Guided Tour of Helmsley Castle, Wednesday 20th June 2018
The weather in the evening was kind to the twenty-nine Members of the Society who turned up at Helmsley Castle for a guided tour given by Dr John Kenyon (Honorary Research Fellow with the National Museum of Wales. We could not have had a better guide than John Kenyon - who has edited English Heritage's most recent Red Guide to Helmsley Castle.
Having assembled at the modern visitor centre, the group was taken to the south barbican, then on to the south gate and the inner bailey. Passing the kitchen range, we entered the west tower, and then down steps into its basement. We then entered the ground floor of the chamber block emerging at the latrine tower; ascending this, we passed through the upper floor before descending again to the inner bailey. From here, we left via the north gate, and returned to the south gate by walking along the bank between the two ditches, getting a splendid view - not only of the west range, but also of Helmsley Walled Garden.
Click on any of the following thumbnails to get a larger image...
Looking at the inside of the South Barbican
On the small bridge from the South Barbican to the Inner Bailey
Inner Bailey by the Kitchen Range - East Tower in the background
By the Kitchen Range - West Range in the background
Inside the West Tower
Entering the Basement of the West Tower
Exhibition in the Ground Floor of the Chamber Block
Upper Floor of the Chamber Block
Standing by the Gallery - East Tower in the background
Returning to the South Barbican
Our grateful thanks go to Dr John Kenyon for his excellent guided talk, so eloquently delivered....
Our thanks also go the the five English Heritage Staff who enabled Helmsley Castle to remain open, especially for us!
See what you might have missed!!
Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society Journals
Scanning has been completed of all 82 Yorkshire Archaeological Journal volumes published up to 2010. They are now online, searchable, and available free of charge to everyone.
The archive is fully-searchable.When looking at the Collections page via the above link use the 'Sort by Title' function to see the volumes arranged in numerical order (see the above link)
To view a foldout it is usually necessary to use the ‘full screen view’ function...
Visit to The Yearsley Mill Archaeology Project
To get a flavour of what's been happening - see the following:
Geoff Snowdon and Elizabeth Sanderson are planning to dig again, between 19th Sept and 7th Oct. HAHS Members would be very welcome to pay a visit then; needless to say we don't expect anyone to be there at all times and we would be glad to see you even if it is just for the odd day for a look around.
The Team send their
sincere thanks go to those of you who have helped with the digging so
far, nothing would have been possible without you all.
The Yearsley Mill Archaeology Project
During the last four years - as part of the North York Moors National Park's Lime & Ice Project - a small group of volunteers, several of whom are HAHS members, have been researching the history of Yearsley Moor.
One of the aims of HAHS is to support and encourage local archaeology - and to this end, the Society is donating £1000 towards 'The Yearsley Mill Research Project'.
Elizabeth Sanderson and Geoff Snowdon are driving this Project: here they are seen receiving their cheque from Jen Harris, Chairman of the Society.
hopes to continue excavations, and will provide the Society with regular
A hoard of Roman coins has been bequeathed to The Helmsley Archive by the family of the late Richard Frank. The Frank Collection was found in Helmsley in 1931 by Richard's father (also named Richard), and comprises 34 silver Roman denarii dating from as early as AD69. It is believed that the hoard was deposited not much later than AD218, the date of the latest coin. Roman coinage was badly depreciated during the 3rd Century, and that meant that the earlier, high-value silver tended to be hoarded; it is very seldom found lost or scattered on a habitation site because of its increased value.
A total of eleven different Roman emperors or their wives are represented on the coins - including Vespasian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus. The coins are typically about 12mm in diameter, and each contain about 3g of silver. They are in good condition - especially the more recent ones - and have been clearly identified by the late Philip Corder of The Roman Malton and District Excavation Committee.
One interesting point is that the two coins of Caracalla and and one of Geta (his brother) are inscribed with their father's name, though bearing their own busts; it means that they were issued during the reign of their father, Antoninus Pius. The rest of the coins of Geta were issued when he was 'Caesar', that is heir-apparent and before he - for four brief years before his murder - became joint Imperator with his brother, Caracalla.
All of the individual coins in The Frank Collection - together with their detailed descriptions - can be seen on The Helmsley Archive - see www.helmsleyarchive.org.uk
Those of you unfortunate enough to have missed Martin's excellent presentation may be interested to know that essentially the same talk is available on YouTube, here...
John Rushton’s Archive at the Ryedale Folk Museum
John Rushton’s archive has come to the Ryedale Folk Museum‘s Archive Room and is available for research.
It is a huge and very fine resource for our area; it comprises 240 notebooks of typed notes of his research. There is a notebook for most every village as well notebooks on specific topics, eg farming, inns, gentry, etc: it is formidable research. There are also more than 50 lever-arch files of maps of the area.
John was a prolific researcher of all the record offices, libraries, as well as private collections.
