Church and Chapels

All Saints Church

Domesday does not mention a church in Aughton. This does not necessarily mean that there was no church, just that it did not figure in the returns of land ownership. However, Earnwise the priest is mentioned in the Domesday return for Aughton as a landowner. It is not clear if Earnwise was a priest within a church in Aughton, or whether he was simply a resident in the parish, or just a landowner there.


This Church was given by the Del Hays to the Priory of Ellerton, who for some time served the Cure by one of their own Canons, to which it was appropriated, and a Vicarage was ordained therein, 4th Kal. September 1231 , but the endowment was for the life of the then Vicar only. 

In 1402, Richard Scrope, Archbishop of York, confirmed, following examination of title, the appropriation to Ellerton priory the churches of Ellerton and Aughton, with the latter's dependent chapel of Thorganby.

In Archbishop Sharp's time [1691-1714] the patronage was in Lord Castleton. In 1753, Lord Scarborough presented. In 1763, Thomas Moseley, of Wigginton, presented; and, in 1786, William Deans was collated by the Archbishop, by reason of lapse. 

The first date given in Torre's catalogue of Vicars is in 1484. Patron, T. Mosley, Esq. The Church is valued in Pope Nicholas's taxation at 40/. ; in the King's Books the Vicarage is valued at £4. ; in the Parliamentary Survey, vol. xvii. p.366, it is stated: " £30 impropriation; £13 6s. 8d. the minister;" and, in 1818, at £85 18s, 3d, per annum. Augmented in 1722 with £200 to meet benefaction of a rent-charge of £5 and lands worth  £5 per annum from the Earl of Castleton. The glebe house is unfit for residence. Vide return in 1834. In 1818, returned fit for residence.


The church of All Saints is a fine old building of stone, chiefly in the Norman style, consisting of chancel, nave with north aisle, south porch, and a low embattled tower with pinnacles, containing two bells. It is now undergoing a thorough restoration, at an estimated cost of about £2,000. The chancel will be rebuilt and enlarged, and a vestry added at the west end of the north aisle. The nave and aisle will be re-roofed and covered with Broseley tiles, and the church re-seated with open benches of memel oak. The aisle is divided from the nave by four pointed arches, resting on circular columns. The arch between the chancel and nave is a pure Norman one, in four rims, springing from attached columns. The first rim is of two beads; the second is dogtooth, richly moulded; the third is a hollow and a bead, with birds' heads projecting about every six inches; and the fourth is an egg and tongue latel. On the chancel floor is a fine brass, bearing the effigies of a knight, in the plate armour of the 15th century, and his lady. Beneath is the following mutilated inscription :-


“Hic jacent Ricardus Ask, Armig . . . . Margareta uxor ejus quondam filia dn . . . . obierut xiiqp die mensis Octobris anno”


In the tower is a vacant niche, and beneath it are seven shields, and the following enigmatical inscription in old church text:-


“Christofer le second filz de Robert Ask chr oblier ne doy, Ao Di 1536.”


The literal translation of this old French is:


“Christopher, the second son of Robert Aske, chevalier, ought not to forget the year of our Lord 1536.”


Its explanation is a matter of conjecture.


Also on the tower is a benchmark of the time and carved, in sunk relief, a newt or salamander otherwise known in Old English as an Ask.

Copyright © Barbara Ainscough, 2008, released by the copyright holder to the public domain. With gratitude.


The living is a discharged vicarage, with the chapelry of East Cottingwith annexed, worth £175 a year, in the gift of Joseph Bailey Newsome, Esq., and held by the Rev. Robert Simpson, of St. Bees. There are 60 acres of glebe - 14 acres belonging to the church repair fund - and a commodious residence, erected in 1839.

The Register books commence in 1611.

Church Plate
From 'Yorkshire Church Plate', Vol i, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Extra Series, 1912

Silver : Communion Cup and modern Paten.

The cup is a handsome Elizabethan vessel of the usual type, with a thrice interlacing belt of leaf and scroll design encircling the bowl. There is also a small ornamental band at the junction of the bowl with the stem, which is repeated where the stem joins on to the foot. The last is further enriched by the egg-and-tongue pattern upon its lowest member. Height 7, dia. at lip 3$, of foot 3 J, depth of bowl 4 in. Hall-marks: (i) I H, in an oblong ; (2) l.h.c.; (3) l.p.; (4) sm. Old Eng. N (London, 1570). The same maker's mark has been noted as occurring on a Communion cup belonging to P. R. Meldrum, Esq., 1569 (see O.E.P., p. 458).

The paten is a simple disc, with I H S at its centre. Dia. 6| in. (London, 1898).


East Cottingwith

St Mary's Church, East Cottingwith, Copyright Roger Gilbertson, 2006

A chapel existed in East Cottingwith from at least the thirteenth century, as in 1343, a licence was granted to the inhabitants of East Cottingworth, to have divine service celebrated by a fit chaplain, till such time as the Chapel (then fallen down) should be rebuilt.

