Knights Templars, the Cayley village and a Yorkshire monsoon

Brompton church from the fishponds

We had a varied and interesting day out in the eastern part of the Vale of Pickering on Saturday 25th August. Brian Walker led the trip, attended by 19 PLACE members, starting with a tour of the Knights Templar hall at Foulbridge. We were welcomed by the owners, Mr and Mrs Nutt, who have been lovingly restoring this Grade 1 listed building for many years. Tree-ring dating has established that the trees used for the main beams were felled in the summe of 1288, soon after which the two-storey hall was built. An early 14th century inventory shows that the Knights Templars engaged in extensive arable and pastoral farming and the estate included granaries, a malthouse and a brewery. In 1308 the hall passed to the Knights Hospitallers but, since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, it has been in private hands. Today the hall is surrounded by beautiful gardens, including a large lily pond.  It was a real privilege to be allowed access to this historical gem.  A full account will be printed in the next newsletter.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a guided walk around the village of Brompton-by-Sawdon. There are many attractive stone buildings, built mainly from Hambleton Oolite (limestone) and Lower Calcareous Grit (sandstone).  The church, where William Wordsworth was married, contains beautiful modern stained glass windows, one showing typical village scenes and another (the ‘Cayley’ window) featuring many different species of bird.  George Cayley, the aviation pioneer, is the best-known former resident of the village.  The history of the village is recorded in the Brompton Village Trail, a guide produced by Vivian Bairstow and sold in aid of the village hall fund.  Our journey home was notable for a torrential downpour, producing monsoon-like conditions and proving quite a challenge for the drivers!  Many thanks to Brian Walker for arranging such a fascinating and enjoyable outing.

Inside the Knights Templar hall at Foulbridge

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