A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Boscele (xi cent.); Bozhal, Bosdale (xiii cent.); Bussehall (xiv cent.).
The parish of Bossall with Buttercrambe lies on the west bank of the Derwent. In 1831 it contained the townships of Bossall, Buttercrambe, Harton, Claxton, Sand Hutton and Flaxton, the whole covering an area of 9,638 acres, but in 1861 Sand Hutton and Claxton were constituted a separate parish. (fn. 1) The greater part—4,974 acres—is arable land, but 3,139 acres are laid down to grass, and woods and plantations cover 991 acres. (fn. 2) The chief crops are grain and roots, and agriculture is the main occupation of the inhabitants. (fn. 3) The soil is various; the subsoil is generally of Keuper Marls and Bunter Sandstone. The average height of the land is about 100 ft. above the ordnance datum.
A branch from the York highway enters the parish from Gate Helmsley and runs north-east over Buttercrambe Moor. After passing through the little village of Buttercrambe it crosses the Derwent by a stone bridge of one arch. A tributary of the river forms a mill-race at this point. In 1530 there were two bridges in Buttercrambe; both were much decayed by 1656, when the authorities had difficulty in deciding whether the lord of the manor and the townsfolk of Buttercrambe or the inhabitants of the North and East Ridings were responsible for their repair. A gratuity of £20 was granted in 1678 for the arch of one of these bridges, known then as now as Buttercrambe Bridge. (fn. 4)
There is now no village of Bossall, the church having in close proximity only the rectory, a modern building, and Bossall Hall. The latter stands within a very complete square moated area with an outer line on the north side. The house itself may be in part Jacobean, and built possibly before 1644 by Sir Robert Belt, but was practically rebuilt in the 18th century, to which period the staircase and most of the internal panelling belong.
Buttercrambe is a small, well-kept hamlet on the left bank of the River Derwent, 2 miles south of Bossall. Buttercrambe Chapel stands on the east side of the village street, and to the north of the village are the mansion and grounds of Aldby Park, the property of Mr. Cecil Geoffrey Darley. It is a Georgian house of red brick and stone.
Claxton is a small hamlet 1½ miles west of Bossall, consisting of a few cottages of no great age with a round duck-pond on the green. It has Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels, dating respectively from 1842 and 1850.
Flaxton is a large hamlet with a station on the York and Malton line. It is built on either side of an extensive green. There are here a modern church, a sessions-house, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels and a school.
The hamlet of Harton stands a mile north of Bossall, and is built round a large green. The manor-house has some portions of late 17th-century date, but is of little interest. At the junction of the lane leading to Harton and the main York road are two deserted lodges, with gate piers crowned by demi-griffons between. There is here a school.
The hamlet of Sand Hutton is small and mostly modern. To the south stands the modern mansion of Sand Hutton Hall. Here are also the ruins of St. Leonard's Chapel in the churchyard of the modern church of St. Mary.
A Private Act was passed in 1806 for the inclosure of the open fields of Sand Hutton. (fn. 5)
Place-names in Buttercrambe of the 13th century are Rokelond and Borghenge, of the 17th Burgott Land, Mowsebathe, Breake land and Ranbeck, (fn. 6) which still survive. Wheelewright Holme and Forby Lands belonged to Harton in the 16th century. (fn. 7)
To the manor of Scrayingham, once of Torchil, and owned by Hugh son of Baldric in 1086, belonged berewicks in Barnby, Bossall and Buttercrambe, containing altogether 7 geldable carucates. (fn. 8) The overlordship of the BOSSALL lands followed the descent of the manor of Buttercrambe (q.v.), of which they were held from 1282 to 1603.
