Village of the Week: Two castles, a pub protest and why a sheriff will always be part of this Yorkshire village's story
Accolades such as best kept village and village of the year have come its way over the years, as well as nominations for Royal family backed voluntary and community awards.
Businesses range from dentists to designers, builders and butchers and for those who like a flutter they are in the right place to check out the form guide with a racehorse trainer amongst the locals.
Not bad then for a village that has just over 1,000 residents and half the number of houses, but Sheriff Hutton, meandering between York and Malton packs quite a punch - and yes, it does have connections to an actual sheriff.
It isn’t perhaps a village that you would call a tourist destination in the same way that the likes of Grassington, Hawes and Goathland or Saltaire would be.
There aren’t that many places for sale, they don’t come up often and when they do they are family homes.
Well other than Sheriff Hutton Park perhaps that is listed for a staggering £10m.
Sheriff Hutton hasn’t got sucked up into the commuter category and is still very much a village for villagers.
A small village store nestles next to a house. It is nostalgic and nice to see that it has a traditional noticeboard outside with pinned pieces of paper and posters advertising from local events, classes and things for sale.
Across the road is Beaumont’s garage which does car repairs and is also an agricultural stockist.
A further stroll up Main Street will take you past quaint and cosy cottages where not one is the same. They are made from small, neat, red brick, topped with red pantiles.
Possibly they were farmhouses, certainly farm buildings at some point.
Some are newer, by that possibly 1960s or 70s (the one built around what looks like a chimney or windmill) and a fabulous looking property that could be from the Swiss Alps.
The area is noticeably neat, tidy and green, there is lots of green space and trees. The single track road is lined with dry stone walls and trimmed privets.
A not far at all walk to the pub at the top of the road leads you to The Castle Inn. However, there is no warm welcome to be had.
The pub, thought to date back more than 200 years, closed in 2021 when the landlord left and didn’t reopen.
Last year, to mark the occasion, some former customers staged a sit out protect to mourn a year without the pub which has seen four generations of the same family pop in for a pint.
Residents say they hope that brewery owners, Sam Smiths, will one day open the pub again.
Fear not, at the bottom end of Main Street you will spot The Highwayman Inn on The Square and Quarmbys Deli and Coffee House.
The Highwayman has been in the same family ownership for some years now and will see you right.
Sheriff Hutton has a strong show of groups such as the cricket club, bowling club, badminton, naturalists, gardening, local history, tennis, youth club and The Jumblies.
How can you not want to join with a name like that and this group, which organises jumble sales and coffee mornings, have in their time since 1986, raised more than £325,000 for charity.
In 2017 The Jumblies were shortlisted for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. They have been Highly Commended in a previous Yorkshire Post Rural Awards and in 2007 The Jumblies were proud winners of the Duke of York's Community Initiative Award.
In October 1969, Eric Hayhurst and Alan Farnaby produced the first edition of the Sheriff Hutton Village News using stencils and a hand-operated Roneo duplicator.
Each month, now by word processor, the newsletter is still produced and distributed to every household for free.
This month’s features 15 pages on the outcomes of the latest planning decisions, a request for residents to make sure trees and hedges are cut back, details and reports of previous and upcoming local groups and a request from a local couple that the approach to the church be kept clear as they will be arriving in an HGV truck for their big day.
There are also church service times and even a mention of where Rev John Hayward from the Methodist Church will be going on holiday.
Theme parks in Orlando, Florida as it goes, but, rather than just be passed off as village ‘tittle tattle’ - this is exactly the kind of thing that binds villages and their people together, that sense of knowing each other, familiarity and openness.
Sheriff Hutton is one of the locations for the Yorkshire Point to Point horse racing calendar and local family, The Easterbys, not only host the meeting here but are prominent in the arena of horse racing as winning trainers.
Now, going back to those castles.
In 1140, during the reign of King Stephen, a motte-and-bailey castle was built here by Bertram de Bulmer, the remains of which can be seen to the south of the churchyard and have been designated Ancient Monument status.
In 1331 the Neville family received overlordship of Sheriff Hutton and in 1382 John Neville started to build a second castle on a new site in the village. It was completed in 1398.
The Neville’s were largely responsible for the growth of the village that we see today. Richard Duke of Gloucester (the future Richard III) was placed in the household of Richard Neville.
It is likely that Richard III visited Sheriff Hutton several times and in 1485 he created The Council of the North which used to meet in York or Sheriff Hutton. From 1547 the castle seems to have been occupied only spasmodically by the Council and declined since then.
As an aside, Hutton is derived from the Old English words hoh and tun, meaning settlement on a projecting piece of land. The Sheriff part is thought to arise because of Bertram de Bulmer, the Sheriff of York, who died in 1166.