Local History Group meetings archive

Local History Meetings Archive 2020

Tuesday 17th March – Slingsby Village Hall Committee Room. 7.30 pm.
History of Education in Ryedale. Kate and Margaret were to review this: how education worked from the 18th century until the 1960s. including Kate’s insights about the activities of Ishmael Fish, Following the Plough etc.

Saturday 1st February 2020, 10.30 am at The Grapes Slingsby .
Coffee meeting to discuss our education project and to invite memories of Slingsby school form all who attended up until the present time. Discussion of further ideas for interviews/research. Coffee and cake. £3.

Local History Meetings Archive 2019

Saturday 7 Dec 2019 – Tour of church and talk by Dr Dav Smith, followed by our regular pre-Christmas get-together in the Grapes.

Tuesday 15th October 2019: LHG working meeting
26 October 2019: Local History Fair at Sheriff Hutton for local history groups in the area.

TUESDAY 16TH JULY 2019 – MALTON TOWN TOUR AND SPECIAL VIEWING OF NEW MALTON MUSEUM EXHIBITION. [Malton Museum now gives guided tours of the town at least once a month in the summer, led by trained guides. The tours cover the general history of the town and identify key places in the town centre linked to the town’s 2,000-year history. They last about 60 – 90 minutes.] This was a special tour led my Margaret and Kate. There was an opportunity to see the new exhibition, Malton Horse Power which covers the history of the horse around Malton from the Iron Age, the Roman Cavalry Fort and the town’s very important role in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in the development of modern horse racing. There is also a new general history exhibition illustrated with items from the Museum’s own collections.
Caring for Gods Acre is an organisation which promotes the care and conservation of all types of burial grounds. A group from the charity led a workshop on identification and protection of wildlife species, fauna and flora in the churchyard. A session for adults took place in the morning at 11 a.m. and a session for school children and families to took place in the afternoon at 3.30 p.m. The contact was [email protected] on 01588 673041.
7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room. Dr Chris Churches continued the tale of this influential Slingsby family, investigating the accuracy of some of the popular stories about the descendants of Robert Ward, while revealing other interesting facts.

7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall (Main Hall).
Dr Jim Leary from the Department of Archaeology, York University gave a talk on his work on Prehistoric Round Mounds, most famously Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, and most recently Skipsea in East Yorkshire; thought to be a medieval motte but possibly with earlier origins.

Jim had just joined the Department of Archaeology at York from the University of Reading. He previously worked for English Heritage.

TUESDAY 15TH JANUARY – Working Meeting – 7.30 p.m. in The Village Hall Committee Room. Projects and ideas for publications, update on Castle investigations and other matters.

Local History Meetings Archive 2017/18

Saturday 8th December 2018 – Medieval Ghosts
Our annual Christmas coffee and mince pie meeting at the Grapes Inn Slingsby
At the end of the 14th century a medieval monk at Byland Abbey who was supposed to be looking for examples of heresy, recorded a series of ghost stories which he was told by local people, set in the surrounding villages which will be familiar to many of us. The stories are well known, and have inspired other writers such as M R James, as well as recent historians of the medieval supernatural.
Is your name Snowball? Have you had an eerie experience between Gilling and Ampleforth? Lost any silver spoons near Newburgh Priory? Had any problems with unquiet spirits at Heslerton?
Kate read us some of these stories and suggested what they tell us about late medieval North Yorkshire.

Tuesday 20th November – Bethany Watrous, an MA Buildings Archaeology student at the University, worked with Kate on creating a virtual reconstruction of Slingsby Castle, as it was originally envisaged and designed by the architect Robert Smythson for Charles Cavendish (I), based on analysis of the original drawings held by RIBA and other sites such as Caverswall Castle (Staffordshire) and the actual castle, built by John Smithson for Charles Cavendish (II).
Beth showed us the castle in its landscape context, and reappraised its relationship to High Street and the medieval – and current – village layout and its commanding view across what is now the Sports Field and the Lawns.

Tuesday 16 October – Influential Slingsby Characters: Robert Ward (and the Ward family) and the Revd. St. Clair Brooke. Talk by Chris Churches and David Thornley.

Wednesday 18th July 2018 An opportunity to visit Shandy Hall, Coxwold, home of Lawrence Sterne, author of ‘Tristram Shandy’.
Private tour of the house and garden by Director, Patrick Wildgust. Plus one Patrick’s really creative activities inspired by Tristram Shandy – his moth trapping activity.

Tuesday 19th June. Steve Moorhouse – an illustrated lecture on Slingsby Castle and its landscape. At 7 p.m. in the main hall of the Village Hall.