In the 13th century the manor of Bossall belonged to a family who bore its name. Paulinus de Bossall and his wife Juliana, living in 1202, were possibly the parents of Richard de Bossall, (fn. 9) patron of the church in 1231 and 1233. Richard's heir William was in the custody of Devorgill de Stutevill in 1238, and was sheriff at the beginning of the Barons' War. He was living in 1277, (fn. 10) but by 1280 he had been succeeded by Sir John de Bossall, (fn. 11) whose successor, another William, contributed to the subsidy levied in 1301, (fn. 12) and was returned as lord of Bossall in 1316. (fn. 13) Thomas his son, of whom Juliana, widow of Nicholas de Bossall, held land in Claxton in 1328, (fn. 14) had been succeeded by 1349 by William de Bossall, and he in 1353 by Robert de Bossall. (fn. 15) Another William de Bossall, who held the fee in 1416, (fn. 16) was dead in 1423, (fn. 17) and his manor afterwards came to the Redmayne family. Thomas Redmayne, before his death in 1514, settled Bossall on his elder daughter Elizabeth wife of the younger William Thwaites of Marston, (fn. 18) with whom in 1528 she granted rent from the manor to Anne Redmayne, widow. (fn. 19) More than thirty years later, as Elizabeth Kirkby, she joined her son Thomas in making a settlement of her inheritance on the marriage of his only child Anne with Sir William Ingleby. (fn. 20) After Anne's death without issue Bossall came to her cousin James Thwaites, (fn. 21) lord at his death in 1603. (fn. 22) The manor, then heavily burdened by a settlement for 'the advancement' of James's daughters, was conveyed by William son and heir of James in 1613 to William Smithson. (fn. 23) Half of it was bought ten years later by William Belt, (fn. 24) acting probably on behalf of his brother, who, as Sir Robert Belt of Bossall, was lord of the manor before 1644, and was afterwards dispossessed for his loyalty to the king. (fn. 25) After the death without issue of his two elder sons Bossall descended to Robert son of his sixth son, Jasper, who was followed in the direct line by four other lords bearing the name of Robert Belt. (fn. 26) William Robert Belt, son of the last of these, held the manor in 1872 and until 1889, but from 1901 till 1911 it was in the hands of the trustees of Sir Robert James Milo Walker, who came of age in the latter year.
Free warren in his demesne lands of Bossall was granted to William de Bossall in 1257. (fn. 27) View of frankpledge is mentioned in the 17th century among the appurtenances of the manor, (fn. 28) to which belonged three dovecotes in 1811 and one windmill and two dovecotes in 1830. (fn. 29)
A manor of 6 geldable carucates and 2 oxgangs in BUTTERCRAMBE (Botercram, Butecrame, xi cent.; Buttercrampe, xvi cent.), Scrayingham and Flaxton, once owned by Egelfride, came with other land in Buttercrambe to Hugh son of Baldric before 1086, and was always held of the Crown in chief. (fn. 30)
The steps by which the manor of Buttercrambe came from Hugh son of Baldric to the de Stutevills had been forgotten by the latter part of the 13th century. It was then asserted by their heirs that their ancestor, Robert Frontdebois, on coming over with the Conqueror had acquired this and other manors, in which, after the ejection of his son by Henry I, his grandson, a third Robert de Stutevill, had been reinstated by Henry II. (fn. 31) Though the first part of this story is disproved by Domesday Book, there is no doubt that Buttercrambe was owned by Robert de Stutevill under Henry II, (fn. 32) and from the latter part of the 12th until the 16th century it followed the descent of Kirkby Moorside. (fn. 33) In 1557 it was sold by Margaret daughter of Ralph Nevill Earl of Westmorland, with her husband Henry Earl of Rutland, (fn. 34) to William Darley, (fn. 35) who made a settlement of the manor on the marriage of his son and heir Richard with Isabel Beaumont. (fn. 36) Richard, who succeeded his father in 1563, was called upon two years later to make good his title. (fn. 37) He was one of the gentlemen of the North Riding declared fit to lend the queen £25 in the Armada year. (fn. 38) At his death in 1598 he was succeeded by his son and heir, another Richard Darley, (fn. 39) lord in 1620 and 1633, (fn. 40) whose son and heir Henry seems to have sided with the Parliamentarians and engaged in conspiracy after the Restoration. (fn. 41) He or another Henry Darley, lord in 1708, (fn. 42) had been succeeded before 1745 by Henry Brewster Darley, (fn. 43) from whom Buttercrambe descended through son and grandson, each bearing the name of Henry Darley, to his great-grandson another Henry Brewster Darley, (fn. 44) whose grandson Mr. Cecil Geoffrey Darley is now lord of the manor. (fn. 45)
