Parishes: Easingwold

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

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'Parishes: Easingwold', A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, (London, 1923), pp. 128-134. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Parishes: Easingwold", in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, (London, 1923) 128-134. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Parishes: Easingwold", A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, (London, 1923). 128-134. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section


Eisicewalt, Eisinceuuald (xi cent.); Hesingwald (xii cent.); Esingewald, Easingwaud (xiii cent.); Esyngwold, Easingwould (xvi cent.).

The parish of Easingwold is beautifully situated in the Vale of York and extends into the ancient forest of Galtres. It originally included the chapelry of Raskelf, which was constituted a separate ecclesiastical parish between 1881 and 1891. The soil of this district is light sand or clay, on a subsoil of Upper, Middle and Lower Lias and alluvium. The elevation is low, seldom reaching more than 100 ft. above ordnance datum, but is undulating in parts and in a high state of cultivation.

The present parish of Easingwold covers an area of nearly 6,997 acres, of which 3,593 are arable, 2,424 permanent grass and 134 woods and plantations. (fn. 1) Easingwold is connected with Alne on the main line of the North Eastern railway by a light railway opened in 1891.

Easingwold is a small market town, (fn. 2) and was one of the three towns where the swainmote courts for the forest of Galtres were held. (fn. 3) It is well built and open, several of the streets, such as Long Street and Uppleby, being of unusual width and planted with trees. The market-place has a modern red brick town hall in the centre, built by a company in 1864 and having accommodation for 600 persons. There is also in the market-place a modern stone cross with a square wooden roof. The pedestal of the ancient cross formerly stood on the site. (fn. 4) The ducking-stool stood on the north and the stocks on the north-east. (fn. 5) On the north side is a good early 18th-century house with a deep wooden eaves cornice and flush window frames. Near it are other 18thcentury houses fronting the square. In Long Street is the modern Roman Catholic chapel of St. John the Evangelist, opened in 1833. It is five bays long in the style of 13th-century Gothic, with lancet windows and a western bellcote. Near it is a good black and white cottage, three bays long and with brick filling to the ground floor. Several other half-timber cottages, one thatched, remain in the High Street, and another retains an old oak beam inscribed 'God with us 1664,' but the great majority of the houses are quite modern buildings of brick.

The church of All Saints and St. John the Baptist and the vicarage are in the north part of the town. The old rectory-house or manor-house of the Archdeacons of Richmond known as Easingwold Hall stood at the foot of a hill to the east of the church. In the time of Edward I there were here a manorhouse and divers offices with 4 oxgangs of arable in demesne; later archdeacons allowed it to fall into disrepair, and at the beginning of the 14th century the buildings were ruinous. There was evidently at this later date great friction between the tenants of the rectory manor and the men of Easingwold on the one side and the forest officials on the other. One complaint was that when Adam Ballaster was beheaded the men of the vill made the tenants 'do geld' with them, 'and thus are these tenants impoverished and destroyed so that they can scarce live for want of defence by the Lord Archdeacon.' (fn. 6) The rectory manor-house was pulled down in the beginning of the 19th century; its site is now occupied by a farm. The only remains are the garden walls, the fish-ponds and a few very old Weymouth pines. Over 300 years ago the hall was surrounded by these trees, the approach to it being through a long winding avenue. The house itself was of irregular shape, having several wings supported by buttresses and surrounded by a parapet. On the principal gateway were two lions couchant, and the front door opened into a large and spacious hall, the dining room, panelled with black oak, occupying the whole of the south wing. (fn. 7)

The Galtres is the residence of Mr. F. J. Haxby Robinson, Hawkhills that of Mr. Joseph H. Love, and Burn Hall of Mrs. William Benson Richardson.

There is a Secondary School for boys under the county council rebuilt in 1911, and three elementary schools, a Church of England, a Wesleyan and a Roman Catholic. There is a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1815, and a Primitive Methodist chapel built in 1840.

The Victoria Institute was erected in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Cottage Hospital was built by Mrs. Love of Hawkhills in 1893.

Remains of a Roman villa and a tessellated pavement, now in the York Museum, were found near the town in 1854.

The best known of the chalybeate springs near Easingwold are Spring Head Well and a medicinal spring in a field near the fish-pond said to resemble the Cheltenham waters. Spa Well, which is chalybeate and sulphurous, is about half a mile to the west of the town. A small vein of bitumen or vegetable jet was discovered in October 1851 while a well was being sunk near the church.

The modern parish of Raskelf lies to the northwest of Easingwold and comprises a little over 4,281 acres, of which more than half is arable land, and rather less than one-third is pasture; there are 83 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 8) The small River Kyle flows through the parish from north to south. The village is built on cross roads and lies in the centre of the township north of the site of Raskelf Hall. There is a station about half a mile south of the village on the main line of the North Eastern railway. Boscar Grange, north-east of Raskelf village, is doubtless to be identified with the Baskaa (Balschagh) Grange granted to Byland Abbey (fn. 9) by Bertram de Bulmer and confirmed by his descendants the Nevill family. The Boscar estate belonged in 1852 to the see of York. (fn. 10) Spring House is a large farm over a mile south of Raskelf village, occupied by Mr. Thomas Daniel. In a field near it is a very fine old oak, one of the few survivors of Galtres Forest. Among the possessions of Sir Thomas Webb in 1746 was a cottage in Raskelf let to the parish overseers, who had converted it into a school for the benefit of the whole parish. (fn. 11) There is now a public elementary school, erected in 1856. A Wesleyan chapel was opened at Raskelf in 1894.

