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Northern guide walk UK East Yorkshire

YORKSHIRE WOLDS GUIDE

Northern Drive

Written
by
Gwendoline Hirst ©
additional writing by Brian Allensby ©

The Yorkshire Wolds, a ridge of hills stretching in a crescent from Flamborough Head to the Humber. Originally the whole area was under water, and, when the land rose, the chalk Wolds were formed from the skeletons and shells covering the sea floor. The area could be named “Mother Nature’s patchwork quilt”, the colours changing with the seasons, in a never ending cycle, from brown to green to gold and back to brown. The main crops are winter wheat and spring barley, much of it used for seed and malt. Flocks of sheep roam on the steep, well drained slopes. Large areas were taken over by sheep in the 1300’s, and agriculture declined, leaving depopulated villages. After Enclosure in the 1700’s agriculture once again became the main source of income and the area became more affluent. Thousands of years ago, people from the Continent had invaded Britain and intermarried. Just before the Romans arrived, around 70 AD, the East Riding was ruled by the Brigantes from France. They used iron implements, which were far superior to the bronze used by the peasants. The peasants grew grain and raised sheep on the higher ground not covered by marsh. Angles and Saxons from Germany started invading and drove out the Romans in 410 AD. They settled on the Wolds and called the area “Diera”, from the Celtic word for waters, referring to the river Humber. The Kingdom of Northumbria (North Humber) was founded in 593, with York as its capital. The Saxons went back to the old ways in the Dark Ages after the Romans, becoming once again peasant farmers. In 874, Yorkshire was invaded, this time by the Vikings, and there was Danish rule until the Norman invasion in 1066. The Danes divided the county into Ridings or thirds and subdivided these into Wapentakes, which were used until the 1800’s. The county was then made into Boroughs which still exist today. Yorkshire was first written about in 1055, but was probably known as such in the 800’s.

THE NORTH WOLDS

MEANDER BETWEEN BRIDLINGTON AND MALTON

RUDSTON
BOYNTON
BRIDLINGTON
GRINDALE
BURTON FLEMING

THWING

OCTON

COWLEM

SLEDMERE

KIRBY GRINDALYTHE

DUGGLEBY

WHARRAM PERCY

WHARRAM le STREET

BIRDSALL

OLD MALTON


KEY MAP START BUTTONS

KEY MAP START AT ANY POINT

CLICK ANY NAME


FORDON

WOLD NEWTON

FOXHOLES

THWING

OCTON

BOYTHORPE

BUTTERWICK

WEAVERTHORPE

HELPERTHORPE

EAST LUTTON

MALTON
NORTON on DERWENT
SETTRINGTON
HIGH MOWTHORPE
WEST LUTTON

When following this route L means turn left;
R means turn right; + means cross roads
You may also like to use a road map or satellite navigation

This drive, of approximately 65 miles, through some of the loveliest countryside, shows the marked contrasts between the rolling hills and deep, dry valleys of the Wolds.

We will start at the Scarborough Road roundabout in Bridlington. Take the A165 Scarborough then L B1245 to GRINDALE, a Scandinavian settlement, meaning “green valley”. L into the village that was once much larger, with the remains of houses showing as mounds or earthworks in the fields. Left is St. Nicholas Church, built by Y. G. Lloyd Greame in 1874, designed by Brodrick of Hull, replacing an earlier building and an even earlier chapel. The old school is now a dwelling. Keep right past the mere or pond that was used for drinking water. Thomas Robson, said to have invented the straw elevator for stacking corn, made agricultural implements here in 1872.

L BURTON FLEMING passing left the turning to Finley Hill. This track leads to the lost village of Argam, meaning “the shielings”. The village became depopulated in the Middle Ages, but aerial photography has shown the sites of houses. A church stood here until 1632, after which the vicar kept the living by preaching one sermon a year and cutting sods on the site. Argam Dykes are ancient earthworks on each side of the road.

Left, past the crossroads, is a track to Maiden’s Grave. Now a farm, this was the site of a Bronze Age henge or meeting place, near the Gypsey Race. There were burials within a triangular enclosure, and at least four trackways led to it over the Wolds.

Burton Fleming, earlier known as North Burton, was an Anglian settlement. Turn R at the + noticing, left, the double handled pump, and Penny Bridge over the Gypsey Race that flows through Penny Hole.

Double handed pump and Methodist chapel BA Education

Double handed pump and Methodist chapel

Methodism was very strong in the 1800’s with 3 chapels in 1843; one is now a dwelling. Right, near the Church is North Burton Hall, a white stucco house with 7 bays, built early 1800’s.