Licence to hold a Saturday market and a fair on the vigil and feast of the Holy Trinity was granted to William de Stutevill in 1200 and was renewed to Thomas Wake in 1343, the market being transferred to Monday and the fair increased to two on the days of St. Botolph and St. Leonard. (fn. 46) In 1353 a grant to Thomas Holland fixed the market for Wednesday and the fairs were reduced to one on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Botolph. (fn. 47) The 'well-built' capital messuage of 1282 may have been the building inclosed and fortified by William de Stutevill and probably stood on the site of Henry Darley's house which was burnt before 1654. (fn. 48) In the 13th century the manor had two, in the 16th and 17th centuries three, watermills, in 1708 one only. (fn. 49) The liberty of gallows was one of its ancient appurtenances, (fn. 50) besides toll of passage of the bridge over the Derwent and free fishery. (fn. 51) Free warren, disclaimed in 1279, appears with court leet in the 16th century, view of frankpledge not till the 17th century. (fn. 52)
At CLAXTON (Claxtorp, xi cent.; Clakeston, xii cent.) a 'manor' of 3 geldable carucates held by Gospatric and Arnenger under the Confessor and in the hands of the Conqueror in 1086 was granted by Ivo Taillebois to St. Mary's Abbey before 1176 and remained amongst its possessions until its surrender. (fn. 53) It was included in Elizabeth's grant to Thomas Bamburgh of Foston Manor (q.v.), with which it descended until the latter part of the 18th century. Since 1857 it has been the property of the lords of the manor of Sand Hutton (q.v.).
Another carucate in Claxton belonging to the Count of Mortain in 1086 (fn. 54) may be the fraction of a fee here from 1282 to 1426 associated with Bossall (q.v.).
In FLAXTON (Flaxtune, xi cent.; Flaxton-onthe-Moor, xvi cent.) 2½ geldable carucates, held as three 'manors' by three thegns before the Norman Conquest, belonged to the king in 1086. (fn. 55) This land seems to be the fee held from 1282 to 1428 of the manor of Sheriff Hutton (q.v.), and was probably afterwards merged in it.
Of the few surviving names of sub-tenants of the Nevill lords in Flaxton the most important is that of Patrick de Westwick, who in 1268 had tenants holding one-tenth of a knight's fee, and in 1282 himself held one-quarter of a knight's fee. (fn. 56) A court baron here, with view of frankpledge in 1557, (fn. 57) may have been held for the tenants of this land.
Another 'manor' of 6 geldable oxgangs, once owned by Ulf, belonged to the Archbishop of York in 1086 and afterwards formed part of the prebend of Salton. (fn. 58)
There was also here a berewick of the manor of Buttercrambe (q.v.) held of it from the 11th to the 15th century. Richard de Dunstable, tenant in 1282, had been succeeded before 1349 by John de Dunstable and Peter de Richer, whose names occur again in 1416. (fn. 59)
It is not clear whether Edmund Darell, returned as lord of Flaxton in 1316, (fn. 60) held of this or of the Nevill fee.
Twelve geldable carucates in HARTON (Heretune, Hottune, Hotone, xi cent.), once of Gospatric, belonged to the king in 1086. (fn. 61) This manor, which had come into the possession of William de Stutevill before 1203, was granted by Robert de Stutevill to the abbey of St. Mary, York, and continued with that house until its surrender in 1539. (fn. 62) It remained in the Crown, some leases of its lands being made in the interval, until 1590, when Elizabeth granted it to Thomas Bamburgh. (fn. 63) From that date Harton has followed the descent of the manor of Crambe (q.v.).
