Parishes: East Witton

A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.

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'Parishes: East Witton', in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914) pp. 280-286. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

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Witun (xi cent.); Estwitton, Estwyton (xii–xvi cent.).

East Witton, which includes the two townships of East Witton Within and East Witton Without, covers an area of 6,409 acres (2,692 Within and 3,717 Without), and lies on the south bank of the Ure, near its junction with the Cover. More than half the acreage is grass. (fn. 1) The soil is sandy, and the subsoil Yoredale Rocks and Millstone Grit, with alluvium in the river valleys. (fn. 2) From a height of 300 ft. on the river banks the land rises stiffly to the moors. South of the village rises Witton Fell, where Adam de Sedbergh, Abbot of Jervaulx, hid for four days from his pursuers after the Pilgrimage of Grace. (fn. 3) To the west lies Braithwaite Moor, and to the south are Masham Moor and Agra Moor. On the moors are several well-known springs—Diana's Well, St. Simon's Well, reputed to have been hard by a shrine of that saint, and Cutaway Well. On Braithwaite Moor are the remains of a hill-fort, (fn. 4) and all over the moor are shafts of a disused coal-pit and lead mine.

A little south of the Cover stands Braithwaite Hall, a small portion of which is inhabited as a farm-house. It is a large stone building of mid17th-century date, lying about 1½ miles west of the village in a remote spot close to a by-road leading to Coverham. The house stands prominently on the slopes of the hill, presenting a plain triple-gabled front measuring about 70 ft. in length, with two gabled projections at the back. The front elevation is divided horizontally by moulded string-courses, and the windows are small and of two lights divided by a central mullion. In the central gable is an oval panel and the end gables have blank windows similar to those of the floor below, with oval panels beneath. The main entrance is in the centre, and has a plain cambered lintel. On the west side is a large chimney stack with a corbelled projection. In the angle formed by this stack with the wall is a moulded stone head to a lead rain-water pipe, bearing the date 1667.

A little over three-quarters of a mile north of the village the Ure is crossed at Ulshaw Bridge, in the central buttress of which is a sundial with the date 1674.

East Witton stands high in a healthy situation. It is built along both sides of a large green where markets and fairs were once held. The village fountain is made from a large boulder weighing about 3 tons, brought from the Fells above. (fn. 5) At the east end of the village are the vicarage and St. John's Church, built in 1809 by the Earl of Ailesbury to commemorate the jubilee of George III; he is said to have practically rebuilt the village at about this time. There is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel built in 1882. The site of the old church of St. Ella lies among fields south-east of the village and near the old vicarage. (fn. 6) Still further south is the site of Elfa Hall, once a grange to Jervaulx Abbey.

The ruins of JERVAULX ABBEY stand in the park, about 2 miles east of the village, on flat, lowlying ground close to the south bank of the Ure, unlike most Cistercian houses well up above the river. (fn. 7) Nothing whatever remains to mark the extent of the precinct, but the chief buildings surrounding the cloister are in a fair state of preservation and unusually extensive. On the north side of the cloister is the church, with the usual buildings on the other three sides; eastward are the monks' reredorter and the infirmary, and westward are the lay brothers' reredorter and infirmary. North of the church, near the river, are the remains of a building claimed to have been the mill (fn. 8) and to the west are a few fragments of another building incorporated with the present Estate Office.

Jervaulx Abbey. Gules three water bougets argent.

Braithwaite Hall, East Witton: Entrance Front

The foundation of the abbey was in the first place at Fors, near Aysgarth, but owing to the bleakness of position and poorness of the land it was removed to Jervaulx in 1156. Before then the cellarers' range for the housing of the lay brothers was practically finished, in order that they might supervise, if not actually help, with the new buildings, and the eastern range and the buildings on the south side of the cloister were begun before the translation of the convent. The monks' dorter, with their reredorter to the east, was next completed. This was followed by the transepts and nave of the church, but the presbytery was not finished till the 13th century. The new chapter-house and parlour were then built, with a large infirmary for the lay brothers. In the middle of the 13th century a new two-storied infirmary for the monks was begun to the east of the monks' reredorter. In the 14th century a lodging for the abbot was built southward of the east end of the reredorter, with a chapel in connexion, followed by the addition of a large two-storied building to the monks' infirmary. In the next century a misericorde was built between the dorter and frater with a large meat kitchen southward of the reredorter. The monks' infirmary and dorter sub-vault were divided up into separate rooms and a two-storied camera built to the north of the former.

