WEST HESLERTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


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

This parish lies on the south bank of the Derwent, and includes a portion of the Wolds. It comprises the townships of East and West Heslerton containing a united area of 6,579 acres, of which 41 acres are water. The ecclesiastical parish is somewhat larger and includes a portion of the township of Yedingham containing three farm houses, occupied respectively by Messrs. Beswick, Cattle, and Harrison. The parish is intersected by the Malton and Scarborough branch of the North Eastern Railway, and has a station of its own name.

WEST HESLERTON township contains 2,954 acres; its rateable value is £3,370, and the population in 1881 was 346, and in 1891, 277. The soil varies in different parts of the township; towards the north, near Yedingham, it is a rich loam with a subsoil of clay; near the village of West Heslerton it is sand with a sandy subsoil; and on the wolds chalk and gravel, resting on chalk. The chief crops are barley, turnips, and wheat. There is some good sheep land in the parish. The Hon. Eustace Dawnay, J.P., D.L., of Witham Grove, Essex, who is also lord of the manor; Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., of Sledmere; and the Rector in right of his church, are the principal landowners. The village is small but contains a few good houses. It stands near the foot of the Wolds, on the road from Malton to Filey, nine miles east-north-east of the former place. The church formerly dedicated to St. Andrew, but recently changed to All Saints, is an ancient stone building, consisting of chancel, nave with north aisle, and western turret. In 1809, the nave was partially rebuilt, but on a diminished scale, a space about six feet wide being taken from the north side, and the harmony of the original design otherwise spoiled by the introduction of dwelling-house windows. The chancel was restored in 1886, and in 1888, the nave was repaired and a vestry added, at a total cost of £800. The style is Early English. The nave is divided from the aisle by three pointed arches resting on two octagonal columns. The chancel arch is constructed of wood. The piscina remains in the south wall of the chancel. All the windows are pointed and filled with plain glass in small lozenge shaped panes. The pulpit and lectern are of oak. The former was made out of part of the oak belonging to the old church, and the latter was presented in 1888, by the grandchildren of the Rev. John Forth, M.A., J.P., who was rector of this parish from 1807 to 1816. The font is of Caen stone with an oaken canopy, and was presented by Lord Downe in 1853. On the north side of the chancel is an ancient stone monument with a pedimental canopy, crocketed, and terminating in a finial. The pediment bears a mutilated basso relievo of our Saviour and the Blessed Virgin Mary. This monument is supposed by some persons to be the tomb of Thomas de Heslerton, the founder of the church, and by others to be an Easter sepulchre. There are four monuments in the chancel to members of the Foulis family, former lords of the manor of Heslerton, and on the south wall of the nave is a marble cenotaph bearing a long inscription to Sir Christopher Sykes, Bart., who died in 1801. The two bells in the turret are of pre-reformation date, - one bears the legend "AVE MARIA," and the other is inscribed "Thomas Delwald me fecit." The nave and chancel are fitted with open seats for 130 persons. The registers date from 1561.

The living is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £21 6s. 8d., and now returned at £465, including about 300 acres of glebe, with residence. It is in the gift of the Crown, and held by the Rev. Joseph Henry Hutton, B.A., of London University.

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is a plain brick building, erected in 1839, for the accommodation of 120 worshippers. It is in the Sherburn Circuit. The National School was built in 1829, at the joint expense of the Hon. Marmaduke Langley (then lord of the manor), M. Cannon, Esq., and the Rector. It consists of one large room, with accommodation for 88 children.

HESLERTON HALL, is a modern mansion, surrounded by pleasant grounds. It is the property of the Hon. Eustace Henry Dawnay, J.P., D.L., of Witham Grove, Essex, whose father, William Henry, Viscount Downe, purchased it from the late Mark Foulis, Esq., in 1854.

EAST HESLERTON is a township which for ecclesiastical purposes is now a distinct parish. It contains 3,584 acres, chiefly the property of Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., of Sledmere Hall, who is also lord of the manor. The other landowners are the executors of T. J. Candler, Esq., the vicar in right of his church, the executors of E. H. and W. Hebden, Esqrs., and A. J. Cholmley, Esq., of Place Newton. The soil varies in different places: near the Derwent it is carr land,. resting on a heavy soil; further south, in the neighbourhood of the village, it is a light sand with a sandy subsoil; and on the hills, wold land, and the subsoil chalk rock. The chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and turnips. The gross estimated rental is £4,261; the rateable value, £3,844; and the population in 1881 was 304, and in 1891, 220.

The village is small, but contains a few good houses, and stands about one mile east of West Heslerton. The church, the third that has occupied the site, is dedicated to St. Andrew, and was rebuilt by Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., in 1877. It is a handsome edifice of Aislaby stone, in the Early English style of architecture, erected from the designs of the late G. E. Street, Esq., R.A., the eminent architect. The plan comprises chancel, nave, a western narthex porch, vestry, baptistery, a northern tower, with spire rising to a height of 105 feet, and containing three bells. The chancel is separated from the nave by a beautiful screen of wrought-iron, with centre gates. The roof is groined, and the floor is laid with encaustic tiles, it is ascended from the nave by two steps, and is furnished with oak stalls. The sacrarium is divided from the chancel by a brass rail, and rises three steps to the communion table, above which is a triptych in five panels, painted in gold and colour, representing the "Te Deum.' The lower stage of the tower forms a transept, but is without seats. The roof is groined, and the floor paved with tiles. In the tower are figures of St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, and St. Jerome, the four fathers of the Latin Church. They are by Redfern, a sculptor of some note, and were intended for the north porch of Bristol Cathedral. The nave is fitted with open seats of oak for 100 persons, and has a boarded roof and tiled floor. At the south-east corner stands the pulpit, a very fine piece of work of Caen stone and shell marble. At the opposite corner is a brass lectern, and between, a neat Litany desk. The baptistery, which is at the south-west end of the nave, is enclosed by iron gates. Here again the roof is groined, and the floor laid with beautiful tile-work. The porch is at the west end, and is supported by two granite pillars. All the windows of the church are of stained glass, by Messrs. Clayton and Bell, of London, and are beautiful specimens of art. Those of the chancel and nave are single lights. In the former are represented six scenes in the life of Christ, and the six windows of the latter exhibit the patron saints of England, Scotland, and Ireland on one side, and the three archangels, Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel, on the other. The west window consists of five lights, and here are represented other scenes in the life of our Lord. The windows of the transept are also worthy of notice. The churchyard is enclosed by a good stone wall, and entered by a lych gate. In the centre stands a fine churchyard cross.

The living, formerly a curacy subordinate to the rectory of Heslerton, was, after the erection of the present church, constituted a vicarage, with a parish coextensive with the township. The patronage was granted to Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., during his lifetime, and at his death it lapses to the Crown. The nett yearly value is about £350, including 196 acres of glebe, with residence. The Rev. Richard Walker M.A. Jesus College, Cambridge, has held the living since 1879.

The Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1794, and enlarged in 1840. It will accommodate 150, and is in the Sherburn Circuit. There is a Parish or Reading Room near the Vicarage. It is a neat brick building, erected in 1889.

[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.