A capital messuage and windmill, court leet and view of frankpledge were appurtenances of the manor in 1590.
Seven carucates once held by Sprot at SAND HUTTON (Hottune, xi cent.; Onegate Sutton, Sundhoton, xiii cent.; Sandhoton by Overhelmsley, xiv cent.) and bought of him by William Malet for 10 marks of silver were owned by Hugh son of Baldric in 1086. (fn. 64) This land afterwards came with other of Hugh's possessions to the Mowbrays and was held of their heirs and successors as of their manor of Thirsk (q.v.) until 1604, (fn. 65) after which year the overlordship seems to have fallen into abeyance.
In the 13th century Sand Hutton Manor belonged to the Percys of Kildale. Walter Percy held land here in 1219, Nicholas, perhaps a son, (fn. 66) was tenant in 1268, and Arnald his grandson in 1281 settled the manor of Sand Hutton on James de Lyssington and his wife Agnes and her heirs. (fn. 67) By the close of the 13th century it had come into the possession of the Grays of York. William Gray was principal landowner here with Matthew de Louvain in 1300 and with John de Barton and the Prior of St. Andrew in 1316, and was described in 1301 as holding the manor itself (fn. 68); he can hardly be identified with the William Gray who held certain offices from 1345 to 1372 (fn. 69) and who seems to be the William son of John Gray charged in 1356 with defrauding the king's chapel near York Castle of its rents from Sand Hutton. (fn. 70) His son Thomas was father of a John Gray who held lands in Sand Hutton in 1413 and on whom as Sir John Gray of Ingleby (Lincolnshire) a settlement of the manor was made in 1431. (fn. 71) From him Sand Hutton descended to Denise Tempest, great- or great-great-granddaughter of another John Gray, Sheriff of York in 1311, (fn. 72) who with her husband William Mallory sold it in 1463 to John and Henry Thwaites. (fn. 73) From Edmund Thwaites, lord at his death in 1501, (fn. 74) Sand Hutton descended to his grandson Henry, who died in 1520, leaving two infant daughters. (fn. 75) Frances, the elder, seems to have inherited her sister's share before she held the manor with her husband John Gresham in 1538 and 1558. (fn. 76) She was a widow in 1564 when, with her daughter Elizabeth wife of Sir Henry Nevill, (fn. 77) she sold it to Henry Dixon. (fn. 78) Henry was succeeded in 1570 by his daughters Mary and Isabel, (fn. 79) and on Mary's death, ten years later, the whole manor came to her sister, then wife of Ralph Hungate. (fn. 80) Isabel and Ralph's four daughters and co-heirs entered on their inheritance in 1611, when Margery, the youngest, had attained her majority. (fn. 81) Jane, the eldest, held one-quarter of the manor with her second husband, Thomas Allanson, in 1631, when they settled it on Thomas, her son by her first husband, Nicholas Fairfax. (fn. 82) From Thomas Fairfax, lord in 1654 and 1655, (fn. 83) this evidently descended to his son Isaac, (fn. 84) whose widow Katherine and daughters Frances, Katherine and Mary held in 1688. (fn. 85) In 1703 the three sisters, with a younger, Meliora, sold their fraction of the manor to Thomas Bawtry, (fn. 86) from whom it came to the Pearsons and by 1776 to William Read. (fn. 87) Another quarter held by the second daughter Anne with her husband William Consett in 1619, 1622 and 1630 seems to have been conveyed by them in 1630 or 1631 to Henry Darley. (fn. 88) Gertrude, the third co-heir, wife of Christopher Simpson in 1611, in 1630 and 1634 held her quarter with her second husband, Thomas Pudsey. (fn. 89) This, which is said to have been sold by Ralph