An Inclosure Act for Easingwold was passed in 1808 and one for Raskelf in 1834. (fn. 12)

Among old place-names are land called 'Westbek,' (fn. 13) a meadow called 'Paytfinclose,' (fn. 14) another called Pyllemore Close, (fn. 15) a wood called 'Lanage Wale' and a meadow called 'Halleker' in Raskelf. (fn. 16)

Paulinus, who was Archbishop or Bishop of York in the early 7th century, is supposed to have preached at Easingwold, (fn. 17) and the tradition is strengthened by the mention of the 'meadow of Paulinus' and the 'cross of Paulinus' in the immediate neighbourhood in the reign of Edward I. (fn. 18)

Frederick Apthorp Paley, the distinguished classical scholar, was the son of a rector of Easingwold, where he was born in 1815. (fn. 19)

Brick making is carried on in both parishes.

Earls of Lancaster. ENGLAND differenced with a label of FRANCE.


In the reign of Edward the Confessor the 'manor' of EASINGWOLD was held by Earl Morcar, and had even at that period a certain importance, being valued at £32. In 1086 it was held by the king and was assessed at 12 carucates. (fn. 20) Soke of the 'manor' lay in Huby, Moxby, Murton, Thorp, Sutton, Kelset Grange, Cold Kirby, Thormanby, Sand Hutton and Sowerby. By 1086 the value of the 'manor' had fallen to 20s. (fn. 21) Easingwold continued in the hands of the Crown until 1219, (fn. 22) when it was granted by Henry III to Robert, sometime Abbot of Tournay, to be held by him until his promotion (fn. 23) to a bishopric. A grant at fee farm was made to Henry de Helyon in 1230. (fn. 24)

In 1259 King Henry granted the manor to Simon de Montfort Earl of Leicester, (fn. 25) who had married Eleanor, the king's sister. Shortly after the death of Simon at the battle of Evesham in 1265 the manor was granted by King Henry to his youngest son Edmund first Earl of Lancaster, (fn. 26) who mortgaged it in 1271 to Sir John de Oketon, kt. (fn. 27) In 1296 Edmund died seised of this manor, (fn. 28) which passed to his son Thomas second Earl of Lancaster, (fn. 29) executed in 1322. By 1327 the estate had come into the possession of Henry third Earl of Lancaster, the younger brother and heir of Thomas. (fn. 30) Henry died in 1345, leaving a son Henry, created Duke of Lancaster in 1351. This Henry died without male issue in 1361; the moiety (and in the following year the entirety) of his estates descended to his daughter Blanche, who at the age of twelve had married John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III. John of Gaunt was created Duke of Lancaster in 1362, and became seised of the Lancastrian estates, including the manor of Easingwold. (fn. 31) Although Blanche left a son and heir Henry, afterwards Duke of Lancaster, who ascended the throne as Henry IV in 1399, the manor of Easingwold was bequeathed by John of Gaunt to his daughter Joan by his third wife Katherine Swinford, to be held by her as parcel of the duchy of Lancaster, (fn. 32) which merged in the Crown on the accession of Henry IV. Joan became the second wife of Ralph Nevill, first Earl of Westmorland, who with his wife held the manor. He died in 1425, (fn. 33) and was survived by Joan, who died seised in 1440. (fn. 34) In the same year the king granted the manor to their son Richard Earl of Salisbury for twenty years. (fn. 35)

Beaufort. FRANCE quartered with ENGLAND in a border gobony argent and azure.

Nevill, Earl of Westmorland. Gules a saltire argent.

Nevill, Earl of Salisbury. Gules a saltire argent with a label gobony argent and azure.

Easingwold remained a royal manor (fn. 36) until the reign of James I, who granted it in 1616 to his son Charles, Prince of Wales, to be held by fealty in free and common socage. (fn. 37) Charles continued to hold the manor after his accession, and in 1628 granted it to Edward Ditchfield and others, trustees for the City of London. (fn. 38) In the following year he repudiated the grant on the ground that the manor was within the forest of Galtres, which had been sold to Sir Allen Apsley. The conveyance of Easingwold already made by the city to George Clay and William Driffield was declared null and void, and the trustees were ordered to assure the manor to Sir Allen Apsley. (fn. 39) In 1633, however, Easingwold was said to have been lately purchased by the tenants of the manor, who had nominated Thomas Lord Fauconberg as their representative for the allotment of forest lands. (fn. 40) Lord Fauconberg was said to be seised of the 'royalties' of Easingwold during the Commonwealth, (fn. 41) and his descendants have since been regarded as lords of the manor, which has followed the descent of Coxwold (q.v.). Sir George Orby Wombwell, bart., is the present lord.

Charles, Prince of Wales. FRANCE and ENGLAND quartered with SCOTLAND and IRELAND and differenced with a label argent.

