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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'Riccall', in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake, (London, 1976) pp. 82-89. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/east/vol3/pp82-89 [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section


The parish of Riccall lies about 8 miles south of York, on the east bank of the river Ouse. (fn. 1) Its name suggests that the village was an Anglian settlement, established on a ridge near a nook of land around which the river flowed. (fn. 2) The site of the village, more than 25 ft. above sea-level, is certainly surrounded on three sides by low-lying ground, and the Ouse at Riccall has one of the most prominent bends in its sinuous course. It was at Riccall that Earl Tostig and Harold Hardrada landed in 1066 before marching to battle at Fulford, (fn. 3) and about 50 skeletons found near the river, close to Riccall landing, in 1956–7 may be connected with the events of that year. (fn. 4) The parish, which is roughly triangular in shape, has an area of 2,667 a. (fn. 5)

Much of the east of the parish is more than 25 ft. above sea-level, and it is from this higher ground that the ridge forming the village site extends. These areas are largely composed of outwash sand and clay. North-east of the village is a tract of lowerlying clays, and alongside the Ouse there are large areas of alluvium. (fn. 6) The relatively small open fields of Riccall lay partly on the higher ground and partly between the village and the riverside ings. On both higher and lower ground there were extensive areas of early inclosures, and the eastern part of the parish was occupied by commons that continued into Skipwith and other neighbouring townships. Inclosure of open fields and commons did not take place until 1883. (fn. 7) An airfield was built on the former common for the Royal Air Force and opened in 1942; it was closed to flying in 1945 (fn. 8) but derelict runways and buildings remained in 1972.

Streams and dikes form much of the northern and southern boundaries of Riccall. One of them, Dam dike, leaves the boundary with Escrick and flows across the north-west corner of the parish before joining the Ouse. Flooding was alleged in 1343 to have been caused by neglect of the banks along the dike, as well as of the sluice and river flood banks at its outfall into the Ouse. (fn. 9) Constant attention has always been necessary to maintain the banks and the sluices or cloughs. (fn. 10) In the 16th century, for example, frequent repairs were needed to several staiths, to the timber 'breastwork' along the river, and to the banks in the bishop of Durham's manor, and on at least one occasion the manor-house was flooded. (fn. 11) Water from eight parishes was said to be discharged at the Dam dike outfall in the 1850s, when a new clough was built there. (fn. 12) The Ouse forms the entire western parish boundary. The course of the river has at some time been straightened across a circuitous meander; the ground thus cut off from Riccall, known as the Nesses, remained in the parish until 1883, when it was transferred to Wistow (Yorks. W.R.). (fn. 13)

Riccall lies on the road from York to Selby. At the northern boundary the road crosses Dam dike by Scorce bridge, perhaps 'skew bridge', a name recorded as 'Scalewisbrigg' as early as 1227. (fn. 14) The bridge was rebuilt in brick and stone by the county in 1805, (fn. 15) and it was presumably this small singlearched structure that remained in 1972. One stretch of the Selby road, ½ mile south-east of the village, was straightened in 1801. (fn. 16) Apart from field roads only two other roads lead from Riccall village, one westwards to Kelfield and the other, King Rudding Lane, eastwards to the common, where it formerly continued towards Skipwith. The York-Selby railway line, opened in 1871, (fn. 17) passes under the main road south-east of the village and over it at a level-crossing north of the village. The station, on the road to the common, was closed for passengers in 1958 and for goods in 1964, (fn. 18) and it was used as a dwelling-house in 1972.

The large village of Riccall lies around the junction of the main York-Selby road with the road to Kelfield. Stretches of those roads are closely built up, and other houses stand in offshoots from them, namely North Field and Chapel Lanes, Church Street, Station Road, and Coppergate. At the road junction in the village centre is a triangular area, now partly built upon, two sides of which are known as Silver Street. It is possible that this was formerly a green and market-place, though there is no subsequent reference to the Wednesday market and fair on 19–21 July at Riccall granted in 1350. (fn. 19) Cross Hill House 'near the old cross', mentioned in 1732 and 1829, (fn. 20) may have stood thereabouts.

Apart from the former Vicarage, which incorporates the remains of the medieval prebendal manor-house, (fn. 21) the most noteworthy house in the village is Bangram Hill Farm, on the York road. It is timber-framed and probably 17th-century in date but was encased in brick in the 18th and early 19th centuries. A brick house in Church Street may have a similar origin. There are several other 18thcentury brown-brick houses in the streets around the church and two substantial early-19th-century villas in Main Street, besides many smaller 19thcentury houses. Part of the former pinfold stands on the York road, and there are several groups of farm buildings in the village, including a dovecot at Dam End Farm. Modern development, on all sides of the village, includes over 100 council houses and several estates of private houses.

There was a single licensed house in Riccall in the later 18th century, (fn. 22) but by 1823 there were four, the Greyhound, the Drovers' Inn, the Hare and Hounds, and the Shoulder of Mutton. (fn. 23) In 1842 there were five public houses (fn. 24) and in 1851 four, (fn. 25) the Gardeners' Arms replacing the Shoulder of Mutton among the names of 1823. Thereafter only the Greyhound, the Hare and Hounds, and the Drovers' Inn are recorded; the last-named apparently closed between 1913 and 1921, (fn. 26) but the others remained in 1972. Shops in the village include that of the Riccall Co-operative Society, founded in 1878 (fn. 27) and occupying a prominent building of that time. An agricultural show was held at Riccall in 1879. (fn. 28) At inclosure in 1883 6 a. were allotted for a recreation ground, (fn. 29) which was opened two years later. (fn. 30) A village institute was built in 1927. (fn. 31)

There are several small farm-houses on the Selby road and the larger Riccall Grange stands in the east of the parish, towards Skipwith.

