire land in Sutton worth £6 13s. 4d., and the former estate of Robert Hoton was granted by the Crown. (fn. 86) The former priory estate amounted to 9 bovates in 1539, (fn. 87) and in 1605 the property was in dispute between Sir Henry Vaughan, lord of the manor, and Sir Henry Lindley and John Starkey. (fn. 88)

The former Warter priory land was granted by the Crown to Thomas Manners, earl of Rutland, in 1541. (fn. 89) It had been disposed of by 1591, when it belonged to Francis Vaughan and comprised a house called St. Loys, a close in which the house stood, and a wood. (fn. 90) The name St. Loys was first recorded in 1577 (fn. 91) and presumably derives from St. Eloy, or Aloysius. After 1591 the estate apparently descended with the manor and in 1964, comprising 159 a., it was sold by the Crown to T. E. Almond. (fn. 92) The house stands near a prominent moated site. The main range is at least of 17th-century origin and was timber-framed. Early in the 18th century the walls were rebuilt in brick, and later in the same century a wing was added on the west.


In 1086 the Percy estate at Sutton upon Derwent had land for 3½ ploughs, but Picot de Percy then had one plough and 11 villeins had three. There were also 3 fisheries. The value of the estate had decreased from £1 16s. in 1066 to £1. The Mortain estate also had land for 3 ploughs, but Niel Fossard then had one plough and 6 villeins and 4 bordars had three. The estate was worth £1 in both 1066 and 1086. (fn. 93)

The manor of Sutton included 323 a. of arable and 62 a. of meadow in demesne in 1368. Free rents were of little value, but tenants-at-will paid nearly £13 and cottagers over £2, and there were seven grassmen in Cathwaite. The total value of the manor, £35, also included a small wood called the park, a pasture in Cathwaite called 'Sonetwylwes', and a fishery. (fn. 94) The park had been mentioned as early as 1280, when the rector confirmed a grant to Robert de Percy of two spinneys there called Parson bushes, as well as ground called 'Farneford'. (fn. 95) In 1309 the park was again mentioned and 'Farneforth' was described as a laund, or woodland clearing. The reclamation of new land is also indicated by 46½ a. in the Riddings in South field, and other land lay in North and East fields. (fn. 96) Hall Riddings survives as the modern name of closes south-east of the village. (fn. 97) The medieval fishery was doubtless in the river Derwent, and the Percies also claimed common fishing rights in Alemar, in Wheldrake, before 1218, when they were surrendered to Fountains abbey. (fn. 98)

In the Middle Ages most of the surviving woodland lay in the territory of Kirkham priory's grange at Woodhouse. In 1252 the prior and Peter de Percy agreed that each of them should take timber from different areas of woodland, but that they both should hunt and enjoy pannage in all the woods. Mention was made of the prior's croft, park, and field at Woodhouse. (fn. 99) A confirmation in 1336 of earlier grants to the priory referred to the toft which the canons had dug and built in their wood. (fn. 100) The woods at Woodhouse were mentioned again in 1559, (fn. 101) and timber was being felled there in the 1660s by Josias Prickett of Allerthorpe, a sub lessee of the Constables. (fn. 102)

In Sutton itself little is known of the open fields in the 16th and 17th centuries, but more of the riverside meadows and the common pastures. The meadows included several used in common. Others were inclosed and in the early 18th century there were a dozen of them, including the Mask or Marsh, the Swallow, the Dimple, and Wildgoose hill. (fn. 103) The last-named no doubt indicates the winter use made by wildfowl of the flooded ings, as in Wheldrake. (fn. 104) The Marsh was first referred to in 1554, when a single tenant was stocking it. Earlier, however, it had been leased by the inhabitants at large and fed with up to 200-300 animals from April to July and 90 from August to November. The latter number included 20 belonging to the occupier of the manor and 4 to the rector, together with 2 for each husbandman and one for each grassman; there were said to be 20 or more tenants in each of those categories. The Marsh was sometimes flooded in winter. (fn. 105) The common meadows in the late 17th century included Town, Stock, and Grass carrs, Kirk ing, and Town Norlands or Northlands. (fn. 106) Of the common pastures South wood was mentioned in 1554, (fn. 107) and in the late 17th century the rector had cow-gates there and ox-gates in Wynam Bottom. In Woodhouse two men occupied their own moors or commons, but the rector was entitled to take turves there. (fn. 108)

