|Hambleton parish population estimate:||1991||130|
Myton-on-Swale, known in Domesday as Mitune, later as Mitona, Miton, or Mitton up to the 15th century, is a small parish which was originally a Saxon settlement in the Wapentake of Bulmer, and is located near the confluence of the rivers Swale and Ure. The two rivers from their junction at Nab End become the Ouse, which forms the southern boundary of the village.
The village is built from east to west forming a cul-de-sac, as the road leading to the bridge at Myton terminates, and from this point a bridle path wends its way to Ellenthorpe, Milby and Boroughbridge, three miles away. Present-day Myton is a quiet, attractive village with no shops or public houses. There are approximately fifty houses and farms with a population of about 125. which is not a great deal different to that of 1852.
On two of the three roads which lead to the village there still stand imposing stone gateways that once marked the entrance to the Myton Estate, which was owned by the Stapylton family from the time of Charles 1 (1600-1649). The present Hall was built around 1693 and, it is rumoured, was lost in a game of cards centuries later. However, it must have been recovered, as the estate was split up and sold off in 1933 by the Trustees of the late Lt Col M J Stapylton, the lineage of the Myton Stapyltons having ended with the death of his son, 14-year-old Miles Stapylton, in 1915. History shows that the Stapyltons were, on the whole, well liked amongst the villagers and did much to give their workers a reasonable standard of life, building them fine houses and adding refinements to the village over the years - the pump house in the village street is still in evidence today.
The Church of St Mary's, originally built in 1301, was practically rebuilt in the 17th century and again renovated in 1887-1888. It exhibits fine pieces of historical architecture covering these periods and boasts some magnificent examples of stained glass windows. The church also has the distinction of exhibiting five hatchments whose heraldic records all relate to the Stapylton family and are a great tribute to them.
It is not recorded but it is probable that the Scots would have destryed the then bridge over the Swale durin the Battle (see below) and also presumably also the church - one reason why the English wre trapped. Is is believed that some of the stones from the original bridge can be identified in the rebuilt church which would date from that era.
In the fourteenth century Sir Miles Stapylton, one of the original Knights of the Garter, commonly known as the Founders of the Order, was a great warrior who slew a Saracen chief in single combat in the presence of the Kings of England and France, and consequently assumed the 'Saracen's head' for a crest. Some of the houses in the village still sport a stone replica of this trophy.
On 12th October 1319, the 'White Battle', the Battle of Myton Meadows, raged between the English and the Scots. A force of 12,000 Scots headed by the Earl of Moray were set to march on York. On the way they wasted all by fire and sword, bringing terrible destruction to many northern towns and villages. In order to stop the Scots, men from all walks of life and mainly civilians - bishops, abbots, monks, butchers, bakers, rich and poor - all joined to swell the defending ranks. They met the Scots on the north bank of the Swale at Myton; the Scots feigned retreat in order to trap the English on the nab of land between the Ure and Swale. Without mercy the Scots massacred those gallant men. The ones who managed to escape the sword only fled to drown in the waters of the Swale and Ure. Over 4,000 men perished. Many left dead and bloodied were monks and clerics in their white garb, hence the reference to the "White Battle".
Joan D. Conacher
from Baine's Directory of the County of York 1823
Will require Adobe Reader to view
MYTON UPON SWALE, a parish in the wapentake of Bulmer, 3 miles E. of Boroughbridge. Here is a very handsome church, dedicated to St. Mary; the living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, and the Rev. R. S. Thompson is the incumbent. In the year 1820, the remains of the famous Roger de Mowbray were removed from Byland Abbey and interred here. A ferry for cattle, carriages, &c. passes over the Swale at this point, in view of the elegant mansion of M. B Stapylton, Esq. Population 185.
The family of Stapylton is of great note and antiquity, having been in the earliest times summoned among the barons to parliament, and been honoured with that most noble order of knighthood, the garter, at and soon after the institution thereof. They take their name from Stapylton upon the Tees; Sir Miles was high sheriff of the county from the 29th to the 33rd of Edward III. They appear to have had residences at Carleton and Wighill, and settled at Myton in the reign of Charles I.
In the year 1319, the Scots entering England under the command of Randolph, earl of Murray, laid waste the country with fire and sword, and continuing their depredations, advanced to the walls of York; after burning the suburbs of that city, they returned northwards, on which William de Melton, Archbishop of York, immediately raised an army, composed of clergymen, monks, canons, husbandmen, labourers, and tradesmen, to the amount of 10,000 men; with this un-disciplined band the Archbishop overtook the Scots at Myton; a battle ensued, the Yorkshiremen were defeated, and upwards of 2000 of them were slain. On which occasion, such a number of ecclesiastics fell, with Nicholas Flemming, the lord mayor, that this fight was; for a long time called, ironically, the White Battle