North Burton hall BA Education

North Burton hall

St. Cuthbert’s Church, built in the 1100’s has been much altered, but there are some original features. L FORDON, past Manor Farm on the right, built in the 1600’s and altered in the 1800’s. Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles 1 stayed here in 1643 on her way from Bridlington to York with arms for the Civil War, having sold her jewels in Holland to pay for them. Along the Fordon road the farm, left, is on the site of the windmill built before 1300, with steam power in the 1800’s and a miller in 1905.

The Anglian settlement of Fordon, previously known as Fordune, is at the junction of 4 roads. Once a larger village with 48 people in 1821, it now has only a few dwellings of different periods from the 1700’s onwards. The deep dry valley, right, is full of wild flowers.

Cowslip valley Fordon BA Education

Cowslip valley Fordon

L Wold Newton passing tiny St. James Church, right, built around 1086 as a Chapel of Ease for Hunmanby. Originally built from local stone with a thatched roof, the south doorway is probably the original Norman entrance and there are some Norman pillars inside.

St. James church Fordon BA Education

St. James church Fordon

Once the haunt of outlaws and a shelter for sheep, the building has been restored many times. The villagers themselves refurbished it in 1973.

A windmill stood until 1910 on the hill above WOLD NEWTON known as Newton Rochford from the 1100’s, after the Rochford family. All Saints Church has Norman origins, but became so dilapidated in 1838 that services were held in the school. The chancel was rebuilt in 1850 by Marmaduke Langley. The Wesleyan chapel built in 1839 is now the village hall. Opposite is the Old School House on the site provided by William Cadman, near the single storey chalk school of 1764. The present school built in 1967 is on the parallel road and takes children from the surrounding districts. Wold Newton Hall, in wooded grounds, left, built 1797-1809 by William Hutchinson, was converted into flats in 1948. A channel takes water from the mere to the Gypsey Race and served the water mill. Mill House stands at the far end of the mere.

Woldnewton BA Education

Wold Newton

The Burton Fleming to Foxholes road ran alongside the Gypsey Race until 1776, when, due to flooding, it was moved. This ancient trackway, later a Roman road, joined the Burton Fleming road south of Bridge Farm on the Thwing road. There is a prehistoric barrow or burial mound near the farm which would have stood alongside the trackway. Further towards Burton Fleming is the tree covered Willy Howe 36m long and 7m high, constructed 1200 B.C.

Wold Newton Meteorite BA Education

Site of the Wold Newton meteorite
The photographer and the writer in 1987

Follow the road towards Thwing, Rainsburgh Lane, then turn west along the lane to Wold cottage. Continue along the footpath for 500m and on your left just on the boundary of the field you will come to the site where the a meteorite fell around 3 pm on the 13th December, 1795 leaving an entrance crater approximately 1m across having passed though the topsoil and embedding itself in the underlaying chalk subsoil at a depth of 120cm. The Wold Newton meteorite is the largest meteorite observed and recorded to have fallen in Europe consiasting when analysed of silicon, magnesium, iron, and a small amount of nickel, of which some parts of the iron and nickel were in the elemental state; the earthy substance was similar to kaolin (weathered feldspar), but relatively tough. Return to the centre of Wold Newton.

Willy Howe Wold Newton BA Education

Willy Howe Wold Newton

R FOXHOLES. Past the last house on the left, look across the fields. Right of a clump of trees is the monument erected in 1799 by Edward Topham, marking the place where a meteorite fell in 1795, now in the British Museum. Wold Cottage the white farm nearby was his home. He popularised greyhound coursing, and his black greyhound Snowball was so famous that children and horses were named after it.

Turn R, B1249 Scarborough into Foxholes. The school built in 1887 closed in 1949 and is now the village hall. Just past the crossroads to Ganton is Scruton’s Agricultural Machinery. In 1840 this site was a foundry, with blacksmiths’ and joiners’ workshops making waggons and carts as well as agricultural machinery. Bought by Scrutons in 1897, the furnace, casting shop and moulders shop were demolished in 1942 and new showrooms built. Turn L Ganton to see the former rectory, now named Foxholes Manor. Built in 1685 it became a private dwelling in 1945 and has 3 storeys and 5 bays with a central porch. The Norman church of St. Mary’s with chancel, nave and bell turret, was rebuilt in 1866 to designs by G. Fowler Jones.

St Mary's church Foxholes BA Education

St. Mary’s church Foxholes

Return to + R Driffield.

For the short route, keep on the B1249 Driffield. At the roundabout L Bridlington then L THWING and read from OCTON.

Continue the drive, at + R Weaverthorpe to BOYTHORPE. A thriving settlement until the Black Death in the 1300’s, now only two farms remain. The old Toll road right led to the windmill and Falconers’ Hall, which Colonel Thomas Thornton built as a lodge. This was demolished before 1850. He revived the sport of falconry and formed the Wolds Falconers’ Club in 1781. The course of the main road was changed in 1772 because of flooding, with the link road built in 1839 forming the bend. There was a World War 2 prisoner of war camp right.