Some inclosure evidently took place in the mid 16th century, for in 1605 it was recalled that John Eglesfield had taken seven closes out of the open fields and three from the common. (fn. 109) By the later 18th century the remaining open-field land lay in High, Prickett Gate, Stone Breach or Breck, and Moor Land fields. (fn. 110) The open fields and common meadows and pastures were inclosed in 1777 (fn. 111) under an Act of 1776. (fn. 112) A total of 780 a. were allotted and there were stated to be 1,618 a. of ancient inclosures in the township, c. 200 a. of which were the subject of exchanges under the award. Allotments of 54 a. were made from Prickett Gate field, 61 a. from Stone Breck field, 56 a. from High field, and 57 a. from Moor Land field. Allotments from the meadows comprised 34 a. in Low grounds, 5 a. in the carr, and 6 a. in Northlands, and those from the common pastures amounted to 177 a. in the moor, 208 a. in South wood, and 122 a. in Wynam Bottom. Sir Thomas Clarges as lord of the manor received 752 a. of new and 14 a. of ancient inclosures, the rector got 185 a. of ancient inclosures, and Robert Wilberfoss got 30 a. all told. At Woodhouse there were two farms, of 505 a. and 663 a., in 1785; each included much land described as 'common', but there was little woodland. (fn. 113)

In the 19th and 20th centuries there have usually been a dozen farms in Sutton township and 2 in Woodhouse. In 1851 2 of those in Sutton were of over 300 a. and 6 over 150 a., while of the 3 in Woodhouse that year one exceeded 500 a. and one 200 a. (fn. 114) In the 1930s 8 farms in Sutton and one or two in Woodhouse were of 150 a. or more. (fn. 115) There were 1,084 a. under crops at Sutton in 1801, including 387 a. of oats, 202 a. of turnips or rape, and 186 a. of wheat. (fn. 116) In 1905 there were 2,274 a. of arable, 1,123 a. of grass, and 113 a. of woodland. (fn. 117) At Woodhouse in 1844 arable amounted to 460 a., grass to 232 a., heath to 122 a., and wood to 168 a., and roads and wastes covered 87 a. (fn. 118) An area of rough pasture there was known as the Warren in 1850. (fn. 119) In the 1930s and later arable land mainly occupied the higher ground and there was still extensive grassland alongside the Derwent and the becks. (fn. 120) Since 1953 98 a. of woodland, mostly in Sutton wood, have been managed by the Forestry Commission. (fn. 121)

In 1332 Walter of Heslerton was alleged to have obstructed the passage of boats by raising two weirs in the Derwent at Sutton, (fn. 122) and a fishery belonging to the manor continued to be recorded in the 17th century and later. (fn. 123) Salmon-poaching at Sutton was alleged in 1729 (fn. 124) and a fisherman was among the inhabitants in 1851. (fn. 125) There were salmon 'hecks', or gratings, beside the water-mill in the 19th century. (fn. 126) Other men in non-agricultural employment included a lime and coal merchant (who was also the miller) and a timber merchant in the early 19th century, (fn. 127) and there was a brickworks at Woodhouse in the 1840s and 1850s. (fn. 128) From at least 1872 to 1905 the publican at the Clarges, later the St. Vincent, Arms was also a brewer, there was an agricultural implement maker in the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries, and a motor garage and refreshment rooms appeared in the village in the 1920s and 1930s. (fn. 129)

