the North Yorkshire Moors to the East and the Yorkshire Dales National
Park to the West, Rainton enjoys an ideal location on low lying fertile
land in what is known as the Vale of Mowbray.
On the doorstep is the market town of Thirsk ( 4 ½ miles ) , home to
the late writer and veterinary surgeon Alf White, better known as James
Herriott, as well as the ancient city of Ripon ( 4 miles ), with its
fine cathedral and World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey.
Agriculture has played an important part in Rainton's development and
continues to do so today. There are still four working farms amongst
the 145 or so households. With about 300 inhabitants, the majority of
the working population is employed in the towns and cities of West and
North Yorkshire, as well as Teeside and the North East. The busy A1
trunk road, which lies one mile to the West and the A19 corridor
providing good road connections.
Social and leisure activities are centred around the two public houses,
The Bay Horse Inn and Country Hotel and The Lamb Inn, as well as the
Village Hall. Annual events include the Flower, Fruit and Vegetable
Show in August; Village Bonfire; Children's Christmas Party and the
Senior Citizens Annual Dinner. The village boasts an active Cricket
Club and there is a recreation field and children's play area, off Carr
The origins of Rainton, although lost in the mists of time, are thought
to be associated with nearby Hutton Conyers and its moor. The moor has
significant historical importance, evidenced by the siting of an
ancient henge and burial mounds. In the past stone hammers have been
found there, together with a fine spearhead and axehead of the later
Bronze Age period.
At the time of Domesday there was at least one 'manor' in Rainton.
However, the fortunes of the village were tied to the Robinson family,
who gained the Lordship of the manor in, or prior to, 1602.
Up until 1946, when the freehold was offered for sale, Rainton was an
estate village, under the control of the Marquis of Ripon and his
forebears, the Robinsons. The family resided at Newby Park, the first
villa in England to be built in the palladian style. Designed in 1718,
by Colen Campbell, a leading architect of the day, the house occupies a
splendid position, amidst parkland, on the banks of the River Swale.
Today the building is used for private residential and daytime
education and is known as Queen Mary's School.
A past resident of Newby Park, who quickly changed its name to
Baldersby Park, was George Hudson. Known as the "Railway King", Hudson
was instrumental in the development of a number of railway companies in
the early part of the 19th century. The Member of Parliament for
Sunderland and a Justice of the Peace, he over extended himself, fell
from grace and was declared bankrupt, selling Baldersby Park in 1854.
There are a number of interesting buildings in Rainton, some of which
are Grade 1 or Grade 2 listed. Stone from the now disused Rainton
Quarry, and nearby King's Quarry, was used in some of the construction
Rainton Methodist Chapel: The chapel was built in 1868, on land donated
by the Marquis of Ripon. A Sunday School was added in 1881, the
foundation stone of the latter being laid by Sir Thomas Stevenson, a
native of Rainton and the leading Forensic Scientist of his day. Sir
Thomas was an expert in toxicology and gave evidence at The Old Bailey
in many famous murder trials of the late Victorian period.
Rainton Village Hall: Built for the Marquis of Ripon in 1872, the
building was formerly used by Rainton Infants School, up until the time
of its closure in 1922.
Probably the oldest building in the village is a dovecote and adjoining
barn, which owe their origins to the early part of the 17th century.
For more information about Rainton visit www.rainton.co.uk