Acklam - East Riding of Yorkshire

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This is the eighth of my articles about civil parishes (or areas that have had that status in the past). The choice of parish might seem random, but in this case it is because I have recently purchased the First Edition six-inch maps for the East Riding of Yorkshire on a DVD, and wanted to use it. As far as I know, Acklam is alphabetically the first in that the area covered by the maps. I have used Harvard referencing (Author's name in brackets) to show the books from which information has been gleaned, and a modified version using abbreviations to refer to web sites. Maps are referred to by their date.


AOD = above ordnance datum, ie altitudes shown on maps as contours or spot heights.

csq = centisquare (I have prefaced six-figure grid references by the 'centisquare' number, which is the two-figure grid reference within the 1km square. In each case the grid reference refers to the south-western corner of a square with 100m sides.)

OS = Ordnance Survey


Acklam civil parish is on the western slopes of the wolds. The high land is chalk overlain by clay soils, but on the western slopes there are outcrops of mudstones, clay and calcareous sandstone (BGS). The highest point is Acklam Wold, at 230m AOD and the lowest 50m AOD on Leavening Beck at the western extremity. There is a landslip site at Barthorpe Grange (BGS). Farming is mainly arable, with some pasture. There is some woodland, including plantations. The population in 2001 was 183, in 69 households(ONS)of which approximately 50 are in the village (in SE7861) and the others are scattered around the parish, mainly farmhouses. In the village there is a public house (the Half Moon Inn), a small church, dedicated to St John Baptist, which replaced the large Victorian church now demolished, and a village hall. There are no listed buildings. Of the businesses in the parish, other than farms, the only one I have come across so far is the Gun Room at Barthorpe Grange. There is a network of minor roads connecting the village to Leavening to the north, Bugthorpe to the south and Leppington to the west. The parish boundary can be followed at 1:25000 scale on GetaMap. The areas as shown on the 1850 map are Acklam 1364 acres 3 roods 27 perches (552ha), and Barthorpe 993 acres 0 roods 1 perch (402ha), total area 1395ha. 1 acre = 4 roods, 1 rood = 40 perches.


Whilst it is likely that prehistoric man lived in the lower parts of the area, their remains are up on Acklam Wold. A Bronze Age cemetery consisting of an array of seventeen round barrows was partly excavated in 1849 (Bulmer), and inhumation burials were found with grave goods including bronze daggers, jet buttons and other Early Bronze Age artefacts (Pevsner). The jet buttons are probably the remains of the clothes in which the dead were buried. There are also linear earthworks that are considered to be British (Wright), ie of the Iron Age. Finds have included gold necklaces, amber beads and a rich ornament for a horse's head (Mee, Wright). It is not clear which of these are from the Bronze Age and which the Iron Age. Signs of strip lynchets suggest that this was marginal (arable) land a thousand years ago (Wright). A Roman road from South Newbold to Malton crosses Acklam Wold (Margary).


Acklam is an Anglo-Saxon name (Old English acleum) meaning oak woods, and Barthorpe a Scandinavian name from Old Norse 'thorp (settlement) of Borkr' (Ekwall). At the Conquest, there were two vills: Acklam was divided between Siward and Orm, and Barthorpe between Waltheof and Forne, and by 1087 Siward's land was held by the King, and farmed by two theigns, and there was a church. Orm's and Waltheof's land was held by the Count of Mortain, and was waste. Forne's land was held by Odo the crossbowman, but was waste (Domesday Book). There are remains of a medieval motte and bailey castle.

The farm name Barthorpe Grange suggests that the medieval township of Barthorpe might have been at least partly owned by a monastery. Also Allison considers that "Barthorpe, near Acklam, may have been another complete Black Death depopulation". The monks would then have used much of the land as sheep pasture until the Dissolution. For whatever reason the township was merged with Acklam, although the two are shown as township divisions on the 1850 map. The parish (ecclesiastical) is called East Acklam to distinguish it from West Acklam in the North Riding (there is also an Acklam in Middlesborough) and also included the township of Leavening. It was a chapelry of Stainton parish until 1770. Acklam with Barthorpe became a civil parish in 1866, and was renamed as Acklam in 1935. It is now a civil parish in the Unitary Authority of the East Riding of Yorkshire. The population of Acklam with Barthorpe has declined from 389 in 1821 to 282 in 1891 (Genuki)and 183 in 2001 (ONS).

East Acklam is the name of a hymn tune by Francis Jackson (b1917), words "For the fruits of his creation..." by Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000).



The '1850 map' is the First Edition of the OS six-inch map, sheets 142 and 159, surveyed in 1851, and available with the other East Riding sheets on a DVD published by the Digital Archives Association.

The '1913 map' is the OS one-inch map, Third Edition Sheet 63, reprinted in the Godfrey Edition.

The '1960 map' is the OS one-inch map, Seventh Series Sheet 97, fully revised in 1958 and published in 1960.

The '1:25000 map' is the current OS map accessed by the 'GetaMap' links on the image page in geograph, on which there are also links to aerial photographs and larger scale OS mapping, eg 1:10000 on 'Magic map'.

