Parishes: Old Malton

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

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, 'Parishes: Old Malton', in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914) pp. 537-541. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Old Malton", in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914) 537-541. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Parishes: Old Malton", A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, (London, 1914). 537-541. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section


Maltune (xi cent.); Maaltun, Old Mealton (xii cent.); Meauton (early xiii cent.).

The parish of Old Malton still included in the 16th century the two chapelries of New Malton (q.v.) which had become separate ecclesiastical parishes by 1831, (fn. 1) and were not afterwards ecclesiastically united to Old Malton, though Old and New Malton were by Local Government Board Order of 1 October 1896 formed into one civil parish of Malton. Two small places, Howe and Wykeham (or West Wykeham) by Malton are mentioned from the 13th to the 18th century. (fn. 2) The area of the civil parish is 4,017 acres, of which 2,191 acres are arable, 1,209 acres permanent grass and 36 acres woods and plantations. (fn. 3) The height varies from 70 ft. to 175 ft. above ordnance datum. The parish lies on the corallian beds, with alluvium by the River Derwent. Quarries in Old Malton belonged from the 13th century to Malton Priory, (fn. 4) and there are still large limestone and whinstone quarries in the parish. Remains of the Neolithic, Bronze and Roman periods have been found. (fn. 5)

There is a camp on the west side of the road from York to Pickering. The high road from Hovingham through the 'street' villages runs westward; Wade's Causeway runs northward towards Whitby, and an important road leads eastward to Bridlington. (fn. 6)

The village of Old Malton lies on the road to Pickering, though a few cottages are built along Westgate, which runs westward from about the middle of the village. The Derwent flowing from the north on the east side of the village here takes a double bend almost touching the main road. South of the bend stood the priory of Gilbertine canons founded here in the 12th century by Eustace son of John. (fn. 7) The church stands here in a large churchyard, and, when originally built, must have extended as far as the river. The cottages are of stone and generally have tiled roofs. On the west side of the road a little to the north of the church stands the house where the vicar of the parish now resides, a 17th-century building known as Hunters Hall. Inside is a remarkably fine oak staircase with moulded balusters and handrail. At the north end of the village is a stone pound. Lascelles Lane, which runs eastward, commemorates a family which had a capital messuage in Old Malton in the 13th century when they granted all their possessions here to the priory. (fn. 8) Lasselhouse here is mentioned in 1543. (fn. 9) In the thickly wooded plantation of Doodale, north of the bend in the river, are remains of earthworks. The Spital House of Old Malton is mentioned in 1599. (fn. 10)

In 1625 William Lord Eure, lord of the manor, and the tenants, inhabitants and freeholders made an agreement for a division of the lands and demesnes of this manor by inclosures, an arrangement confirmed by the Archbishop of York, (fn. 11) who had property in Malton. (fn. 12) In 1794 two common fields were inclosed, one of 416 acres, the other of 14 acres. (fn. 13)

A Wesleyan chapel was erected at Old Malton in 1824 and a Primitive Methodist in 1857. A way called 'Braystale gate' (fn. 14) in Old Malton is mentioned in the 13th century. (fn. 15) Some local names are: Great Sike Road, Riggs Road, Wise House, Rixt Woods, Espersykes, Cheapsides, Bartindale and Outgang Gate.


The manor of OLD MALTON followed the descent of that of New Malton (q.v.), but on the death of William de Ayton became the undivided property of the Eures. (fn. 16) William Eure, Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1497, (fn. 17) had a younger son Henry, (fn. 18) perhaps the Henry who in 1476 alluded to 'my manor of Old Malton.' (fn. 19) In 1555 it was stated that William Eure was seised of the manor of New Malton and granted it to Henry Eure and his issue with remainders to John Eure son of William, the grantor, and his heirs and to Robert Eure and his heirs, by which grant, when Henry died without issue, the manor descended to John Eure, then to his son William, then to William's son Roger (fn. 20) and to Roger's son Ralph. Roger Eure in 1551–2 died seised of the manor, leaving a son and heir Ralph (fn. 21) who died in 1554 and was followed by a posthumous son and heir John. This 'manor of New Malton' must have been Old Malton, which was 'a member' of New Malton. (fn. 22) In 1576–7 John son of Ralph had livery, (fn. 23) but in 1595 the manor was in the hands of the head of the family, (fn. 24) and it afterwards descended with the Eure share of New Malton (fn. 25) (q.v.), and is now in the possession of Earl Fitzwilliam. In 1619 Ralph Eure of New Malton obtained free warren in Old Malton. (fn. 26)