The number of poll-tax payers at Riccall is uncertain. There were 193 in St. Peter's liberty, the prebend of Riccall's manor, in 1377, (fn. 32) and 76 in St. Cuthbert's fee, the bishop of Durham's manor, in 1379. (fn. 33) There were more than 300 'housling people' in 1548. (fn. 34) In 1672 128 houses in the village were listed in the hearth-tax return, 24 of them exempt. Of those that were chargeable 69 had only one hearth each, 20 had 2, 9 had 3, 3 had 5, and 3 had 8 or nine. (fn. 35) In 1743 there were about 86 families (fn. 36) and in 1764 110. (fn. 37) The population in 1801 was 517. By 1821 it had risen to 599, by 1831 to 705, and by 1871 to 795, before falling to 702 in 1901. (fn. 38) It subsequently increased to 783 in 1961 and 1,029 in 1971. (fn. 39)


Two carucates of land in Riccall belonged to the archbishop of York in 1066, and the canons of the minster held it under him in 1086. (fn. 40) The estate was assigned to the prebend of Riccall, presumably at its formation (before 1217). (fn. 41) From 1612 almost continuously until the 19th century the lessees of the manor of RICCALL under the prebendary were the Wormley family. (fn. 42) The manor was sold by the parliamentary commissioners to William Consett in 1650 and he conveyed it to Henry Wormley the following year, (fn. 43) but it was recovered by the prebend at the Restoration. After the death of Christopher Wormley in 1800 his widow Jane (d. 1843) married Toft Richardson (d. 1827) in 1802, and they were succeeded by their son Wormley Edward Richardson. (fn. 44) The manor passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1837 upon a voidance of the prebend, (fn. 45) and in 1856 they sold it, with 113 a. of land, to W. E. Richardson. (fn. 46) The manor and 158 a. were in 1858 sold by Richardson to B. R. Lawley, Baron Wenlock. (fn. 47) They thus became part of the Lawley family's already large estate in the parish. (fn. 48)

The prebendal manor-house was mentioned c. 1295, and licence to crenellate it was granted in 1350. (fn. 49) It passed with the manor to the Lawleys but in 1869 it was enlarged to serve as the Vicarage of Riccall. (fn. 50) The present house retains the eastern end of a 15th-century building, including a three-storeyed brick tower block, with projecting garderobe and stair turrets. (fn. 51) There are slight remains of the moat which once surrounded the house.

A second estate at Riccall in 1066, comprising a single carucate, belonged to the king. By 1086 it was soke of the bishop of Durham's manor of Howden, (fn. 52) and RICCALL manor, sometimes known as the manor of WHEEL HALL, subsequently belonged to the see of Durham until the 19th century. In 1322 the bishop let it for ten years to the Peruzzi of Florence. (fn. 53) After Edward VI's dissolution of the bishopric in 1553 Riccall manor was granted to Francis Jobson, but it was recovered the following year (fn. 54) when the bishopric was revived. Between the late 17th and early 19th centuries Wheel Hall was often let to the Mastermans. (fn. 55) The bishops of Durham retained the manor until 1836, when it was transferred, along with Howden, to the newly created bishopric of Ripon. (fn. 56) In 1850 the manor was let to F. B. Robinson, and in 1855 80 a. of it were sold to him. (fn. 57) The rest of the Ripon estate was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1857. In 1873 140 a., with the manor-house, were sold to Lord Wenlock (fn. 58) and were merged with his larger estate in Riccall.

The bishop of Durham's manor-house of Wheel Hall, 'the house by the river-deep', was mentioned in the early 14th century. (fn. 59) In the 16th century repairs were done to the hall, great chamber, chapel, stables, and other buildings, and to 'the drawdike about the manor'. The old gate house and water gate house were mentioned in 1662 and later. (fn. 60) The hall has been replaced by an 18th-century farmhouse but traces of the moat which surrounded it were still visible in 1972.

A holding in Riccall belonging to the Beckwith family was mentioned in 1538–9 and later. (fn. 61) It was conveyed by Newark and Leonard Beckwith to Edward Wormley in 1654, (fn. 62) and the chief house upon it apparently became the seat of the Wormleys. The house was said in 1776 to have formerly been called Beckwith's Hall and to have been rebuilt by Edward Wormley (d. 1787). (fn. 63) Known as Riccall Hall, it passed with the prebendal manor to the Lawleys in 1858 and additions and improvements were made to it by Lord Wenlock c. 1884. (fn. 64) The house was demolished in 1951–2, (fn. 65) and in 1952 the site was sold to L. A. Winder, (fn. 66) who converted outbuildings and stable block into a house still known in 1972 as Riccall Hall.

The Lawley family's estate in Riccall was apparently established by their predecessors the Thompsons in the earlier 18th century and it descended like the capital manor of Escrick. (fn. 67) By 1755 Beilby Thompson had 346 a. there. (fn. 68) Later acquisitions included 112 a. from the Hardwicks and 100 a. from the heirs of Gilbert Parker in 1766, (fn. 69) and in 1819 the estate comprised 635 a. (fn. 70) In 1829 125 a. formerly belonging to Henry Masterman were added. (fn. 71) By the 1850s the Lawleys had 961 a. (fn. 72) and by 1870 1,324 a. (fn. 73) At inclosure in 1883 Lord Wenlock was allotted 647 a. in lieu of open-field land and, as lord of both manors, for his share of the common land. (fn. 74) Irene, daughter of the 3rd Baron Wenlock (d. 1912), sold about 350 a. at Riccall in 1919 and some 750 a. in 1921, (fn. 75) and in 1972 the Forbes Adam estate comprised 335 a. (fn. 76)

The rectorial tithes of Riccall belonged to the prebendary and were worth £50 in 1650 (fn. 77) and £65 in 1735. (fn. 78) They were commuted for £508 10s. a year in 1842. (fn. 79)


On the estate belonging to the canons of the minster in 1086 there was land for 2 ploughs, but the canons then had 2 ploughs and 20 villeins had 4 more. There was meadow ½ league long and ½ league broad, and woodland a league long and ½ league broad. The estate had decreased in value from £5 before the Conquest to £1 10s. On the bishop of Durham's estate in 1086 2 sokemen, 3 villeins, and 2 bordars had 2 ploughs. (fn. 80)

