NEWTON UPON OUSE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer West - Poor Law Union, County Court District and Electoral Division of Easingwold - Rural Deanery of Easingwold - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish lies on the left bank of the river Ouse, which here divides the North and West Ridings. Its total area, according to Ordnance measurement, is 5,148 acres, inclusive of roads and river, and about 4,590 acres are under assessment. The surface is generally level; the soil various, but productive; and its cultivation is the chief employment of the inhabitants. The parish comprises the townships of Newton-upon-Ouse, Beningbrough, and Linton-upon-Ouse, containing a total population of 962. The first named township contains 1,734 acres, including roads and water surface, chiefly the property of the Hon. Payan Dawnay (lord of the manor), Beningbrough Hall; Mr. John Hawking, Thornton Briggs; and Mr. Hy. Burton, Newton-upon-Ouse. Its rateable value is £4,718, and number of inhabitants, 592. The soil is rich and fertile, with a subsoil of clay and sand. Cereals, beans, and turnips are the principal crops. The main line of the North Eastern railway skirts the township, but there is no station nearer than Shipton.

Soon after the Conquest, the manor of Newton was held by Ralph Paganel, who accompanied William the Conqueror to England, and was rewarded for his services by a grant of this and other forty-five lordships in the country. He was, according to Leland, high sheriff of Yorkshire about the year 1075. He founded the abbey of St. Martin, Tourain, in France, and granted to the monks two parts of the demesne tithes of Newton-super-Ouse, and various other property in this county. Torr tells us that "the town of Newton-super-Ouse, or the greatest part of it, was given by Richard de Holthorp to the hospital of St. Leonard, York, and one oxgang more was given by Juliana de Plaize, wife of Hugh de Gernewic."

The village of Newton takes its distinguishing addendum from its position on the bank of the Ouse. It is situated nine miles above York; previous to the construction of the railway, packets sailed regularly between the two places, and a very considerable trade in coals, lime, &c., was carried on here, but the river trade is now nearly extinct. The church (St. Mary, but originally dedicated to All Saints) is a neat Gothic structure, rebuilt, with the exception of the lower part of the tower, which belongs to the Norman period, in 1849, at the expense of the Hon. Lydia Frances Catherine Dawnay, and consists of clerestoried nave, with side aisles, chancel, porch, and tower surmounted by an elegant spirc,which rises to the height of 150 feet and is a conspicuous object in the landscape for miles round. The interior is light and lofty, with an open timbered roof of oak, and the pulpit, stalls, and screen are also of the same material. The east window, of five lights, is filled with stained glass, by Willement, and contains an epitome of scripture history. At the foot is a Latin inscription, which reads, in English, "In honour of God and in memory of her dear parents, Lydia F. C. Downay put in this window, A.D. 1849." There are also stained windows to the memory of Mrs. Earle and to members of the Burton family, and some funeral brasses to the Bourchiers, former owners of Beningbrough. Near the centre of the chancel floor is a very fine brass, containing the full length effigies of Lord and Lady Downe with hands clasped, the former in clerical robes, his feet resting on two lions couchant gardant, the feet of the lady resting on a cushion with a dog reposing thereon. Above the figures are two shields of arms, and in a fillet around the effigies is the following inscription: "Here lieth the body of William Henry, Sixth Viscount Downe, sometime Rector of the Churches of Sessay and Thormanby, in this county, who departed this life on the xxiii. day of May, in the year of our Lord MDCCCXLVI., in the LXXXIV. year of his age. Also the body of Lydia, his beloved wife, who deceased on the XVIII. day of March, in the year of our Lord MDCCCXLVIII., in the LXXV. year of her age." On the south side of the chancel are two sedilia, adjoining which is a recess, resembling a piscina, and on the north side is a credence table. The font is octagonal and finely carved. A new organ, built by Abbott, of Leeds, was placed in the church in 1886, at a cost of £400, raised by subscription. The three bells in the tower belonged to the former church. The registers date from the year 1570. The living is a vicarage, the gross yearly value, £537, including 360 acres of glebe situated at Sutton-on-the-Forest and Ugthorp, and £30 a year given by University College, Oxford, for lectures delivered at Linton once a week, and held by the Rev. Marmaduke Charles Frederick Morris, M.A. and B.C.L. After the dissolution of monasteries, the patronage and impropriation came to the Bourchiers, from whom it passed to the Earles, thence to the Viscounts Downe, and now belongs to the Hon. Payan Dawnay.