Pudsey to Edward Nelthorpe in 1638, (fn. 90) was sequestered for the delinquency of Peter Pudsey before 1652, when James Harwood claimed it by right of marriage with Peter's sister (fn. 91); James Nelthorpe claimed it by right of purchase from the treason trustees. (fn. 92) James Harwood, whose claim was allowed in 1654, (fn. 93) held with his wife Margery in 1655 and 1677, (fn. 94) though Peter Pudsey's right survived until 1662. (fn. 95) This may be the fraction of Sand Hutton Manor in which Barbara Read had a share in 1710 and John Read in 1733. (fn. 96) The last quarter, brought by Margery Hungate to her husband, Henry Darley, (fn. 97) seems to have descended with the manor of Buttercrambe until 1704, (fn. 98) and possibly until 1787, when Henry Brewster Darley acquired another eighth from Robert and Elizabeth Wright. (fn. 99)
In 1806 one-eighth of the manor belonged to Richard Darley and the remaining seven-eighths to Thomas Cutler Rudston Read. (fn. 100) Before 1857 it had been bought from the heirs of the latter by James Walker, created baronet in 1868, and descended through his son and grandson, each bearing the name of Sir James Robert Walker, to his great-grandson Sir Robert James Milo Walker, now lord of the manor. (fn. 101)
A dovecote and windmill, the latter newly built on the moor in 1604, with free fishery in Sand Hutton Carr, were 17th-century appurtenances of the manor. (fn. 102)
In the 14th century the Prior of St. Andrew, York, held 2 carucates of the Mowbray fee in Sand Hutton and land in Flaxton, both of considerable value in 1540, when rent in Bossall also belonged to this house. (fn. 103) The Sand Hutton property, granted in 1541 to Thomas Earl of Rutland, was acquired, after two alienations, (fn. 104) by Robert Holgate, Archbishop of York, in 1547; on his death in 1556 he left it to his hospital at Hemsworth. (fn. 105) In 1558, before the accession of Elizabeth, it was conveyed by Martin Anne to Thomas Spencer, (fn. 106) whose son William twenty years later obtained pardon for having acquired it from his father without licence in 1572. (fn. 107) In 1604 this land with its capital messuage, Sand Hutton Grange, belonged to Ralph Hungate. (fn. 108)
Land in Sand Hutton owned by Thicket Priory from 1219 to 1535 was granted by Elizabeth to William Haber and John Jenkyns in 1565. (fn. 109)
A carucate and a half in Flaxton came to St. Mary's Abbey with the manor of Foston (q.v.) and followed its descent. (fn. 110) To this house Robert de Stutevill granted 1 oxgang and the tithes of his demesne in Buttercrambe, which were conveyed in 1603, as the almoner or ambler tithes, by Richard Foster to Richard Darley, and were the subject of commissions of inquiry in 1609 and 1611. (fn. 111)
Land in Flaxton and Sand Hutton belonged to Marton Priory; the priories of Kirkham and Nunburnholme also had land at Flaxton; Durham College had small holdings in Claxton and Flaxton. (fn. 112) From the 13th to the 16th century the hospital of St. Nicholas, York, held land in Buttercrambe, the rent of which amounted to 10s. in 1535. (fn. 113) It is possible that part of a carucate in Sand Hutton, once of Gospatric and held by the king in 1086, was the land appropriated by Edward I to the royal chapel by the mills without York Castle. (fn. 114)
The church of ST. BOTOLPH is a cruciform building 92¼ ft. in total length and 65 ft. across the transepts. It consists of a chancel 41 ft. by 18 ft., nave 38½ ft. by 20½ ft., north transept 24½ ft by 15½ ft., south transept 24½ ft. by 15½ ft. wide, central tower and south porch.
