Kilnwick Percy History Timeline by Phil Gilbank
Sponsored by Post Haste Printers, Pocklington
Kilnwick Percy is an ancient place with archaeology and artefacts from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman-British and Medieval eras indicating continuous habitation and farming going back some 10,000 years.
The name Kilnwick is believed to originate from 'Cilia's farmstead', Cilia being the ancient British leader of the community. 'Wick' settlements are claimed to be outlying farms that supplied Roman towns or roads, and are usually within six miles of a significant Roman place
Kilnwick's history is particularly notable for a series ofpowerful and wealthy lords of the manor in Medieval and Modern times, from the Percies who added their name to the Norman settlement, through to the Ughtreds, Woods and Andersons from the 14th to 18th centuries, and up to the Denisons and Duncombes of the late 18' and ltfh centuries who created the hall, estate buildings and landscape much as it exists today.
The rich history is embellished by the survival of an extensive archive of documents. The East Riding and Lincolnshire county deposits, and the Borthwick and Minster collections, enhanced by various leading family records, contain hundreds of documents relating to Kilnwick from the 12th to 20th centuries. These include wills, property transactions, church papers, bye laws, estate surveys and manorial court rolls. The archive is particularly comprehensive from Tudor times to the present day.
However, while the lords and clergy are well documented, and to a lesser degree the tenant farmers; for most of its history KP was an estate rather than a settlement, and only in recent times has the place become a community independent of the farmstead.
8,000 - 2,000 BC - Artefacts found at KP from Mesolthic and Neolithic hunters.
2,000 - 800 BC - Barrows, trackways and earthworks indicate extensive Bronze age activity that continued into the Iron age.
1st - 4th Century - Roman items found at Kilnwick include pottery, a kiln and an amphora storage jar.
8th Century - Saxon silver strap end found at KP displayed in Hull & ER museum
1086 - Domesday book states Kilnwick (Chilleuuinc) is part of the royal manor of Pocklington, the Kilnwick estate amounting to some 1,200 acres. But it also has another estate of some 700 acres attached to a hall.
cl090 - Kilnwick descends to Robert de Bruis, one of William the Conqueror's favourite barons who accumulated almost 100 Yorkshire manors amounting to over 40,000 acres of land. His son also became a major landowner in Scotland.
cl 100 - Robert de Bruis enfeoffed Kilnwick to Ernald de Percy as part of the feudal knight's fee system of payment for military service.
1160-65 - Robert de Percy and his wife, Agnes, claim rights over KP church and its tithes. Around this time the Norman church is built with some impressive stonework that is still part of present building.
1194 - An early court charter tells of an action of Robert de Neville, Thomas de Etton and Herbert de Percy successfully claiming Kilnwick from a later Ernald de Percy.
1240 - A property deed re lands at Kilnwick survives on a piece of parchment.
1280 - Another Ernald Percy mortgages his KP estate with his kinsman Robert Percy.
1289 - Robert Ughtred acquires land in KP. A decade on, Ughtred becomes Sheriff of Yorkshire, and a few months later is granted free warren in KP - sovereign privilege to hunt game, indicating that there was considerable forest at Kilnwick. An Edward I silver penny from this period was recently uncovered.
1301-1309 - Ughtred leads his Yorkshire retainers in campaigns against the Scots.
1310 - Sir Thomas Ughtred succeeded his father as lord of KP. A leading English knight he fought in Scotland and France for almost 50 years, including Bannockburn (1314) and Crecy (1346). He was captured by the Scots at the Battle of Byland and ransomed. Also commanded English forces against the Scots, and led Yorkshire bowmen in action in France and Scotland . Lived to be 73 and was buried at Carton.
1332 - The archives include a grant of all the goods and chattels of the manor of KP.
1354 - The black death at KP four years earlier resulted in a lay subsidy which gave Kilnwick a 6s 8d rebate on its assessment of 30s due to its population decline.
1377 - The poll tax returns list Kilnwick as having 35 taxpayers contributing 1 Is 8d.
1524 - The 9th generation of Ughtreds to be lord of KP, Sir Robert Ughtred, sold Kilnwick to Lincolnshire courtier, Sir Thomas Heneage. Ughtred had become so poor that he had had to pawn his best clothes in London.
1535 - Heneage repaired his KP Tudor manor house with thatch, mortar and timber.
1562 - The will of Robert Hype, vicar of KP, indicates he had clung on to the Catholic mass after it had been banned by Elizabeth I.
1563 - Thomas Wood, a member of a north Yorkshire gentry family who made his money in London as a soldier and civil servant, bought Kilnwick from Queen Elizabeth who had exchanged it for lands with the Heneages. Wood had surveyed and valued the land and woods on behalf of the Queen before buying them from her.
1569 - Thomas Wood added land at Huggate, Ousethorpe, Tolthorpe, Fimber, Thixendale and Burnby to his estates, and bought more land in Kilnwick that had previously belonged to Watton Priory.
1574 - Wood began building a new Elizabethan hall at Kilnwick, but it was incomplete at his death ten years later and remained unfinished for over 100 years.
1584 - When Thomas Wood died he left money and land for 'Wood's Dole' - a charity for the poor of 44 parishes in and around Pocklington.
