ALNE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer West - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Easingwold - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish includes the townships of Alne, Aldwark, Flawith, Tholthorpe, Tollerton and Youlton, comprising a total area of 9,981 acres. The inhabitants in 1881 numbered 1,558, a decrease of 100 since 1851. They are chiefly employed in agriculture. The parish is intersected by the main line of the North Eastern railway, and there are stations at Alne and Tollerton. In the township of Alne there are 2,203 acres of land under assessment, of which the rateable value is £6,301. The principal landowners are John S. Strangwayes, Esq., J.P. and D.L., Alne Hall; Richard Flawith, Myton; William Moon, Alne; Henry Weddell, Norton-le-Clay; the Leak family; George Wolstenholme, Esq., York; and the trustees of Major Dyson. Sir G. 0. Wombwell, Bart., is lord of the manor, for whom a court leet is held yearly.

The district lies low, and was formerly a swamp, in which the eller or alder tree grew so plentifully that the place was called the Forest of Alders. This tree was called by the Romans Alnus, from which it is said the present name is derived. It is spelt Alna in Domesday Book, and by Dugdale, Awne, as pronounced. The village consists of one long street of well-built brick houses, each with a garden in front. The Church (St. Mary) dates from the Norman period, and though extensively repaired and altered at the end of last century it still retains a little of its original work. At the west end, opening into the tower, which has evidently been a subsequent addition, is a lofty Norman arch, with boldly wrought capitals, probably once the principal entrance into the church. A curiously carved and interesting doorway of the same style remains on the south side of the nave. The outer moulding consists of nineteen semi-circles, enclosing the sculptured forms of angels, men, animals, birds, &c., mostly with a word above indicating the object represented. The inner moulding is formed of fifteen circles, also inclosing sculptures, which it is difficult, if not impossible, to decipher. The font is supposed to be Saxon work; the carved oak pulpit bears the date 1626. The church has one aisle, which appears to have been added about the 14th century. The east end of it was probably a chantry chapel, the piscina of which still remains; and the recumbent effigy of a lady, in alabaster, is supposed to be that of the foundress. This part of the church formerly belonged to the Ellerkers, of Youlton, from whom it was purchased by the Strangwayes. The upper portion of the tower is a modern reconstruction of brick.

The church was restored, reseated, and beautified in 1884, at a cost of over £800. The old gallery was removed and the interior much improved. The chancel window of three lights is a memorial of the Rev. Albert Turner Bellhouse, sometime vicar of this parish; there are also two to the Straugwayes and two to the Brothertons. In the chancel is a marble tablet to the memory of William John Bethel, Esq., of Alne, who died in 1831. He was second son of Edward Codrington, Esq., who descended from Sir. William Codrington, Bart., and Elizabeth, daughter of William Bethel, Esq., of Alne and Swindon. The Bethels resided here for some centuries, but were of Welsh extraction, their name being originally Ap-Ithell.

The living was an ancient rectory, in the patronage of the treasurer of the cathedral of York, to whom it was appropriated and a vicarage ordained therein in 1131. The treasurer was lord of Alne, and had temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction. In 1394 the vicarage was augmented, and the Chapter of York, at th3 same time, assigned the treasurer's mansion house, in Alne, as a residence for the vicar. The living is valued in the King's Books at £10; it is now worth £450, including 170 acres of glebe, with residence. The advowson belongs to the representatives of the late William Bellhouse, of Southport. The present vicar, the Rev. William Grindrod, M.A., was inducted in 1875. The register dates from 1560.

The Wesleyans have a chapel in the village, a commodious brick building, erected in 1848. There is also a parochial school, built by subscription in 1876. it is attended by 80 children.

Near the village, on the east bank of the Kyle, is Alne Hall, the seat of John Swainston Strangwayes, Esq., J.P. and D.L. It is a large brick mansion, built on the site of an ancient monastic cell, some parts of which have been incorporated in the present structure. One of these old walls is five feet thick, with a passage within it, wherein, according to local gossip, the treasures of Byland Abbey, to which the cell belonged, are hidden. The hall is pleasantly situated amidst woodland scenery, and has been much improved by the present owner. Within the grounds is an ancient well, the water of which is said to be somewhat similar to that of Harrogate, but less strong. Close by may be seen the foundations of baths.

The family of Strangwayes is of considerable antiquity. The earliest member of whom any record has been found was Henry Strangwish, of Strangwish Hall, near Manchester, the site of which is now occupied by Strangeways gaol, in that town. This Henry was the common ancestor of the several families bearing the name. John Strangwayes, who settled at Alne in the early part of last century, was the son of John Strangwayes, of Well. He left an only child Frances, who married Allan Swainston, M.D., of York, The eldest surviving son of this marriage, Edward Swainston, assumed the additional surname and arms of Strangwayes on succeeding to the property. The present representative of the family is his grandson.

CHARITIES, - John Pearson, by will dated 1695, left certain closes called Fleet Banks and Intack to the poor of the parish, the rents of the said closes to be divided in certain specified proportions among the six townships. Ralph Ellerker, Esq., left by will to the poor of the parish a rent charge of £2, payable out of Rotten Crofts, in Youlton, which Richard Ellerker confirmed by deed in 1652. John Wade, or Ward, left by will, in 1763, about 11 acres of land, the rent thereof to be distributed in bread every Sunday, in church. The poor of Alne township have the rent of 1½ acres of land, awarded at the enclosure of the town fields, and a rent charge of 20s., left by John Plummer. These several charities amount to something under £50, and are distributed, according to the instructions of the Charity Commissioners, about Christmas time.