The earliest portions of the existing structure date from the last quarter of the 12th century, when the whole church was completely rebuilt. To this date belong the nave, transepts and central tower. The chancel was again rebuilt towards the close of the following century, the width being slightly decreased by building the north wall on a line somewhat south of its predecessor. At about the same date a larger window was inserted in the east side of the north transept and its walls strengthened by the addition of two buttresses. Little further was done to the church till the 15th century, when two small windows were inserted in the quire walls and the west end of the nave strengthened by two buttresses. In the 18th or early 19th century all the nave windows and four of those in the south transept were modernized and enlarged and a porch added outside the south door. The church has been restored in recent years and the roofs renewed.
The chancel has an east window of late 13thcentury date with three uncusped lights and a segmental pointed internal arch. The side windows, one on the north and two on the south, are all of two lights with traceried heads of the simplest forms. Further west in the south wall is a priest's door of the same date, and close up to the tower on either side are late single-light windows. In the south quire wall is a trefoil-headed piscina with a restored shaft to the bowl. The quire is supported externally by a pair of buttresses at each of the eastern angles.
The central tower dates from the late 12th century and rests on four arches, those to the east and north being badly distorted. Each arch is pointed and of three chamfered orders. The responds are rectangular with three attached shafts on the face, two being circular and the centre one a large bowtel. The capitals are bell-shaped with square abaci. The vice adjoins the north-west pier and is entered by a door in the nave. At the base it is very confined, but becomes larger above, the projection being carried on a fine corbel of a muzzled bear. Above the roofs the belfry stage of the tower has a two-light 14th-century window inserted in each face, and at the angles are squinches for the reception of a spire. Externally the tower is finished with a parapet string or corbel table, with a series of grotesques, and is covered by a low pyramidal roof.
The north transept dates from the late 12th century. In the north end are three lancet windows, of which the central one is placed high in the wall. In the centre of the west side is a similar window, but opposite it, in the east wall, is a late 13th-century two-light window. This wall was buttressed at the same time and a diagonal buttress added at the northeast corner. A moulded string-course is carried round this transept and the nave, internally, below the window sills, and a second string-course is carried round externally at the same level. The string below the upper window of the north end has billet ornament and the side walls are finished with a corbel table. The south transept is similar in general character, but here the three original lancets remain in the east wall, but those in the south end and the west wall have been enlarged and modernized.
The nave is of the same date as the transepts, but the two pairs of lancet windows in the north and south walls, with the two at the west end and the round window in the gable, are all modernized, though doubtless representing original openings. The south door is the most handsome feature of the church and is a fine example of the last years of the 12th century. The round arch is recessed in four deeplymoulded orders enriched with dog-tooth ornament. The jambs have each two attached and two free shafts, the latter now missing, and the capitals, all foliated in differing designs, have square abaci. This doorway projects under a square-headed thickening of the wall and is now inclosed by a modern porch, the floor of which conceals the bases. The north door is of similar date but much simpler design. It is roundheaded and of two orders, with side shafts and capitals having square abaci. The corbel table to the south wall of the nave has a fine series of carved grotesque heads, while the corbels on the north side are voluted. Two buttresses were added in the 15th century to support the west end of the nave.
The roofs of the church throughout are modern, and under the tower is a flat plaster ceiling. The modern reredos is a handsome carved work in oak. The font is of unusual form and late 12th-century date. The bowl, on plan, is a square with half-circles on each side and is hemispherical in section. The shaft and base are modern and the wooden cover belongs to the 17th century.
On the floor of the quire is a slab of circa 1300, with a half-obliterated Lombardic inscription, of which only the words 'de Brame Robertus' are now legible. Near it is a small mutilated armed figure in brass commemorating 'Robertus Conestable armiger, quondam cancellarius Dunelm,' who died in 1454, with a shield of his arms above. On the north quire wall is a large tablet, with a shield of arms, to Sir Robert Belt, who died in 1650; Grace, his wife, 1664; Leonard, his son, 1662; Joseph Oley, gent., husband of his daughter Sarah, and others, with the arms of Belt impaling Azure a cheveron or between three harts' heads razed proper.
