LANGTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Buckrose - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Malton - County Council Electoral Division and Rural Deanery of Settrington - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

This parich comprises an area of 2,826 acres, and includes the township of its own name and that of Kennythorpe. The soil is oolitic lime and Kimmeridge clay, the subsoil chiefly clay, and the chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and clover. Under the Local Government Act of 1888 for the election of County Councillors, the inhabitants of Langton township vote in the Settrington Division, and those of Kennythorpe in the Leavening Division.

The area of the former township is 2,285 acres, the rateable value £2,901, and the population in 1891 was 191. The Rev. Charles Best Norcliffe, M.A., of Langton Hall, is lord of the manor and owner of nearly all the land. This family has been seated here since the year 1618, when the estate was purchased by Sir Thomas Norcliffe, Knt., a barrister of the Middle Temple. Sir Thomas married Catherine, daughter and co-heir of Sir William Bamburgh, Bart., of Howsham, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Thomas Norcliffe, Knt., who married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas, Viscount Fairfax, of Emley, and widow of John Ingram, Esq. By her he had an only son and successor, Sir Thomas Norcliffe, Knt., who was born in 1640, and was both deaf and dumb. He married Frances, daughter and sole heir of Sir William Vavasour, Bart., of Copmanthorpe. Fairfax Norcliffe, Esq., the eldest son, succeeded to the estate on the death of his father, in 1682. He was lieutenant-colonel of the 1st regiment of Dragoons, and high sheriff of Yorkshire in 1700 and 1715. He had, by his wife Mary, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Hesketh, Esq., of Heslington, four sons and one daughter, Frances, who married Sir John Wray, Bart. Thomas Norcliffe, Esq., the eldest son, succeeded to the estate in 1720, and died unmarried in 1768, leaving his property to his nieces in succession, and their heirs, in strict entail. Mary Wray, the eldest daughter of his sister, consequently inherited the estate. She married Sir James Innes, Bart., and pre-deceased her husband in 1807; and, leaving no issue, she was succeeded by her nephew, Thomas Dalton, Esq., the eldest son of John Dalton, Esq., by Isabella, the second daughter of Sir John Wray. Mr Dalton, according to the terms of the will, assumed the surname and arms of Norcliffe. He was lieutenant-colonel of the York Volunteers. He married Ann, the only daughter and heiress of William Wilson, Esq., of Allerton Gledhow, and had by her three sons and four daughters. The two younger sons died in youth, and three of the daughters died unmarried. Mary, the third daughter, married Charles Best, M.D., of York, and her daughter, Rosamond, eventually succeeded to the estate. Norcliffe Norcliffe, Esq., the eldest son, was major-general in the army, and succeeded to the estate in 1820. He married Decima Hester Beatrix, daughter of John Robinson Foulis, Esq., and had by her an only son, who predeceased his father unmarried. General Norcliffe died in 1862, and the estate passed to his niece Rosamond, elder daughter of his sister, Mary Norcliffe Best. This lady married Henry Robinson, Esq., of York, and died in 1881, when the Rev. C. Best Norcliffe, her eldest surviving son, succeeded to the estate.

LANGTON HALL, the residence of the Rev. C. B. Norcliffe, is a modern mansion of stone, pleasantly situated in it own well-wooded grounds.

The village is situated in a picturesque valley, three miles south of Malton, and about two miles from Huttons Ambo, the nearest railway station. The church of St. Andrew is an edifice of stone, originally erected in the 13th century, but partially rebuilt and altered in 1822, at a cost of £600. It consists of chancel, nave, south porch, and a small western tower containing two bells. The style is generally Early English. A new east window was erected in 1885, by the Rev. C. B. Norcliffe, to the memory of his mother, Rosamond Norcliffe, who was for 19 yaers lady of the manor of Langton. It is of three lights: in the centre one is represented the Saviour of the World, and in the other two the Blessed Virgin and St. John. There are marble tablets in the church to other members of the Norcliffe family, and a monument to the memory of Mary, wife of Thomas Ingram, of Temple Newsham, who died in 1656, and is thus eulogised by her husband

"Reader, with reverence approach this tombe.
Here lyes a Pattern for the times to come,
The glorious envy of her sex where all
Virtues and graces were habituall:
A wife as one would wish : - Be this her pride
She ne'er displeased her husband till she dy'de.
To shew her wombe uncurste, a double birth
Gave fruit (att once) to Heaven and to Earth;
But Heaven was their centre deeming meet
The swathing linen for their winding sheet;
Her infant parted, and departed too
Triumphs and halilujahs: Heaven's posses't
By Mary with a babe att either breast
They were too good for this world -
Here they lye
Children and Heires to all eternity."

On the base under the epitaph lies the recumbent effigy of the mother, and on ledges above the head and feet are the two babes with angels above; the whole is surmounted by a canopy. There is a modern piscina in the chancel. The register dates from 1654.

The living is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £17 4s. 7d., and now worth £533, including 88 acres of glebe with residence. It is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held by the Rev. Arthur Hibbit, B.A., St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. Formerly the right of presentation belonged to the prior of Malton, to whom it was granted by Burga, wife of William de Vesci, lord of Malton, and at the dissolution of monasteries, it came to the Crown who presents through the Lord Chancellor. The tithes of the two townships have been commuted for a rent charge of £441.

The Wesleyans have a chapel in the village - a stone building with tiled roof. It was restored in 1873, at a cost of £195, and is supported by bench rents and subscriptions. There is accommodation for 80 persons.

A school was built by Col. Norcliffe in 1841, and has been entirely supported by the lord of the manor.

A short distance from the village is Langton Wold, about 600 acres in extent. On this table-land was formerly the Malton race course, which was ploughed up in 1862, and is now used as a training track for horses from the neighbouring training stables. On one part of the summit are earth works, whence there is an extensive view. The camp is of triangular form and of undoubted British origin.

KENNYTHORPE township comprises 542 acres chiefly the property of St. John's College, Cambridge, and Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart. Its rateable value is £452, and its population in 1891 was 68. The hamlet is situated about one-and-a-half miles west of Langton.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of East Yorkshire (1892)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1892.

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