Farndale: Earliest References











“A land fit only for wild beasts, and men who live like wild beasts.” 


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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB



 Northwards from the Wolds, the windswept moors of Hambleton and Cleveland remain as they have been throughout pre-historic times, a refuge of broken peoples, a home of lost cultural causes.


Bede described the area as ‘vel bestiae commorari vel hommines bestialiter vivere conserverant.’ (‘A land fit only for wild beasts, and men who live like wild beasts.’).


Although there are many pre-historic remains on the North Yorkshire moors, it is to this day an area cut off. The Romans built roads around it and the Vikings skirted it also. When the Romans left and the Saxons and Vikings arrived, they did move into the dales and left their burial mounds and crosses across the moors.Thus the people who today come from the ‘dales on the moors’ of North Yorkshire have remained essentially English for several hundred years and developed very special characteristics. In many respects they remain to this day a unique English Tribe.

(Early man in NE Yorkshire, 1930 p 219-20 by F Elgee)

Farndale is not mentioned in Doomsday. But Kirby Moorside is and must have included Farndale.



Before the Conquest it was in the hands of Waltef who had a manor and 5 carucates at Fadmoor.


In 1086, Count Robert of Mortain held it and it was waste.


Later it fell into the hands of Hugh son of Baldric before passing first to Roger de Mowbray and later to William and then Nicholas de Stuteville in 1200.


Farndale then became part of the manor of Kirby Moorside.

(Victoria County History of Yorkshire).




Before the Conquest Orm held 5 carucates of land in KIRKBY MOORSIDE; these in 1086 had passed to Hugh son of Baldric. They were probably granted with other lands of Hugh's to Robert de Stutevill, for Kirkby Moorside afterwards formed part of the barony of Mowbray. Roger de Mowbray, son of Niel Daubeney, grantee of the Stutevill lands, was holding Kirkby Moorside in the reign of Henry II, when Robert de Stutevill, grandson of the first Robert, laid claim to the barony; Roger gave him Kirkby Moorside for 10 knights' fees in satisfaction of his claim.  This arrangement, however, was not ratified in the king's courts, and the dispute broke out again between William de Stutevill, son of Robert, and William de Mowbray, grandson of Roger, in 1200.  Finally, William de Mowbray confirmed the previous agreement and gave 9 knights' fees in augmentum.  Henceforward Kirkby Moorside was held of the Mowbrays by the heirs of the Stutevills till the end of the 14th century, when the overlordship came to the Crown through the forfeiture of the first Duke of Norfolk



The first mention of FARNDALE (Farendale, Farendal, Farnedale, xiii cent.) is found at the beginning of the 13th century. Cal. Rot. Chart. 1199–1216 (Rec. Com.), 86


It formed part of the fee of the lords of Kirkby Moorside (q.v.), of which manor it was parcel. For an extent in 1281–2 see Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), i, 249. The capital messuage called the Hallhouse and the tenement called the Headhouse were granted by the Crown in 1600–1 to Francis Burton (Pat. 43 Eliz. pt. iv)


Robert de Stutevill gave the nuns of Keldholme the right of getting wood for burning and building in Farndale,  Cal. Rot. Chart. 1199–1216 (Rec. Com.), 86


and in or about 1209 the Abbot of St. Mary's obtained from King John rights in the forest of Farndale which the king had recovered from Nicholas de Stutevill. Pipe R. 11 John, m. 11


The abbot and Nicholas came to an agreement concerning common of wood and pasture here, this being renewed in 1233. Feet of F. Yorks. 17 Hen. III, no. 14