Tuesday 15th May: Outdoor meeting: an evening walk led by Kate Giles, Margaret Mackinder and John Clayton to look at and talk about some of the village’s listed buildings and other historic features around the Village Conservation Area, including trees and landscape in general. We started on The Green and progressed down Railway Street to look at some of the buildings in that area which we had not looked at before.

Tuesday 17th April. How times have changed: a brief history of Malton. Margaret Mackinder gave an illustrated history talk developed for Malton Museum. This included interesting old maps of Malton, general history of the town and information about some of interesting characters and businesses. 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room. (Entrance £2 to enable a small donation to be made towards the Museum finances).

TUESDAY 20th MARCH 2018, 7.30 pm in the Village Hall committee room. This was a working meeting to take the castle project further and plan summer events and visits.

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 welcomed back Steve Moorhouse to explore the area around the castle, finishing at The Grapes for an optional sandwich lunch. This is the best time of year to view topographical features without obscuring tree cover.

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, 2 December 2017, 10.30am in The Grapes with coffee and mince pies (£3).  A discussion around memories of Slingsby School.

Tuesday, 21 November, 7.30pm in the Village Hall Committee Room.  Kate Giles and Margaret Mackinder gave an overview of everything we know about the medieval Slingsby Castle. (The 17th century “castle” will be covered on 16 January 2018).  Consideration was given to what future projects we might undertake on the Castle.

Tuesday, 17 October: Simon Conyers gave an interesting talk on wildlife, fauna and flora in Slingsby and the changes that have occurred in recent decades.

Tuesday, 17 September: Dav Smith from York University gave an update on his research into Slingsby Church, including material from the archives and newspapers.  He also gave some interesting insights into what people thought about the rebuilding.

Thursday 10 AUGUST  – Daytime trip to the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York to discover what is held there about Slingsby.

Saturday 3rd JUNE, 10am Slingsby Green – Morning Walk to examine the flora of Slingsby. The Slingsby area was once renowned for its wildflowers and variety of other plants in the hedgerows. Sadly that time has long gone, but Simon Conyers, who is a professional botanist, whose expertise is wildflower meadows and their conservation and promotion, will help us to identify what can still be found, so we can update the records.

SATURDAY 6 MAY 1030am, Slingsby Church – Talk and tour of All Saints Church Slingsby by Dav Smith, who has completed his doctoral research on the rebuilding and alteration of Slingsby and the other principal Street Parish churches during the Victorian period. There were extra expert contributions from other local history group members. 10.30 a.m. start, with coffee. Open to all – Donations in aid of church roof fund welcome.

TUESDAY 18th APRIL, 7.30pm Village Hall Committee Room. This was a working meeting to consider our next project and look at some recently researched information about Slingsby and Slingsby connections, namely:

John Close, who is commemorated in two All Saints’ Church and was three times Lord Mayor of York. We presented information about his connections with Slingsby, correcting a few myths, but revealing more detail about him. Based on recent research by a York LH group.

Also information about Robert J. Johnson the Victorian Architect who designed All Saints’ Church, and who is now considered to be the foremost High Victorian architect of his era, working exclusively in the North. He was responsible for the late 19th Century work at Castle Howard, including major re-ordering of the chapel, and for much civic and ecclesiastical architecture in and around Newcastle upon Tyne.

SATURDAY 18th MARCH, 10.30am to 2pm Slingsby Village Hall – Small exhibition on the Lascelles, to launch various publications.

Launch of our latest book, Slingsby Farming Then and Now.  We also launched our new Village Trail (A Guide for Residents and Visitors) which points out the significant buildings and features of historical interest about Slingsby village.

There was a small exhibition of short extracts from the Ledger of Ursula Lascelles – reflections on Slingsby life. Ursula Mary Lascelles lived in Slingsby for pretty well all the 102 years of her life, through much of which she kept a ledger with cuttings comments on local events and her own drawings.

TUESDAY 17th JANUARY 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room. Working meeting to plan our 18 March open day. Review of work on Ursula and Lionel Lascelles and ‘Feeding Slingsby’ Project. Review of Local History section of village website.

SATURDAY 21st JANUARY, The GRAPES INN. 10.30 a.m. to 12.p.m.  with Coffee and Cake. (cost £3.00)
Discussion about Lionel Lascelles ( brother of Ursula ) with a small number of people  who remember him, with an opportunity to see several of his paintings.