There is little record of early assarting from woodland and waste, but Foulthwayt, Littelhurst, Thomashagh, and Huddridyng all existed by 1368. (fn. 81) The prebend still had 24 a. of woodland c. 1295, 4 a. called Aldergrove, at a place called Storhakenes, and the rest in Southwood. The prebendal demesne lands then included 46½ a. of arable, 14 a. of meadow, and 4 a. of pasture held in severalty. Among the tenants were 28 bondmen, holding 28½ bovates, who were liable to pay a special rent if they had any newly cleared land; they performed day-works at ploughing, harrowing, reaping, and mowing, carted wood, made malt, and repaired the lord's fences, and rendered hens and eggs. In addition 9 grassmen and 9 rentpayers held unspecified lands, for which they, too, owed works and services, and there were 35 cottars, who only gave hens and eggs. The prebendary's tenants and those of the bishop of Durham all had common rights in 60 a. of pasture at that time. (fn. 82) By c. 1400 the prebendary had 31 free tenants, holding 263 a. altogether, 24 bondmen, holding 12½ bovates and 104 a., and 27 cottagers, four of whom held 11½ a. between them and the rest only their houses. (fn. 83) The bishop's park at Riccall was mentioned in 1311, (fn. 84) and one of his closes near Wheel Hall was called the Park in the 16th century. (fn. 85)

In the 16th and 17th centuries the names were recorded of many closes assarted in the Middle Ages or later, among them Haver Thwaites, Long Ridding, which lay beside the Ouse, Brockhirst, Crose Rudding, and Southwood close. (fn. 86) A close called the Ness or Skurf was mentioned as early as 1558 and was no doubt the area in a bend of the Ouse later called the Nesses. (fn. 87) The open fields included East and West fields, named in the earlier 16th century, (fn. 88) and North field, mentioned in 1649. (fn. 89) Some of the riverside meadow and marsh was at least by the 17th century cultivated as part of the fields, for there was reference to arable land in Hither marsh in West field. (fn. 90) The extensive ings, in which many tenants held parcels, were also sometimes described as part of West field. (fn. 91) Throughout the 17th century, if not before, Hineing marsh was a stinted pasture in which many villagers had beastgates, (fn. 92) and Gosling marsh was described in 1698 as being let by the bylawmen as summer pasture to produce rents for the upkeep of the river flood banks. (fn. 93)

In the 18th century several new names were recorded for sections of the open fields, besides the older East, West, and North fields. Mill field, for example, mentioned in 1735, (fn. 94) may have been part of West field; Hornell and Crook Hornell (fn. 95) were part of North field; and King's Rudding (fn. 96) lay beyond East field. The great extent of earlyinclosed land in the parish is illustrated by the Thompsons' estate, which in 1755 comprised 233 a. in closes and only 92 a. in the open fields and 21 a. in the meadows. (fn. 97) Although final inclosure was proposed in 1806, (fn. 98) open fields and commons in fact remained until 1883. Nearly 100 householders each had a common right in 1842, (fn. 99) but many common rights and marsh-gates were bought up by Lord Wenlock before inclosure. (fn. 100) The ings covered 117 a. in 1842. (fn. 101) The area inclosed in 1883 amounted to 1,156 a., lying in East field, West field, including the ings, Little North, Lower North, and Upper North fields, King's Rudding, the common moor, and a common called the Dam, alongside Dam dike. Lord Wenlock received 547 a., James Pratt 99 a., and Richard Moon 75 a. There were 19 allotments of 10–49 a. each and 27 of under 10 a., and 20 a. of allotment gardens were awarded to the parish officers for the poor. (fn. 102) A former boundary stone from the ings, inscribed 'EW' (perhaps Edward Wormey), was at Dam End Farm in 1972, and another was at Bangram Hill Farm.

In 1842 there had been 1,269 a. of arable, 736 a. of meadow or pasture, and an estimated 1,000 a. of common waste in the parish. (fn. 103) The arable and grassland areas were similar in 1905, 1,303 a. and 661 a. respectively, when there was also 41 a. of woodland. (fn. 104) In the 1930s there was still much grassland alongside the Ouse and Dam dike, and several stretches of rough pasture remained on the former common. New plantations included a large one on the common. The most noteworthy change by the 1960s was the conversion to arable of much of the former grassland near the Ouse. (fn. 105)

There were 37 farmers in Riccall in 1823, and about 20 farmers and a market-gardener in the later 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 106) In 1851 2 and in the 1930s 2–4 farms were of more than 150 a. (fn. 107) In 1921 278 a. were bought by the East Riding county council for smallholdings. (fn. 108) There were two large indoor poultry units near King Rudding Lane in 1972.

The Ouse was of some economic value to Riccall for fishing and transport. About 1295 there was a fishery there called Gedmer, (fn. 109) and the prebendal and episcopal manors long retained their fishing rights. Nets and weirs were mentioned in the mid 14th century, one at the Ness belonging to the prebendary and another at the Fleet to the bishop of Durham. (fn. 110) In 1477–8 three fisheries at Riccall belonging to the bishop were said to have been destroyed by the city of York because they obstructed navigation. (fn. 111) One or two men still made a livelihood from fishing in the mid 19th century. (fn. 112) A landing-place just south of the Dam dike clough (fn. 113) was said in 1856 to be used for bringing in such goods as potatoes and corn. (fn. 114) A coal merchant lived in the village in 1823, there were two boat owners in 1840, and a potato merchant and a corn merchant were listed in the 1870s and 1880s. (fn. 115) A new landing-place was provided at the end of Landing Lane, which was laid out across West field at inclosure in 1883. The Yorkshire Ouse and Hull River Authority had a works depot there in 1972.