City of London. Argent a cross gules with the sword of St. Paul gules set upright in the quarter.

In 1221 the men of Easingwold owed a palfrey for having a market every Saturday in the manor of Easingwold until the king's majority. (fn. 42) In 1291 Edmund, the king's brother, obtained a yearly fair at his manor of Easingwold on the vigil and the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary. (fn. 43) Charles I granted to George Hall and his heirs in 1639 (fn. 44) a weekly market on Fridays and two annual fairs, one on the feast of St. John the Baptist and the other on the Invention of the Holy Cross, and also a market for animals on Friday in each alternate week from the feast of St. Matthew until the feast of St. Thomas. The owners of the market in 1887 were Jane Haxby, Mary Skaife, Hannah Smith, Charles Johnson, William Leadley, Thomas Jones and John Rookledge. (fn. 45) Mr. F. J. Haxby Robinson and others are now the proprietors of the market tolls. The market day is still Friday, but the fair which was held on 5 July in 1792 (fn. 46) is no longer in existence.

Mention of a free fishery in Easingwold occurs in several documents of the 18th century. (fn. 47)

The RECTORY MANOR possibly originated in the endowment of assarted land made to the church by King Stephen, (fn. 48) and may have been enlarged by additional grants of parts of the Crown manor during succeeding reigns. In the reign of Edward I the Archdeacons of Richmond held the rectory manor, (fn. 49) and it is probable that it had then been in their possession for a considerable time.

Bishopric of Chester. Gules three mitres with their labels or.

In 1541 Henry VIII transferred the archdeaconry of Richmond from the see of York to the see of Chester. (fn. 50) The Bishops of Chester then became lords of this manor. (fn. 51) In 1651 it was conveyed by the Parliamentary commissioners for the sale of church lands to Christopher Driffield and George Potts, and mention occurs in the same record of its having been demised in 1620 by the late Bishop of Chester to William Driffield on a lease for certain lives. (fn. 52) In 1655 the archdeacon's house with 2 oxgangs of land belonging to the messuage was conveyed by the commissioners to George Potts, his heirs and assigns. (fn. 53) At the Restoration the manor reverted to the see, which retained it until 1860, when it became vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 54)

In 1688 it was held on lease by Thomas Raynes, Mayor of York, who granted it on sub-leases for short periods. (fn. 55) In 1704 or 1705 William Salvin of Newbiggin Hall married Anne niece of Thomas Raynes, thus becoming lessee of the rectory manor and its appendages in Easingwold. Thomas Salvin, only son and heir of Thomas Salvin, deceased, appears among the parties to an indenture concerning the rectory and manor in 1790. (fn. 56) His daughter Mary married Peter Bell, who made a lease of lands here, apparently including the manor-house, to Sir William Vavasour. (fn. 57)

In the time of Edward the Confessor a 'manor' and 8 carucates at RASKELF (Raschel, xi cent.; Raskell, Raskyll, Raskells, xv cent.; Rascall, xvi cent.) were held by Cnut, but in 1086 these were returned as land of the king. (fn. 58) They afterwards formed part of the fee of Bulmer, (fn. 59) and the manor followed the descent of that of Sheriff Hutton (fn. 60) (q.v.), coming into the hands of the Crown in 1471. Various leases of the manor were made by Henry VIII and Elizabeth. (fn. 61) Robert Earl of Leicester, the tenant in 1569, (fn. 62) seems to have had a grant in fee from Elizabeth and to have regranted the manor to her in exchange for other lands. (fn. 63) After his death in 1588 (fn. 64) Raskelf was again leased for short periods, and towards the latter part of Elizabeth's reign the manorhouse with part at least of the adjoining lands was in the possession of William Lawson of Cramlington (fn. 65) (co. Northumb.). Mary Lawson, the daughter and heir of William, married Ralph Tancred, (fn. 66) who on his death in 1602 held the mansion - house and lands, which in 1592 had been settled on him and Mary his wife, and then on his fourth son Richard and his heirs male, with remainder in default to the right heirs of Ralph. (fn. 67) The Tancreds possessed large estates in this neighbourhood, and their mansion in Raskelf was known by the name of Tancred Hall. A well there still bears the name of Tancred's Well. (fn. 68)

Tancred. Argent a cheveron between three scallops gules with three rings argent upon the cheveron.

In 1604 James I granted the manor of Raskelf to Sir James Hay and Honor Denny his wife and their heirs. (fn. 69) James Hay was created Earl of Carlisle in 1622 (fn. 70) and died seised of the manor of Raskelf in 1636, when it devolved on his son and heir James second Earl of Carlisle. (fn. 71) In 1650–1 the manor was sold by the earl to John Lord Belasyse of Worlaby (fn. 72) (co. Linc.), second son of Thomas first Viscount Fauconberg, created Baron Belasyse of Worlaby in 1645. Lord Belasyse was married three times and died in 1689, his only son by his first marriage, Sir Henry Belasyse, K.B., having predeceased him in 1668, leaving a son Henry, second baron, who died without issue in 1691, when the barony became extinct. (fn. 73) By his third marriage with Anne daughter of John fifth Marquess of Winchester the first Lord Belasyse left four daughters, among whom the manor of Raskelf was divided. (fn. 74) They were: Honora wife of George Lord Abergavenny, Barbara wife of Sir John Webb of Odstock (co. Wilts.), Katherine, who married John Talbot of Longford (co. Salop), and Isabella wife of Thomas Stonor of Stonor (co. Oxon.). (fn. 75)

Webb of Odstock, baronet. Gules a cross between four falcons or.

