Parishes: Dalby with Skewsby

A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.

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'Parishes: Dalby with Skewsby', in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, (London, 1923) pp. 125-127. British History Online [accessed 15 April 2024]

In this section


Dawby (xvii cent.); Scoxeby (xi cent.); Scousebi (xiv cent.).

Dalby with Skewsby is a small parish with two hamlets. It covers a little more than 1,000 acres of ground on the lower slopes of the Howardian Hills, east of Brandsby with Stearsby. In the northern half of the parish the ground is well wooded; it slopes down to open pasture and arable land in the south. The soil is sand and clay on a subsoil of Middle Lias, Upper Lias, and Inferior Oolite, and about 480 acres are under cultivation. (fn. 1) The chief crops raised are corn and turnips.

The whole parish lies in the loop formed by two little streams which meet in its south-east corner. One rises in Brandsby, the other in the wood in the north of Dalby parish called Dalby Bush. The first was described by Dodsworth in the 17th century: 'A spring begineth in Brandsby Conywarrand, runneth to Steresby, by Skewsby, by Dalby church to Northinges, then by Tyverington grounds, and so between Moulthorp and Stitnam.' (fn. 2) It thus forms the western and southern boundary of Dalby with Skewsby parish, describing a large curve and then running north to Ings Farm. Here it is joined by Dalby Bush Beck, which forms the boundary on the north and east. The two become a stream which flows south-east under the name of Ings Beck.

The high road from Gilling to Terrington enters the parish in the north-west and runs south-east and then east down to the village under the name of High Lane. It becomes 'the Avenue' as it passes the rectory, the old church of St. Peter, and the Hall standing together on the summit of a 'bank' 350 ft. high. The road then leaves the village, which consists of these buildings only, and runs eastward down a steep hill to the ford across Dalby Bush Beck and so into Terrington parish.

About half a mile to the west of the village a lane branches off from the road and runs down to the hamlet of Skewsby, which consists of a few cottages and a house called Manor House Farm. Another lane leaves this one at a point half-way to Skewsby, and runs eastward in a direction nearly parallel to High Lane, but on much lower ground, to St. Peter's Church.

In the south of the parish in the loop of the stream are Witherholme Hall and the hamlet of Witherholme.


A 'manor' with 3 carucates at DALBY was held before the Conquest by Gamel. (fn. 3) It was given by William the Conqueror to Berengar de Toni, (fn. 4) who in 1086 had already granted it to the Abbot and convent of St. Mary's at York. (fn. 5)

In 1131 Geoffrey, Abbot of St. Mary, with the convent, granted to Hugh de Flamvill to hold of them the vill of St. Mary called Dalby, at an annual rent of 25s. (fn. 6) There was a dispute pending at this date between Hugh and the abbot with regard to 'a part of the land between Scoreby (fn. 7) and Dalby,' and the abbot declared that Hugh 'ought to prove his claim on oath with his twelve men swearing with him.' (fn. 8)

St. Mary's Abbey, York. Argent a cross gules charged with a bezant.

In the middle of the next century Ellis de Flamvill gave to Simon, Abbot of St. Mary, all his tenement in the town of Dalby with the dowry of his mother, (fn. 9) and Imania widow of Alan de Flamvill gave up to the Abbot of St. Mary all her right in the wood of Dalby called Dalby Bush, which she held as her dower. (fn. 10)

The Abbots of St. Mary continued to hold the manor till the dissolution of the monastery in 1540. (fn. 11) In 1301 Alan de Harton was their chief tenant. (fn. 12) Richard III himself, as lord of the duchy of Lancaster, held in farm of the abbot certain lands in the lordship of Dalby, (fn. 13) and in 1524 Geoffrey Procter left to his son Robert all his right and interest in the farmhold of Dalby, which they had of the grant of the Abbot and convent of St. Mary's Abbey in York. (fn. 14)

