Your Day Out: Peaceful and tranquil Settrington

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Settrington is a quiet, peaceful village about four miles south-east of Malton, sheltering under the Wolds. If approached from the A64, turn off at the prominently-sited public house, The Ham and Cheese, to pass through Scagglethorpe, with its green verges and cottages. The winding lane over flat agricultural land enters Settrington with its more modern houses between the beck and the road.

At the forking of roads, the middle village lies to your right, or you may decide to fork left as signed to the church and Settrington House first, before exploring The Green and middle village, with its charming old cottages and long gardens, stream, fords and footbridges.

The church stands at the south end of the village, in company with the old rectory and Settrington House. They have this end of the village to themselves. The great house stands in a park with magnificent elms and yews, a noble company of copper beeches, and private lake which is home for swans, coot and mallards. At the closing of October the tapestry of colour is spell-binding.

The present Settrington House was built in 1793 by the Masterman family. They pulled down its Elizabethan predecessor which had stood to the east of the church, where Lord Darnley once lived. He was married at the age of 20, to Mary Queen of Scots, and was murdered when only 22. In childhood Darnley was educated by his mother, Margaret Lennox, a daughter of Henry VII. Apparently Lord Darnley’s residence was not a claim to fame, as his character was not one to be proud of!

Enter the gated church. Big buttresses climb to the tower battlements, under which is a gallery of quaint heads here, and by the windows. From the early 13th century came the fine arcades leading to aisles with 15th century windows. The south doorway arch is also 13th century, carved with zigzag and flowers. The font is about 1200. Can you find the little mice carved by Mr Thompson of Kilburn? Examine the organ seat and the litany desk.

Leaving All Saints’ Church return to where you forked left from the road near the village green, and this time take the other forking to pass The Green to your left. The Town Green now has no majestic trees which are so important a feature of the south end of Settrington, but is still a very attractive place. I suggest you just wander at will, as the beck, with its ford and footbridges inhibit a direct route. Beside the beck a mill house dated 1700 used to grind corn until the 1930s.

If you pass Elm Tree Farm, no tree stands there now. It had to be felled as it became too dangerous. You can’t miss Settrington’s All Saints’ Church of England Primary School with white fencing. What an attractive building.

Follow the line of older houses and farmsteads beside Town Green to the west beyond the school. Some stone dwellings date back to the 1800s and have lovely long gardens. They’re set well back.

If you approach Town Green on the road from Norton, you pass an oak tree planted at George VI’s coronation in 1937. Other commemorative trees beside the beck are near the school. A lime tree was planted for King George V’s silver jubilee in 1935, and our present queen’s silver jubilee in 1977.

From the 16th century, Settrington Beacon was one of the links in the East Yorkshire system of defence. It was marked on Ordnance Survey maps about 200m above sea level on the road from Settrington to West Lutton. Plantations now cover the high wold in that area.

For about 100 years until 1958, Settrington had a railway station on the Malton to Driffield line. The station buildings have been converted into a private dwelling. This can still be seen from a ‘hidden dip’, in the road to North Grimston, hidden behind the hedging. Have a good day, and enjoy refreshment in Scagglethorpe at The Ham and Cheese.

Distance depends upon interest locally. All features may be accessed on foot or by cycle or motor vehicle.

Refreshment: The Ham and Cheese, Scagglethorpe.