The church is 264 ft. in length by 115 ft. across the transept. It consists of a presbytery of four bays with aisles, north and south transepts with eastern aisle and a nave of ten bays with aisles. The whole is ruined to the plinths, except the south-west angle of the nave, which stands to the height of the springing of the aisle vault. When the ruins were excavated in 1807 the tile paving of the whole church, of very unusual design, was found almost perfect, but now not one tile remains in position. Fortunately careful drawings were made of the pavement at the time, and from these and the present remains the original arrangement of the church can be made out with tolerable certainty. Across the east end was a row of altars, probably five in number, raised on a stone-paved platform. The second bay was the procession path, and between the second pair of pillars was the high altar. There was a doorway in the second bay of the south aisle. The steps to the presbytery were between the eastern piers of the crossing, and the space under the crossing was clear of any fittings. In either transept the aisles were divided into two chapels by solid perpent walls, and the altars were placed on stone-paved platforms raised upon three steps; that in the northernmost chapel remains perfect with its covering slab. On the west side of the south transept were the night stairs to the monks' dorter, and there was a holy water stock in the base of the pier to the south aisle, so placed as to be used by those descending the stairs or entering by the processional doorway from the cloister. The two eastern bays of the nave were occupied by the monks' quire with a solid pulpitum between the second pair of piers. The third bay had a chapel, on either side the quire door, in front of the pulpitum. At the fourth pair of piers was a screen, continued across both aisles, in front of which was the nave altar, and there was an altar against it in the south aisle, but none in the north. The seventh, eighth and ninth bays were occupied by the quire of the lay brothers, as shown by the remains of the screen wall between the piers at the back of the stalls. In the ninth bay of the south aisle was a wide doorway, which was apparently provided, though never used, for the night stairs to the lay brothers' dorter, and in the westernmost bay remains the western procession doorway with a round head and three moulded members. The west front had a wide doorway in the middle and a smaller one at the end of the north aisle.

The cloister is not quite square. The surrounding alleys seem to have retained their original open arcade on coupled columns to the last, and there is a small piece of the supporting wall on the north side.

Next the south transept is a chamber, at first a passage, divided afterwards into the usual book cupboard and vestry.

The chapter-house adjoins this passage to the south, and is entered by a wide archway, flanked by a roundheaded window on either side. It is four bays in length and is divided into three alleys by slender octagonal columns with carved capitals and moulded bases, all in marble. In the eastern bay, on either side, are the remains of the windows and around the walls is a seat raised upon a step. In the floor, which is some 3 ft. below the cloister, is an interesting series of coffin slabs to the abbots, for the most part bearing inscriptions.

Adjoining is the parlour, which was vaulted in three bays. It had an archway from the cloister similar to that of the chapter-house and a wide doorway at the east end. To the south is a narrow passage entered from the cloister by a round-headed doorway, which remains and has its bases about 2 ft. above the ground. It was at first made to take the day stairs to the monks' dorter, but these were altered to their present position late in the 12th century.

In the south-east angle of the cloister is a plain round-headed doorway which leads into a large subvault of six bays with octagonal columns down the middle. The side walls are of the first work for a short distance from the north end, but the whole of the southern part is slightly later, and was lighted by large round-headed windows in each bay. In the 13th century two arches were inserted in the south end of the sub-vault and a wide one-storied building, with a fireplace, was added. In the 15th century the eastern side was divided up by wooden partitions into small rooms, of which three have inserted fireplaces.

Over this sub-vault, the parlour and chapter-house up to the south transept, was the dorter of the monks, of which the southern half of the west wall remains, containing eleven pointed lancets and the dorter door. This last is round-headed, considerably below the floor level, in the pocket of the vault, and opened outwards on to the day stairs of the dorter, which led down to the south-east angle of the cloister.

