Easingwold is a small market town and a civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 4,233. It is located about north of York, at the foot of the Howardian Hills. It is the focal point for the numerous villages in the area for Public Services and economic activity.
The nearest larger settlements are York 11.8 miles (19.0 km) to the south; Boroughbridge 8.4 miles (13.5 km) to the west; Thirsk 9.8 miles (15.8 km) to the north-west and Malton 16 miles (26 km) to the east.
The town is mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Eisicewalt" in the Bulford hundred. At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was owned by Earl Morcar, but subsequently passed to the King. In 1265 the manor was passed to Edmund Crouchback by his father, Henry III. The manor was caught up in the dispute between the 2nd Earl of Lancaster and Edward I and the manor passed back to the crown following the Battle of Boroughbridge in 1322 which resulted in the execution of the Earl at Pontefract. The manor was restored to the Earl's brother some six years later, but he left no male heir, so the lands passed to his son-in-law, John of Gaunt in 1361. The lands were next granted to his son-in-law, Ralph Neville. Following the War of the Roses, the lands were declared forfeit to the Crown until 1633, when they were granted to Thomas Belasyse and subsequently became the possession of the Wombwell family.
The town is an amalgamation of two smaller villages, Uppleby and Lessimers. The former being a settlement, or -by of a Dane called Upple, and the latter being an Angle settlement on the lease-mires, meaning leased land frequently waterlogged.
The name of Easingwold is Anglo Saxon in origin, with wold being a derivation of wald meaning forest, and the former part being a Saxon family name, possibly Esa. King John had a hunting lodge there and the royal Forest of Galtres once surrounded the area.
The Market Place was the site of an old toll booth. The base of the old market cross still exists next to what was the public hall. The public hall had replaced an old rows of 'shambles' where butchers sold their wares. The market place was also the site of a bullring used for baiting. Records show that markets have been held in the town since 1221, but were formalised under letters patent from Charles I.
Under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 a Poor law union was established in Easingwold in 1837. The town had a workhouse built in 1756 on Oulston Road. In 1934 the workhouse was converted into a hospital for the mentally handicapped and known as the Claypenny Colony until 1993, when the site was sold and redeveloped as residential accommodation.
In 1891 a privately owned branch line was opened from the town to the London-Edinburgh main line at Alne after many failed attempts to have the main line pass through or closer to the town. The line ran a passenger service until 1948 and a freight service until its final closure in 1957. The station was located in what is now Station Court. All that remains is the old station house following a fire in 1967 that resulted in its demolition.
There are 51 Grade II listed buildings in Easingwold, including five mileposts and the telephone kiosk in Back Lane. The areas of Long Street; the Parish Church and Church Hill; Uppleby and the Market Place are all within the Easingwold Conservation Area.
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