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Wapentake of the Ainsty of York - Rural Deanery of Ainsty - Archdeaconry of York or West Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish comprises the township to which it gives its name, as also Catterton, formerly belonging to the parish of Tadcaster. It has an area of 3,378 acres, and, in 1881, a population of 281 souls. The township, which lies about three miles north-north-east of Tadcaster, has an area of 2,666 acres 3 roods 7 perches, of the rateable value of £2,979 2s. 11d., and a population of 237 (1881). The soil is various. The property and manor belong to E. Brooksbank, Esq., Healaugh Manor.
At an early date, the lands of this parish belonged to the priory of Healaugh park, then established here. We find, from its first charter, that, before 1203, Bertram Haget gave to Gilbert, a monk of Marmonstier, and to his successors, "the lands of the hermitage or desert which is in the wood of Healaugh, viz. that land towards the east, where the water is wont to run and passe from the bridge called Lairbridge, to the passage anciently called Sangneat," to found a religious house. On the site of the hermitage, was built a church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, and some religious were stationed here. In or about 1218, a priory of Black Canons was established by Jordan de S. Maria, and Alice, his wife, who was granddaughter to Bertram Haget. Edward II. granted to the prior free warren in all his demesne lands in Healaugh, Wighill, &c. The possessions of the priory lay in the vicinity of the house. At the Dissolution, there were fourteen canons here, with a revenue of £86 5s. 9d. In 1540, the site of the priory came into the possession of James Gage, Esq., who alienated it to Sir Arthur D'Arcy, Knight, after which it became the residence of the Marquis of Wharton. The present proprietor, as was said above, is E. Brooksbank, Esq., and the old manor house, the remains of the priory, is now a farm house.
The church, dedicated to St John the Evangelist, stands well on an elevated piece of land, and is of the Norman period. The tower has been rebuilt, probably about the end of the 18th century, and in 1860, the church was restored by the Rev. E. H. Brooksbanks. A new organ has recently been placed in position, at a cost of £210, raised by subscriptions. The edifice consists of a nave, chancel, and north aisles, with a square tower at the west end, containing three bells, and surmounted by a cross. On the south side of the nave, is an arched entrance, of Early Norman workmanship, in good preservation, and consists of four mouldings; the inner one is plain; the second has a series of beaked heads; the third is composed of human heads and figures and masks, of a grotesque pattern; and the fourth one is a chevron moulding. In the chancel aisle is a table monument, of alabaster, bearing the recumbent effigies of a knight, in plain armour, between two ladies, representing Thomas, Lord Wharton, who died in 1568, and his two wives (a duplicate of this monument is to be found at Kirby Stephen, where there is still a Wharton Hall). On the south site of the chancel are memorial windows to members of the Brooksbank family, as well as several tablets on the walls. The handsome brass lectern, the engraving of which is very fine and chaste, was presented by, and is the workmanship of, the present vicar.
A cross, of very early date, about 664, was discovered in the churchyard in 1842, with Celtic inscription. Where the said cross is now, is unknown. At the time of its discovery, much discussion arose over it amongst antiquarians, but nothing conclusive resulted. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6, but now worth £100. The patron is E. Brooksbank, Esq., and the vicar, the Rev. Robert Herbert Cooke, B.D., formerly fellow of Sidney College, Cambridge, who resides in the vicarage house close by.
The National school is attended by an average of 32, and is supported by grant from Government, pence, and subscriptions, In the village is a library in connection with the Yorkshire Union of Mechanics' Institutes.
Close to the church, on the north east side, are the remains of the foundation of a castle, of which mention is made in Leland's Itinerary.
CHARITIES. - In 1880, Thomas Hessel, of Catterton, left the interest of £100, three per cent. consols, for the poor of the parish. A person named Hudson also left a similar sum.
CATTERTON TOWNSHIP lies on the north side of Tadcaster, and contains 710 acres, rated to the poor at £560 8s. 0d., with a population of 44. The land belongs to E. Brooksbank, Esq. The soil is clay and gravel, producing wheat, barley, oats, and turnips. The hamlet consists of five farmhouses and a few cottages.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.