Land in WICKHAM (Wicumbe, Wycun, Wycum, xiii-xvi cent.) in Old Malton followed the descent of that manor, though tenements here belonged to the Basset fee. (fn. 27) In the 13th century land held by a family bearing the territorial name was granted to the priory, (fn. 28) which obtained 7 oxgangs here and in Old Malton from Cecily de Well and John de Kirkby and Isabel his wife in 1316. (fn. 29)

Land at HOWE (Hou, xiii cent.) was also parcel of the manor of Old Malton, and here too the canons obtained possessions in the 13th century. (fn. 30)

The site of the priory followed the descent of the advowson (q.v.), with which it passed into the hands of Lord Malton in 1728. It is now in the possession of Earl Fitzwilliam.


The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel and nave in one range 106 ft. 6 in. by 28 ft. 2 in., formed from the six western bays of the nave of the church of the Gilbertine monastery (the chancel occupying two and the nave four), and a south-west tower 10 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 11 in. These measurements are all internal.

Nothing remains of the monastic church east of the nave but the lower parts of the west piers of the central tower and portions of the east bay of the south aisle with the cloister door which can be seen to the east of the present church; the undercroft of the frater of the conventual establishment is now incorporated in the basement of a house lying to the south of the church. Though the building of the church was started at the east end c. 1180 and the work appears to have been continuous, operations proceeded but slowly, and the west front is of a distinctly developed Gothic character, as are the westernmost piers of the south arcade of the nave, though the mouldings of their capitals and bases are of the same section as the earlier ones. The nave of the monastic church was much higher than the present one, but although vaulting shafts are carried up above the piers of the arcades it appears never to have been vaulted. The aisles, however (which are now completely demolished save for a small portion of the north and south walls to the west of the piers of the central tower), were vaulted with diagonal ribbed vaulting as seen from the springers of the ribs over the piers of the south arcade of the nave. The church originally had two western towers, but, although the southern one stands in its entirety, only the foundations of the northern one remain. The remaining piers of the south arcade are considerably calcined, probably by a fire in the 15th century which badly damaged the north arcade and rendered necessary the rebuilding of its three western bays and the insertion of new piers under the next three bays to the east. It was then probably that the northern tower was destroyed and the solid wall built on the western bay of the nave arcade. The rebus of Prior Roger (Bolton) upon the capital of one of the new piers and upon the corbel of one of the vaulting shafts suggests that this rebuilding took place late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. (fn. 31)

The priory was bought in 1540 for a valuable consideration by Robert Holgate, then Bishop of Llandaff and afterwards Archbishop of York. (fn. 32) The central tower was then still standing, but in 1636 it was pulled down as being unsafe, and in 1734 the quire met with the same fate.

