Sunday, 7 August 2011

Coxwold Revisited

You know what it is like; you just finish, push the button and away it's gone - And you remember, somewhere in a box, frantically found in the back of a draw at the bottom of the dresser, some old pictures (photos and postcards) that could have - should have - been used.  Now what? Nothing for it but a new Blog.

Title written, new thought - doesn't that sound like a book by a distant cousin, George Bolton.  Well almost, George wrote Yorkshire Revealed, a Travelogue for the car owner first published in 1955.  He seems to start at the mouth end of the various Yorkshire rivers and follows them up the valleys, describing the towns, villages  and other places of interest he passed through.  His style is a little rigid, but in keeping with his time and station and very informative.  He was I believe, a Solicitor and Freemason.  A man of substance, and a legend in his own Bath-Tub.  He was the grandson of one of my grandfather's paternal  Aunts.  In his books he says that he stayed with the Burnett's at Wass House, but in doesn't mention them as cousins or kin.

We must leave George for a moment, he is, after all,  just a side step.  As I said previously, my great Great grandfather, William, come to the village in the 1840s.  He came from Thornton and was, according to the 1841 census, living with his Maternal Grandparents, William and Jane Stephenson.        Locating a particulars property from the census is none too easy especially in country villages were there are not many street names or house-numbers. William Stephenson was a Blacksmith and Horse-Doctor, and lived in Cross Street close to Maltongate. I've not found Cross Street but Maltongate is still there.  The Cross is I believe where the "main square" or "High Street" is situated on the main Thirsk to Scarborough road.  If so then this is one of Stephenson's Blacksmith Shops. Now it is a Chocolate factory.  I think I prefer what is shown in the picture.

Back to Coxwold and St Michael's; in the Box was a Postcard of an indeterminate age,  perhaps the twenties, of the inside of the Church. It looks pretty much the same as today.The Church does however have some unusual features, and thanks to George I'm able to describe them, or at least copy what George says "...d distinctive fifteenth century building in Perpendicular style with a rare Octagonal Tower."  It has parapet of trefoils, it also has gargoyles and crocheted pinnacles that  George found "...Quite intriguing...".  It has a number of memorials to the Fauconberg and Baylasyse families.  A Breeches Bible was in the church in addition to a Mousey Thompson Lectern, and, of course, Great Great Granddads chair.

George says the Village is largely unchanged since he was a child, these Pictures were taken far early, and apart from the big Elm between the Church and the Fauconberg Arms having long gone and the Pub being thatched - the village looks much the same.
At the other end of the village beyond the church is Shandy Hall where Laurence Stern lived when he was incumbent at St Michael's.  He he wrote Tristram Shandy and fiddled far into the night with favourite cat.

At the bottom end, the Burnett's had their forge at Ivy Lea.  They had cows and delivered milk, orchards and took in paying guests.  Another view shows the House in the village

The Burnett's at work fitting an iron rim to a wagon wheel or hooping the wheel.

The Village looks pretty much the same except it has little life.  Now it is made up of retirement homes for the comfortably-off, second homes for the even better-off or holiday lets.

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