Malton, North Yorkshire

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Church Festival.JPG
Food stalls in Malton
Malton is located in North Yorkshire
 Malton shown within North Yorkshire
Population 4,888 
OS grid reference SE788722
   – London 180 mi (290 km)  S
District Ryedale
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MALTON
Postcode district YO17
Dialling code 01653
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Thirsk and Malton
List of places

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Malton is a market town, civil parish and electoral ward in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town is the location of the offices of Ryedale District Council and has a population of around 13,000 people, measured for both the Town and electoral ward at the 2011 Census as 4,888.[1]

It is located to the north of the River Derwent which forms the historic boundary between the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire.

Facing Malton on the other side of the Derwent is Norton. The Karro Food Group (formerly known as Malton Bacon Factory), Malton bus station and Malton railway station are located in Norton-on-Derwent.

Malton is the local area's commercial and retail centre. In the town centre there are small traditional independent shops and high street names. The market place has recently become a meeting area with a number of coffee bars and cafés opening all day to complement the public houses.



The earliest established building at Malton comes from the late first century AD. The Roman auxiliary fort of Derventio was established under the governor Agricola around the same time as Eboracum.[2] The site was established on the north bank of the River Derwent. A large civilian settlement grew up alongside the fort, on the south bank of the river.[3][4] A single Roman cavalry unit, the Ala Gallorum Picentiana is recorded from the site.

The site remained occupied (and subject to continued development) throughout the four centuries of Roman occupation in Britain, particularly in the Trajanic, Severan, Constantian and Theodosian periods and is notable for the manufacture of jet jewellery[3] at the site as well as a single unique inscription identifying a goldsmith shop.[3][5]


In the 11th century, a wooden Norman castle, Malton Castle, was built in what is now Castle Garden. This had been rebuilt in stone by Eustace de Vescy by the time Richard the Lionheart visited the castle in 1189. Other visitors included Edward II, in 1307 and Robert the Bruce in 1322. The great house subsequently became ruined.[6]

The castle site was inherited by Lord William Eure in 1544, when he was also made a baron.[note 1] In 1569 Ralph Eure built a new house on the castle site and in 1602, the house was rebuilt in much grander style. This was a spectacular property and it was described by the diarist and gunpowder plotter Sir Henry Slingsby as the rival of many other great houses, including that at Audley End.[6]

The house was subsequently demolished in 1674 and the stones divided between two sisters, Mary (who married into the Palmes family) and Margaret Eure. They had quarrelled over their inheritance and the demolition was the settlement ordered by Sheriff Henry Marwood. The Old Lodge Hotel is the remaining fragment of the original Jacobean "prodigy house" and its size hints at the grandeur of the complete structure.[6]

18th and 19th centuries

According to contemporary archives, during the 18th century attention was paid to the improving the facilities for traders in Malton, in particular for the numerous butchers, .

The town’s Shambles, currently opposite Malton Town Hall, used to be located on the north side of St Michael's Church, which still stands in the centre of the Market Place.

The town hall was commissioned in 1749. The building was first used as a butter market, butter being the main marketable product for many farmers of the day. The town hall was extended and changed at various intervals over the years.

A sure sign of a town 'up and coming' was the advertisement of a 'light coach, setting out from Leeds to Scarborough returning to Malton to dine.'

In the last year of the 18th century, there was a famine in the area, and a soup kitchen was set up in a brew house in the town. The Earl Fitzwilliam of the time subscribed to a fund, which helped provide 'good strong soup' for the hungry poor.

In 1801 the population of Old and New Malton numbered 3,788. The workhouse contained 15 elderly people and 17 children.

In 1809 Malton’s Talbot Hotel was extended and modernised with a third floor being added and new stables being constructed across the road from the hotel.

The town’s Assembly Rooms were opened in 1814, a place in which 'polite society' could mingle. According to the 1840 edition of White’s Gazetteer, it was noted that Malton's "town and suburbs have much improved during the last twenty years, by the erection of houses; and gas works were constructed in 1832." Later the 1840 York Herald reported that Malton,s street lights were not in working order due to flooding.