Weavers were occasionally recorded at Riccall from the 16th to the early 19th century. (fn. 116) In 1851 there were altogether about 80 shopkeepers and tradesmen in this large village, among them a weaver, eight brickyard workers, and a flaxdresser. (fn. 117) The brickworks was in West field at that time, but was not mentioned again. A Tow dike was then situated on the common, (fn. 118) but later flaxdressers may have used the 20 or so 'old flax pits' which lay beside Dam dike in 1906. (fn. 119) In the 20th century main-road traffic attracted refreshment rooms, motor engineers, and haulage contractors, and there was also a cattle and poultry food manufacturer. (fn. 120) The Pratt family were timber merchants at least from 1859 until 1909, with a saw-mill in Station Road. (fn. 121)

The prebend had a water-mill on Dam dike which was said in 1343 to have been destroyed in Edward I's reign. (fn. 122) The name Watermill bridge was still used in the 19th century. (fn. 123) The site of the former mill was mentioned c. 1295, when the prebend also had a windmill and a horse-mill. (fn. 124) The prebend's windmill was mentioned in the 17th and 18th centuries, and it stood in West field, (fn. 125) probably on the site of the later West field mill. Another windmill, mentioned in the 15th century and later, belonged to the bishop's manor. (fn. 126) By 1803 it had gone and its site was marked by 'the old mill hill' in West field, (fn. 127) nearer to the river than the prebend's mill. In the 1840s there were two windmills, the older one in West field and another in East field. (fn. 128) West field mill had steam power by 1889; it later reverted to wind alone and was used until c. 1910. The tower still stood in 1972. The East field mill was not mentioned again, but it was replaced by a steam corn mill at the north end of the village, which apparently closed in the 1890s. (fn. 129) The building remained in 1972.


The bishop of Durham's manor came within the purview of his court at Howden, and there are presentments concerning Riccall in several court rolls of the early 17th century. (fn. 130) The prebendal manor of 'Riccall with Newbald and Cawthorpe' included property held by the prebend in North Newbald and Caythorpe (in Rudston). (fn. 131) Court rolls of the manor survive from 1559, (fn. 132) 1573, (fn. 133) and 82 years between 1621 and 1793, (fn. 134) and there is a court book for 1803–9. (fn. 135) Numerous court papers include extracts of surrenders and admissions for the 16th to 19th centuries, (fn. 136) a call roll for 1810–25, (fn. 137) and lists of pains for 1601, 1773, and 1877. (fn. 138) The bylawmen were mentioned in 1601, and there were six of them, together with a constable and a pinder, in 1756 and 1803–9.

There are no parochial records before 1835, but the appointment of and instructions for an overseer of the poor survive from 1737, together with a specimen of the badge to be worn by those receiving relief. (fn. 139) Riccall joined Selby poor-law union in 1837, (fn. 140) and six former poorhouses were sold in 1869. (fn. 141) The parish became part of Riccall rural district in 1894, Derwent rural district in 1935, (fn. 142) and the Selby district of North Yorkshire in 1974.


Part of the surviving fabric of the church apparently dates from the 12th century. The church belonged to the prebendary of Riccall, and the parish was within his peculiar jurisdiction. (fn. 143) A vicarage was ordained in 1316, (fn. 144) and the constitution of the vicar's income was settled by the vicar and prebendary in 1360. (fn. 145) The prebendaries were also patrons. (fn. 146) When the prebend passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1837 the advowson came to be vested in the archbishop of York, who presented in 1844. (fn. 147) He is still the patron.

The vicarage was valued at £6 net in 1535 (fn. 148) and £13 6s. 8d. in 1650. (fn. 149) The living was augmented by £10 a year, given by a prebendary Marmaduke Cooke (d. 1684) and paid by the prebendal lessee. (fn. 150) A parliamentary grant of £1,000 was made in 1816, (fn. 151) and the average net income in 1829–31 was £95. (fn. 152) An endowment of £140 a year was given from the Common Fund in 1863, (fn. 153) and the net income was £300 in 1884 and £261 in 1914. (fn. 154) Tithes accounted for most of the income in 1535 and 1650. In 1716 and later those from a farm called Nesses were paid by a modus of 3s. 4d. a year. (fn. 155) The tithes were commuted in 1842 for a rent-charge of £140. (fn. 156) The only glebe land in 1649 was ½ a. of meadow and ½ a. of arable. (fn. 157) By 1849 20 a. had been bought at Hemingbrough (fn. 158) and in 1868 11 a. were given by Lord Wenlock. (fn. 159)

A vicarage house was mentioned in 1535, (fn. 160) and it was reported to be in decay in 1550 and 1600. (fn. 161) In 1649 it comprised hall, kitchen, parlour, and a bedroom, (fn. 162) and in 1764 the brick and tile building was said to contain study, kitchen, parlour, and outshot. The same house was apparently still used in 1825, and it stood beside the churchyard. By 1849 it had been replaced by a larger house of about ten rooms, (fn. 163) said to have been that later called the Villa, now no. 33 York Road. (fn. 164) The Vicarage was next moved to the old prebendal manor-house, which was included in Lord Wenlock's gift of land in 1868. The house was greatly enlarged for the purpose the following year; (fn. 165) it is in a Gothic style and contains a stained glass window from the old Vicarage incorporating a rebus of Thomas Elcock, vicar 1669– 1704, and said to be the work of Gyles of York. (fn. 166) The cost of adapting the house was largely met by a grant of £1,400 from the Common Fund. (fn. 167) A new Vicarage was built in Church Street in 1967. (fn. 168)

A chantry at St. James's altar was founded by James Carleton, by will dated 1494. Another, at the altar of St. Nicholas, was said to have been founded by several inhabitants of Riccall. (fn. 169) It was probably that for which licence was granted to the vicar Richard Davy and others in 1483, when it was to be called Richard Ill's chantry. (fn. 170) Both chantries were worth about £3 net in 1535. (fn. 171) Grants of former chantry property after the suppression included one of a house, 3 cottages, 5 closes, and 23 a. of land in Riccall to Rowland Wandesford and Ralph Harrison in 1560. (fn. 172) Grants were also made of property formerly supporting obits in the church. (fn. 173)

The vicar of Riccall was allowed to be nonresident in 1306, (fn. 174) and Richard Davy was given permission in 1477 to hold another benefice. (fn. 175) John Newlove, vicar in 1620, was a Puritan. (fn. 176) Thomas Cooper, vicar 1721–46, left 'a considerable library' for the use of his successors. (fn. 177) The vicar in 1764 lived at Topcliffe (Yorks. N.R.), which he also served, but had a curate at Riccall. (fn. 178)

Two services were held each week in 1743 and communion was celebrated four times a year, with 130 communicants the previous Easter. (fn. 179) There was one weekly service and five celebrations a year in 1764. There were two Sunday services by 1851, (fn. 180) and from 1865 to the end of the century communion was received twelve times a year by about fifteen to 25 people. In 1914 communion was celebrated twice a month. (fn. 181) There were three services each Sunday in 1972.