A water-mill on Blackfoss beck was mentioned in 1252 and 1336, (fn. 130) and there was a windmill at Sutton in 1368. (fn. 131) The later water-mill was on the Derwent. An 'old mill race' was shown crossing the meadow called the Dimple in 1850, (fn. 132) but there is no evidence of a mill there and it is likely that Sutton mill has for long stood on its present site, south of the bridge. (fn. 133) In 1597 and later the manor was said to have 'three water-mills'. (fn. 134) This may have referred to the number of pairs of stones in the mill, but it may be significant that both before and after the mill was rebuilt in 1826-7 following a fire the grinding floor was divided into 'the flour mill end', 'the corn mill', and 'the country mill end'. (fn. 135) Then and later the mill had seven pairs of stones, two water-wheels, and in adjoining buildings a granary, a drying kiln, and a shelling mill. It was used until 1960 and subsequently became derelict. (fn. 136)


No manorial records and no parochial records before 1835 are known. Sutton joined Pocklington poor-law union in 1836 (fn. 137) and Pocklington rural district in 1894. (fn. 138) It became part of the North Wolds district of Humberside in 1974.


Sutton church was first mentioned between 1161 and c. 1170, when it was given by Robert de Percy to Whitby abbey. (fn. 139) No vicarage was ordained, however, and the living remained a rectory. The advowson was in dispute between the abbey and Aubrey, widow of Robert de Percy, in 1233, (fn. 140) but Whitby presented in 1299 and 1305. (fn. 141) The abbey alienated the advowson to John Mowbray in 1367. (fn. 142) At the death in 1419 of William Mowbray's widow Margaret, who had afterwards married William Cheyne, it passed to William Ingilby, son of the Mowbrays' daughter Eleanor. (fn. 143) It was perhaps the same William Ingilby who died in 1438 and was succeeded by his son John (d. 1456), whose heir was his son William. In 1473 the advowson was held by the king during William's minority. It was presumably the same William who died in 1501, and the advowson was subsequently held by John Ingilby (d. 1502). (fn. 144) In 1565 Sir William Ingilby conveyed it to John Eglesfield. (fn. 145) It passed the next year to Eglesfield's sisters, and their shares were acquired in 1567 and 1570 (fn. 146) by John Vaughan. The advowson subsequently descended with the manor, though presentations were made by Miles Dodson, by grant from Sir Henry Vaughan, in 1625 and by Christopher Store in 1698. (fn. 147) Viscount St. Vincent still held it in 1972. (fn. 148)

The church was worth £10 13s. 4d. in 1291, (fn. 149) £13 6s. 8d. in 1367, (fn. 150) and £14 14s. 6d. net in 1535. (fn. 151) It was valued at £100 in 1650 (fn. 152) and the average annual income in 1829-31 was £509 net. (fn. 153) The net income was £468 in 1884 and £366 in 1915. (fn. 154) Tithes accounted for the greater part of the income and produced £14 10s. in 1535. (fn. 155) For those in Sutton township, together with the glebe, the rector received an allotment of 185 a. and rent-charges of £58 4s. 5½d. at inclosure in 1777. (fn. 156) A modus of 1s. 6d. was still paid, however, for the tithes of Bank island in the 19th century. (fn. 157) The tithes of Woodhouse were commuted for £160 in 1844. (fn. 158)

Robert de Percy granted a toft, a croft, and 3 a. in the parish to the rector in 1280. (fn. 159) Glebe land and five cottages produced an income of under £2 in 1535. (fn. 160) In the late 17th and 18th centuries the glebe comprised 4 bovates, or 16 a., of open-field land, about 10 a. of meadow, 20 gates in the commons, and 6 cottages. (fn. 161) Glebe Farm, with 194 a., was sold to Lord St. Vincent in 1919. (fn. 162) The parsonage house was out of repair in the later 15th century. (fn. 163) The house mentioned from 1663 was rebuilt in 1726, and it contained three main ground-floor rooms, service rooms, and seven bedrooms in 1764. (fn. 164) The house was rebuilt in 1854-5 to designs by John Bownas and William Atkinson of York; (fn. 165) it is a substantial symmetrically-planned building of brick and slate.