At the Dissolution a family named Whalley were holding the manor as tenants of the abbot. (fn. 15) They retained it till the reign of Elizabeth, (fn. 16) presumably leasing it from the grantee of the Crown. This was William Lord Eure, who received Dalby 'for his services' in 1545. (fn. 17) The manor then followed the descent (fn. 18) of New Malton (fn. 19) (q.v.) until it came in 1617 into the possession of William fourth Lord Eure, (fn. 20) who sold several of his father's estates to pay his debts. (fn. 21) Dalby was transferred in 1618 to Robert Naunton, chief secretary of state, (fn. 22) who in the next year conveyed it to George Nandyke of Scackleton, Jordan Metham of Wigganthorpe, and Richard Darley of Buttercrambe. (fn. 23) Thomas Nandyke was holding land here in 1629, (fn. 24) but in 1638 the manor was in the possession of Sir Arthur Ingram. (fn. 25) It came shortly afterwards with Huntington (q.v.) into the hands of his son Sir Thomas. (fn. 26) After this no information is forthcoming as to its history till 1798, when Thomas Lumley, clerk, whose family had been for some time presenting to the church, was lord of the manor. (fn. 27) It next appears in 1856 in the possession of Mr. William Ewbank. Before 1890 it was acquired by William Garforth, (fn. 28) with whose other estates it passed to the Hon. William Henry WentworthFitzwilliam, the present lord.

Before the Norman Conquest SKEWSBY was in the hands of Godred, who had two 'manors' there of 8 geld carucates. In 1086 they were in the hands of Robert of Mortain and were waste. (fn. 29)

These manors must have been granted later to the Mowbray family, for the overlordship of both followed the descent of the Mowbrays' manor of Thirsk. (fn. 30)

One of the manors was held at the beginning of the 14th century by John de Thornton (fn. 31) for a quarter of a knight's fee. It must have been granted by him or his heirs (fn. 32) to the de la Rivers of Brandsby. (fn. 33) In 1529 Thomas de la River held the manor, which was settled on his wife Katherine. (fn. 34) It descended with Brandsby and Stearsby Manors to his son and heir Thomas de la River. (fn. 35) In 1557 this Thomas settled Skewsby on his illegitimate daughters Thomasina and Elizabeth, with remainder to the issue of Thomasina, and failing such to Roger and Jane Cholmeley, the heirs of Brandsby. (fn. 36) Thomasina married Richard Cholmeley and had a son Richard, who was her heir. (fn. 37) He quitclaimed the manor in 1611 to John and Margery Cholmeley. (fn. 38) It seems next to have passed to Christopher Ayscough, who charged it in his will of 1626 with annuities for his younger grandsons. (fn. 39) The manor of Skewsby was sequestered in the middle of the 17th century for the delinquency of Christopher's son Alan, whose son Robert compounded for the estate in 1653 as heir of his father and his brother James. (fn. 40) Alan lived, however, till 1672, (fn. 41) and with his sons made a settlement in 1659 (fn. 42) by which John Ayscough, son and heir of Robert, seems to have released his right in Skewsby in return for a sum of money. (fn. 43) Francis Ayscough, third son of Alan, was described as 'of Skewsby-cumDalby' when he was presented for recusancy in 1690. (fn. 44) Thomas, the fourth son, had a son Alan, who was in possession in 1708 (fn. 45) and possibly sold the manor to the 'Mr. Cracroft' who held it nine years later. (fn. 46) John Cracroft and Cecilia his wife conveyed Skewsby in 1718 to John Dyneley, Richard Pyke and others. (fn. 47) No more is heard of the manor, and it was probably absorbed by purchase into the other manor of Skewsby. Both were owned in the 19th century by the lords of the manor of Whenby.