On the east side of the dorter, opposite the two middle bays of the sub-vault, was the reredorter, of which a portion of the south wall remains and contains two small lancets. The row of seats was on the south side over the drain. Beneath, the south wall is carried by seven pointed arches giving ventilation to the drain; the north wall also had seven arches, wider than those on the south, and all but the westernmost were covered by a wide aisle having a fireplace in the midst of its north wall. It is possible that the spaces beneath the reredorter and this aisle were used in the first place for the infirmary. The aisle was pulled down, presumably at the end of the 13th century, and the arches carrying the wall above were built up.

On the south side of the cloister were the frater, warming-house and kitchen arranged in the usual Cistercian manner, but all much ruined. The warming-house was a narrow building with a floor above and had a south aisle. The fire was apparently in the west wall, and there are two large lockers at the east end of the aisle. The frater has entirely gone, except a fragment of the east wall at the south end, of the west wall at the north end, and the bases of the doorway from the cloister. Between the frater and warming-house doors was the lavatory, of which the two end bases of a wall arcade at the back remain. Westward of the frater is the kitchen, which had a fireplace in the south wall and a hatch to the frater. It is entered from the cloister by a round-headed doorway.

The west side of the cloister is covered by the long range of buildings known as the cellarium, which in Cistercian houses was occupied by the lay brothers. It is over 200 ft. long with a row of columns down the middle and divided into thirteen bays. Though built without a break from end to end, it was divided into separate chambers by partitions. The two northernmost bays were the outer parlour, having a plain round arch unprovided with doors in the east and west walls. The next three bays were a cellar with a wide doorway from the west. The sixth bay had a wide doorway in either wall and was the entry to the cloister. The five southern bays were the frater of the lay brothers, and the two bays between them and the cloister entry were the screens with a hatch in the east wall from the kitchen, and a laver in the west wall for washing up. The floor above the whole range was the lay brothers' dorter, and was gained by steps placed between the north end and the church.

On the west side of the cellarium, opposite the ninth and tenth bays, projected the lay brothers' reredorter, which has all perished, but must have had the seats back to back over the drain. The basement, however, remains fairly perfect, and had the drain contained between two solid walls down the middle. The north wall was carried by four arches on square piers and the south by four arches on round piers. There is a passage between this basement and the cellarium, but whether it indicates a bridge between the dorter and reredorter is not clear.

Southward of the lay brothers' reredorter was a large aisled hall carried on slight octagonal columns of the 13th century, which shows indications of having been divided up in later days. Northward was a building having a wide fireplace, which may have been the kitchen in connexion with the infirmary, and still further north was another building, possibly a guest-house.

In continuation eastward of the monks' reredorter is a two-storied building of late 13th-century work, having a small building on the north and another to the east. This was the infirmary of the monks and was approached from the cloister by a passage in line with the parlour. The ground floor was vaulted in six bays, and divided into two chambers by a wall between the fourth and fifth bay from the west. The western chamber has a wide fireplace on the north side, with a door of entrance in the first bay in both north and south walls, and there is also another doorway from the basement of the monks' reredorter. The eastern chamber has a wide doorway on the north side and a smaller one in the east end. The upper floor was divided similarly into two chambers. In the western, which was the infirmary hall and gained by a long flight of steps both on the north and south side, there was a fireplace over the one below. The eastern chamber had also a fireplace in its east wall and a doorway in the north wall to the chamber on that side; there would, of course, be another doorway to the building on the east, but it is destroyed. Both the hall and the chamber were done away with in later days, and the south side of both divided up into separate rooms with a wainscoted passage along the north side.

The building on the north was apparently the infirmary chapel, and retains on the first floor a recess in the south wall for the piscina. It was entered from the main building by a shouldered doorway which in later times had been turned into a cupboard fitted with shelves.

The building to the east had on the upper floor a range of garderobes over the drain; the floor was considerably below the main block, and there are two lancet windows, now blocked, remaining in the north wall.

In the 14th or early 15th century a large twostoried building with double angle buttresses was placed on the north side of the garderobe block. It had a fireplace to both floors and the rooms were wainscoted. It was apparently built for the infirmary hall when the earlier one was divided up into chambers.

The infirmary must from the first have had a kitchen, and, as the staircase up to the hall on the north was the principal one, that on the south may be presumed to have led from the kitchen. Excavations revealed the foundations of some walls at the foot of this staircase which doubtless belonged to this kitchen.