The church of ST. MARY is of stone and consists of chancel, aisled and clerestoried nave with south porch, and west tower. The three westernmost bays of the nave may be mid- to late-12thcentury in date, if the now reset north and south doorways were original features of it, and the tower probably belongs to the last years of that century. Arcades were cut through both side walls early in the 13th century and narrow aisles built which also lapped the tower. A further bay was added on the east and the chancel was rebuilt, and presumably extended, and provided with a north chapel later in the century. After that there appears to have been no new work for some time, and in 1472 the chancel was reported to be in need of repair. (fn. 182) Between then and the Reformation much new work was carried out, including the heightening of the nave walls for clerestorys, the widening of the aisles, the introduction of a rood loft, and the addition of the porch and south chapel. The central pier of the tower arch was probably put in at this time. Early fittings include a 12th-century south door and a late-17th-century communion rail.

Extensive restoration, most if not all of it directed by J. L. Pearson, took place between 1862 and 1877. It included the rebuilding of some walls and much of the tower, which was heightened, and new roofs, porch, and east window. (fn. 183)

By an inquisition held in 1698, under a commission of charitable uses, it was found that Hineing marsh in Riccall had been given to the churchwardens so that 40 beast-gates should be held by 20 householders, each tenant to pay 10s. a year towards the repair of the church. The gates were subsequently enjoyed by the householders in the village in rotation. (fn. 184)

There are the remains of a brass to Maud Kelsey and her son Robert of c. 1500, (fn. 185) and monuments include those to Benjamin (d. 1707) and Henry Masterman (d. 1732), Robert (d. 1712) and Christopher Wormley (d. 1800), and Toft (d. 1827) and Jane Richardson (d. 1843). There are Royal Arms of 1792 and a large charity board of 1791.

New bells were mentioned in 1406, (fn. 186) and there were two bells in 1552. (fn. 187) One of the three bells was cracked in 1764. (fn. 188) There are three surviving bells: (i) 1765, Lester & Pack of London; (ii) undated; (iii) 1637. (fn. 189) The plate includes a silver cup and cover, given by Marmaduke Cooke (d. 1684), and a silver paten, made in London in 1722 by Nathaniel Gulliver. (fn. 190) The registers begin in 1669 and are complete, except for marriages in 1754–1812. (fn. 191) The volume covering the period before 1813 has been printed. (fn. 192)

The churchyard was enlarged by the addition of the old Vicarage site, including the Lady well, and other ground in 1867, (fn. 193) and another addition was made in 1921. (fn. 194) There is a medieval grave slab to a notary, inscribed with penner and inkhorn, (fn. 195) and the base and shaft of a cross.


A Riccall man was gaoled for recusancy in 1580–5 (fn. 196) and another registered an estate as a papist in 1716–32. (fn. 197) There was one family of Roman Catholics in 1743 and 1764. (fn. 198)

A Methodist chapel had been built by 1798, (fn. 199) and a barn and two houses were registered for worship in 1819, 1820, and 1822. (fn. 200) The chapel, in Chapel Lane, was replaced in 1864 (fn. 201) and subsequently demolished. (fn. 202) The new Wesleyan chapel, in the main street at the centre of the village, was still used in 1972. There was also a Primitive Methodist meeting-house by 1851, (fn. 203) and in 1857 a Primitive chapel was built (fn. 204) in the main street; it was last used in the late 1930s (fn. 205) but still stood in 1972.


There was probably a school at Riccall soon after 1720, for Robert Turie, by will of that date, left £40 to teach six children to read. (fn. 206) The income was £2 a year and other children were taught at their own expense, about 30 pupils altogether attending the school in 1743, for example. (fn. 207) The money was subsequently paid to a school which was established in 1791 by subscription among the inhabitants. In 1818 £30 from the subscription, together with £40 given at unknown date by Susannah Wilkes to teach five girls, (fn. 208) was used to buy stock which in 1823 produced £3 18s. a year. About 1790 George Newsham gave £32 to the school, the income from which was £1 12s. in 1823. (fn. 209) The master's house and schoolroom were mentioned in 1819, (fn. 210) and in 1835 the attendance was 20 in autumn and 80 in winter. In the latter year there were also 5–25 children, mainly girls, attending another school in the village, and 10–30, also mainly girls, at a school begun in 1827; all were taught at their parents' expense. (fn. 211) The subscription school was held in a house at the corner of Common Lane and the main street. (fn. 212)

A new building for the subscription school had been erected by c. 1845 at the corner of Silver Street and the main street. (fn. 213) The school was united with the National Society, (fn. 214) and it was owned and chiefly supported by Lord Wenlock. Elizabeth Wilson, by will proved in 1862, bequeathed a third of the income from £500 to the school. (fn. 215) The total income of about £71 in 1871 included nearly £11 from the endowments and £13 from school pence. Eighteen children were then taught free and the average attendance was 99 boys and girls and 21 infants. (fn. 216) There were still two other schools, each with about 20 children. (fn. 217)

