MALTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.
"MALTON, (New), a parish, market town, parliamentary and municipal borough, in the wapentake of Ryedale, North Riding county York, 21½ miles N.E. of York, and 213 by road from London. It has stations on the Thirsk, Malton, and Driffield, and on the York, Whitby, and Scarborough lines of railway. The town, which comprises the two parishes of New and Old Malton, is situated on a hill on the N. bank of the river Derwent, here crossed by a stone bridge of three arches, connecting the town with the populous suburb of Norton, in the East Riding. In the vicinity is the Whitby Junction, where there are several branch lines of railway communicating with the neighbouring towns. It is a place of very remote antiquity, and is supposed to have been a Roman station where the equites singulares, or emperor's body-guard, were stationed. In the Saxon times it became a royal vill of the kings of Northumbria, and subsequently belonged to Colebrand the Dane. It was given by the Conqueror to Gilbert Tyson, and had a strong castle, which Eustace St. John gave up to David, King of Scotland. It was taken by Archbishop Thurston, and burnt, but was rebuilt by Eustace Fitzjohn in the reign of Stephen. The castle was finally destroyed by Henry II., and on its site a castellated mansion was built by Lord Eure in the reign of James I., of which only the lodge and entrance gateway are now remaining. It is a borough by prescription, returning two members to parliament from 1640, and twice in the reign of Edward I., the bailiff being the returning officer. Under the Reform Act the limits have been extended by the addition of Old Malton and Norton, the latter being a suburb' on the left bank of the river Derwent, which was made navigable from this point to the river Ouse in the reign of Queen Anne, thus wording water communication with Hull, Leeds, Halifax, and other places. The town is governed by a bailiff and two constables, chosen at the court-leet of the lord of the manor. It has a board of health, and petty sessions are held every alternate Saturday. The general quarter sessions for the North Riding also take place here. It is well lighted with gas, and paved. It contains three banks, a savings-bank, mechanics' and literary institutions, with a library and newsrooms, townhall, corn exchange, county court- house, assembly rooms, masonic hall, theatre, and spacious market-place, from which the several streets diverge. The houses are generally well built, and many of them of modern erection. The meetings of the Board of Guardians are held at the county court-house,' The Malton Horticultural Societyy hold their meetings here. There are corn-mills, breweries, maltings, iron and brass foundries, and agricultural machine works. Lime and whinstone are quarried to a considerable extent. On the W. side of the town is the cattle market, occupying an open area of 3 acres, on which slaughter-houses have been erected by Earl Fitzwilliam, who is lord of the manor and proprietor of the greater part of the land, which he inherits through the Wentworths. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value £170 Old Malton church is an ancient stone structure dedicated to St. Mary. There are also two district churches in New Malton, viz: St. Michael's and St. Leonard's, the livings of which are perpetual curacies, value £195 each. The church of St. Leonard's has a lofty unfinished spire, and that of St. Michael's, situated in the market-place, is of great antiquity, with a square western tower. The parochial charities produce about £101, of which £96 goes to the free grammar school of Old Malton, founded in 1547. There are National, British, and infant schools. The Independents, Wesleyans, Wesleyan Reformers, Roman Catholics, Unitarians, Baptists, and Primitive Methodists, have each a chapel. There is also a meetinghouse for Quakers. At Old Malton are traces of a priory of Gilbertine canons, founded by Eustace Fitz-John in 1150. The union poorhouse is partly situated in St. Leonard's, and partly in Old Malton parishes. Market day is Saturday. Faire are held in the week prior to Palm Sunday, on the Saturday before Whitsuntide, and on the 11th October."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013