Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Ouse and Derwent - County Council Electoral Division of Escrick - Poor Law Union and County Court District of York - Rural Deanery of Bulmer - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish is situated on the west bank of the Derwent, and includes West Cottingwith, with which it forms a joint township. The total area, including 17 acres of water surfacc, is 2,938 acres; rateable value, £3,626, and the population in 1891 was 370, a decrease of 28 since 1881. The surface is generally flat, but diversified by woodlands; the soil is partly clay and partly a sandy loam, and the subsoil clay. Wheat, oats, barley and potatoes are the chief crops. Joseph John Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., is lord of the manor and principal landowner; the following have also estates here :- Miss Elizabeth Blacker, Thorganby; Johnson Bogue, Haddlesey; and Hawson Brothers, of Scarborough and Pickering.
In this parish, by the bank of the Derwent, stood the priory of Thicket, anciently written Thickheued, founded by Roger Fitz Roger, in the reign of Richard I., for nuns of the Benedictine Order, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Its endowments were not large, but it continued to fulfil the purpose of its institution till the wreck of religious houses, in the reign of Henry VIII., when its revenues were estimated at £22 net. There were then a prioress and eleven nuns. Not a vestige of the priory is now to be seen above ground. The site, conventual buildings, and lands, were granted in 1542, to John Aske, Esq., of Aughton, to whose family the patronage or foundership had descended from the De la Hays, one of whom had married Emma, sister of Roger Fitz Roger.
Thicket Priory, the seat of J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., M.A., J.P., D.L., & C.C., is a large mansion of brick, with stone dressings, rebuilt about 45 years ago, on the site of an older structure. The house stands in a well-wooded park of 150 acres, skirting the river Derwent. In front of the house is a small lake, bearing a rich growth of water lilies.
The village of Thorganby stands on the bank of the Derwent, nine miles south-east of York, and five miles east of Escrick station, on the main line of the North-Eastern railway. The church, dedicated to St. Helen, is a small structure, consisting of nave, chancel with organ chamber, and tower containing a clock and three bells. The body of the church is brick, and is supposed to have been rebuilt in the latter part of the 17th century; the tower, which belongs to the Perpendicular period, is stone, and finished with an embattled parapet and pinnacles. The nave is fitted with open benches to seat about 200. The living is a new vicarage, in the gift of J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., and held by the Rev. Thos. Robt. Willacy, B.A., of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and F.G.S.
There is a chapel in the village belonging to the Wesleyan Methodists, built in 1814. The National school was established in 1783, by Thomas Dunnington, Esq., who endowed it with a rent-charge of 40s. per annum. It has also £10 10s. a year, left by Robert Jefferson in 1803; 40s. left by Richard Blythe; and 40s. left by Thomas Bradford, making a total endowment of £16 10s. per annum. The school premises were rebuilt in 1820, by the late J. D. Jefferson, Esq., for the accommodation of 85 children, and there are 76 in attendance. The school is supported entirely by J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., and is free to all the children of the parish.
WEST COTTINGWITH, forms a joint township with Thorganby, which it adjoins on the north. This place belonged to the nuns of Thicket, and was granted, together with the site of the priory, to John Aske, Esq., of Aughton.
Charities - The Poor's Land consists of 23 acres in Cottingwith and 7½ acres in Thorganby, supposed to have been bequeathed to the parish by Lord Valentia, about 1580. There is also a rent-charge of £6 per annum, left by Robert Jefferson, Esq.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.