Wapentake of Dickering - County Council Electoral Division of Bainton - Petty Sessional Division of Bainton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Driffield - Rural Deanery of Harthill - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish is situated between Driffield and Wetwang, and contains, according to the Ordnance Survey, 4,147 acres. The soil is a peaty loam, the sub-soil principally chalk, and the chief crops are wheat, barley, oats, and turnips. The rateable value is £4,536, and the population in 1891 was 498. Most of the land, with the manorial rights, belongs to Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., to whom it has descended from Richard Sykes, Esq., who, in the early part of the 18th century, married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Mark Kirkby, Esq., of Sledmere, with whom he received the Wold estates.
The village is pleasantly situated on the York and Driffield Road, three miles west-north-west of the latter place, and about one mile north of Garton station, on the Malton and Driffield branch of the North-Eastern railway. The British trackway, afterwards the Roman road, from York to Bridlington passed through Garton, and a little north, within the parish of Sledmere, are traces of a pre Roman earthwork. The church of St. Michael is a stone edifice dating from the Norman era, and though much altered by subsequent restorations, still retains some of the work of the original builders. It comprises chancel, nave, south porch, and a massive western tower in which are three bells. In 1856 a thorough restoration of the church was commenced under the direction of the late G. E. Street, Esq., R.A., and several years were spent in the work. The interior decoration was executed by Messrs. Clayton & Bell, and occupied from 1872 to 1880. The total cost, about £8,000, was defrayed by Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart. The style is Norman with a little pointed Gothic. The chancel arch, consisting of four mouldings, is lofty and elegant, and rests on circular columns, and above it are three niches with beautifully carved pillars. Separating the chancel from the nave is a fine oak screen, surmounted by a large cross, and under the east window is a reredos of marble, exquisitely carved, exhibiting several types of Christ, and in the centre, the Crucifixion. The pulpit and font are also of marble and richly carved; the former is ascended by steps of white marble. The font is supported on sixteen pillars, in two sizes, which rest on a solid marble base. The font cover, about six feet in height, is a richly wrought piece of tabernacle work, bearing statuettes of the prophets and scribes. The windows are all filled with stained glass, representing the types and antitypes of the Old and New Testament, and shedding around that "dim religions light" so conducive to contemplation. Around the interior, to the height of four feet, runs a dado in beautiful mosaics, formed of Staffordshire tiles, and, above this, the walls are covered with mural paintings, representing the salient events recorded in the sacred scriptures. The roof is resplendent with colour and gold, and the floors are paved with various coloured stones disposed in a tesselated pattern, except the floor of the sacrarium, which is of marble, exhibiting a star pattern. The chancel is fitted with elaborately carved choir stalls of aok, and the nave with chairs to seat 160 persons. The piscina remains in the chancel, and four ancient stone monuments are preserved in the tower. Inserted in the wall of the latter, above the west door, is a basso relievo of St. Michael overcoming Satan, rudely carved. The ancient octagonal font, superseded by the present beautiful marble one, has been relegated to the churchyard, where there stands a modern Calvary Cross of considerable altitude. The registers date from 1567. The living is a vicarage worth £123 a year, including 67 of glebe, for which the tithes were commuted in 1774, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held by the Rev. Thomas Waldon Jones, B.A., of Durham University.
There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels in the village. The former is now seldom used; the latter was built in 1871, and will accommodate 150 persons. The National school, a neat brick building, with teacher's house attached, was erected in 1843, for the accommodation of 120 children. It has an endowment of £5, the dividend of a £120 share in the Driffield Navigation, bequeathed by Mrs. Jane Cook, in 1779.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.