The 'geological map' is the South sheet of the 1:625000 'Ten Mile' Geological Survey published by the Institute of Geological Sciences in 1979 (Third Edition (Solid).


Allison, K J The East Riding of Yorkshire landscape 1976
Domesday Book (translated for Alecto Historical Editions) Penguin Books 2005
Ekwall, Eilert The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English place names 1959
Harris, Alan The rural landscape of the East Riding of Yorkshire 1700-1850 1961
Margary, Ivan D Roman roads in Britain 1973
Mee, Arthur The King's England - Yorkshire, East Riding 1964
Pevsner, Nikolaus The Buildings of England - Yorkshire: York & the East Riding 1972
Wright, Geoffrey N Yorkshire - the East Riding 1976
Youngs, Frederic A Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.2 1991

Web sites

BGS = British Geological Society Report OR/07/004 Landslides and mass movement
processes and their distribution in the York District (Sheet 63)
2007 LinkExternal link

Bulmer History and Directory of East Yorkshire (1892) (excerpt) LinkExternal link

castles = LinkExternal link

Genuki = LinkExternal link

ONS = Office for national Statistics LinkExternal link



1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

The valley of Ings Beck fills this square, with a ridge to the south and Bankthorpe Bank to the north. The level land in the valley is called Barthorpe Bottoms. The two farms are close to the stream; they are shown but not named on the 1850 map. The civil parish has hardly any rights-of-way, yet a network of footpaths is shown on the 1850 map.

SE7659 : The Road To Barthorpe Bottoms by Roger Gilbertson SE7659 : The Road To Scrayingham by Roger Gilbertson [SE7659 : Early Growth by Roger Gilbertson
csq 10 SE761590 The lane on Grange Hill, just inside the parish, looking first east, then west. Looking north, we can see that this is arable land. Many of the 1850 field boundaries have been removed.

csq 37 SE763597 Low Farm

csq 57 SE765597 The woodland here is a relatively new plantation.

csq 73 SE767593 White House Farm


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Another section of the valley of Ings Beck also neatly fits into this square, with valley-bottom land finishing at Bottoms Head. The farms this time are on the south-facing hillside.

csq 08 SE770598 Barthorpe Lodge

SE7759 : The Road To Acklam by Roger Gilbertson SE7759 : The Road To Bugthorpe by Roger Gilbertson SE7759 : All In A Row by Roger Gilbertson SE7759 : An Overgrown Hedge by Roger Gilbertson
The lane to Acklam, climbing gently before the steep climb past Barthorpe Grange. The second image is looking the other way, down towards Ings Beck. There is pasture here on each side of the lane.

csq 77 SE777597 Barthorpe Grange

The name 'Grange' suggests that this might have been monastic property, although it was sometimes used for high-status farms in Victorian times.

On the hillside above the farm there are two landslip sites, one to the north-west at csq 79 SE777599, and one to the north-east at csq 97 SE779597. These are quite recent, and occur in the Penarth Group; they involved weathered mudstone and earth and the depth of the slip was about 2m (BGS).


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

The valley of Ings Beck ends abruptly. The ridge, which forms the boundary between Barthorpe and Acklam, is followed by the Chalkland Way, which at the north end of the square turns right to:

csq 59 SE785599 Lower Sleights Farm, which is named Sleights Barn on the 1850 map, presumably owned by Sleights House, now High Sleights Farm at SE788606.

This is a 'green' square with no images!


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

csq 46 SE794606 The Acklam parish boundary is Gilder Beck. The Chalkland Way crosses it and then follows it upstream into The Warren. This was rough pasture on the 1850 map, and was probably still concerned with the production of rabbits for the pot. The land on the east (Hanging Grimston) side of the beck has become farmland, but within Acklam it is now access land. This area is prone to landslips (BGS).


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

SE7860 : Country Road by Stephen Horncastle
This, at csq 36 <a href="Link target="_blank">SE783606</a>, in the lane running south-westwards across an area called Gospels to High Farm and High Grange. The latter can be seen in the left side of the view. In 1850 there was a brickworks on the north side of the lane at this viewpoint, presumably exploiting a local deposit of clay.

csq 86 SE788606 High Sleights Farm was called Sleights House on the 1850 map; Sleights was the name of the ridge on which Sleights Lane goes south to Lower Sleights Farm.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

SE7760 : Looking Towards High Farm by Stephen Horncastle
High Farm, on the right in this view, was High Barn in 1850 and 1913, perhaps owned by Barthorpe Grange. High Grange on the left had not been built by the 1913 map.

This square has a vast area with no public access; oh for the Scottish law! There is an old, degraded, landslip at Denn Ings Plantation, csq 50 SE775600. A series of hummocky terraces indicate that shallow translational sliding had taken place.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

This square has the road from Barthorpe Bottoms to Leppington, which reaches the Acklam boundary at Leppington Beck, csq 36 SE763606. There was a ford here in 1850. The farm or house at csq 95 SE769605 has two ponds; it looks on the 1850 map to have been a farm, and a pump is shown.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

This square has the road from Leppington to Acklam (nearly there!). Leppington Beck has become Acklam Beck, to the south of the road. This ran through rough pasture in 1850.