Northward of this infirmary block are the remains of a two-storied camera, apparently for the use of the infirmarer.

On the south side of the monks' reredorter, and against the south stairs to the infirmary, is a twostoried building of 14th-century date, apparently built for the lodging of the abbot. The ground floor is mere cellarage, but there was a garderobe therefrom in the north-west corner.

The upper floor consisted of a hall having a wide fireplace on the west side and a garderobe over that below. It was entered by a flight of steps under a pentice on the west side.

Of the same date is a small chapel, eastward of the addition to the dorter sub-vault, which still retains its altar block, and was connected with the abbot's camera by a pentice along its north side.

On the opposite side of the dorter sub-vault to the chapel was a building arranged like a domestic hall, with screens at the east end, a large fireplace in the north wall, and an oriel on the south side. This was the misericorde, a building which came into use towards the end of the 14th century, when meat was allowed to be taken regularly. To serve this, instead of building an additional kitchen, a new kitchen was erected in place of the old infirmary kitchen on the south side of the monks' reredorter, between the abbot's camera and the dorter. This kitchen has in the north wall a great fireplace, a sink for washing up and a shoot for refuse into the drain. The west wall has a wide and deep chimney opening, in which was a large oven with two others at the back; the south wall has another great fireplace and a cupboard; the east wall has two service hatches and two doorways, and there was a third hatch in the south-west angle for the misericorde. The building of this kitchen destroyed the staircase of entrance and the garderobes of the abbot's camera, which would necessitate his being housed elsewhere. This he seems to have been in the buildings at the south end of the dorter range. The misericorde, as at Fountains and Waverley, being used for his hall, his lodging was above it, with direct access to the dorter and gained by a wooden staircase in the addition to the sub-vault, and the chapel remained undisturbed. The old lodging seems to have been used in connexion with the infirmary, presumably as the hall, for the later hall was in turn altered to a building not requiring a fireplace, and probably became the infirmary chapel in place of the cramped one which had served the purpose for so many years.

In 1806–7 the Earl of Ailesbury laid out the grounds surrounding the ruins. (fn. 8a) Close by is the Hall, the seat of Mr. Hector Christie.

South-west of Jervaulx are the hamlets of High and Low Newstead, and between them is Hammer Farm, near which is a disused quarry. West of Hammer is Deep Gill Force, a fine waterfall on Deep Gill Beck. East of Jervaulx is Kilgram Grange, once demesne of the abbey.

The parish is very well wooded. In 1543 Peter Saxson was given the custody of the woods of Kilgramhow, Heyne and Fingall in succession to Laurence Askwith, late keeper. (fn. 9)

At the Dissolution Sir Christopher Danby of Thorpe Perrow had an abbey lease of 'a sheep pasture called Golling Lythe on the moors nigh Helam,' (fn. 10) and made various inclosures of the commons here. (fn. 11) In 1590 Sir Thomas Danby was accused of making further inclosures.


Before the Conquest Glunier had at [East] WITTON a 'manor' and 12 carucates, with berewicks of 14 carucates, all waste, (fn. 12) at Thoresby, [West] Witton and Wensley. In 1086 this was held in demesne by Count Alan, and descended to his successors. Earl Conan (1146–70) gave the manor of East Witton in fee to one of his knights, Reginald Boterel, (fn. 13) against whom, in 1192, Geoffrey son of Geoffrey son of Morwan obtained a writ of right in respect of 10 carucates here. (fn. 14) In 1211–12 Reginald held three parts of a fee in Yorkshire of the honour of recent feoffment. (fn. 15) After his death King John, who on his return from Normandy disseised all Bretons and Normans other than his adherents, gave the manor (fn. 16) to his bailiff Robert de Tateshall, lord of West Witton, who held it 'for many days.' Later King John granted it to his bowman (balistarius) Brito for his maintenance in the royal service. (fn. 17) Brito died before April 1227, (fn. 18) when Henry III granted his lands here to Nicholas de Nayreford to be held during pleasure. (fn. 19) In December 1227 Peter Boterel, son and heir of Reginald and brother of Brito the bowman, made peace with the king, (fn. 20) and received licence to recover Brito's lands, (fn. 21) then held by the Earl of Chester as an escheat of the honour, on payment of a fine. (fn. 22) Finding difficulty in raising the money, he leased the manor for ten years to the abbey of Jervaulx, which shortly afterwards bought the manor outright, Peter reserving a fee-farm rent of £20. (fn. 23) Peter forfeited his English possessions before October 1235 for adherence to Peter Count of Britanny, when the abbot received a mandate to pay his rent to Ralph Tyrell (fn. 24); in 1236 Peter recovered the rent, he having bound himself to forfeit all his lands for ever if he should be again convicted of associating with the king's enemies. (fn. 25) By 1241 Peter was recognized as a liege of the Count of Britanny, and finally lost his English lands. The count in January 1235 had renounced his fealty to Henry, and forfeited his earldom of Richmond, which had been given to Peter of Savoy, to whom this rent was paid in 1241. (fn. 26) The rent was subsequently paid to the Exchequer in 1274, afterwards to Robert Walerand, to John de Maure in 1275 and 1279 and to the Earl of Richmond in 1307. (fn. 27)

