Farndale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical and geographical information

 

 

 

  

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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB

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Introduction

 

Dates are in red.

Hyperlinks to other pages are in dark blue.

Headlines of the history of the Farndale are in brown.

References and citations are in turquoise.

Contextual history is in purple.

 

This webpage about the valley of Farndale has the following section headings:

 

 

The Farndales who lived in Farndale

 

Our early ancestors were the inhabitants of Farndale by about 1230. We know of some of those who lived in Farndale in medieval times (see FAR00001 and FAR00002). We know a little of the forest of Farndale (FAR00003 and FAR00004).  Edmund the hermit was of course not our ancestors and indeed until the mid thirteenth century, the area was forested hunting grounds, with grants given to monks as a source of timber, and with little evidence of habitation. But there is evidence in the mid thirteenth century of a campaign of cutting back the land for cultivation and renting it to villeins. It is the poor peasant folk of Farndale who are probably our earliest ancestors - perhaps William the Smith of Farndale, 1240 (FAR00009), John the Shepherd of Farndale, 1250 (FAR00010), Roger milne (miller) of Farndale, 1265 (FAR00013A) and Simon the miller of Farndale, 1282 (FAR00021) were our early ancestors living in Farndale.

 

Over time, folk started to adopt names which described them by place or occupation. Examples are Nicholas de Farndale, the first personal name linked to Farndale (see FAR000006 and Farndale 1), Peter de Farndale (see FAR000008 and Farndale 2), Gilbert de Farndale (FAR00018 and Farndale 3), and Simon de Farndale (FAR00021 and Farndale 4). So our ancestors started to called themselves de Farndale, and in time just used the Farndale name. That process signalled the start of a spread of our ancestors out of Farndale to the surrounding lands. At that time, such movements were no doubt as bold and significant as later emigrations to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. We know for instance that De Johanne de Farndale, 1275 (FAR00014) moved further afield to Egton.

 

In this genealogical exploration of the Farndale family, we are therefore most interested in Farndale the place before about 1400. After that, those who chose to define themselves as ‘of Farndale’ were those who had moved on to live in other places. By the fifteenth century there were no members of the family still living in Farndale, and none have returned.

 

Nevertheless an exploration of the earliest history of Farndale the place is integral to the family story. It is our beginnings. It is the cradle of the Farndale family. It is where it all started.

 

The Geography of Farndale

 

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Farndale location                                                                                                                                                                                 Farndale 2023

 

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Farndale 1857

 

 

Farndale, an Overview

 

Farndale is a valley located in the North York Moors National Park in North Yorkshire. The nearest town is Kirkbymoorside located five miles to the south. Pickering is thirteen miles to the south-east and Helmsley twelve miles to the south-west.

 

Farndale was first recorded as Farnedale, and means Fern Valley. It has sometimes been interpreted as a derivation of the Gaelic word fearna meaning alder, since the alder tree is still common in the dale. Farndale’s river, the Dove, probably originates in the Celtic word dubo, the black or shady stream. High up on the west side of the valley is a large boulder, known as the Duffin Stone. This stone might identify one of the two original forest clearings, named Duvaneesthaut in the Rievaulx Abbey charter of 1154.

 

Farndale is surrounded by some of the wildest moorland in England, and is sandwiched between Bransdale and Rosedale. To the north-east sits Blakey Ridge at over 400 m above sea level, and to the north-west, Cockayne Ridge reaching up to 454 m above sea level is one of the highest points of the North York Moors. Around the north of Farndale, between Bloworth Crossing and Blakey is the track bed of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway (Rosedale Branch) which forms part of two Long Distance Footpaths these being Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk and The Lyke Wake Walk.

Farndale is a scattered agricultural community with traditional Yorkshire dry stone walls. The valley is popular with walkers due to its famous wild daffodils, which can be seen around Easter time all along the banks of the River Dove. To protect the daffodils the majority of Farndale north of Lowna was created a Local Nature Reserve in 1955.

Farndale is home to two hamlets. Church Houses is at the top of the valley and Low Mill further down. Low Mill is at the heart of the daffodil walking routes.

 

Kirkbymoorside

 

Kirkbymoorside lies only 25 miles north of York.

 

The name Kirkbymoorside suggests one of the key reasons for the settlement’s establishment, that being the shelter offered by the southern slopes of the moors into which the town nestles. Our prehistoric ancestors left behind flint and stone axes, and traces of their Celtic language in the street names of Tinley Garth (garden) and Howe End (a ’howe’ being a burial mound). Anglo-Saxon and Viking artefacts include a silver coin dating from around 790, found within the grounds of the parish church of All Saints.

 

There is some disagreement over the spelling of the village: the alternative is Kirbymoorside, which is how the railway companies spelt the name on the station, as how it is traditionally pronounced). Signposts read "Kirkbymoorside". "Kirk" means church and "-by" is the Viking word for settlement, so that the name translates as "settlement with a church by the moorside", or as Ekwall argues, Moorside is "Moresheved" which means "top of the moor".[5] A valley near the town is known as Kirkdale.

 

Kirkbymoorside is noted as Chirchebi in the Domesday Book of 1086. With William the Conqueror came the ’Harrying of the North’; Saxon landowners gave way to his supporters and in Kirkbymoorside Torbrant was replaced by Hugh Fitzbaldric and then Robert de Stuteville. The Stuteville family built a moated wooden castle on Vivers Hill behind the church with commanding views of the town and beyond. The town grew in importance and prospered under the Wake family to whom it passed in the 13th Century and in 1254 the Wednesday Market, which still thrives today, was established along with an annual fair.

 

Torbrand, the Anglo-Saxon owner, was "evicted" by the Conqueror, and his home and lands given to Robert D'Estoteville or Stuteville, a Norman who had accompanied the Conqueror to England. The family rose high in the royal favour, and figured largely in the annals of Norman England. The De Mowbrays appear to have become possessed, in some way or other, of a portion of the lordship, and Henry I. deprived both Roger de Mowbray and Roger de Stuteville of their lands here for rebellion, and bestowed them on Nigel de Albini, who married the heiress of the Mowbrays, and assumed that name. Shortly afterwards a dispute arose between the families as to the right of possession, and the king (Henry II.) restored the barony of Kirbymoorside to the Stutevilles. It remained with this family till Joan, the daughter and heiress of Nicholas Estoteville, conveyed it in marriage to Hugh de Wake.

 

The Norman baron Robert de Stuteville built a wooden moated castle on Vivers Hill.

 

It has served as a trading hub at least since 1254, when it became a market town.

 

The estate passed to the Wake family in the 13th century, who brought prosperity to the town. However, it was badly hit by the Black Death of the mid-14th century, after which the wooden castle lay in ruins. In the 14th century the Black Death hit Kirkbymoorside and soon the wooden castle was in decay and a loss of order within the town followed.

 

Prosperity returned after 1408, when the Neville family took over, although little remains of the fortified manor they built to the north of the town. The Nevilles remained Catholic and took part in the Rising of the North of 1569.

Farndale Before the Norman Conquest

 

According to Bede, the Angles came from Ageln in the Jutland peninsula of Denmark. Archaeological evidence is sparse for the earliest phase of their settlement in this area.

 

After the Angles were converted to Christianity, they left more substantial evidence. Christianity came to Yorkshire not through the establishment route from Rome via Canterbury, but from the north and ultimately from the west. Monasteries were established on sites resembling Lindisfarne, which offered qualities of remoteness but also access to settlements. Lindisfarne as well as sites such as Iona in Scotland, were near to navigational routes which were then primarily by sea.

 

Whitby was founded by Aidan himself and Hilda was its most famous abbess. Another cell was later established in Forge Valley near Scarborough. The founding of an early monastery at Lastingham is vividly described by Bede. Closer to Farndale, the little church of St Gregory at Kirkdale near Kirbymoorside is secluded, lying across the narrow valley.

 

This part of Yorkshire saw two Viking settlements, both fairly peaceful, with no evidence of armed conquest except for the taking of York, the political centre and market of the area. York fell to the Danes in 867. The extent and range of settlement isn’t clear. In the early tenth century came a second wave of Scandinavian speakers, with Norwegian tongues into northern Yorkshire from Cumberland.

 

The place names of the pre Norman countryside provide glimpses of pastures, valleys, marshes, farms. The sculpture and churches in the tenth and eleventh centuries hint at a growth of population around the edges of the moorland and on the lowlands and the coast. Monuments suggest a framework of parishes along the tabular hills stretching into the low ground.

 

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, the wooded valleys were very remote and isolated. The Romans built roads around it and the Vikings skirted it also. When the Romans left and the Saxons and Vikings arrived, some people 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 a particular folk for several hundred years and developed very special characteristics. In many respects they remain to this day a unique Yorkshire Tribe. (Early man in North East Yorkshire, 1930 p 219-20 by F Elgee)

Within the porch of the Saxon Church of St Gregory at Kirkdale, about a mile west of Kirkbymoorside, above the entrance door is housed a Saxon sundial. It bears the inscription “Orm the son of Gamel acquired St Gregory’s Church when it was completely ruined and collapsed, and he had it built anew from the ground to Christ and to St Gregory in the days of King Edward and in the days of Earl Tostig”. The inscription refers to Edward the Confessor and to Tostig, the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex and brother of Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England. Tostig was the Earl of Northumbria between 1055 and 1065. It was therefore during that last peaceful decade, immediately before the Norman conquest, that Orm, son of Gamel rebuilt St Gregory’s Church.

 

A stone church with a cemetery

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Orm was prominent in Northumbria in the middle years of the eleventh century. He married into the leading aristocratic clan of the region. His wife Aethelthryth was the daughter of Ealdred, Earl of Northumbria in the mid eleventh century. His brother in law was Siward, Earl of Northumbria until 1055, famous for his exploits against Macbeth, the King of Scots. Orm’s name suggests that he was of Scandinavian descent, but by his lifetime, he was very much a Christian, and a part of the Saxon world.

Chirchebi is known to us today as Kirkbymoorside. The Domesday Book recorded that Chirchebi comprised five carucates of land. A carucate was a medieval land unit based on the land which eight oxen could till in a year. So presumably this area of land described the five carucates of cultivated land around Kirkdale. [I need to do a bit more work on Saxon Chirchebi to confirm this]. Before the Conquest, civilised Chirchebi was in the possession of Orm and it comprised ten villagers, one priest, two ploughlands, two lord’s plough teams, three men’s plough teams, a mill and a church.

 

However this area of civilisation was part of a much wider wild estate which Chirchebi formed, which was said to be twelve leagues (about 42 miles) long by the time of the Normans. 

 

Earl Waltef who had a manor and 5 carucates at Fadmoor which comprised three ploughlands.

 

So whilst there was a small community of folk living at Kirkdale, within this wider estate, the bulk of the estate was deep forest, stretching up through the dales towards the highlands of the North York Moors. This forest was probably largely impenetrable, and certainly not settled. It may have been used for hunting. Centuries before, the Venerable Bede had described this region as ‘a land fit only for wild beasts, and men who live like wild beasts’.

 

Within this uninhabited woodland, there lay a forested valley, which was then unknown, but which was nestling quietly in those woods, the place which in time would become the cradle of the modern Farndale family. The land which was to become Farndale was little more than a possession, and a place which the owner himself did not likely know, and which after the Conquest, would continue to be possessed, transferred, perhaps sometimes hunted within, for another two centuries.

 

The Feudal Era and Farndale

 

Medieval Farndale and East Bransdale

 

By 1086 the ownership of Chirchebu had passed to Hugh, son of Baldric. Count Robert of Mortain held Fadmoor 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. (Domesday Book and Victoria County History of Yorkshire).

 

From the Essay New Settlements in the North Yorkshire Moors, 1086 to 1340 by Barry Harrison, in Medieval Rural Settlement in North East England, Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, Research Report No 2, Edited by BE Vyner, 1990:

 

The North Yorks Moors was an appropriate area for the study of medieval agriculture, since it appears to have been largely empty of settlements in 1086.The only developed manor in the moorlands proper was in the Esk Valley where a 12 carucate holding was located at Danby,

 

In 1086 the area which included the land which would become known in time as Farndale, lay within the great multiple of Kirkbymoorside, said to be 12 leagues long and in the possession of Hugh FitzBaldric, a German archer who had served William the Conqueror and became the Sheriff of the County of York in 1069.