A second tablet on the south wall commemorates Robert Belt of Bossall, who died in 1690, and Sarah above mentioned, 1690, and there are others to the same family. Above the north nave door is a panel of the arms of Queen Anne, 1710.
The bells are four in number: the first of 1719, recast in 1882; the second, inscribed 'Gloria in altissimis deo 1666'; the third, cast by Thomas Mears, 1799; the fourth, 1883.
The plate consists of a cup (York, about 1630) and cover paten, probably of the same date, a flagon engraved with a landscape and figures, probably foreign, a salver (London, 1708) inscribed 'IHS 1710,' and a small 17th-century paten.
The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms 1611 to 1672, burials 1613 to 1674, marriages 1613 to 1651 and 1661 to 1673; (ii) baptisms 1654 to 1657, burials 1654 to 1658, marriages 1654 to 1672; (iii) Buttercrambe register, baptisms 1665 to 1776, burials 1664 to 1743, marriages 1708 to 1725; (iv) baptisms 1673 to 1681, burials 1673 to 1684, marriages 1673 to 1683; (v) baptisms, burials and marriages 1695 to 1731; (vi) baptisms and burials 1732 to 1774, marriages 1732 to 1753; (vii) baptisms and burials 1775 to 1803; (viii) marriages 1790 to 1812; (ix) baptisms and burials 1804 to 1812 respectively.
The chapel of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST at Buttercrambe consists of a chancel 30 ft. by 15 ft. and an aisleless nave 39¾ ft. long by 16¼ ft. wide, the total internal length being 69¾ ft. The earliest portions of the existing building date from the 13th century, when the church consisted of a nave of at least four bays with a south aisle and a chancel. In the 15th century the chancel was entirely rebuilt, with the exception of the chancel arch, the nave was shortened to three and a half bays and the south aisle taken down, the arcade being built up between the pillars. The church has been drastically restored within recent years.
The chancel has a restored 15th-century east window of three lights, with two-light windows to the north and south of the altar. Further west is a single-light window. In the south wall is a small piscina. The chancel is well buttressed externally, with a heavy plinth carried all round. The axis shows a marked deviation to the north from that of the nave. The chancel arch is of late 13th-century date, but much restored.
All the windows of the nave are modern, of two lights and 15th-century character. In the south wall are the piers and arches of three and a half bays of the 13th-century arcade, the 15th-century west wall cutting across the westernmost bay. The piers are circular with moulded capitals. In the 15th-century filling is a small blocked doorway of that period. Above the junction of the nave and chancel is a modern stone bellcote containing two bells. The roofs of the church are modern.
On the north wall of the chancel is a large mural tablet to Dorothea wife of Richard Darley of Aldby and daughter of Thomas Waite, who died in 1674, with the Darley arms. On the opposite wall is an elaborate marble monument to Richard Darley of Aldby (died 1706) and two sons. There are other memorials to the same family, and also in the quire is a brass inscription to Sarah Annington, 1795. Built into the filling of the nave arcade are several fragments of floreated cross slabs.
The plate consists of cup and cover paten by James Plummer of York, 1639.
The church of ST. MARY at Sand Hutton was built in 1840–2, the quire being added later. It is a Gothic building, consisting of aisleless nave and quire, with a porch at the south of the nave, forming the base of a tower with a shingled spire. The church possesses two altar frontals of fine old Spanish needlework.
The plate, given in 1841, consists of a cup of 1665 (London), a paten of 1718 (London) and a flagon of 1758 (London). There is also an old pewter paten.