At BUTTERWICK there were many more houses, seen as earthworks in the fields south of Manor House Farm, which had a common oven for use by the villagers in 1359. St. Nicholas Church can be reached by the footpath before the telephone box.

St. Nicholas church Butterwick BA Education

St. Nicholas church Butterwick

Built in the 1300’s, on the site of an earlier chapel belonging to Foxholes church, it had a wooden steeple in 1553, replaced by a brick belltower. During restoration in 1883, by G. Fowler Jones, the effigy of a knight was found in the chancel, probably Robert FitzRalph d. 1317. A stone coffin on the left has engraved on it a sword and shield. A round barrow found in the area contained the remains of a young man with a bronze knife and jet buttons on his tunic. Right, at the crossroads, is a cruck house, and the house, left, was used as a chapel in the last century.

Chapel house and Cruck house Butterwick BA Education

Chapel house and Cruck house Butterwick

The Gypsey Race reappears above ground along the road to WEAVERTHORPE. The long main street with bridges over the Race has wide verges, left for the cottagers to graze their cattle when the fields were enclosed in the 1700’s. R at the + Sherburn to the church, built in the 1100’s, on a Saxon site, by Herbert FitzHerbert, lord of the manor.

Weaverthorpe church BA Education

Weaverthorpe church

William FitzHerbert, his son, became Archbishop of York in 1143, and was canonised in 1226 to become St. William of York. The statue of St. Andrew was placed in the church during restoration by G. E. Street for Sir Tatton Sykes in 1872. The painted, waggon type roof was also installed, with a wrought iron belfry screen and brass chancel screen. The effigy in the churchyard is probably from Bridlington Priory. There are earthworks in the field to the South, possibly of buildings surrounding the manor house, the remains of which were found in the churchyard extension.

Return to the village and continue to HELPERTHORPE with its wide main street. The concrete drive through the farmyard, on the right past the telephone box, leads to the church. The decorated, waggon type roof, painted belfry ceiling and decorated chancel roof were installed at restoration in 1875. Several steps lead up to the raised chancel. The Victorian red brick vicarage, designed by G. E. Street, is next door.

Notice the tiny chapel, right, behind the petrol pumps on the way to EAST LUTTON, where there are bridges over the Race, with a double pump left. There is an old chalk cottage right.

WEST LUTTON is the next village, with large farmhouses in the main street. St. Mary’s church was restored in 1874 by Sir Tatton Sykes, copying the original belltower and spire.

St.Mary's church and double handled pump West Lutton BA Education

St.Mary’s church and double handled pump West Lutton

There is a painted waggon type roof in the nave and a stone vaulted chancel roof. Through the wrought iron screen can be seen the round East window. One window is dedicated to Jimmy Turner, one of the crew of 5 airmen who baled out over the village after the fuel tank of their plane was holed whilst returning from Dortmund in 1941. A chalk cottage, right, has Yorkshire casement windows.

After the 2nd Z bend turn R HIGH MOWTHORPE. After about 2 miles you will see on the hill, left, the buildings of the Agricultural Development and Experimental Husbandry farm with its shelter belts of trees. Experimental cereal crops are grown here. Settrington Beacon was on top of the hill to the right.

Turn L SETRINGTON down the wooded slopes of the 1 in 6 hill with glimpses of a dry, glacial valley on the left. R through the gates to Settrington House, home of Sir Richard Storey Bt. The Orangery is now a banqueting suite. The house is not open, but do visit All Saints church dating from the 1100’s. Some of the stone may have come from Kirkham Priory during restoration in 1823. The south chapel was refurnished in 1951 and has oak pews and kneeler by mouse man Thompson of Kilburn. The manor was held by the Bigod family from the 1200’s to 1537 when Sir Francis Bigod was executed for high treason for taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. This was when Northern men, led by Robert Aske, marched to London to demand the restoration of the monasteries and a return to Roman Catholicism. Timber framed houses stood near the church until Henrietta Masterman and her husband Sir Mark Sykes demolished them in 1793 to build Settrington house. Gutted by fire in 1963 it was rebuilt by the late Lord Buckton and the architect Francis Johnson. R into the stone village built in 1800 by Sir Mark Sykes on the site of the original which had a water mill in 1600.

Turn L Norton then R Malton, passing through the suburbs. R Malton and then L into NORTON on DERWENT. This industrial settlement produced pottery in 200 AD for the Roman cavalry garrisoned in Malton. The Roman forces were warned of Saxon invaders by a series of signal stations along the coast and inland beacons using semaphore or smoke signals.

R over the railway, and the bridge built before 1675 over the Derwent, into MALTON. There was a ford here in Roman times, near which St. Paulinus is said to have baptised the first Christians.