Plan of Old Malton Church

The nave in its original state was lofty and of fine proportions and was lighted by a clearstory and large west window. The present walls, however, stop just above the triforium gallery. The easternmost remaining piers of the old nave arcade are partly embedded in the east wall of the present building, as are all the remaining piers of the north arcade, but the south wall is thinner and built centrally between the old piers. The three eastern lancets were inserted in 1862, but they are now blocked up on the inside and covered by a reredos and baldacchino. The three easternmost arches of the north arcade are semicircular and of three orders, the innermost moulded with a double chamfer, while each outer order has a pointed bowtel between hollows with a quirked bead on the vertical face and a half-round hood mould. They are of original date, but the octagonal piers upon which they are carried date from the late 15th century and have moulded capitals and bases standing upon plinths, the westernmost being ornamented with a double row of panels having cinquefoiled heads under crocketed and finialled ogee hood moulds which are separated at the angles of the pier by crocketed pinnacles. The plinth is ornamented with panelling of a flowing character, and in the bell of the capital, which has an embattled abacus, is the following mutilated inscription in well-formed black-letter characters: 'Rogerus prior Orate p[ro] bono stat[u] m[agist]ri F. . . .' The remainder of the inscription is embedded in the wall with the northern faces of the capital. The Bolton rebus, a tun pierced by a bolt, is repeated three times between 'Rogerus' and 'prior,' which are inverted, between 'bono' and 'statu' and after 'magistri.' On the south face of the pier now built into the north-east angle and on the south-east face of the pier next to the west are single panels with cinquefoiled heads, while there is an image bracket on the west face of the third pier. The 15th-century arches of the next two bays are twocentred and of two orders, the inner chamfered and the outer moulded with a wide casement. Both have labels, repeated in plaster upon the built-up western bay adjoining, from the wall face of which the western arch springs, and upon the east face of which is a niche with a crocketed canopy. The remaining pier of the north arcade is composed of clusters of three shafts at the cardinal points separated by semicircular hollows. The shafts have moulded octagonal capitals and bases and stand on a high octagonal plinth. In the walls inserted in the four eastern bays are small semicircular-headed openings with deep internal splays and a small external chamfer, while in the fifth bay is a blocked-up doorway with a three-centred head. The arches of the south arcade, the westernmost of which carries the north wall of the south-west tower, are semicircular and of the original date of the building, their mouldings corresponding with those of the eastern bays of the north arcade. The pier embedded in the south-east angle and the three piers to the west are circular, while the fourth is of four keels separated by small angle shafts. The large western pier, which carries the tower arch, consists of a cluster of twelve shafts separated by hollows, those at the cardinal points being filleted keels, while the west respond has a keel between four attached shafts. All the piers of this arcade have moulded capitals of the same section and water-holding bases. In the wall inserted in the eastern bay is a single-light semicircular-headed window with deeply splayed inner jambs and external chamfer similar to those in the opposite wall. In the next bay are two similar lights, the jamb of the eastern one meeting the pier, while in the centre of the next two bays are single lights of the same kind. The blocked arcades of the original triforium still survive, except in the three western bays of the north wall, where they have been replaced by panelling contemporary with the later arches below. The vaulting shafts, which now only support the tie-beams of the modern roof, divide the triforium stage into bays corresponding with those of the arcades below, and the sill level is marked by a moulded string-course, broken and raised over the rebuilt arches on the north. In each of the surviving bays of the original work are three main arches springing from detached jamb shafts with moulded capitals and bases, the side arches narrow and acutely pointed and the middle arch wide and semicircular, and inclosing two acutelypointed sub-arches springing from central shafts. The carved corbels carrying the vaulting shafts are either scalloped or carved with 'stiff-leaved' foliage, and interrupt the sill string which is carried round them. In the later portion of the north wall the vaulting shafts spring from angels holding shields on which is repeated the Bolton rebus. The fine but considerably restored west doorway has a semicircular head in five orders of rolls and hollows, enriched with dog-tooth ornament under a moulded hood mould dying into carved stops of trefoil leaves, and carried by detached jamb shafts having central annulets and carved capitals with water-holding bases. Above the doorway is a large late 15th-century window of five cinquefoiled lights under a modern three-centred head with tracery; the upper part of the window is blocked. The outer jambs of the window have 13th-century shafts considerably curtailed, evidently the jamb shafts of a pair of lancets which it replaces. On either side between the window and the tower buttresses are pointed recesses of a single order with a moulded hood mould over, carried on jamb shafts with carved capitals, moulded bases and central annulets. In the inner buttresses of the towers are corresponding recesses.

