How did Newton get it's name?
The Saxon immigrants, from the fifth century, began to establish settlements in the uncultivated countryside, and might well have named their new homes from aspects of the landscape, such as woods and rivers. New (Neu) indicates that, locally, there was another farm estate ton (tun), possibly Sutton, being south of Newton. Derwent (from Derva) refers to the extensive oak forests which grew along the length of the river. Upon was added to differentiate between 'under', 'on' and 'above' especially as the farm estate was situated 1 mile from the river.
Where is Newton?
Newton is the very western Parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, having the River Derwent as its boundary on the west, 1 mile from the actual village. It is 8 miles due east of York and 1 mile south of the main York to Hull road, now the A1079. It stands on the Escrick Moraine, which at 50' above sea level, is the highest point between the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds.
Why was the site chosen?
The elevation of the village served as a vantage point for early settlers against other tribes that might attack. The area also provided two of lifes necessities...water and fuel. Fresh water was available from the many springs and wood for warmth and cooking, from the thousands of oak trees. The trunks would later provide the basic structure for buildings, the spars became wattle (and daub) for walls and the reeds would provide thatch. There was no local stone for building materials though the magnesium limestone from Tadcaster was used in Kirkham Abbey and would have been floated in barges along the Rivers Wharf, Ouse and Derwent.
Who were the first settlers?
The Brigantes tribe, who Caesar believed were from 'spontaneous growth of the soil' fought the Romans until 71AD in this area. Divided into several tribes, the Parissii (whose name suggests they came from the Seine area of France) were part of the Brigantes in Holderness and the Yorkshire Wolds. They began to settle in the Vale of York and would eventually, peacefully, trade with the Romans during their 400 years occupation.
What is the area of the Parish?
Until 1981, Newton was part of the Wilberfoss Parish. The two parishes comprised of 3,184 acres, making Newton 1,714.93acres. Newton was not mentioned individually in the Domesday book of 1086 as it was part of the Soke of Catton. owned by the Percy family.
What will your garden grow?
The patches of boulder clay from Scotland, glacial sand and gravel, on the moraine, were deposited by retreating glaciers. The quality of land varies throughout the parish but root crops like potatoes and carrots grow well. Winter and spring, barley and wheat are harvested in August. Less popular are crops of rape, linseed and now fodder beet. In the 19th Century crops under cultivation on the sandy loam were wheat, oats, barley, turnips, carrots and seeds. Throughout the 20th Century, sugar beet was a successful 'break' crop. The Ings land floods annually, fertilising the meadow land with alluvial deposit.
It would be interesting to note the acreage given over to oats and grass, for grazing & hay, before the second world war and the redundancy of the working farm horse.
Words on maps
Here are some definitions that might help you when reading the OS maps.
Newton = a new, farm estate Derwent = land where the oak trees grow
Ing = a meadow, especially one by the side of a river or low lying land
Mask(e) = marsh
Wezen (weasand) = pipe in form of gullet or throat
Garth = a piece of enclosed ground, usually beside a building
Waste = common land
Carr = boggy ground
Foss = a ditch, dike or trench with water
Marle = clay added to sandy loam to enrich
Sail = land of willow
Balk = a grassy headland, higher than the fields, which became a lane to the common land
Birker Goit = lane of birch trees
Field ponds shown in purple and watercourses shown in blue. Many ditches were created in enclosure of 1766. Landowners were responsible for keeping ditches clean and hedges cut. Like the enclosure roads, many newly made water courses are straight...certainly straighter than the Foss Beck.