Parishes: Husthwaite

Pages 37-40

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

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Hustwayt (xiv cent.).

Husthwaite is a parish of nearly 3,000 acres lying to the south-west of Coxwold. The country here is open and undulating, and there are only 25 acres of woodland in the whole parish, which contains about equal areas of arable and pasture land. (fn. 1) The soil is middle and lower lias, and wheat, oats, barley and potatoes are raised.

The parish consists of two townships, Husthwaite and Carlton Husthwaite. Between Carlton Husthwaite on the north and Husthwaite on the south runs the Thirsk and Malton branch of the North Eastern railway, which has a station, Husthwaite Gate, at the point where it is crossed by the road between the villages.

Almost parallel with the railway on the south is the Elphin Beck, a stream which rises near Coxwold and flows southwest under various names to join the Swale.

Husthwaite has a long village street running east and west. Halfway along it a shorter street branches off to the south, and at this point stands the church of St. Nicholas. The Wesleyan chapel and the manor-house, lately rebuilt, are on the north side of the street, the school on the south. The ground gradually rises from the west end of the village to the east, and at a short distance from its east end is Beacon Banks, the highest point in the parish, where there is a house owned by Mrs. F. H. Wailes. The road from Beacon Banks leads south to Acaster Hill, where there is a substantial residence occupied by Mr. Hugill. Half a mile distant from the village to the south-west, on a commanding hill, stands the fine old house of Highthorne with its picturesque grounds, owned and occupied by Mr. Rhodes Hebblethwaite. From this point the view stretches over the vales of Mowbray and of York. In the extreme south-east corner of the parish is Peep o' day Farm, with an old sandpit near it. There are remains of old quarries in various parts of the parish.

Husthwaite Church from the South-east

The population of Carlton Husthwaite is concentrated almost entirely in the village. It has a single street, at the west end of which are the Manor House Farm and the old Hall. There is a chapel of ease here, built in the 17th century, and served by the vicar of Husthwaite. The village has also a Wesleyan chapel and reading and recreation room.


In 1086 the Archbishop of York (fn. 2) had 4½ carucates in the Carlton which was afterwards called Carlton Husthwaite. The vill of Husthwaite is not mentioned in the Survey, but the two vills later formed part of the same manor, as they do at the present day. (fn. 3)

At the beginning of the 14th century HUSTHWAITE AND CARLTON were held by the dean and chapter of the cathedral, (fn. 4) and a prebend of Husthwaite had been formed and endowed with the manor, (fn. 5) probably by the first Norman archbishop.

The prebendary appears to have been lord of the manor throughout the history of the prebend.

In 1649, when prebends were temporarily abolished by Act of Parliament, Husthwaite Manor, with the capital messuage or manor-house, was sold by the Parliamentary trustees for the sale of the cathedral lands to Adam Baynes. (fn. 6) It appears that the late prebendary had let it in 1637 to Rowland Sand of Mansfield Woodhouse. After the restoration the manor again became the property of the restored prebendary. (fn. 7) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners were empowered to sell the property of the prebend in 1853, (fn. 8) and seem to have done so to Mr. J. Dixon, who was lord of the manor in 1857. From his hands it came into those of Mr. William Harrison, who was succeeded by Mr. Edward Harrison. He died in 1911 and the manorial rights are at present in the hands of his executors.

Plan of Husthwaite Church

Once in the 17th century and again in the 19th Husthwaite is described as belonging to persons other than the prebendary. In 1664 George Denham was hanged for treason at York, and his estate, including 'the manor and lands at Husthwaite,' was forfeited. (fn. 9) In 1816 John Clough was party to a fine with George Cottam concerning five-sixths of 'the manor of Husthwaite.' (fn. 10) These persons must have been either lessees under the prebendary or owners of smaller estates in the parish.

The Prior of Newburgh obtained land in Carlton and Husthwaite from the Mowbrays. The grant was confirmed by John Mowbray in 1333–4. (fn. 11) After the Dissolution this land remained for some time in the hands of the king, who appointed bailiffs for the possessions of Newburgh in this neighbourhood in 1544 (fn. 12) and 1545. (fn. 13) In the latter year a messuage in Carlton Husthwaite which had belonged to Newburgh was leased to Robert Kitchingman. (fn. 14) His family probably had further grants of the lands of the priory. They appear holding tenements in Husthwaite in 1659. (fn. 15)


The parish church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of a chancel 22 ft. 9 in. by 15 ft. 6 in., nave 50 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 11 in., south porch and west tower 10 ft. 6 in. square. These measurements are all internal.