 

The estate passed to the Stuteville family in 1086, when Hugh died. The Stutevilles were deprived of it in 1106 when it was granted to Nigel d’Aubigny, one of Henry I’s ‘new men’.

 

On his death in 1129 his widow Gundreda administered the estate on behalf of her under age son, Roger de Mowbray. It was she who granted the whole of Welburn and Skiplam together with the western side of Bramsdale to Rievaulx Abbey who developed the whole area as a series of granges and cotes, including Colt House and Stirk House in Brandsale. It was only to be expected that the monks would seek to extend their properties into the Mowbray territory further east. Therefore, at some time before 1155, Roger granted to the monks a wood in Farndale called Midelhoved (the “Middle Heads”) (Ordnance Survey Grid NZ 628018) and another wood called Duvanesthuart, probably in the area of Duffin Stone Farm (Ordnance Survey NZ 645988), at the north western end of the Dale, together with common pasture rights and permission to take building timber and wood ‘for those who stay there’. Duvanesthuart embodies an Irish-Norse personal name, but there is nothing to suggest that it was a functioning settlement by the mid twelfth century. The whole area was regarded as a private forest of the Mowbrays – the grant was made ‘saving Roger’s wild beasts’ (ie reserving Roger’s right to hunt), and it seems to have anticipated that the monks would want to build a new dwelling there probably for use as a grange or cote.

 

The House Mowbray

 

Sir Roger de Mowbray (1120 to 1188) was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He had substantial English landholdings. A supporter of King Stephen, with whom he was captured at Lincoln in 1141, he rebelled against Henry II. He made multiple religious foundations in Yorkshire. He took part in the Second Crusade and later returned to the Holy Land, where he was captured and died in 1187. Roger was the son of Nigel d'Aubigny by his second wife, Gundreda de Gournay. On his father's death in 1129 he became a ward of the crown. Based at Thirsk with his mother, on reaching his majority in 1138, he took title to the lands awarded to his father by Henry I both in Normandy including Montbray, from which he would adopt his surname, as well as the substantial holdings in Yorkshire and around Melton. Roger supported the Revolt of 1173–74 against Henry II and fought with his sons, Nigel and Robert, but they were defeated at Kinardferry, Kirkby Malzeard and Thirsk. Roger left for the Holy Land again in 1186, but encountered further misfortune being captured at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. His ransom was met by the Templars, but he died soon after and, according to some accounts, was buried at Tyre in Palestine. There is, however, some controversy surrounding his death and burial and final resting-place.

 

And so, in 1154, we are introduced to Farndale the place for the first time in the Chartulary of Rievaulx Abbey when Gundreda, on behalf of her guardian, gave land to the abbey.

 

Gundreda, wife of Nigel de Albaneius, greetings to all the sons of St. Ecclesiff. Know that I have given and … confirmed, with the consent of my son, Eogeri de Moubrai, God and St. Marise Eievallis and the brothers there. . . for the soul of my husband Nigel de Albaneius, and for the safety of the soul of my son, Roger de Molbrai, and of his wife, and of their children, and for the soul of my father and mother, and of all my ancestors, whatever I had in my possession of cultivated land in Skipenum, and, where the cultivated land falls towards the north, whatever is in my fief and that of my son, Roger de Moubrai, in the forest and the plain, and the pastures and the wastins, according to the divisions between Wellebruna and Wimbeltun, and as divided from Wellebruna they tend to Thurkilesti, and so towards Cliveland, namely Locum and Locumeslehit, and Wibbehahge and Langeran, and Brannesdala, and Middelhoved, as they are divided between Wellebruna and Faddemor, and so towards Cliveland.”

 

Roger of Molbrai, to all the faithful, both his own and strangers. Let it be known that I have granted . . to the Rievallis brothers, in perpetual alms, Midelhovet - scil. that meadow in Farnedale where Edmund the Hermit dwelt, and another meadow called Duvanesthuat, and the common pasture of the same valley - scil., Farnedale: and in the forest wood for material, and for the own uses of those who remained there, save the salvage. Witness Samson de Alb[aneia]; and Peter of Tresc; and Anschetillo Ostrario; and Walter Parar; and Eicardo de Sescal [or ? Desescal.]; and John the Scribe; and Walter de la Eiviere; [and] Eiinaldo le Poer.

 

And so, as we first lay our historical goggles onto Farndale the place in 1154, we appear to enter a Lord of the Rings World, with a dash of Game of Thrones. The House Mowbray (a competitor to the House Stuteville) has given to the monks, who live in their exquisite Elven home at Rievaulx, a place called Midelhovet, where Edmund the Hermit used to dwell, and another called Duvanesthuat, together with the common pasture within the valley of Farndale.

 

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Rievaulx, in its Elven valley, taken by the website author in 2016

Midelhovet is almost certainly the area in Farndale known today as Middle Head and Duvanesthuat is probably the place where the Duffin Stone lies today.

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The northwestern end of Farndale showing Middle Head and the Duffin Stone.                The area of Middle Head in 2021

We are also introduced to the first individual who roamed the lands of Farndale, who used to live at Midelhovet some years prior to 1154. Edmund the hermit of Farndale was a legendary figure who lived in a cave in the North York Moors in the 12th century. He was said to be a holy man who performed miracles and healed the sick. He was also reputed to have been a descendant of King Alfred the Great and a cousin of King Stephen. I don’t suppose he was our ancestor, since he was a hermit, but this is our first introduction to a character roaming the place.

So by this time, the dale had become known as Farndale.

The name Farndale seems to come from the Celtic ‘farn, or fearn meaning ‘fern’ and the Norwegian ‘dalr, meaning ‘dale;’ and so was the ‘dale where the ferns grew.’ There are historical accounts which have suggested that the first people to settle in Farndale were bands of mixed Celtic and Scandinavian stock and that it was they who began to clear areas in which to build and grow crops. I still need to review the historical evidence to see if there is evidence of such. We have no records of them until the 13th Century. Until I see evidence otherwise, I think that Farndale was likely uninhabited forest until the twelfth century, but this needs more work to check the archaeological record of Farndale.

Of course whilst Farndale is today dominated by moorland bracken and ferns, ferns are naturally a woodland plant, so it must have been the ferns of the forested Farndale which gave rise to its name. Perhaps it was Edmund who must have known the valley intricately, who first chose its name.

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Unfortunately for the monks of Rievaulx, the Stutevilles came back into favour with the accession of Henry II and Roger de Mowbray was compelled to hand back Kirbymoorside, along with many others fees. The Stutevilles favoured the Benedictine monks of St Mary’s Abbey, York and their own small house of nuns was founded at Keldholme near Kirbymoorside. (Ordnance Survey NZ 710863).

 

The House Stuteville

 

The Stuteville came to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Stuteville family lived in Cumberland. Their name, however, is a reference to Estouteville-en-Caux, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The surname Stuteville was first found in Cumberland where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor and Barons of Lydesdale Castle on the western borders of England and Scotland. This ancient family were derived d'Estouteville-en-Caux in Normandy where the family held the Castle Ambriers and Robert d'Estouteville was Governor of the Castle 11 years prior to the Battle of Hastings, in 1055, and defended it against the Count of Anjou.

 

Robert III de Stuteville (who died in 1186) was an English baron and justiciar. He was son of Robert II de Stuteville (from Estouteville in Normandy), one of the northern barons who commanded the English at the battle of the Standard in August 1138. His grandfather, Robert Grundebeof, had supported Robert of Normandy at the battle of Tinchebray in 1106, where he was taken captive and kept in prison for the rest of his life.

 

Robert III de Stuteville was witness to a charter of Henry II of England on 8 January 1158 at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was a justice itinerant in the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland in 1170–1171, and High Sheriff of Yorkshire from Easter 1170 to Easter 1175. The king's Knaresborough Castle and Appleby Castle were in his custody in April 1174, when they were captured by David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon. Stuteville, with his brothers and sons, was active in support of the king during the war of 1174, and he took a prominent part in the capture of William the Lion at Alnwick on 13 July (Rog. Hov. ii. 60). He was one of the witnesses to the Spanish award on 16 March 1177, and from 1174 to 1181 was constantly in attendance on the king, both in England and abroad. He seems to have died in the early part of 1186.

 

He claimed the barony, which had been forfeited by his grandfather, from Roger de Mowbray, who by way of compromise gave him Kirby Moorside. He is the probable founder of the nunneries of Keldholme and Rosedale, Yorkshire, and was a benefactor of Rievaulx Abbey.

 

Rievaulx Abbey was unable to sustain its claim to the Farndale property and a little before 1166, Robert de Stuteville granted Keldholme Priory timber and wood in Farndale together with a vaccary, pasture and cultivated land in East Bransdale.

 

This implies that there was some earlier settlement in the area, but not very much. The Keldholme property in Bransdale, which could still be identified in a survey of 1610, never amounted to more than 40 or 50 acres at Cockayne at the head of the valley.

 

The next mention of Farndale, also Farendale, Farendal, Farnedale in the thirteenth century, 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 Kirkbymoorside, of which manor it was parcel.

 

For an extent in 1281–2 see Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), i, 249.

 

Robert de Stuteville had given 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 Stuteville. (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).

 

At about the same time Robert gave to St Mary’s Abbey, who held the nearby manor of Spaunton, as much timber and wood as they required together with pasture and pannage of pigs in Farndale. The contemporaneous documents suggest that Farndale was regarded primarily as a resource for timber and pasture in the mid twelfth century, with little evidence of settlement.

 

In the mid thirteenth century, Lady Joan de Stuteville successfully prosecuted the Abbot of St Mary’s York, for exceeding his rights taking wood from Farndale by actually assarting 100 acres of land. Only a few years later, the Inquisition Post Mortem taken after Joan’s death in 1276 reveals settlement on a grand scale.

 

Joan de Stuteville, heiress of Cottingham (incl. the honors of Liddel and Rosedale), also known as "Joan de Wake", was born in 1216, the daughter of Nicholas II de Stuteville.

 

Only a few years later, the Inquisition Post Mortem taken after Joan’s death in 1276, reveals settlement on a grand scale. In Farndale, bond tenants holding by acres and paying a standard rent of 1-0d for each acre produced £27-5-0d, presumably for 545 acres. In East Bransdale, bondmen held another 141 acres paying a standard rent of 6d per acre, but they are said to hold ‘by cultures’. The significance of these terms is explained in the IPM of Joan’s Son, Baldwin Wake, taken only six years later in 1282, where the bondmen are said to hold their land ‘not by the bovate of land, but by more or less’. Thus standard bovate holdings, usually in the lowlands and in some of the older settled moorland villas, have been dispensed with in favour of holdings of varied size rented by the acre.

 

The 1282 extent shows a considerable increase over that of 1276, but this probably means nothing more than that a new and up-to-date survey was used as the basis for the later document. The Farndale rents now amounted £ 38-8-8d together with a nut-rent and a few boon works and if the rate of 1s 0d per acre still applied, this would give a total acreage held in bondage of no less than 768 acres. In Bransdale rents were up to £4-14-3d which would give us about 188 acres at the old rent of 6d per acre. For the first time the number of bondmen are given - 25 in East Bransdale and 90 in Farndale.

 

Assarting is the act of clearing forested lands for use in agriculture or other purposes. In English land law, it was illegal to assart any part of a royal forest without permission. This was the greatest trespass that could be committed in a forest, being more than a waste: while waste of the forest involves felling trees and shrubs, which can regrow, assarting involves completely uprooting all trees—the total extirpation of the forested area. The term assart was also used for a parcel of land assarted. Assart rents were those paid to the British Crown for the forest lands assarted. The etymology is from the French word essarter meaning to remove or grub out woodland. In northern England this is referred to as ridding.

 

In the Middle Ages, the land cleared was usually common land but after assarting, the space became privately used. The process took several forms. Usually it was done by one farmer who hacked out a clearing from the woodland, leaving a hedged field. However, sometimes groups of individuals or even entire villages did the work and the results were divided into strips and shared among tenant farmers. Monastic communities, particularly the Cistercians, sometimes assarted, as well as local lords. The cleared land often leaves behind an assart hedge, which often contains a high number of woodland trees such as small leafed lime or wild service and contains trees that rarely colonise planted hedges, such as hazel.