In the reign of Henry III Simon de Stonegrave was holding tenements in Skewsby. (fn. 48) By the marriage of Isabel daughter of John de Stonegrave with Simon de Pateshull they came in 1295 to the latter (fn. 49) and were in the possession of his family during the reign of Edward III. (fn. 50) They were held of Matthew de Louvayn (fn. 51) and included a water-mill worth 20s. (fn. 52); they are described in the 14th century as the 'manor of Skewsby.' (fn. 53) In 1354 they were settled on John Perth and Ellen his wife. (fn. 54)

The water-mill appears later as an appurtenance of the manor held by the Cholmeleys and Ayscoughs till the middle of the 17th century. (fn. 55)

The other manor of Skewsby followed continuously the descent of the manor of Whenby (q.v.). It is not mentioned in Kirkby's Inquest, but in 1301–2 Robert Haget, the lord of the manor of Whenby, was also a tenant in Skewsby. (fn. 56) The manor came later with Whenby into the hands of John Moryn, (fn. 57) from whom it passed by descent to James Radclyffe Earl of Derwentwater, attainted and beheaded for high treason in 1716. (fn. 58) The commissioners for forfeited estates sold Skewsby with Whenby to William Garforth in 1722. (fn. 59) The manor is now owned by the Hon. William Henry Wentworth-Fitzwilliam.

Plan of Dalby Church


The church of ST. PETER consists of a chancel 21½ ft. by 12 ft., nave 30½ ft. by 18½ ft. and south porch. The early 12th-century church consisted of a nave and chancel, much on the present lines, and of these the east, west and south nave walls remain standing. In the 15th century the north nave wall was rebuilt, the western buttresses were added and the west window inserted. During the same century the chancel was entirely rebuilt, the east window being an insertion of the 16th century. The modern work includes the south porch and two windows in the south nave wall.

The chancel is a unique structure in this part of the country. It is apparently entirely of 15thcentury date with side walls some 4 ft. thick supporting a plain pointed barrel vault curved up without a break from the wall faces. The masonry is finely jointed, the stones in the side walls being of unusual massiveness (one on the south is some 8 ft. long), the blocks decreasing regularly in size till the crown of the vault is reached. Externally the walls are finished with an embattled parapet and supported by heavy buttresses, two on each side and two diagonal ones at the eastern angles. The east window, of three lights, is square-headed and from the mouldings is a mid-16th-century insertion. On the south side is a carved shield bearing two keys in saltire, and corresponding to it on the other side is a second with the instruments of the Passion. Some distance above the window is a horizontal drip-stone and under it is a third shield, much defaced, but apparently fretty. In the south chancel wall are two plain square-headed single-light windows. The chancel arch with the adjoining wall is of early 12th-century date. It is a plain round arch, of 5¾ ft. span, with chamfered imposts and plinths, the latter of differing levels on either side.

The south wall of the nave is also of early 12thcentury date, pierced by two modern windows of two lights each. The south door is original, with a round arch and chamfered imposts. To the north of the chancel arch, in the east wall, is a pointed niche. The north wall is mainly 15th-century work with a blocked door of that date towards the western end. Fifteenth-century diagonal buttresses support the early west wall, in the centre of which is a two-light 15thcentury window. The nave roof retains its original oak tie-beams.

The font has a massive bowl, almost hemispherical in form and without ornament, standing on a modern base. On the south nave wall is a curious mural tablet, with Corinthian side shafts and cleft pediment, inscribed '1675 Alans Ascough Aa uxor obiit uterque mense Jañ 1672 año conjugii 63 aetat vero 85 quoru. anb' ppitietur Deus.' Above is a shield of Ayscough of Skewsby impaling Gules a cheveron sable with three crosses crosslet fitchée or thereon for Brathwayt of Burneshead with a crescent or for difference. (fn. 60)

On the west gable is a restored bellcote containing two bells, the larger inscribed 'Gloria in altissimis Deo 1694' and the smaller (of mediaeval date) 'Campana Sancti Petri.'