Honora, Katherine and Isabella all died without issue and Barbara Lady Webb became the sole heiress of her father's estates. She and her husband appear to have settled the manor on John Webb, their son. (fn. 76) John Webb died without heirs in 1745 in the lifetime of his father, who, however, only survived him a few months, dying in October 1745. (fn. 77) The manor then passed to Thomas, the younger and next surviving brother of John, who succeeded as fourth baronet and held the manor until his death in 1763, when it passed to his eldest son Sir John Webb of Odstock, fifth baronet. (fn. 78) This Sir John Webb, one of the greatest landowners in England, married Mary the eldest daughter of Thomas Salvin of Easingwold, but had no legitimate male issue, and being displeased with the marriage of his only brother Joseph Webb of Welford (co. Northampton) he cut the entail of the family estates. Sir John Webb had a number of illegitimate children, and though he bequeathed the more important of his possessions to his only legitimate daughter Barbara, afterwards Countess of Shaftesbury, he devised Raskelf Manor and his other Yorkshire estates to a natural son, James Webb. (fn. 79) James Webb dealt with Raskelf Manor by fine in 1818. (fn. 80) He died unmarried, and the manor descended to his nephew Colonel William Frederick Webb, D.L., of Newstead Abbey, Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1865, eldest son of Frederick Webb. (fn. 81) Colonel William Frederick Webb was lord of Raskelf Manor in 1872, and between this date and 1879 he sold it to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the present lords of Raskelf, who in the latter year assigned about 3,000 acres to the see of Chester. (fn. 82)

In 1331 Ralph de Nevill and his heirs obtained a grant of free warren in their demesne lands of Raskelf. (fn. 83) About the year 1388 his grandson Ralph de Nevill obtained licence to inclose his wood in Raskelf called Raskelfwode, and to make thereof a park and three deer-leaps (saltatoria) adjoining the same park, the height of each deer-leap to be 100 ft. (fn. 84) Herbage of the park is mentioned among the appurtenances of the manor in 1590. (fn. 85)

The FOREST OF GALTRES extended into Easingwold and is frequently mentioned in connexion with the parish. In 1217 Henry III granted a hunting lodge in Easingwold belonging to the forest to John Marshall, (fn. 86) and in 1230 Henry de Helyon received a grant of 300 acres of wood near the manor which were to continue part of the forest. (fn. 87) Numerous purprestures were from time to time made in the forest. In the reign of Edward I the men of Easingwold held a purpresture of 14½ acres made in the time of Robert de Roos, for which they paid yearly 7s. 3d. (fn. 88) This Robert was a descendant of Everard de Roos, who is frequently mentioned as the owner of a purpresture in records of the reign of Henry II. (fn. 89)

William Paytfyn held a purpresture in Easingwold consisting of 10 acres called 'Paytfinclos,' near the Cross of Paulinus and worth 4s. yearly. This land was inclosed from the king's manor during the reign of Edward I. (fn. 90) From William it evidently descended to Richard Paytfyn and was from him acquired in fee by Hugh Gryvel. The next owner was Thomas de Berewyk, who in 1345 obtained licence to enfeoff Sir Thomas Ughtred, kt. (fn. 91)

Robert de Nevill held a purpresture in Raskelf in the reign of Edward I, (fn. 92) probably to be identified with that held by his ancestor Bertram de Bulmer in the reign of Henry II. (fn. 93)

Galtres was disafforested in 1630 and lands were assigned in lieu of common to fifteen townships including Easingwold. (fn. 94)


The church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST stands on an eminence on the north side of the town and consists of a chancel 37 ft. by 19¾ ft., nave with north and south aisles 70 ft. by 43 ft., west tower, north vestry and south porch. The total length is 126½ ft., all measurements being internal.

The north door is evidence of the existence of a church here in the 13th century, but it is not now in situ, and with the possible exception of the west end the church appears to have been completely rebuilt in the 15th century. A western tower was probably then contemplated, but not actually built until the beginning of the next century, when the present structure was erected against the old west wall. A large arch was left in the west tower wall, it being evidently intended to remove the old west window and door to that position. This, however, was never done, and the arch was filled in and a window inserted in the 17th century. In 1667 the chancel roof was reconstructed, only to be again renewed in modern times. Other modern alterations include a new vestry on the north side of the chancel and a south porch to the nave.

