HUSTHWAITE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Birdforth - Electoral Division of Stillington - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deancry of Easingwold - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

Husthwaite is a small parish comprising the townships of Husthwaite-with-Baxby Birdforth, and Carlton Husthwaite, having a united area of 3,384 acres, and a population of 646. The surface is gently undulating and the soil fertile. The parish is wholly agricultural, and many of the farms are owned by their occupiers.

The township of Husthwaite has an area, according to the rate books, of 1,964 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at £3,442. The principal landowners are William Harrison, Esq. (lord of the manor), Acaster Hill; John Harrison, Esq.; Thomas Woodward, Esq., Husthwaite; exors. of the late Robert Dixon Batty; James Wilson; Frederick Hill Wailes, Esq., J.P., Beacon Banks; Thomas Robson, Sandhill; John Hird, Wool Potts; James Allison, Baldrence; and Thomas Nelson, Driffield, Brafferton.

The village is situated on a slight eminence about four miles N. by W. of Easingwold, and about a quarter of a mile from a station on the Thirsk and Malton railway. Its name is descriptive of its origin - the hus, or house in the thwaite or forest-clearing, which became the nucleus of a village. The spot was formerly a portion of the forest of Galtres. The church is an ancient structure, in which some Norman work is visible. It consists of a nave, chancel, porch, and low square tower, containing three bells, one of which bears the legend, Funera Deploro, Populum Voco, and the date, 1426; the next in age was cast in 1621, and is inscribed, Thesus Be Our Speed. The porch is Norman, and the chancel arch belongs to the same age. The former was restored in 1878. A Norman doorway on the north side of the nave has been filled with masonry, and a hagioscope, or "squint," remained in its original state until 1887, when it was walled up. The chancel is the property of the impropriators, the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. It was rebuilt in 1683, as appears from the date over the south doorway. There are memorials in the church to the Rev. B. Peirson, archdeacon of Cleveland, and the Rev. R. Midgley, both masters of the Coxwold Grammar School; and one to the Rev. John Winter, vicar of Birdforth, and for 65 years curate of this parish. He died in 1873, at the age of 91, and a marble tablet was erected by his parishioners, "as a token of respect for his long and faithful services."

The living, which is held in conjunction with Carlton and Birdforth, has been constituted a new vicarage, the value of which is £280. The patronage is vested in the Archbishop of York. The present incumbent is the Rev. George Scott, M.A., vicar of Coxwold. The great tithes of the township were commuted, under the Tithe Commutation Act of 1837, for a rent-charge of £470.

The Wesleyans have a place of worship in the village - a plain brick building erected in 1841; there is also a National School.

Near the village is Highthorn House, once the seat and property of the Goulton family, the last male representative of which died in 1815, when the estate descended to his grandson, William Hotham, Esq. The Empsons were the next owners, from whom the house and estate were purchased by Mr. James Wilson, of Liverpool, in 1885.

The Manor House, the ancient residence of the lords of Husthwaite, has apparently been rebuilt in later times on a scale of diminished magnitude. It has long been tenanted by a farmer.

Acaster Hill, the residence of William Harrison, Esq., is a genteel and commodious dwelling, pleasantly situated. It was erected by the present owner's father, in 1858.

Beacon Banks, the loftiest hill adjoining Husthwaite, was so named from the beacon formerly fixed on its summit. On the top of the hill is, or was, the agger of an ancient entrenchment, above 400 yards in length, but very much defaced. On the declivity is the residence of F. H. Wailes, Esq., J.P., whose ancestors have possessed the estate for more than 200 years.

Baxby estate was detached from the township of Thornton, in Coxwold parish, on the 25th March, 1887, and annexed to Husthwaite for all civil purposes. The estate was formerly the property of the Sandys family, of Northbourne, Kent, from whom it was purchased in 1650, by William Kitchingman, Esq., of Toulston, Yorkshire. From Mr. Kitchingman it passed to Arthur Thornton, Esq., who left it to his son, Sir William Thornton, Knight, of the City of York. In 1791 Col. Thornton sold the estate to Mr. Thomas Woodward, whose descendant owns the Manor house, but most of the land belongs to the exors. of the late Robert Dixon Batty.