The church dates from the 12th century. Windows were inserted in the chancel at the end of the 14th century, and the west tower is an addition of the following century. A doorway was inserted in the south wall of the chancel in 1683 and the porch was built in 1878. The south windows of the nave, which were square-headed with wood frames, were replaced by the present stone ones in 1896. The entire building has lately undergone another restoration, during which the chancel, nave and tower have all been reroofed, the walls thoroughly grouted and strengthened, the south-west corner of the nave being rebuilt and the south wall underpinned.

The east window of the chancel is modern and of two trefoiled lights. In the north wall is a blocked round-headed 12th-century window, and further west a partially blocked rectangular low-side window, now occupied by a small round-headed light. In the south wall are two late 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled ogee lights under square heads without labels. Beneath the first is a trefoiled 15thcentury piscina. The doorway between the two windows has a flat four-centred arch and above it is carved the date 1683. The chancel arch, which is semicircular and of a square section, is of the original date. North of it is a roughly-cut squint from the nave into the chancel, evidently later work.

The only window in the north wall of the nave is a small round-headed 12thcentury light. The north doorway is now closed up; it has a round arch and jambs of a single chamfered order with chamfered abaci and a label apparently double - chamfered. The three south windows of the nave are modern insertions, and are each of two lights with a circular piercing over; the straight joint left by the former square windows can still be seen. The south doorway is a good and rather unusual example of about 1140; the jambs are of three orders with engaged half-round shafts facing inwards (that is, to the east and west) instead of to the south. The outer east shaft is missing, but its capital remains; it is carved with volutes, as are also the capitals of the two western shafts; that of the inner eastern shaft has flutes or small scallops. The abaci are plain chamfered. The doorway is set in a rebate in the innermost order to open outwards. The arch is round and of two orders enriched with the cheveron and has a label carved with a triple billet-moulding.

The tower, which is unbroken below the bellchamber stage, opens into the nave by a pointed archway of a single small chamfered order. The west window is of three cinquefoiled lights under a fourcentred arch with sunk spandrels; it has no label. A small rectangular loop in the south wall has been filled in, but there is a small trefoiled light to the first floor. The western angles of the tower are strengthened by diagonal buttresses reaching to the moulded string below the bell-chamber, which is lighted by original windows of two cinquefoiled lights under square heads. The parapet is plain, as are also those of the chancel and nave, though there are traces of the bases of pinnacles. The roofs of the chancel and nave are flat and covered with lead; they have been much repaired, but retain a few old timbers.

The oldest walling is of rubble stone, but in the north wall of the nave is a length of walling with squared rough ashlar, as though it had been rebuilt at some subsequent period. The walling is also of a different character above the chancel arch.

The octagonal font is modern, but there is a 17thcentury cover with a crown of four shaped pieces. It is inscribed 'Baptizetur unus quisque vestrum nomine Jesu Christi. Acta 2. 38.' On the floor of the tower are a square stone basin or stoup and an ancient oak chest.

There are several 18th-century monuments to the masters of Coxwold School and others, including an Archdeacon of Cleveland.

There are three bells: the first by S. Smith of York, dated 1707, and inscribed 'Venite exultemus domino'; the second 'Jhesus be our spede 1621'; and the third 'Funera deploro populum voco 1726,' by E. Seller, 1726.

The plate includes a silver cup without marks, a second silver cupand a silver paten, both presented by Sir George Orby Wombwell in 1899, a plated paten presented in 1895, a pewter flagon inscribed 'Husthwaite 1712. Ex dono Robti Midgley clerici,' a mounted cruet and a brass almsdish.

The registers, which include entries for Carlton, begin in 1674.

The chapel at CARLTON HUSTHWAITE is a small rectangular building with a small bell-turret at the west end, and is probably all of the date of the pulpit and bells, 1677–8. It has an 18th-century east window of three lights. There is no north window in the building. In the south wall are four windows, each of two plain ogee-headed lights. The south doorway is round-headed with moulded jambs and arch. A round-headed archway opens into the bell-turret from the nave. The bell-chamber is lighted by single ogee-headed lights in each wall; it contains two bells by S. Smith of York, dated 1677. The roof is a gabled one covered with slates, and has a flat boarded ceiling with old timbers. The stone font is modern. The pulpit, which has a sounding-board, is dated 1678, and the pews, &c., are worked up from some of the same date.

The plate includes a silver cup and paten, both bearing the London mark of 1719, and a pewter flagon.

