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Barmby Moor, York, North Yorkshire

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The parish of Barmby Moor lies 11 miles east of York, close to the market-town of Pocklington. The village was probably a Scandinavian settlement, Barnby translates back to 'Barne's farm'; it was not until the late 13th century that Barmby was used as an alternative spelling to Barnby. The suffix 'by Pocklington' was used in the 14th century, when 'upon the Moor' (Spalding moor?), also appeared; simplified to Barnby Moor in the 18th century, it was officially adopted in 1935.

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The artist Nesta Jennings-Campbell painted this picture entitled "Colour on Barnby Moor". She has completed many pieces that are on view to the public in museums, art galleries and the internet.

The village was established just to the north of the junction of the Roman roads from York and Stamford Bridge to Brough, beside a beck running from Keld, or Skel, spring. The northern and western parish boundaries are largely formed by Black dike, which flows southwards towards the Beck in Thornton. The parish is almost entirely covered with outwash sand and gravel, but Keuper marl and sandstone, glacial sand and gravel, and alluvium form a small area in the north. The open fields lay north and east of the village on the sand and gravel, and an extensive common was situated on the low-lying sandy area in the west and south of the parish. The open fields and other common lands were enclosed in 1783. A large area to the east of the village was used by the Royal Air Force for Pocklington airfield, opened in 1941. The airfield ceased to be operational in 1946 and closed in 1965, to be partially converted to industrial and recreational uses; much has been reclaimed for agriculture.
The Roman road from Brough formed part of Barmby's southern boundary before it entered the parish near the village. The precise course of the branch to Stamford Bridge is now lost. The course of the York branch is, however, still followed by the main York-Hull road. The road was turnpiked in 1764 and the trust renewed until 1881. A tollbar was situated ½ mile west of the village near the house known in 1974 as Bar Farm; two mile-stones erected by the trust survive. The road was straightened south of the village in the late 1960s and in the west of the parish in 1974.
The church and the moated manor-house site stand together at the village centre. Further west many houses formerly stood along the margins of the common and its two wedge-shaped projections into the village. The personal names de and super viridi and 'of the green', used by eight inhabitants c. 1295, perhaps referred to the common. After the enclosure of the common in 1783 the projections were left as 'greens', one alongside the main street and the other around a parallel street beside the beck. The two streets are connected by short cross lanes on either side of the manor-house site, one of which was called Hall Spout in the mid 19th century.
The older houses date from the 18th and 19th centuries, and some of them have recently been renovated with Barmby's increasing popularity as a residential village.
There were 91 poll-tax payers in Barmby in 1377. Of the 79 households listed in the hearth-tax return of 1672 17 were exempt; of those that were chargeable 55 had a single hearth, 3 had 2, 2 had 3, and one each had 4 and 7 hearths. There were about 60 families in the parish in 1743 and 75 in 1764. From 321 in 1801 the population rose to 537 in 1861, but fell to 437 in 1881. After the transfer of part of the civil parish to Pocklington in 1901, Barmby's population was 442. Numbers increased from 455 to 548 in 1921-31. The increase to 787 in 1951 and decrease to 502 in 1961 presumably reflected the changing status of the airfield. Residential development resulted in an increase to 768 in 1971.

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Local Government

Surviving manorial court records consist of rolls for the period 1666-1941, surrenders and admissions for 1479-1900, minute books for 1860-99, and various other papers, mostly of the 19th century. A constable was mentioned in 1662 and 1711, and two affeerors in 1726. In the mid 18th century the officers included 2 constables, 3 bylawmen, and 2 pinders and moormen. Two affeerors and a pinder were referred to a century later.
There are churchwardens' accounts from 1822 onwards and accounts of the two highway surveyors for 1817-48. Barmby joined Pocklington poor-law union in 1836, and in 1852 eight poorhouses were sold by the guardians. The parish became part of Pocklington rural district in 1894 and the North Wolds district of Humberside in 1974.