Attendance at the school remained at 100–125 between 1907 and 1938. (fn. 218) The endowment income was still received until 1931, but by a Scheme of that year the income of £50 from 10 a. and £249 stock was directed to be used for general educational purposes, including education other than elementary. (fn. 219) The school was replaced by a new county school in Coppergate in 1931, (fn. 220) and the old building was used as a village hall in 1972. Senior pupils in 1937 and the remaining children in 1951 were transferred to Riccall from Kelfield school. In 1960, however, senior pupils from Riccall were transferred to Barlby secondary school. (fn. 221) The number on the roll in September 1972 was 185. (fn. 222) The charity income in 1973 was £97, and grants were made to fourteen children leaving Riccall primary school for secondary school. (fn. 223)


Robert Foster in 1611 created a rent-charge of 5s. on 1 a. of meadow land, and Christopher Consett in 1614 created a charge of £1 on 2 a. of meadow. (fn. 224) Richard Stringer in 1617 gave two cottages and some land for the poor, and in 1685 Christopher Latham gave £20, which produced £1 income in 1791. (fn. 225) Ann Storey in 1695 created a charge of £1 4s. on a parcel of land, and Robert Fletcher before 1705 gave 6s. 8d. a year, charged upon Corney House. It was presumably the income from Stringer's and Latham's charities which was said in 1823 to be distributed in cash with that from Fletcher's and Foster's. The income from Consett's and Storey's gifts was then distributed jointly each week in bread. (fn. 226)

By an inquisition held in 1699, under a commission of charitable uses, it was found that Mary and Elizabeth Newsome had in 1684 created a rentcharge of £1 on a cottage, some gardens, and 1 a. of land for the benefit of the poor, and had in 1685 created a like charge on 3½ a. to set a poor child apprentice. It was also found that George Hudson had in 1662 created a charge of £1 10s. on various parcels of land. The Poor's Estate formed by these gifts produced £18 12s. rent in 1823, used for the poor and to bind apprentices. From the balance in hand nearly £8 had been paid to the parish school in 1821. (fn. 227) An unendowed almshouse, supported by the parish, mentioned in the 18th century (fn. 228) is probably to be identified with the four poor's cottages, said in 1823 to have been built by the parish on part of the Poor's Estate. (fn. 229) The cottages stood in the main street, east of the church, in 1842. (fn. 230)

Frances, dowager Lady Howard, by will proved in 1716, bequeathed money to provide coal for Escrick and other villages, including Riccall. (fn. 231) After 1862 Riccall received 1/7 of the income.

Elizabeth Wilson, by will proved in 1862, left £500, 2/3 of the income from which was to be distributed by the vicar, half in coal and clothing and the rest in bread. (fn. 232)

Foster's, Consett's, Storey's, Fletcher's, Howard's, and Wilson's, and probably also Stringer's and Latham's, charities, together with the Poor's Estate and the Gosling marsh charity for flood protection, (fn. 233) were all later administered together as the Riccall charities. In 1905 the endowment of the Poor's Estate and Howard's and Wilson's charities comprised £547 stock. In 1973 the income of the Riccall charities was £15 from stock and £81 from the rent of three parcels of land; doles of £2 were given to 52 old people. (fn. 234)