Husthwaite Church: The Nave looking East


Elizabeth Vavasour left 3s. 4d. to the fabric of St. Nicholas Church at Husthwaite in 1498. (fn. 16) It belonged before the Dissolution to Newburgh Priory. (fn. 17) It is not clear at what date it was granted to the priory, which, however, had possessions in Husthwaite and Carlton Husthwaite in the 14th century. (fn. 18) It is possible that Husthwaite, like several other villages in the neighbourhood, was a chapelry of Coxwold. In 1542 the 'parish church of Hustwayte and Carleton' was leased to John Dawnay for twenty-one years. (fn. 19) In 1546, however, it was granted, with the church of Coxwold and the chapels of Carlton and Over Silton, to Trinity College, Cambridge. (fn. 20) The advowson remained in the possession of the college till 1864, though during the 18th century and the early part of the 19th it appears to have been leased, like Coxwold, to Lord Fauconberg. (fn. 21)

In 1856 the perpetual curacies of Husthwaite and Birdforth were united by an Order in Council, and it was arranged that the patrons of the two churches should present alternately. (fn. 22) In 1864, however, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, with the consent of Trinity College, (fn. 23) transferred the patronage of the united benefice altogether to the Archbishop of York, who was patron of Birdforth, and the advowson is still in the hands of the archbishop.


The charities at present existing in the parish were, by an order of the Charity Commissioners dated 12 January 1897, amalgamated, and a scheme established for their administration, comprising the charities following, namely:—

William Duffield alias Driffield, will, 1778, trust fund, £79 17s. 2d. consols.

George Wailes, will, 1790, £15 19s. 7d. consols.

Rev. Robert Pierson, will, 1805, £15 19s. 7d. consols.

Thomas Wilkinson, will, 1819, £175 15s. 4d. consols.

Thomas Smith, will, 1859, £47 18s. 5d. consols.

The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees.

By the scheme the income of William Duffield's charity, about £2 a year, is applied in prizes or awards (not exceeding 5s.) to poor children who have been scholars for not less than two years in the public elementary school. The income of the remaining charities, about £6 6s. a year, is applied for the general benefit of the poor, including subscriptions to provident clubs, medical or other aid in sickness.

An ancient donation of £2 12s. a year, mentioned in the table of benefactions as left by Mr. George Potts for supplying white bread to be given every Sunday in the church, has ceased to be paid since 1820; and 5s. a year, formerly received in respect of £5 left for the use of the poor by Mrs. Ann Dixon, has also ceased to be paid.

Township and Chapelry of Carlton Husthwaite:—

The Poor's Money and Unknown Donors' Charities consist of an annuity of £2 paid by Sir George Wombwell, bart., out of a farm in this township, together with a rent-charge of 9s. under the title of Welbeck's Charity. The poor also receive the interest of £60 in the Thirsk Savings Bank. These charities are distributed in money to twelve recipients.

There is a further sum of £102 in the same bank, the interest of which is paid to a medical man for attending the poor.

In 1856 Ann Mettrick, by will proved at York, left a legacy for educational purposes. The legacy was invested in £334 17s. 7d. consols with the official trustees.

By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 7 February 1899 the income, amounting to £8 6s., is applied in prizes and exhibitions to children attending the elementary schools and in maintenance of evening classes.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 212.
  • 3. Yorks. Star Chamb. Proc. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), i, 54.
  • 4. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 368.
  • 5. Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 194.
  • 6. Close, 1649, pt. viii, no. 30.
  • 7. Lawton. Coll. Rer. Eccl. 446.
  • 8. Lond. Gaz. 21 June 1853, p. 1733.
  • 9. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1664–5, pp. 150, 427.
  • 10. Feet of F. Yorks. Mich. 56 Geo. III.
  • 11. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, p. 162.
  • 12. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), p. 642.
  • 13. Ibid. xx (1), p. 676.
  • 14. Ibid. p. 682.
  • 15. Feet of F. Yorks. Hil. 1659–60.
  • 16. Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), iv, 138.
  • 17. Pat. 38 Hen. VIII, pt. vi, m. 19.
  • 18. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, p. 162; Convent. Leases, 553, 596.
  • 19. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvii, p. 698.
  • 20. Pat. 38 Hen. VIII, pt. vi, m. 19.
  • 21. Bacon, Liber Regis, 1120; Carlisle, Topog. Dict.; Clerical Guide, 1817.
  • 22. Lond. Gaz. 2 Aug. 1864, p. 3821.
  • 23. Ibid.