 

Assarting has existed since Mesolithic times and often it relieved population pressures. During the 13th century, assarting was very active, but decreased with environmental and economic challenges in the 14th century. The Black Death in the late 1340s depopulated the countryside and many formerly assarted areas returned to woodland.

 

Assarting was described by landscape historian Richard Muir as typically being "like bites from an apple" as it was usually done on a small scale but large areas were sometimes cleared. Occasionally, people specialized in assarting and acquired the surname or family name of 'Sart'.

 

Field names in Britain sometimes retain their origin in assarting or colonisation by their names such as: 'Stocks'; 'Stubbings'; 'Stubs'; 'Assart'; 'Sart'; 'Ridding'; 'Royd'; 'Brake'; 'Breach'; or 'Hay'.

 

The sheer scale is impressive enough, but there are features which point to a planned campaign of settlement. It is difficult to imagine how men of villain status, compelled to pay rents of 1s 0d per acre for minute holdings of marginal land, could also have managed to undertake their own assarting. It seems more likely that the land had been reclaimed in advance of letting, as at Goathland, by the Lord’s agents, while the standard rents suggest a single campaign on a large scale rather than piece meal assaulting. A number of key questions cannot be answered from the sources we have used so far. It is not clear whether settlement of the two Dales completed by 1282.

 

The Lay Subsidy Assessments of 1301 give us a brief glimpse of the settlement pattern, listing numerous contributors bearing the names of the farms which are still to be found in Farndale, such as Wakelevedy (‘Wake Lady Green’), Westgille (“West Gill”), Monkegate (Monket House) and Ellershaye (“Eller House”), and which are scattered all round the dale.

 

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Medieval settlement in upper Farndale and east Bransdale – the numbered farms are those which still bear names mentioned in the sources up to 1610.

 

 

Further confirmation of this pattern is later given in surveys of 1570 and 1610, both of which give names of many more extant farms.

 

The 1570 document described 71 tenements in Farndale, 40 on the east side and 31 on the west, together with two mills and a few cottages paying altogether just over £54 in rent.

 

As the thirteenth century Inquisitions Post Mortem make clear, the size of farms was never uniform. Some farms must have fallen out of cultivation in the later middle ages and may have been combined with others, thus effecting a considerable reduction in the overall number of tenements. Even so, there was still remarkably little differentiation among the peasantry as late as 1610. Farms of 10 to 15 acres producing rents of about as many shillings were still very common. Only five tenants paid over £20 0d rent and only two paid more than £25 0d.

 

Farndale since 1500

 

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Kirkbymoorside, 1857                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kirkdale, 1857

 

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1857

 

The Victoria County History – Yorkshire, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 Parishes: Kirkby Moorside, 1914:

 

Kirkby Moorside is a parish covering about 13,700 acres, chiefly of moorland. It is practically enclosed between two streams, the Dove and the Hodge Beck its tributary, which, flowing down through Farndale and Bransdale respectively, unite to the south of the town of Kirkby Moorside. The ground is thus well watered and fertile, on a subsoil of inferior oolite with Upper and Lower Lias in the dales. There are brick and tile works at Kirkby Moorside and Cockayne, and jet, coal and limestone have been worked in Bransdale and Farndale. About half the total area is in cultivation, the chief crops raised being oats and barley. …

 

The townships of Bransdale Eastside and Farndale Low Quarter have only a few houses scattered here and there among the hills. These with Bransdale Westside from Kirkdale parish and the rest of Farndale from Lastingham were in 1873 formed into the modern parish of Bransdale-cum-Farndale. In the extreme north of Bransdale, between two branches of the Hodge Beck, is the little hamlet of Cockayne, with an old chapel of ease and a hall used by the Earl of Feversham as a shooting-lodge.

 

 

 

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(Yorkshire Gazette, 4 April 1903)                                                                                (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 31 March 1914)                           (Yorkshire Post, 15 May 1914)

 

 

Farndale Timeline

 

About 731

 

Bede described the area where Farndale lay as ‘vel bestiae commorari vel hommines bestialiter vivere conserverant.’: ‘a land fit only for wild beasts, and men who live like wild beasts.’.

 

1035

 

Orm Gamallson of Kirkdale was the Lord of Chirchebi, later Kirkbymoorside, which included the lands which would one day be called Farndale.

Both Orm and Gamel are Scandinavian names, so Orm is likely to be descended from the Scandinavian settlers of North Yorkshire. It is possible that he benefited from the handing out of English Estates by King Canute (1016-1035).

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The territory of King Cnut

Orm was prominent in Northumbria in the middle years of the eleventh century. He married into the leading aristocratic clan of the region. His wife Aethelthryth was the daughter of Ealdred, Earl of Northumbria in the mid eleventh century. His brother in law was Siward, Earl of Northumbria until 1055, famous for his exploits against Macbeth, the King of Scots.

On November 24, 1034, Malcolm II died of natural causes. One month later, his son, Duncan MacCrinan, was elected king. For six uneasy years, Duncan ruled Scotland with a thirst for power countermanded by his incompetence on the battlefield. In 1038, Ealdred, earl of Northumbria, attacked southern Scotland, but the effort was repelled and Duncan's chiefs encouraged him to lead a counterattack. Duncan also wanted to invade the Orkneys Islands to the north. Over the objections of all of his advisers, he chose to do both. In 1040, Duncan opened up two fronts. The attack on the Orkneys was led by his nephew, Moddan, and Duncan led a force toward Northumbria. Both armies were soon routed and reformed only to be pursued by Thorfinn, mormaer of Orkney. Macbeth joined Thorfinn and, together, they were victorious, killing Moddan. On August 14, 1040, Macbeth defeated Duncan's army, killing him in the process. Later that month, Macbeth led his forces to Scone, the Scottish capital, and, at age 35, he was crowned king of Scotland.

Siward, Orm’s brother in law, is perhaps most famous for his expedition in 1054 against Macbeth, King of Scotland, an expedition that cost Siward his eldest son, Osbjorn. The origin of Siward's conflict with the Scots is unclear. According to the Libellus de Exordio, in 1039 or 1040, the Scottish king Donnchad mac Crínáin had attacked northern Northumbria and besieged Durham. Within a year, Macbeth had deposed and killed Donnchad. The failed siege occurred a year before Siward attacked and killed Earl Eadwulf of Bamburgh, and though no connection between the two events is clear it is likely that they were linked.

The Annals of Lindisfarne and Durham, written in the early 12th century, related under the year 1046 that "Earl Siward with a great army came to Scotland, and expelled king Macbeth, and appointed another; but after his departure Mac Bethad recovered his kingdom". Historian William Kapelle thought that this was a genuine event of the 1040s, related to the Annals of Tigernach entry for 1045 that reported a "battle between the Scots" which led to the death of Crínán of Dunkeld, Donnchad's father; Kapelle thought that Siward had tried to place Crínán's son and Donnchad's brother Maldred on the Scottish throne. Another historian, Alex Woolf, argued that the Annals of Lindisfarne and Durham entry was probably referring to the invasion of Siward in 1054, but misplaced under 1046.

 

1055

 

 Orm the son of Gamel acquired St Gregory’s Church when it was completely ruined and collapsed, and he had it built anew from the ground to Christ and to St Gregory in the days of King Edward and in the days of Earl Tostig”. (inscription on the Sundial at the Saxon Church of St Gregory) The inscription refers to Edward the Confessor and to Tostig, the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex and brother of Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England. Tostig was the Earl of Northumbria between 1055 and 1065. It was therefore during that last peaceful decade, immediately before the Norman conquest, that Orm, son of Gamel rebuilt St Gregory’s Church at Kirkdale.

 

Kirkdale Church

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Photos of the Church and the sundial taken in 2021

The sundial at Kirkdale is one of a number of late Anglo Saxon sundials in the area. The Kirkdale sundial is particularly intricate in its design and he best preserved as it was coated I plaster for many centuries prior to 1771 and was protected by the porch.

The central panel contains the sundial and an Old English inscription above it which reads “This is the day’s sun-marker at every hour”. The left panel reads “Orm the son of Gamel acquired St Gregory’s Church when it was completely ruined.” The right hand panel reads “and collapsed, and he had it built anew from the ground to Christ and to St Gregory in the days of King Edward and in the days of Earl Tostig”. At the foot of the panel, a further inscription reads “Hawarth made me, and Brad the priest”.

 

King Edward referred to in the panel is King Edward the Confessor, 1042 to 1066, who restored the Kingdom of Wessex to the English throne. He was a deeply pious and religious man who presided over the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey. He left much of the running of the country to Earl Godwin and his son Harold. Edward died childless in 1066, 8 days after the completion of Westminster Abbey. There was then a power struggle. Despite no bloodline, Harold Godwinson was elected to be king by the witan (the high council of nobles and religious leaders). William, Duke of Normandy claimed that Edward had promised the throne to him. Harold defeated an invading Norwegian army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, but then marched south to face William of Normandy in Sussex and was killed at the Battle of Hastings. This was the end of the Anglo Saxon kings and the beginning of the Norman dynasty.

 

Tostig, the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex and brother of Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England was the Earl of Northumbria between 1055 and 1065. It was therefore in the course of that decade that Orm, son of Gamel rebuilt St Gregory’s Church.

The surviving parts of Orm’s church adopt a style reflective of the Romanesque architecture of the eleventh century mainland Europe and it is possible that Orm may have travelled to Rome when Tostig made a pilgrimage there in 1061.

 

Domesday Book recorded that Chirchebi comprised five carucates of land. A carucate was a medieval land unit based on the land which eight oxen could till in a year. So presumably this area of land described the five carucates of cultivated land around Kirkdale. Before the Conquest, civilised Chirchebi was in the possession of Orm and it comprised ten villagers, one priest, two ploughlands, two lord’s plough teams, three men’s plough teams, a mill and a church.

 

A carucate or carrucate (Latin, carrūcāta or carūcāta) was a medieval unit of land area approximating the land a plough team of eight oxen could till in a single annual season.

 

However this area of civilisation was part of a much wider wild estate which Chirchebi formed, which was said to be twelve leagues (about 42 miles) long by the time of the Normans. 

 

Earl Waltef who had a manor and 5 carucates at Fadmoor which comprised three ploughlands.

 

1066

 

By 1086 the ownership of Chirchebu had passed to Hugh, son of Baldric. The landholdings of Orm Gamallson of Kirkdale, were forfeited to Hugh fitzBaldric after the conquest.

 

Hugh Fitz Baldric

Hugh fitzBaldric was a German archer in the service of William the Conqueror and was made Sherrif of the County of York, replacing William Malet after his capture in 1069.

Hugh FitzBaldric was born in about 1045 in Cottingham, Yorkshire (now part of Hull). He married Emma de Lascelles in 1050. They had a daughter Erneburga Fitz Baldric (1075-?).

Hugh FitzBaldric died in about 1086 in Cottingham, Yorkshire, aged about 41 years old.

Hugh first appeared in the historical record around 1067 when he was the witness to a charter of Gerold de Roumara. Hugh held the office of Sheriff of Yorkshire from 1069 to around 1080, succeeding William Malet in that office.

When the land of the Saxon earls was confiscated after the Norman Conquest, it would appear that Orm’s property was acquired by, or granted to Ralph de Mortimer; and Barch’s by Hugh FitzBaldric.

Ralph de Mortimer was the only son of Roger, who derived his surname from Mortemer en Lions in the Pays de Caux, between Neufchatel and Aumale in France. Ralph de Mortimer died in his castle of St. Victor-en-Caux on 5 August 1100 (or 1104) and was buried in the Abbey church there. He left two sons, Hugh and William; and a daughter, Hawise, who became the wife of Stephen, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness. Hugh’s descendants became the Earls of March; William died childless. The family seems to have no recorded connection with Gilling, except for a later reference (in the 12th century) when Peter de Ros, who was linked with the Mortimers by marriage, gave two carucates of land to St. Mary’s Abbey, York. It is likely that this land so granted was Orm’s, which had probably come into the Ros family by marriage. The Ros family also had land of Ralph de Mortimer’s in Whenmore. In the 12th century the land was in the possession of the Mowbrays and the Stutevilles.