  • 1. This article was written in 1972–3.
  • 2. P.N.E.R. Yorks. (E.P.N.S.), 265.
  • 3. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 396; see above p. 29.
  • 4. Y.A.J. xl. 301–7.
  • 5. O.S. Map 6", Yorks. (1851 edn.). The whole of Riccall is covered by sheet 206.
  • 6. Geol. Surv. Map 1", solid and drift, sheet 71 (1973 edn.).
  • 7. See p. 85.
  • 8. Ex inf. Ministry of Defence, 1972.
  • 9. Cal. Pat. 1343–5, 96, 182; Cal. Inq. Misc. i, pp. 454–5.
  • 10. e.g. B.I.H.R., Bp. C. & P. XIX (1721); CC. Ab. 10 (1823–4); Cal. Pat. 1313–17, 492; see below p. 85.
  • 11. Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, CC. 220920, 221641–3, 221672.
  • 12. E.R.R.O., DDFA/20/6.
  • 13. Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. (1889), 444.
  • 14. P.N.E.R. Yorks. 265–6.
  • 15. E.R.R.O., QAB/2/3.
  • 16. Ibid. HD/6.
  • 17. V.C.H. City of York, 478.
  • 18. Ex inf. Divisional Manager, Brit. Rlys. (Leeds), 1972.
  • 19. Cal. Chart. R. 1341–1417, 120.
  • 20. R.D.B., N/52/102; E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/193.
  • 21. See pp. 84, 87.
  • 22. E.R.R.O., QDT/2/15.
  • 23. Baines, Hist. Yorks. ii. 381.
  • 24. B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 25. H.O. 107/2351.
  • 26. Directories.
  • 27. Ex inf. Mr. D. R. J. Neave, 1973; Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. (1879), 638.
  • 28. B.I.H.R., Rom. 62.
  • 29. E.R.R.O., Enrolment Bk. I, pp. 157 sqq.
  • 30. B.I.H.R., Rom. 63.
  • 31. Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. (1929), 556.
  • 32. E 179/202/58 m. 2.
  • 33. T.E.R.A.S. xv. 61–2.
  • 34. Yorks. Chantry Surv. i (Sur. Soc. xci), 56.
  • 35. E 179/205/504.
  • 36. Herring's Visit, iii. 28.
  • 37. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 210.
  • 38. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 498.
  • 39. Census.
  • 40. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 211.
  • 41. York Minster Fasti, ii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. cxxiv), 66.
  • 42. E.R.R.O., DDHV/29/29, 31, 39; Minster Libr., D. & C. Archives, L 2 (3) e, f. 15; S 1 (1) d. For pedigree see Y.A.S., MS. 530(b).
  • 43. E.R.R.O., DDSC/84; DDHV/29/36–7.
  • 44. Y.A.S., MS. 530(b).
  • 45. B.I.H.R., Inst. AB. 21, p. 2; The Times, 5 May 1837.
  • 46. R.D.B., HK/372/399.
  • 47. Ibid. HS/114/134.
  • 48. See p. 85 and below.
  • 49. Miscellanea, iv (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. xciv), 1; Cal. Chart. R. 1341–1417, 120.
  • 50. See p. 87.
  • 51. See plate facing p. 80.
  • 52. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 217.
  • 53. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, 401.
  • 54. Ibid. 1553, 133; 1553–4, 377–8.
  • 55. e.g. E 179/261/10; E.R.R.O., Land Tax; monument in church (Hen. Masterman, d. 1732); Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, CC. 188447.
  • 56. Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, Durham Dioc. Rec., Orders in Council, 22 Dec. 1836 (Ripon).
  • 57. R.D.B., MM/352/562.
  • 58. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/215.
  • 59. P.N.E.R. Yorks. (E.P.N.S.), 265.
  • 60. Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, CC. 188447, 220920, 221641–3; Cosin's Survey, 1662.
  • 61. C 142/403 no. 93; Yorks. Fines, i. 84, 148, 204, 206; Yorks. Fines, 1614–23, 90.
  • 62. E.R.R.O., DDSC/85.
  • 63. Ex inf. Mr. D. R. J. Neave, Beverley, 1973.
  • 64. R.D.B., NW/185/239.
  • 65. Ex inf. Escrick Park Estate Office, 1974.
  • 66. R.D.B., 910/196/159.
  • 67. See p. 20.
  • 68. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/4.
  • 69. Ibid. DDFA/13/6, 139.
  • 70. Ibid. DDFA/41/4.
  • 71. Ibid. DDFA/13/152, 193.
  • 72. Ibid. DDFA/41/6.
  • 73. R.D.B., KS/282/377.
  • 74. E.R.R.O., Enrolment Bk. I, p. 157.
  • 75. R.D.B., 191/422/357; /523/447; 192/281/248; 228/ 414/353; 229/231/209; /233/210; 236/516/425; 242/342/ 275.
  • 76. Ex inf. Escrick Park Estate Office, 1972.
  • 77. C 94/3 f. 77.
  • 78. B.I.H.R., Bp. C. & P. XIX.
  • 79. Ibid. TA. 865VL.
  • 80. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 211, 217.
  • 81. Cal. Fine R. 1356–68, 381.
  • 82. Miscellanea, iv. 1–3.
  • 83. Minster Libr., D. & C. Arch. M 2 (2) c.
  • 84. Reg. Pal. Dunelm. (Rolls Ser.), i. 19, 105.
  • 85. Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, CC. 189550.
  • 86. E.R.R.O., DDHV/29/28; DDWB/15/63; DDSC/84.
  • 87. Ibid. DDHV/29/16; Y.A.J. xvii. 111 n.; see above p. 83.
  • 88. E.R.R.O., DDHV/29/1.
  • 89. Lamb. Pal. Libr., COMM./XIIa/17/502.
  • 90. E.R.R.O., DDHV/29/34–5.
  • 91. e.g. Lamb. Pal. Libr., COMM./XIIa/17/502; B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1716.
  • 92. See p. 88.
  • 93. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 671.
  • 94. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/1.
  • 95. Ibid. DDFA/13/4.
  • 96. R.D.B., T/282/517.
  • 97. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/4.
  • 98. York Courant, 18 Aug. 1806.
  • 99. B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 100. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/241, 284, 342–62, 382.
  • 101. B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 102. E.R.R.O., Enrolment Bk. I, pp. 157 sqq. and IA. Riccall (with map).
  • 103. B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 104. Acreage Returns, 1905.
  • 105. [1st] Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 32; 2nd Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 689 (SE 63–73).
  • 106. Directories.
  • 107. H.O. 107/2351; directories.
  • 108. R.D.B., 242/342/275.
  • 109. Miscellanea, iv. 3.
  • 110. Public Works in Med. Law, ii (Selden Soc. xl), 252–3, 301–2.
  • 111. Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, CC. 190240.
  • 112. H.O. 107/2351; White, Dir. E. & N.R. Yorks. (1840), 335.
  • 113. O.S. Map 6" (1851 edn.).
  • 114. Sheahan and Whellan, Hist. York & E.R. ii. 627.
  • 115. Directories.
  • 116. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/46, 76, 173; DDHV/29/3, 21; DDEL/32/1; QSF. Christ. 1733, C.14; East. 1767, B.1.
  • 117. H.O. 107/2351.
  • 118. O.S. Map 6" (1851 edn.).
  • 119. Ibid. 1/2,500, Yorks. CCVI. 11 (1908 edn.).
  • 120. Directories.
  • 121. E.R.R.O., DDFA/13/261; Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. (1909), 577; O.S. Map 1/2,500 (1908 edn.).
  • 122. Cal. Inq. Misc. i, pp. 454–5.
  • 123. O.S. Map 6" (1851 edn.).
