‘Thorn-tree in the corner of land’. Gra- Cratorne 1086, 1279×81, Crathorn from c.1160×75. ON kra + OE, ON thorn. The reference is to a bend in the River Leven.

See “The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names” (ed.) V.Watts (2004)


Domesday Book

Under the heading “Land of the King” it says:

“In Cratorne, Ulf (had) 5 carucates for geld. Land for 3 ploughs. 40s.

Under the heading “This the Fee of Robert de Bruis” it says “Crathorne and Foxton, 9 carucates”.

This means that Robert de Brus of Skelton held 9 carucates of land in Crathorne

Under the heading “Lands of the Count of Mortain” it gives a list of lands that came under the soke (jurisdiction) of Hutton Rudby. Some land in Crathorne appears in the list, but no details are provided.

Based on William Farrer’s translation in “The Victoria History of the County of York” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1912)


Early Landowners

From the early 12th century until the late 13th century, the Brus family of Skelton Castle were the overlords of much of Cleveland, including Crathorne. During this period, the Percy family of Kildale were the local lords of the manor. In the early 14th century, John le Teuler purchased much of the manor. His son William began to call himself William de Crathorne. The Crathorne family were still in possession of Crathorne at the end of the 18th century.

See “The Victoria History of the County of York: North Riding” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1923)


An Early Mention

“The History of Cleveland in the County of York”, J.Graves (1808) “As proof of the thriving condition of this village, and the comfortable situation of its inhabitants, so creditable at the same time to the character and humane disposition of Mr. Crathorne, we are induced to remark, that upwards of seventeen cottagers, at rents, not exceeding 12l. per ann. keep cows here; among whom there are several weavers, who are employed in the manufacture of linen cloth for sale.

There is an extensive bleach-ground here, with a bleach-house, situate on the eastern brink of the Leven (over a stone bridge of one arch,) at a little distance from, and nearly opposite to the village.”


The Lay Subsidy of 1301

The movable goods belonging to 15 properties in Crathorne were taxed in the 1301 subsidy. There would have been other villagers whose movable goods fell below the tax threshold and were therefore not listed in the tax returns.  William de Moubray paid the most tax, at just over 16 shillings, followed by three members of the Percy family who each owned a property in Crathorne. In total, just over 65 shillings was collected from the village.

Derived from “Yorkshire Lay Subsidy” edited by W.Brown (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series) 1897


Selected Buildings

All Saints Church (14th century nave, 19th century tower)

Old school (late 17th or early 18th century)

Old Hall cottages (17th and 18th century)

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church (1771)

The Rectory (18th century)

Crathorne Arms (18th century)

Village School (1875)

Crathorne Hall (1904)


A Few Lost Buildings

Crathorne mill (mentioned in 1328-9) demolished in 1970.

Suspension bridge over the Leven (c.1888) destroyed by flooding in 1930.

Weavers’ Cottages near the Crathorne Arms.


Some People of Note

Sir William de Crathorne (died 1346) A soldier who was knighted by Edward II in 1327 and was later killed at the Battle of Neville’s Cross.

Benjamin Flounders (1768-1846) Born in Crathorne. He was one of the early promoters of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

Thomas Lionel Dugdale (1897-1977) A politician who was Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries from 1951 to 1954.


The Hearth Tax of 1673

24 houses in Crathorne had 1 or 2 hearths and 1 house had 3 hearths. The largest properties belonged to “Ja. Heathwaite” with 4 hearths, “Rd Rawlin”, also with 4 and “Ra Crathorne esq” with16 hearths.

Based on “The Hearth Tax List for the North Riding of Yorkshire, Michaelmas 1673” (Ripon Historical Society) 2011



1801     307

1851     243

1901     248

2011     172



Kelly’s 1893 directory lists six farmers in Crathorne, along with a blacksmith, a miller, a shoemaker, a joiner, 2 shopkeepers, the post office and the Crathorne Arms. Kelly’s 1938 directory has a similar list, but with no shoemaker and no shopkeepers. Bear in mind that directories do not guarantee to provide complete lists.


A Selection of Dates

1328-9  First mention of a mill at Crathorne.

1346     Sir William de Crathorne was killed at the Battle of Neville’s Cross.

1723     The Parish Registers date from this year.

1743     First mention of a school in the parish.

1777     Crathorne Roman Catholic chapel was built.

1804     The Yarm to Thirsk turnpike road was opened. It passed through Crathorne.

1808     By this time there was a large bleaching ground and two bleaching mills near the old corn mill. By 1844 only the corn mill was still working.

1821     St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church was completed.

1844     The Dugdale family bought the Crathorne estate, having made their fortune in the Lancashire cotton industry.

1874     The village school was rebuilt by John Dugdale of Crathorne Hall.

1887     All Saints church was restored by the famous Victorian architect W.Hodgson Fowler.

1897     A reading room was built to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

1906     Crathorne Hall was rebuilt.

1914     The Hall was used as a Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital where wounded soldiers could convalesce.

1930     A flood swept away the Victorian suspension bridge over the River Leven.

1953     Crathorne won the Langbaurgh Cricket League Championship.

1962     Crathorne House was built by the chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries.

1975     The main road from Stockton to Thirsk (the A19) ran through the village until this year when the new dual carriageway was built to the west of Crathorne.

1977     Crathorne Hall became a hotel.

1981     The village school closed.

2014     A serious fire at Crathorne Hall badly damaged the east wing.


This list of dates was compiled from “A Present from Crathorne” by M.Orr and J.Crathorne (1989) and other secondary sources.


Suggested Further Reading

“The Victoria History of the County of York: North Riding” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1923)

“A Present from Crathorne” by M.Orr and J.Crathorne (1989)

“Crathorne Church History” A.Marchant and J.Taylor (1989)