The Wesleyans have a chapel in the village. The National school (mixed) is a neat red brick building, with residence attached, in the Gothic style, erected in 1854, by the Hon. Payan Downay; and three years later, an infants' school, with teachers' residence, was built at his expense. Both schools are entirely supported by that gentleman and his sister.

CHARITIES. - The following benefactions have been left to the parish, viz.:- £15 by John Robinson, in 1746; £200 by Mr. and Mrs. Bourchier, in 1747; £20 by Barrington Bouchier, Esq.; £30 by Gabriel Priestman; £20 by Robert Calvert, in 1769; £50 by Thomas Lund, and £50 by Benjamin Burton, The interest of these sums, amounting to £18 9s., is distributed as follows:- Two-fifths to the poor of Newton, two-fifths to Linton, and one-fifth to Beningbrough.

BENINGBROUGH. - This township is situated on the bank of the Ouse, and has an area of 1,092 acres, of which about 30 acres are occupied by roads and river. Its rateable value is £1,256, and population 74. The Hon. Payan Dawnay is lord of the manor and principal landowner.

Beningbrough is said to have been the site of a Roman fortress; this, however, is only conjecture, and has never received any confirmation by the discovery of Roman remains. We may, however, infer from the latter part of its name that it was a fortified place in early Saxon times, and probably a royal residence. King Athelstan, in A.D. 966, gave lands here to the hospital of St. Leonard, York, that the brethren might pray for the souls of himself and his ancestors. In Domesday Book, the name of the place is spelt by the Norman scribe Benniburg, and when that Survey was taken, Asford had here three carucates of land to be taxed; and Hugo had five villeins, with two ploughs and six acres of meadow land. After the Conquest, various grants of land here were made by divers persons to St. Mary's Abbey, York, among whom were Maud, widow of John Nevill; John, son of Walter de Marisco; Walter Fitz-Walter, Peter de Brus, and Robert de Ousegate, rector of the church of St. Crux, York. King John, by charter, which was confirmed by Henry VI., gave to the said abbey the woods of Overton and the park of Beningburgh as anciently devised, which lay between the aforesaid woods and the town of Beningburgh. After the dissolution of the abbey, these lands came into the possession of the Bourchiers, whose ancestor accompanied the Conqueror to England. From the Bourchiers the Beningbrough estate descended to Mrs. Earle, heiress of that family; this lady left it to the Hon. and Rev W. H. Dawnay, rector of Sessay, who afterwards became sixth Viscount Downe, and the present owner is his second son.

The village is small and stands on the left bank of the Ouse, about two miles below Newton, and seven miles from York.

Beningbrough Hall, the seat of the Hon. Payan Dawnay, is a picturesque red brick building, with stone facings, overlooking the Ouse on the south, and the Hambleton Hills on the north, and surrounded by an extensive park and gardens. It is supplied with excellent water, drawn from an Artesian well sunk into the limestone to a depth of 200 feet.

LINTON-UPON-OUSE. - This township comprises an area of 2,220 acres, exclusive of 70 acres of river and roads. Its rateable value is £2,582, and the number of inhabitants 296. The manor of Linton-with-Youlton was held by the family of Ros as early as the reign of Edward II. Thomas, Lord Ros, was created Earl of Rutland, and at his decease, in 1543, bequeathed it to Roger, his son. It afterwards passed into other hands, and in 1708 belonged to a Mr. Appleby, who sold it to Dr. Radcliffe, of London. In 1714 the doctor presented it to the Master and Fellows of University College, Oxford, chiefly for the maintenance of two travelling Fellows. The whole estate is still the property of the Master and Fellows, for whom a court leet and baron is held yearly at the College Arms, Linton.

The village is small but pleasantly situated near the Ouse, about 10 miles above York. The whole of the houses and farmsteads have been rebuilt by the college since 1848.

The Catholics had a chapel here from 1700 to 1855, when it was discontinued, and the building used as a school in connection with the parish church until the erection of the present school-chapel, in 1871, at a cost of £1,600. It receives £30 a year from University College, and is attended by about 50 children. Service is held here every Sunday evening by the Vicar of Newton.

[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.