From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Coxwold - - 124929.jpg
Coxwold village looking up the hill
Coxwold is located in North Yorkshire
 Coxwold shown within North Yorkshire
Population 185 
OS grid reference SE534771
Civil parish Coxwold
District Hambleton
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town YORK
Postcode district YO61
Dialling code 01347
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Thirsk and Malton
List of places

Coordinates: 54°11′16″N 1°10′57″W / 54.187700°N 1.182400°W / 54.187700; -1.182400

Coxwold is a village and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England and located within the North York Moors National Park. It is situated 18 miles north of York and is where the Rev. Laurence Sterne wrote A Sentimental Journey.


The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as part of the Yalestre hundred by the name of Cucvalt. The lord of the manor at the time of the Norman invasion was Kofse, but passed to Hugh, son of Baldric[1] The manor passed at some time later to the Colville family. The village name is derived from Saxon words Cuc, meaning cry and valt, meaning wood.[2]

At one time, the village had a station on the Malton & Thirsk Railway. It opened on 19 May 1853, but closed on 7 August 1964 as part of the reorganisation of the national railway system.[2][3] In 1603, Sir John Harte, who was born in nearby Kilburn, North Yorkshire, built a Grammar School in the village, which closed in 1894. He was also a Lord Mayor of London.[2][3]


Coxwold lies within the Thirsk and Malton UK Parliament constituency. It is part of the Stillington electoral district of North Yorkshire County Council. It is also within the White Horse ward of Hambleton District Council which returns one councillor.[4][5]


The village stands on a slight incline where most of the dwellings are located, with the church at the top of the hill. At the bottom of the hill is the village smithy and an old well. The Fauconberg Arms Inn is located on the main street. The inn bears the arms and motto of Baron Fauconberg[6] and offers accommodation and a restaurant.

According to the 1881 UK Census, the population was 313.[2] The 2001 UK Census put the population at 185. The census recorded that of that population 161 were over the age of sixteen and of those, 92 were in employment.[7]

The nearest settlements to Coxwold are Husthwaite 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the south-west; Carlton Husthwaite 2.4 miles (3.9 km) to the west; Kilburn 2 miles (3.2 km) to the north-west; Wass 1.7 miles (2.7 km) to the north-east and Oulston 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the south south-east.[4]

Green's Beck runs south-westwards through the village to join Mill Beck to form Elphin Beck to eventually flow into the River Swale.[4]


The village had a local Primary School from 1863 until 1974.[3] The village is within the primary education catchment area of Husthwaite Church of England School,[8] and within the secondary education catchment area of Easingwold School.[9]


St Michael's Church, Coxwold
Chancel of St Michael's Church, Coxwold

Since 700 AD, Coxwold has had a church on the site at the top of the hill. The present church was built in 1420 in the Perpendicular style with an unusual octagonal west tower and is dedicated to St Michael. The chancel features a unique tongue-shaped communion rail (early 18th century). Rev. Sterne was appointed vicar in 1760.[6]

Notable residents[edit]

The Rev. Laurence Sterne lived at Shandy Hall from 1760 to 1768, and the house was named by him. Shandy Hall is located on Thirsk Bank at the north-western end of the village and was originally built in 1430 as a parsonage for Coxwold's village priest. It is a small brick building, with a mossy, stone-covered roof, wide gables, and massive chimney-stacks. It was originally a timber-framed, open-hall house but was considerably altered in the 17th century. The stone tablet above its doorway states that Sterne wrote Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey at Shandy Hall. This is not entirely accurate, for two (of the nine) volumes of Tristram Shandy had already been published in 1759 before Sterne moved to Coxwold.[6]

Notable buildings[edit]

To the south of the village is Newburgh Priory Estate, a Grade I listed[10] stately home built on the site of a former Augustine Priory. The original Priory was built in 1145 by Roger De Mowbray, but was part of the dissolution carried out by King Henry VIII. The King sold the estate to Anthony de Bellasis, whose family took the name of Fauconberg upon the creation of the Baronetcy. The estate passed to the Wombell family in 1825 at the end of the male line and remains in their possession today.[11]

To the north of the village lay the ruins of Byland Abbey, a Grade I listed building,[12] which was founded in the 12th century by Savigniac monks.[13]


  1. ^ Coxwold in the Domesday Book. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. pp. 669, 670. ISBN 1-86150-299-0. 
  3. ^ a b c "History". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Ordnance Survey
  5. ^ "District Councillors". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Pevsner, Nikolaus (2002). Yorkshire: the North Riding (2nd ed.). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09665-8. 
  7. ^ "2001 Census". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Education". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Secondary Education". Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Listed Building". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Newburgh Priory". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Listed Building Gd I". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Abbey". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 

External links[edit]