Local History Group


[Find here info on annual history days, publications and our regular monthly meetings]

The Local History Group meets monthly (on the third Tuesday of the month) to explore various aspects of history in the local area (scroll down for the meetings diary).  At some meetings we invite a guest speaker to join us and share knowledge and expertise; at others we discuss current and future projects, including major exhibitions on a selected theme.  Occasional Saturday morning coffee sessions in The Grapes pub enable us to talk informally to older residents who recall earlier times in the village and enable us to record their experiences.  Local walks, led by an expert, help us understand the way our landscape has been shaped, or identify aspects of natural history (birds, wild flowers).  Special visits, for example to the North Yorkshire Archive, are also arranged to inspect historical material relevant to our projects.

Since our inception in 2011 we have organised Local History Days on the following topics:

2011 – Various displays on the church, castle and brick kiln

2012 – Farming (with re-enactment of agricultural hirings and talks)

2013 – Local businesses (excluding farming)

2014 – Slingsby and war

2015 – Entertainments in Slingsby

[2016 – No exhibition]

2017 – Ursula and Lionel Lascelles exhibition + launch of Farming in Slingsby book and Village Trail.

Full details of our local history exhibitions are HERE

Local History Group MEMBERS! Planning information is HERE

In 2017 our main focus was to prepare an open exhibition on Ursula and Lionel Lascelles, sister and brother who lived in Slingsby for many years.  Ursula died in 1992, aged 102, and left a wonderful scrapbook and journal of her time in the area, including fascinating information about her experiences as a nurse during World War II, snippets of local gossip, and photographs and drawings.  On the same day, we launched our latest book: Farming in Slingsby Parish, Then and Now, in Words and Pictures, compiled by LHG member David Thornley, and also a Village Trail for visitors, suggesting a walking route around the village with brief notes on the many interesting buildings and features.  The exhibition took place in the Village Hall on Saturday 18 March.

Another current project is Feeding Slingsby, a look at local recipes and food-related activities in the past.  Anyone with a traditional recipe or memory of parties and feasts in the village is invited to share their memories with us.

A future idea is to produce some information about Slingsby Castle for residents and visitors.

For further information about the Local History Group contact Margaret Mackinder at family@mackinders.demon.co.uk or tel. 01653 697010 or come along to a meeting.  You will be very welcome.

Read on for Publications and Meetings Diary



Farming in Slingsby Parish

This is a large book of 120 A4 pages and includes a wealth of information about local farms and farmers, plus a lot of history of the area – not only farming.  It is in colour and has over 200 photos.

Available from the Village Shop or direct from David Thornley (01653 627210), price £12.

Slingsby Then and Now

Using the same format as the above farming book, this earlier publication of 98 pages describes the wide range of people and businesses around Slingsby in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Available from the Village Shop or direct from David Thornley (01653 627210), price £12.

Slingsby Village Trail

This is a free leaflet pointing out village landmarks with a brief history.  It describes a trail around the village identifying some of the historical and architectural features.  Pocket-sized and in colour, it opens up into a large but manageable sheet for the walk.

The Trail leaflet is free and can be obtained from the Village Shop, All Saints Church, The Grapes Inn or the two caravan sites. 

Guide to All Saints Church, for adults

Guide to All Saints Church, for children

These two colourful guides give the history of the church and point out the key features.

The adults’ guide costs £2.50 and the children’s guide 75p.  Both are available from the church.

Slingsby, Fryton and South Holme Photo-DVD

This DVD contains over 1,100 photographs of Slingsby, Fryton and South Holme over the past 100+ years.  It will play on a normal DVD player such as that connected to an ordinary television.  It plays for over 2 hours and may be paused/resumed just like any other film.

Available from David Thornley (01653 627210) for £5.

Village Design Statement

This is an online planning document offering advice to builders and residents on acceptable design features that preserve the special character of Slingsby, Fryton and South Holme.

It may be viewed via this link:



Local History Meetings Diary 2018

Meetings of Slingsby Local History Group will generally be on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, except August. Meetings normally take place in the Village Hall at 7.30 p.m. All welcome. Entrance £1.00 to cover hall hire, or from £2.50 when there is an arranged speaker. There are also Saturday morning discussions and outdoor walks to look at historic features.

[For external lectures in Malton and Helmsley, look here.]

TUESDAY 16TH JANUARY 2018, 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room.

What we know about the 17th Century Castle at Slingsby  – the second half of our review of information about the castle by Kate Giles and Margaret Mackinder. (£1 per head).

SATURDAY 17TH FEBRUARY 2018, 11 a.m.

Interpreting the landscape around Slingsby Castle. How the land might have looked and been used from early medieval times. (£1).   As the first of several speakers we should like to hear on this topic, we welcome back Steve Moorhouse to explore the area around the castle, finishing at The Grapes for an optional  sandwich lunch. (Please let Margaret know in advance, by email: mailto:family@mackinders.demon.co.uk or 01653 697010 so we can book tables.)

Please note that it will be cold in the area of the castle and sportsfield at this time of year. Those attending are strongly advised to wear warm windproof clothing and stout shoes. This is the best time of year to view topographical features without obscuring tree cover, hence the need to do this session now.  

TUESDAY 20th MARCH 2018, 7.30 pm in the Village Hall committee room ( please use kitchen entrance). This is a working meeting to take the castle project further and plan summer events and visits. Please bring anything interesting you may have or have found recently about the castle, and any ideas you may have about how we present the information we have, and have yet to collect. Meeting open to all. £1 

Our meetings are open so please feel free to join us.

Local History Meetings Archive



There has been a church on the site of All Saints Parish Church close to Slingsby castle for at least a thousand years. The present church contains medieval remains and monuments from earlier buildings and is itself a monument to the rich history of Slingsby.  English Heritage is encouraging churches all over the country to embrace other activities in order to justify their continued existence, now that church membership is so small. Keeping them open just for worship alone is not affordable or justifiable.

Both local people and the many visitors to the village want to know more about the castle and other local features, so it is aimed to create an exhibition area for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. This would involve minimal change inside the building, which can still continue to be used for worship and for other purposes. The exhibitions would involve local history, information about the Castle and all other aspects of village life, such as wildlife, social history, archaeology, trees, arts and crafts.


The Time Capsule

A time capsule was buried in the foundation stone when All Saints Church was substantially rebuilt in 1867. Slingsby PCC obtained permission to excavate the capsule. The exploration by an accredited stonemason took place on Saturday 28th February 2015.

For the results of the excavation and details of the new time capsule, please look here




Click above for a short video of part of the 2011 Local History Weekend.




Below is an edited verson of the recording of residents’ memories (made in the Grapes in December 2012) about Slingsby during the Second World War.