Garton on the Wolds Village Website

HISTORY OF GARTON ON THE WOLDS  (contributed by Peter Atkinson)

The village is probably an Anglian settlement and there is reason to believe that there has been continuous habitation from pre-historic times. Evidence of occupation has been discovered from Neolithic to Romano-British times and an outstanding Iron Age chariot burial was uncovered in 1971. Other excavations have yielded coins from the 7th and 8th centuries.

There is a marked contrast in the landscape. To the south being 100 to 150 feet and rising to the north to 475 feet. The only woodland is the farm shelter belts around three farms. Green lanes mark the eastern, southern and north western boundaries of the parish and make for pleasant walking.

Court records survive for the years 1712-30 and 1768-81, when the court met once a year. In 1712 a constable, two bylawmen and a pinder were appointed.

In 1853 the Malton-Driffield railway line was opened, providing much needed transport for livestock and goods. The line was closed to passengers in 1950 and for goods in 1958. Garton Station buildings still remain to the south of the village.

For more information on the Malton to Driffield railway line click onto the following links:

     Yorkshire Wolds Railway

     History of Garton Station

A pond lies in the centre of the village, to the north of which there was a village green and until 1830 the stocks stood there; this area became gardens and grazing in later years. In the 19th and 20th centuries many inhabitants relied on farming for their work and subsistence; during this time between 10 and 13 farms are recorded.

During the years the population of Garton has fluctuated, as has its commercial trade. In 1891 the records show the population as being 498. There were wheelwrights, builders, grocers, a tailor, bootmaker, beer retailer and 11 farmers are listed. Two carriers operated to Driffield, one daily and one to market on Thursday. Today the population is around 300; the village school still survives, catering for children from surrounding villages.

The number of farms has fallen and, as a consequence of that and mechanisation, the number of persons working on the land is very much reduced. Nonetheless despite the fall in inhabitants there remains a significant number of businesses within the area.

A brickyard owned by the Sykes family was in operation in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1812 40,000 bricks were fired and in 1881 over 1 1/2 million bricks were sold. Production ceased in 1914 when many of the workers went to war. The Wolds Wagoners Reserve are commemorated on a memorial in Sledmere village.   




Garton on the Wolds Conservation Area Appraisal 2009

The Conservation Area Appraisal document contains a lot of interesting historical information about Garton on the Wolds including its origins and evolution, archaeology and buildings.

A selection of old postcards and photographs of Garton on the Wolds.......


Garton on the Wolds Chariot Burials

The site, which lies on the boundary between Garton and Kirkburn, was discovered from aerial photographs taken in 1984.......

For more information visit :


Henry Best

(extract from the Garton on the Wolds Conservation Area Appraisal Document 2009)

Henry Best was a farmer and landowner who worked the Elmswell Estate, a mile or so to the east of Garton on the Wolds.

He built the Old Hall in the mid 1630's and it was here that he wrote his Farming and Memorandum Books, understood to be one of only two such texts to survive in the British Isles from so long ago.

His writing came to prominence in the 1980's when Professor Donald Woodward of Hull University provided a full transcription of the text. This gave an account of his farming practises and provides a unique account of 17th century farming, the marketing of agricultural produce, and rural customs. The introduction also gives details of Henry Best himself, his family and his estate.

(The Farming and Memorandum Books of Henry Best of Elmswell, 1642. Edited by Donald Woodward.  ISBN 019726 0292)