The development of the local railway network flourished during the mid-1800s – the York to Scarborough railway opened in 1845 and the Malton and Driffield Junction Railway opened in 1853.

Navigation on the River Derwent

The navigation capacity on the Derwent was one of the earliest in Britain to be significantly improved around 1725, enabling extensive barge traffic to transport goods and produce.

The navigation continued to compete with the railway, having been extended as far as Yedingham after 1810. The river’s use as a highway declined only after it was bought by the Railway itself and cheaper coal began to arrive by rail, while river maintenance was deliberately neglected.


In Mediaeval times, Malton was briefly a parliamentary borough in the 13th century, and again from 1640 to 1885; the borough was sometimes referred to as 'New Malton'. It was represented by two Members of Parliament until 1868, among them the political philosopher Edmund Burke, and by one member from 1868 to 1885.

The previous Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton (2010 - 2015) was Anne McIntosh, who represented the Conservative Party.


Attractions in modern Malton include the signposted remains of the Roman fort at 'Orchard Fields', and Malton Priory a Gilbertine priory. Eden Camp, a military themed museum, is located just outside the town. Malton Museum is located at the Subscription Rooms in Yorkersgate.[7] The town has an independent cinema, which also houses the World Wide Shopping Mall, and independent retailers, high street shops, cafés, public houses and restaurants.

Both towns are known in connection with Charles Dickens, who made regular visits to the area to see his friend Charles Smithson; he also wrote the famous novel "A Christmas Carol" while staying in Malton. There have been recent revivals of Dickens-related festivals. Malton and the neighbouring village of Old Malton provide the settings for the collection of stories told in the book, "All is Bright - A Yorkshire Lad's Christmas" by Dave Preston.

In September 2013 Ryedale District Council issued their Local Plan Strategy. The current Local Plan, produced in September 2013, supports Malton (together with Norton, its twin town on the south side of the river Derwent) as Ryedale District’s Principal Town. The Local Plan sees Malton’s historic town centre as the thriving and attractive cultural and economic heart of the area. During the Plan’s period until 2027, Malton and Norton will be the focus for the majority of any new development and growth including new housing, employment and retail units. The Local Plan establishes a level of house-building of 200 units per annum for the whole district in order to deliver at least 3,000 (net) new homes over the period of 2012 to 2027. Approximately 50% of the planned supply – around 1,500 new homes - will be directed to Malton and Norton. A further plan for employment land is proposed for Malton. Of the 37 hectares of employment land required to meet the needs of the district until 2027, approximately 80% will be allocated towards Malton and Norton. For retail development the plan reflects Malton’s role as the main retail centre serving Ryedale, and will direct most new retail and other town centre uses to Malton in order to support and promote its role as a shopping, employment, leisure and cultural centre for Ryedale.[8]

Malton holds a market every Saturday, and a farmers' market once every month. The town has a war memorial and several historical churches (Norton-on-Derwent also holds large church buildings). The town is served by Malton railway station.

Malton is the middle-ground between York, Pickering (access to the North York Moors and also a terminus of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway), Scarborough, Filey and Whitby. The route of The White Rose Way, a long distance walk from Leeds to Scarborough, North Yorkshire also passes through.

Malton and Norton is significant for its horse racing connections, and has a number of training stables in the vicinity. The most recent Malton Stables Open Day, held in August 2013, showcased 19 trainer stables. Writer Norman Maitland describes the history of horse racing as "being in the blood in this part of Yorkshire for generations ..." with meetings being advertised as early as 1692.

Malton was voted one of the best places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times in March 2014.

