STOCKTON ON THE FOREST: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Bulmer - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer East - Electoral Division of Flaxton - Poor Law Union and County Court District of York - Rural Deenery of Bulmer - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish, which is situated on the edge of the Forest of Galtres, is partly within the Liberty of St. Peter. Its total area, according to the Ordnance Survey, is 3,267 acres, of which 2,906 are under assessment, and rated at £3,450. The inhabitants in 1881 numbered 446. The parish is included in the Flaxton Electoral division under the new Local Government Act. The York and Market Weighton railway passes within half-a-mile of the village, at which point there is a station. The soil varies from sand to a rich clay, and belongs chiefly to Miss Agar, of Brockfield, in this parish, to whom also belong the manorial rights; Miss Lloyd, Stockton Hall; Capt. Barstow, of Hazelbush, in this parish; and W. F. Rawdon, Esq., Clifton, York.

Stockton is a compact and well-built village about four miles N.E. of York. It is situated on the outskirts of the Forest of Galtres, and was so named from its having been originally built of the stocks or trunks of trees, or it may be from standing in their midst. In a wood about 1½ miles north-east of the village is the shaft of an ancient cross 7 feet high. It is supposed to be an ancient boundary mark of one of the strays or commons belonging to the freemen of York: and this supposition is apparently corroborated by inscriptions on the south and east sides, one of which reads "Ebor. Monksward Stray, Matt. Walls, Jo. Blackburn, John Beforth, Edgeforth, Pasture Masters, 1677;" and the other, "This cross was repaired in the year 1782 by Wm. Bainbrough, John Dale, Jas. Gorwood, Richd. Pearson, Pasture Masters." It is locally associated with the name of Mother Shipton, who is said to have prophesied that it would fall three times. It was blown down by the wind during a storm on the 7th January, 1839, and was replaced by the Duchess of Sutherland; but the third fall has yet to happen.

The church (Holy Trinity) is a neat white brick edifice in the Gothic style, rebuilt in 1843 at an expense of £650, chiefly defrayed by the late George Lloyd and Benjamin Agar, Esqrs. It consists of nave and chancel. In the latter are several marble tablets to the memory of members of the Agar and Lloyd families, and also a very handsome one to the Rev. J. G. Fawcett, erected by subscription. The registers of the church go back as far as 1646. In the churchyard is a tombstone inscribed to Tamar Spink, who died in 1801, and lies interred betwixt her two husbands. Beneath is the following verse recording the inestimable worth of the deceased

"Stay gentle reader and shed a tear,
You cannot count the worth that's buried here;
But not too good for where she's gone,
The Blessed for to dwell among."

The living is a rectory in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, value £275 with residence, and held by the Rev. W. Gell, B.A. At the inclosure in 1813 there were 96 acres of land allotted in lieu of tithes.

The school is a neat Elizabethan building, erected in 1856 at the sole expense of Miss Lloyd. It is endowed with £10 a year left by - Wilkinson for teaching 10 free scholars. The Wesleyans have a chapel here; and there is a Reading room and lending Library in connection with the church.

The poor have 4s. a year out of Stone-riggs left by Mrs. Edmonson, and a petticoat out of a rood of land called Petticoat Hole.

On the 13th January, 1792, a very strange phenomenon was witnessed here by several persons of credit and respectability. Troops of aerial soldiers were seen over the forest beyond the village marching rapidly in different directions, some in white uniforms others in black. One division formed a line apparently a mile in length, in the midst of which appeared a number of fir trees, which seemed to move along with the line. Similar manifestations were seen on Souter Fell, in Cumberland, in 1743; at Harrogate, in 1812; and at St. Neots, in Huntingdonshire, in 1820.

[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.