Bruce, Earl of Elgin and Ailesbury. Or a saltire and a chief gules and a quarter argent with a lion azure therein.

Christie. Or a saltire wavy between four molets pierced sable.

In 1286–7 the Abbot of Jervaulx held five-sixths of East Witton. The remaining sixth was held by Brian Fitz Alan, (fn. 28) lord of Bedale, who probably sold it to the abbey in 1286. (fn. 29) The abbey retained the manor until the Dissolution in 1537. (fn. 30) In 1543 Peter Saxson was appointed bailiff and collector of rents, (fn. 31) and in 1544 the site of the abbey with the manor was granted to Matthew Earl of Lennox and Margaret his wife. (fn. 32) On the death of the countess in 1577 (fn. 33) the manor passed into the hands of the queen, (fn. 34) probably as guardian of their young grandson (fn. 35) and heir, afterwards James I. He eventually succeeded, and in 1603 granted East Witton in fee to Edward Bruce Lord Kinloss. (fn. 36) He died in 1611, (fn. 37) and was succeeded by his son Edward Bruce, second Lord Kinloss and Bruce of Kinloss. He was killed in a duel with Sir Edward Sackville in 1613. (fn. 38) Thomas, his brother and heir, was created Earl of Elgin in 1633 and died in 1663, and was succeeded by his son Robert, created Earl of Ailesbury (fn. 39) in 1663–4 for his services to Charles II. His son, the second earl, one of the chief supporters of James II, was accused in 1695 of conspiring to restore James, and was imprisoned in the Tower, and subsequently exiled; he died in Brussels in 1741. The third earl, his only surviving son, died without male issue in 1746–7, when the title lapsed. In 1746 he had been created Lord Bruce of Tottenham, with special remainder to his nephew Thomas Bruce Brudenell, who accordingly succeeded him, taking the name of Bruce, and was created Earl of Ailesbury in 1746. He died in 1814, and was succeeded by his son, created Marquess of Ailesbury in 1821. He died in 1856, and his son, the second marquess, in 1878. The latter's younger brother and successor was ViceChamberlain to Queen Victoria in 1841–6 and in 1852–8. He died in 1886, and in 1887 his trustees sold the Jervaulx estate to Samuel Cunliffe Lister of Bradford, who in 1891 became Lord Masham of Swinton Park. (fn. 40) He died in 1906, and his son, the second Lord Masham, in 1907 sold the estate to Mr. Hector Christie, the present owner.

At the Dissolution two courts for the lordship were held in the year. (fn. 41) At that date there were forty-eight tenants at will and nineteen cottages in East Witton, (fn. 42) and the rents included 'wood' hens and 'rent eggs' to the value of 4s. 5d. (fn. 43)

In 1156 Earl Conan gave to the monks of Fors a large tract of his demesne in East Witton. (fn. 44) This land formed the site of their new monastery of JERVAULX (Jorevall, Jerovall, xiii-xiv cent.) and followed the descent of the manor of East Witton (q.v.).

