RUDBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Langbaurgh (West Division) - Petty Sessional Division of Langbaurgh West - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Stokesley - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish, often distinguished as Rudby-in-Cleveland comprehends the townships of Rudby, Hutton Rudby, Middleton, East Rounton, Skutterskelfe, and Sexhow, the united area of which is 7,562 acres, and the population (1881) 1,282. The surface is varied and interesting, exhibiting in some places picturesque landscape scenery. Rudby township comprises 889 acres, the gross estimated rental of which is £847, and rateable value £776. The inhabitants who number 81, are chiefly employed in agriculture. The soil is loamy, resting on strong clay. Wheat, oats and beans are the chief crops under cultivation.

Rudby belonged at an early perid to the Meinells of Whorlton, and subsequently passed by marriage to the Darcys and Conyers. In the reign of Henry VIII., it was purchased by Sir Arthur Ingram, son of a wealthy London citizen, and afterwards came by marriage into the family of the present owner, Viscount Falkland.

The village is situated on the north bank of the Leven rivulet, 3½ miles W. by S. of Stokesley. The Church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient Gothic structure, consisting of nave, chancel, south aisle, and tower containing three bells, one of which is dated 1664. The nave was restored about thirty years ago, and shortly afterwards the lay rector, Lord Falkland, repaired the chancel, inserted the present plain east window, and added about an acre of ground to the churchyard. Within the chancel is part of the monumental tomb of Robert Wyclyff, a former rector, with the date 1423; and in the north wall a monument to the Lynley family, with which the Laytons intermarried, bearing a genealogical epitaph, and the date 1594. Adjoining is an old oak pulpit of the Elizabethan period, the panels of which are embellished with various inlaid devices, and in the front one is the name of Thomas Milner. There are tablets to the memory of the Cary family, and in the window of the aisle a shield of old painted glass representing quarterly the arms of Conyers, Darcy, and Meinell.

The living, according to Grave's History of Cleveland, was originally a rectory. In the early part of the sixteenth century the advowson was purchased by Cardinal Wolsey, who appropriated it to Christ Church, Oxford, and the living thenceforth became a vicarage. It is in the gift of Lord Falkland, and held by the Rev. John Johnson, L.T., University of Durham. The chapelries of Middleton and East Rounton are annexed to Rudby, the joint yearly value being £180, with residence and 146 acres of glebe. The register dates from 1581. The vicarage house, which is situated on an eminence about a mile from the village, was built in 1844.

HUTTON-RUDBY township comprises 2,371 acres, of which the gross estimated rental is £5,014; rateable value, £4,457; and population, 849. The principal landowners are the Trustees of Turner Hospital, Kirkleatham; G. Y. Blair, Esq., J.P., Drumrauk Hall; Joseph Richardson, Esq., J.P., Potto Hall; James Emerson, Esq., J.P., Easby Hall; Lord De Lisle and Dudley, Ingleby Greenhow; and Messrs Rickatson, Hutton Rudby. This lordship was given by the Conqueror to his relative, the Earl of Moreton. Subsequently we find it in the possession of the Meynells, from whom it passed by marriage to the Darcys, about the middle of the fourteenth century, and from them to the Conyers in like manner in 1440. It was held for some time by the Turners of Kirkleatham, then by Thomas Wayne, Esq., of Angrove Hall, and afterwards by Mr. Mark Barker, who devised it to Mark Barker Passman, his adopted son, who was succeeded by his brother, Henry Passman, Esq., in 1885.

The village of Hutton, or Hutton-juxta-Rudby, is situated on the south bank of the Leven, opposite Rudby, with which it is connected by a bridge. The houses are ranged round an extensive green, through the centre of which runs the road, lined on each side by a row of trees, planted six or seven years ago. The May-pole on the green is a recent erection, raised to commemorate the jubilee of Her Gracious Majesty. The manufacture of sail cloth is carried on in the old corn mill, where about fifty hands are constantly employed. This village, one part of which is called Entrepen, seems to have once had an evil reputation, the memory of which some poetical genius has perpetuated in the following couplet:

"Hutton-Rudby, Entrepen,
Far more rogues than honest men."

The parish Church is situated in the village of Rudby, but there are chapels here belonging to the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The former was erected in 1879 at a cost of £700, exclusive of the site, which was the gift of Mr. W. Weighell, of Obergreen. The old chapel, built in the early years of the society, with the Centenary School adjoining, is now used as a Temperance Hall, The Primitive Methodists erected their first chapel here in 1821. This was enlarged in 1857, and entirely rebuilt on a larger scale in 1887, at a cost of £850.

The educational wants of the village are supplied by the School Board, by whom the old parish school was taken over on a fifty years' lease in 1878, and partially rebuilt and enlarged. An Infants' Department has been added during the present year (1888), thereby increasing the accommodation to 170. This school has an endowment of £5 a year, left by Charles Bathurst, Esq., in 1740.