Barch’s portion was granted to Hugh FitzBaldric (i.e. Hugh the son of Baldric). It is not known which Norman family he came from, if indeed he was Norman. It has been stated that he was a German archer in the service of William the Conqueror. However, before 1067 he “witnessed a charter of Gerald, granting the Nuns of St. Amand in Rouen the church of his fief of Roumare”. Immediately after the capture of York by William in September 1069, Hugh FitzBaldric appears to have been made Sheriff of the County of York by the King. He fell into trouble by supporting Robert Duke of Normandy against William and presumably lost his lands. However, nothing more is heard of him.' John Marwood’s History of Gilling, Chapter 8: After the Saxons: The Ettons of Gilling.

Hugh had lands in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and was listed in Domesday Book as a tenant-in-chief. Hugh's tenure of the estate at Cottingham in Yorkshire is considered to mean that he was a feudal baron. Katharine Keats-Rohan states that Hugh lost his lands after the conclusion of Domesday Book in 1086, likely for supporting Robert Curthose as king against William Rufus after the death of William the Conqueror. But I. J. Sanders states that Hugh's lands were divided after his death and does not mention any forfeiture of the lands.

One of Hugh's holdings included the village of Bossall in the hundred of Bulford (now in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire). In 1086, there were 19 residents and a priest, as well as a church, in the small community. This property produced an annual income of "3 pounds in 1086; 2 pounds 10 shillings in 1066".

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It is possible that the Hugh fitz Baldric who witnessed a charter of Robert Curthose's in 1089 is the same person as the former sheriff.

Domesday Book records that Walter de Rivere and Guy of Croan were son-in-laws of Hugh.

Hugh gave some of his English lands to Préaux Abbey in Normandy and St Mary's Abbey in York.

Hugh was memorialized in the liber vitae of Thorney Abbey.

When the land of the Saxon earls was confiscated [by the Normans] after the Conquest it would appear that Orm’s property was acquired by, or granted to, Ralph de Mortimer; and Barch’s by Hugh FitzBaldric.

... let us follow what is known about Barch’s portion. As we have already seen, it was granted to Hugh FitzBaldric (i.e. Hugh the son of Baldric). It is not known which Norman family he came from, if indeed he was Norman. It has been stated that he was a German archer in the service of William the Conqueror. However, before 1067 he “witnessed a charter of Gerald, granting the Nuns of St. Amand in Rouen the church of his fief of Roumare”. Immediately after the capture of York by William in September 1069, Hugh FitzBaldric appears to have been made Sheriff of the County of York by the King. He fell into trouble by supporting Robert Duke of Normandy against William and presumably lost his lands. However, nothing more is heard of him.

In England Hugh son of Baldric was an important tenant-in-chief in Yorkshire, and to a smaller extent in Lincolnshire; he also held two manors in Nottinghamshire, single holdings in Wiltshire and Berkshire, and interests in four holdings in Hampshire. In Yorkshire Hugh son of Baldric held about 50 manors with many berewicks and sokeland, assessed at approximately 410 carucates. The greater part of these holdings passed, presumably by royal grant, to Robert de Stuteville. 'The estates of Hugh son of Baldric, Domesday lord of Cottingham, weredivided after his death and the bulk of his lands in Yorkshire passedto Robert I de Stuteville.' Ivor JohnSanders, English Baronies: AStudy of Their Origins and Descent 1086-1327

Count Robert of Mortain held Fadmoor 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.

 

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1086

 

The Kirkbymoorside estate passed to the Stuteville family (Robert I de Stuteville) in 1086, when Hugh died.

 

There is more information about the Domesday Book here.

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Orm (son of Gamal) is associated with 61 places before the Conquest; 0 after the Conquest.

Kirkby Moorside was transferred to Hugh son of Baldric. It contained Households: 10 villagers. 1 priest. Land and resources Ploughland: 2 ploughlands. 2 lord's plough teams. 3 men's plough teams. Other resources: 1 mill, value 4 shillings. 1 church. Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Hugh son of Baldric. Lord in 1086: Hugh son of Baldric. Lord in 1066: Orm (son of Gamal).

 

From the Essay New Settlements in the North Yorkshire Moors, 1086 to 1340 by Barry Harrison, in Medieval Rural Settlement in North East England, Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland, Research Report No 2, Edited by BE Vyner, 1990: The North Yorks Moors was an appropriate area for the study of medieval agriculture, since it appears to have been largely empty of settlements in 1086.The only developed manor in the moorlands proper was in the Esk Valley where a 12 carucate holding was located at Danby, Crumbeclive (Crunkley Hill in Glaisdale) and Lealholm. This was an extensive area, said to measure seven leagues in length by three leagues in width, within which Danby (six carucates) was the major focus of settlement. The long valleys on the south side of the watershed appear to have functioned mainly as resources for woodland and pastures for settlements in the Vale of Pickering and although some settlements in the moors may have been subsumed into consolidated Domesday entries for lowland manors, the descriptions of moorland tracts granted to the new monasteries (Whitby, Guisborough, Rievaulx and Byland) in the early and mid 12th century contain very little evidence of functioning communities of any kind.

 

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So we start with a clear palate, to understand how agriculture developed after the Norman Conquest.

 

1106

 

The Stutevilles were deprived of the Kirkbymoorside estate in 1106 when it was granted to Nigel d’Aubigny, one of Henry I’s ‘new men’.

 

Nigel d’Aubigny was one of Henry I’s “new men”. Nigel d'Aubigny (Neel d'Aubigny or Nigel de Albini, died 1129), was a Norman Lord and English baron who was the son of Roger d'Aubigny and Amice or Avice de Mowbray. His paternal uncle William was lord of Aubigny, while his father was an avid supporter of Henry I of England. His brother William d'Aubigny Pincerna was the king's Butler and father of the 1st Earl of Arundel. He was the founder of the noble House of Mowbray. He is described as "one of the most favoured of Henry's 'new men'". While he entered the king's service as a household knight and brother of the king's butler, William d'Aubigny, in the years following the Battle of Tinchebrai in 1106 Nigel was rewarded by Henry with marriage to an heiress who brought him lordship in Normandy and with the lands of several men, primarily that of Robert de Stuteville. The Mowbray honour became one of the wealthiest estates in Norman England. From 1107 to about 1118, Nigel served as a royal official in Yorkshire and Northumberland. In the last decade of his life he was frequently traveling with Henry I, most likely as one of the king's trusted military and administrative advisors. Nigel's first marriage, after 1107, was to Matilda de L'Aigle, whose prior marriage to the disgraced and imprisoned Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria, had been annulled based on consanguinity. She brought to the marriage with Nigel her ex-husband's lordship of Montbray (Mowbray). Following a decade of childless marriage and the death of her powerful brother, Nigel in turn repudiated Matilda based on his consanguinity with her former husband, and in June 1118 Nigel married to Gundred de Gournay (died 1155), daughter of Gerard de Gournay and his wife Edith de Warenne, and hence granddaughter of William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. Nigel and Gundred had son who would be known as Roger de Mowbray after the former Mowbray lands he would inherit from his father, and he was progenitor of the later noble Mowbray family. Nigel died in Normandy, possibly at the abbey of Bec in 1129.

 

1129

 

On Nigel d’Aubigny death in 1129 his widow Gundreda administered the estate on behalf of her under age son, Roger de Mowbray (1120 to 1188).

 

Nigel’s widow Gundreda administered the estate on behalf of her under aged son Roger de Mowbray.

 

It was she who granted the whole of Welburn and Skiplam together with the western side of Bramsdale to Rievaulx Abbey who developed the whole area as a series of granges and cotes, including Colt House and Stirk House in Brandsale.

 

1133

 

Henry II became King.

 

1138

 

On reaching his majority in 1138, Roger de Mowbray took title to the lands awarded to his father by Henry I both in Normandy including Montbray, from which he would adopt his surname, as well as the substantial holdings in Yorkshire and around Melton.

 

Sir Roger de Mowbray (1120–1188) was an Anglo-Norman nobleman with substantial English landholdings. A supporter of King Stephen, with whom he was captured at Lincoln in 1141, he rebelled against Henry II. He made multiple religious foundations in Yorkshire. He took part in the Second Crusade and later returned to the Holy Land, where he was captured and died in 1187. Roger was the son of Nigel d'Aubigny by his second wife, Gundreda de Gournay. On his father's death in 1129 he became a ward of the crown. Based at Thirsk with his mother, on reaching his majority in 1138, he took title to the lands awarded to his father by Henry I both in Normandy including Montbray, from which he would adopt his surname, as well as the substantial holdings in Yorkshire and around Melton. King Stephen - Soon after, in 1138, he participated in the Battle of the Standard against the Scots and, according to Aelred of Rievaulx, acquitted himself honourably. Thereafter, Roger's military fortunes were mixed. Whilst acknowledged as a competent and prodigious fighter, he generally found himself on the losing side in his subsequent engagements. During the anarchic reign of King Stephen he was captured with Stephen at the battle of Lincoln in 1141. Soon after his release, Roger married Alice de Gant (d. c. 1181), widow of Ilbert de Lacy and daughter of Walter de Gant. Roger and Alice had two sons, Nigel and Robert. Roger also had at least one daughter, donating his lands at Granville to the Abbaye aux Dames in Caen when she became a nun there. In 1147, he was one of the few English nobles to join Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade. He gained further acclaim, according to John of Hexham, defeating a Muslim leader in single combat. King Henry II - Roger supported the Revolt of 1173–74 against Henry II and fought with his sons, Nigel and Robert, but they were defeated at Kinardferry, Kirkby Malzeard and Thirsk. Roger left for the Holy Land again in 1186, but encountered further misfortune being captured at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. His ransom was met by the Templars, but he died soon after and, according to some accounts, was buried at Tyre in Palestine. There is, however, some controversy surrounding his death and burial and final resting-place. Mowbray was a significant benefactor and supporter of several religious institutions in Yorkshire including Fountains Abbey. With his mother he sheltered the monks of Calder, fleeing before the Scots in 1138, and supported their establishment at Byland Abbey in 1143. Later, in 1147, he facilitated their relocation to Coxwold. Roger made a generous donation of two carucates of land (c.240 acres), a house and two mills to the Order of Saint Lazarus, headquartered at Burton St Lazarus Hospital in Leicestershire, after his return from the crusades in 1150. His cousin William d'Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel and his wife Adeliza, the widow of King Henry I, had been amongst the earliest patrons of the order and, when combined with Roger's experiences in the Holy Land, may have encouraged his charity. His family continued to support the Order for many generations and the Mowbrays lion rampant coat of arms was adopted by the Hospital of Burton St Lazars alongside their more usual green cross. He also supported the Knights Templar and gave them land in Warwickshire where they founded Temple Balsall. Roger is credited with assisting the establishment of thirty-five churches. The House of Mowbray, the senior line of which would become Barons Mowbray, descended from Roger's son Nigel, who died on crusade at Acre in 1191.

 

Robert II de Stuteville, one of the northern barons, commanded the English at the battle of the Standard in August 1138

 

Robert II de Stuteville was born about 1084 in Yorkshire. Son of Robert (Estouteville) d'Estouteville I. Brother of Nicolas I (Estouteville) Stuteville and Emma (Estouteville) de Grentmesnil. Husband of Erneburge (Fitzbaldric) Stuteville. Husband of Jeanne (Talbot) de Stuteville.

Father of Burga (Stuteville) Pantulf, Nicholas (Stuteville) de Stuteville, Alice (Stuteville) Fleming, Osmund (Stuteville) de Stuteville, John (Stuteville) de Stuteville, Patrick (Stuteville) de Stuteville and Robert (Stuteville) de Stuteville III. Not believed to have held lands in England. A supporter of Robert Curthose with his father, he was captured at St.Pierre-sur-Dive shortly before the battle of Tinchebrai. Died after 1138 after about age 54 in Cottingham, Yorkshire.

 

The landowners enjoyed significant revenues from rents, fines, reliefs, benevolences, maritages (the fee paid by a vassal following the feudal lord’s decision on a marriage), wardships and opportunities for escheat (the reversion of land when owners died without heirs). They were also relieved of many of the costs of running modern estates, because they were owed duties of service. The value of these estates is best seen not in monetary terms, but in the works they undertook. The castles were obviously works of significant labour. The growth of monasteries also reflected the power held by the nobility, including the costs of building churches.