1600 - By now the medieval village had become depopulated and the area turned over to sheep farming.
1602 - At the death of Thomas Wood's widow Jane (remarried to William Daniel, Daniel using some of the materials of the unfinished Kilnwick in the building of his manor house at Beswick), Barney Wood, who was married to Robert Sotheby's daughter, Mary, inherited the estate. KP was let to tenants for much of the 1600s.
1649 - Marmaduke Richardson, vicar of KP and assistant usher of Pocklington GS, appeared in court in York for praying for the health of the exiled Charles II.
1700 - The Archbishop's visitation notes: "The tithe barn is fallen down...The town they tell me has now no inhabitants but the parson and the shepherds."
1720 - Kilnwick Hall was finally completed when Sir Edmund Anderson, whose family was left KP by the Woods, moved from Lincolnshire to live at KP. He was an art collector, particularly of musical instruments, including a Stradivarius violin.
1747 - Edmund Anderson, heir to KP, was killed in a duel with swords at Maestricht.
1754 - Author and poet, Rev Henry Travers, rector of Nunburnholme and curate of Kilnwick Percy, who wrote 'Miscellaneous Poems & Translations' was buried at KP.
1756 - The clergyman-author, Laurence Sterne, who published the first volume of his classic novel, Tristam Shandy in 1759, became vicar of KP in addition to his positions as vicar of Sutton-on-Forest and Commissionaire of the Peculiar of Pocklington.
1757 - The Militia Act, plus enclosure, caused great unrest throughout the county. 1,500 rioters marched to Kilnwick from Pocklington armed with guns, clubs and scythes, and besieged Lady Anderson, before breaking in and ransacking the hall. They were dispersed by the return to Kilnwick of Sir Edmund.
1765 - The Rev Sir William Anderson inherited KP, but he fell from his horse in
1783 and was left brain damaged and crippled and the family persuaded him to sell.
1784 - Kilnwick was purchased for £28,000 by Robert Denison Esq, a wealthy West Yorkshire clothier, who sold his Leeds property and committed himself into developing the estate. The Andersons kept their other East Riding manor at Burnby.
1786 - One of the country's earliest balloon flights landed at Kilnwick.
1790 - Denison began building the present hall in front of the Tudor house, it took ten years to finish. Two years later he bought the Dolman's manor of Pocklington. The Denisons were great agricultural innovators, improving the land and livestock at KP.
1795 - Denison wrote to William Wilberforce from KP ensuring him the majority of Pocklington freeholders would support him in the coming election. The Wilberforces were friends with the Denisons and Andersons. Wilberforce's sons stayed at KP and his grandson, Ernest, married into the Anderson family, still owners of Burnby.
1833 -Denison bought Pocklington's tanyards but the business failed. He built a large flax mill on the site in 1851, but a fire destroyed the stacks and it closed in 1859.
1835 - Denison bought the world's fastest trotting horse, Marrylegs, for 600 guineas. He sold his horses in 1842 with Merrylegs making 400 guineas.
1837 - KP is listed as having 7 houses and 43 people. The vicarage was valued at £4 16s 3d (Pocklington had 431 houses, 1962 people and a £10 Is lOd vicarage). Also in 1837 Robert Denison entertained friends to dinner at Kilnwick. After dinner, talk turned to farming and the idea to form the Yorkshire Agricultural Society was born. It was taken further at lunch in Pocklington the next day, and a meeting in York a few weeks later saw the foundation of the society and the Great Yorkshire Show.
1840 - Denison suffered financial problems and sold KP to Hon. Admiral Arthur Duncombe MP, fourth son of Baron Feversham and Groom to Queen Victoria. The Duncombes were part of a dynasty of Tory MPs and soldiers, with business interests in trade and banking. Duncombe embellished the hall with a portico, balustrade and formal gardens and pleasure grounds. Denison moved to Waplington, dying in 1868.
1843 - One of the area's earliest cricket games is between Kilnwick and Pockiingion.
1873 - St Helens church part rebuilt by Duncombe retaining some 12thC stonework.
1889 - Admiral Duncombe died and his funeral at KP was taken by the Archbishop of York. The estate passed to his son, cavalry officer, Major General Charles Duncombe.
1895 - When Pocklington's rugby and soccer was frozen off for weeks, they played ice hockey on KP fishpond. It was often used for skating in the 19th and early 20thC.
1919 - Basil Duncombe sold the house and estate, but retained the manorial rights and the Earl of Feversham, from Duncombe Park, remains lord of the manor.
1919 - 1986 - Kilnwick was subsequently owned and/or occupied by the Whitworths, South Yorkshire brewers who became country landowners, sportsmen and horse trainers; Lord and Baron Hotham, from South Dalton, and the Huxtable family.
1939-47 - The army takes over KP in the war for mundane (e.g. sorting service mail) and top secret (training for D-Day) uses. Part of the hall was demolished afterwards.
1986 - The hall becomes the Madhyamaka Buddhist Centre, and some estate buildings are converted to cottages.
1994 - The Huxtables develop part of the estate as a golf course.
Phil Gilbank, June 2010