Hornby Parish information from Bulmers' 1890.


Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of East Hang - Poor Law Union of Leyburn - County Court District of Northallerton - Rural Deanery of Catterick East - Archdeaconry of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.

This parish comprises the townships of Hornby, Anderby-Myres-with Holtby, and Hackforth, and parts of Hunton and Arrathorne. The areas of the latter have not been ascertained apart from the townships to which they belong, and consequently, the superficial extent of the entire parish cannot be given. The total area, exclusive of the portions of Hunton and Arrathorne above mentioned, is 3,882 acres, and the population, 321. Hornby township contains 1,591 acres, chiefly the property of the Duke of Leeds, whose principal seat is situated here. The surface is pleasingly varied and embellished with woodland, and the soil loamy and gravelly. The usual cereals with beans and potatoes form the chief crops. It is valued for rating purposes at £1,996.

The manor anciently belonged to the family of St. Quintin, whose ancestor had accompanied the Conqueror to England, and was rewarded with these lands. They erected a castle and resided here until the extinction of the direct male line, when the estate passed, by the marriage of the heiress, to a branch of the noble family of Conyers, one of whom, William Lord Conyers, rebuilt a large portion of the castle. About the close of the 16th century, the castle and estate were conveyed in the same manner to the Darcys, who assumed the additional surname of Conyers, and were created Earls of Holderness and Barons Conyers in 1644. Robert Conyers Darcy, the last Earl, left a daughter and heiress who married Francis Godolphin Osborne, fifth Duke of Leeds and Marquis of Caermarthen, whose son, George William Frederick Osborne, succeeded to the Barony of Conyers, in right of his mother in 1784, and to his father's titles and estates in 1799. He married the sixth daughter of the first Marquis of Townsend, and died in 1838. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis Godolphin D'Arcy-Osborne, who had been summoned to the House of Lords during his father's lifetime as Baron Osborne. He married the third daughter of Richard Caton, Esq., and widow of Sir F. E. B. Hervey, Bart., and dying in 1859, without issue, the titles and estates devolved upon his cousin, George Godolphin Osborne; the second Lord Godolphin, married Mrs. Harriette-Arundel Stewart, and at his death in 1872, was succeeded by his son, George Godolphin Osborne, the present Duke.

The Castle, the chief seat of His Grace the Duke of Leeds, occupies a commanding situation in a spacious and beautiful park, covering about 700 acres. The style is a mixture of Gothic and late domestic Tudor. Some of the interior walls belong to the castle erected by the St. Quintin's shortly after the Conquest, but all the exterior portion was rebuilt and enlarged about the middle of last century. Each corner is flanked by a square tower, and in the centre of the intervening spaces is a five-sided bay or semi-turret, which relieves the baldness. Several of the rooms are remarkable for their spaciousness, and the rich and elegant style of the furnishing. There is a large collection of pictures, many of them by the great masters. The grounds are tastefully laid out, and from their elevated position, command varied and pleasing prospects of the rich vale of Bedale stretching as far as the Western Moors.

The Village of Hornby is situated about 5½ miles from Bedale, and 4 from Catterick. The Church (St. Mary) is an ancient stone edifice consisting of chancel, nave with north and south aisles, porch and western tower containing a clock and four bells. It was originally erected in the Norman period, but subsequent alterations and additions were made in the style of Gothic which prevailed at the time, The south aisle was added in the beginning of the 15th century, as appears from the following extract from a manuscript history of the D'Arcys and Conyers, written in the year 1677: "11th of Henry IV. (1410) 28, Jan. Richard Mason, of Newton, in the parish of Patrick Brompton, covenants with John Conyers of Hornby, that he shall make the south Eil of the parish Kirk of Hornby Becand as full brede as the North Eil, with 2 hole pillars, and 2 half pillars for 50m (marks)." The Church was thoroughly restored by the Duke and and Duchess of Leeds in 1878-9, at a cost of £6,000. There are some ancient monuments, effigies, and brasses in the church, and a handsome carved oak screen on the south side of the chancel. Near this are the recumbent figures of a knight and lady in marble, but the faint traces of an inscription on the basinet of the former, are insufficient to reveal the identity of the persons represented. There are other stone effigies, and a monument to the D'Arcy family bearing the date 1572. Some brasses in the chancel commemorate members of the Conyers family; one is dated 1443. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of York, and incumbency of the Rev. H. D. Moore, B.A., who is also domestic chaplain to His Grace the Duke of Leeds. It is valued in the King's Books (temp Henry VIII.) at £6 15s. 6d., but is now worth £300 a year, including 137 acres of glebe, with residence. The impropriate tithe, value £640, belongs to the Dean and Chapter of York, The register dates from 1582.

CHARITIES. - The poor widows of the parish have 14s. a year, left by Wm. Tipping in 1626; and the poor of Hornby township receive the interest of £20, left by Wm. Brown in 1789. They also receive a share of the rent of 5a. 10p. of land at Hutton, purchased with money left for the poor of East and West Patrick Brompton, Hornby, Hackforth, Ainderby-Myers, West Appleton, and Arrathorne.

The Rev. Geo. Alderson, who died in 1882, left the sum of £400 for the benefit of the poor of the parish of Hornby, to which his widow added £200. The amount is invested in the 8 per cent. Annuities, producing £16 9s. 10d. a year, of which, £2 is given in bread each New Year's day, and the remainder is divided among the deserving poor.

AINDERBY MYERS-WITH-HOLTBY is a joint township, comprising 953 acres, belonging to the Duke of Leeds, and Robert Hutton-Squire, Esq., J.P. Its rateable value, according to the present assessment, is £1,163; and the number of inhabitants, 73. The township lies in the vale of the Scurff rivulet, and extends from three to four miles N. of Bedale. Ainderby is supposed to be a contraction of Aismunderby, the by or town of Aismund, the Norse equivalent of Osmund, and the addendum Myers, was probably indicative of the miry nature of the land.

Holtby Hall, the seat and property of Robert Hutton-Squire, Esq., is a neat stone building, standing in a park of 60 acres. Mr. Hutton-Squire is the second son of the late John Hutton, Esq., of Solberge, by Caroline, daughter of the late T. Robson, Esq., of Holtby, and assumed the name of Squire, on succeeding to the property of his great-aunt in 1869.

HACKFORTH township contains 1,338 acres, of which, 1,201 are under assessment, and are rated at £1,762. The township is included in the Bedale Union, and in the Bedale Division for the election of a County Councillor. The population in 1881 was 158. The Duke of Leeds is lord of the manor and sole landowner. The village of Hackforth is situated on the eastern verge of Hornby park, about 1½ miles from the parish church. The school was rebuilt by the Duke of Leeds in 1871, and is almost entirely supported by His Grace.

The manor belonged, at an early period, to the Burghs, from whom it was inherited by the Montforts, to one of whom there is a brass in Hornby church with the date 1489. The heiress of the Montforts married Nicholas Girlington, and the manor passed to that family. The Tunstalls of Thurland Castle, Lancaster, also held lands in Hackforth; and here was born in 1475, Cuthbert Tunstall, the learned, amiable, and pious Bishop of Durham, who, for refusing to take the oath of supremacy and model his religion according to Act of Parliament, was deprived of his See by Queen Elizabeth, and committed to the free custody of Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom he died a captive and a beggar in 1559.

Gyll Hall, now a farm house, was probably the seat of this family. It is an ancient building with massive walls, and is supposed to be coeval with Hornby Castle.

[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.