The manor at BRAITHWAITE (Brathewaite, Braythweyt, xiv and xv cent.) has, since its first mention in 1475, (fn. 45) followed the descent of the manor of Middleham (q.v.), of which it was held. (fn. 46)

The abbey of Jervaulx had a grange here, (fn. 47) for which subsidy of 16s. 10d. was paid in 1301. (fn. 48) The grange is not mentioned among the possessions of the abbey at its dissolution, nor is there any further record of it. Though no further mention of it has been found, it probably descended with the manor of East Witton to Mr. Christie.

In 1342 the Abbot of Jervaulx was seised of a grange at ELFAHALL (fn. 49) (Tortmanhall alias Elfahall, xvi cent.), which belonged to the abbey till its dissolution in 1537. (fn. 50) It has followed the descent of East Witton (fn. 51) (q.v.).

The grange at KILGRAMHOW (fn. 52) (Kelgrenhow, xiv cent.; Kylgramew, xvi cent.) was assessed at 55s. 6d. (fn. 53) for the subsidy of 1301. It was demesne, and kept 'for the maintenance of the hospital as well as for the benefit of his (the abbot's) house.' (fn. 54) Its descent was that of the manor of East Witton.

For the grange at NEWSTEAD (Newsted, xiv cent.) the Abbot of Jervaulx paid a subsidy of 46s. 11d. (fn. 55) in 1301. In 1342 Newstead was described as a large grange which had become a vill. (fn. 56) The descent has followed that of East Witton. From the beginning of the 17th century mention is usually made of two granges called High and Low Newstead respectively. (fn. 57) Both granges had the same descent. (fn. 58)

In 1290 the Abbot of Jervaulx received a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of East Witton, Nether and Over Ellington, Rookwith, Ruswick, Akebar, Fingall, Hutton Hang and Horton in Ribblesdale. (fn. 59) In 1292–3 the abbot was said to have abused his warren and to have held the lands of his neighbours in warren. (fn. 60)

In 1307 the abbot and convent obtained a grant of a Monday market at East Witton, and of two fairs, for the octave of the Assumption of the Virgin (15 August) and for the eve and day of St. Martin in winter. (fn. 61) In 1400 the market day was changed to Wednesday; the first fair was to last for two days only, and the Martinmas Fair for eight days. (fn. 62) Both fair and market are mentioned in 1728, (fn. 63) but since then the market has lapsed. There is no mention of a fair in 1792, but in 1888 there were two fairs, one on 3 May and another on 20 November. (fn. 64) Neither fair nor market is now held.

At the Dissolution the abbey had a mill and a fulling-mill at East Witton. (fn. 65) There was a water corn-mill here in 1599, (fn. 66) and in 1699 there were three mills in Middleham and East Witton. (fn. 67) There is still a mill in East Witton. Place-names such as Le Milne Pitt and Le Milne Holmes suggest the existence of a mill at Elfahall in the 17th century. (fn. 68)


The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST (fn. 69) was built in 1809 in the 'Gothic' taste of the period, and consists of a chancel, nave, organ chamber and vestries, north and south aisles, south porch and western tower.

There are six bells, cast by T. Mears of London in 1812.

The plate consists of an early Elizabethan silver cup, two silver patens and a flagon.

The registers date from 1670.


The church of St. Ella, the donation of which was valued at £20, was given by Earl Conan, with the manor, to Reginald Boterel, and sold by Peter Boterel to the abbey of Jervaulx. (fn. 70) The church was appropriated in 1301, when a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 71) A new appropriation was made by Clement V in 1307, on the ground that the former one had been wrongfully made. (fn. 72) No royal licence was obtained, and in 1313 the abbot paid a fine for it. (fn. 73) In 1398 Boniface IX reappropriated the church, freeing the monks from the necessity of supplying a regular stipendiary priest, and giving them leave to have the church served by one of their monks or a secular priest, to be appointed and removed at their pleasure, (fn. 74) and in 1399 he ordered yearly portions from the fruits of the church to be paid to the Bishop of Durham to compensate him for this loss of his usual emoluments at voidance. (fn. 75)

At the Dissolution the rectory was leased in 1538 for twenty-one years to George Forrest. (fn. 76) It was in the tenure of Jane widow of Edward Forrest in 1562–3, (fn. 77) of George Forrest her son in 1619 and 1620, (fn. 78) and a George Forrest still held the advowson in 1650. (fn. 79) Tobias Hodson was patron in 1703. (fn. 80) In 1747 Charles Hodson dealt with the rectory by fine, (fn. 81) and in 1754 presented to the living. (fn. 82) The advowson was probably sold to the Earl of Ailesbury, who presented in 1811, and in 1826 held both the advowson and the rectory. (fn. 83) The living is now in the gift of Mr. Christie.

