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Gilling East

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[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"GILLING EAST, a parish in the wapentake of Rydale; 5 miles S. of Helmsley, formerly the principal town in this part of the North Riding. The church is dedicated to the Holy Cross (see Churches for photograph); the living is a rectory, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, by lapse. Here is a public school, endowed with £20. a year, by the Hon. Ann Fairfax. Population, 168.

The castle was built by Alan, Earl of Richmond, soon after the conquest, Richmond being then only a fort in subordination, and built afterwards to defend the lord and his tenants against the attempts of the Saxons and Danes, who, being deprived of their estates, made frequent attacks upon their invaders, to recover their rights. In the church is a family vault of the Fairfax's.

The Castle stands upon an eminence on the west side of the village, formerly belonged to the family of the Mowbrays, has now been long in the possession of the ancient family of the Fairfax's. -Camden. The most ancient part is the east end which is circular, and commands the vale below. Thos. Fairfax came into possession of Gilling-Castle and Estate, 7th of Henry VII. in consequence of his marriage with Elizabeth Etton. --Drake. In this Castle, "a singular record is extant of the gentry in this county in the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In the upper part of the panels of the wainscot of the great dining-room, are painted armorial trees, bearing the arms of each family in every wapentake in this county at that period, one wapentake occupying each panel, all of which, together with the beautiful finishing, wainscotting, and carving of the whole room, are still in perfect preservation." -Strickland"

"CAWTON, in the parish of Gilling East, and wapentake of Rydale; 1¾ miles E. of Gilling East, 6 miles SSE. of Helmsley. Pop. 105."

"GRIMSTON MOOR FARM, (now Grimston Grange - 2005), in the parish of Gilling East, and wapentake of Rydale; 2 miles SSW. of Gilling East, 6 miles S. of Helmsley. Population, 56."

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]




Church History


Church Records





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Memorial Inscriptions

  • The War Memorial plaques on the entrance arch to Gilling East churchyard: