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Wapentake of Pickering Lythe - Petty Sessional Division of Pickering Lythe East - Electoral Division of Thornton - Poor Law Union of Pickering - County Court District and Rural Deanery of Malton - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish is situated midway between Kirby Moorside and Scarborough, and contains now, according to a rearrangement of the parochial boundary, which came into operation on the 25th March, 1886, an area of about 6,100 acres, which is chiefly the property of Sir G. A. Cayley, Bart., who is lord of the manor, and Francis Baker, Esq., J.P. The soil varies in different parts; in the vale of the Derwent it is rich and fertile, but barren in the higher grounds to the north. Rateable value, £3,414, and population, 592.
The manor formerly belonged to the Hothams, one of whom, Sir John Hotham, was appointed governor of Hull by the parliament in the Civil War, and defended that town for some time against the forces of Charles I.; but, being at last suspected of holding secret communications with the king, a watch was set and his perfidy discovered. He and his son were arrested, tried and condemned, and beheaded on Tower Hill, The family had a country seat here, built after the manner of a Roman villa. It is a picturesque building, charmingly situated within sight of the high road, and now the residence of Mr. Joseph Bradley.
A little north of the village, on Scamridge, are some entrenchments which have been known from time immemorial as Oswy's Dykes, and in the vicinity there is, or rather there was, a cave called Ilfrid's Hole. Here, according to tradition, the forces of Oswy, King of Northumbria, met those of his unnatural son, Alfrid, who had rebelled against him. The latter was wounded in the battle, but escaped from his pursuers, and secreted himself in the above mentioned cave, from whence he was removed next day to Little Driffield, where, according to an inscription in the church, he died, January 19th, A.D. 705, and was buried in the chancel. Unfortunately for the accuracy of the tradition, Oswy had died 35 years previously. Probably the discrepancy has arisen, by a confusion of two not very dissimilar names, Alchfrid with Aldfrid, both sons of Oswy. The former did, the Venerable Bede darkly hints, raise the sword of rebellion against his father, and probably an encounter may have taken place here between their forces. The scene of the conflict is still pointed out, and bears the name of the Bloody Field. About the year 1790, Sir Charles Hotham, Bart., the then proprietor of the Ebberston estate, erected on the summit of the hill within 20 yards of the cave, a plain circular structure of rude stones, with an inscription, long since gone, recording the substance of the tradition.
The village of Ebberston is situated in the midst of some lovely scenery on the Pickering and Scarborough road, about seven miles E. of the former town. The church (St. Mary) stands in a secluded dell, about half-a-mile from the village. It dates from Norman times, and though it has undergone frequent reparation, some of the original work still remains. This is found in the pillars which separate the aisle from the nave, and the arch of the doorway. The font also belongs to this early period, The chancel was restored in 1870, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the nave and tower in 1880, at a cost of £900, raised by subscription. Several of the windows are stained glass memorials. This church was anciently a chapel-of-ease to Pickering until 1252, when it was appropriated to the deanery of York, and a vicarage ordained therein. The living is united with Allerston, the gross annual value being £310, with £180 granted by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for curates. The patronage is vested in the Archbishop of York; present vicar, the Rev. F. W. Jackson, M.A. There are about 40 acres of glebe.
The vicarage house is a neat residence, erected in 1867, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, at a cost of £1,500. It stands within its own grounds on the side of the hill, and commands a splendid view of the vale of the Derwent.
The National school was built in 1874, on a site given by the late John Baker, Esq., who also contributed £100 towards the cost of erection. It is attended by 90 children, and is supported by government grant, school fees, and voluntary contributions.
The Wesleyans have a very pretty little chapel in the village, erected by public subscription in 1872, at a cost of £500. In 1874 a gallery was added, at a cost of £30, and in 1886 an orchestra, at a further outlay of £50. The old chapel, built in 1810, is now used as a Sunday school. This chapel is in the Pickering circuit.
Bickley is a hamlet, the property and manor of the late Mr. Lloyd. There is a small school, used also as a chapel, chiefly supported by Mrs. Lloyd.
[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.