SUTTON UPON DERWENT: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake of Harthill (Wilton Beacon Division) - County Council Electorial Division of Melbourne - Petty Sessional Division of Wilton Beacon - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Pocklington - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish comprises 3,657 acres of land, lying on the east side of the Derwent, between the parishes of Wilberfoss and Thornton. The soil is various, the subsoil chiefly clay and sand. Wheat, oats, barley, beans, and turnips, are the principal crops, but a large portion of land is laid down in meadow and pasture. The rateable value is £3,866, and the population in 1891 was 299. Viscount St. Vincent, Norton Disney, Lincolnshire, is lord of the manor, and owner of the whole parish, with the exception of the hamlet of Woodhouse, containing 1,170 acres, which belongs to the Crown.

Very little has been recorded of the early history of this place. Torre, in his MSS., collected about 1691, says Peter de Malolacu held of the king, in capite, six carucates of land in Sutton-super-Derwent, whereof Robert de Percy held three carucates. This Robert de Percy gave the church of St. Michael, of Sutton, to the Abbey of Whitby, from which it came to the Mowbrays, of Kirklington, Knights, and from them to the Inglebys, Eglesfields, and Vaughans, successively. In later times the manor, estate, and advowson, came into the possession of the Clarges family, from whom they have descended to the present owner, Viscount St. Vincent.

The village is picturesquely situated in the vale of the Derwent, extending about a mile along the eastern bank of the river. It is distant seven-and-a-half miles east-south-east of York, and about six miles from Fangfoss, the recent railway station. The road leading to York crosses the river by a stone bridge of two arches. The church (St. Michael) is an ancient stone building in the Norman and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and an embattled western tower, containing three bells. The nave is clerestoried and divided from the aisles by an arcade of four Norman arches, resting on cylindrical columns. The east window consists of five long narrow lights, the centre one having a border of stained glass. In the south aisle there is one stained glass window representing "Christ, the Good Shepherd," in one light, and "Christ, the Light of the World," in the other. It is a memorial of Matthew Beal, of Woodhouse Grange, who died December 31st, 1862. There is another memorial window in the north aisle, erected in affectionate remembrance of the Rev. George Rudston Read, M.A., by his widow and children. He was many years rector of this parish, and died December 31st, 1864. A large marble tablet has been placed on the north wall of the chancel, bearing the following inscription :- "This tablet is erected by the rector and tenants of this parish in loving memory of John Edward Leveson Jervis, fourth Viscount St. Vincent, Captain 16th Lancers, born 3rd April, 1850, died 23rd January, 1885, from wounds received at the battle of Abou Klea, 17th Jannary, 1885. This gallant and brave officer served in the Zulu War of 1879, in the engagement at Zuinguin Mountain and Ulundi, for which service he received a medal with clasp; in South Afghanistan, against the Marrees, 1880, when he was mentioned in despatches and received a medal. In the Boer War of 1881, and in the Egyptian War of 1882; was present at the battle of Tel el Kebir and the capture of Cairo, for which he was mentioned in despatches, received a medal with clasp, fourth class of the Medgidie, and Khedive's Star. At the time of his lamented death, he was serving with the heavy camel corps against the Mahdi in the Soudan. Honour, to whom honour is due. Romans xii." Of ancient burials, Torre mentions a few. In 1432 John Coke, of Sutton, was buried in the church; in 1437 John Bishopton, rector of the parish, who died that year, desires to be buried in the midst of the church; in 1450 William Dikson, of Sutton, was buried, according to testamentary injunctions, in the high quire; in 1516 John Eglesfield, of Sutton, gentleman, was buried in the nave before the image of St. Mary ye Virgin. Peter Cooke, rector, in 1625, desires to be buried in the quire under the same stone upon which the communion table standeth. There are monumental tablets to Blackbeard, Plaxton, Sarraude, and Wheler, who were rectors in the 17th, 18th, or early years of the 19th century. The church was restored in 1841, when the south porch was added, and in 1846, the chancel was re-fitted with stalls. The ancient holy water font remains in the wall near the doorway. The registers date from 1593. The tithes of Sutton township were commuted at the enclosure in 1776 for 194½ acres of land, and a yearly modus of £58. This did not, however, include the hamlet of Woodhouse, which still remains titheable, at present amounting to about £160 per annum. The living is a rectory, gross yearly value £500, derived from the glebe land and the tithes of Woodhouse, in the patronage of Viscount St. Vincent, and held by the Rev. Charles Richard William Waldy, M.A., University College, Oxford.

The Wesleyan chapel is a temporary structure of iron, erected in 1882 at a cost of £200. The National school, established in 1824 and rebuilt in 1844, is a small brick building, capable of accommodating 40 children, and attended, on an average, by 26.

The Manor House, an ivy-mantled building of brick, near the church, is now in the occupation of Mr. James Carlton. On the bank of the river Derwent are extensive flour mills, and hard by is a spring, the water of which is strongly impregnated with iron.

The poor have 40s. a year, left by Thomas Wilberfoss in 1722, and 5s. per annum from Wood's Charity. They also receive bread, which is distributed four times a year.

WOODHOUSE, is a hamlet in this parish, containing 1,170 acres, the property of the Crown, and divided into two farms, held by Messrs. John James and Richard Beal respectively. It is one-and-a-half miles east of Sutton village.

[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.