  • 124. Miscellanea, iv. 1.
  • 125. E.R.R.O., DDHV/29/44; DDSC/84; B.I.H.R., Bp. C. & P. XIX.
  • 126. Univ. of Durham, Dept. of Palaeography, M. 80; CC. 18447, 189065, 189550, 190240, 220920.
  • 127. Ibid. Sundry Notitia, Bdle. 1, I, 42.
  • 128. O.S. Map 6" (1851 edn.).
  • 129. Ibid. 1/2,500 (1908 edn.); directories.
  • 130. S.C. 2/211/62.
  • 131. Miscellanea, iv. 3.
  • 132. Y.A.S., MD. 248 (a).
  • 133. B.I.H.R., Wenlock, court rolls.
  • 134. Ibid, except 1664 in Y.A.S., MD. 248 (a) and 1756 in B.I.H.R., Wenlock, court papers.
  • 135. B.I.H.R., Wenlock, minute book.
  • 136. Ibid, court papers; Y.A.S., MD. 248 (a).
  • 137. B.I.H.R., Wenlock, call roll.
  • 138. Ibid. misc. papers; court papers; Rom. 65, respectively.
  • 139. Ibid. Rom. 60.
  • 140. 3rd Rep. Poor Law Com. 178.
  • 141. R.D.B., KK/332/446–7.
  • 142. Census.
  • 143. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 86.
  • 144. Minster Libr., D. & C. Arch., M 2 (4) g, f. 24v.
  • 145. E.R.R.O., DDSC/81.
  • 146. e.g. Lamb. Pal. Libr., COMM./XIIa/17/502; Y.A.J. xxv. 185; Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 960.
  • 147. B.I.H.R., Inst. AB. 21, p. 65; Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act, 3 & 4 Vic. c. 113, s. 41.
  • 148. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v. 99.
  • 149. C 94/3 f. 77.
  • 150. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1716; E. James, Par. Ch. of St. Mary, Riccall, 21–2.
  • 151. Hodgson, Q.A.B. 451.
  • 152. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 960.
  • 153. Lond. Gaz. 28 July 1863, p. 3735.
  • 154. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1884/Ret.; Bp. V. 1914/Ret.
  • 155. Ibid. TER. N. Riccall 1716 etc.
  • 156. Ibid. TA. 865VL.
  • 157. Lamb. Pal. Libr., COMM./XIIa/17/502.
  • 158. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1849.
  • 159. Ibid. 1876; R.D.B., KF/71/93.
  • 160. Valor Eccl. v. 99.
  • 161. B.I.H.R., V. 1600/CB. 1; Fabric Rolls of York Minster (Sur. Soc. xxxv), 274.
  • 162. Lamb. Pal. Libr., COMM./XIIa/17/502.
  • 163. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1764–1849.
  • 164. James, Ch. of St. Mary, 22.
  • 165. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1876. See above plate facing p. 80.
  • 166. Pevsner, Yorks. E.R. 329; James, Ch. of St. Mary, 26, 31.
  • 167. Lond. Gaz. 18 Feb. 1868, p. 782.
  • 168. R.D.B., 1456/217/200; 1531/212/171.
  • 169. Yorks. Chantry Surv. i. 55–6.
  • 170. Cal. Pat. 1476–85, 464.
  • 171. Valor Eccl. v. 101.
  • 172. E.R.R.O., DDWB/15/63; Cal. Pat. 1553, 103, 295.
  • 173. Cal. Pat. 1553, 295; 1563–6, p. 475.
  • 174. Reg. Greenfield, i, pp. 3–4.
  • 175. Cal. Papal Regs. xiii(2), 593.
  • 176. Walker Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews, 396.
  • 177. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1809; for his dates see Par. Reg. of Riccall, Yorks. 1669–1813 (Yorks. Par. Reg. Soc. cxxiv), 109, 142.
  • 178. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 210.
  • 179. Herring's Visit. iii. 29.
  • 180. H.O. 129/23/513.
  • 181. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 210; V. 1865/Ret. 423; V. 1877/Ret.; Bp. V. 1884/Ret.; Bp. V. 1894/Ret.; Bp. V. 1914/Ret.
  • 182. Fabric R. of York Minster, 255.
  • 183. B.I.H.R., V. 1868/Ret. 375; V. 1877/Ret.; Fac. Bk. v, pp. 81–3; tablet in church. For the church before restoration see above plate facing p. 81.
  • 184. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 671. The inquisition is printed in Par. Reg. of Riccall, 173–4.
  • 185. Y.A.J. xx. 305.
  • 186. B.I.H.R., Prob. Reg. ii, f. 439.
  • 187. Inventories of Ch. Goods, 79.
  • 188. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1764.
  • 189. Boulter, 'Ch. Bells', 32.
  • 190. Yorks. Ch. Plate, i. 302.
  • 191. B.I.H.R.
  • 192. Par. Reg. of Riccall.
  • 193. B.I.H.R., TER. N. Riccall 1876. For the well see W. Smith, Ancient Springs and Streams of E.R. 167–70.
  • 194. York Dioc. Regy., Consecration deeds.
  • 195. Y.A.J. xx. 223 and illus.
  • 196. Aveling, Post Reformation Catholicism, 64.
  • 197. E.R.R.O., QDB/2/(1).
  • 198. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 210; Herring's Visit. iii. 28.
  • 199. B.I.H.R., Fac. Bk. iii, p. 214.
  • 200. G.R.O. Worship Returns, Vol. v, nos. 3339, 3372, 3673.
  • 201. Date on new chapel.
  • 202. A small house which stood behind it (shown on B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL) survived in 1972.
  • 203. H.O. 129/24/513.
  • 204. Bulmer, Dir. E. Yorks. (1892), 701.
  • 205. Ex inf. the Revd. M. J. Townsend, Barlby, 1975.
  • 206. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 670.
  • 207. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 210; Herring's Visit. iii. 28.
  • 208. The Wilkes bequest is included on a charity board in the church, dated 1791.
  • 209. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 670.
  • 210. Educ. of Poor Digest, 1089.
  • 211. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 1094.
  • 212. B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 213. Ed. 7/135 no. 140 states that it was built c. 1839, but it was not shown on a map of 1842: B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 214. O.S. Map 6" (1851 edn.).
  • 215. See below.
  • 216. Ed. 7/135 no. 140.
  • 217. B.I.H.R., V. 1865/Ret. 423; Returns relating to Elem. Educ. 790; O.S. Map 6" (1851 edn.).
  • 218. Bd. of Educ. List 21 (H.M.S.O.).
  • 219. Char. Com. files.
  • 220. List 21.
  • 221. E.R. Educ. Cttee. Mins. 1937–8, 179; 1950–1, 208; 1955–6, 151.
  • 222. Ex inf. Chief Educ. Officer, County Hall, Beverley, 1972.
  • 223. Ex inf. the vicar, 1974.
  • 224. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 668.
  • 225. Board in church.
  • 226. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 668. Fletcher's gift may have been to revive a like charge created by Rob. Corney in 1624 but not paid between 1677 and 1698: E.R.R.O., DDBV/ 36/1.
  • 227. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 668–9. The inquisition is printed in Par. Reg. of Riccall, 168–70.
  • 228. B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 210; Herring's Visit, iii. 29.
  • 229. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 670.
  • 230. B.I.H.R., TA. 865VL.
  • 231. See p. 28.
  • 232. Char. Com. files.
  • 233. See p. 85.
  • 234. Char. Com. files.