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60 Years Ago And Now (1912)

Cutting from the Yorkshire Gazette, 18th May, 1912

The cutting spreads over four columns and has a heading photograph of the plump together with some of the south facing cottages on the north side of the main street. The photograph is entitled “Peaceful Terrington”.


Newspaper photograph of The Plump, Terrington, about 1912

Terrington Labourers' Wages:
Beautiful Approaches.

Terrington lies picturesquely on the slope of a long hill, rather nearer Barton Hill Station on the York and Scarborough line than Hovingham on the Thirsk and Malton one. If the active town dweller were to describe life at Terrington as sluggish, the retort might be made that it is happy and peaceful. For although the community tends to lessen in size, it is free from grinding care, and does not know the meaning of poverty according to the interpretation of this word in a Malton yard or York slum.

The most beautiful approaches to the village, for the pedestrian, are from Hovingham or Slingsby, or Barton Hill, the two former routes crossing the fine woods above the Street villages, and the last one touching Foston, Bulmer, and Mowthorpe. Cyclists might choose Gilling, Flaxton, or Malton as their starting point, and in either case enjoy a beautiful ride.

Terrington practically consists of one long street, easier to walk down than up, but there is a back lane, with charming views over to Wiganthorpe, the seat of the Hon. H.W.Fitzwilliam; and the head of the village is the picturesque starting place for several interesting walks.

Fewer Houses and People

I have hinted that happy as the village is, its population is greatly lessening. At the present time there are some seventeen houses without tenants, and other homes have quite or altogether disappeared from view. An old inhabitant told me that in his youth there were twice the people in Terrington there are now - a statement not quite born out by the facts below, although these are serious enough.



In this and other villages on the Carlisle estates I fear it is true that the impression has got abroad that general applications for cottages are not desired or responded to. What a pity it is if this is so! If labour in the district is now insufficient to support as many workers as formerly, I feel sure that good cottage homes in such particularly beautiful surroundings could be let, with advantages to the traders in the village, to townspeople with slender means. Two or three of the Terrington cottages have just been turned into a most attractive looking house, which is now waiting to receive Mrs. Raikes, who formerly lived at Norton.

Emigrating from Terrington

The cry of no work in Terrington is not a fancy one. The land is in few hands and the labour required on the large estates near is not so much as it was. At the present time the only work available is in agriculture, with the exception of the diminishing village trades. Apparently at one time there was a good deal of quarrying in the neighbourhood for Eastmead says that the stones with which Sheriff Hutton Castle was built were brought from Terrington. The young men of Terrington are emigrating, mostly to Canada. In the church porch is a map of the world - “Terrington Beyond the Seas”, which drives home this fact. Its many flags show where absent members of the community are: Messrs. Bell, Watson, Clifford and Harrison are in Canada; Messrs. Rhodes and Fraser in the United States; Mr. Anthony Wimbush is in India; Messrs. George, Carr, and Calvert are in Australia; and I suppose that Mr. and Mrs. Kinnear's flag indicates that they are holidaying in Italy. Underneath the map are the following words.

"They whom many a land divides,
Many mountains, many tides,
Have they with each other part,
Fellowship of heart with heart?
Yes, in sacrament of prayer,
Each with the other hath a share."

The fact I am referring to may have something to do with the good contributions made to the Archbishop's Western Canada Fund - the largest foreign mission collection in Terrington. But home needs are not neglected for no less a sum than £7.13s was given to Middlesbrough Relief Fund.

Church and Schools

The Church of All Saints is well worthy of a visit, but unfortunately the door is kept locked [Transcriber’s note: A handwritten cross in red ink at this point draws attention to a footnote, also in red ink which reads "This is not so. J.S.W.” The writing is recognisably that of the Rector of the day, the Rev. J. S. Wimbush.], and there is no indication of where the key is to be obtained. In the West face of the tower is visible a blocked triangular-headed door, said by Mr. Morris to be the only one in the North Riding; and there is fine herring-bone work on the south exterior wall. On the site of the present south aisle there once stood a chantry, founded by Sir Brian Stapleton. The dial on the south side of the tower, dating from 1767, is an unusually fine one. Among the several interesting memorials in the graveyard are the tombs of several members of the Garforth family, once the owners of Wiganthorpe.