The plate consists of a paten of 1694 (London), inscribed 'F.L.,' a cup inscribed 'R.B. and A.O., 1720,' probably the date of its repair, the cup being much earlier, and a jug-shaped flagon, the gift of Mrs. Ann Leybourne, 1821.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) mixed entries 1656 to 1812; (ii) marriages 1755 to 1812.


The right of presentation to the church of Dalby was held of the Abbot of St. Mary of York during the 12th and 13th centuries by the Flamvill family. In 1232 there was a dispute between the abbot and Maud de Flamvill, both claiming the right of patronage as guardians of the lands and heir of Alan de Flamvill. The nominee of the abbot was finally installed by the Archbishop of York with the consent of both parties. (fn. 61)

The advowson was quitclaimed back to the abbot along with the manor by Ellis de Flamvill, (fn. 62) and the abbots continued to present till the Dissolution in 1540, (fn. 63) when the right reverted to the Crown. (fn. 64) It was probably leased to various persons. In 1631, 1633 and 1640 Richard Darley (fn. 65) presented for one turn. (fn. 66) In 1686 and 1692 (fn. 67) Thomas Lumley presented, and members of the Lumley family continued to exercise the patronage of the rectory till the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 68) In 1831 Mrs. Leybourne presented (fn. 69); she was probably one of the daughters of the Rev. B. Lumley who are mentioned as patrons in 1842. (fn. 70) In 1849 William Gray, junior, was the patron, (fn. 71) and in 1857 Mr. John Stephen Hall, who was the rector. The living was in the gift of Matthew Barrow Hall in 1879, of John Walker in 1890 and 1905; at the present day the advowson is in the hands of the executors of the latter. (fn. 72)


William Spink, by will dated 19 February 1686, bequeathed (inter alia) out of his estates in Ripon £3 a year to the poor of Dalby and Skewsby for ever, and a further sum of £1 yearly to the minister of the church of Dalby. By a deed of covenant, dated 19 February 1686, the annuity for the minister was specifically charged upon a close called Turnstile, £2 upon a close called Little Bridge Ing and £1 upon a close called Cowgate Hill. The annuities are regularly paid.

Bolton's Charity.—There is an ancient annual rent-charge of 10s. made to the poor out of a small farm in the parish, part of the Wigganthorpe estate. A sum of £10 a year is also paid out of the same estate in respect of a legacy bequeathed by the will of Ann Leybourne (1827) and distributed in coals among the poor of the respective townships.

