ACASTER SELBY WITH APPLETON ROEBUCK: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of the Ainsty of York - Rural Deanery of Bishopthorpe - Archdeaconry and Diocese of York.

This parish comprises the townships of Acaster Selby and Appleton-Roebuck. the united area of which is 4,244 acres, and the population, according to the census returns of 1881, 556. The first named township was formerly included in the parish of Stillingfleet, but was, by an Order in Council, dated 13th November, 1850, formed into a separate ecclesiastical district. In 1875, the township of Appleton-Roebuck was detached from the parish of Bolton Percy and added to Acaster Selby, thereby forming the new parish of Acaster Selby-with-Appleton-Roebuck. It lies on the west bank of the Ouse, a little below York.

The township of Acaster Selby comprises 1,523 acres of land, solely the property of Sir F. G. Milner, Bart. It is valued for rating purposes at £2,254, and had, in 1881, a population of 115. Acaster bears unmistakeable evidence in its name of a Roman origin; but every trace of the fort or castrum, which the imperial soldiers erected and garrisoned, has long since disappeared, and its site has been forgotten. The camp, here, guarded the waterway of the wharfe leading to Calcaria, whilst a little further up the Ouse, at Acaster Malbis, stood another camp to protect the approach to Eboracum (York) by that river. These two Acasters were distinguished by their relative positions, and in ancient writings this parish appears as Nether Aulcaster. It has borne its present addendum of Selby for six or seven centuries, since its annexation to the Abbey of Selby. It was given to that house by Osbert de Arches, high sheriff of the county in the time of the Conqueror, and the grant was afterwards confirmed by Richard I.

At an early period (but the date is not certain), a college was founded by Robert Stillington, for a provost and three fellows, one of whom was to teach a school. It was dedicated to St. Andrew, and continued to fulfil its useful purpose till the Reformation, when it was swept away in the general wreck of religious houses. Its net annual income was £27 13s. 4d. The site was granted by Edward VI. to John Halse and William Pendred.

The village is pleasantly situated on the west bank of the Ouse, 7½ miles south of York, The church, which is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is a neat Gothic edifice, erected by the late Sir W. M. S. Milner, in 1850. It comprises a chancel, nave, south porch, vestry, and open bell turret, containing one bell. The chancel window is a memorial of the founder, who died about five years after the erection of the church. There are also stained glass memorials to other members of the family, and a handsome one, by Meyer, of Munich and London, to Mrs. Chandos-Pole. The font is an ancient piece of Norman work, and is said to have once belonged to Kirkham Priory. The living, which is united with Appleton-Roebuck, is in the gift of the Archbishop of York, and held by the Rev. James Roy, B.A. The net value is £330, including two acres of glebe, with residence. The vicarage is situated in the village of Appleton-Roebuck, and was built in 1876. The tithe rent-charge, payable to the Dean and Chapter of York, is £291, and to the vicar of Stillingfleet, £82 10s.

The school, with residence for the teacher, was rebuilt by Sir William Milner, in 1850. It possesses an old endowment - a fee farm rent of £7 7s. 0d., - and is attended by about 20 children.

APPLETON-ROEBUCK. - This township, formerly in the parish of Bolton Percy, comprises an area of 2,780 acres, and is rated at £4,762. The population in 1881 was 441. The North Eastern railway passes through the township, but the nearest station is at Steeton Hall.

The manor and estate anciently belonged to Lords Latimer, and were carried by the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of William, Lord Latimer, in the reign of Richard II. to John, Lord Neville, of Raby. He died in 1389, leaving a son and daughter, and was buried under an altar tomb in Durham cathedral. The widow subsequently married Lord Willoughby, of Eresby. The estate and manor passed from the Nevilles previous to 1426, and, in later years, were purchased by an ancestor of the present owner, Sir Frederick George Milner, Bart. There are also a few small freeholders in the township.

The village is situated about 2 miles by road and 1½ by the footpath from Bolton Percy, 7½ south-south-west of York, and 6 east of Tadcaster. The church (All Saints) was erected in 1868, at a cost of £2,500, raised by voluntary subscription. It is a very neat stone building, in the Early English style, and consists of nave, chancel, vestry, open bell turret, and south porch. The latter appendage is somewhat large for the size of the church, and more ornamental in character. The last window, of three lights, on which are portrayed Faith, Hope, and Charity, was erected by A. R. Creyke, Esq., in memory of his aunt; and on the south side of the nave is a two-light stained window, representing the Good Shepherd, a memorial of Archdeacon Creyke. This window was put in by the parishioners. On the north side of the nave is a window of two lights, to the memory of Mrs. Chandos-Pole. It is a handsome piece of artist work, by Meyer, of Munich, representing Christ with Mary and Martha. The organ was the gift of Miss Milner. The church is seated with open benches for 230 persons. The living is held in conjunction with Acaster Selby.

The Wesleyans have had a chapel in the village since 1818. It is a plain brick building, erected at a cost of £500. The National school was built, by subscription, about the same time, and an Infant school was added in 1841, at the expense of Miss Milner. They are supported by school fees, government, and private subscriptions. The former has an average attendance of 47, and the latter 20.

A Convalescent Home, for eight children, was opened in the village in May, 1883, by the Hon. Mrs. Beckett, by whom also it is supported.

Holme Green is a hamlet in this township, situated about a quarter-of-a-mile from Appleton Roebuck village.

Nun Appleton Hall, the property of Sir F. G. Milner, Bart., and the residence of William Beckett, Esq., M.P., is a large and handsome mansion, standing in a well-wooded park, with gardens covering about 20 acres of ground. These are beautifully laid out with devious arbours, parterres, and a lake containing many rare aquatic plants.

A nunnery formerly occupied the site of the hall. It was founded by Adeliza, or Alice de St. Quintin, in the reign of King Stephen, or, according to the Harleian MSS., in that of King John, for nuns of the Cistercian order, and dedicated to "God, St. Mary, and St. John the Evangelist," in pure and perpetual alms. At the time of its dissolution, in the reign of Henry VIII., the establishment consisted of a prioress and 18 nuns, whose clear yearly income was £73 9s. 10d. The site was granted to the Fairfaxes, and Lord Fairfax erected the mansion, which, with the estate, was afterwards purchased by Mr. Alderman Milner, a rich merchant of Leeds. This gentleman's son, Sir William Milner, was created a baronet in 1717. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Dawes, Bart., archbishop of York, subsequently of Canterbury, and represented the city of York in several parliaments. Sir William, his son, the second baronet, was high sheriff of Yorkshire in 1747, and for many years held the office of Receiver General of Excise. He married Elizabeth, the youngest daughter and co-heiress of the Hon. and Rev. George Mordaunt. The present owner is the seventh baronet, and third in descent from the above Sir William. He succeeded his brother, the late baronet, in 1880, and was elected M.P. for the city of York in 1883.

Woolas Hall, now a farmhouse in this township, was once a place of some consequence, and the moat by which it was surrounded may still be traced.

CHARITIES. - James Moyser, in 1694, left 20s. a year to the poor of Appleton. The poor of this township have a share in the interest of £50, left by the Rev. Francis Day in 1763; and also a share in the interest of £200 bank stock, left by Dame Mary, wife of Sir John Lindsay, Knight, and daughter of Sir William Milner, in 1769. In 1798 a benefaction of £100 was given, in memory of James Campey, to the poor of Appleton Roebuck township, the interest of which is distributed annually.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.