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Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer West - Electoral Division of Stillington - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Easingwold - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish has a superficial extent of 2,157 acres, of which, 2,054 are subject to assessment. Its rateable value is £3,215, and the population, 600. Harry Croft, Esq., Stillington Hall, is the principal landowner and lord of the manor; and the following have also estates here: J. H. Love, Esq., The Hawkhills, Easingwold; Mr. Noah Wynn, Marton Park; George Dennis, Esq., York; Miss Farrar, Stillington; William Richardson, and the exors. of John Hedley. There is also a number of copyholders.
The village consists of one long street, four miles E.S.E. of Easingwold. The author of "Vallis Eboracensis" says, "Stillington is supposed to take its name from stelan, the stealing town, where tradition says the original settlers obtained a livelihood by robbing the King's forest of its deer, and the packmen of their merchandise, as they journeyed to the north along the Roman road which passed about a mile below the town." Wishful to rescue the ancient inhabitants from such a slanderous imputation, we would suggest that the name is derived from stilli, a fortress or mound, and signifies the fortified ton or town. In Domesday Survey it is called Stivelington, and it then contained ten carucates of land to be taxed belonging to the liberty of St. Peter, York.
The Church (St. Nicholas) consists of a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, and embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and three bells. The tower and nave were rebuilt in 1840. Above the entrance is a rude representation of the patron saint, evidently a relic of a much earlier structure. A new font was added in 1871, and the old octagonal one now stands under the tower. The church was an ancient rectory, which was appropriated to the Prebendary of Stillington, in York Cathedral, about 1520, and a vicarage ordained therein. Patron, the Archbishop of York; present incumbent, the Rev. W. H. Jemison, LL.B. The living is rated in the King's Books at £4 15s. 5d.; present gross value, £220, with residence. The celebrated Lawrence Sterne was for some time vicar of Stillington.
There is a spacious Wesleyan Chapel in the village, built in 1844, and attached is a day school, attended by about 50 children. The National School, situated on the village green, is a long low building, erected by the grandfather of the present lord of the manor in 1821. It is supported by subscription, school fees, and government grant.
The poor have three cottages in the village, and 17 acres of land on the West Moor, which lets for £12 a year. This was left by Jane Rawden in 1624. They have also two rent-charges amounting to 10s., left by William and Alice Cook in 1713 and 1715, and the interest of £100 left by John Calvert in 1838.
A wood and plaster house on the green bears the date of 1630.
In the North Skeugh field is a boulder of very hard Cherty limestone. It measures 4 feet 3 inches by 3 feet by 2 feet 7 inches. It is supposed by geologists to have been deposited here in the glacial age of the world.
[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.