Menthorpe with Bowthorpe


Victoria County History



K J Allison (Editor), A P Baggs, G H R Kent, J D Purdy

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'Hemingbrough: Menthorpe with Bowthorpe', A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3: Ouse and Derwent wapentake, and part of Harthill wapentake (1976), pp. 63-64. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=23006 Date accessed: 21 November 2014.


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The hamlets of Menthorpe and Bowthorpe lie respectively 3 and 2 miles north-east of Hemingbrough, the former beside the Derwent, the latter ¼ mile from the river and close to the stream that separates the township from South Duffield. Both were probably Scandinavian settlements. Bowthorpe township covered 457 a. and Menthorpe 638 a., but 197 a. of Menthorpe formed a detached part of Skipwith parish. (fn. 75)

The two townships nowhere reach 25 ft. above sea-level. They are crossed by a single road, linking Brackenholme with North Duffield, from which side lanes lead to the hamlets. The railway from Selby to Market Weighton, opened in 1848, crossed Menthorpe; a small station there was closed for passengers in 1953 and for goods in 1964, and the line was closed in 1965. (fn. 76) The remaining houses of Menthorpe stand around a small common, part of which beside the river had recently been inclosed in 1973. A ferry, mentioned in the 14th century, (fn. 77) crossed the river at this point to Breighton but was last used before the Second World War. (fn. 78) There were half-a-dozen houses at Menthorpe in the mid 19th century, along with a smithy, (fn. 79) but only three were occupied in 1973. Bowthorpe consists only of the Hall (fn. 80) and a few cottages. There was a licensed alehouse at Menthorpe c. 1750-70 (fn. 81) and the Board inn was mentioned in 1823, (fn. 82) but there has never since been a public house there. Both hamlets had landing-places beside the Derwent. (fn. 83)

There were 32 poll-tax payers at Bowthorpe in 1379. (fn. 84) Ten men were mustered in the two hamlets in 1539, (fn. 85) and eleven households were included in the hearth-tax return in 1672, two of them exempt. Of those chargeable 5 had one or 2 hearths and 4 had 3 or four. (fn. 86) The population in 1801 was 61; it reached a maximum of 82 in 1841 and was only 51 in 1901. (fn. 87) After falling to 44 in 1911 numbers rose to about 70 in 1921-31 before the civil parish was joined to North Duffield. (fn. 88)


In 1086 Bowthorpe consisted of 4 carucates which were soke of the bishop of Durham's manor of Howden. (fn. 89) The bishop's overlordship was still mentioned in 1284-5. (fn. 90) In 1200 the bishop granted the estate to Richard d'Avranches, (fn. 91) whose family still had it in 1346. (fn. 92) By 1400-1 it had passed to the Skipwiths by the marriage of Catherine d'Avranches and William Skipwith, (fn. 93) but in 1428 it belonged to the Methams. (fn. 94) Property in Bowthorpe was conveyed by John Grendon and his wife Iseult, formerly wife of Richard de Metham, to John Portington and others in 1442. (fn. 95) The manor of BOWTHORPE was sold by Roger Portington to Sir William Babthorpe in 1576 (fn. 96) and by the Babthorpes to Thomas Walmesley in 1604. (fn. 97) The Walmesleys conveyed the manor to Sir Godfrey Copley in 1678. (fn. 98)

In 1738 the Copleys sold the manor to Bacon Morritt, (fn. 99) and in 1777 J. S. Morritt sold it to Sir William Lowther; it comprised Bowthorpe Hall and 446 a. (fn. 1) It passed to Edward Weddall in 1807, to G. E. Dinsdale in 1810, and to Sir Thomas Plumer in 1812. (fn. 2) Plumer sold the manor to Richard Waterworth in 1820 and his devisees conveyed it to James Walker in 1833. (fn. 3) The Walkers retained it until 1924, when Sir Robert Walker sold it, with 452 a., to A. H. Blakey. (fn. 4) In 1969 T. O. Blakey sold the estate to the Flint Co. Ltd. (fn. 5) Bowthorpe Hall is a large greybrick house, built by Richard Waterworth. (fn. 6)

That part of Menthorpe lying in Hemingbrough parish belonged to the bishops of Durham and, like Barlby, (fn. 7) was held under them by the Atons and their descendants. (fn. 8) The demesne owners of some of the land, perhaps from as early as the 13th century, were the Freeman family. (fn. 9) On the death of Robert Freeman in 1717 (fn. 10) the estate passed to his daughters Margaret, who married Thomas Champney, and Anne, later the wife of William Wilberfoss. In 1763 they conveyed it to Anne's son Robert, (fn. 11) whose son Thomas sold it in 1804 to William Chaplin: it then comprised a house, 105 a., and a share of the commons. (fn. 12) William's father Robert had acquired the rest of the former Aton fee from James Blanshard in 1752, when it consisted of a house and 117 a. (fn. 13) The Chaplins retained the estate until 1921, when Robert Chaplin sold 266 a. and common rights to Ernest and Palmer Holman. (fn. 14) Known as Hall farm, it was sold in 1938 to T. O. Blakey, and in 1969 to the Flint Co. Ltd. (fn. 15)