The Prior and Convent of Ellerton administered the chapelry of East Cottingwith as part of the rectorship of Ellerton, rather than as a chapelry of the parish of Aughton. However, it is not clear when this began. By the time of the Dissolution, East Cottingwith was described as belonging to the rectorship of Ellerton, and the crown subsequently made leases of the 'rectory of Ellerton and East Cottingwith'.

The evidence from the printed parish registers of Aughton is confusing (Yorkshire Parish Register Society, Vol 86). The surviving registers begin in 1610, but there are bishops' transcripts surviving for 1602-1608, which indicates that an earlier register or registers have been lost. The entries in the bishops' transcripts for 1602-1608 show that folk from East Cottingwith got married, and had their children baptised, in Aughton parish church. However, in the parish register of Aughton starting in 1610, it begins with 'A Regester for Eastcott....' [sic], implying that a separate register for East Cottingwith was being maintained.

In the Parliamentary Survey of 1651, vol. xvii. page 371, the chapel of East Cottingwith was listed, and the Commissioners noted that the cure was supplied by Mr. Todd who received seven pounds yearly, payed by the inhabitants as a salary, and recommended that the said chapel 'fitt to be united to Aughton', which again implied that at that time it was not considered to be a part of the parish of Aughton.

Archbishop Sharp (1691-1714) made the comment in his Book of the Parishes, that he thought 'this Chapel rather belongs to Ellerton than to Aughton', and named the patron, the Lord Chancellor. 


In 1784 a faculty was granted to remove the remains of the old chapel and erect a new one, and in 1786 they were allocating pews so it must have been near ready for use, if not already.

In 1847 the Rural Dean wrote concerning his visitation to East Cottingwith, 'the Church is neatly fitted with stalls, new reading desk, new pulpit, new font and newly washed walls.

In 1857 the Rural Dean commented that it was an ugly building from the outside but very convenient inside.

In 1924 a faculty was granted for major renovation. Curved altar rails were added, the stove was moved to the side. The stairs to the gallery near the font were used for a small choir and organ, but these were removed in the 1930's

The East window is stained glass of the figure of Christ on the cross with Mary at one side and John to the other. At one time the Church was named St. Mary's and the Holy Cross, now shortend to St. Mary's.


Register Books, see Aughton.

Church Plate
From 'Yorkshire Church Plate', Vol i, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Extra Series, 1912

Silver: Communion Cup.

This cup has a bell-shaped bowl, a thin stem with a small knop at its central part, and a moulded foot. It is inscribed: "East Cottinwith Chap: Plate Ex dono A B 1726." There is a small member of vertical reeds at the junction of the bowl with the stem, and also where the stem joins on to the foot. Height 6J, dia. of lip 3, of foot 2f, depth of bowl 3j in. The only mark is the maker's mark, which is thrice repeated, namely W H, in a shaped shield. It is possible that the bowl may not be of sterling silver, though the stem and foot appear to be so.

Latham Chapel

Anciently, a chapel existed in Laytham. Bulmer's History and Directory of East Yorkshire (1892), says that: There is a field here [in Latham] called "Kirk Hill," which is said to have been the site of an ancient chapel.

The earliest reference found so far is in the endowments of Ellerton Priory, when in 1231 Walter Gray, the Archbishop of York, by the assent of Roger de Thurkilleby, parson of the church of Acton, and at the presentation of Roger Hay, patron thereof, had conferred the same vicarage [of Aughton] on Conbilius, clerk, and had given him the tythe-garbs of Lathum.

At the Dissolution of Ellerton priory in 1538, the tithes of the chapel of Lathome were listed among their possessions.

The chapel survived throughout the 16th century, as in 1558 the Archbishop of York was granted the advowson of many churches in Yorkshire by Queen Mary, including "Aughton, Bubwith, Lethome alias Lathome, and Ellerton". In 1585, John Rotsey was granted a lease for 21 years by Letters Patent of various lands and heriditaments, including "tithes appurtenant to the chapel of Lathome, Yorks, (in tenure of Richard Aske, late of the priory of Ellerton)". The same lease was regranted by the crown in 1596, this time to Robert Bell for 21 years.

In 1600, the crown sold to Miles Sandys of Cleyberry, Essex, and Edward Rodes various properties and heriditaments, which included the tithes  of Latham. Sandys and R(h)odes in turn sold the tithes of Latham chapel in 1609 to Robert Hynsley, John Hynsley and Richard Fawcett of Latham, yeomen. The tithes were described as:  tithes of corn, grain, lambs and wool and other small tithes of the chapel of Latham, parcel of the Rectory of Aughton.

In 1611 we know that Latham Chapel was still standing, as it had its own registers, and these have been printed in 'The Parish Register of Aughton', John Charlesworth, 1929, in the Yorkshire Parish Register Society series (see page 2 for example).

By the time of the Commonwealth Survey in 1651, Aughton church, East Cottingwith chapel and the tithes of Latham are listed, which implied that Laytham chapel was not in use at that time. However, precisely when the chapel ceased to be used or taken down is still to be ascertained.