The chancel has a debased Gothic three-light pointed window, probably of 17th-century date and having 'decorated' tracery. In the south wall are three uniform square-headed two-light windows of the 15th century, and between the second and third is a pointed priest's door. In the same wall is an aumbry. The modern roof retains one old beam dated 1667. It was formerly low pitched, and down to some fifty years ago was ceiled below the tie-beams, as was also the roof of the nave. The plain 15th-century chancel arch dies into the side walls without responds. Adjoining the chancel on the north-east is a 15thcentury vestry with a modern building between it and the north nave aisle. The nave is five bays long with pointed arches resting on octagonal columns with moulded capitals. The arcades have no responds, the arches dying into the walls at either end. The clearstory is pierced by one small two-light squareheaded window over the centre of each arch. The stone lintel of one of these on the north side is a floreated cross slab. The nave roof is low pitched with heavy tie-beams and short king-posts and an embattled cornice against the walls. All the aisle windows are uniform and similar to those in the chancel. They are of two-lights, square-headed and of 15th-century date. The north door, known as the 'Raskelfe door,' is a relic of the 13th-century church, reset in its present position in the 15th century. The aisles have the original pent roofs. The west front still retains its buttresses and west window as before the erection of the tower outside it. The west window still remaining in this wall is of three lights and apparently of 14th-century date with a pointed traceried head. Below it is the original west door. The west tower, three stages high, was built against the west end with a straight joint, probably in the early 16th century. In the west face of the ground stage is a lofty pointed arch, now filled in with a small three-light window and door of the 17th century. The tower is supported by diagonal buttresses of five offsets at the western angles and is finished with an embattled parapet.

The fittings of the church include an early 17thcentury communion table with 'gouty' legs and a curious 'parish coffin' preserved in the tower, and formerly used to convey bodies to the graveside, the interment being in a shroud only. The font has an octagonal bowl, recut, and a circular moulded stem, and probably dates from the 13th century. Externally the church is ashlar faced without parapets, the roofs being lead covered. The south porch is modern, and both aisles and chancel have diagonal buttresses with gabled heads.

The bell-chamber has a square-headed two-light window in each face and contains six bells, all cast by Dalton of York in 1788 except the fourth, which is dated 1887.

The plate consists of two large cups (York, 1782), both inscribed 'I.H.S. Sursum corda,' a paten (London, 1715), inscribed 'Deo sacrum et ecclesiae Sti. Johannis Baptistae de Easingwould I.H.S.' and dated 1719, a small cup (York, 1795) given by Miss Margaret Whytehead in 1812, two small patens given respectively in 1878 and 1880, a plated flagon, and small plated cup.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) mixed entries 1599 to 1703; (ii) mixed entries 1704 to 1762; (iii) marriages 1754 to 1812; (iv) baptisms and burials 1763 to 1780; (v) baptisms and burials 1780 to 1812.

The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN at Raskelf consists of a chancel 24 ft. by 17 ft., with north chapel, making a total width of 27 ft., nave 27½ ft. by 19 ft., with north and south aisles and timber tower at the west end.

At the end of the 12th century the church consisted of a chancel and a nave with north aisle, and of this the north arcade and perhaps the west wall remain. The chancel was probably rebuilt in the 14th and the north aisle in the succeeding century and the timber belfry and north chapel were added at a rather later period. The church was drastically restored and largely rebuilt in 1879, when the south nave aisle was added. The chancel has a three-light east window with modern 'decorated' tracery. In the north wall are two timber arches opening into the north chapel. They are formed of three uprights supporting a plate, the centre one having a moulded capital from which spring curved struts forming the sides of the two arches. On the capital is a shield carved with the Nevill saltire. In the south wall are two two-light modern windows in the 'decorated' style and a plain piscina. The timber chancel arch is also modern. The north chapel has a modern three-light east window of 15th-century character and a modern single-light opening in the north wall.

The north arcade of the nave dates from the end of the 12th century and consists of two pointed arches springing from a cylindrical pier and half-round responds. All have square abaci and moulded bases with spur ornament, and the capital of the centre pier has volutes at the angles. The south arcade and aisle are entirely modern, and the north aisle has been rebuilt with 15th-century windows. In the main west wall is an ancient window, now filled with modern tracery and opening into the tower. The nave roofs are all modern.

The communion rails have turned balusters of the early 17th century, and in the chancel are some old benches with rudely carved poppy-heads. In the chancel windows are a number of coats of arms in old stained glass. In the east window is Scrope with a label of five points, Dacre and Greystock. In the eastern window on the south side is a shield—'Plumté or and purpure'—a coat assigned to Mydlam in Coverdale. In the east window of the north chapel are the arms of Percy, Nevill and Nevill with a golden label.

The circular moulded font dates from the late 12th century and is surmounted by a 17th-century wooden cover.

The wooden belfry at the west end was built against the old west wall, probably late in the 15th century. It is supported on four massive angle posts inclining inwards, and most of the timbering in the upper part is original. The ground stage, though now closed in, was formerly open to give light to the west window. It contains three bells, the tenor being mediaeval and inscribed in Lombardic capitals 'Sancte Jacobe ora pro nobis'; the second, which is cracked, bears the inscription 'Remember thy end and flie prid 1593 R.W. God save this NAVEL AH'; and the third 'Soli deo gloria pax hominibus AS et WC 1653.'

The plate includes only one ancient piece, the rest being modern electro-plate. It is a cup inscribed 'St. Marys Raskelfe 1718' without hall mark.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms and burials 1747 to 1792, marriages 1747 to 1754; (ii) marriages 1754 to 1812. The baptisms and burials from 1792 to 1812 are apparently lost.