CHARITIES. - David Simpson, in 1783, left a rent charge of 30s. a year to poor widows who were not in receipt of parish relief, 20s. for this township and 10s. for Potto; and James Young, in 1807, left £70 to the poor, but this has been lost. The late Lady Amherst left, for the poor of Rudby parish, a sum of money which was invested in the 3 per cent consols, realizing £10 per annum; hut under Mr. Goschen's National Debt (Conversion) Act, 1888, the above dividend will be reduced to about £8 5s. a year.

MIDDLETON UPON LEVEN. - This township and chapelry situated in the picturesque vale of the Leven, 2½ miles north of Hutton Rudby, comprises according to the overseers' returns 1,144 acres, the gross annual rental of which is £1,082, and rateable value, £989. The population in 1881 was 87. The manor was formerly held by the Meynells, from whom it passed by marriage to the Darcys, and in the same manner from the latter to the Conyers. Subsequently, the Earl of Egremont appears as lord of the manor and owner of a considerable estate within the township, which is now possessed by his decendant, Lord Leconfield. The remainder of the township belongs to Lord Falkland, who is also lord of the manor.

The village, consisting of the church and two rows of cottages, is situated on the right bank of the Leven, 4½ miles S.W. of Yarm, The Chapel-of-Ease (St. Cuthbert) was rebuilt in 1789, upon the site of an older one. It is a very plain. stone structure consisting of nave and chancel. The living, a Perpetual Curacy, is united with Rudby, and was augmented by Parliamentary Grants, amounting to £1,200, from 1740 to 1825.

EAST ROUNTON (area 1,622 acres) is another township and chapelry in this parish. It extends along the north bank of the Wiske to the borders of West Rounton. The surface is undulating, and the scenery around of a pleasing and varied character. The principal landowners are Sir I. Lowthian Bell, Bart., A. Danby, Esq., H. Kitching, James L. Dugdale, Esq., Crathorne Hall; and D. Atkinson, Esq., Haggett Hill.

The township is valued, for rating purposes, at £1,776, and had, in 1881, a population of 166.

The village stands on an eminence on the right bank of the Wiske, 7 miles south of Yarm. The church, or chapel-of-ease, was rebuilt in 1885, on the model of the old one, by Sir Lowthian and Lady Bell, and the interior refurnished. The living, a Perpetual Curacy, held in conjunction with Rudby, was augmented by £1,200, from the Parliamentary Grant, from 1747 to 1828. The village school, built by the same benevolent gentleman in 1877, is under the management of the School Board.

About a quarter of a mile from the village is Rounton Grange, the magnificent residence of Sir I. Lowthian Bell. The estate was purchased by the present owner in 1865, from John Wailes, Esq., and others, and the present mansion erected from designs furnished by John Philip Webb, Esq., of London, and completed in 1876. It is built of local stone, somewhat in the Queen Anne style, and light coloured oak enters largely into the panelling and woodwork of the interior. The dining room is hung with tapestry representing some scenes from Chaucer s "Romance of the Rose," designed by E. Burn Jones, and worked by Lady Bell and daughter. Many valuable paintings adorn the walls; among them is the Romans leaving Britain, by Millais. There are also portraits by Watts, H. T. Wells, and the younger Richmond; landscapes by Alfred Hunt, J. E. Hodgson, Henry Moore, &c.; and water colour drawings by G. B. Boyce, Alfred Hunt, De Wint, Godwin, and others.

Haggett Hill, about one mile from the village, consists of three farmhouses on high ground; and Hollins House is another good farmstead about half-a-mile east of Rounton.

SKUTTERSKELFE township comprises an area of 1,008 acres, 108 of which belong to Lord De Lisle, and the rest to Lord Falkland. The ground lies high, and commands a vast extent of rich landscape scenery. The gross annual rental of the township is £1,121, and its assessed value, £1,032. Population, 65. In the Domesday Book, Skutterskelfe is described as a "soc," or soke within the manor of Stokesley. Subsequently it was held by a family styled de Sculiscelfe, or Skutterscelfe under the Baliols. Later, the Lynleys appear as owners, from whom it was conveyed by marriage to Thomas Layton, Esq., of Sexhow, In the reign of Charles II the manor was purchased by John Bathurst, Esq., M.D., of London. After three descents, Charles Bathurst, Esq. died, in 1740, childless, and his estates devolved upon his sisters as co-heirs, Skutterskelfe falling to the share of Jane, wife of William Turner, Esq., of Kirkleatham. Sir Charles Turner, Bart., son of the above, sold the estate to the Hon. General Cary, from whom it has descended to he present owner, Byron P. Cary, Viscount Falkiand, of South Norwood, Surrey.

Skutterskelfe Hall one of the seats of his lordship, is a beautiful mansion, in the Grecian style, erected in 1831, on the site of the old hall of the Bathursts, and surrounded by extensive and beautiful grounds.

At Folly Hill in this township is a well-defined sepulchral mound of the ancient Britons.

SEXHOW is a small township on the south side of the vale of the Leven, containing 527 acres, the property of Lord De Lisle and Dudley. The assessed value of the township is £524, and the population, 34. The North Yorkshire and Cleveland branch of the Stockton and Whitby railway passes through the district, and has a station here.

The Laytons, the former owners of the manor, were long resident here, and their old mansion (Sexhow Hall) still retains some traces of its former splendour.

[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.