Robert of Appleton, rector, was appointed in 1294 to manage the secular affairs of Wilberfoss priory. (fn. 166) John Favour, rector 1625-50, was a Puritan, (fn. 167) and Josiah Holdsworth was ejected from the rectory in 1662. (fn. 168) The rector was resident in the 18th and 19th centuries, but he was also curate of Wilberfoss in 1743 and John Sarraude held Elvington rectory in 1764 and Coleby (Lines.), too, at his death in 1800. The rector employed an assistant curate in 1865. (fn. 169) Since 1972 the rector of Elvington has been curatein-charge of Sutton. (fn. 170)

Two services were held at Sutton each Sunday in 1743, and Holy Communion was celebrated 4 times a year, with 52 communicants the previous Easter. (fn. 171) There was only one service a week in 1764, but again 2 by 1865, when about 12 people attended communion 6 times a year. Communion was celebrated monthly in 1868 and weekly in 1915. (fn. 172) In 1974 a service was held most Sundays.

The church of ST. MICHAEL is built of rubble and ashlar and consists of chancel with north vestry and organ chamber, aisled and clerestoried nave with south porch, and west tower. The western end of the chancel may be of the early 12th century and a wide arch in its north side must then have led to a transept or side chapel. The fabric of the nave that existed at that time has been largely removed by the addition of aisles. The three westernmost bays of both arcades date from the later 12th century, thus suggesting the length of the early nave, but the south is stylistically the earlier. The chancel, which is the same width as the nave, may have been rebuilt or extended in the 13th century. In the earlier 14th century the tower was built, the nave extended one bay to the west, the aisle walls rebuilt, and the porch added. The tower was largely rebuilt in the 15th century, and the nave was reroofed and provided with a clerestory and the chancel was refenestrated in the early 16th century.

The church was said to have been out of repair in 1676 (fn. 173) and the east window could be of that date. The nave roof was probably renewed in the 18th century. Some repairs were carried out in 1841, when the chancel arch and the porch were rebuilt and the chancel roof may have been renewed; the north aisle was rebuilt in 1846. (fn. 174) A major restoration took place in 1926-8, when the vestry was added, some walls rebuilt, the nave roof restored, and many new fittings put in. (fn. 175)

There is a fragment of an 11th-century cross shaft, with on one side a representation of the Virgin and Child, and a mutilated carved panel of St. George and the dragon, perhaps of the 14th century. (fn. 176) Monuments include a brass to Peter Cooke, rector (d. 1625), a tablet to James Blackbeard, rector (d. 1698), and one by Skelton of York (to George Beal, d. 1857).

There were three bells in 1764 (fn. 177) and still three in 1974: (i) 1593; (ii) 1637; (iii) 1842, Thomas Mears of London. (fn. 178) The plate includes a 13th-century chalice and paten, discovered under the nave in 1927, (fn. 179) a silver cup and cover made in York in 1609 by Peter Pearson, two pewter plates dated 1723, and plated flagon and paten. (fn. 180) The registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials begin in 1593 and are complete. (fn. 181)

The churchyard was enlarged in 1922. (fn. 182)


Two recusants from Sutton were mentioned in 1669 (fn. 183) and there was a Roman Catholic family in the village in 1764. (fn. 184)

A single Protestant dissenter at Sutton was reported in 1676. (fn. 185) The Methodists had 13-29 members there in 1789-1816, (fn. 186) and houses and barns were licensed for worship in 1784, 1815, 1820, 1830 (three), 1831, and 1846. (fn. 187) There was said to be a Methodist chapel in the village in 1823 (fn. 188) and a Wesleyan chapel, said to have been built in 1838, was in use in 1851. (fn. 189) In 1865, however, there were c. 12 Wesleyans but no place of worship, (fn. 190) and a 'meeting-house' was used in 1872. (fn. 191) An iron Wesleyan chapel was built in 1882; (fn. 192) it was deregistered in 1937 (fn. 193) and subsequently removed. A chapel was registered by the Primitive Methodists in 1861 but deregistered in 1876; (fn. 194) it was presumably the 'meeting-house' used by the Primitives in 1872. (fn. 195)


