Farndales of Kilton
extensively about Kilton and you will find a lot of
material on his web page (much is still to be transcripted).
He wrote The History of Kilton’.
It is hard to know exactly when the first member of the
Farndale family came to Kilton. Certainly
they were there by the late 1600s and in the 1500s and early 1600s there were
Farndales at Liverton, Moorsome,
Skelton and Kirkleatham. But before pursuing this
in more detail it is of interest to know something of Kilton
itself, after all it was to be the home of the Farndales for almost 300 years.
It seems that Alan de Percy founded the Fief of Kilton in the Barony of Percy in 1106. This was sublet to
a certain Walter who subdivided into three, the Fief of Kilton
proper, the Lordship of Hinderwell and Kirkleatham.
In the Fief of Kilton there were the manors of Kilton Thorpe and Little Moorsholm
the Soke of South Loftus. The Lordship of
Hinderwell comprised the manors of Hinderwell, Seaton and Roxby and the Sokes of Boulby, Arnodestorp, Roxby, Hinderwell and Reschelthorp.
The Kirkleatham property consisted of a third of
Doomsday Book states that the King held land at both Kilton and Kilton Thorpe. At Kilton Thorpe there was a manor and one and a half caracutes of land and at Kilton,
one caracute. Both were held for the King by the
Count of Mortain. However
he was banished for conspiracy in 1088 and both villages, the two and a half caracutes, another five and a half caracutes
and eight acres of meadow passed to Robert de Brus.
At this time too the manor of Little Moorsholm formed part of the Kilton
Fee. That of Great Moorsholm did not join the Kilton Fee until 1272. It seems too that the Soke of South Loftus, six caracutes
of land, joined the Kilton Fee soon after the
Doomsday survey. North Loftus was much bigger and was part of the Chester
Fee. In 1166 the subtenant of Kilton was "Ilger de Kilton" and
remained so until 1190.
Kilton remained under the Lordship of Robert
de Brus until 1272.
He was succeeded by his son William who married a certain
Alice. He was succeeded probably in 1219, by Matilda his niece, probably son
of Roger, one of his five brothers. Matilda was married to Richard de Autrey
who died and in 1226 she married Robert de Thweng.
The Castle was probably founded by Pagan Fitzwalter between 1135 and 1140 and he gave it the same
of the Kilton Fief. To begin with it would be a
wooden stockade but by 1140 his son Osbert began the stone construction. This
was probably finished by William de Kilton between
1190 and 1200. It was from Kilton that Robert de Thweng using the nickname "Will Wither" harried
the papal clergy who took his church at Kirkleatham
and many others all across the North of England.
Eventually he was excommunicated. He assembled some 20 of the Lords and
knights of the North at Kilton and armed with their
letters of support set off for Rome to be freed with an order not to
interfere with the lay patrons. Robert was followed by his son Marmaduke who
had married Lucia de Brus in about 1247 and had
been born and baptised at Kilton Castle in 1225.
His eldest son Robert was born at Kilton Castle in
1255, then came seven more sons and five daughters, the last born in 1276.
The second son Marmaduke born in Kilton Castle in
1256 moved to Danby and Kilton went to his eldest
son Robert who died in 1279 leaving only a daughter Lucy. Kilton
then passed to Marmaduke of Danby's second son Marmaduke who married and had
six sons and three daughters. He played a prominent part in the Scottish wars
of that time and a major part in the Battle of Stirling on 11 September 1297
where his eldest son Marmaduke was killed. He went on as English commander
defeating Bruce at Methven in 1306. Marmaduke was summoned to Parliament in
1294, but he spent almost all his time in Scotland until 1307 when, aged 51
he settled down at Kilton Castle. When his wife
died in 1309 he handed over Kilton
to his eldest surviving son William. He died in 1323 aged 67.
William became one of the most dissolute of the northern
nobles. He had fought at Stirling and throughout the Scottish campaign of
1306. He died in 1341 and was buried at Horndale
nunnery 2 miles east of the Castle. From his death Kilton
Castle began to decline. He left no issue and Kilton
passed to his brother Robert who was by then 63 and was a priest.
Kilton passed to his brother Thomas, the
last of the Thwengs, born at Kilton
in 1283 and aged 62 on his accession. He was rector of Kirkleatham.