(South Yorkshire, the History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster in the Diocese and County of York by Rev Joseph Hunter, 1828, page xvi to xviii).

1141

 

Roger de Mowbray was a supporter of King Stephen, with whom he was captured at Lincoln in 1141, he rebelled against Henry II.

 

1154

 

Gundreda, on behalf of her guardian, gave land to Rievaulx abbey land which included a place called Midelhovet, where Edmund the Hermit used to dwell, and another called Duvanesthuat, together with the common pasture within the valley of Farndale.

 

See full details at FAR00002.

 

1166

 

By 1166, Roger de Mowbray having fallen out of favour with Henry II, the lands of Kirkbymoorside had passed to the House Stuteville. Robert III de Stuteville claimed the barony, which had been forfeited by his grandfather, from Roger de Mowbray, who by way of compromise gave him Kirby Moorside. Roger gave Robert Kirkby Moorside for 10 knights' fees in satisfaction of his claim (Victoria County History – Yorkshire, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 Parishes: Kirkby Moorside, 1914).

 

Robert III de Stuteville, Baron of Cottingham, was son of Robert II de Stuteville (from Estouteville in Normandy), one of the northern barons who commanded the English at the battle of the Standard in August 1138. His grandfather, Robert Grundebeof, had supported Robert of Normandy at the battle of Tinchebray in 1106, where he was taken captive and kept in prison for the rest of his life. Robert III de Stuteville was witness to a charter of Henry II of England on 8 January 1158 at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was a justice itinerant in the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland in 1170–1171, and High Sheriff of Yorkshire from Easter 1170 to Easter 1175. The King's Knaresborough Castle and Appleby Castle were in his custody in April 1174, when they were captured by David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon. Stuteville, with his brothers and sons, was active in support of the king during the war of 1174, and he took a prominent part in the capture of William the Lion at Alnwick on 13 July (Rog. Hov. ii. 60). He was one of the witnesses to the Spanish award on 16 March 1177, and from 1174 to 1181 was constantly in attendance on the king, both in England and abroad. Stuteville by his wife, Helewise de Murdac, had two sons William and Nicholas and two daughters, Burga, who was married to William de Vesci and Helewise, who was married firstly to William de Lancaster, secondly to Hugh de Morville and thirdly to William de Greystoke. He may have also had sons Robert, Eustace and Osmund. Robert de Stuteville was probably brother of the Roger de Stuteville who was sheriff of Northumberland from 1170 to 1185, and defended Wark on Tweed Castle against William the Lion in 1174. Roger received charge of Edinburgh Castle in 1177, and he built the first Burton Agnes Manor House. However Roger may have been his kinsman, not his brother, as son of Osmund de Stuteville (b. about 1125, of Burton Agnes, Yorkshire, England, d. before Sep 1202) and his wife (m. abt 1146) Isabel de Gressinghall, daughter of William Fitz Roger de Gressinghall. He is the probable founder of the nunneries of Keldholme and Rosedale, Yorkshire, and was a benefactor of Rievaulx Abbey. He seems to have died in the early part of 1186. He claimed the barony, which had been forfeited by his grandfather, from Roger de Mowbray, who by way of compromise gave him Kirby Moorside. The Stutevilles favoured the Benedictine monks of St Mary’s Abbey, York and their own small house of nuns was founded at Keldholme near Kirbymoorside.

 

Rievaulx Abbey was unable to sustain its claim to the Farndale property and a little before 1166, Robert de Stuteville granted Keldholme Priory timber and wood in Farndale together with a vaccary, pasture and cultivated land in East Bransdale

 

Rotuli Chartarum, 1199-1216, page 86: Confirmation of Keldeholm. Know that we have granted and confirmed the present charter regarding Keldeholm, all the signatures that were given to them. Grant of charters confirmed by the gift of Robert de Stuteville and the grant of William de Stuteville to his son, that place of Keldholme, with the whole tract of land towards the north of Kirkeby and the whole tract towards the south and as divided as marked by the eord cartis and pasture in the forest of Ravenwich, and there in Farendala hay, and pasture in the forest of Ravenwich … (this translation needs to be reworked!)

 

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1173

 

Roger supported the Revolt of 1173–74 against Henry II and fought with his sons, Nigel and Robert, but they were defeated at Kinardferry, Kirkby Malzeard and Thirsk.

The Stutevilles came back into favour with the accession of Henry II and Roger de Mowbray was compelled to hand back Kirbymoorside, along with many others fees.

1186

 

Roger left for the Holy Land again in 1186 to join the Second Crusade, but encountered further misfortune being captured at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. His ransom was met by the Templars, but he died soon after and, according to some accounts, was buried at Tyre in Palestine.

 

Robert III de Stuteville died in 1186.

 

1200

 

The arrangement of 1166 between Roger de Mowbray and Robert III de Stuteville was not ratified in the king's courts, and the dispute broke out again between William de Stuteville, son of Robert, and William de Mowbray, grandson of Roger, in 1200. However in time, William de Mowbray confirmed the previous agreement and gave 9 knights' fees in augmentum (Victoria County History – Yorkshire, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 Parishes: Kirkby Moorside, 1914).

 

1209

 

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.

 

Robert de Stuteville had given 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 Stuteville. (Pipe R. 11 John, m. 11)

 

Keldholme Priory had right of pasture in Bransdale and Farndale by grant of its founder, Robert de Stutevill.

 

Ryedale Historian,. Vol 1, 1965:

 

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Nicholas de Stuteville (also Lord of Liddell, Stoteville, Estuiteville) (c1182 to 1233) came from the Anglo-Norman family Stuteville . He was a younger son of Robert III de Stuteville (who died in 1183) and his wife Helewise. After the death of his elder brother William de Stuteville , the possessions of the family, which included Liddell in Cumberland and Cottingham in Yorkshire, came first in royal administration. King Johann Ohneland left it to his confidant Brian de Lisle , who exploited the goods ruthlessly. It was not until 1205, when probably Williams minor son Robert died, Nicholas could inherit the inheritance of his brother. However, the king demanded an extraordinarily high fee of 10,000 marks from him before the possessions were handed over to him. Since he could not raise this money, he had to hand over to King Knaresborough Castle .  As from 1213 rebelled a noble opposition to the king, to mare Ville closed like many other northern English barons Easter 1215 the rebels in Stamford on. With the recognition of the Magna Carta 1215, the king also had to return Knaresborough Castle to Stuteville.  However, Stuteville continued to support the rebels as the Barons opened war against the king. As a rebel, he was on 16 December 1215 by Pope Innocent III excommunicated . Apparently, he was captured on May 20, 1217 in the victorious for the royal party battle of Lincoln . Mare Ville fell into the captivity of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke , the Regent for the minor King Henry III. who hoped for a high ransom from him.  Mare Ville paid over 1000 Mark ransom, but before he was released, he had to goods from Kirby Moorside and Handed over to Liddel , who provided annual income of £200.  And he probably died before the end of the war of the barons in September 1217, at the latest before 30 March 1218. Lord Of Stuteville (1191 - 1233).

 

For rights in the forest of Farndale in 1209, 1210 and 1211, see FAR00003.

 

1217

 

The William de Stuteville of 1200 was succeeded by his brother Nicholas de Stuteville, who fought against the King at Lincoln in 1217 and was taken prisoner there. He bound his manors of Kirkbymoorside and Liddell to pay 1,000 marks as his ransom (Victoria County History – Yorkshire, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 Parishes: Kirkby Moorside, 1914).

 

1225

 

Entries in the Curia Regis for 1225 and 1227 refer to Nicholas de Stuteville and pastures at Hoton (Hutton), Spaunton and Farendal. See FAR00005.

 

1229

 

In 1229 Henry III decreed, ‘the whole of the forest of Galtres and the forest between the Ouse and the Derwent, and the forest of Farndale, are ancient forests.’ But the forest was not much used.

 

The Close Rolls, 13 Henry III for 1229: It should be remembered that the walkers of the forest of the county of York came runt and recognized before the King that the whole forest of Gautric and the forest between Usam and Derewent and the forest of Farendal are ancient forest, and that they had been deceived in the perambulation of the forest other times in which it was recognized that certain parts of those forests had been reforested , which they just brought back to the forest; and thence they brought forth the finished writing, which was sealed with their seals.

 

See FAR00004.

 

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1233

 

The abbot and Nicholas II de Stuteville (son of Nicholas I de Stuteville) came to an agreement concerning common of wood and pasture here, this being renewed in 1233. In 1232 Nicholas quitclaimed common of pasture in Farndale to the Abbot of St. Mary's, York. (Feet of F. Yorks. 17 Hen. III, no. 14). Nicholas (Coll. Topog. et Gen. i, 11; Baildon, Mon. Notes (Yorks. Arch. Soc., 232). He had an elder son Robert, who was enfeoffed of 1 knight's fee in Middleton. Nicholas succeeded to Kirkby Moorside and Buttercrambe. ‘The Abbot grants that if the cattle of Nicholas or of his heirs or of his men at Kikby, Fademor, Gillingmor or Farndale, hereafter enter upon the common of the said wood and pasture of Houton, Spaunton and Farendale, they shall have free way in and out without ward set; provided they do not tarry in the said pasture.’ 17th year of the Reign of Henry III. (Yorkshire Fines Vol LXVII). See FAR00007.

At about the same time Robert gave to St Mary’s Abbey, who held the nearby manor of Spaunton, as much timber and wood as they required together with pasture and pannage of pigs in Farndale. The contemporaneous documents suggest that Farndale was regarded primarily as a resource for timber and pasture in the mid twelfth century, with little evidence of settlement.

 

The William de Stutevill of 1200 was succeeded by his brother Nicholas, who fought against the king at Lincoln and was taken prisoner there. He bound his manors of Kirkby Moorside and Liddell to pay 1,000 marks as his ransom. His son Nicholas in 1232 quitclaimed common of pasture in Farndale to the Abbot of St. Mary's, York (Feet of F. Yorks. 17 Hen. III, no. 14).

 

Nicholas died in 1233, leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Joan wife of Hugh Wake, and Margaret, whose marriage had been granted to William de Mastac (Victoria County History – Yorkshire, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 Parishes: Kirkby Moorside, 1914).

 

1241

 

Hugh Wake died in or about 1241 and Joan obtained the custody of his heirs till their full age.

 

1249

 

Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I, File 31, Pages 252-262, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 2, Edward I. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1906: Extent, Tuesday the eve of the Annunciation, 10 Edw. I. Kerkeby Moresheved. The manor (full extent given with names of tenants), including the park a league in circuit with 140 deer (ferarum), a wood called Westwode a league in length, a messuage and great close in Braunsedale held by Nicholas son of Robert Nussaunt rendering an arrow at Easter, rents of nuts and woodhens, 'gersume,' marchet and the tenth pig, a messuage called La Wodehouse, waste places called Coteflat, Loftischo, Godefreeruding, Harlonde, and beneath Gillemore Clif, dales called Farndale and Brauncedale, and waste places called Arkeners and Sweneklis, held of Roger de Munbray. Knights' fees pertaining to the manor:

 

Circa 1250

 

In the mid thirteenth century, Lady Joan de Stuteville successfully prosecuted the Abbot of St Mary’s York, for exceeding his rights taking wood from Farndale by actually assarting 100 acres of land.

 

Joan de Stuteville was said to be afforesting her woods here in the reign of Edward I (1239 to 1307). (Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 117.)

 

There is an undated Yorkshire Deed from about this time: Grant by Nicholas Devias, being in good health and lawful power (in mea bona sanitate et ligia potestafe) to Alice his wife, for life, of an annual rent of 10 li, which lady Joan de Stotevile gave him for his service, namely, 20s. from the land in Farndale, held of him by Adam de Ellerschae, and eleven marcs from his two water-mills in Famedale, and two and a half marcs from his water-mill in Brauncedale, payable half-yearly at Michaelmas and Easter. Paying yearly at Christmas one silver penny for all service, etc. Witnesses, Sir Richard Foliot, Sir Adam Newmarch [de Novo mercato), Sir Henry Biset, Sir Thomas de Hetun, William de Pligt Peter de Giptun, Clement de Nortun, Robert de Slucropt, Colin de Nortun and many others. (The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, Vol 16, 1893, page 92)

 

1253

 

The Close Rolls, 37 Henry III for 1253: For Hugh le Bigod. The King committed to Hugh le Bigod the whole forest of Farnedala, which the king recovered by the consideration of the court towards the Abbot of St. Mary, to be guarded until the King's return from Vasconia, or as long as it pleased the King, in the same manner as the aforesaid Abbot had that forest; and J de Lessinton was ordered to release that forest to the same Hugh to be kept as aforesaid. Test as above.