TUESDAY 21st FEBRUARY 7.30 pm. Slingsby Village Hall – A talk by Dr Melanie Giles: “The Iron Age past of Slingsby and East Yorkshire”.

This illustrated talk shed light on the fascinating Iron Age archaeology of Slingsby, including its barrow cemetery and possible chariot burial, which Mel set in the wider context of East Yorkshire’s prehistoric past. She also shared with us exciting news about some of her most recent archaeological discoveries, such as the Acklam warrior.

Dr Mel Giles, is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester University, author of ‘A Forged Glamour: Landscape, Identity and Material Culture in the Iron Age’, and contributor to BBC History programmes, A History of Ancient Britain, Meet the Ancestors and Channel 4’s Murder in the Iron Age.

Local History Meetings Archive 2016  [2013-15 follow]

TUESDAY 12th JANUARY 2016 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room. A working meeting on the Village Trail.

Slingsby Birdwatch feedback meeting. Geoff Myers, who has a keen eye for wildlife and knows a lot about birds and other mammals around the area, agreed to come and help us analyse our results from a Slingsby bird watch which we did in January so we can make comparisons with earlier records and record what is in the and around the village now.

Helmsley Archaeological and Historical Society:
‘The Origins of York’ a talk by Dr Mark Wyman at 7.30 p.m.at the
North York Moors National Park Committee Room, Bondgate Helmsley

Friends of Malton museum: ‘Waterloo and some Yorkshire Connections’, a talk by Paul Bunyee, at 7.30 p.m. in the library in the East Wing of Malton School .

An outdoor meeting is planned to locate and study some of the scheduled ancient monument sites at the south side of the village, followed by lunch in The Grapes for those would like it.
Further details about meeting place and time TBA. See next Triangle or watch the Slingsby Website.

Friends of Malton Museum: The Morfitt Family Feud. a talk by Bryan Sitch. 7.30 p.m. in the Library, the East Wing of Malton School.


For the coming year it is proposed to include further study of Slingsby Castle with a view to providing more accurate public information for the village and its visitors.

“Slingsby Then and Now”

19th & 20th Century Businesses in Slingsby – Book

Following our Local History Day in March 2013 on Shops and Businesses  in Slingsby, David Thornley has expanded and edited all the various contributions to form a book which was published in April 2014. It went to its 4th print in Autumn 2014. If you would like a copy email [email protected]




We held a very successful Local History Day on Saturday 9 March 2013 on the subject of “Shops and other non-farming businesses in Slingsby”. Many thanks to all who researched, helped and provided the exhibits for that event. This has been compiled into a book (see above).

Tuesday 16th April 2013 – We heard an edited verson of the recording of residents’ memories (made in the Grapes in December) about Slingsby during the Second World War.   We also discussed forthcoming research.


Tuesday 17th September 2013

Slingsby Local History Group resumed its Autumn schedule focusing on wartime Slingsby, with a talk by Peter Braithwaite and Martin White on recording war memorials and the Slingsby war memorial boards.

Tuesday 26th November 2013: 7 30 p.m. in the village Hall Committee Room. Looked at final drafts for Shops and Businesses book and looked forward to the 2014 event for which those of us who visited Eden Camp in the summer also have various ideas which we hope might be taken further.

Saturday 7th December 2013 at 10. 30 a.m. in the small parlour at The Grapes.  There were mince pies and coffee as Freda Ware talked about her wartime memories and brought along her records about the school , evacuees etc. for us to look at and discuss. It was well attended and Peter Smithson also contributed some very interesting information.


Tuesday 28th January 2014 7.30 p.m. Village Hall Committee room.

Working meeting to plan and present initial findings from research for Local history event in April.

Tuesday 25th February 7.30 p.m. Village Hall Committee room – working meeting.

Tuesday 25th March 2014 Slingsby Village Hall. 7.30 p.m.  Any old bullets? Clues from English fields about fighting, training and hunting, c1640 to 1945. A talk by David Harding.

Many kinds of lead balls, bullets, brass cartridge cases and gunflints can be found in the English countryside, by metal detecting or by eye. This talk introduces the main kinds that might be found in the Slingsby area, with special reference to the English Civil Wars, Napoleonic Wars, the Rifle Volunteers of the late 19th century, and both World Wars. Such finds can provide irreplaceable evidence about fighting, training and the shooting sports in your area.