Sarah Kirk Langdon, by her will proved 1826, bequeathed £333 6s. 8d. consols, the dividends to be applied in the distribution of flour to the poor. The dividends, amounting to £8 6s. 8d., are applied in accordance with the trusts.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. Dodsworth, Church Notes (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), 180. For mills in this parish see V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 242; Dugdale, Mon. iii, 533; Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 16 Jas. I.
  • 3. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 242.
  • 4. Ibid.; Ellis, Landholders of Yorks. pt. i, 24.
  • 5. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 242; Cal. Chart. R. 1300–26, p. 113.
  • 6. MSS. of F. Bacon Frank, xxiii, K 4, fol. 93.
  • 7. Probably Skewsby.
  • 8. MSS. of F. Bacon Frank, xxiii, K 4, fol. 93.
  • 9. Ibid.; Drake, Ebor. 611.
  • 10. Drake, Ebor. 612.
  • 11. Dugdale, Mon. iii, 572.
  • 12. Lay Subs. R. 30 Edw. I (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), 113.
  • 13. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xx, p. 65.
  • 14. Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), v, 184.
  • 15. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. xxvi, m. 33.
  • 16. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 212, no. 198; bdle. 213, no. 248; Var. Coll. (Hist. MSS. Com.), ii, 105.
  • 17. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. xxvi, m. 33; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xx (1), p. 58.
  • 18. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lxxxvi, 44.
  • 19. V.C.H. Yorks. N. R. i, 533.
  • 20. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccclxviii, 116.
  • 21. cf. Salton (V.C.H. Yorks. N. R. i, 552).
  • 22. Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 16 Jas. I.
  • 23. Com. Pleas D. Enr. East. 17 Jas. I, m. 19; Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 17 Jas. I.
  • 24. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 215, no. 403.
  • 25. Feet of F. Yorks. East. 14 Chas. I.
  • 26. Recov. R. Mich. 16 Chas. I, rot. 34.
  • 27. Recov. R. Mich. 39 Geo. III, rot. 211.
  • 28. Bulmer, N. Yorks. 684. See Wigganthorpe in Terrington parish below.
  • 29. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 222.
  • 30. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 211, no. 69; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cxlii, 119.
  • 31. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 381.
  • 32. cf. Sutton-on-the-Forest.
  • 33. Lay Subs. R. bdle. 211, no. 69.
  • 34. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xlix, 56. He was said to hold of the heirs of John de Thornton.
  • 35. Ibid.; Feet of F. Yorks. East. 3 & 4 Phil. and Mary.
  • 36. Feet of F. Yorks. East. 3 & 4 Phil. and Mary.
  • 37. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxv, 79.
  • 38. Feet of F. Yorks Trin. 9 Jas. I.
  • 39. Dugdale, Visit. of Yorks. (Surt. Soc.), 342; Cal. Com. for Comp. 2719.
  • 40. Cal. Com. for Comp. 2719.
  • 41. See below, Church; Surtees, Durham, iii, 227.
  • 42. Recov. R. Hil. 1659, rot. 26.
  • 43. Dugdale, op. cit. 344.
  • 44. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. ix, App. i, 335a.
  • 45. Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 1 Anne; Recov. R. Trin. 7 Anne, rot. 84.
  • 46. Quart. Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), viii, 159.
  • 47. Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 4 Geo. I; Recov. R. Trin. 4 Geo. I, rot. 256.
  • 48. Feet of F. Yorks. 36 Hen. III, no. 154.
  • 49. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), iii, 9.
  • 50. Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 7 Edw. III, no. 27.
  • 51. Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), iii, 9.
  • 52. Ibid.
  • 53. Feet of F. Yorks. 28 Edw. III, no. 37.
  • 54. Ibid.
  • 55. Ibid. Trin. 9 Jas. I; Trin. 1659; Recov. R. Hil. 1659, rot. 26; Hil. 13 Chas. II, rot. 2.
  • 56. Lay Subs. R. 30 Edw. I (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), 72.
  • 57. For descent see Whenby.
  • 58. Fine R. 11 Eliz. no. 25; Wrottesley, Ped. from Plea R. 301; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cxlii, 119; Cal. Com. for Comp. 2590; G.E.C. Peerage, iii, 78; see Whenby.
  • 59. Close, 9 Geo. I, pt. xvii, m. 50; Recov. R. Hil. 18 Geo. III, m. 212.
  • 60. Dugdale, Visit. of Yorks. (ed. Clay), ii, 376. Alan Ayscough married Anne daughter of Thomas Brathwayt of Burneshead (Burneside), co. Westmorland.
  • 61. Archbp. Gray's Reg. (Surt. Soc.), 55.
  • 62. MSS. of F. Bacon Frank, xxiii, K 4, fol. 93.
  • 63. Stevens, Continuation of Dugdale's Mon. i, 51.
  • 64. Ibid.
  • 65. He was one of the three persons to whom the manor was conveyed in 1619, but the advowson is not mentioned in the conveyance.
  • 66. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 67. Ibid.
  • 68. Bacon, Liber Reg. 1118; Carlisle, Topog. Dict.
  • 69. Allen, Yorks. iii, 485.
  • 70. Lawton, Coll. Rer. Eccl. 433.
  • 71. Lewis, Topog. Dict.
  • 72. Clergy List, 1913.