Although not named, Barmby Moor was one of the chapels given by the king between 1100 and 1108, along with their mother-church of Pocklington, to the archbishop of York and York Minster. They were apparently assigned by the archbishop to the dean, and between c. 1119 and 1129 the king confirmed the assignment. Barmby was subsequently within the dean's peculiar jurisdiction. In 1252 a vicarage was ordained jointly at Barmby and Fangfoss, with provision that a minister be found for each church. Thereafter Barmby was a vicarage and Fangfoss a curacy. There were separate ministers in 1525-6, but from 1568 the vicarage and curacy were apparently always held by one man. Barmby and Fangfoss still constituted a united vicarage in 1974.
The advowson presumably belonged to the dean of York in the Middle Ages and later. In 1650 the Commonwealth held it, but the patronage was subsequently restored to the dean. When the rectory passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1844 the advowson was automatically vested in the archbishop of York, who was still the patron in 1974.
The vicar's income was £7 in 1525-6, and the living was valued at £5 6s. 8d. net in 1535. In 1650 the vicarage was worth £6. During the Interregnum £12 10s. rent, formerly received by the dean for the great tithes, was diverted to the living. The income was augmented by £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1777 and 1799. The average net income of the joint living in 1829-31 was £50 a year. The living was endowed with a rent-charge of £1 6s. 2d that formerly belonged to the dean in 1860, and with annual payments from the Common Fund of £24 and £166 in 1860 and 1862 respectively. The net value of the living was £270 in 1884 and £338 in 1915.
In 1252 the vicarage was assigned the small tithes. At enclosure in 1783 the vicar was awarded 23 a. and rent-charges of £2 1s. 2d in lieu of the tithes. Before enclosure the only glebe was a common right belonging to a house in Barmby. Between 1809 and 1817 Bounty money was used to buy 23 a. at Misson (Notts.). In 1860 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners transferred to the vicarage 9 a. formerly belonging to Barmby prebend and in 1863 39 a. formerly part of the rectory. In 1868 11 a. in Barmby were bought against the Common Fund annual grant, which was consequently reduced to £179. Seventy-three acres in Barmby were sold in 1920, 2 a. in 1964, and 7 a. in 1971. The glebe at Misson had also been sold by 1974.
The vicarage house at Barmby was in decay in the 1590s, possibly being rebuilt in the mid 17th century, but was ruinous again in 1684 and, by 1716 no longer existed. The house may have adjoined the churchyard where a glebe front stead and garth lay in the mid 18th century: in the 19th century the site was called the 'little churchyard'. In 1845 a grant was received from the Common Fund towards a residence, and a house was built in 1847 to the north of the village. In 1971 a new Vicarage was built in the grounds of the old one, which was called Northwood House in 1974.
There may have been a chantry in the church, for land in Barmby granted by the Crown in 1571 to Francis Barker and Thomas Browne included a chapel garth, and it was presumably the same garth which was sold in 1593 along with seven 'St. Catherine's headlands'.
Besides the vicar there, was a chaplain receiving £2 a year in 1525-6. Thereafter Barmby was probably often without a resident minister until the mid 19th century. The vicar was non-resident in the 1590s and in 1650. The church was being served by a stipendiary priest in 1691, and during the 18th and early 19th centuries the incumbent also held the vicarage of Thornton with Allerthorpe, residing in one of the latter villages. Barmby marriages consequently often took place at Thornton in the 18th century. The vicar of Barmby also held Pocklington with Yapham in 1835. Robert Taylor, vicar 1840-85, engaged the vicar of Pocklington to assist him in 1868 and was helped by the Revd. Frederick Gruggen, headmaster of Pocklington Grammar School, in 1871. Taylor, by will dated 1875, devised £400 to establish a trust for religious education. An assistant curate was appointed by 1877 but was not mentioned after 1894, when he was possibly responsible for Fangfoss.
There was a service once a fortnight in 1743, and Holy Communion was celebrated four times a year with about 56 communicants at Easter. A service was held weekly by 1851, and by 1865 there was an additional service on alternate Sundays. Communion was celebrated monthly in 1865, but the number of communicants on feast days had fallen to about 20. In 1894 there were two services a week, and communion was celebrated at least weekly in 1915. By 1974 there was one service every Sunday and two once a month.
The repair of ST. CATHERINE'S church was one of the objects of an indulgence granted in 1480, and a church at 'Barnby' was decayed in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. In 1552, the church had four bells, but this had been reduced to three by 1770.
The church was again in disrepair in 1570 and 1687. It was re-roofed c. 1787 and pews replaced in 1828. In 1831 it consisted of chancel, nave with south porch, west tower with spire, and had two Norman windows in the nave. The chancel door and a north door also had plain semicircular heads prior to rebuilding. A choir loft was repaired in the 1830s, and the church was largely rebuilt in 1850-2 by R. D. Chantrell. The old tower, with its stone spire, was, however, retained; it has a 15th-century upper stage and west window, but the un-buttressed lower stage is probably earlier. The new church of stone consists of an undivided chancel and nave, with north vestry and south porch; it is 14th-century in style with an elaborate timber roof. It is paved with tiles given by Herbert Minton of Stoke-upon-Trent, Robert Taylor's brother-in-law, and has a tiled Royal Arms above the vestry door. The fittings include an octagonal stone font given by Delia Duncombe in 1852. A stoup in the tower stood near the south door until c. 1840 and later in the Vicarage garden. There is an ornate brass lectern in memory of the Revd. Frederick Gruggen (d. 1872), and a plain mural tablet, by Fisher of York.
In 1874 a cottage, garth, and blacksmith's shop were bought by Robert Taylor and settled upon trustees to provide income for repairs to the church. St. Catherine's House was built on the site shortly afterwards. It was sold in 1953, and the following year the fund had £1,628 stock.
The registers begin in 1720; those of baptisms and burials are complete, but the marriage registers lack entries for 1811-13. A worn rectangular stone erected near the south door may be a medieval gravestone, and the churchyard also contains about 60 Royal Air Force graves.