The rectorial tithes of Bowthorpe and of that part of Menthorpe lying in Hemingbrough parish descended, like those of Hemingbrough township, with Hemingbrough manor. (fn. 16) In 1650 the tithes of half of Menthorpe and those of Bowthorpe were worth £20. (fn. 17) The Menthorpe tithes were sold to John Chaplin in 1810, (fn. 18) and at commutation in 1839 he was awarded rent-charges of £66 for great tithes and £19 12s. 6d. for small. (fn. 19) The Bowthorpe tithes were sold to James Walker in 1838 (fn. 20) and so were apparently merged with the manorial estate.


There is little evidence of how the two hamlets were farmed before the 19th century. They were then entirely inclosed except for some 20 a. of common forming a 'green' near the river at Menthorpe and a strip called the Gale alongside the road leading to it. (fn. 21) The tithable land at Menthorpe comprised 465 a. of arable and 152 a. of meadow and pasture in 1839. (fn. 22) Grassland was predominant at both places in the 20th century. (fn. 23) There have usually been 2 or 3 farmers at Menthorpe and one at Bowthorpe in the 19th and 20th centuries, all of them having 150 a. or more in the 1930s. (fn. 24)

The lord of Menthorpe had a weir there for fishing in the 14th century, (fn. 25) and a fishery was mentioned in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 26)


No manorial records are known. Menthorpe with Bowthorpe joined Howden poor-law union in 1837; (fn. 27) it became part of Howden rural district in 1894, Derwent rural district in 1935, (fn. 28) and the Selby district of North Yorkshire in 1974.


A house at Menthorpe was registered for dissenting worship in 1793. (fn. 29)


75 O.S. Map 6", Yorks. (1854 edn.). The whole civil parish is covered by sheet 222.
76 MacMahon, Beginnings of E. Yorks. Rlys. 14; Hoole, Regional Hist. of Rlys. of Gt. Brit. iv. 55 ; Hull Daily Mail, 12 June 1965.
77 e.g. E.R.R.O., DDFA/5/38; Yorks. Deeds, ix, pp. 126, 161-2.
78 Local information.
79 B.I.H.R., TA. 339S; O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
80 See below.
81 E.R.R.O., QDT/2/15.
82 Baines, Hist. Yorks. (1823), ii. 369. The Half Moon, recorded under Menthorpe in 1822 (E.R.R.O., QDT/2/ 13), is in Breighton.
83 O.S. Map 6" (various edns.).
84 T.E.R.A.S. xv. 49-50.
85 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 308.
86 E 179/205/504.
87 V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 498.
88 Census.
89 V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 319.
90 Feud. Aids, vi. 36.
91 Yorks. Fines, John (Sur. Soc. xciv), p. 3.
92 Feud. Aids, vi. 36, 138, 172, 224.
93 Burton, Hemingbrough, 244.
94 Feud. Aids, vi. 272.
95 C.P. 25(1)/280/159 no. 1.
96 Yorks. Fines, ii. 94, 97; Burton, Hemingbrough, 246.
97 Yorks. Fines, 1603-14, 15.
98 E.R.R.O., DDCV/23/1-2.
99 R.D.B., P/158/419.
1 Ibid. AZ/5/7.
2 Ibid. CR/256/322; /265/333; CT/54/98; E.R.R.O., Land Tax.
3 R.D.B., DH/360/412; ET/56/64.
4 Ibid. 285/576/481; for pedigree see Burke, Peerage (1925), 2282-3.
5 R.D.B., 1600/211/185.
6 Ibid. II/293/366.
7 See p. 48.
8 e.g. Feud. Aids, vi. 36, 138, 224, 272.
9 Burton, Hemingbrough, 235.
10 Ibid. 236.
11 R.D.B., AE/292/567.
12 R.D.B., CF/551/879.
13 Ibid. W/75/165.
14 Ibid. 239/537/454.
15 Ibid. 595/7/5; 1600/211/185.
16 See p. 39.
17 C 94/3 f. 77.
18 R.D.B., CR/124/153.
19 B.I.H.R., TA. 339S.
20 R.D.B., FH/242/249.
21 O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.); Burton, Hemingbrough, 232, 234.
22 B.I.H.R., TA. 339S.
23 [1st] Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 32; 2nd Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 689 (SE 63-73).
24 Directories.
25 Pub. Works in Med. Law, ii. 253.
26 e.g. C.P. 43/503 rot. 106.
27 3rd Rep. Poor Law Com. 168.
28 Census.
29 B.I.H.R., Fac. Bk. iii, p. 11.