See FAR00004.

 

1254

 

In 1254 Henry III granted to Hugh le Bigod and Joan his wife a weekly market on Wednesday at Kirkbymoorside and a yearly fair there on the eve, day and morrow of the Nativity of St. Mary

 

1255

 

In 1255 Margaret was dead, and Joan Wake had her lands. She married as her second husband Hugh le Bigod, but as a widow was known as Joan de Stuteville.

 

Before her death she enfeoffed in the manor of Kirkby Moorside her son Baldwin Wake, of whom the King took homage as her heir in 1276.

 

The Close Rolls, 39 Henry III for 1255: For Hugh le Bygod. It was ordered to John de Lexinton, justiciar of the King's forest beyond Trent, that the charter which the king caused to be made to Hugh le Bygod concerning the forestry of the forest of Farendale he shall make a law before him, and that grant shall be held according to what is contained in the same charter: and he shall admit the foresters, greenkeepers and other ministers of the forest for whom the same Hugh is willing to answer for his presentation in the aforesaid forest.

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The Calendar of the Liberate Rolls, 1251 to 1260, Page 212, 1255: Allocate to Hugh le Bygot, in his fine of 500 marks for the forestership of Farndale, 100 l, paid at Westminster to Ernald de Mone Pesaz. The associated index entries: Farndale, Farendale [co York NR], foresterhip of, 212. Forests (i), chaces, hays, parks, warrens and woods named … Farndale … forestership of Farndale, 212.

The Keeper of the Royal Forests reported. ‘the forest of Spaunton between the Dove and the Seven is so confined that deer do not oft repair thither…..’ (The Close Rolls)


See FAR00004.

 

Circa 1250

 

In the mid thirteenth century, Lady Joan de Stuteville successfully prosecuted the Abbot of St Mary’s York, for exceeding his rights taking wood from Farndale by actually assarting 100 acres of land.

 

Joan de Stuteville was said to be afforesting her woods here in the reign of Edward I (1239 to 1307). (Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 117.)

 

1276

 

Only a few years later, the Inquisition Post Mortem taken after Joan’s death in 1276 reveals settlement on a grand scale. In Farndale, bond tenants holding by acres and paying a standard rent of 1-0d for each acre produced £27-5-0d, presumably for 545 acres. In East Bransdale, bondmen held another 141 acres paying a standard rent of 6d per acre, but they are said to hold ‘by cultures’. The significance of these terms is explained in the IPM of Joan’s Son, Baldwin Wake, taken only six years later in 1282, where the bondmen are said to hold their land ‘not by the bovate of land, but by more or less’. Thus standard bovate holdings, usually in the lowlands and in some of the older settled moorland villas, have been dispensed with in favour of holdings of varied size rented by the acre.

 

See FAR00017.

 

1277

The Survey of the County of York by John de Kirkby known as Kirkby’s Inquest, the Nomina Villarum for Yorkshire) was taken in the fifth reign of Edward I. See p 110 (which refers to Roger de Mowbray, Fadmore, Kyrkeby (Kirbymoorside) - In Kyrkeby Moreslieued are 5 caracutes, the fee of Moubray; whence the church was endowed with a caracute; and Liser' de Wake ten' 4 caracutes. …) and 320 (Kirkbymoorside was under the lordship of Thomas de Wake, Hovingham under Johannes de Moubray and Muscoates under Nicholaus de Stapleton) for the Wapentake of Ryedale and p 234 and 328 for Langbergh.

 

1280

 

Alan Farndale (FAR00011), the son of Nicholas Farndale (FAR00006), paid taxes to the Eyre Court in 1280. This tax might have been bail for a poaching incident – see below. (Feet of Fines). Nicholas Farndale (FAR00006) is the first person who used the Farndale name to describe himself.

 

William the Smith of Farndale (FAR00009), paid taxes to the Eyre Court in 1280 (this tax might have been bail for a poaching incident – see below) (Feet of Fines).

In the same year, 1280, five Farndales were indicted for poaching and paid bail - From sureties of persons indicted for poaching and for not producing persons so indicted on the first day of the Eyre Court in accordance with the suretieship due to Richard Drye. There follows a long list of names including,…..1s 8d from Roger son of Gilbert of Farndale (FAR00028), bail from Nicholas de Farndale, (FAR00022), 2s from William the Smith of Farndale (FAR00009), 3s 4d from John the shepherd of Farndale, (FAR00010), and 3s 4d from Alan the son of Nicholas de Farndale. (FAR00011) (Yorkshire Fees). (See FAR0019).

1281

 

The next mention of Farndale, also Farendale, Farendal, Farnedale in the thirteenth century, 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 Kirkbymoorside, of which manor it was parcel. For an extent in 1281–2 see Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), i, 249.

 

1282

 

The 1282 extent shows a considerable increase over that of 1276, but this probably means nothing more than that a new and up-to-date survey was used as the basis for the later document. The Farndale rents now amounted £ 38-8-8d together with a nut-rent and a few boon works and if the rate of 1s 0d per acre still applied, this would give a total acreage held in bondage of no less than 768 acres. In Bransdale rents were up to £4-14-3d which would give us about 188 acres at the old rent of 6d per acre. For the first time the number of bondmen are given - 25 in East Bransdale and 90 in Farndale.

 

The sheer scale is impressive enough, but there are features which point to a planned campaign of settlement. It is difficult to imagine how men of villain status, compelled to pay rents of 1s 0d per acre for minute holdings of marginal land, could also have managed to undertake their own assarting. It seems more likely that the land had been reclaimed in advance of letting, as at Goathland, by the Lord’s agents, while the standard rents suggest a single campaign on a large scale rather than piece meal assaulting. A number of key questions cannot be answered from the sources we have used so far. It is not clear whether settlement of the two Dales completed by 1282.

 

Baldwin Wake died in 1282 and was succeeded by his son and heir John Wake who was summoned to Parliament as Lord Wake by Edward I.

 

See FAR00020.

 

1293

 

Peter de Farndale (FAR00008)’s son Robert (see FAR00012) was fined at Pickering Castle in 1293 and Roger milne (“miller”) of Farndale, also a son of Peter slew a soar in the forest in 1293.

Roger milne (“miller”) of Farndale (FAR00013A), son of Peter (FAR00008) below together with Walter Blackhous and Ralph Helved, all of Spaunton on Monday in January 1293, killed a soar and slew a hart with bows and arrows at some unknown place in the forest. All outlawed on 5th April 1293.

1298

 

John Wake enfeoffed the King of his lands in 1298, and they were regranted to him and his wife Joan in fee simple in the same year.

 

Joan outlived her husband, and was 'lady of Liddell' during the minority of her son Thomas Wake.

 

Lady Joan de Stuteville, heiress of Cottingham, born 1216. She was the daughter of Nicholas II de Stuteville and Devorguilla of Galloway, wife of Hugh Wake, feudal lord of Bourne and Hugh Bigod, Chief Justice of England, mother of Nicholas Wake, Sir; Sir Hugh Wake; Sir Baldwin Wake, III, Lord of Bourne; Joan Burnet; Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk and 2 others, the sister of Margaret de Stuteville, the half sister of Nicholas III de Stuteville. This Joan, better known as the "Lady of Liddell," survived her husband, and, resuming her maiden name, left the barony to her son, Baldwin de Wake. The impression of her seal bore the device of a lady riding on horseback sideways, a style which she is said to have been the first to adopt. The Wake line ended in three co-heiresses, one of whom married the Earl of Westmoreland, who succeeded to the barony of Kirbymoorside, and it remained in the possession of this family until 1570. She died on or about 6 April 1276.

 

The custody of this boy was granted to Henry de Percy, who transferred it to the Society of the Ballardi of Lucca. This was ratified by the King, but later, 'not recollecting his confirmation of the grant,' he 'caused the manor, then in the hands of the merchants, to be taken into his hands, and he delivered it with its fees &c. to the said Thomas, a minor and in his custody, who since he has held the said manor has received £340 out of the issues thereof, for which Henry de Percy has made supplication to the king to cause satisfaction to be made to the merchants for his exoneration.' The King promised to make payment.

 

1301

 

The lay subsidy assessments of 1301 afforded a brief glimpse of the settlement pattern, listing numerous contributors bearing the names of the farms which is still to be found at Farndale such as ‘Wakelevedy’ (Wake Lady Green), ‘Westgille’ (West Gill), Monkegate (Monket House) and ‘Elleshaye (Eller House) and which are scattered all around the dale. Further confirmation of this pattern is provided by surveys of 1570 and 1610, both of which give the names of many more extent farms and allow us to identify others from field names.

 

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Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Yorkshire Lay Subsidy 30 Ed. I (1301) The Subsidy: Wapentake of Rydale, The Subsidy: Wapentake of Rydale, Pages 46-56, Yorkshire Lay Subsidy 30 Ed. I (1301):

 

Farndale:

 

De Willelmo de Almeheved'   ijs         ixd       o.

De Willelmo Ruddock' ijs         iijd       

De Nicholao Ruddock'            iiijs       vijd       o.q.

De Willelmo Clerico                xxiijd   

De Willelmo Wakelevedy       iijs        ijd        

De Nicholao filio Galfridi                     vd        o.q.

De Thoma Kerelle                   xiijd     

De Radulpho de Westgille     iijs        ijd         o.

De Thoma de Birkeheved'                  vjd       o.

De Willelmo de Monkegate               iijd        q.

De Willelmo ad Portam          iijs        iijd       

De Johanne de Brannordale   ijs         vjd       o.

De Rogero Bernard'                xxjd     q.

De Willelmo de Hoton'                        vd        o.q.

De Hugone de Redmyre        ijs         vijd       q.

De Nicholao de Ellrischaye    iiijs       vijd       o.

De Roberto de Brakanthayt'   iiijs       vijd       o.

De Harpino Coyly                   iiijd      

De Waltero de Ellerscaye      ijs         ijd         o.

De Ricardo Beverley              ixd       o.q.

De Willelmo Westgil'   ijs         vjd      

De Roberto ad Pontem                       vjd       o.

De Simone Molendinario        vijs       ixd       o.

De Johanne serviente ejus                 iijd        q.

De Stephano Alberd'  ijs         iijd        q.

De Radulpho de Capite                      iijd        q.

De Willelmo de Fademore                  iiijd      

De Willelmo filio Henrici                      vd        o.q.

De Galfrido de Hoton' iijs        vjd       o.q.

De Roberto filio Golde                        vd       

De Laurencio Syffewrythe                  iiijd      

De Willelmo filio Rogeri          iijs        xjd       o.q.

De Galfrido Saunder               iijd       

De Syther' vidua                     iiijd      

De Ada filio Johannis              iijd        o.q.

 

See FAR00029.

 

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De Willelmo de Farndale was the first person in the records who used the name Farndale outside of Farndale itself: De Willelmo de Farndale (FAR00013), living at Danby paid a tax of 3s in 1301 (Lay Subsidy).

1310

 

‘In 1310, 20 oxen the property of Nicholas the parker, worth 8s, 6 oxen and 3 stirks of William in the horn worth £1 9s, a cow and a stirk of Hugh Laverock 4s 8d and 6 oxen of William Stibbing de Farndale…….’ (NRRY Vol III).

In 1310, Nicholas de Harland of Farndale was fined because his cattle had strayed in the forest (North Riding records).

See FAR00033.

