[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]
"GREAT AYTON, a parish in the wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 3 miles NE. of Stokesley, at the foot of Roseberry Topping. The church, dedicated to All Saints (see Churches
for photograph), is a neat plain ancient edifice, and the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rev. G. Marwood. -Here are also chapels for the Society of Friends, Independents, Methodists, and Primitive Methodists.
Here is a School-house, which, from an inscription over the door, appears to have been first built by the late Michael Postgate, yeoman, in the year 1704, and rebuilt in l785, with a small endowment for the instruction of eight poor children within the township. Ayton is famous in story, by the Register-Office, written by the late Joseph Reed, of facetious memory; and in this humble village seminary, the immortal Captain Cook received his school education at the expense of Thomas Scottowe, Esq. under whom his father acted as hind, at his farm at Airyholme, in this parish. In the church is a monument of elegant workmanship, to the memory of William Wilson, Esq. formerly commodore and commander-in-chief of the marine force of the English East India Company, in which situation "he displayed one continued series of acts of disinterested patriotism and distinguished services." The river Leven may be said to take its rise from Ayton beck, a small rivulet which runs through this village. Population, 1023."
Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.
- Angrove Hall
- Little Ayton
- Sunny Cross
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]