In 1664 five recusants from Barmby were mentioned. A Quaker meetinghouse was licensed in 1707 and in 1743 there was a Quaker family in the parish. In 1779 an Independent meeting-house was registered. The Methodists had 12 members at Barmby in 1787, 9 in 1788, increasing to 26 in 1818.
A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was registered in 1807; rebuilt on an enlarged site in 1869, it was still in use in 1974.
Houses registered for dissenting worship in 1812 and 1820, and a building licensed for use as a chapel in 1825, may have been Primitive Methodist meeting-places; a Primitive Methodist 'chapel' certainly existed in 1831. Registered in 1834, it was presumably a new chapel, but it closed in the 1930s and was used as a dwelling-house by 1974.


In 1743 there was a school at Barmby in which the parish clerk gave religious instruction. Twenty children were taught in an un-endowed school in 1819. A schoolmaster teaching reading, writing, and accounts to 8-12 children was employed in 1824 by the trustees of the Poor's Land charity, who also provided coal, stationery, and books. In 1835 there were two schools in which 38 pupils were taught at their parents' expense. There were two dame schools in 1844 and a private school conducted by a master at Barmby. In 1845 a National school and master's house were built on a site given by Arthur Duncombe, who also contributed £180 towards the cost.
Between 1906 and 1938 attendance was usually about 70, though it fell to 55 in 1918 and rose to 87 in 1931. The school was enlarged to accommodate 140 children in 1934, but in 1955 the senior pupils were transferred to Pocklington and the school was reorganized as a junior and infants' school. The first part of a new school on a site in the north of the village was opened in 1974, when the old building was also still used, having 84 pupils on the roll.

