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Wapentake of Harthill (Wilton Beacon Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Melbourne - Petty Sessional Division of Wilton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Pocklington - Rural Deanery of Pocklington - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish comprises the townships of Thornton, Melbourne, and Storwood. The estimated extent of the first-named township is 2,500 acres, the rateable value £1,827, and the population in 1891 was 151. Lord Leconfield is sole owner of Thornton, glebe excepted, and lord of the manor. The soil and subsoil are sand, and the chief crops wheat, turnips, barley, oats, and seeds.
The village is small, and stands about a quarter-of-a-mile north of the Pocklington canal, and five miles south-south-west of that town, whereat is the nearest railway station. The church of St. Michael is a small ancient building of stone mixed with boulders and brick, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and a western turret, containing two bells. The chancel was restored in 1890 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, at a cost of £400; and efforts are now being made to raise the necessary funds for the restoration of the nave, which will cost, it is estimated, about £700. There is a stained glass window in the chancel in memory of James Christie, who died in 1858, and a sepulchral slab in the floor inscribed to Richd. Burton, A.B., vicar, who died January 16th, 1729. Above the chancel arch are the royal arms, with the date 1725. The registers date from 1633. The living is a discharged vicarage with Allerthorpe annexed, net yearly value £260, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held by the Rev. John James Irwin, D.D., of Trinity College, Dublin, who resides at Allerthorpe. There are 56 acres of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1777 for land and a money payment. The tithe rent-charge of the united parishes is £266. There is a small school in the village, attended by about 20 children, under a certificated mistress.
MELBOURNE township comprises 3,133 acres; the rateable value is £2,912, and the population in 1891 was 388. The soil and subsoil are clay and sand, and the crops are the same as in the preceding township. The manor and estate, lately the property of Hugh Christie, Esq., were purchased in 1890 by Walter Cliff, Esq., Western Flatts, Wortley, for about £40,000. The other owners are Wm. Thomlinson Walker, Esq., Clifton Grove, York; the Dean and Chapter of York; Geo. Galtrey, Thixendale; John Brabbs, Melbourne; Robt. Gibson Sturdy, Thornton; Wm. Robson, Beverley; and Richard Charles Bruce. There are also several small freeholders.
The village, which is large and scattered, is situated about a quarter-of-a-mile south of the Pocklington canal, six miles south-south-west of Pocklington, nine miles west of Market Weighton, and 12 miles east of York. A chapel-of-ease, a temporary structure of iron, was erected here in 1883, at a cost of £450. It will accommodate 150 persons. The resident curate-in-charge is the Rev. Chas. A. K. Irwin, B.A., of Merton College, Oxford.
The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have chapels here; that belonging to the former will accommodate 150, and the latter about the same number, and bears the date 1821. A School Board, consisting of five members, was formed in 1875, and a commodious school, with master's residence attached, was erected in 1877-8, at a cost of £1,400. There is accommodation for 100, and an average attendance of 41. Richard Charles Bruce is clerk to the Board.
About half-a-mile south of the village is Melbourne Hall, a handsome red brick mansion, standing in a well-wooded park. It is the property of Walter Cliff, Esq., and the residence of Captain Bernard Hamilton Gunston, late 5th Dragoon Guards. Melbourne Grange is another fine mansion, with about 14 acres of park-land, two miles west of the village. It is at present unoccupied.
Ross Moor, in this township, was formerly open common.
STORWOOD or STORTHWAITE is a township containing 1,228 acres, of which 16 are occupied by the Pocklington canal, now almost disused. The rateable value is £1,102, and the number of inhabitants in 1891 was 83. John Jeremiah Jackson Barstow, Esq., who is lord of the manor; Francis Jennings, Melbourne; Thomas Jennings, Storwood; Robert Edward Jennings, Storwood Grange; and Francis Thomas Jennings, Storwood, are the principal landowners. There is no village; the houses are scattered over the township, which lies two-and-a-quarter miles west of Melbourne, and eight miles south-west of Pocklington. There is a Wesleyan chapel here, built in 1837 by Mr. Thomas Jennings. It will seat about 70.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.