1323

 

In the Calendar of the Close Rolls, 22 August 1323: Pickering. To the sheriff of York. Whereas it is found by an inquisition taken by William de Ayremynne, Humphrey de Waleden, and John de Kylvyngton, by the oath of the foresters, verderers, regarders, and other ministers at the forest of Pickering, and of other lawful men of that county, that the following persons committed trespass of venison in the forest after it came into the King's hands as escheat by forfeiture of Thomas, late earl of Lancaster... that on Friday the morrow of Martinmas, in the aforesaid year, Robert Capoun, knight, Robert son of Marmaduke de Tweng, and eight unknown men with bows and arrows and four greyhounds came to a place called ‘Ellerbek’, and there took a hart and two other deers (feras), and carried the venison away; and that on Thursday before the Invention of the Holy Cross, in the aforesaid year, Robert Capoun and seventeen unknown men came with bows and arrows and greyhounds to the place called ‘Ellerbek’ against the assize of the forest for the purpose of doing evil, but they took nothing; and that on Friday after the Translation of Saint Thomas last, Adam (FAR00025) son of Simon the Miller of Farndale, Richard son of John the Miller, and three unknown men came to a place called ‘Petrenedle’, and there took two hinds, and when they were proclaimed by the foresters, they left one hind, which the foresters carried to Pykeryng castle and the said malefactors carried the other away with them;... the King orders the sheriff to take with him John de Rithre, and to arrest all the aforesaid men and Juliana, and to deliver them to John de Kylvynton, keeper of Pykeryng castle, whom the king has ordered to receive them and to keep them in prison in the castle until further orders.

 

At Pickering before the Sheriff of York in 1323, on Friday after the translation of St Thomas last, Adam son of Simon the miller of Farndale, (21), Richard the son of John the miller three unknown men came to the place ‘Petrenedle’ and there took two hinds and when they were proclaimed by the foresters they left one hind which the foresters carried the other way with them...(long list of other offenders)...... The King orders the Sheriff to take with him John de Rithre and to arrest the aforesaid men and deliver them to John de Kyltynton, Keeper of Pyckeryng Castle whom the King ordered to receive them and to keep them in prison until further orders.’ Was this the same Adam de Farndale, who would be 28 at the time which would fit? (Close Rolls 22 August 1323, 17 Edward II page 15 and 16)

 

1324

 

John de Farndale (FAR00026) was released from excommunication at Pickering Castle on 23 February 1324. This may have related to a prior poaching offence.

 

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1325

An early planning dispute with the local authority

The document relates to Thomas Wake’s costs for his service with the King with foot soldiers at Berwick and Edinburgh. It also asks the King to order that the Earls of Leicester and Richmond and Arundel be ordered to accept one homage for Kirkby in the fee of Mowbray to pay off their demand for homage.

Of relevance to us, it also asks that the justice of the forest should be commanded to deliver his wood of Farndale. The King seems to have replied that he should deliver a writ to the justice of the forest to certify the reason for taking the wood.

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See FAR00039.

1327
 
Johanne de Farndale (FAR00026), paid taxes at Crofton de Artoft of 2s 1d in 1327 (Lay Subsidy).
.

The 1327 Lay Subsidy

In late 1326 a popular rebellion led by Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March resulted in King Edward II being deposed and imprisoned. The King’s closest supporter Hugh le Despenser the elder, who was lord of the manor of Fairford at that time, was captured and executed. The King’s son was crowned as Edward III on 25 January 1327 and his father died, probably murdered, while imprisoned in Berkeley Castle in September of that year. However, as the new king was only 14 years of age at that time England was in effect ruled by Mortimer and his lover Queen Isabella, Edward III’s mother. One of the earliest pieces of legislation of the new reign was passed in September to order a Lay Subsidy, a nationwide tax of the laity intended to raise money to renew hostilities against Scotland which Edward II had pursued unsuccessfully for some years.

The Lay Subsidy of 1327 was a flat rate tax of one twentieth of the value of each person’s moveable goods, hence the tax is also known as the Twentieth. The majority of moveable goods were cattle, sheep and crops and therefore the tax fell harder on the rural population than it did on those in the major towns. Two prominent local men in each county were appointed as Chief Taxers, those for Gloucestershire being Sir William Tracy and Robert de Aston. They then appointed other local men, known as Subtaxers, to conduct the assessment and collect the money from people. Those who were taxed included everyone from the lord of the manor down to his peasant tenants (both freemen and serfs), traders and craftsmen as long as they had moveable possessions worth at least 10 shillings. The list of names, the Roll, was drawn up and sent to the Exchequer in Westminster for approval. The assessment took some time to complete and it was not until between February and June of 1328 that the money was actually collected.

Lay Subsidy Records 1327 for Farndale?

 

1333

Johanne de Farndale (FAR00026), paid taxes of 2s at Crofton cum Hartoft in 1333 (Lay Subsidy).

 

Lay Subsidy Records 1332/1333 for Farndale?

 

1336

John de Farndale (FAR00026), bail by him for poaching, given at Pickering before Richard de Wylughby and John de Hainbury on Monday 2 Dec 1336 (Yorkshire Fees).

 

 

30 July 1345

 

‘At Reading. Licence for the alienation in Frank Almoin by Thomas Wake of Lyde to the friers of the Holy Order of the Holy Cross of a toft and 10 acres of land in the moor of Blakenhowe in Farndale, for them to found a house of the Order there and to build an Oratory and dwelling houses.’ (Patent Rolls)

See FAR00039.

1346

 

The thirty fifth year of the reign of Edward III (1312 to 1377) was 1346.

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1347

 

A History of the County of York: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1974, The Religious Houses of Yorkshire: The different orders of friars were well represented in the county. In York itself there were houses of Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, Austins, and of the short-lived Order of the Sack. In 1257 Walter de Kirkham, Bishop of Durham, granted 4 acres of land at Osmotherley for the establishment of a priory of Crutched Friars, and in 1347 Thomas Lord Wake of Liddell had royal licence to grant a toft and 10 acres in Blakehowe Moor in Farndale for the foundation of a house of the same order, but in neither case does the design seem to have been carried out. See FAR00039.

Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward III, File 155, pages 540-556, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 10, Edward III. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921: Inquest taken at Buttercrambe, Thursday after the Purification, 35 Edward III. Cotyngham and Wytheton. The manors held of the king in chief as of the crown by homage and fealty and by service of a barony and by service of finding a mounted esquire suitably armed to bear the king’s coat of mail (lorica) in the war in Wales for forty days at his own costs, if there is war in Wales. Buttercrambe. The manor held of the king in chief as of the crown by homage and fealty and by service of a knight’s fee. Kirkeby Moresheved. The manor, with lands &c. in Farndale, Gillyngmore, Brauncedale and Fademore, held of John de Moubray by homage and fealty and by service of a knight’s fee and a half.

 

1349

 

Thomas Wake remained in possession of his lands until he died in 1349.

 

His heir was his sister Margaret, wife of Edmund Earl of Kent, whose son John succeeded her.

 

1350

 

 ‘In 23 Ed III. Inquisition taken at Kirby Moorseved refers to an early fair in Farndale.’ (Patent Rolls). See FAR00041.

 

23 Edward III = 25 January 1349 to 24 January 1350 - https://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/cal/reg11.htm

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Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 9, Edward III. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916: Inquest taken at Kirkeby Moresheved, Wednesday after SS. Peter and Paul, 23 Edward III. John Wake, his father, was sometime seised of the manors of Cotyngham, Wyveton, Kirkeby Moresheved, Aton and Hemelyngton; which he surrendered into the hands of King Edward I with all the liberties, fees, advowsons of churches &c. thereto belonging, together with the reversions of the manor of Buttercrambe, which Walter bishop of Coventry and Lichfield held for his life by the demise of the said John, and of the manors of Middelton and Cropton which Letitia Wake held in dower of the inheritance of the said John. And the said king granted the aforesaid manors and reversions to the said John and Joan, his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, with remainder to the right heirs of the said John, by charter dated 5 January, 27 Edward I. Kirkeby Moresheved. The manor (full extent given) including ruinous houses, an orchard called ‘le Orteyerd,’ a park with deer with pasturage in divers places called ‘les Hagges,’ pastures called ‘le Hallecote’ and ‘le Snapcote,’ meadow in places called ‘le Westeng,’ Stokeng, Alduswra, Apeltreflat, Roundacre, Bulfordsty, Southflat in ‘le Silkeng’ and Northflat in ‘le Silkeng,’ Holker, ‘le Silkenghede,’ Mosyheved and Scareheved, Slogheved and Atte Brockedwyth, le Tunge, Kichynbusk and Gillyngmoreleyes, a pasture called ‘les Scues,’ a market every Wednesday, a yearly fair, water-mills at Farndale, Gillyngmore and Brauncedale, and rent of free tenants at Fadmore. The manor is charged time out of mind by the ancestors of the said Thomas Wake with 26s. 8d. yearly to the prioress and convent of Keldholm, and with tithe of the water-mill, worth 13s. 4d. yearly, to the vicar of the church of Kirkeby. The manor and its members of Farndale, Gillyngmore, Brauncedale and Fadmore are held of Sir John de Moubray by homage and fealty and by service of a knight’s fee and a half.

 

 

1352

 

John died three years later, however, without issue, and his sister Joan, 'the fair maid of Kent,' was his heir.

 

1353

 

27 Edward III = 25 January 1353 to 24 January 1354 - https://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/cal/reg11.htm

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Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward III, Files 118 and 119, Pages 41-57, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 10, Edward III. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921: Inquest taken at York, 3 February, 27 Edward III. … Kirkeby Moresheved. The manor with its members in Farndale, Gillyngmore, Brauncedale and Fademore (extents given, with field names), held of John de Moubray by service of 1 1/2 knights’ fees. The extent of Kirkeby includes a weekly market on Wednesday and a fair on the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin; and the manor is charged time out of mind by the ancestors of the earl with 26s. 8d. yearly to the prioress of Keldholm and 13s. 4d. yearly to the vicar of the church of Kirkeby for tithe of the mill. Decrease in value of land &c. through the pestilence.

 

1358

 

On 15 Oct 1358, a pardon was given by the Sergeant at Arms to William Attwode for having enfeoffed John de Banaby and William Farndale (FAR00034), chaplains of the Manor of Derleye, held in chief, and then re-entered into the Manor, which they quit-claimed to him without the King’s licence and grant that he shall retain the same fee.’ (Patent Rolls).

 

1360

 

The Fair Maid of Kent’s first husband was Thomas Holand, created Earl of Kent in 1360, by whom she had a son and heir Thomas Holand.

 

1361

 

The Close Rolls, 20 February 1361, 35 Edward III: Feb 20, Westminster. To William de Nessefeld escheator in Yorkshire. Order to deliver to Joan who was wife of Thomas de Holand earl of Kent the manors of Cotyngham, Witherton, Buttercrambe, Kirkeby Moresheved (with lands in Farndale, Gillyngmore, Brauncedale and Fademore), Cropton (with tenements in Middleton and Haretoft), Aton and Hemelyngton, with the members, lands etc thereto pertaining, taklen into the king’s hand by the death of the earl, together with the issues from the date of his death; as it is found by inquisition, taken by the escheator, that Thomas at his death held no lands in that county in chief in his demesne as of fee, but held the premises of right of his said wife, and that the manors of Cotyngham, Witherton, Buttercrambe and Cropton, one messuage and 14 bovates of land in the manor of Aton are held in chief, and the residue of that manor and the manor of Hemelyngton of others than the king; and the king has at another time taken the homage of the earl for the lands of Joan’s heritage by reason of issue between them begotten.

 

See FAR00046A.

 

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1365

 

Later Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent married Edward the Black Prince, with whom in 1365 she settled this manor on Thomas Holand and Alice his wife and their heirs, with reversion to the prince and herself.

 

1384

 

There appears to have been a significant cattle and horse rustling expedition in 1384 involving John Farndale (FAR00042A).

 

Calendar of Patent Rolls,1381-1385, 8 Richard III Part I – page 507 and 508: ‘On 10 Dec 1384, At Westminster. Commission of Oyer and Terminer. John Farndale and others broke their close, houses and hedges at Wittonstalle and Fayrhils, Co Northumberland and seized 30 horses, 20 mares, 100 oxen and 100 cowes valued at £200 and carried them off with goods and chattels, assaulted his men, servants and tenants and so threatened them that they left his service. For 13s 4d paid the hanaper.’

 

1386

 

In 1386 Thomas Holand complained that various persons 'besieged Kirby Moorside, assaulted men and merchants about their business in the market there, and created such a disturbance that those of that country dared not come to the place; so threatened his tenants and servants that they dared not come to their lands or do their services, broke his park and close, entered his chase and warren, hunted therein without leave, felled trees, fished in his several fishery and took away fish, trees and other goods and chattels.'