Kilton was neglected, although Catherine the widow
of William lived there to her death in 1349. Between 1349 and 1358 no one
lived there until Sir Marmaduke de Lumley took up residence. Thomas de Thweng died at Kirkleatham in
1374 aged 91 and Robert de Lumley, son of Sir Marmaduke succeeded his great
uncle Thomas de Thweng. But he died before the year
was out and his son Ralph born at Kilton Castle in
1361 became Lord of Kilton at the age of 13. When
he grew up he abandoned Kilton
and converted his house at Lumley into a great fortress/Palace. In 1398 he
dissolved the Chapel of St Peter in Kilton Castle
when he finally left Kilton for the newly completed
By 1537 when the Crown took possession of Kilton Castle it was a gaunt, grim, ivy clad ruin.
Thereafter it was used as a local source of building material. There is a
story that Coulson was besieged and destroyed by Cromwell
but this is most unlikely as by that time it had been uninhabited for 240
About 1680 a Mr Thomas Thweng
purchased the Castle from the Crown, probably a descendant of a junior branch
of the family. He certainly did not live there and
it was probably he who built the original Kilton
Hall some 1 mile away from its stone. His only daughter Ann married Mr
William Tully and at the East End of the chancel of old Brotton
church (now no more) was a large memorial which said "Sacred memory of
William Tully of Kilton in this county, Esq, who
departed this life 27 May 1741 aged 72 and is interned underneath this
monument. He married Ann sole daughter and heiress of Thomas Thweng of Kilton Castle in this
county, Esq, by whom he left no issue."
The original farmstead of Stank House was built in about
1700of the stone of Kilton Castle. In the east wall
of the outbuildings is a large carved stone which would appear to have once
born a coat of arms, now completely obliterated.
In feudal times when the Castle was inhabited, there was a
village of some size occupying the site of the modern farmstead of Kilton Hall, some 700 yards north west of the Castle.
This village is now represented only by the hall and three modern brick
cottages by the field are still called "Town End Close." The
present hall occupies the site of the Georgic house which itself stood on the
site of a still older manor house built from stone of the Castle.
(FAR000217) wrote The History of
the Ancient Hamlet of Kilton-in-Cleveland, printed
by W Rapp, Dundas Street, Saltburn 1870
The History of Kilton dedicated to the Reverend William
Jolley , Returning Immigrant, by John Farndale
A text, Impact of Agricultural Change on the Rural Community - a case study of
Kilton circa 1770-1870, Janet Dowey
includes much about John Farndale and his writings
first extract comes from Impact of Agricultural Change on the Rural Community
- a case study of Kilton circa 1770-1870, Janet Dowey:
The most predominant family at Kilton was the Farndales,
their ancestry ages old. Its most distinguished member John Farndale wrote
numerous books on the area. Kilton, the village
itself had been a thriving community consisting of a public house, a meeting
house, two lodging houses and a schoolhouse, from which sprang two eminent
schoolmasters. A butcher's shop, a London tailor and his apprentice and eight
others, a rag merchant, a shop which sold some books, pens, needles, tape and
thread. Five sailors, two soldiers, two missionaries plus a
number of very old people.
The picture John Farndale paints is of a peaceful rural community who boasted
of no poachers, no cockfighters, no drunkards or swearers. A church going people
who met together on a Sunday afternoon. Kilton at
that time had nearly 20 houses and a population of 140 men, women and children,
a Hall, stables, plantation and the old Castle plus 12 small farms stop when
John wrote these books he was speaking of a time long since gone (the early
nineteenth century), he listed each family that lives lived within the
Robert Jolly was a farmer and a staunch Wesleyan. After his death his farm was
carried on awhile by his sons. This being the time of Nelson's death (1805),
John goes on to say that there was great reformation in Kilton
estate, "the little farms were joined together, about 150 acres each.
Every farmer had to move to a new farm. The sons of Robert Jolly each moved
away at this time, one became a lifeguard to George III and the other
eventually became a minister. William Bulmer was another native of Kilton and married with nine children, he made his living
buying and selling, but all his children moved away into 'respectable'
Many of the farmers were weavers too, one in particular, George Bennison, had
two looms plus his land and also prepared a colt for Northallerton fair once a
year stop. The children of these farmers continually moved away from the district
and agriculture. John Farndale says "and now
they disappear, but where are they gone, I know not". John Tuke says "it is observable, but in those families which have succeeded from generation to generation
to the same farm, the strongest attachment to old customs prevails. For
conduct and character, the farmer under survey must deservedly rank high among
their fellows in any part of England, they are generally sober, industrious
and orderly; most of the younger part of them have enjoyed a proper
education, and give a suitable one to their children, who, of both sexes, are
brought up in habits of industry and economy. Such conduct rarely fails
meeting its reward; they who merit, and seek it, obtain independence, and
every generation, or part of every generation, may be seen stepping forward
to a scale in society somewhat beyond the last."