Adjoining the graveyard is the Hall, now owned by Mr. T.J.Kinnear [Transcriber’s note: The phrase “now owned by Mr. T.J.Kinnear” is underlined in pencil and has a question mark placed against it. Kelly’s Directory for 1913 says “Terrington hall, the residence of Thomas John Kinnear esq. J.P., is the property of G. Leonard Thompson esq. of York”] but originally the Rectory House, built in 1827 by the Rev. C. Hall. I was told that this was sold by the father of the present rector, the Rev. S. Wimbush, who for a time lived in a cottage in the village, but eventually built the new rectory on the south side of the street.

I met some schoolchildren between the old schoolhouse (now used for parish teas, etc..) and the new one. All these vigorous lads expressed themselves as being fond of school, and nearly all of them said they attended one of the two Sunday schools managed by the Church and the Wesleyans. I should suppose that much interest is taken in Nature Study from the fact that two of the boys told me what they most enjoyed was going walks to pick flowers.

As the Primitive Methodists also have a chapel in Terrington, the religious needs of all minds are well met. On week nights the reading room just above the post office is well used; and the many bills on the shutters of the blacksmith's shop suggest that, whether winter or summer be concerned, Terrington is not left without meetings of one kind or another. There are few village trades, although there was a time when no inhabitant of Terrington would think of going elsewhere for boots or clothes. Everyone may still get good groceries in the village.

A Labourer's Story

Several facts came under my observation concerning the so-called good old times, which Mr. George Bourne has so ably analysed in “A Surrey Labourer,” “Change in the Village," and other books. One old veteran of the countryside told me that he and others left school at the age of ten years and immediately entered farm service for their full time. The starting wage was 30s. a year, mounting up year after year to £5 or £6. Compared with the wages now given, to farm labourers, this is a small amount. At the May hirings at Northallerton, farm boys made from £8 to £9 10s, and ploughboys £12 to £15.

So far as weekly wages are concerned, a further comparison may be got from the fact that between 1850 and 1903 the labourer's weekly wage in England and Wales, calculated on the accounts of 69 different farms, rose 57 percent. Of course in those days there were more perquisites than is the case now, but I have not often heard of labouring men in other villages than Terrington ekeing out their small wage by obtaining 2d per rat tail! Perhaps other places were not so badly afflicted with these troublesome rodents as was Terrington.

If wages were less in 1850, the times were as good or better - according to many of the older inhabitants of Terrington and its sister villages. Of course there was much plainer living, but tested by the appearance of the “elders" on the Howardian Hills, this must have proved better for health than our present-day diet!

Most householders of those days had a cow, or in other ways were able to make some provision for themselves, in addition to any work provided by the Garforths on the one side and the Carlisles on the other. Undoubtedly, the whole of this countryside has suffered from the Enclosure Acts and from the general policy which, up to quite recently, has tended to put land into fewer hands. One of the leading men at the time I am speaking of was the grandfather of the present Mr. Leefe, of Fryton, who lived in the large house on the north side of the village - unfortunately empty today.

In some respects, undoubtedly, present day conditions are preferable to those of sixty years ago, and everyone will be glad that Terrington now has only one public-house instead of the three which it once boasted. There is no water question troubling this community, for there are plenty of springs everywhere.

A Place for Visitors

Perhaps it may be due to the empty houses that more visitors are not coming to Terrington, or possibly it is the distance from the railway. The inhabitants have supplemented Nature's work in making the district one which all visitors would enjoy, by placing, in suitable places, seats which commemorate the coronation of Edward VII. That at the head of the village is a particularly good viewpoint. York Minster is seen clearly over the eastern tower of Sheriff Hutton Castle. Much of the ancient forest of Galtres lies between the Minster and Wiganthorpe Hall, whose owner once sat in Parliament for the Doncaster division.

To the east of Terrington, on the carriage way to Bulmer and Welburn, lies what is left of the of the pretty village of Ganthorpe, the birthplace of Dr. Richard Spruce, the well-known naturalist. The older men hereabout remember when Ganthorpe was quite a nice little village, but now, if the Hall were taken away, hardly a handful of houses would be left. The fine old pump has fallen upon evil days, for it is covered over with sale and other bills, and even the empty spout has had a handbill stuck into it!


Transcribed P.J.Barber, 26th August, 1997

©Terrington Arts
This page last updated: 21st December 2021

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