Drive along Castlegate, which was one of the four gates into the old walled borough. The castle was on the hill to the right. R at the traffic lights A169 Pickering along Old Maltongate. First R is St Leonards Church built in the 1100’s as a chapel for the Priory. The tower was added in 1400 and the church restored in 1907. The church was closed in 1947 and given to the Roman Catholics in 1971.

Nearby is the site of the castle built over a Roman fort in the 1100’s, to hold off invasion from the Scottish. Besieged by the Scottish invaders, Richard 111 held a peace conference here with the King of Scotland. As a Royalist stronghold it was once more besieged in the Civil Wars. The remains were demolished by Ralph Lord Eure in 1600. On the site he built a stone Jacobean house with a Lodge and stone screening wall on the roadside. On his death in 1675 the heirs could not agree and divided the house stone by stone. All that remains is the Lodge and part of the wall, right as you continue to drive along Maltongate. Next to it are the Fitzwilliam Estate offices. Along the adjacent pathway a plaque in the wall marks the site of the north wall of the Roman Fort of Dervantio, built 79 A D and abandoned in 400 AD on the route from Lincoln. Malton (Dervantio) was probably founded before York as a Roman base and had a legion of 6000 men in 79 AD. It was used as a collection and distribution point for corn paid in taxes by the Britons on the Wolds. There was a road to Settrington beacon, and you could see Seamer beacon. The civilian settlement was on Orchard field and is now a picnic site.

Large houses along this road were built in the 1600’s when Malton was a Spa town. Drive to OLD MALTON which was built round the Gilbertine Priory founded in 1147. St. Gilbert of Semperingham d 1189 formed 13 English orders, some for both men and women, this one being for men. St Mary’s church, built before 1068, was enlarged and used by the Priory. This is the only church of the order still in daily use and has been much altered. The tester above the altar was installed by Temple Moore in 1899. Walk outside and left along the pathway to see the view of the Derwent through the archway, winding along the water meadows. There were fish ponds and a watermill here. Abbey House, now a retirement home was built in the 1600’s and became the home of Charles Smithson, friend of Charles Dickens, in 1843. He died in 1844, aged 39, and was buried in the Abbey graveyard. Notice the medieval, person shaped stone coffins, with drainage holes. As you leave the churchyard, the coffin shelf on the North wall is where, until the 1700’s, the parish coffin was kept. The corpse was carried to church in this but buried only in a shroud. Leaving the churchyard, the cottage, right, was the Free Grammar School, founded by Robert Holgate, Archbishop of York in 1546. Next door is the vicarage, once the schoolmaster’s house built 1786. Right, at the end of the village, is Toll Bar cottage. Continue to the roundabout, where you can turn off and visit the World War 2 Prisoner of War camp, Eden Camp.

Return along the A 1257 Malton road through Old Malton to the traffic lights, R Helmsley, with parking on Wheelgate, and car parks further along L Town centre. Charles Dicken’s brother, Alfred Lambert Dickens was a railway engineer with an office in Market Place and a house in Greengate at the top of Wheelgate whilst working on the building of the York, Malton and Scarborough Railway. In the stables behind the Crown Hotel, right, in Wheelgate is a brewery founded in 1984, producing “Double Chance Bitter” named after the 1925 Grand National winner Double Chance, once stabled here. The vaulted stone cellars of the Cross Keys Inn left, were the crypt of a hospital belonging to the Priory. Opposite Greengate is Finkle Street, once lined with jettied houses inside the old town walls. At the hub of the old town was the Market Place, with the arched market hall built of stone at the centre. This was added to in the 1700’s and became the Town Hall, which is now the Information Centre and Museum. On the corner of the Market Place is a red brick house with a balcony, where the newly elected M.P’s were announced to the waiting crowds. At the side of this is Saville Street, where Charles Dickens read some of his work at the theatre, now demolished. At the end is Yorkersgate, formerly York House Gate, another of the gates into the old walled town. Along here to the right, up several steps, is Chancery Lane, where you find the red brick house used by Charles Dickens as a model for Scrooge’s office in “A Christmas Carol”. Charles Dickens often visited Charles Smithson, a solicitor with offices in Chancery Lane. They met in London where Smithson was training in the family firm and became friends and many characters in the books by Dickens were based on people he met in the area. He and his wife stayed at Easthorpe Hall the Smithson home, just outside Malton, in 1843. Charles Smithson was born at York House on Yorkersgate in 1804.

Scrooge's office Chancery Lane Malton BA Education

Scrooge’s office, Chancery Lane, Malton

Continue the drive at the traffic lights and take B 1248 Beverley. Cross the railway line then L to the small island. R Birdsall, passing, left, St Peter’s church, started in 1894 and finished in 1913. Also, left, is Mount Ferrant, site of a castle built by the Fossards and destroyed in 1150. Langton Wold is the racehorse training area, with more than 20 racing stables around Malton. John Scott, who trained 16 winners of the St Leger, owned Whitehall stables from 1825 to 1871.