 

1388

 

19 November 1388. Licence for the inhabitants of Farndale (Ferndall) to have masses celebrated in the chapel of Farndale (the York Archbishop Registers).

 

1396

 

On 19 April 1396, ‘Pardon to Robert de Wodde of Farndale, for the death of John Hawlare of Kirby Moorseved, killed there on Monday, the eve of the Purification in the 18th year.’ (Patent Rolls). See FAR00053.

1397

 

In 1397 Thomas Earl of Kent died, and Alice was left in possession for life.

 

1398

 

There was a serious armed robbery. Calendar of Patent Rolls, Richard II, 1396 to 1399, 21 Richard II Part III, 1398, page 365: ‘May 2, At Westminster. Commission of Oyer and Terminer to Henry de Percy, earl of Northumberland, John Depeden, knight, Thomas Colvyle the elder, knight, John Markham, William Gascoigne, Richard de Norton, John de Burgh, William de Nenson, and Miles de Stapilton, on complaint by High Gascoigne, parson of Staynegreve, that Peter de Clay, son of John de Clay of Fadmore, Richard de Thornton of Neuton, Thomas Wolthwayt of Farnedale, William Irpe, John de Bolton, ‘coseur’, Robert de Thornton of Neuton, John del Clay of Fadmore, Richard del Clay, Richard Candy, Thomas de Crathorne the elder, Adam Helmeslay, and other armed malefactors broke his close and houses at Steingreve, assaulted him, fished in his several fishery there, and took away his fish and goods and chattels to the value of 200 marks as well as 1000 marks in money, and assaulted his men and servants. For 4 marks paid in the hanaper.’ See FAR00054.

1399

 

Of her sons, Thomas the elder was beheaded as a traitor in 1399 and his brother Edmund died before his mother in 1408, when the earldom of Kent fell into abeyance.

 

The heirs of Edmund were Edmund Earl of March, son and heir of his eldest sister Eleanor, and the four sisters of Eleanor—Joan Duchess of York, Margaret wife of Thomas Duke of Clarence, Eleanor wife of Thomas Earl of Salisbury, and Elizabeth wife of Sir John Nevill, kt.

 

Kirkbymoorside seems to have been assigned with Great Ayton and Hemlington to Elizabeth Nevill.

 

1446

 

There is a reference to William Thornburgh of Farndale, a collector of taxes in the North Riding in The Fine Rolls, 1446, 24 Henry VI, page 39.

 

1473

 

Ralph second Earl of Westmorland, son of Elizabeth, was in possession of the 'manor' in 1473, when he granted it to Sir Ralph Nevill, kt., his nephew.

 

1499

 

The latter succeeded him and died in possession in 1499, leaving a grandson and heir Ralph.

 

Ralph was succeeded by his son and heir Henry, who appears to have leased the house and park here to his brother Christopher Nevill.

 

1569

 

Both Christopher and his nephew Charles, the next Earl of Westmorland, were implicated in the Yorkshire rebellion of 1569 and were attainted.

 

Kirkby Moorside was thus forfeit to the Crown. At the time of the attainder, however, the manor was held by Lady Gascoigne, widow of Henry Earl of Westmorland, for life. Her right had been disputed by Charles, who had forcibly entered into possession of the manor, but she apparently made good her claim, and had leased it to Ralph Bowes, farmer.

 

On her death he made suit to the Crown to have his lease continued; this was granted, and his lease was again renewed in 1571, 1592 and 1595.

 

1570

 

Further confirmation of this pattern is later given in surveys of 1570 and 1610, both of which give names of many more extant farms.

 

The 1570 document described 71 tenements in Farndale, 40 on the east side and 31 on the west, together with two mills and a few cottages paying altogether just over £54 in rent.

 

Humberston’s Survey, 1570

 

After the suppression of the rebellion, which raged in the north of England during the months of November and December, 1569, usually called the Rising in the North, the estates of the leaders were forfeited by their subsequent attainders, and came into the hands of Queen Elizabeth. With the object of ascertaining their value and condition she sent, in the spring of the following year, certain Commissioners to survey them. The Commission was issued on March 10, 1569-70, and directed to Edmund Hall and William Humberston. The return made by these two Commissioners, in two volumes, is preserved amongst the Exchequer papers in the Public Record Office, and is known by the title of "Humberston's Survey."

 

The view and surueie of the lordship of Kyrkeby Moresyde, in the county of Yorke, parcell of the possessions of Charles, late erle of Westmerland, wyth all his rightes, membres and appurtenaunces, and of all the landes and possessions in Famedale, Braundesdale, Fadmore, and Gyllymore, parcell of the sayd manour, made by Edmond Hall, William Homberston, and John Jenkyns, the seyxt of June in the yere aforsaid (1570). And the said lordship ys within foure myles of Malton in Ryedale, and in th'est parte of the county of Yorke, in the edge of the moreland, and ys a very stately lordshipp, and extendyth into the townes, hamlettes, and dales of Farnedale, Braundesdale, Fadmore, and Gyllymore, and ys in compas aboue xxvj miles, and inhabyted with many welthy and substancyall men, and haue very good fermes by reason of the greate and, large comons and wastes; and all the tenauntes, except the towne of Kyrkeby, hold their fermes and tenementes by indenture for terme of yeres, whiche are very fynable landes, after the leases be determyned. And the towne of Kyrkeby is a market towne, inhabyted all with pore people, and hold their cotages by copye of courte roll to them and to their heyres, accordyng to the custome of the manour, payeng certeyne rentes, customes, and servyces, and haue no landes or other comodytes to theyr cotages, so as their rentes must of necessyte decay, onles the comens which Henry, late erle,* toke from the tenauntes, aboute viij or ix yeres past, and enclosed them, whiche was th'only releyf of the inhabitauntes of the towne, wherein they kept euery man one, twoo, or three kyen, for the releyf of themselves, their wyves and chyldren.

 

The scyte of the manour ys scytuat in throne syde of the parke, buylded of stone, and covered parte with leade and parte with slate, and served for a removyng house for th'erles, when their pleasure were to come to hunt and take pastyme in that country. The house is but symple for an erle, but a good house for a gentleman of worshipp; and the demeane very good and batefuU for corne and gresse, and greate plenty of mewn ground, lyeng by a fayre ryver," suffycyent for the provysyon of a house for any gentleman of worship.

 

The parke adioynyth to the scyte of the manour, very well planted with wood and tymbre, wherin are large laundes, and ys well replenyshed with fallow deere, and conteynyth in compas two myles and a half, and in measure, by the pole of xxj fote, clxxvij acres, wherin ys one keper,' which hath for his stipend yerely \xs, y'ujd.y and suche other casuall comodytes and proffittes as to the sayd office apperteynyth.

 

(The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 1893, Vol 17, p146)

 

1830

 

House of Lords Journal Volume 63: 16 November 1830', in Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 63, 1830-1831 (London, [n.d.]), pp. 51-101: Farndale: Also, Upon reading the Petition of the Members of a Society and Congregation of Wesleyan Methodists worshipping at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Farndale, in the County of York, whose Names are thereunto subscribed …

 

1848

 

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848: FARNDALE, a chapelry, in the parish of KirkbyMoorside, union of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, N. riding of York, 13 miles (N. W.) from Pickering; containing 463 inhabitants, of whom 188 are in Farndale Low Quarter, and 275 in Farndale West or High Quarter. These two townships together comprise about 9780 acres, whereof 6220 are in the latter, which is situated on the west of the river Dove. The chapel has lately been enlarged. FARNDALE-EASTSIDE, a chapelry, in the parish of Lastingham, union of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, N. riding of York, 5 miles (N.) from KirkbyMoorside; containing 383 inhabitants. It occupies the east side of the higher part of the deep moorland dale of the river Dove, and comprises 9103 acres, of which 6341 are waste land or common. The tithes have been commuted for £33. 15. payable to the Archbishop of York, and £21 to the vicar of the parish, who has a glebe of 1½ acre. The chapel is a small edifice.

 

1858

 

The Rosedale Railway was a 31.4 km goods only railway line running from Battersby Junction via Ingleby Incline, across the heights of the North York Moors to reach iron ore deposits in the remote hills of the Rosedale valley. It opened to traffic as a narrow gauge railway to Ingleby Incline top in 1858, converted to standard gauge and opened to Rosedale West in 1861. It closed completely in 1929. Apart from Ingleby Incline, no major engineering works were constructed, and as such, particularly the east branch, the railway followed the contours of the surrounding hillside.

 

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It passed across the heights of the northern end of Farndale including through a cutting of Middle Head, the realm of the medieval Edmund the Hermit. There is a walk from the Lion’s Inn and Blakely How which passes along the northern edge of Farndale, along the line of the old railway.

 

1886

 

The church of St Nicholas and St Mary, Bransdale-cum-Farndale, was built in 1886 to replace an earlier structure. It consists of chancel, nave, south porch and small western tower containing two bells.

 

1933

 

Hull was empowered in 1933 to obtain water from Farndale, but the scheme was not proceeded with after the Second World War. In 1952 the corporation bought the Elloughton and Brough Water Company, and new works were completed on the River Hull, in Watton parish, in 1959 (A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 1, the City of Kingston Upon Hull. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969).

 

The Farndale Hunt

 

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https://www.facebook.com/farndalehunt

 

There are multiple newspaper articles  about the Farndale hunt.

 

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(Ripon Observer, 15 January 1914)

 

Wordsworth’s Farndale

 

William Wordsworth, married only a few miles from Farndale.

 

daffmain-b6acee5

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils

Tradition says that they were planted by monks from nearby Rievaulx Abbey.

 

To explore the daffodils in the Spring, the traditional walks starts at the tiny hamlet of Low Mill, a cluster of stone houses. Its 100-seat, corrugated-iron-clad hall was built for Farndale Silver Band in the 1920s. The signed footpath from the car park in Low Mill joins the riverside walk beside the River Dove.

 

Farndale has been a nature reserve since 1953 and strict by-laws prohibit picking the flowers or uprooting the bulbs.

 

The riverside path passes through many gates to reach High Mill. Two supernatural presences once inhabited this area: one was a tenacious hob – a mischievous spirit – that fell out with a local farmer. When the farmer tried to move house, the hob mounted the removal cart, so the farmer stayed put. The other ghost is Sarkless Kitty, a local girl who drowned herself, in her chemise (sark). Over the years, Kitty’s ghost was seen sitting naked in Farndale’s trees, waving her sark to signal the deaths of young men. Follow the lane to Church Houses.

 

Farmers petitioned the local landlord for a pub in 1875 and the inn was named after him, the Feversham Arms. Pass the pub and veer right to the church; there are more daffodils in the churchyard. Follow the lane uphill. Just past Mackeridge House turn right on a clearly signposted footpath to Bragg Farm and Bitchagreen Farm.

 

Enjoy great views over Farndale from this section. Jet, coal and iron ore were once mined in the valley, but the greatest threat to its beauty came in the twentieth century.

 

In the 1930s and the 1960s, there were plans to dam and flood the valley as a reservoir for Hull. Both were defeated by conservationists. From Bitchagreen Farm, continue south on clearly marked paths back to High Wold House and finally Low Mill.

 

 

Farndale, a photographic journey

 

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Richard Farndale, Jamie Farndale and Sarah Farndale in 2016                                                                                                                                        Sarah, Richard and Jamie Farndale at Farndale in 2016

 

 

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Dorothy Farndale (centre front) and Grace Farndale (right front) at Farndale in about 1922

 

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Farndale views in 1980

 

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Farndale sign at Kirkbymoorside in 1980

 

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Photograph of the sign in 1980                                                                                         There’s no inflation in Farndale! The fine was still five pounds in 2016!

 

A suggestion in 1914:

 

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(Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 31 March 1914)

 

Farndale, a photographic journey

 

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Links, texts and books

 

The Ryedale Historian

 

Volume 1, 1965

 

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Volume 1, April 1966

 

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Gillamoor and Fadmoor

(Ryedale Historian Vol 4 1969)

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Life in Ryedale in the 14th century

(Ryedale Historian Vol 8 1976)

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(Ryedale Historian Vol 9 1978)

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Mesolithic records including Farndale (Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, Vol 42, 1966, p 314 317 318 320 321 322)

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Early Yorkshire Charters Stuteville, 1952, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, pages 19, 87 to 88, 92. 93n, 94, 203

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