David Harding is a native of York, with ancestors from all three Ridings, though sadly none so far traced at Slingsby. After taking a degree in English at Oxford he served as an officer in 10th Gurkha Rifles in Hong Kong, also on attachment to The Queen’s Regiment in Belfast, and in The Yorkshire Volunteers at York. Since 1978 he has worked as a non-fiction book editor in London, to support independent historical research and authorship, chiefly on aspects of military small arms and the British-Indian armies. One of his books has sold over 360,000 copies to date, in 25 editions and 15 languages. Another has won three unsolicited awards, including the prestigious Templer Medal of the Society for Army Historical Research. In 2012 he published what has become the standard work on lead shot from the English Civil Wars to be found in English fields. He has more than 50 years’ experience of shooting, from his early days at school in York and he later represented Yorkshire, Oxford University, 10th Gurkhas, the Regular Army and the Territorial Army. Since 1969 he has shot with antique muzzle-loading muskets and rifles for research purposes.

29th March A morning visit to Castle Howard, to see the exhibition ‘Duty Calls. Castle Howard in time of War’.

26 April 2014 Annual Exhibition:  WARTIME SLINGSBY:  A look at Slingsby’s wartime connections from Medieval times up until the Second World War.  A one day event in Slingsby Village Hall and Slingsby Church. Exhibition, talks and recording sessions of Second World War memories of Slingsby.

Slingsby was a military training centre and there were munitions storage areas around the area. Those who were teenagers remember the atmosphere and life in the village then. Some may also remember their parents talking about what life was like in the first world war when Slingsby lost many of its young men of combat age. We hope to cover all aspects of life including what happened on farms, food, music, entertainment etc. Our aim is to collect  and capture information for future generations before it is forgotten.

Tuesday 27 May 2014 – Working meeting in the Village Hall committee room.

Saturday 7 June, 11am to 3pm, Slingsby churchyard, Specialist photography session, .

Dr Gareth Beale, of the Centre for Digital Heritage at the University of York, will run a training session on using innovative digital photographic techniques to record gravestones, monuments and other church and churchyard memorials. (Coffee and biscuits will be provided. Bring a sandwich for lunch.)  Places will be limited as we know some camera clubs are also interested, so if you are interested, please reserve your place by emailing Kate ( [email protected]) Tickets will be limited to 25.

Tuesday 22nd July 2014, 7.30pm Slingsby Village Hall.

Kate Giles will give a talk on The Middleham Jewel and Richard III.

It will explore the story of the discovery, sale and acquisition of the Middleham Jewel by the Yorkshire Museum and explore new interpretations of its meaning and significance in relation to Richard III and Middleham Castle.


Margaret reported: We have been out and about in October looking at lumps and bumps in the open spaces around Slingsby to try to identify what they are, and record them before memories fade. The first outing was thwarted by heavy rain so we worked on maps in The Grapes and marked on the features which Peter Smithson could remember or had heard talked about when he was a boy, but which have now disappeared. It was followed up a week later by a walk around the castle / sports field and moat with Peter and Stephen Prest. Many thanks to Stephen for letting us in to investigate the part of the moat which belongs to Castle Farm.

The heavy limestone walls are more visible on the west side of the moat. Are these the outer walls / ramparts of the original medieval castle? There are also the remains of other walls, now almost buried to the south west of the moat, which enclose another large area of land to the west. We intend to find out more about this and have a talk next spring from an expert in this field.

We walked along the northern part of the sports field and observed the very uneven land just south of the Wath Beck and tracked the line of the original gutter which took water to the moat and ran along the western side of the sports field and bowling green. This has now mainly disappeared. It is difficult now to imagine how this worked as at first glance the levels are misleading. The potential lower level of the ditch only becomes apparent as you walk westwards on the sports field along the edge of the beck.

Peter Smithson also showed us where the communal village sheep wash was. Years ago all the farmers washed their sheep in the stream near to the lawns bridge at a specially constructed platform which they had built. If you look westwards from The Lawns Bridge upstream towards Fryton, you will see a concrete platform on the banks which looks like the remnant of a bridge. The concrete blocks supported a temporary bridge under which the sheep had to be pushed to completely submerge them. A man stood on an alcove dug out of the north bank just beyond the concrete and pulled them round on to dry land on the north side of the beck. If you look carefully in the water you may just be able to see the worn pathway in the bed of the stream. The sheep were then collected up on the field where the Mowbray Oak tree is located.

21st October 2014 – Visit to Malton Museum

The group made a special evening visit to Malton Museum in October to hear about their plans and learn about the outreach work they do, and to look at the small, but very informative permanent and temporary displays they have about Malton history. The work done by the volunteers to catalogue the museum’s extensive collections is now about complete and is truly impressive. We hope to be able to forge closer links with them and make use, if possible, of some of their collection in our own local history events. Very many thanks to Margaret Shaw for hosting a very interesting evening for us. The displays are open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibitions change and there are also special events and workshops form time to time. The Friends of Malton Museum also run a series of interesting monthly evening talks on history subject relevant to the area. Details of these will be put up on the village website under Local History.