Straight at the + then L into BIRDSALL. St. Mary’s church on the hill was built in 1823.

St. Mary's church Birdsall BA Education

St. Mary’s church Birdsall

An avenue of Lime trees leads to Birdsall House home of Lord Middleton. The house, with the ruins of the old church in front, can be seen if you drive through the village on the Pocklington road.

Birdsall House, Birdsall BA Education

Birdsall House

The original Birdsall House was a small Tudor house built on a monastic site acquired from the church by the Sotheby family in 1550 after the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry the Vlll in 1550. Todays stone house came about in 1729 when Thomas and Elizabeth Willoughby remodeled the Tudor structure to the Georgian style. What followed was a house with five bay windows, one containing the central entrence door, leading to the day room in the Long Hall. Many alterations followed over the ensuing years. In 1776 a south west wing was added by Thomas and Elizabeth's son, Henry, 5th Lord Middleton and houses The Ballroom and The Oval room. A matching wing was added in 1873 by Henry, 8th Lord Middleton providing a base for pictures and furniture attained over the years. The house claims to to have had the first private gas system installed in England. The chance acquisition of Birdsall House came about 1719 when Thomas Willoughby, the younger son of the 1st Lord Middleton, lost his way in a snow storm whilst traveling over the Yorkshire wolds from Nottingham. By chance he saw a light and In desperation he followed the light that lead him to Birdsall House and his meeting with Elizabeth, the only daughter and heiress the Birdsall estate. It was love at first sight they married soon after. The family name Willoughby was taken by Ralph Bugge, a Nottingham merchant of Saxon origin, who had bought land in the thirteenth century that encompassed the Nottinghamshire village of Willoughby-on-the-Wolds. The baronetcy Lord Middleton came about in 1711 after Francis Willoughby, the son of Francis, an early member of the Royal Society and famous naturalist who identified and catalogued hundreds of species of plants and animals throughout Europe 200 years before Darwin, was made a baron in recognition of his fathers contribution to the natural world. Lord Middleton, Colonel Micheal Guy Percival, 11th Baron had a horse named Ragtime that went with him to World War 1. It was then sent to Baghdad where Lord Middleton found it and brought it back to Birdsall to end its days.

After seeing the house, turn round and R Duggleby, along the single track road to WHARRAM le STREET. The name means “meadow in a basin near the Roman road”. The Gypsey Race rises at Manor farm and only flows strongly every few years, foretelling a famine, so the old saying goes. There were at one time 26 water mills along its length. St Mary’s church has a Saxon tower and was restored in 1863 by Lord Middleton. To see the medieval deserted village of WHARRAM PERCY meaning “meadow in a basin belonging to the Percy family” follow the signs. Reached down a rough track on foot, it is a walk of nearly a mile from the car park. This Anglian settlement in the valley expanded until the 1400’s, when it became depopulated. The ruined church of St. Martin still stands, with farm cottages from 1850 nearby. Regular excavations take place and remains of six barrows dating to 1700 BC and 2 medieval manor houses have been found.

Return to the + and proceed to Duggleby. Fork right at the DUGGLEBY village sign and straight at the + Kirby Grindalythe. Duggleby Howe right is one of the largest Neolithic barrows found in Britain and was the ceremonial centre of the Western Wolds.

Duggleby howe BA Education

Duggleby Howe

Originally 9 m high and dating from 2100 BC, there would probably have been wood lined rooms inside. It was used over many centuries, containing remains from the Stone Age as well as the Bronze Age. When Sir Tatton Sykes opened it in 1890 the remains of 53 cremations were found.

Through the village R to KIRBY GRINDALYTHE the meaning “church in the green valley”. R SLEDMERE, then R into “no through road” to see St Andrew’s church, passing the pump and the old school left, now the village hall. On top of the hill left, is the old vicarage. Park and cross the Gypsey Race, noticing the earthworks of the old village in the field left. The Norman tower has a spire added in the 1300’s. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1878 by Sir Tatton Sykes to designs by G. E. Street. Specially commissioned Italian artists created a mosaic of the Ascension on the West wall, and there is a marble and alabaster carving behind the altar and an oak rood screen. Drive back to the junction, passing the Biology Field Study Centre, left.

R to Sledmere. Sledmere House was built in 1751 in the village round the mere, now the lake.

