‘Brook settlement’. Old English broc + tun. Magna Broctun 1086, Mekil Broghton 1481, Great Broughton 1665. Modern English great, Middle English mikel, Latin magna + place-name.


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


Domesday Book

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

“In (Great) Broctun, Siward (had) 4 carucates for geld. Land for 2 ploughs. 10s.” (A carucate was roughly 100 acres. Geld was a tax that must be paid.)

Under the heading “Land of the Count of Mortain” it says:

“In Great Broctun (there are) 5 carucates for geld. Three ploughs (are) possible. Norman had 1 manor there and Ulchil (had) 1 manor. Now Nigel has it of the Count. It is waste. T.R.E. it was worth 25s. The whole manor (is) 2 leagues in length and one wide. (T.R.E. means “In the Time of King Edward the Confessor”)

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


Early Landowners

Count Robert de Mortain was the overlord of Great Broughton in the 11th century, and his subtenants, the Fossard family were the local lords of the manor. From the Fossards, the lordship passed to the Mauley family whose subtenants were the Meynells of Whorlton Castle. In the 14th century Nicholas de Meynell handed over the manor to the Abbot of Rievaulx and the succeeding abbots were lords of Great Broughton until the 16th century.

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


An Early Mention

From the Quarter Sessions at Stokesley in July 1605.

Among the people who were presented before the magistrates were: “The inhabitants of Great Browghton, for digging up and leading away a Common Street or Highway leading from Ingleby through the Broughton Meadows, called Broughton Inges, to Stokesley, which way for time out of mind has been a common way for wains and other carriages, &c.”


An early mention in literature appears in “The History of Cleveland in the County of York” J. Graves (1808)

“The village of Great Broughton, which contains about 100 houses, and upwards of 400 inhabitants, is regularly built upon a spacious level green or common; and the houses running in a direction nearly north and south, are built of freestone,and are neat, and kept in good repair.

The inhabitants, besides a few farmers and independent families, are chiefly linen weavers, and other mechanics.”


The Lay Subsidy of 1301

For the purposes of this national tax, Great Broughton and Little Broughton were lumped together. 16 people and two monasteries were taxed on the value of their movable goods in the two villages. Rievaulx paid the most tax, at over 14 shillings, with Hexham Priory close behind at over 12 shillings. The total tax paid amounted to more than 72 shillings.

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


Selected Buildings

Meynell Hall (early 17th century) in Little Broughton

Broughton Grange (c.1700)

Manor House (early 18th century)

Chapelgarth (1909) in Little Broughton


A Few Lost Buildings

A gazetteer of 1836 referred to a former chapel here which had been demolished.


Some People of Note:

Clive Dixon (1870-1914) Major Clive Dixon was an illustrator and soldier who produced The Leaguer of Ladysmith comic book. He lived at Chapelgarth.  He was killed at Ypres in 1916.

Basil Webster (1913-1998) A carpenter and sculptor who spent his whole life in Great Broughton. He was a contributor to the 1977 book Where the Wainstones Stand.

Garth Drabble (1925-2016) A surveyor who came to Teesside in 1974 and in 1978 was appointed County Surveyor and Engineer for Cleveland County. He oversaw the building of the A66 through Middlesbrough. He lived in Great Broughton.

Ruth Brown (1928-  ) A keen cook who left Great Broughton at the age of 31 to live in Scotland. An enthusiast for traditional Scottish food, she became World Clootie Dumpling champion in 2015 and retained the title in the following year.


The Hearth Tax of 1673

The government hearth tax lumped Great Broughton and Little Broughton together under the heading “Broughtons Ambo” meaning “both Broughtons”

45 houses had 1 or 2 hearths, while 5 houses had 3 or 4 hearths. “Wm Heborne had a house with 5 hearths, but the largest houses belonged to “Wd Jackson” and “Wm Geer”, both had 6 hearths. 12 local people fell below the tax threshold and were discharged by legal certificate.

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



1801     460

1851     504

1901     481

2011     990


A Selection of Dates

1131     Little Broughton Mill was granted to the monks of Rievaulx Abbey.

1316     The Abbot of Rievaulx became Lord of the Manor of Great Broughton. Every subsequent abbot of Rievaulx was lord of Great Broughton until the Dissolution of the Monasteries began during the reign of King Henry VIII.

1462     The Rector of Kirkby left money for the upkeep of the bridges of Great Broughton and Kirkby.

1681     The first recorded burial in the Quaker burying ground at Great Broughton.

1690     John Meynell of Meynell Hall was murdered.

1717     Weaver’s Cottage was built.

1801     A significant proportion of Great Broughton’s population was involved in “manufacture”, which for most of them meant the linen industry.

1811     An Act for the enclosure of Great Broughton’s fields was passed.

1823     According to Baines’ Directory, there was a linen manufacturer in the village, a schoolmaster, two blacksmiths, and two inns, the Bay Horse and the Black Horse. There were several other tradesmen.

1829     By this time there was a Wesleyan Methodist meeting house in the village.

1853     The Congregational chapel was built.

1857     A map of this date shows a linen mill near the village but the linen industry in the district was in decline by this period.

1858     The railway from Picton to Battersby was opened. The line passed trough the parish, but the nearest stations were at Stokesley and Ingleby Greenhow.

1859     A Primitive Methodist chapel was built on the High Street..

1863     A Temperance Hall was built by means of a public subscription.

1869     A new Wesleyan Chapel was built on Ingleby Road.

1870     Rev. William Vernon Harcourt bought land and built a school for girls with a mixed infants department.

1891     The Census recorded just one jet miner living in the village. Thirty years earlier there were 63 jet miners here.

1907     A new Primitive Methodist chapel was built on the High Street to replace the 1859 chapel.

1916     It was proposed to join Great Broughton School with Kirkby School but this came to nothing.

1947     Great Broughton football club was formed.

1951     The parish council bought the Ingleby Road chapel, which became the village hall.

1954     The long-closed village cricket club was resurrected.

1962     The cricket club moved to a new permanent ground.

1963     The schools at Kirkby and Great Broughton became a single school under one headteacher.

1965     The railway between Stokesley and Battersby Junction was closed.

1974     The new Kirkby and Great Broughton Church of England Primary School was opened.

1997     Wainstones Wood was established in partnership with the Woodland Trust.

2007     The Kirby, Great Broughton and Ingleby Greenhow Local History Group was established. In the same year, parts of the village were flooded.

2015     The Methodist Chapel on the High Street closed.


This list of dates was compiled using “A History of the County of York: North Riding” vol.2 edited by William Page (1923) and other secondary sources.


Suggested Further Reading

“Where the Wainstones Stand: History and Recollections of Kirkby, Dromonby and Great Broughton” J.G.Mawer and B.Webster (1977)

“Great Broughton Methodist Church 1907-2007” J.Wright (2007)