SE7761 : Beck Farm by Stephen Horncastle SE7761 : Wood House Farm by Darren Haddock
On the north side there are three farms, Becks farm at csq 31 SE773611, Acklam Lodge (no image, no public access) at csq 34 SE773614 and Wood House Farm at csq 97 SE779617. The latter had the alternative name of 'Manor House' on the 1850 map, and had a chalk pit and a lime kiln.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Acklam village

SE7861 : Half Moon Pub by Darren Haddock
First, at csq 16 SE781616, the Half Moon Inn, named on the 1850 map.

Also on the 1850 map were a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on the south side of the street at csq 26 SE782616 (the site now occupied by houses), and a Primitive Methodist Chapel and a Parochial School (Endowed) at the road junction at csq 57 SE785617. The church, dedicated to St John Baptist, was at csq 66 SE786616. This was shown on the 1850 map, but according to Nikolaus Pevsner it was rebuilt in 1868 by J B & W Atkinson. When he visited c.1970 "the slope down is at the time of writing neglected." It was quite an ambitious church, with a wide nave and chancel and a tower, originally with a pyramid roof, at the western end, but by 1976 K J Allison wrote that it had been demolished. This is confirmed by the aerial photographs, but there is a small church now at csq 27 SE782617 (Genuki)not yet on the OS maps. For a photograph of the church see LinkExternal link . There is also an image of the interior.

The houses are built of a hard white stone obtained from a quarry in the neighbourhood (Bulmer). This is perhaps a calcareous sandstone.

Running through the village is a good stream of water, which issues from the rock near the church. (Bulmer). South of the old graveyard, at csq 75 SE787615, there is a covered reservoir.

SE7861 : Looking up the street at Acklam by Nick Mutton SE7861 : Acklam Telephone kiosk .... somewhere by Nick Mutton SE7861 : Houses in Acklam by Nick Mutton
A group of images at csq 37 SE783617 on the village street. First the village hall, then an overgrown telephone box, then a view of three houses opposite the village hall.

SE7861 : Acklam by Stephen Horncastle
csq 41 <a href="Link target="_blank">SE784611</a> The lane from Barthorpe and Sleights drops down to cross Acklam Beck before climbing to the village. There was an area on the east side called Scotland and one on the west side (or a farm?) called John o' Groats.

There is a chain of ponds in the valley, and around csq 14 SE781614 chalybeate springs are shown on the 1850 map. This map does not, however, show the remains of the castle on the hilltop at csq 33 SE783613 (but see Magic map). Acklam Castle is an earthwork motte and bailey fortress, with stone foundations buried in the bailey. Sadly farm buildings have badly damaged its low motte and large rectangular bailey, making the layout hard to observe (castles). The site is not at all obvious from the air. A public footpath passes fairly close.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

SE7961 : Acklam Wold by Stephen Horncastle
East of the village Thrussendale Road climbs up steeply onto Acklam Wold, here looking west from csq 49 <a href="Link target="_blank">SE794619</a>.

SE7961 : Communication Mast by Stephen Horncastle
At the top of the hill there is a communication mast, at csq 59 SE795619.

On the 1850 map an earthwork called an 'Intrenchment' is shown passing through the road junction. This has been destroyed, but the aerial photographs (especially the one on show the line of it as a crop mark. This is presumably one of the linear earthworks stated to be of the Iron Age. Another is still shown on the OS map crossing the road at SE800620. This road is Roman, from South Newbold to Malton (Margary's road no. 29).

However the most striking feature of this square is Deep Dale, a V-shaped valley cut into the chalk. It is access land reached by a public footpath. The Acklam boundary follows the stream, or where it would be, as the top end of the valley is dry.


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Acklam Wold was unfenced rough pasture in 1850, but was enclosed soon after in 1854 (Harris). On it are many tumuli; it is a well-known Bronze Age cemetery (see 'Prehistory' above). The tumuli (round barrows) were still shown on the 1960 map, but are now flattened; a few might be visible as crop marks on the aerial photographs, and there is a small rectangle at csq 52 SE795622 west of Highfield Farm, containing a triangulation pillar that might be on a round barrow. Highfield Farm is right on top of the wold, at almost 230m AOD; it is new since the 1960 map. The 1850 map shows an ancient track, the White Way, coming up from Acklam north of Thrussendale Road and passing through the site of the farm. A section of this track can still be seen of the aerial photographs at csq 11 SE791621. A little to the north of the White Way the 1850 map shows a sandstone quarry (calcareous sandstone under the chalk?).


1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

The field pattern in this square is interesting, with many parallel field boundaries, including those bounding the road, Kirk Balk. This latter name suggests that the road runs along the boundary between two medieval open fields, and the present field pattern is probably the result of the enclosure of the open fields of the township.

SE7862 : South of Leavening by Stephen Horncastle
The fields on the east side of Kirk Balk are rather larger than those to the west.

Kirk Balk leaves Acklam as it crosses Moor Beck, and then there is an amazing switchback lane to Leavening village.
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