Sledmere House BA Education

Sledmere Hoase

In 1787 Sir Christopher Sykes enlarged the house and demolished the village as it spoiled the view, rebuilding it outside the grounds. After a fire in 1911 the splendid internal plasterwork by Joseph Rose was copied from the original moulds. Sir Christopher Sykes enclosed the sheep walks over the Wolds, making smaller fields with hedges, reintroducing cereal growing and starting crop rotation. Much of the woodland in the area also dates from this time. Sir Tatton Sykes, whose memorial is on Garton Hill, founded the stud farm, which was the largest in England. His son, Sir Tatton b 1826 spent 2 million pounds restoring Wolds churches. He would walk from church to church wearing layers of coloured waistcoats which he shed one by one, to be picked up by the following footman. The Wolds Waggon, used on all the farms, had a distinctive Flemish design. This style was used for the church roofs, built by the wainwrights employed on the estate. The Waggoners Reserve, raised by his son Sir Mark in 1912, were the Waggon drivers from the farms who trained at Sledmere by holding driving contests. They were attached to the Army Service Corps in World War 1. The Waggoners Monument right was designed by Sir Mark to commemorate the war service of these drivers.

Waggoner's monument Sledmere BA Education

Waggoner’s monument Sledmere

The church, rebuilt in 1897 to designs by Temple Moore, may be seen by going through the iron gates on the right.

st marys church Sledmere BA Education

St. Mary's church, Sledmere viewed from the Sledmere house

L through the village, then past the stone temple L Scarborough. The village of COWLAM, on the right, had a beacon on the line from Staxton. 2nd exit at the roundabout Rudston and then L Thwing.

Cowlam church BA Education

Cowlam church

Bear L through OCTON where in 1260 John of Octon had a rabbit warren. There were 25 rabbit warrens in the East Riding for meat and fur in the 1600’s. Very few of the large farm houses were built before Georgian times, due to the relative poverty of the yeomen farmers. The isolated farmsteads with shelter belts of trees were built after Enclosure. The farm hands lived in, and formed small communities, making their own entertainment in the small amount of free time they had. Most of the chalk buildings have disappeared but the oldest cruck building in East Yorkshire, Glebe Farm, can be seen right. This listed building was a cottage and has original crucks, or roof timbers made from the trunk of a tree, supporting the building.

Cruck cottage Octon BA Education

Cruck cottage Octon

The plantation on top of the hill is opposite Paddock Hill, an important Neolithic site, occupied from 6000 BC to the Middle Ages. A circular hill fort 120 m diameter, with a dyke surrounding it, was built about 1000 BC on the site of an earlier henge. From 700 AD this was probably the main administrative centre for the area, receiving payment of tribute and may have been the Dic-ring or Dyke circle from which Dickering Wapentake was named. Remains of a Post Mill from the Middle Ages have also been found. Recent excavations unearthed an Anglo Saxon cemetery, in which over 100 bodies were found, some in coffins which denoted a high rank.

In the valley are 2 farmhouses, Octon Grange being built on the site of a grange belonging to Meaux Abbey. Earthworks show the site which had a ditch and wall. The monks sheepfolds were outside the gates, each having a stint, which was the amount of beasts, sheep and houses allowed on each bovate of land.

Keep R to THWING, passing Lamplugh House left, named after Thomas Lamplugh, born 1615 who became Archbishop of York after going to London to pledge allegiance to James II as a Jesuit. The silver church plate he gave to Thwing church can be seen in York Minster. Built as the vicarage in 1870, it is now a Christian conference centre. Thwing, the highest parish in the Wapentake, was a thriving village up to the Middle Ages with a market, annual fair, smithy and several shops. The school, right, built 1884 is now a dwelling as is the Wesleyan chapel, left. L past the village hall on the right, which was once the school, built in 1835, with the schoolmaster’s house next door. All Saints church, dates from the 1100’s, a new tower being built at restoration in 1900 by Temple Moore.

All Saint's church and old school Thwing BA Education

All Saint’s church and old school Thwing

The clock made by James Harrison in 1840 is of a rare type keeping extremely accurate time. R to the + with the sign depicting the arms of the Thwing and Lumley families surmounted by a Bishop’s mitre. L along the main street past Manor Farm left, on the site of the manor where John de Tweng was born in 1320. He became the Prior of Bridlington and was the last Englishman to be canonised before the Reformation, becoming St John of Bridlington. The raised pathway, right, marks where the Methodist Chapel stood from 1840 until 1937. Fork R past the mere below the road, which was the village water supply. The trackway from the low road was cut during 1943 when tanks used the Wolds for a year as a training ground for the D Day landings.

L RUDSTON, you are now on a Roman road. Just before the village, right, is a large area of hard standing used by the tanks during training in the Second World War. R Burton Agnes opposite the Bosville Arms. Passing Rudston House, right, in Long Street, the birthplace of Winifred Holtby who wrote “South Riding” and is buried in the churchyard.

Rudston House, Rudston BA Education

Rudston House

Winifred Holtby was born at Rudston House, Long Street, Rudston, East Yorkshire on the 23rd of June, 1898. She was the youngest daughter of a farmer David Holtby and Alice Winn who became the first alderwoman on the East Riding Council and aunt to Vera Brittain's two children John and Shirley (Baroness Shirley Williams. Winifred's upstairs bedroom was at the back of the house and can be identified by the initial “W” scratched on a window pane.