In the churchyard to the north-east of the modern building are the ruins of St. Leonard's Chapel. It was a rectangular structure 45 ft. by 17 ft., of which the north and west walls have almost entirely disappeared. The structure was of late 12th-century date with windows inserted in the 15th century. One jamb of the east window remains, and in the eastern end of the south wall is a square-headed traceried two-light window of the 15th century and the remains of a curious piscina or aumbry. At the west end of the same wall is a late 12th-century door with a round arch of two orders with foliated capitals at the sides, the shafts, however, being lost. The chapel retains two 18th-century buttresses at either end of the south wall. The font still standing here has a plain circular bowl, a built-up stem and a square base.
The church of ST. LAWRENCE at Flaxton is a small stone structure built in 1853 in the 13thcentury Gothic style. At the west end is a bellcote with two bells. The plate includes a cup and cover paten by James Plummer, York, 1638.
There was a church and a priest in Bossall in 1086. The advowson at first followed the descent of the manor, (fn. 115) but in 1378 belonged to John Nevill, by whom its alienation to Durham Priory for the maintenance of Durham College, Oxford, was accomplished by 1386. (fn. 116) An order for its appropriation to this college was issued by Urban VI in 1404, and the priory's title to the church was established shortly afterwards. (fn. 117) On the surrender of Durham College Henry VIII granted the church of Bossall to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, (fn. 118) in whose gift it still remains. (fn. 119) The rectory has always followed the descent of the advowson.
In 1454 Robert Constable willed 7 marks 'to an honest prest to synge for me a yere after my deth in Bossall kirk,' and a similar provision was made by the 'vicar' shortly afterwards. Vestments, service books and other bequests were left the church by both testators and an earlier 'vicar.' (fn. 120) There was a gild of St. Botolph here in the 16th century. (fn. 121)
The chapel of Buttercrambe has been associated with the parish church since 1404. In 1646 George son of Isaac Montaigne of Westow was allowed a diminution of his fine to the Parliament on condition of settling £20 a year on the 'church of Buttercrambe.' (fn. 122)
The church of Flaxton was a perpetual curacy until, in 1867, it was declared a rectory. It is in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham. (fn. 123)
Before 1351 there was a chapel of St. Leonard in Sand Hutton for preaching and catechizing, wherein Robert Hungate made some provision in the 17th century. This, once in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, has now fallen into decay, and the patron of its successor, the church of St. Mary, is Sir Robert J. M. Walker, bart. (fn. 124)
Township of Sand Hutton.—By will, 1619, Robert Hungate charged a close called Thorpe Hills with 20s. yearly towards the easement of the poor from cessments, now paid by the representatives of the late Mr. H. Darley.
In 1700 Thomas Fisher charged his house and land in Spofforth with 5s. a year, now paid by Messrs. J. & C. Greenwood of Harrogate.
In 1763 John Read by will charged his estate with 30s. a year, to be equally divided at Christmas among six poor persons of the township.
In 1770 John Graves by will charged his biggenhouse in Claxton with 1s. a year for the poor of Claxton and 1s. a year for the poor of Sand Hutton, now paid by James R. Whitwell.
These annuities are duly distributed together with 5s. a year received from the representatives of the late Sir James Walker in respect of Henry Bullock's charity.
Township of Flaxton.—It is stated in the Gilbert Parliamentary Returns (1786) that £10 was given by John Pool and another for the poor. Nothing has been received for many years.
Poor's Dole.—A sum of 10s. a year is received from the trustees of Mr. J. R. Smith on New Year's Day out of lands in Flaxton under the name of Atkinson's charity, to whom the lands formerly belonged.
In 1891 John Hodgson by will directed the income of £150 York Corporation redeemable 3 per cent. stock to be expended in coals at Christmas amongst necessitous poor.
In 1894 the Rev. James Griffith by will bequeathed £18 12s. 10d. consols, dividends for the benefit of four poor and deserving widows.
In 1895 Mrs. Louisa Margaret Griffith left £9 6s. 2d. consols for necessitous poor.
These charities are applied in accordance with their respective trusts, and the sums of stock are held by the official trustees.