There was a church with a priest at Easingwold at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 95) and the advowson appears to have continued with the Crown until at least the reign of Stephen, who presented to the living, granting the church, with its lands and tithes and other appurtenances, to Master Mainard, chaplain, who was to possess it in peace as the chaplain of the king. (fn. 96) Stephen also gave to the church 12 acres of assarts quit of all secular exactions. (fn. 97) The Crown presented in 1266. (fn. 98) Before 1269 the church of Easingwold was given to the archdeaconry of Richmond, (fn. 99) and a vicarage was ordained about 1293, (fn. 100) the archdeacons remaining the patrons until the Dissolution. In 1541 the archdeaconry of Richmond was annexed to the see of Chester, (fn. 101) and from that date to the present time the Bishops of Chester have been the patrons of Easingwold Church. (fn. 102)

The church of Raskelf was originally a chapel dependent on the parish church of Easingwold. In 1541 the chapel or chantry of Raskelf was granted with Easingwold and other churches to the Bishop of Chester, (fn. 103) and his successors presented the vicar of Easingwold, who found a curate for Raskelf. It is stated by Gill that as late as 1770 the Rev. J. Armitstead was licensed to the cure of Raskelf on his own petition, 'being patron thereof in full right by reason of his vicarage of Easingwold.' Since his death in 1812 the right of presentation has been claimed and exercised by the Bishops of Chester. (fn. 104)

The living of Raskelf was formerly a perpetual curacy, (fn. 105) but is now styled a vicarage under the Act of 1868. (fn. 106)


Parochial Charities.—Under the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1894, the following charities for the benefit of the poor, irrespective of creed, are administered by four trustees appointed by the parish council in the place of the churchwardens and overseers, in some cases jointly with the vicar, viz.:

Charity of the Rev. Ralph Stringer, will, 1599, formerly consisting of a house called Fossbridge House, now four cottages in Long Street, occupied by four persons;

The Rev. George Wilson's charity, will, 1666, 5 acres of land let at £5 10s., one moiety for inmates of the said alms cottages, the other moiety for the poor generally;

John Foster's charity, will, 1640, annuity of 10s., part of an annuity of £8, out of land situated at High Thorne in the hamlet of Husthwaite, claimed to be a voluntary payment;

Francis Driffield's charity, will, 1676, one moiety of the rent of 12 acres, known as Blakeswell Closes, let at £12 a year for apprenticing. For the other moiety see under ecclesiastical charities below;

Alice Smith's charity, will, 1698, annuity of 40s. payable out of Thinklane Closes for apprenticing;

Poor's estates, consisting of two closes known as the Toft Ings, containing 7 acres purchased in 1712 and 1713 with a fund then existing, including J. Berryman's charity (1691), Richard Driffield's (1712), Andrew Wilson's and John Lindsley's bequests, and a close in the Craike Field of 4 acres allotted on the inclosure of the common fields, producing £13 10s. a year;

Nathaniel Wilson's charity, will, 1726, annuity of 20s. for poor, and of 10s. for sermon;

Thomas Wray's charity, will, 1738, formerly £20 invested on turnpike security, now £6 5s. consols, income for poor widows;

William Hitchin alias Kitchin's charity, will, 1761, annuity of 10s. payable out of the Tofts in Church Field, for teaching a poor boy;

William Driffield's charity, will, 1788, £50 18s. 11d. consols, interest for teaching four poor children;

Thomas Raine's charity, annuity of £2 a year, payable out of School Close, for educational purposes;

John Raper's charity for the poor, will, 1798, £66 13s. 4d. consols, dividends for poor housekeepers; see also ecclesiastical charities below;

Martha Atkinson's charity, will, 1852, £20 5s. 8d. consols, income for the poor;

The Rev. William Comber, will, 1807, £52 10s. consols, income for widows and poor housekeepers.

The Victoria Buildings, erected on the site of an old almshouse known as the Spring Head Almshouses (deed, 1769), are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners whereby the parish council were appointed trustees.

In 1905 the sum of £10 was applied in apprenticing in respect of Francis Driffield and Alice Smith's charities, £2 15s. in coals for tenants of Fossbridge Houses, and £1 15s. 4d. for education in respect of William Driffield and William Hitchin's charities, the sum of £3 2s. 4d. in groceries and money to tenants of Spring Head and Fossbridge Houses in respect of Wray's, Raper's and Comber's charities, and the sum of £24 5s. in general doles of coal, groceries and money in respect of the other parochial charities. The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees of charitable funds.

Ecclesiastical charities administered by the vicar and churchwardens:—

Charity of Ann Cobb, will, 1728, endowment consisting of 4 a. 3 r. 25 p., known as the Whitebread Closes, let at £9 a year, rent, subject to the payment of £2 to the poor of Sutton-on-the-Forest, applicable in the distribution of bread to the poor attending church;

George Westerman's charity, will, 1783, £200 consols, income to be distributed in bread, subject to the repair of his tomb and inscription in the church.