However Thomas Hardy in his book "Tess of the D'Urbervilles", states
"all mutations so increasingly discernible in village life did not
originate entirely in the agricultural unrest. A depopulation was going on."
The village life which Hardy talks about had previously "contained"
side by side with agricultural labourers an "interesting and better informed class". These included a carpenter, a
Smith, shoemaker, huckster "together with nondescript workers" in
addition to the farm labourers. A group of people who "owed a certain
stability of aim and conduct to the fact of their being life-holders or
copyholders or occasionally small freeholders." When the long holdings
fell in they were rarely again let to identical
tenants, and they were usually pulled down, if they were not needed by the
farmer or his workers. "Cottagers who were not directly employed on the
land were looked upon with disfavour, and the banishment of some starved the
trade of others, who were thus obliged to follow." Families such as
these had formed the backbone of the village life in the past who were the
depositories of the village traditions, had to seek refuge in the large
centres; the process, designated by statisticians as the tendency of the
rural population towards the large towns being really the tendency of water
to flow uphill when forced by machinery.
And so to the conclusion:-
"An introduction to this small work, although small, yet I hope it will be
interesting to the tourist. The emigrants returning after a long series of years
to his nativity, as well as the missionary from the continent, the soldier
from his long campaign; the lifeguard from the city of London all these we
have hailed with joy to their dear home Kilton, which
strange to say there are no little boys ought and girls playing there. Is
this well pleasing, to kind providence, who said to our first parents, when
he puts them into the Garden of Eden, "be fruitful and multiply, and
replenish the earth." Would it not be advisable
to divide and subdivide and divide again this great continent - this farm,
and obey our Father's commands, being fruitful and multiplying, and what a
noble race of young girls would then be playing in this Jerusalem, as in the
We are now surprised to hear the above, on their return from a far country saying,
"no place can equal Kilton for loveliness"
standing as it does, in the midst of sylvan scenery, beautiful landscape and
woodland scenery, and what a perfume of sweet fragrance from wildflowers,
particularly the primrose acres that would grace any gentleman's pleasure
ground of beauty into loveliness. Kilton as it is
situated, is fitted only for a prince"
"Now much has changed, we oft times have looked and looked again, but no
corner of this large farm has been neglected. Witness, this rich stack yard of
100 acres of wheat, the staff of life, and 100 more, oats, beans, peas, hay,
clover, potatoes and turnips piled up against the winter storms. In the fold
are housed 100 head of sheep, a stable with 14 farming horses, besides the
young horses, pigs and geese in abundance, carts, wagons, ploughs and harrows
and all implements.
"He makes across the hills adorn,
He clothes the smiling fields with corn,
the beasts with food his hands supply,
and the young ones when they cry."
This was the Kilton John Farndale knew and loved. It
had changed beyond belief. Several of the very old and larger states were less
crowded than they had been; where a better cultivation had taken place, the
small cottages had given way gradually to shape a farm worthy of the person
having such money to improve it. A lot of the field structures and hedges
were still in place, only some of the hedges had been taken out to make
bigger fields. The hedge structure at Kilton was
probably there 50 years before John Farndale was born. In one instance a hedge
appears to have been put in to divide a field.
Some of the reasons for
the demise of Kilton were the industrial
revolution, which was the need to centralise craftsmen from the small
villages, a revolution in farming methods and farming machinery, a wholesale
destruction of the village for the town. The Napoleonic Wars had an influence
on the price of farm produce, the price of food was kept at a fairly high
level during the war but after the war finished the price of grain fell to
one of its lowest levels along with falling meat prices, and disastrous
harvests. Farming methods were needed to get the harvest in quicker. This
finally led the landlord to enlarge the farms and bring in a farmer with
money to modernise the farm. The mechanisation of farming policies on the one
hand and the progressive quantity of urban factories on the other, combined
to drastically alter that rural life. Taking into consideration also the
turnpike roads, the invention of the railway and the canal networks it is
obvious that economic and technological forces were bringing far reaching
changes. During the period when enclosure was in progress, "the
revolution in agricultural methods", there was moderately steady process
of new village creation, a considerable upsurge within the 18th century.