A modern low-pitched lead roof covers the existing chancel and nave. The ground stage of the south-west tower, which is vaulted with modern vaulting, opened into the south aisle through a pointed arch of the same section as those of the nave arcade, carried on the south by a respond of clustered shafts having moulded capitals and bases, and on the north by the western pier of the arcade. Between these a thin wall has been inserted with a pointed doorway having an external continuous chamfer. On the west is a large lancet window of three orders of rolls and hollows; the inner one, which is much restored and decorated with a form of ball-flower ornament, is continuous, the outer ones being carried on detached shafts having carved capitals and moulded bases. The two outer shafts are missing, and the inner one on the north is modern. The hood mould terminates in carved stops. The window has wide inner splays with angle shafts having carved capitals and moulded bases carried on carved corbels. In the buttress on the north and the remaining south one of the demolished north tower are small pointed recesses of a single order, moulded with rolls and hollows and having moulded dripstones terminating in carved stops. The arches spring from the same level as those to the window, and are carried by detached shafts with moulded bases and carved capitals, the abaci of which are carried across the front of the building, forming common abaci to the shafts of the windows or openings which interrupt it. These recesses are repeated on either side of the western doorway close up against the side buttresses of the tower. On the south is a modern window of a similar character to that on the west. The floor of the ringing chamber is marked by a moulded string-course enriched with dog-tooth ornament. This was originally carried right across the front of the building, but is now cut into by the 15th-century west window of the nave. The ringing chamber is lighted on the west by a large pointed window of three orders of a similar character to the one lighting the ground stage, but the inner order has a plain chamfer and the two outer ones are carried by shafts having carved capitals with moulded bases and central annulets. Over the head is a moulded hood mould terminating in carved stops. In the north buttress is a panel with a pointed head of one order with a moulded hood mould, carried on shafts similar to and at the same level as those to the ringing chamber window. On the south is an arcade of three pointed arches of a single order carried on single shafts similar to those on the west, with moulded hood moulds over, which stop against the buttresses at the sides and meet in carved stops over the two middle shafts. Under the centre arch is a lancet of a single chamfered order. Lighting the bell-chamber on the west are two large pointed openings, filled in with wooden louvres, of two orders with a moulded hood mould carved with dog-tooth enrichment. The inner order is chamfered, while the outer is moulded with a roll between two hollows and is carried upon shafts similar to those to the window below. Immediately above each light is a circle enriched with dog-tooth ornament and pierced with a quatrefoil, while above these are seven corbels which carry the parapet. On the south is an arcade of three arches carried on shafts of the same character as those to the arcade under. The two side bays are open and filled with louvres, while above these both this and the east wall, in which the only other opening is a round-headed light above the level of the original triforium roof, are pierced by quatrefoiled circles with corbel tables above, like those of the west wall. On the north wall above the present roof of the nave can be seen the remains of the old clearstory arcade.

In the floor of the chancel is part of a late 13thcentury tomb slab, while in the churchyard to the east of the existing building are three stone coffins, one of which is quite small and evidently that of a child. Incorporated in the modern quire stalls are several 15th-century bench ends and misericordes.

Reset between the remaining wall of the north aisle and the east wall of the present church is a late 12th-century round-headed doorway with a fine 'bird's beak' enriched order carried on jamb shafts, while in the remaining wall of the south aisle, just west of the crossing, is the doorway, already referred to as opening into the cloisters, the jamb shafts of which are now missing. To the east of this is a small piscina set in the wall.

There are three bells: the first, by Samuel Smith of York, is inscribed 'Venite Exultemus Domino 1685'; the second, inscribed 'Gloria in excelsis Deo 1685,' is by the same maker; while the third is without any maker's mark and is inscribed 'Slepe not in sinne.'

The plate consists of a communion cup, chalice and paten of silver, electro-plated flagon and paten and a pewter flagon, dish and plate. The cup of 1732 bears the inscription, 'Peter Walmsley Minister Willm Hird Willm Linwood Churchwardens Anno Domini 1736.' The chalice and paten are modern silver-gilt vessels of mediaeval design and were presented by Susanna Kinnear in 1889. The electro-plated flagon and paten have no date, neither has the pewter dish. The pewter flagon and plate are probably of the late 17th century.

The register dates from 1600.


The church is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, (fn. 33) and was given, with all its chapels and lands, (fn. 34) by Eustace son of John to the Gilbertine Priory he had founded at Old Malton, a donation confirmed by the pope in 1253. (fn. 35) The priory surrendered in 1539, (fn. 36) and in 1540 a grant in fee was made to Robert Holgate, Bishop of Llandaff, of the house and site of the priory, the church, steeple and churchyard of the same, the demesne lands and fishery in the Derwent, as fully as the prior had had them. (fn. 37) This grant seems to have been superseded, for in 1540–1 the rectory of Old and New Malton was leased for twenty-one years to George Dakyns of Settrington, (fn. 38) and in 1545 it was again granted to Holgate, then Archbishop of York, and his successors with the advowson of the vicarage of Old Malton (of which this is the first mention). (fn. 39) The patronage was exchanged by the Archbishop of York in 1728 with Lord Malton, (fn. 40) and has descended with the manor of New Malton (q.v.) to the present Earl Fitzwilliam, but the rectory still belonged in 1842 to the archbishop. (fn. 41)


For the Free Grammar School, founded by Robert Halgate alias Holgate, Archbishop of York, by deed dated 4 May 1547, under Letters Patent dated 24 October 1546, see schools founded by Archbishop Holgate. (fn. 42) The school is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 14 February 1902.