Ann Driffield's charity, will, 1834, £101 7s. 10d. consols, income in the distribution of bread;

John Haxby's charity, will, 1876, £95 2s. consols, income distributable in articles in kind;

William Raisbeck's charity, will, 1811, £111 17s. 9d. consols, income for Sunday schools;

Margaret Whytehead's charity, will, 1840, £150 consols, for educational purposes;

Rachel Whytehead's charity, will, 1855, £184 2s. 10d. consols, for Sunday schools;

Charity of John Raper for sermon, £33 6s. 8d. consols, see parochial charities above;

Francis Driffield's charity, one moiety of rent of 12 acres known as Blakeswell Closes, let at £12 a year, and £12 12s. 6d. consols, arising from the sale of old almshouses (see parochial charities above). By scheme of Charity Commissioners of 15 July 1902, income to be applied as a pension to a deserving necessitous widow or spinster of the Church of England;

Eleanor Westerman's charity for sermons, will, 1781, £80 consols;

Dorothy Gibson's charity, will, proved 1904, £51 0s. 2d. India £3 per cents., dividends to be applied in coals for church poor.

The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees of charitable funds, and the dividends are applied in accordance with the respective trusts of the charities.

For the Westerman foundation, 1781, see article on schools. (fn. 107)

Chapelry of Raskelf.—Charity of John Foster (see under Easingwold).

Poor's Land consists of 5 acres known as Land Lees, let at £8 a year, which was purchased in or about 1767 with £100 bequeathed by William Jackson (1767), one moiety of rents to be applied in the distribution of bread and the other moiety for education. It is regulated by a scheme of 2 March 1897; also 2 acres formerly known as Stocking Lees, let at £4 a year, purchased in 1741 with £36 township money.

Unknown donor's, being an ancient annual payment of 5s. issuing out of the Barrowby estate, Dishforth, now paid by Mr. F. Clarke, the owner.

