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Whorlton, North Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Whorlton, a township and a parish in the west division of the N.R. Yorkshire. Post town, Northallerton; telegraph office, Hutton Rudby. Acreage of township, 1972; population, 434; of the ecclesiastical parish, 623. There is a parish council consisting of five members. The parish includes the townships of Potto and Trueholme, with the village of Swainby, and the hamlet of Heathwaite. The castle, built probably about the time of Richard II., is in ruins, excepting the fine guardroom and gateway, of a rectangular form and very massive, being defended by a deep moat and drawbridge. Over the entrance are shields bearing the arms of Meinell, D'Arcy, and Gray. Formerly a deer park surrounded the castle. Extensive vaults remain, and there are very large earthworks in fine preservation. West of the castle Nicholas de Meynell obtained a charter for holding a fair in the reign of Edward I. At Scarth in this parish Stephen de Maisnell founded a cell of Augustin canons in the reign of Henry I., now in ruins. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of York; gross value, £127 with residence. The new church, built by the Ailesbury family, is in the Early English style, consisting of nave, chancel, N aisle, tower, and spire. It contains beautiful windows, and a fine peal of six bells. The church is dedicated in the name of the Holy Cross, like the old church. The ancient church, half a mile distant, is Norman, with Early English chancel, chantry chapel, and a 16th-century tower. It is now in ruins, except the tower and the chancel, which is used for funerals. The celebrated Meynell tomb is under an arch on the N side of the chancel. It is a fine altar-tomb with a canopy of the 14th century, and has a life-sized oak figure of a crusader of the 13th century, supposed to be the effigy of Sir Nicholas de Meynell, lord of Whorlton.

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

Church Records

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


Land and Property

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


Online maps of Whorlton are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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

CountyNorth Yorkshire
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Postal districtDL6
Post TownNorthallerton