Holtby Window Rudston House, Rudston BA Education

W window pane, Winifred's room, Rudston House
Centre upper right pane

Winifred was educated at home by a governess until 1909 when she was 11 and then went on to board at Queen Margaret's School, Queen Margaret's Road, Scarborough until July, 1916, that included a spell in 1915 when the school evacuated to St. Margaret's School in Pitlochry, Scotland brought about by the German sea bombardment of Scarborough in 1914. On leaving she spent a year as a probationer nurse in a London nursing home. She never married, but about this time, when she was 16, she fell in love with Harry Pearson, the son of a bank manager, whose family were friends of the Holtby's. An unsatisfactory on-off relationship developed, the outcome of this was him proposing to her on her deathbed, at the suggestion of Vera Bittain. After taking the entrance examination for Somerville College, a woman's college, in Oxford in October 1917 she won a scholarship to read Modern History and commenced her studies, but left to join the Woman's Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) early 1918 and was posted to Huchenneville, near Abbeville in France just before the World War ended. In 1919 she returned to take up her place at Somerville College, Oxford and finish her studies gaining a second-class degree in 1921. Also studying at the same college was Vera Brittain who wrote “Testament of Youth” and a close relationship ensued. Ardent feminists, socialists and pacifists they became involved with causes with these aims. On graduating from Oxford in 1921 they moved to 52 Doughty Street, London hoping to establish themselves as writers. Holtby excelled at journalism and wrote for twenty newspapers and magazines, one being the Manchester Guardian. Winifred wrote six novels including her much acclaimed “South Riding”, published posthumously in March 1917, as well as eight other books, two volumes of short stories one being “Truth is Not Sober”, along with poetry “My Garden and other poems” first published at her own expense in 1911 and in 1932 the first critical study of Virginia Woolf. A feminist survey with opinions that are still relevant called “Women and a Changing Civilization” appeared in 1934. After Brittain's marriage to academic George Catlin, Holtby shared rooms at Nevern Place and then 19 Glebe Place, Chelsea. She spent time in South Africa in 1926 studying the conditions and problems of native Africans and on her return to England she accepted the job as director and editor of radical journal “Time and Tide”. During this time Holtby began to suffer from high blood pressure, with recurrent headaches and bouts of lassitude, and in 1931 she was diagnosed as suffering from Bright's disease, a kidney ailment, now called nephritis. Her doctor gave her only two years to live. Aware of her impending death, Winifred put all her energy into what became her most important book, “South Riding”. Winifred Holtby died at the nursing home at 23 Devonshire Street, Marylebone on the 29th of September,1935, aged 37 and is buried at All Saint's churchyard, in her home village of Rudston, East Yorkshire.

Winifred Holtby Rudston BA Education

Winifred Holtby

A Roman villa built 200 AD over an iron age farmstead,was found along the Kilham road. A mosaic floor showing Venus bathing, found on the site, is on view in Hull Museum. L into the village over the Gypsey Race and L to the Norman church of All Saint’s restored in 1861. This ancient site has been used since prehistoric times as a secular and religious meeting place. The village name derives from the Bronze Age monolith or Rood Stone in the churchyard. Britain’s tallest monolith, 7.7 m tall, is thought to have been brought from Cayton Bay and probably would have had a cross on top.

All Saint's church and rood stone Rudston BA Education

All Saint’s church and rood stone Rudston

R Bridlington. Thorpe Hall right, the family home of the Macdonalds, was built by the Bosvilles in the 1700’s. Sir Martin de Bosville was one of the treasurers of William the Conqueror’s army. In the 1800’s Diana Bosville married a Macdonald, whose chief Lord of the Isles, was once an independent sovereign. The house, built on the site of Thorpe village, has 5 bays with a Tuscan door case. 2 wings were added in the 1700’s and the house doubled in size in 1886. An octagonal larder and dairy stand near the house. 2 lakes were formed by building weirs on the Gypsey Race. One, built in 1815, provided employment during the agricultural depression. A 3 arched bridge is faced with stone from Filey Brigg. Notice the ice house right hidden in the trees by the roadside. The family tomb is in Rudston churchyard.

