Local History Group


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

NEW175 years of bird-spotting around Slingsby and Fryton” [including the full list of birds, as referred to in the Slingsby Ornithologists article in the August 2020 Triangle]

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, wildflowers).  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 a 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.

[2018-2021 – No exhibition]

Full details of our local history exhibitions are HERE

Local History Group MEMBERS! Planning information is HERE

In 2018 the Local History Group collected and presented more information about Slingsby Castle, both the medieval castle and its later 17th-century successor. The information available so far can be read on the Slingsby Castle webpage HERE. This project culminated in a fascinating presentation by an MA student at the University of York who had designed virtual images of how the two castles would actually have looked in the context of the village at the time. [In December 2019, display boards illustrating full information about Slingsby Castle were erected inside the church.]

In February 2018 the Group welcomed Steve Moorhouse, a visiting research fellow at Leeds University with a particular interest in the interpretation of medieval landscapes. This was an outdoor visit to look at the area of original parkland around the castle. His initial thoughts can also be seen on the Slingsby Castle webpage.

In 2019 the Group turned its attention to the churchyard following a decision a few years ago not to mow the grass in some areas to encourage a greater variety of wild plants. Three ecologists from the charity Caring for God’s Acre, which promotes the care and conservation of all types of burial grounds, led two workshops on the identification and protection of wildlife species, fauna and flora in the churchyard, one session for adults and one for children and their families. The survey revealed a minimum of seven types of grasses and forty-three different flowering plants, not including trees. The Group has prepared an information board in the churchyard and a leaflet presenting these findings.

In October 2019 a workshop with archaeologist Professor Harold Mytum of Liverpool University helped us to understand and record our gravestones. He introduced his newly updated recording methodology and guided us in identifying and making sense of some of the key features of grave monuments, shedding light on the fascinating story of how and why commemoration has changed over time.
The Group made a number of visits during 2019: to Bolsover Castle and Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, to Newcastle Cathedral (designed by the same architect as Slingsby Church), and a town tour of Malton.

In 2020 the Group began work on the history of education in Ryedale. This will be exploring how education worked from the 18th century until the 1960s.

For further information about the Local History Group contact Kate Giles at [email protected] or come along to a meeting. You will be very welcome.

Read on for Publications and Meetings Diary



NEW101 photographs, 101 years” – 100 old black and white photographs, plus one on the cover, taken from 1864 to 1965. All have been digitally restored in 2020. The fourth of a series by Slingsby Local History Group. [Published July 2020]

Available from David Thornley (01653 627210) or email [email protected] or from the Village Shop, price £9. Any profits go to support the work of the Group and the village.

Slingsby – A Miscellany in Words and Pictures – The Stories of Prominent Events and People of Slingsby Parish over the last 100 years.

The third in a series by Slingsby Local History Group, this is a book of 64 pages containing 136 pictures, many of which have not been seen before. The chapters are: Ursula Lascelles; Reverend Arthur St Clair Brooke; the Indian Cricket Connection; Lionel Lascelles; Miss Fitzwilliam at Slingsby Hall; Slingsby At War; the Old Co-op; Memories of the Railway.

The two earlier books in the series (below) are currently out of print. Feel free to express an interest as they may be reprinted.

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. [Published 2017]

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 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. [Published May 2018].

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 maybe 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 2022

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 further information about the Local History Group contact Kate Giles at [email protected] or come along to a meeting.  You will be very welcome.

If you wish to receive regular news of meetings by email, please sign-up to do so at any meeting.

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

Forthcoming Slingsby Local History Group Meetings

NEW In 2022, the group is returning to regular activities which have started this year with a look at some of our archive material, which is being catalogued, and a talk on pub names and their history. We are planning another meeting to look at old maps of the village in April, and a have booked members of the group on a guided tour of Byland Abbey in May which is now fully booked.

For our maps and deeds evening: Tuesday 26th April at 7.30 pm.

Venue to be confirmed by email to members and on the Village Website. This will feature documents from our collection. An open meeting in which everyone is invited to come and look and find out how the village has changed and who owned what from the late 17th century onwards.  

Jubilee Weekend: Starting Thursday 2nd June: We shall be putting on an exhibition of Jubilee memorabilia in the village hall. If you have interesting items to contribute to this please contact David Thornley (Tel. 01653 627210). The exhibition will be looked after by a rota of members and helpers over the time it is open. If you can help with this, please let us know. 

Tuesday  21st  June  7pm- Assemble outside Fern Cottage, outside The Grapes.

A guided Village walk to the northern end of Railway Street to look at the former water mill sites and the boundaries of the medieval park and talk about things of historic interest in that part of the village. Led by Kate and Margaret.

July / August: Group trips to Markenfield Hall near Ripon, and The Bowes Museum are currently being arranged.


Our meetings are generally 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.

A project, with Heritage Lottery Fund support, is under way to create a new Local History Resource Centre and exhibition area in the north aisle of the church.


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 version of the recording of residents’ memories about Slingsby during the Second World War. cording of residents’ memories. The discussion was recorded in The Grapes – December 2012.

Discover more from The Slingsby Village Website

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