The Poor's Money consists of £42 5 per cent. guaranteed stock of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, including a legacy of £10 by will of Isabel Jackson, and moneys arising from the sale of timber. There is also a sum of £10 deposited in a bank. These charities are administered together. In 1905 the net income was applied in gifts of 7s. 6d. to each of nine widows at Midsummer and Christmas, 17s. in bread, and 17s. 6d. to the poor generally. In respect of the educational foundation £4 5s. was applied by way of prizes for attendance at schools, &c.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. The statement that Easingwold was a borough (Lawton, Coll. Rer. Eccl. 434) is probably founded on a mistake in Dugdale, Mon. i, 233, where Evenwood (as the name appears in Coll. Topog. et Gen. i, 290) is printed Easingwood.
  • 3. V.C.H. Yorks. i, 503–4.
  • 4. Gill, Vallis Ebor. 100.
  • 5. Ibid. 100–1.
  • 6. Gale, Reg. Honoris de Richmond, App. 70–2.
  • 7. Gill, Vallis Ebor. 94–5.
  • 8. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 9. Burton, Mon. Ebor. 330; Dugdale, Mon. v, 355.
  • 10. Gill, Vallis Ebor. 119–20.
  • 11. Quart. Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), viii, 111.
  • 12. Priv. Acts, 48 Geo. III, cap. 26; 4 & 5 Will. IV, cap. 38.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. 6 Ric. II, no. 92.
  • 14. Cal. Pat. 1343–5, p. 453.
  • 15. Feet of F. Yorks. 21 Hen. VI, no. 13.
  • 16. Close, 11 Ric. II, pt. i, m. 41 d.; Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 417.
  • 17. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 18. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 122.
  • 19. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 20. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 195, 313.
  • 21. Ibid.
  • 22. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 70; Pipe R. 13 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 98.
  • 23. Cal. Pat. 1216–25, p. 221.
  • 24. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, pp. 122, 124.
  • 25. Pat. 43 Hen. III, m. 2; Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 20.
  • 26. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 117; Cal. Close, 1330–3, p. 507.
  • 27. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 162. John de Oketon, son and heir of John, subsequently released to the earl all his claims upon it (Honor and Forest of Pickering [N. R. Rec. Soc.], ii, 48).
  • 28. Chan. Inq. p.m. 25 Edw. I, no. 51a.
  • 29. Cal. Close, 1307–13, p. 86. For pedigree see G.E.C. Peerage, v, 5–9.
  • 30. Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 88; Cal. Close, 1327–30, p. 78.
  • 31. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xviii (1–18 Hen. VI), fol. 134 d.
  • 32. Chan. Inq. p.m. 19 Hen. VI, no. 42.
  • 33. G.E.C. Peerage, viii, 111.
  • 34. Chan. Inq. p.m. 19 Hen. VI, no. 42.
  • 35. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xviii (1–18 Hen. VI), fol. 134 d.
  • 36. Parl. R. vi, 394b, 496b; L. and P. Hen. VIII, i, 1205; Honor of Pickering (N. R. Rec. Soc.), i, passim.
  • 37. Pat. 14 Jas. I, pt. x, m. 1.
  • 38. Woll. Chart. xi, 29; Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 4 Chas. I.
  • 39. Mem. R. (Exch. K.R.), Hil. 5 Chas. I, m. 13.
  • 40. Ibid. East. 9 Chas. I, m. 8.
  • 41. Royalist Comp. P. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 167; cf. Alne; Recov. R. Trin. 1651, rot. 146; Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 1651.
  • 42. Pipe R. 5 Hen. III, m. 9 d.
  • 43. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 389.
  • 44. Pat. 15 Chas. I, pt. xi, no. 4.
  • 45. Rep. of Royal Com. on Market Rts. and Tolls, xiii (2), 584.
  • 46. Ibid. i, 218.
  • 47. Recov. R. Mich. 8 Anne, m. 148; Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 2 Geo. I.
  • 48. Doc. of D. and C. of Westm. parcel 2, no. 141. See p. 133.
  • 49. Gale, Reg. Honoris de Richmond, App. 70.
  • 50. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, g. 1135 (4).
  • 51. Honor of Pickering, i, 63.
  • 52. Close, 1651, pt. lviii, no. 11.
  • 53. Ibid. 1655, pt. ii, no. 16.
  • 54. Under Stat. 23 & 24 Vict. cap. 124.
  • 55. Gill, Vallis Ebor. 95.
  • 56. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Hil. 31 Geo. III, m. 5, 6.
  • 57. Bulmer, N. Yorks. 686.
  • 58. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 202.
  • 59. Pipe R. 10 John, m. 18; Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 364; Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 324.
  • 60. Ranulph de Nevill, however, granted this manor for life to a younger son, Alexander de Nevill, who in 1329 obtained licence to enter (Cal. Pat. 1327– 30, p. 357). Alexander died in March 1366–7, when the manor reverted to the lords of Sheriff Hutton (Chan. Inq. p.m. 41 Edw. III [2nd nos.], no. 46).
  • 61. Pat. 15 Hen. VIII, pt. i, m. 9; 3 Eliz. pt. v, m. 16.
  • 62. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cli, 33.
  • 63. Pat. 32 Eliz. pt. xii, m. 22; 33 Eliz. pt. v, m. 32.
  • 64. G.E.C. Peerage, v, 48.
  • 65. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxii, 142.
  • 66. Foster, Yorks. Pedigrees.
  • 67. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxii, 142.
  • 68. Gill, Vallis Ebor. 111.
  • 69. Pat. 2 Jas. I, pt. xxix, m. 22.
  • 70. G.E.C. Peerage, ii, 151.
  • 71. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dl, 93.
  • 72. Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 1650–1; Recov. R. Mich. 3 Jas. II, rot. 241.
  • 73. G.E.C. Peerage, i, 305.
  • 74. Recov. R. Trin. 13 Geo. II, rot. 100.
  • 75. Foster, Yorks. Pedigrees; Quart. Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), vii, 275; viii, 69, 110, 126, 236.
  • 76. Foster, op. cit.
  • 77. From inform. kindly supplied by Major W. W. Webb, F.S.A.; see also G.E.C. Baronetage, ii, 220.
  • 78. Recov. R. Trin. 7 Geo. III, rot. 387.
  • 79. From inform. kindly supplied by Major W. W. Webb, F.S.A.
  • 80. Feet of F. Yorks. East. 58 Geo. III.
  • 81. From inform. kindly supplied by Major W. W. Webb, F.S.A.
  • 82. Inform. kindly supplied by Rev. A. Radford, LL.M., Raskelf Vicarage, Easingwold; Lond. Gaz. 11 Mar. 1879, p. 2030.
  • 83. Chart. R. 5 Edw. III, no. 43, m. 15.
  • 84. Ibid. 11, 12 & 13 Ric. II, no. 21.
  • 85. Pat. 32 Eliz. pt. xii, m. 22.
  • 86. Cal. Pat. 1216–25, p. 124.
  • 87. Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 456.
  • 88. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 122.
  • 89. Pipe R. 13–23 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), passim; V.C.H. Yorks. N. R. i, 491.
  • 90. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 122.
  • 91. Cal. Pat. 1343–5, p. 453.
  • 92. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 122.
  • 93. Pipe R. 13–23 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), passim.
  • 94. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1629–31, p. 425.
  • 95. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 195.
  • 96. Doc. of D. and C. of Westm. parcel 2, no. 126. The impropriations of Easingwold and other places are said by Mr. James Raine, jun., to have been given by Thomas Archbishop of York to the archdeaconry of Richmond, which was erected by him in 1090 (Wills and Invent. from Reg. of the Archdeaconry of Richmond [Surt. Soc.], preface, p. xx).
  • 97. Doc. of D. and C. of Westm. parcel 2, no. 141.
  • 98. Cal. Pat. 1258–66, p. 595.
  • 99. Archbp. Giffard's Reg. (Surt. Soc.), 2; Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 122.
  • 100. Lawton, Coll. Rer. Eccl. 434; Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 323.
  • 101. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, 1135 (4, 6).
  • 102. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 103. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, g. 1135 (4, 6).
  • 104. Gill, Vallis Ebor. 114 n.
  • 105. Lawton, Coll. Rer. Eccl. 436.
  • 106. Stat. 31 & 32 Vict. cap. 117.
  • 107. V.C.H. Yorks. i, 490–1.