The 300-year-old Fitzwilliam Malton Estate owns and manages commercial, residential and agricultural property in and around the town of Malton. In 1713 The Hon Thomas Watson Wentworth purchased the Manor of Malton, beginning a long association between the town and the Wentworth, Watson-Wentworth, Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, and Naylor-Leyland families. A book detailing the history since 1713 was published in 2013, entitled 300 years of continuity and change: families and business in Malton from the 18th century to the present.[citation needed]

We Love Malton

The 'We Love Malton' campaign was launched in March 2009. It aimed to reinvigorate the town of Malton as a 'Food Lovers' destination and raise its appeal with both residents and tourists. The most recent Food Lovers Festival took place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May 2015 and included special guests Levi Roots, Prue Leith and Valentine Warner. The Festival for 2016 will take place Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May.

Malton Community Interest Company (Malton CIC)

Formed in 2011, Malton CIC benefits the local area with donations to local organisations, including Ryedale Book Festival. The CIC also finances and provides two hours free parking in Malton's Market Place. It helps organise and fund Malton Food Lovers Festival and the Malton Monthly Food Markets.


Malton's churches include St Michael's Anglican church and St Leonards with St Mary Catholic church. There are other churches in the area.


There are two secondary schools in Malton and Norton, Malton School, founded in 1547, and Norton College. Primary education is provided by St Mary's RC Primary School, Norton Community Primary School and Malton Community Primary School.


As with the rest of the British Isles and Yorkshire, Malton possesses a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest Met Office weather station for which records are available is High Mowthorpe, about 6 miles (10 km) east of the town centre. Due to its lower elevation, the town centre is likely to be marginally warmer than High Mowthorpe throughout the year.

Climate data for High Mowthorpe 175m asl, 1971-2000, Extremes 1960-
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
Average high °C (°F) 5.1
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Record low °C (°F) −10.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 68.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 48.4 66.1 99.8 134.4 186.9 173.1 179.5 173.9 130.8 100.8 62.7 41.5 1,397.9
Source #1: Met Office[9]
Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute[10]


Malton is bypassed by the A64, which runs from Leeds and York to Scarborough, with a junction at the A169 to Pickering and Whitby.

Malton railway station is on the TransPennine Express route, with fast trains every hour running from Scarborough to York, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Current fastest train time from Malton to London Kings Cross (with one change at York) is approximately 2 hours 33 minutes, while Malton to Leeds can take as little as 51 minutes. There are plans to re-open the old rail link between Malton and Pickering, by the heritage North Yorkshire Moors Railway that would re-create services from Malton to Whitby at a distance of 32 miles (51 km).

Malton's bus service is run by Coastliner, a division of the TransDev bus group. Buses run from Leeds and York through Malton to Pickering/Whitby, Scarborough, and Bridlington. There are also regular buses to Castle Howard and Hovingham, and a number of local bus routes.

See also


  1. The Eure family had a long and interesting connection with the area – William's son Ralph, born in 1510, defended Scarborough Castle against the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 and became Warden of the East Marches. He was also involved in the burning of Edinburgh in 1544. The exploits of this bloody warrior are commemorated in Sir Walter Scott's poem entitled 'Lord Eurie'.


  1. "Town/ward population 2011". Retrieved 12 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Historic England. "Roman Malton fort (59794)". PastScape. Retrieved 10 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jones, R. 2009. Roman Malton. Malton: Malton Museum
  4. Historic England. "Roman Malton civilian settlement (59791)". PastScape. Retrieved 10 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Collingwood, R.G. and Wright, R.P. 1965. The Roman Inscriptions of Britain". Oxford: Claredon Press. no.712
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Malton Castle Garden". Derwent Riverside Project. 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "High Mowthorpe Averages". UKMO. Retrieved 8 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "High Mowthorpe extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 8 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Derventio - (Malton) Roman Fort and Civilian Settlement L. Peter Wenham (Cameo Books 1974)
  • The Romans In East Yorkshire John H. Rumsby, English Life Publications 1980
  • Mosaic – the Pavement that Walked Clive Ashman (Voreda Books, London, 2008: ISBN 978-0-9556398-0-7)
  • 300 years of continuity and change: families and business in Malton from the 18th century to the present. Norman Maitland, published by Malton CIC in 2013.

External links