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New Malton, North Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Malton, New, a market and union town and a parish in the N.R. Yorkshire. The town stands on a gentle declivity, adjacent to the river Derwent, at the intersection of the York and Scarborough and the Driffield and Thirsk railways, 21½ miles NE by N of York. It was called New Malton on account of a reconstruction of it in the 12th century; but, in common with Old Malton to the NE, and with Norton on the other side of the Derwent, it probably occupies the site of ancient British villages, and certainly occupies the site of a Roman camp and town. No fewer than six ancient ways diverge from it; most or all of them perhaps originally trackways of the Brigantes; and all of them undoubtedly roads used, and at least improved, if not made, by the Romans. The tract around it appears, from very numerous traces of dwellings, burial-mounds, and other artificial objects, to have been more thickly peopled by the ancient Britons than any other part of Yorkshire; and it probably attracted the Romans to make a great central settlement at Malton, by the special facilities which it offered them in its cleared lands and its formed ways. A double Roman camp is still distinctly traceable on both sides of the Derwent; the larger and more distinct section of it is on the Norton side; the site of a Roman village, suburban to the Roman camp or town, is on the same side; and traces of Roman streets, several feet helow the surface, have been found in the course of drainage and other works along the lines of a number of the modern streets. Some early antiquaries, quite against evidence, supposed the Roman town here to have been Camalodunum; some later ones, with considerable show of evidence, contend that it was Derventio; and others are undecided as to its identity. Very numerous Roman relics, in great variety, liave at different times been found in New Malton, in Old Malton, and in Norton; a fine cinerary urn was found at Norton in 1862; and the contents of a Roman cemetery, including human remains and very many curious objects of art, were discovered there near the end of 1866. Malton continued to be a place of some note in both the Saxon and the Norman times. The manor of it belonged to Colebrand the Dane, and was given by William the Conqueror to the family of De Vesci. A villa of King Edwin is thought by some writers to have stood here, and at least stood somewhere on the Derwent. A castle was built here by the De Vescis; was taken in 1135 by the Scots; and was besieged in the same year, but probably not retaken, by Archbishop Thurston of York. The town was then burnt by the Archbishop, but soon afterwards was rebuilt by Eustace Fitz-John, and it then took the name of New Malton. The manor was inherited by Fitz-John, through his mother, from the De Vescis; passed in subsequent centuries through various hands; and belongs now to Earl Fitzwilliam. Fitz-John, about the time of rebuilding the town, also founded a priory at Old Malton; and a grandson of his in 1213 received a visit from King John. A new castellated mansion, on the ruins or site of the castle of the De Vescis, was built in the time of James I. by Lord Evers, and in consequence of a dispute respecting it by its founder's two granddaughters, it was taken down in 1674; but the lodge and the gateways of it still stand. The names of E. Burke, H. Gratton, and other distinguished senators are associated with the town as having represented it in Parliament.

The town is about a mile long, well built, and clean, and contains many good modern houses. The market-place is very large, and is divided into two parts by the town-hall and St Michael's Church. The surrounding country is rich in interesting scenes and objects, and the elevated ground to the N and to the W commands views of the Wolds, with their romantic vales and heathy fells, backed by the bold ridge of the Hambleton Hills. The chief public buildings are the town-hall, a courthouse, a corn exchange, assembly rooms, a masonic hall, a theatre, a three-arched bridge over the Derwent connecting the town with Norton, mechanics' and literary institutions, with library and news-rooms, a cattle market, two churches, several dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, and a workhouse. The cattle market occupies about 3 acres. There are training stables for racehorses near the town. St Michael's Church is a large ancient building in the Later Norman style; consists of chancel, nave, aisles, vestry, and a Perpendicular western tower; contains a fine old font, and several memorial windows, and was restored in 1885. It was originally a chantry chapel to Old Malton Priory, and afterwards a chapel of ease. St Leonard's Church is ancient and weatherworn; chiefly Norman in style; underwent repair in 1856, when three Norman arches in the N wall of the chancel were opened out; has a battlemented tower, with slated wooden spire, surmounted by an iron cross, and restored in 1868; contains two piscinae and a Norman font; and also was originally a chantry chapel to Old Malton Priory, and afterwards a chapel of ease. The dissenting chapels are Baptist, Congregational, Quaker, Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, and Unitarian. The lodge of the ancient castle stands on the E side of the town; presents interesting architectural features; is approached through three ancient gateways, two of them partially built up; and leads the way to the site of the ancient castle, and to numerous traces of the ancient Roman town. A hall connected with the lodge contains a fine collection of Roman and ancient British relics found in the neighbourhood, and has a series of beautiful oak carvings of subjects in the history of Jonah. A public cemetery was formed in 1860, contains two chapels, and is under the control of a burial board. Waterworks, formed in 1866-67, are supplied by pumping from the Lady Spring, near the town, and have a reservoiron the Castle Howard Road.

The town has a head post office, a railway station called Malton on the N.E.E., three banks, and some good hotels, is a seat of petty sessions, quarter sessions, and county courts, and a polling-place, and publishes two weekly newspapers. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and on Tuesdays for cattle; fairs are held throughout the week before Palm Sunday, on the Saturday before Whitsunday, the Saturday before 12 July, 11 Oct., and the Saturday before 23 Nov.; and industry is carried on in corn mills, breweries, malting establishments, tanneries, agricultural machine-works, and iron and brass foundries. The quarrying of limestone and whin-stone, and the making of bricks, tiles, and drain-pipes are carried on in the neighbourhood. A considerable commerce formerly existed in the export of produce down the Derwent toward Hull, but was diminished almost to extinction by the opening of the railways. The town was a borough by prescription, sent two members to Parliament in the time of Edward L, and from 1640 till 1867, but was then reduced to sending one, and under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, it ceased to be a borough, and was absorbed in the parliamentary division of Thirsk and Malton. It is governed by a local board of twelve members. Area of the parish, 49 acres; population, 8066. The two New Malton ecclesiastical parishes are St Michael and St Leonard; they were separated from Old Malton in 1855. Population of St Leonard's, 2173; of St Michael's, 1822. The livings are vicarages in the diocese of York; net value, £174; gross value, £210, both with residence. Patron, Earl Fitzwilliam.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyYorkshire 
Poor Law unionMalton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in conjunction with various Archives, Local Studies, and Family History Societies have the following parish records online for New Malton:

St Leonard1600-19121754-19011600-19301600-1907
St Michael1570-19141823-19001570-19301570-1850

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for New Malton from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for the North Riding of Yorkshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following North Riding newspapers online: