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  • NettieMac

The "Zilch" Report

So, procrastination being an active part of my Lockdown Life I have been humming and haaing about what to get inspired about for this blog, the first of 2021.....and realising that actually there is not much to report, i've decided we are going to have a history lesson about the gorgeous village of Crayke instead!

Crayke has been kicking around for a fair old while, having been mentioned in the Domesday Book (but in those days it was Crec which is far easier to spell than Crayke if you ask me!) Situated on a hill with an elevation of 368' (Imperial measurements, thank you very much!) it has commanding views over the Vale of York and is the ideal place for a spot of sledging down the steep Church Hill when wintry conditions allow. Several years back when the Beast from the East hit and the road was impassible except for tractors impromtu sledges were provided in the form of silver buffet platters from The Durham Ox with many a squealing adult travelling at breakneck speed! Crayke used to have a butchers, bakers (no, not a candlestick makers!) several pubs, a cobblers, a sweet shop (where you could buy an array of sweeties for a ha'penny....aah, those were the days!) a garage, post office, general store and a greengrocers (not bad for a population in days gone by of just 501 (1881 Census) The population is now below 400.

We have some impressive buildings in the village.....

Our imposing (yet sadly abandoned) castle sits proudly on the top of the hill. The original castle (most probably constructed from timber) stood here from the 12th Century but this castle was constructed in the mid 15th Century. A cheeky and dasterdly chap, Sir Francis Walsingham (Secretary of State and staunch ally of Queen Elizabeth 1) once disposed of the body of a Spanish sea Captain here ( after he had been tortured to death) by walling him up between the dining room and under croft.

Slightly older than the castle is our village church, St Cuthberts, which dates from 1436 and is named after Cuthbert who was the Bishop of Lindisfarne and after he died was celebrated as the most important Medieval Saint of northern England.

Just adjacent to the church is Crayke Hall which was built in 1747 (so a relative youngster in comparisoon to the castle & church!)

Our beautiful village Green is covered in daffodils in spring and wild flowers during the summer and Whistling Green (previously a Methodist chapel) overlooks this lovely Green. It dates from 1902. In recent times permission has been granted for the road to be closed for special occasions such as the Queen's Golden Jubilee so that the villagers can hold street parties.

Another house in our eclectic village collection is this beautiful timber framed house thought to date from the early 1600s and with the original cobbles that lined the street still in place

Below we have The Homestead (built 1782) and Ivy Farm house (1560)

And our 300 year old pub, The Durham Ox, serves up scrumptious food and ales in a beautiful oak panelled dining room and of course is the perfect place to end up after a good exploration of our sweet little village.

Let's hope that the next blog when we can finally reopen to all guests is full of joy and sunshine and giddy anecdotes!

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