Aughton History

There is a marvellous website, created by Colin Blanchard Withers, covering virtually everthing you would wish to know about Aughton village history.

Here is the link -


Below is a summary of the history of Aughton:

 Aughton's past

 Aughton is a small, wonderful village. Quiet and very pretty, Aughton is mentioned as far back as the Domesday book.  It also seems to have been mentioned in 800AD as Ayketon - a Viking name meaning Oak Tree Farm.   In 1086, the Domesday Book calls Aughton "Alreton", perhaps due to the abundance Alder trees there.

After King William I completed his devastation of the country between York and the Tees in 1069, he parcelled out the vacant lands to his followers, giving Aughton to the Count of Mortain (King William's half-brother), who in turn granted it to one of his followers,Nigel Fossard.  Fossard died about 1120 and was reputedly a grasping and unscrupulous man. He had other castles which he probably resided in, so the castle of Aughton was probably built to house an under-tenant and possibly to guard the river crossing.

In 1386, when the De la Haye family resided there, the castle was moved slightly, and a moat built.  This is now the site of Aughton Hall.

In 1351, Aughton Church was owned by Ellerton Priory

Through marriage the land passed to the Aske family -Richard Aske in about 1360 and eventually to Sir Robert Aske who, in 1536, headed the rebellion called 'The Pilgrimage of Grace'.  The moated manor-house was abandoned by the Askes around 1645 when John Aske "sold away Aughton and all his other lands".  

The family line from Sir Robert Aske is also filled with rebels to the state, and many related to the King.

In 1442, The owners of Aughtons Church demanded Thorganbys' inhabitants to pay towards the repair of the church nave. The inhabitants took this matter to court, arguing they did not use the church and should have no reason to contribute. They won!

Hilda F.M. Prescott's famous book "The man on a donkey" describes Aughton in the 1500's - "Mound and Church and moated house all stood up at the top of a tongue of land jutting out from a sort of low, flat-topped island in the fen: east of them on the same island was Aughton Village, and to the north Ellerton, where the Gilbertine Canons were.......... The house, at first cramped up within its moat, had now straggled over it towards the village, letting the ditch on this side silt up with farm refuge, so that when you came to the Manor from the Village you passed first all the huddle of barns and stables, the stack-yard, the carpenter's shop and the long thatched shippens. Only after these you came to the corner of the old dairy where the moat began again, and so to the little gate house, stone below, and timber and daub above, for stone was scarce in these parts."

All Saints Church in Aughton is mentioned in the 1500's when documentation shows the Askes using it. On a stormy night in 1533, The church tower fell down, also ruining a gate. Christopher Aske (Robert Aske's brother) rebuilt this in 1536.  The inscription on the rebuilt tower still reads "I Christopher ASKE should not forget this year 1536"

Documents show that in 1591 there was a Transfer of Land in Aughton recorded between John Rayby to Miles Escricke and between Seth & William Shepley to Richard & Alice Gamell. Again in 1598, documents show the lease of Aughtons Rectory for 21 yrs at £14 16d & 40s to Gent Aykroyde, John Harrison & Peter Vavasor.

On 28th July 1606, Aughton Church's title deeds were held by Regrant Henry Stanley & John Standish, who sold the Church & lands later that year (26th September) to Sir Hugh Bethell, a prominent & highly respected member of the community who contributed greatly in helping the poor. (See Ellerton Priory).  Documents show that on 18th October 1606, Charles Saultmarshe leased the closes called Newlands to Peter Blanchard, possibly a relation to Richard Raimes Blanshard who owned Aughton Hall in the 1820's.

In December 1653, Sir John Wray & Lady Grissella leased lands in Aughton to Robert Heslewood & Samuel Jackson for 21 years.  Sir John Wray also owned lands in Aughton at this time, leasing land to John Smith, John Cotton & Richard Blanshard for 20 years and William Richardson for 19 years.

By 1672, the population of Aughton was 153.

In 1713 / 1714 - An account of a court case has been found concerning the Duchess of Newcastle & the Cavendish Estate & Lord Castletons declining health, including lands in Aughton.

A number of Aughton's residents have made wills which have been kept. These include:

Simon (or Simeon) Webster, a Husbandman, made a will in 1811.

Rev John Earle, Vicar of Aughton & East Cottingwith made a will in 1852

Mary Hudson, a resident of Aughton made a will in 1881. She was a widow but we know no more more than that. 

Mary Leng, a Widow & Clement Noble, all in the same year.

In 1851, the number of homes in the Village was 42, with a mean household size of 5.36 occupants.  An elderly School Mistress is mentioned working at Aughton School.

By 1861, a couple, Headmaster & Mistress are showing as taken over the school.

In 1892, the first census of Aughton provided a great deal of information. Aughton School had 20 children attendees & Miss Mary Jane Kirkham was the Schoolmistress.  There is no record available showing when the school shut down.  By this year, the main Aughton landowners included T.H.Preston Esq from Moreby Hall, who owned several farms.  John Bailey Newshome Esq owned Aughton Hall.  The Rev. Robert M.A. Simpson was the Vicar and Mr Joseph Watson, a farmer lived at Aughton House.

Bulmers Directory (1892) shows the Post Office Wall box was cleared at 3.30pm daily and the letters went via York.

The following are shown as Farmers in Aughton -

Levi Batty & Richard Raimes Blanshard farmed Aughton Hall, The Middle farm and Common farm

John Bradley farmed Aughton Ruddings and Ellerton

Thomas Nutt of Ellerton Hall

Tom Pitts (and entire horse proprietor) Aughton Grange

George Precious , Wentsford House

Tom Brownbridge Slack(& overseer), Aughton Grange

Francis Stephenson, Aughton House

William Tanfield, Cherry Orchard

James Ward, Autherthaws