A grammar school master at Sutton was mentioned in 1677 and a petty school master in 1698. (fn. 196) Schoolhouse garth was recorded in 1749. (fn. 197) There was a school with 33 pupils in 1819, (fn. 198) and a school begun in 1824 had 60 pupils in 1833, when it was partly supported by Sir Thomas Clarges and the rector, Clarges also providing a house. (fn. 199) A new building was erected in 1844, and in 1859 the average attendance was 44. (fn. 200) The school was united with the National Society. (fn. 201) An annual government grant was first received by 1850. (fn. 202) The school was enlarged c. 1906. (fn. 203) Attendance stood at 40-50 in 1906-14. It fell after the First World War but again reached c. 50 in 1926 and 1931, falling to 38 later in the 1930s. (fn. 204) Senior pupils were transferred to Pocklington in 1955. (fn. 205) The number on the roll in January 1974 was 30. (fn. 206)


Thomas Wood, by will dated 1568, devised a rent-charge of £10 from an estate at Kilnwick Percy for the benefit of Sutton and many other townships. In 1824 5s. a year was distributed in Sutton. (fn. 207) Henry Frederick, Baron Hotham (d. 1967), owner of the Kilnwick Percy estate, redeemed the rent-charge in 1961 and £10 stock was subsequently assigned to Sutton. (fn. 208)

Thomas Wilberfoss (d. 1722) bequeathed £2 a year for the poor out of either Browney Hill close or 2 a. of meadow in West carr. (fn. 209) The income was distributed in bread in the late 19th century.

William Massey (d. c. 1849) bequeathed £10 for the poor and in 1854 his executors paid over the money to the rector and churchwardens. (fn. 210)

In 1972-3 the combined income of the three charities was £1 from £13 stock; money was given to two persons. (fn. 211)