Enclosure or amalgamation of the Kilton village
farms, probably happened in the late 1860s, thus was the complete destruction
of the village.
Kilton became a victim not only of the
"Monstre farm" but also of the Industrial
"And now dear Farndale, the best of friends must part,
I bid you and your little Kilton
along and final farewell.
Time was on to all our precious boon,
Time is passing away so soon,
Time know more about his vast eternity,
World without end oceans without sure."
John Farndale. 1870
Countryside at Kilton in 1980
Kilton Hall 1795
Kilton Hall in about 1890
Kilton Lodge Farm in about 1920
Kilton Hall 1980
Buck Rush Farm about
1912 (it was part of Kilton Lodge Farm under
(FAR000217) was born
at Kilton in Cleveland, Yorkshire on 15 August
1791, second son of William and Mary Farndale (née Ferguson), farmers and
business people. On his 84th birthday (1874) he wrote his memoirs. He stated
that he was in good health. He died in 1879 aged 88. The following notes are
taken from his memoirs which were written in very descriptive Victorian
He first described Kilton as
"of great interest with a great hall, stable, plantation and ancient
stronghold in ruins (Kilton Castle)". "It
is still a small place" he says and he
describes how many have left it and made their name.
"My first remembrance began in my nurse's arms when I
could not have been more than 1 1/2 years old; a memory as vivid as if it
were yesterday. She took me out on St Stephen's Day 1973 into the current
Garth (a small enclosure) with a stick and 'solt'
to kill a hare. A great day at the time. Another
time (after celebrating the victory of Trafalgar, 1805) he was dangling head
foremost down the draw well hanging by the buckle of his shoe. He goes on to
describe a very happy childhood and he clearly adored his mother. "At
this time I believe I loved God and was happy."
He remembered "an old relation of my father"
(there were several in Kilton at that time)
remarking that his elder brother George was a "prodigal son", while
John was the son at home with his father. But he describes how he got up to many frolics and had some narrow escapes, although he
was no drunkard or swearer.
His parents, he said, "were strict Church people and
kept a strict look out. I became leader of the (Brotton)
church signers, clever in music" and he excelled his friends. He had a
close friend, a musician in the church choir. One day he met him and said he
had been very ill and had been reading a lot of books including "Aeleyn's Alarum" and others "which nearly made
my hair stand on end." . His friend told him
that he was going to alter his way of life and if John would not refrain from
his revelries, he would "be obliged to forsake your company.".
"That was a nail in a sure place. I was ashamed and grieved as I thought
myself more pious than he. Now I began to enter a new life as suddenly at St
Paul's but with this difference, he was in distress for three days and nights
but for me it was three months". He fasted all Lent and describes his
torment. "How often I went onto the hill with my Clarinet to play my
His companion lived one mile away (at Brotton
perhaps?) and they met half way every Sunday morning at 6am for prayer. He
remembered well meeting in a corner of a large grass field. George (Sayer)
began and he followed. When they finished they
opened their eyes to see "a rough farm lad
standing over us, no doubt a little nervous. Next day this boy said to others
in the harvest field 'George Sayer and John Farndale are two good lads for I
found them in a field praying.' " On the following Sunday they moved to
a small wood and met under an oak tree and met an old man who wanted to join
them. As usual George began and John continued when
the old man began to roar in great distress
Four sisters perhaps at
time of Charles' family at Kilton Lodge about 1890
Kilton Lodge about 1925 - George and Grace
Farndale (whose father was Charles) sitting
Photo of George Farndale
taken about 1925 when Vincent was visiting Britain
Picnic at Kilton Lodge about 1910
Back row Vincent's sister, Ray, George, Mary, Grace &
Front row Mrs Farndale, Grace Todd (Vincent's Aunt), Liz
(Vincent's sister), Mary Todd (another aunt) and Vincent
Kilton Lodge about 1910, Vincent Grainger,
Mrs Farndale (Ann), Mr Farndale (Charles), George, Grace, man unknown, girl
believed to be Mary or Sophie
Tea Party at Kilton Lodge about 1910 - Mrs Ann Farndale, Charles
Farndale, visiting vicar, Vincent Granger (who worked on the farm) and Grace
This is believed to be
Mary Farndale's (daughter of Charles) wedding about
Vincent Grainger aged 16
taken on the steps of Kilton Lodge and aged 93 in
Vincent Grainger worked on the farm at Kilton
Lodge as a mamber of the family