Under the authority of an order of the Board of Education 14 June 1906 the site and buildings of the old school and the master's house and premises adjoining the churchyard of the former priory church were sold, together with 2 a. 3 r. 11 p. of arable land abutting on Eden House Road, for £860. Out of the proceeds of the sale, and borrowed money, new school buildings have been erected in Middlecave Road. The school is carried on by a scheme under the Endowed Schools Acts, and under a further order dated 10 January 1910, as a mixed secondary school, approved and inspected by the Board of Education, with financial aid from the local authorities. Certain rent-charges also constitute the endowment.

A rent-charge of £5 a year issuing out of land in the parish of Rillington in the East Riding is distributed under the name of Spencer's Dole. The annuity is received from Mr. Thomas Collinson and distributed in sums of 3s. to each recipient.

Edward Barton, by will proved at York 15 August 1843, left a legacy, represented by £117 14s. 3d. consols with the official trustees. The annual dividends, amounting to £2 18s. 10d., are in pursuance of the trusts applied in the distribution of money among poor widows of Old and New Malton.

William Charles Copperthwaite, will proved at York 9 May 1890, bequeathed a legacy, represented by £263 2s. 8d. consols with the official trustees, the annual income thereof, amounting to £6 11s. 4d., to be applied under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners 18 December 1903 for the benefit of a poor person, to be chosen annually, who has been not less than ten years a member of the Camulodunum Lodge of Freemasons.

Henry Pickering, by will proved 1894, bequeathed £100, the income to be applied towards current expenses of the Society of Friends.


  • 1. Pop. Ret. 1831, ii.
  • 2. Feet of F. Yorks. 35 Hen. III, no. 2; Trin. 12 Anne; Cal. Pat. 1321–4, p. 331.
  • 3. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 4. Cott. MS. Claud. D xi, fol. 39 d.
  • 5. V.C.H. Yorks. i, 357–414.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 970.
  • 8. Cott. MS. Claud. D xi, fol. 39 d., 43. The priory also obtained the mills of Old Malton and a fishery (Dugdale, Mon. vi, 971); cf. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 201; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxlii, 102; Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 14 Jas. I.
  • 9. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (1), g. 981 (99).
  • 10. Quart. Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), ii, 272.
  • 11. Lawton, Coll. Rer. Eccl. 527.
  • 12. See below, Advowson.
  • 13. Slater, op. cit. 313.
  • 14. The present Braygate Street leads from New Malton to Castle Howard.
  • 15. Cott. MS. Claud. D xi, fol. 48.
  • 16. Leland, Itin. (ed. Hearne), i, 64.
  • 17. P.R.O. List of Sheriffs.
  • 18. Foster, Visit. of Yorks. 612.
  • 19. Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), iii, 222.
  • 20. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cii, 52.
  • 21. Ibid. (Ser. 2), xcv, 58.
  • 22. Ibid. 11 Ric. II, no. 122.
  • 23. Fine R. 19 Eliz. no. 76.
  • 24. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxlii, 102.
  • 25. Feet of F. Yorks. Mich. 2 Chas. I.
  • 26. Cal. Bodl. Chart. 620; cf. Quart. Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), viii, 245.
  • 27. Cart. Antiq. L no. 9; Feet of F. Yorks. 35 Hen. III, no. 2.
  • 28. Cott. MS. Claud. D xi, fol. 46.
  • 29. Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 464.
  • 30. Cott. MS. Claud. D xi, fol. 45.
  • 31. See V.C.H. Yorks. iii, 254. Prior Roger's name occurs in 1517 (Conventual Leases Yorks. no. 452), while the last mention of the name of the previous prior (Richard Heworth) is in 1487 (Test. Ebor. iv, 21).
  • 32. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xv, g. 831, no. 73.
  • 33. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 201.
  • 34. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 970.
  • 35. Cal. of Papal Letters, i, 284, 311.
  • 36. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (2), 671.
  • 37. Ibid. xv, g. 831 (73).
  • 38. Ibid. xvi, p. 719.
  • 39. Ibid. xx (1), g. 465 (39).
  • 40. Lawton, op. cit. 527.
  • 41. Ibid.
  • 42. V.C.H. Yorks. 1, 474.