John Rushton - Ryedale Historian and Author
It is with sadness that we report the death of John Rushton, who was renowned for his great wealth of knowledge about North Yorkshire’s history and heritage.
An article - Ryedale historian John Rushton was ‘wonderful man to know’ - has appeared in the Gazette and Herald, and can be seen here.
Update on Water From The Moors Project
Ed Dennison Archaeological Services Ltd (EDAS) have been commissioned by the North York Moors National Park Authority to produce a management plan for those sections of the Foord water races which lie within the Bransdale Moors ESS partnership.
Details of the Project,
and Ed's report can be seen here.
Robin Wardell, our Chairman since 2005, died on 10th April 2012 in York Hospital, with recurrent complications of a long-term health problem. He was aged 75, but those of you at our February meeting saw him cheerful and good-humoured as ever.
Robin will be missed by a very wide circle friends and colleagues in his home village of Sheriff Hutton, and far beyond. His lifetime experiences have been very diverse - and often, extraordinary.
Robin was the youngest son of a Sheriff Hutton farmer. After agricultural college, he left home (as youngest sons often do), going first to the USA, and then to France. In the early 1960's he was back in Yorkshire, at St John's College in York.
After St John's there followed some rather exotic appointments - notably one as 'Coconut Improvement Officer' on the Gilbert and Ellis Islands in the South Seas, and another when he taught for 10 years in the highlands of New Guinea, where the first sighting of a white man had been only a couple of decades earlier.
In the 1980's he came back to Sheriff Hutton by way of Vladivostock and the Trans-Siberian Railway, to help care for his parents. He became a part of village life, and his so-called 'retirement' activities were many and varied, including:
The Helmsley Archive
The Helmsley Archive is a collection of more than 9,300 images illustrating the history of Helmsley over the last 150 years. The Archive, started by the late John Collier, is now being augmented by local residents.
The website now has more than 3,800 of the images available; we are continuing to scan and catalogue.
We are eager to hear from you if you have further information on any image; please send your Comments using the form at the bottom of each page.
Early Outings of Helmsley Archaeological Society!
These pictures show visits of Helmsley Archaeological Society to Mount Grace Priory in 1953, and to Weaverthorpe in 1960.
Can you identify any of the individuals? (click on the image to enlarge it); names have been provided for some of them.
(Acknowledgements and thanks are due to Christine Wright for these).
Workhouse Records 1783 - 1874
The Workhouse Records for the Parish of Helmsley, dating between 1783 and 1874, have recently been discovered in an attic room of Canon's Garth. They comprise a single vellum volume, with entries made from both ends - one the Agreements, Rules and Regulations, and the other the Finances and Payments made to individuals.
These make interesting reading, and are a fascinating insight into the time. The Records are a valuable genealogical resource, and are being scanned by the Ryedale Family History Group with the view of making them more widely available (they already have many Helmsley-related articles - see here).
To whet your appetite, a scan of the first page and a transcript of the Rules are shown below:
1. That all, and
every Poor person or persons, that may or shall be put into the Work-house,
shall be Obedient to the Master and Mistrefs of the House, in all and
every thing Lawful and Expedient, and all and every such person or persons
disobeying such Lawful Commands, shall be liable to One Day's Confinement,
or other Punishment, at the discretion of the Committee.
And for the Binding of all, each and every Party concerned in this Agreement, and all, every and each of their Deputys and Succefsors for the time being; to the just Observation and true fulfilment and performance of all and every thing therein Exprefsed, Contained, and Intended, the aforesaid William Fletcher for the due performance of his part; and the Church-Wardens, and Overseers of the Poor, and other Inhabitants of, and for and in behalf of the aforesaid Parish of Helmsley (including Carlton, and the Moorhouses), the Township of Pockley, with Beadlam and Sproxton on their part; have hereunto, in the presence of each other, set and subscribed their Names or Marks.
N.B. The Master of the Work-house is to be Charged with any School or Doctors Bills; such Bills, or Debts, must be paid by the Overseers of the Parish, or Parishes, for whose Poor such Debts were Contracted.
N.B. and the said Wm. Fletcher doth agree to give notice to the Inhabitants of the Town of Helmsley at Michaelmas in Each succeeding Year provided he wishes to be realised (sic) of this Contract inspecting Maintenance of the Poor as aforesaid and the Inhabitants doth agree to do the same on their part.
We, Two of the Justices of the Peace acting for the North Riding of the County of York dwelling near to the within mentioned Parish of Helmsley (including Carlton & the Moorhouses), & the Townships of Pockley, Beadlam & Sproxton do consent unto, allow and approve the within written Contract.
- Given under our hands and seals the first Day of June 1784 -
The Public Record Office, Malpas Road, Northallerton, will be open by appointment on the first Saturday in the month from 9.30am - 4.15pm. All the usual records and search room facilities wil be available, but original items must be ordered in advance. Please book 01609-777585 or firstname.lastname@example.org