Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer East - Poor Law Union and County Court District of York - Rural Deanery of Bulmer - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish comprises the townships of Bossall, Buttercrambe, and Harton, the united area of which is 4,694 acres (including 159 of water), and population 307. The first-named township contains 1,099 acres, and for rateable purposes is united with Buttercrambe, the two being assessed at £3,205. The principal landowners of Bossall are William John Belt, Esq., lord of the manor; Sir Charles W. Strickland Bart., Hildenley; and John Ellershaw, Esq., Kirkstall, Leeds.
The village of Bossall, which stands near the Derwent, nine miles N.E. of York, consists of three or four houses, the remnant of what was once a larger village. In a field hard by, called Old Bossall, the foundations of buildings have been discovered. The church, dedicated to St. Botolph, is an interesting old structure, in which some traces of ancient Norman work still remain. The rest of the building is Early English. It is cruciform in shape, with a tower rising from the intersection of the transepts containing four sweet toned bells. The north transept was walled up several years ago, in consequence of its dilapidated and unsafe condition. The church was restored in 1884 by subscription. The east window is a memorial of the late Col. Cholmley, of Howsham, inserted by his tenants. There are also stained glass memorials of the Rev. J. Britton, D.D., a former incumbent and his wife, and daughter, Adelaide Mills, put in by the husband of the latter lady. There are some neat tablets in the chancel to the memory of the Belt and Dodsworth families.
The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held by the Rev. C. D. Trotter, M.A. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are the impropriators of the rectorial tithes of Harton, the remainder of the commuted tithes, new estimated at £655, belong to the vicar.
Near the church is Bossall Hall, the seat of William John Belt, Esq. It is a quaint old fashioned brick mansion, formerly surrounded by a moat.
BUTTERCRAMBE contains 1,780 acres, but is united with Bossall for rating purposes. Henry Darley, Esq., is the principal owner and lord of the manor. The village is delightfully situated on the west bank of the Derwent, which here flows through some beautiful scenery. On an eminence near, is Aldby Park, the property of H. Darley, Esq., and residence of H. Pickersgill Cunliffe, Esq., J.P. It is a large brick mansion with stone dressings, erected in the year 1726, but extended some years ago by the addition of a wing at each end. It is surrounded by an extensive park, now let for grazing purposes. Aidby carries in its name (the old by or habitation) unmistakable evidence of its antiquity; and Camden tells us he saw "upon the top of the hill what appeared to be the rubbish of an old castle." This is supposed to have been the site of a Roman villa, which was afterwards converted into a royal residence by the Saxon kings of Northumbria; and it was here, some writers say, that Eomer, the assassin sent by Quichelm, king of the West Saxons, attempted to take the life of Edwin, king of Northumbria, with a poisoned dagger.
There is a chapel-of-ease, dedicated to St. John, in the village. It is a small Gothic structure, comprising chancel and nave, with bell turret, but appears to have formerly had a south aisle, the arches of which have been filled up with masonry, but are still visible in the south wall. The internal fittings are all of English oak. The font is circular, resting on nine clustered columns. The east window, representing in its three lights Jesus as the King of Glory, with His Blessed Mother and St. John on either side, is a memorial of Henry Brewster Darley, Esq., who died in 1860; some of the other windows are also filled with stained glass. On the north wall of the chancel is an old monumental tablet inscribed in Latin, to the memory of Dorothy, beloved wife of Richard Darley, of Aldby, and daughter of Thomas Waite, of Market Overton, who died in 1674.
HARTON is a township of 2,002 acres, lying on the west bank of the Derwent, and to the north of Bossall. It is wholly the property of Sir Charles William Strickland, Bart., Hildenley, whose father, Sir George Strickland, Bart., of Boynton, exchanged the name of Strickland for that of Cholmley, on succeeding to the estates of that family in 1865. The township contains 136 inhabitants, and is valued for rating purposes at £1,719. The village is small, but pleasantly situated on an open green about 9½ miles N.E. of York, The low thatched houses give it a quaint picturesque appearance. The Manor House is a superior building, in the occupation of Mr. Charles Foster, The Primitive Methodists have a small chapel here, opened in 1887; there is also a school, attended by 40 or 50 children.
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are the impropriators of the rectorial tithes, commuted value, £317.
In 1807, a leaden vessel was turned up here by the plough, and when opened it was found to contain a number of small Saxon silver coins amounting to about 300, some silver rings, and several pieces of spurs.
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