In 1291 Pope Nicholas IV gave a relaxation of one year and forty days' enjoined penance to penitents visiting the chapel of 'St. Elisius in Wutton' (? Witton). (fn. 84) In 1543 Laurence Askwith, bailiff of East Witton, petitioned for an allowance for repairing the chapel of East Witton. (fn. 85)


The table of benefactions mentioned that Elizabeth Barnett left by will £20, the interest to be paid to the vicar or schoolmaster for teaching poor children. The legacy was applied in building a cottage, which was used as a school and then as a house for paupers.

It was also stated on the benefaction table that Barbara Simpson left the interest of £5 for the use of the poor, and that Thomas Langdale gave £5 for the poor, and John Ballan left £10 for the poor of the out-parish of East Witton. Nothing is now paid in respect of these sums.

Barbara Skaife, by will 1726, gave 40s. a year to be bestowed in clothing, and her brother Thomas Skaife, by will 1731, also gave 40s. a year for apprenticing. These payments appear also to have fallen into abeyance.

Thomas Knight, by will proved 1858, left a legacy, now represented by £96 5s. 1d. consols with the official trustees, the dividends of which, amounting to £2 8s., are distributed in accordance with the trusts among the poor of East Witton Within, in sums of 5s. or 6s. to each recipient.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. V.C.H. Yorks. i, geological map.
  • 3. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (1), 1035.
  • 4. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 7.
  • 5. Bogg, Richmondshire, 559.
  • 6. A vicarage is mentioned in the reign of Henry VIII (Rentals and Surv. portf. 19, no. 20).
  • 7. There was 'a close of pasture full of bushes' called Old Jervaulx containing 3 acres (Rentals and Surv. portf. 19, no. 20, fol. 4).
  • 8. Rentals and Surv. portf. 19, no. 20, fol. 4, speaks of a water-mill adjoining the said monastery.
  • 8a. For a full survey of the demesne and other lands of Jervaulx Abbey see Rentals and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 19, no. 20; 4, no. 24.
  • 9. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (2), 107 (18); xvi, 95. See Rentals and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 19, no. 20; Exch. Spec. Com. 40 Eliz. no. 2785; Exch. Dep. Mich. 41 & 42 Eliz. no. 17.
  • 10. Rentals and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 19, no. 20.
  • 11. Star Chamb. Proc. Edw. VI, bdles. 4, no. 72; 5, no. 71.
  • 12. Dom. Bk. Fac. 27b.
  • 13. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 132; R. Gale, Reg. Honor. de Richmond, 99; App. 277; Add. MS. 26731, fol. 10. 'West Witton' according to this inquisition.
  • 14. Pipe R. 4 Ric. I, m. 4 d.
  • 15. Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 588.
  • 16. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 132; Add. MS. 26731, fol. 10.
  • 17. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 181b.
  • 18. Ibid. 181b, 189; cf. Harl. MS. 793, fol. 69.
  • 19. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 181b.
  • 20. Add. MS. 26731, fol. 10.
  • 21. Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 173.
  • 22. Add. MS. 26731, fol. 10.
  • 23. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 132.
  • 24. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, p. 120.
  • 25. Ibid. p. 155.
  • 26. Ibid. p. 251.
  • 27. Ibid. 1272–81, pp. 48, 86, 304. This is the last mention of the rent.
  • 28. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 155.
  • 29. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, p. 222. At the Dissolution the abbey paid £18 6s. 8d. annual free rent to the lords of Bedale from lands in East Witton by agreement with Brian Fitz Alan, the money being applied to the maintenance of three chaplains and two clerks in the chapel of Bedale (Valor Eccl. [Rec. Com.], v, 242).
  • 30. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 338; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 241. For the barony of East Witton see Worton in Aysgarth; Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 237, no. 24.
