"CASTLE HOWARD, (the seat of the Earl of Carlisle) (extra-parochial), in the township of Hinderskelfe, and wapentake of Bulmer; 6 miles from Malton, 12 from Helmsley, 15 from York and Easingwold.
Here was an old Castle called Hinderskelfe Castle, built in the reign of Edward III. which was burnt down; and on the place where it stood, the Right Hon. Charles Howard, Earl of Carlisle, built the present noble and magnificent Seat, from a design of Sir John Vanbrugh, in the same style as Blenheim-House, and is esteemed one of the finest mansions in the county. It has a longer line of front than Blenheim-house, its exterior is magnificently grand, and the state apartments are particularly distinguished for their princely appearance. The fine collection of Paintings, Statues, Antique Busts, &c. with which this noble mansion is enriched, must afford the highest gratification to the admirers of the fine arts; whilst the liberality of the noble proprietor entitles him to the praise and gratitude of the public, for allowing them to view this elegant repository of taste and refinement. The walls are adorned with numerous and excellent paintings, a detail of which would be too extensive for our insertion. The paintings of the three Maries by Annibale Carracci, has always been considered, as the great Treasure of Castle-Howard, which for colouring, composition, expression, and pathos, and for every quality that constitutes excellence in the art, cannot be surpassed. In the park is a stately obelisk, upwards of 100 feet high, in the centre four fine avenues, on which is the following inscription:
Virtuti et fortunae Johannis Marlburiae ducis, Patriae Europaeque defensoris, hoc Saxum, Admirationi ac famae Sacrum Carolus comes Carliol. posuit Anno Domini, M.DCC.XIV.
Near the north front of the house is an extensive sheet of water, which richly merits the more dignified appellation of a lake; broad and beautiful, it spreads over an expanse of many acres; and not far from it is an elegant monument, erected by the proprietor of this noble mansion, to commemorate the victories of our immortal Nelson: on three sides of it are inscribed in letters of gold, the names of Abouker, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar. The mausoleum, situated in the Park, is a circular edifice crowned with a dome, and surrounded by a handsome colonade of doric pillars. Over the vault is an elegant circular chapel, 34 feet in diameter. The noble family of the Howards have often filled, since the time of Henry VI. the highest offices of the State, and always made an honourable figure in English History. The present head of this illustrious family, Frederiek Howard, Earl of Carlisle, Viscount Dacre, and Knight of the Garter, was born May 25, 1745. Heir apparent - George Viscount Morpeth, eldest son of the present Earl, and M.P. for Cumberland."
"COTCLIFFE, a farm house and Wood, (extra-parochial) in the wapentake and liberty of Allertonshire; 4½ miles ESE. of Northallerton. The property of the Bishop of Durham."
"HARDY FLATS, a single house (extra-parochial), in the wapentake of Rydale; 1½ mile from Kirbymoorside."
"HUTTON CONYERS, (extra-parochial) in the wapentake and liberty of Allertonshire; 1 mile NNE. of Ripon. The property of Mrs. Lawrence. Pop. 127.
This place was anciently the residence of a branch of that ancient family, the Conyers, of Sockburn, whose Hall appears to have been on the North side of the village in a field, now called the Hall Garth, the foundations of which shew themselves in every direction - it appears to have been moated round - The Mallories of Studley, having, by marriage, afterwards come into possession of this estate, it is now the property of Mrs. Lawrence.
The following singular custom of holding the courts here, is extracted from "Blounts Ancient Tenures." "The lord holds his court the first day in the year, and to entitle the several townships of Hutton Conyers, Melmerby, Baldersby, Rainton, Dishforth, and Hewick, to right of estray for their sheep to certain limited boundaries on the common or moor of Hutton Conyers, the shepherd of each township attends the court, and does fealty by bringing to the court a large apple-pye, and a twopenny sweet-cake, except the shepherd of Hewick, who compounds by paying sixteen Pence for ale, (which is drunk as after mentioned) and a wooden spoon; each pye is cut in two, and divided by the bailiff, one half between, the Steward, bailiff, and the tenant of the coney-warren, ( upon the Moor,) and the other half into six parts, and divided amongst the six Shepherds of the before mentioned six townships. In the pye, brought by the shepherd of Rainton, an inner one is made filled with prunes. The cakes are divided in the same manner. The bailiff of the manor provides furmety, and mustard, and delivers to each shepherd a slice of cheese and a penny roll. The furmety, well mixed with mustard, is put into an earthen pot and placed in a hole in the ground, in a garth belonging to the bailiffs house, to which place the steward of the court, with the bailiff, tenant of the warren, and six shepherds, adjourn, with their respective wooden spoons. The bailiff provides spoons for the steward, the tenant of the warren, and himself. The steward first pays respect to the furmety, by taking a large spoonful; the bailiff has the next honour, the tenant of the warren next, then the shepherd of Hutton-Conyers, and afterwards the other shepherds, by regular turns; then each person is served with a glass of ale (paid for by the sixteen-pence brought by the Hewick shepherd) and the health of the lord of the manor is drunk; then they adjourn back to the bailiffs house, and the further businesses of the court is proceeded in". He further adds "each pye contains about a peck of flour, is about sixteen or eighteen inches diameter, and as large as will go into the mouth of an ordinary oven; that the bailiff of the manor measures them with a rule, and takes the diameter, and if they are not of a sufficient capacity, he threatens to return them, and fine the town. If they are large enough, he divides them with a rule and compasses into four equal parts, of which the steward claims one, the warrener another, and the remainder is divided amongst the shepherds." The Moor having now been inclosed some years the custom is abolished."
"MOOR HOUSES, in the township of Hinderskelf (extra-parochial); 6 miles from Malton."
"MURTON, (extra-parochial) a few a farm houses in the wapentake of Birdforth; 5½ miles WNW. of Helmsley; in the constablery of Newburgh. Pop, included with Newburgh."
"NORTH HOLME, (extra-parochial), in the wapentake of Rydale; 8 miles S. of Kirkbymoorside. Pop. 24."
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]