OVERTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


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

This parish includes the townships of Overton and Shipton, and contains, according to the overseer's returns, 3,041 acres. It lies along the east bank of the Ouse, and a portion of it extends into the liberty of St. Peter. The inhabitants in 1881 numbered 497, who are chiefly employed in agriculture. The soil is a mixture of clay and sand, but generally fertile. The parish is intersected by the North Eastern railway, on which there is a station at Shipton. Overton township comprises 1,312 acres of land, of which 1,167 are under assessment. The rateable value is £2,550, and the population in 1881 was 67. The Hon. Payan Dawnay, Beningbrough Hall, is sole owner and lord of the manor.

Overton was the principal country residence of the Abbots of St. Mary's, York, but their house had disappeared before Drake published his "Eboracum in 1736. The hall and estate remained with the Crown from the dissolution of the abbey till 1563, when they were sold by Queen Elizabeth to one John Herbert. The estate afterwards came into the possession of the Bourchiers, from whom it passed to Mrs. Earle, heiress of that family, and was sold in 1827 to Viscount Downe, from whom it has descended to the present owner.

The village stands on the bank of the Ouse, about five miles above York, The church, dedicated to St. Cuthbert, was rebuilt by the Hon. Payan Dawnay in 1855, on the site of the ancient edifice. The living is a vicarage held conjointly with Shipton, the united value being £620. The Hon. P. Dawnay is the patron.

SHIPTON TOWNSHIP contains 2,009 acres, of which 1,874 acres are under assessment. It is valued for rating purposes at £6,008, a large portion of which is levied on the North Eastern Railway Co., for the portion of the main line lying within the township. The inhabitants in 1881 numbered 430. The Hon. Payan Dawnay, J.P., is owner of the land and lord of the manor. The township is in the union of Great Ouseburn.

The village is pleasantly situated on the great north road, about 5½ miles north of York, and near the river Ouse. There is a station here on the North Eastern main line. A handsome church was erected and endowed by the Hon. Payan Dawnay in 1849. It is in the Gothic style, and consists of a spacious and lofty nave, north and south aisles, chancel, and an elegant tower and spire containing three bells, The chancel window is a beautiful stained glass memorial of Lydia, Viscountess Downe, who died in 1848. The aisles are divided from the nave by two arcades of five arches each. The bowl of the font is octagonal, and is supported by eight rounded columns. A new organ by Abbott & Co., of Leeds, has been added by subscription, at a cost of £400. The church will seat 377. The living is united with Overton. A vicarage house was erected at the same time as the church, and was further enlarged in 1873 by the founder, at a cost of over £1,000. The old vicarage house in Overton is occupied by a farmer.

The school, a brick building in the Gothic style, stands in the centre of the village. It was originally founded as a free school in 1655 by Ann Middleton, who endowed it with a rent-charge of £40 a year, payable out of Shipton estate. The present premises and teacher's house were built by the Hon. Payan Dawnay in 1850, on the site of the old one. The school is attended by about 100 children.

The Wesleyans have a chapel, a plain brick building, in the village. The above-named Ann Middleton left 20s. a year to the poor of Shipton, and Richard Carlton in 1788 left to them the interest of £10.

[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.