  • 1. This article was written in 1974.
  • 2. P.N.E.R. Yorks. (E.P.N.S.), 189.
  • 3. C 135/198 no. 12; Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 83; ix, p. 431.
  • 4. Cal. Pat. 1446-52, 56.
  • 5. Select 16th Cent. Causes in Tithe (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. cxiv), 60.
  • 6. See p. 176.
  • 7. Hist. MSS. Com. 24, Rutland, iv, p. 85.
  • 8. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.). Most of the parish is on sheet 192, the rest on sheet 175.
  • 9. Geol. Surv. Map 1", solid and drift, sheet 71 (1973 edn.).
  • 10. See p. 12.
  • 11. C 135/198 no. 12.
  • 12. C.P. 25(1)/262/13 no. 34.
  • 13. E.R.R.O., QSF. Mids. 1736, B.12; Christ. 1743, B.5; Mids. 1784, B.2; Christ. 1790, E.10.
  • 14. See p. 181.
  • 15. Yorks, Fines, 1246-72, p. 82; Public Works in Med. Law, ii (Selden Soc. xl), 337.
  • 16. R.D.B., 896/60/46; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1950-1, 509.
  • 17. T. Jefferys, Map of Yorks. (1772); see p. 181.
  • 18. See pp. 13, 149-50.
  • 19. B. F. Duckham, Inland Waterways of E. Yorks. 1700-1900 (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. xxix), 52.
  • 20. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
  • 21. Ibid. (1911 and later edns.).
  • 22. E.R.R.O., DDFA/16/1.
  • 23. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
  • 24. Stone on building.
  • 25. E.R.R.O., QSF. Christ. 1717, C.14; Christ. 1725-6, C.8; Mids. 1729, G.1.
  • 26. Ibid. QDT/2/15.
  • 27. Directories.
  • 28. Local information.
  • 29. e.g. R.D.B., 823/58/52.
  • 30. See p. 176.
  • 31. Ex inf. Royal Com. on Historical Monuments, York, 1974.
  • 32. Jefferys, Map Yorks.
  • 33. E 179/202/59 m. 58.
  • 34. E 179/205/504.
  • 35. Herring's Visit, iii. 111.
  • 36. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 62.
  • 37. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 493.
  • 38. Census.
  • 39. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 262.
  • 40. e.g. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 205; x, pp. 181-2; Feud. Aids, vi. 145.
  • 41. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 226.
  • 42. Cal. Chart. R. 1327-41, 365.
  • 43. Cal. Close, 1381-5, 491-2; Feud. Aids, vi. 44.
  • 44. E.Y.C. xi, p. 10; see V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. ii. 126.
  • 45. e.g. Feud. Aids, vi. 44, 145; Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 205; ii, p. 171; vi, p. 237; xv, p. 321.
  • 46. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, pp. 83, 237.
  • 47. Yorks. Fines, 1327-47, p. 95.
  • 48. Cal. Inq. p.m. ix, p. 431; xii, p. 125.
  • 49. Ibid. x, pp. 181-2.
  • 50. Cal. Close, 1392-6, 192; D.N.B.
  • 51. See p. 160.
  • 52. Cal. Pat. 1467-77, 581.
  • 53. D.L. 29/650/10510.
  • 54. Ibid.; Cal. Fine R. 1485-1509, pp. 95-6, 168; Cal. Pat. 1452-61, 582; L. & P. Hen. VIII, i (1), p. 95; i (2), p. 1464; v, p. 177; xiv (1), p. 262; N. Country Wills, i (Sur. Soc. cxvi), 281.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1553, 180, 274.
  • 56. C 142/144 no. 136; C 142/177 no. 58; Cal. Pat. 1560-3, 581.
  • 57. Yorks. Fines, i. 343, 381.
  • 58. C.P. 25(2)/612/1649 East. pt. 2, no. [6].
  • 59. C.P. 43/312 rot. 8.
  • 60. E.R.R.O., DDX/31/178, 182-3, 188; Burke, Peerage (1967), 2422; Burke, Dorm. & Ext. Peerages (1883), 243; Burke, Ext. & Dorm. Baronetcies (1844), 117.
  • 61. R.D.B., BB/4/4; Burke, Ext. & Dorm. Baronetcies, 117.
  • 62. E.R.R.O., DDX/31/204; Burke, Ext. & Dorm. Baronetcies, 117.
  • 63. R.D.B., HQ/135/164; Burke, Peerage (1967), 2211.
  • 64. R.D.B., 594/407/324.
  • 65. e.g. ibid. 760/369/304; 761/369/303.
  • 66. Ex inf. Crown Estate Comrs., Bracknell, 1974.
