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Ugthorpe

Ugthorpe is a village lying approximately 1 mile East of the A171 Whitby to Guisborough main road, on the border between the moorland and finer agricultural land to the East.

A view of the old windmill at Ugthorpe

Set in traditional farmland in the heart of the Esk Valley, Ugthorpe makes a great base from which to explore the area, if you do not want to travel too far there are several bridleways and footpaths that enable you to discover the local countryside.
Ligulph, a Saxon nobleman had lands here before the Norman conquest. In the Domesday Book the village is called Ughetorp. It may have come by it's name because the Anglian word 'Ug' is one of the names for the Oak trees that were once so bountiful here. Alternatively, it may have been from the name 'Ughe' or 'Uggr' & 'Thorp' meaning village.





A view along the road in Ugthorpe showing the spire of Christ Church

The area was known to have a strong Roman Catholic community and during the persecution of the Catholics, priests would travel to remote farms and houses to perform their duties to the faithful in secret. Some houses had small hiding places built into the walls where priests were hidden when there was danger of them being discovered. One such priest was the Reverend Father Nicholas Postgate, who was executed and his body quartered at York in 1679 after having baptised a child. An excise man apprehended him in Whitby in the hope of being rewarded £20. This reward was not forthcoming and according to the Whitby Gazette, he died 'miserably by his own hand'.
The Romans may have had some interest here as a number of Silver Roman coins were turned up by a plough in 1792 in a field North of Ugthorpe mill. A further hoard of 22 silver coins was found in 1998 and is now in Whitby Museum.

A view of a farm building in Ugthorpe

The Black Bull Inn was once the location for a folk festival, locally known as 'The Black Bull Bender'. This now takes place on a farm in the nearby hamlet of Tranmire. The village used to boast many businesses such as a watchmaker, a bacon factory, two cobblers and a joiner.

If you have any further knowledge or have information about local history, folklore, Geology & Archaeology which you think would be of interest to others please contact us.

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