ALDWARK township contains 2,236 acres, inclusive of water surface, of which the rateable value is £2,685. The inhabitants in 1881 numbered 223. The soil is chiefly of a sandy nature, and its cultivation is the chief employment of the people. Lord Walsingham, of Merton Hall, Thetford, is the principal landowner and lord of the manor; the following have also small estates here:- Christopher Wood, Scarborough; Major A. H. Cochrane, Aldwark Manor; and Mrs. Brotherton, Alne.

"Aldwark," says Mr. Gill, "carries the mark of great antiquity in its name." The name was given by our Saxon ancestors, probably in allusion to some old weorc or fortification which was here before their time. The Roman road crossed the ferry at Aldwark, and it is very probable that there was a fortress here for its protection.

At the time of the Domesday Survey, the manor of Adewera, (Aldwark) belonged to Ligulph, but was then waste. Subsequently it came into the possession of a branch of the Fitzwilliams, who had their residence here. The Fitzwilliams intermarried with the Reresbys, and the estate afterwards reverted to that family. From the Reresbys it came by marriage to the Franklands, from whom it has descended to the present owner, who is the grandson of the late Sir Robert and Lady Frankland Russell.

The village of Aldwark is pleasantly situated on the banks of the Ouse, six miles from Easingwold and 10 from York. A neat chapel-of-ease was erected here in 1852 by the late Lady Frankland Russell. It consists of nave, chaucel, north and south transcepts, and an elegant tower and spire, with buttressed angles. The west end is pierced by a large pointed window, and smaller ones admit light from the sides. The chancel window, of three lights, is filled with stained glass, in honour of St. Sylvester. It was erected at the cost of Mr. John Brotherton, of Aidwark, who died in 1885.

FLAWITH is a small township of 680 acres, chiefly owned by Lord Walsingham, Mrs. A. Brotherton, Alne; Mrs. Anne Ayre, York; Mrs. M. J. Garbutt, Flawith; and John Fox. Sir George Orby Wombwell, Bart., Newburgh Park, is lord of the manor. The village consists of five farms, two inns, and a few cottages.

THOLTHORPE. - This township is situated on the borders of the ancient forest of Galtres, and comprises 1,707 acres, including roads and river. It is valued for rating purposes at £2,228, and had in 1881 a population of 202. W. F. Webb, Esq., of Newstead Abbey, is lord of the manor and owner of a part of the township; but the greater portion is freehold and belongs to several owners, of whom the following are the principal:- Henry Hawking, Esq., Raskelfe; Henry Burton, Newton-on-Ouse; William Pipes, Tholthorpe; Miss Brotherton, Tholthorpe; and Dennis Peacock, Knaresborough. The soil varies in different parts of the township; on the west side, it is of a very fine fertile quality; on the east side, cold clay; and on the low side, containing the moor, a mixture of soil and sand, with a great amount of clay.

The village is situated on the banks of the small rivulet of Linton, in the bailiwick of Kyle, four miles S.W. of Easingwold. In Domesday Book it is called Turulfestorp, and in later documents, Thoraldthorpe, of which the present name is probably a contraction. The Wesleyans have a chapel here, which was erected in 1844.

About a mile north of the village is Ten Mile Hill, where large quantities of human bones have been dug up at different times. Myton is only two miles distant, and it is very probable that they are the remains of some who fell in the ill-fated battle at that place on the 12th of October, 1320.

TOLLERTON. - This township comprises an area of 2,340 acres, and is intersected by the main line of the North Eastern railway, which was opened for passenger traffic in 1841. Its rateable value is £7,552, and population 512. Sir G. O. Wombwell, Bart., is lord of the manor; but the soil belongs chiefly to Richard Batty, Tollerton; George Wolstenholme, Esq., York; Thomas Kitching Fawcett, Tollerton; W. D. Cameron, Tockwith; C. D. Mills, York; and Miss Shepard, Tollerton.

The village is situated on the east bank of the small river Kyle, which formed the boundary of the forest of Galtres. According to Verstegan, Tollerton was the place where travellers paid a toll for the services of a guide to conduct them through the forest, The manor formerly belonged to the treasurer of York cathedral, to whom Henry III., in 1256, granted a three days' fair, to be held on the vigil, day, and morrow of the Assumption (August 15). The day is now observed solely as the village feast. The Wesleyans have a chapel and day school here.

YOULTON is a township of 780 acres, situated on the east side of the Ouse, It is rated to the poor at £922, and contains 58 inhabitants, The manorial rights belong to University College, Oxford, but the principal landowners are J. S. Strangwayes, Esq., Alne Hall; John Hopps, Youlton Lodge; George Wolstenholme, Esq., York; Thomas Flawith, Dr. T. P. Leake, and the Shepherd trustees.

The hamlet consists of four farmhouses and four cottages. In early records its name is spelt Loletune, Luctone, and Yolton, The manor formerly belonged to a branch of the ancient family of Ros, whose mansion house had an extensive park attached to it. The hall subsequently came into the possession of a family named Ellerker, from whom it was purchased by the Strangwayes. King James made Youlton Hall his halting place in his journeys between London and Edinburgh. What remains of the mansion, is now converted into a farmhouse, occupied by Mr. Thomas Flawith. In one of the ancient chimneys is a chamber or recess, now walled up, which appears to have been a priest's hiding place in the days of persecution.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

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