  • 67. See below.
  • 68. Cal. Pat. 1292-1301, 6, 14.
  • 69. E.R.R.O., DDWB/16/1.
  • 70. C 135/198 no. 12.
  • 71. Reg. Wickwane, p. 86.
  • 72. Reg. Gray, p. 55.
  • 73. Reg. Greenfield, iii, p. 238.
  • 74. Directories.
  • 75. R.D.B., 823/58/52.
  • 76. Cal. Chart. R. 1327-41, 365; Whitby Charty. ii (Sur. Soc. lxxii), 707.
  • 77. E.R.R.O., DDEV/1/10.
  • 78. Cal. Pat. 1557-8, 361.
  • 79. E.R.R.O., DDEV/1/7, 9, 16, 21, 29, 34, 39; /50/16; Royalist Composition Papers, iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. xx), 14.
  • 80. V.C.H. London, i. 547.
  • 81. E.R.R.O., DDJ/34/86; Land Tax 1783 etc.
  • 82. M.P.E. 529.
  • 83. L. & P. Hen. VIII, iv (1), p. 955; iv (2), p. 1386; x, p. 156; xvi, p. 53; Cal. Pat. 1550-3, 51, 180.
  • 84. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v. 94.
  • 85. Miscellanea, iv (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. xciv), 103; Cal. Pat. 1557-8, 319.
  • 86. Cal. Pat. 1476-85, 375.
  • 87. S.C. 6/Hen. VIII/4522.
  • 88. E 134/3 Jas. I Mich./27.
  • 89. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvi, p. 325.
  • 90. E 178/1321.
  • 91. Petworth House Archives, no. 1417.
  • 92. R.D.B., 1366/480/446; /482/447.
  • 93. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 226, 262.
  • 94. C 135/198 no. 12.
  • 95. Reg. Wickwane, p. 86.
  • 96. E.R.R.O., DDWB/16/1.
  • 97. O.S. Map 6" (1854 and later edns.).
  • 98. Yorks. Fines, 1218-31, pp. 7-8.
  • 99. Yorks. Fines, 1246-72, p. 82.
  • 100. Cal. Chart. R. 1327-41, 365.
  • 101. E.R.R.O., DDEV/1/7.
  • 102. Ibid. DDEV/1/40; see above.
  • 103. B.I.H.R., PR. Sutton on Derwent 2.
  • 104. See p. 121.
  • 105. Select 16th Cent. Causes in Tithe, 60-66.
  • 106. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1663, 1685; E.R.R.O., DDX/185/14.
  • 107. Select 16th Cent. Causes in Tithe, 63.
  • 108. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1663, 1685.
  • 109. E 134/3 Jas. I Mich./27.
  • 110. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1764.
  • 111. R.D.B., BB/4/4.
  • 112. 16 Geo. III, c. 57 (Priv. Act).
  • 113. M.P.E. 529.
  • 114. H.O. 107/2351.
  • 115. Directories.
  • 116. 1801 Crop Returns.
  • 117. Acreage Returns, 1905.
  • 118. B.I.H.R., TA. 109AS.
  • 119. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
  • 120. [1st] Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 27; 2nd Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 699 (SE 64-74).
  • 121. Ex inf. Forestry Com., York, 1972.
  • 122. Cal. Inq. Misc. ii, pp. 320-1.
  • 123. e.g. C.P. 43/228 rot. 77; C.P. 43/904 rot. 23.
  • 124. E.R.R.O., QSF. Christ. 1729, C.1.
  • 125. H.O. 107/2351.
  • 126. E.R.R.O., DDX/31/204, 226.
  • 127. e.g. Baines, Hist. Yorks. (1823), ii. 393-4.
  • 128. H.O. 107/2351; O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.); White, Dir. E. & N.R. Yorks. (1840), 247.
  • 129. Directories.
  • 130. Yorks. Fines, 1246-72, p. 82; Cal. Chart. R. 1327-41, 365.
  • 131. C 135/198 no. 12.
  • 132. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
  • 133. See plate facing p. 176.
  • 134. C 142/248 no. 4; C.P. 43/228 rot. 77; C.P. 43/904 rot. 23.
  • 135. E.R.R.O., DDX/31/226-7.
  • 136. K. J. Allison, E.R. Water-mills (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. xxvi), 50 and plate 2.
  • 137. 3rd Rep. Poor Law Com. 169.
  • 138. Census.
  • 139. E.Y.C. xi, p. 117.
  • 140. Reg. Gray, p. 63.
  • 141. Reg. Romeyn, ii, p. 323; Reg. Corbridge, ii, p. 171.
  • 142. Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 253.
  • 143. Yorks. Inq. Hen. IV-V, p. 155.