Ice house Thorpe hall Rudston BA Education

Ice house Thorpe hall Rudston

Continue to BOYNTON passing the site of Caythorpe village right, Low Caythorpe Farm being the only building remaining. The course of the road was altered in 1768 to enlarge the park at Boynton Hall. R at the + at the bottom of the hill is the Hall, built in 1549 by William Strickland, and owned by the Stricklands for 400 years until 1950. Sold in 1954 and divided into flats, it was bought in 1980 by Richard Marriott, a descendent of the Stricklands, who is renovating the interior. An oak staircase with bolection moulded panelling dates from 1730. 2 chimney pieces were designed by William Kent of Bridlington. Queen Henrietta Maria stayed here on her way from Bridlington to York in 1643, with arms for the Civil Wars. The family were not Royalist, so she stole the gold plate and left a portrait of herself in its place. East of the Hall is a building probably used by Sir George Strickland as a woollen mill, employing 150 people in the 1770’s, later a sawmill and then a piggery. In 1884 George Hudson proposed to build York-Bridlington railway through the valley, but it was opposed by the Stricklands and never built. Henry Strickland produced a map of the East Riding. Sir Walter Strickland became a Czech citizen in 1923 and died in Java in 1939. St Andrew’s church is Norman with a 1400’s stone tower and was rebuilt in brick in 1768. At one time men, women and children had to sit separately in the box pews, consequently very few people attended, however in 1910 the interior was remodelled and the feudal seating removed. The lectern has a turkey design as the Stricklands are said to have brought the turkey to England. The vicarage next door is now a private dwelling. There is a pleasant walk along the Gypsey Race from here. The rest of the village is across the main road and was much larger in the Middle Ages, with houses on each side of the Race. Return to the main road.

R Bridlington passing, left, the school built in 1909. Look right and you will see on top of the hill Carnaby Temple, built by Sir George Strickland in the 1700’s, and known locally as the pepper pot. Pass the Hall lodge, right, and enter Easton now consisting of only a few houses. The oldest is a brick and chalk farmhouse built in the 1700’s.

Diagonally opposite, right, on the road side, was Eastfield Farm House, home of John Hudson, a gentleman farmer who lived with his wife, in a two storied red roofed dwelling with chalk walls, similar to those diagonally opposite and just two miles outside Bridlington. Due to its poor state of repair it was demolished in 1960 and replaced with farm buldings.

East House Farm
from the front of Ellen Nussey's house BA Education

Easton House Farm, the Hudson’s farm house at Easton from the road

At the beginning of September 1839 Charlotte Brontë and Ellen Nussey travelled by horse drawn carriage from Haworth to Leeds to take their first train ride to Selby and then to York in a hired open horse drawn public “fly” coach, to Driffield where they subsequently alighted at the Bell hotel. They were meet by John Hudson, a gentleman farmer who lived with his wife at Easton House Farm, a two storied red roofed dwelling with white walls, similar to the one diagonally opposite, just two miles outside Bridlington.

Easton House 
House b/w from the back of Ellen Nussey's house BA Education

Easton House Farm, the Hudson’s farm house at Easton from the back

Disappointed at not being near the sea, and after walks to Harlequin wood and Boynton, one day the two girls followed the Gypsy Race, a stream that ran past the back of the farm house, eventually arrived at the natural harbor of Bridlington, a course that they followed many times over the coming days. The stream derives its energy from springs rising along its course having first risen at Manor farm, Wharram le Street.

Bronte Gypsy Race
from the back of Ellen Nussey's house BA Education

The Gypsy Race at the back of Easton House Farm

Charlotte overpowered by her first sight of the sea could not speak, with tears in her eyes she remained quiet and subdued until exhaustion crept up on her at the end of the day. On their way the two girls had passed Victoria mill in Sawmill Yard, Bridlington one of at the time 26 water mills on the Gypsy Race, eventually they arrived at the newly built quay completed in 1836. After three weeks at Easton, having not being allowed to stay on the quay side, thought not to be appropriate for two young ladies, they made their escape and way to Garrison Street in Bridlington to stay with a lodging house keeper Mrs Ann Booth on the recommendation of the Hudson’s and stayed for a further week before returning home at the end of the month. With the sea outside, the noisy Ranter’s methodist chapel across the street on the edge of the cliff on what is now the Esplanade and the visitors to the town taking their promenade past the lodging house their week was not boring. A Mr Thomas Booth had bathing machines for hire on the beach opposite.

Previously on the 5th March 1839, a 23 year old Charlotte Brontë had declined a marriage proposal from Ellen Nussey’s brother the Reverend Henry Nussey, curate at Burton Agnes, finding him dull. The rector of Burton Agnes was Charles Henry Lutwidge, uncle of Lewis Carroll the children's writer. However on the 29th June 1854, at the age of 38 Charlotte married an Irish curate named Arthur Bell Nicholls at Haworth after Charlotte’s father had refused Arthur’s first proposal on the 13 December 1952, but Charlotte died the following year during her pregnancy, on March 31, 1855, in Haworth at the age of 38.

Eastfield farm
site of Ellen Nussey's house BA Education

Eastfield farm, site of the Hudson’s farmhouse at Easton

L and you will arrive back where you started at the Scarborough Road roundabout having travelled through “Mother Nature's Patchwork Quilt”. © GMH

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