Economic History

At the Conquest the 7¼ carucate archiepiscopal estate at Barmby was held with 3 carucates at Millington as one manor. There was land for 6 ploughs in 1086, and 15 villeins had 9 ploughs there. The estate was worth £5 in 1066 but only £2 in 1086.
There was a windmill at Barmby c. 1295.
The prebendary of Barmby had 6 bovates, together with three flats containing 28 a., in demesne c. 1295. Five free tenants paid nominal rents and 5s for five tofts and 4 a. Thirty-one villeins held 60 bovates, paying £7 10s. rent and rendering poultry and eggs at Christmas and Easter, generally at the rate of 2 cocks or hens and 23 eggs to the bovate; they also owed hay-making and hay-carting works, the duty of carting the lord's fuel and timber 'within Derwent', and arbitrary relief and merchet. Twenty-seven cottars held 32 tofts, a croft, and 3½ a. for about £1 10s., as well as poultry and eggs, usually giving 23 eggs for each toft. They also owed haymaking service and a day's work at harvest-time, worth 1d, and were bound to work for the lord from Michaelmas to Lammas for 1d a day.
No open field is named until 1479, when South field was mentioned; it then included land called the Sandholmes. By 1690 South field had apparently been renamed Great field, which included a 'long sandome'. It was, however, more commonly known as Hodsow field by the 1780s, when it occupied most of the parish to the south of the Barmby-Pocklington road. East and West fields were mentioned in 1649 but were called Broat and Furland fields by 1690. In the 1770s Broat field lay north-east and Furland, later Farland, field northwest of the village.
The moor of Barmby was estimated in 1691 to comprise about 1,000 a. and to support 400 horses, several hundred sheep, and other 'beasts' in summer; the pasture was then unstinted. From 1655 part of the common was let by the lord as a rabbit warren. By a draft lease of 1718 the lord agreed to build a warrener's house, to stock the warren with 600 pairs of rabbits, and to bear the cost of restocking up to 300 pairs in the event of any 'general rot'. A warrener was mentioned in 1738, and Greenland Warren survives as a place-name in the south of the parish. Parts of the common may have been temporarily cultivated in the 18th century, when rape was being grown on pared and burnt ground, and sainfoin in closes. On the eve of enclosure 45 tenants had 74 common rights in the common, which included all the parish south of the York road and west of the present Stamford Bridge road, and also extended to the east of the latter road. Beast-gates mentioned in the 17th century were enjoyed in the stinted Ox pasture. Great and Keld spring common pastures lay respectively north-west and north-east of the village in the 18th century.
In the case of the prebendary, dean, and vicar the costs of enclosure were met by the deduction and sale of a proportion of their allotments; Jane Wilmer's 206 a. thus included a 28-acre purchase of lands originally allotted to the prebendary. Other proprietors apparently opted to pay their shares of the costs in cash. In the 19th and early 20th centuries there were generally 20-30 farmers in Barmby, of whom 4-6 had 150 a. or more in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1801 only 233 a. in Barmby were returned as under crops. By the mid 19th century parts of the former common had been afforested and were known as Elston and Gray's plantations. By the late 19th century Barmby was noted for the cultivation of carrots, and there was a carrot and potato dealer until at least 1937. Arable was still predominant in the 1930s and later, but some waste land remains in the west of the parish and on the former airfield.
Barmby reputedly had a weekly market before 1823, when an annual fair was held.
Weavers at Barmby were mentioned in the 1390s and in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Hemp pits on the former common were used for retting flax for a Pocklington mill. In the 1920s and 1930s the repairing of agricultural machinery provided employment, and one or two garages and a refreshment room were opened beside the trunk road. There were gravel pits in the north-east of the parish in the mid 19th century, and the farmer at Barmby Grange extracted sand and gravel commercially in the early 20th century. There was a building firm in Barmby by 1929. The former airfield was developed as an industrial estate during the 1960s, and existing and new buildings were used by about 15 firms in 1974 for light and civil engineering, warehousing, and fuel storage.

Manor and Estates

Ulf, the son of Torall a prince of Deira, gave Barmby to York Minster before 1066, and 7 carucates and 2 bovates there were held by the archbishop in 1086, but by 1198 was granted to John le Poer for the service of providing an archer to defend York castle.



The estate was assigned to the prebend of Barmby, presumably at its formation before 1233.The prebendal manor of BARMBY UPON THE MOOR was apparently in hand in 1479 and for much of the 16th century, but it was usually let from the 1570s.The manor passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1847 upon a voidance of the prebend and was sold to Arthur Duncombe in 1853, along with 149 a. of land.
The house was mentioned c. 1295 and the prebendary had a fishpond in the 1340s, perhaps a reference to the moat which surrounded the house. The present house, now called Barmby Manor, was extended in the late 17th century with the addition of the kitchen wing. At the same time the west front was rebuilt with brick pilasters and an enriched doorcase. Further alterations took place in the early 19th century, when part of the main chimney stack was removed to create an entrance hall and the main range was increased in depth to provide for a staircase. Later in the century much 17th and 18th century panelling was introduced, at least some of it coming from the old church.

The majority of the information on this page has been reproduced from:

The Victoria County History - 'Barmby Moor ', A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume III: Ouse and Derwent wapentake, and part of Harthill wapentake (1976), pp. 140-47,

...with kind permission of the Executive Editor.

Web site link: Victoria County History

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