Wighill Parish information from Bulmers' 1890.


Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake of the Ainsty of York - Rural Deanery of Ainsty - Archdeaconry of York or the West Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish is situated about 2½ miles west by north of Tadcaster. The surface is undulated, and the scenery rich and diversified. It has an area of 2,123 acres, rated at £3,802, with a population of about 234. A. Montagu, Esq., is lord of the manor, and Messrs. Montagu, Brooksbank, and Dawson are the principal landowners. The village is small, and situated five miles from Wetherby, three from Thorp Arch, and nine from York, The Stapleton family were owners and occupiers of this estate for upwards of 500 years. Sir Robert Stapleton, who was sheriff of Yorkshire in the 23rd of Elizabeth, 1581, met the judges with seven score men in suitable liveries. He was descended from Sir Miles Stapleton, one of the first founders of the Order of the Garter, and sheriff for five years in the reign of Edward III. Sir John Harrington, in his book addressed to Prince Henry, says of him:- "Sir Robert Stapleton, a knight of Yorkshire, whom your highness hath often seen, was a man well spoken of, had scarce an equal, and no superior in England, except Sir Philip Sidney." The manor and estates of this family were sold in the beginning of this century.

The church of All Saints stands on an elevated site, and commands a magnificent view of the valley below. It is evidently from its style of architecture of great antiquity, though it presents appearances of having been rebuilt in whole, or part, more than once. The edifice consists of a nave, north aisle, and very long chancel. At the west end is a tower, evidently more recent in construction than the body of the church. On the south side of the chancel is a piscina and also sedelia. On the north side is a lady chapel, now converted into a pew for the occupants of Wighill Park. This chapel also contains a piscina. The roof of the church is at present low, having been depressed more than once, and within the last 50 years has been underdrawn with what is called a waggon roof of lath and plaster. There are several high square pews of last century's date, and the others are open benches, two hundred years old, of oak. There is an excellent organ placed in the church by a family formerly resident at Wighill Park, and two painted windows of some merit. The church contains several monuments of the Stapleton family, one of which is considered the most interesting in Yorkshire. It is a handsome table monument of alabaster. On the front are four Ionic columns of dark marble, and in the west intercolumniation are three female figures kneeling, and in the easternmost three boys in a similar attitude, all dressed in the costume of the period. In the centre is a Latin inscription to Robert Stapylton, Esq., lord of Wighill, who died in London, March 11, 1634, aged 33. It was erected by his widow (née Catterina Fairfax). On the table is his full length effigy in plate armour; on his left side is his sword; his hands conjoined in prayer; and beneath him is a mat rolled up at the head for a pillow. The living is a vicarage, held by the Rev. Richard W. Hiley, D.D., of the value of £167; and the patron, A. F. W. Montagu, Esq. A house has recently been presented as a vicarage, but it is not yet occupied.

National school (mixed) is a plain brick building, having accommodation for 100. Number on the books, 40; and average, 32. It is under government inspection. A good residence for the teacher adjoins the school.

A Wesleyan chapel, built in 1828, has accommodation for 100.

Wighill Park is a large, plain structure, occupied by the Hon. Jane Lady Hawke.

[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.