  • 144. e.g. C 139/90 no. 9; C 139/163 no. 11; Cal. Pat. 1467- 77, 417; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, ii, pp. 347, 353-4.
  • 145. Yorks. Fines, i. 306.
  • 146. Ibid. 325, 343, 374, 381; see above p. 175.
  • 147. Inst. Bks.; H.U.L., N.A.H. Lawrance, 'Clergy List', Harthill, 2 (ii), p. 240; B.I.H.R., Prec. Bk. 22.
  • 148. Crockford (1971-2).
  • 149. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 303.
  • 150. Cal. Inq. Misc. iii, p. 253.
  • 151. Valor Eccl. v. 140.
  • 152. C 94/3 f. 57.
  • 153. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 970.
  • 154. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1884/Ret.; Bp. V. 1915/Ret.
  • 155. Valor Eccl. v. 140.
  • 156. R.D.B., BB/4/4.
  • 157. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1849 etc.
  • 158. Ibid. TA. 109AS.
  • 159. Yorks. Fines, 1272-1300, p. 33.
  • 160. Valor Eccl. v. 140.
  • 161. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1663 etc.
  • 162. R.D.B., 202/38.5/332.
  • 163. C 1 /40 no. 228.
  • 164. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1663, 1743, 1764.
  • 165. Ibid. MGA. 1854/3.
  • 166. Reg. Romeyn, i, pp. xiii, 234.
  • 167. Walker Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 393; R. A. Marchant, Puritans and Ch. Courts in Dioc. York 1560- 1642, 247, 323.
  • 168. Calamy Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 272.
  • 169. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 62; V. 1865/Ret. 323; Herring's Visit. iii. 213; tablet in church.
  • 170. Crockford.
  • 171. Herring's Visit, iii. 112.
  • 172. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 62; V. 1865/Ret. 323; V 1868/Ret. 479; Bp. V. 1915/Ret.
  • 173. Ibid. ER. V/CB. 4.
  • 174. Ibid. Ch. Ret. 1875; Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. (1872), 551; church guide.
  • 175. B.I.H.R., Fac. Bk. x, pp. 611, 676, 699; Y.A.J. xxix. 237-41.
  • 176. Y.A.J. xxix. 238, 240, 326; see above plate facing p. 177.
  • 177. B.I.H.R., TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1764.
  • 178. Boulter, 'Ch. Bells', 27.
  • 179. Y.A.J. xxix. 237.
  • 180. Yorks. Ch. Plate, i. 322-3.
  • 181. B.I.H.R.
  • 182. York Dioc. Regy., Consecration deed.
  • 183. Depositions from York Castle (Sur. Soc. xl), 171.
  • 184. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 62.
  • 185. Bodl. MS. Tanner 150 ff. 27 sqq.
  • 186. E.R.R.O., MRP/1/7.
  • 187. G.R.O. Worship Returns, Vol. v, nos. 652, 2884, 3379, 4196-7, 4220, 4236, 4632.
  • 188. Baines, Hist. Yorks. ii. 393.
  • 189. H.O. 129/23/516.
  • 190. B.I.H.R., V. 1865/Ret. 323.
  • 191. Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. 551.
  • 192. Bulmer, Dir. E. Yorks. (1892), 718.
  • 193. G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 26071.
  • 194. Ibid. no. 13745; E.R.R.O., MRP/4/76(d).
  • 195. Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. 551.
  • 196. B.I.H.R., Schools index.
  • 197. Ibid. TER. I. Sutton on Derwent 1749.
  • 198. Educ. of Poor Digest, 1094.
  • 199. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 1096.
  • 200. Ed. 7/135 no. 177.
  • 201. Returns relating to Elem. Educ. 794.
  • 202. Mins. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1849-50 [1215], p. cclxii, H.C. (1850), xliii.
  • 203. Y.A.S., MD. 217; E.R. Educ. Cttee. Mins. 1904-5, 283.
  • 204. Bd. of Educ. List 21 (H.M.S.O.).
  • 205. E.R. Educ. Cttee. Mins. 1955-6, 152.
  • 206. Ex inf. Chief Educ. Officer, County Hall, Beverley, 1974.
  • 207. 11th Rep. Com. Char. 735, 744.
  • 208. Ex inf. Char. Com., Liverpool, 1974.
  • 209. 11th Rep. Com. Char. 744; B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 62.
  • 210. Char. Com. files.
  • 211. Ibid.