MOOR MONKTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of the Ainsty of York - Poor Law Union of Great Ouseburn - County Court District of York - Rural Deanery of Ainsty - Archdeaconry and Diocese of York.

This parish includes the townships of Moor Monkton and Hessay. It has a total area of 3,907 acres, of the rateable value of £4,357, and a population (1881), of 340. The river Nidd, at its junction with the Ouse, forms its north-west. boundary. The soil is clayey, and the general surface of the parish flat. The lord of the manor and principal landowner is Thomas Slingsby, Esq., Scriven Park, Knaresborough. Monkton township has an area of 2,712 acres, rated at £2,812 and a population of 249. The village, which is of ancient origin, lies close to the confluence of the rivers Nidd and Ouse, 1½ miles north of the road from York to Borough Bridge, eight miles from the former city, and two miles from Marston station on the York and Knaresborough branch of the N. E. Railway.

The church is Early Norman in style, built of Knaresborough stone, and is three-quarters of a mile south of the village, midway between it and the York Road. Attached to it is a burial ground. It consists of chancel, nave, substantial tower at the west end, and a porch at the south side. The building was restored in 1879, when the porch and tower, which were built of brick, were encased in stone to be in unison with the main building. A new stone pulpit was also introduced, and the east window of Early English design, gave place to one consisting of three long narrow lights. The remains of the old Norman window are still visible. The inner doorway of the porch, at the entrance to the church, is a fine specimen of Early Norman architecture. The communion table and rails of oak are of 17th century date. The massive oak beams are the remains of the old ones. The walls are of immense thickness, and the south wall of the nave had its origin in Saxon times. Beneath the tower, at the west end, is a peculiar monument, formerly in the chancel, of a child, which is referred to in Henry Slingsby's diary as "John Bellasyse's child, died April 10th, 1639, at Moor Mountain," as it is sometimes called even at the present day. On the south side of the chancel, on the floor, is a Latin inscription on brass to the memory of Dorothy, daughter of Sir Thomas Slingsby, died January 21st, 1667, aged 2 years. On the north side of the chancel, on a brass on the floor is the following:- "Under this stone resteth in hope of a joyful ressurrection ye body of Cuthbert Hesketh, Batchlor in Divinity, one of ye sonnes of Thomas Hesketh, Esq. A faithful member of ye Church of England, and ever loyal to his Prince. He died rector of Moor Monckton, September 14th, anno 1665."

In the churchyard is the following epitaph

"Now measur'd out my days, 'tis here I rest,
That is, my body; but my soul, His guest,
is here ascended; whither neither Time,
Nor Faith, nor Hope, but only Love can climb;
Where, being now enlightened, she does know
The truth of all things which are talk'd below."

The rectory house is about half-a-mile from Marston station, and the same distance from the church. The rector, the Rev Charles Heathcote Carr, M.A., lives here. The living is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and worth £520 a year, derived from 666 acres of glebe land, and £30 from Queen Anne's bounty.

The Wesleyan Chapel, erected in 1886, at a cost of £420, with accommodation for 100, is a pretty building with a fancy white brick front, and a boundary wall of the same character with iron palisading.

The National school (mixed), was enlarged in 1878, at the cost of Captain Slingsby. There is accommodation for 55, number on the books 40, and average attendance 33.

The fine country residence "Red House," is in the occupation of Frederick William Slingsby, Esq., J.P. for the West Riding. It is situated on the Ouse, one mile from the village, and formerly exhibited a centre and wings, with an attached chapel. It was built in the reign of Charles I., and the chapel was built by his father. It was the seat of the Royalist Colonel, Sir Henry Slingsby, who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1658. About 1562, F. Slingsby, Esq., purchased Red House and Scagglethorpe, of Robert Oughtre, Esq., whose ancestors had resided in this neighbourhood from the time of Edward III., the site of whose mansion is a short distance from the west front of the present edifice.

Skipbridge is a small hamlet in this parish, and is so called from the bridge, a neat stone structure of three arches, which crosses the Nidd three miles by road from the village.

Cock Hill is a hamlet one mile from Marston station, and the same distance from Moor Monkton.

HESSAY township contains 1,195 acres, rated at £1,545, and has a population of 91 (1881). The principal landowners are R. W. Skilbeck, Esq., Stonehurst, Rutland Park, Sheffield, and Messrs. Barstow (are joint lords of the manor); Thomas and William Fawcett, and exors. of Thomas Rocliffe of Thirsk. The village is 5½ miles west of York, and half-a-mile south of the road from York to Boroughbridge. There is a station here a quarter of a mile from the village.

The National school is a brick building with accommodation for 45, average 15, and 18 on the books. It is used as a mission chapel to Moor Monkton parish. Service on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, The Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1825, and restored in 1885 at a cost of £260, when a Sunday school was added. It will accommodate 114 worshippers.

[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.