Tuesday 25th November 2014 Chris Churches updated us on her researches about the Ward family; on this occasion, Captain William Robert Ward.

Saturday 6th December 2014 – 10.30 a.m. Coffee and Mince pies in the parlour in The Grapes for a discussion and questions (to those who remember) on our next theme for research: ‘How Slingsby spent its leisure time in the past’ (clubs, entertainments, societies, etc.). This also enabled us to identify things to research for our annual local history event on 25th April 2015.


Saturday January 31st 2015 – A continuation of our December discussions exploring memories of how people in Slingsby entertained themselves, clubs societies and other activities from the second world war onwards. Come along and share your memories, or just listen.
The Grapes Inn 10.30 a.m. for coffee and discussion for an hour.

17th [NB NOT 24th] February 2015: An evening working meeting with an update on our findings for the Local History event, and to plan the event. 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room.

Tuesday 17th March at 7.30pm
A working meeting to update as necessary on work for the local history event. Sarah Maultby, who is in charge of cataloguing the Woodhams Stone Collection in Malton, will come and talk to us very briefly about her work.

Saturday 21st March 2015
More site investigation work . We hope to go and study the water mill area at the north end of Railway Street, with Peter Smithson. We will take photos and record what we can see and what Peter can remember before the current agricultural regime. Meet at 10.30 a.m. near the Old Station House.

[Postponed from April and now planned for winter 2014/2015:

What the landscape can tell us about Historic Slingsby

We welcome back Steve Moorhouse to lead us on a Saturday morning look at the Castle and Sportsfield area on the ground. Meet at 11 a.m. outside Slingsby church main gates.  Followed by optional lunch at The Grapes, and an afternoon trip for those who still have energy, and weather permitting, to visit the sheep walk to study the ancient entrenchment trackway while it is easily visible, before the summer undergrowth obscures it. If you wish to be included in a group booking for lunch at The Grapes for this event please let Margaret Mackinder know by e-mail as above or phone 01653 628303. POSTPONED]

Annual Local History Day – Saturday 25th April 2015 from 10 a.m. in the Village Hall. Theme: Entertainment in the past in Slingsby.

Tuesday 19th May 2015 7.30 pm in the Village Hall Committee Room. To make a start  on next years study work and we shall also be visited by a member of the Trustees of Malton Museum to explore how we can link our research on Slingsby History in with  new museum projects arising from their very recent successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

SATURDAY 6th June 2015 10.30 am in the Grapes

Eileen Brereton will speak about  her recent research and publication on Nursing in the First World War. This may be  of particular interest to those who remember or knew of Miss Ursula Lascelles, a well known Slingsby resident who lived at Slingsby Heights for nearly 100 years. She was a nurse during the First World War. She kept a journal  – a mixture of commentary on current events, cuttings and other memorabilia, now in the County Archives, which Mrs Brereton has drawn on for her research.   ( entrance, including coffee  – £2.50)

Tuesday 15th September 2015– Members visit to the Woodhams Stone Collection in Malton. Sarah Maultby who is in charge of cataloguing the Collection of images and artefacts from Malton and Norton’s later history will show us around the collection.

Price £2.50 – includes a cup of tea / coffee. If anyone would like to make an extra donation to the collection fund it would be much appreciated.

Please meet at 7 p.m. at Unit 8 on Pasture Lane Industrial Estate where the objects are housed. We will then possibly transfer to the Community House where the paper part of the collection is housed. We are warned to wear warm clothes as the Unit 8 Warehouse is unheated. 

Saturday 3rd October 2015. A short Saturday morning visit to Slingsby Brick Kiln at Brick Yard Farm by kind permission of Andrew Wilson, with short talk by Margaret Mackinder on brick making and the significance of the Slingsby Kiln.   More information to follow. Meet at entrance to Brickyard Farm at 10.30. a.m.

Tuesday 10th November 2015. 7.30p.m. in the Village Hall Committee Room. A working a meeting on the development of the village guide, and our other proposed publications.  Please bring along any examples of village or town trails you have come across over the summer.

Saturday 6th December 2015 at the Grapes Inn, Slingsby

Another of our early December informal Saturday morning discussions: with questions and answers to those who remember the Railways at Slingsby. 10.30 a.m. Coffee and cake £2.50.


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