CHARITIES. - The township of Husthwaite has £111 8s. 6d. in the three per cent. consols, purchased in 1807, with £50 left by William Driffield in 1778, for schooling poor children; and £10 left by George Wailes in 1790, for 10 poor people; and £10 bequeathed by the Rev. Robert Peirson, for the use of the poor. In 1816 Mrs. Ann Dixon left the interest of £5 to the poor. Thomas Smith, of Husthwaite, who died 16th August, 1860, left by will the sum of £50, the interest of which is to be distributed weekly, in bread, to such of the poor as shall attend Husthwaite Church. A rent-charge of 7s., left by John Foster, and an annuity of 52s., left by George Potts, have both been lost.

BIRDFORTH is a township of 613 acres, chiefly the property of Viscount Downe, who is also lord of the manor. It is valued, for poor law purposes, at £811, and contains 42 inhabitants. Though it is not mentioned in Domesday Book, yet it is a place of great antiquity, and has given a name to the wapentake of Birdforth. Here, in Saxon times, the people assembled in gemote for the transaction of all business relating to the district; and about 20 years ago there were found in a burn several Saxon coins, bearing the impress of Kings Edgar and Ethelred, The hamlet, consisting of three farmhouses and a few cottages, is situated on the great north road, 5½ miles S.E. of Thirsk. This road, in Roman and Saxon times, passed over the stream here by a ford, from which the place derived its name. It has been supposed that the Romans had a fortress to guard the ford, but no remains have been discovered to warrant the supposition.

The church, of unknown dedication, dates from Norman times, and was, Mr. Gill supposes, "most probably originally designed for a wayside chapel where fainting pilgrims might obtain a temporary rest and refreshment of soul." A few traces of this early structure are still visible in the present edifice, which was partly rebuilt in 1585. Subsequently it became the head of a chapelry, which included Sessay and Hutton. It is now, by an order in council, amalgamated with Husthwaite, and the two benefices form one ecclesiastical parish, of which the Rev. G. Scott is incumbent. The registers date from 1616.

A Board school was erected in 1877, and is attended by about 50 children. It has a small endowment, left by the Rev. William Whytehead, in 1818. The district under the Board comprises Birdforth, Thormanby, and Carlton.

CARLTON HUSTHWAITE. - This township contains 792 rateable acres, and is assessed at £1,301. William Harrison, Esq., of Acaster Hill, is lord of the manor, and the chief proprietors of the soil are Sir George Orby Wombwell, Bart., Newburgh Priory; Mrs. Peckitt, Carlton Hall; and Messrs. William Relton, James Robert Ward, and Henry Webster.

Carlton village is pleasantly situated 6½ miles S.E. of Thirsk and one mile from Husthwaite. There is a chapel-of-ease in the village, supposed to have been erected in the 17th century. It was restored in 1885, at a cost of £300, by subscription. A new roof was put on, and the tower raised. The old massive oak pews were worked up again, and converted into lighter and more elegant seats. The pulpit is of oak, and bears the date 1678. The curacy is annexed to Husthwaite, and is held by the Rev. George Scott, but service is performed every alternate Sunday afternoon by the rector of Thormanby.

There is also a Wesleyan chapel here, a plain brick building, erected in 1869, at a cost of £200, raised by subscription; and a Sunday school was added in 1887,. at an expense of £150, defrayed by Mrs. Calladine.

CHARITIES. - William Welbank, Esq., in 1848, left £100 for the medical relief of the poor of this township. About £3, the interest of several donations, is distributed at Christmas. Mrs. Mettrick, in 1855, left the sum of £300. the interest thereof to be applied to the education of poor children of Carlton-Husthwaite

[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.