  • 31. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (2), 107 (18).
  • 32. Ibid. xix (1), 1035 (96).
  • 33. G.E.C. Peerage, v, 64.
  • 34. Cecil MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), iv, 83. In 1600–1 the queen leased the manor for twenty-one years to Robert Dickinson (Pat. 43 Eliz. pt. viii).
  • 35. The Earl of Lennox was father of Lord Darnley.
  • 36. Pat. 1 Jas. I, pt. xxi; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1603–10, p. 54.
  • 37. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxxi, 115.
  • 38. Ibid. cccxxxiv, 71.
  • 39. G.E.C. Peerage, i, 40.
  • 40. Yorks. N. and Q. i, 79.
  • 41. Rentals and Surv. (Gen. Ser.) portf. 19, no. 20.
  • 42. Ibid.
  • 43. Ibid. portf. 4, no. 24.
  • 44. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v, 572.
  • 45. Cal. Pat. 1467–77, pp. 483, 486.
  • 46. Leases of it were frequent in the 16th and 17th centuries (Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 18 & 19 Chas. II; Recov. R. Hil. 23 & 24 Chas. II, rot. 2; Mich. 28 Chas. II, rot. 39; Trin. 28 Geo. II, rot. 254; Com. Pleas D. Enr. Mich. 42 Geo. III, m. 78).
  • 47. Chan. Inq. p.m. 16 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 76.
  • 48. Lay Subs. R. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), 96; cf. Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 623.
  • 49. Chan. Inq. p.m. 16 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 76.
  • 50. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 241.
  • 51. In 1600–1 it was leased for twentyone years to Thomas Nelson (Pat. 43 Eliz. pt. viii, m. 31).
  • 52. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 241.
  • 53. Yorks. Lay Subs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), 96.
  • 54. Exch. Spec. Com. East. 19 Eliz. no. 2.
  • 55. Yorks. Lay Subs. loc. cit.
  • 56. Chan. Inq. p.m. 16 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 76. For 16th-century tenants see Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 241; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), g. 384 (50); 896 (3); Rentals and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 19, no. 20.
  • 57. Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 20 Chas. I; Recov. R. Mich. 29 Chas. II, rot. 239; Mich. 2 Anne, rot. 331.
  • 58. In 1600–1 High Newstead was leased for twenty-one years to Thomas Askwith (Pat. 43 Eliz. pt. viii, m. 30).
  • 59. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 356.
  • 60. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 224.
  • 61. Chart. R. 35 Edw. I, no. 100.
  • 62. Ibid. 1 Hen. IV, pt. i, no. 8; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (2), 107 (18).
  • 63. Recov. R. Hil. 2 Geo. II, rot. 416.
  • 64. Rep. of Royal Com. on Mkts. and Fairs, App. 218.
  • 65. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 241.
  • 66. Exch. Spec. Com. Mich. 41 & 42 Eliz. no. 17.
  • 67. Recov. R. East. 11 Will. III, rot. 94.
  • 68. Pat. 43 Eliz. pt. viii, m. 31.
  • 69. The invocation of the old church appears to have been St. Ella.
  • 70. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 132; Gale, op. cit. 99; App. 277. Robert de Tateshall presented to it Richard de Craneford, clerk, and the Earl of Chester Simon his clerk.
  • 71. Harl. MS. 793, fol. 69.
  • 72. Cal. of Papal Letters, ii, 23.
  • 73. Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 3.
  • 74. Cal. of Papal Letters, v, 163.
  • 75. Ibid. 286; cf. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 241.
  • 76. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), 384 (12).
  • 77. Pat. 5 Eliz. pt. ii, m. 11. This is a grant to Thomas Reve, usually a 'fishing grantee.'
  • 78. Feet of F. Yorks. Mich. 17 Jas. I; Recov. R. Yorks. Trin. 18 Jas. I, rot. 2.
  • 79. Ibid. East. 1650, rot. 172.
  • 80. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 81. Feet of F. Yorks. Mich. 21 Geo. II, pt. iii.
  • 82. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 83. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 84. Cal. of Papal Letters, i, 534.
  • 85. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (2), 227.