Charles Farndale of Kilton Lodge
























The heart of the Farndale family





John Farndale who wrote about Kilton


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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB




The Farndales of Kilton


Kilton is at the heart of the Farndale family.


The following family lines were focused around Kilton:


The Kilton 1 Line


The Kilton 2 Line


The Kilton 3 Line


The Kilton 1 Line is an important part of the family heritage and many modern Farndale families will be able to trace through this line.


There are many other Farndales associated with Kilton including:


·         John Farndale (FAR00116) (27 June 1680 to 5 October 1757), householder of Brotton, perhaps the first Farndale at Kilton

·         John Farndale (FAR00143) (28 February 1724 to 24 January 1807), “Old Farndale of Kilton”, a farmer, alum house merchant, yeoman and cooper.

·         John Farndale (FAR00217) who wrote extensively about Kilton and you will find a lot of material on his web page (much is still to be transcripted). He wrote The History of Kilton’.



It is hard to know exactly when the first member of the Farndale family came to Kilton. Certainly they were there by the late 1600s and in the 1500s and early 1600s there were Farndales at Liverton, Moorsome, Skelton and Kirkleatham. But before pursuing this in more detail it is of interest to know something of Kilton itself, after all it was to be the home of the Farndales for almost 300 years.

It seems that Alan de Percy founded the Fief of Kilton in the Barony of Percy in 1106. This was sublet to a certain Walter who subdivided into three, the Fief of Kilton proper, the Lordship of Hinderwell and Kirkleatham. In the Fief of Kilton there were the manors of Kilton Thorpe and Little Moorsholm the Soke of South Loftus. The Lordship of Hinderwell comprised the manors of Hinderwell, Seaton and Roxby and the Sokes of Boulby, Arnodestorp, Roxby, Hinderwell and Reschelthorp. The Kirkleatham property consisted of a third of that parish.


The village is recorded in the Domesday Book as Chiltune, which is possibly derived from a combination of Old Norse and Old English of "narrow-valley farm/settlement' or a Scandinavianised form of cilda-tun, 'children's farm/settlement. The village is to the west of Kilton Beck Valley, a narrow cut that carries the Kilton Beck to the sea at Skinningrove The remains of Kilton Castle lie to the south east and the village is 7 miles (11 km) east of Guisborough and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Brotton.


In the 13th century, Kilton Castle was the base of the rebel Will Wither.


Robert de Thweng


Robert de Thweng gained ownership of the Castle of Kilton through his marriage to Matilda, niece of Sir William de Kylton and widow of Richard de Autrey, in 1222. He thus inherited a dispute with the Prior of Gisborough, concerning the advowson of the parish priest at Kirkleatham, particularly that the Prior had tried to gain control of the parish whilst Sir William was infirm. He was angered by what he saw as the imposition of foreign (Italian) priests.


When Robert had exhausted all the ecclesiastical routes of appeal, he turned to rebellion (around Easter 1232), and raided church properties, especially those belonging to foreign churchmen, under the sobriquet Will Wither (literally ‘William the Angry’), and he distributed the spoils to the poor. He was excommunicated by the Papal Legate in England, Cardinal Otto.


He was given support by the great northern Magnate families: Percy, Neville, Fitz-Randolph, de Vesci, de Maulay, de Menyll, de Roos and de Brus.

He presented his case to Henry III of England who, rather than punish him, gave him letters of recommendation to take to Pope Gregory IX. The Pope ruled in his favour, bringing the rebellion of Will Wither to an end. Biographies suggest that the influence of Richard of Cornwall may have been decisive in this case.


In 1240 Robert set out with Richard on Crusade, but he probably never reached The Holy Land, as he was dispatched as an envoy to Frederick II. In 1244 he was charged with assaulting the Archbishop of York, Walter de Gray, and his lands were seized, but later returned to him.


His later life is unclear. He may have been alive during the Second Barons' War, and one biography suggests he took Henry's side, although there is evidence he may have been dead by 1257, when his son Marmaduke was apparently in control of the major Thweng estates.


Doomsday Book states that the King held land at both Kilton and Kilton Thorpe. At Kilton Thorpe there was a manor and one and a half caracutes of land and at Kilton, one caracute. Both were held for the King by the Count of Mortain. However he was banished for conspiracy in 1088 and both villages, the two and a half caracutes, another five and a half caracutes and eight acres of meadow passed to Robert de Brus. At this time too the manor of Little Moorsholm formed part of the Kilton Fee. That of Great Moorsholm did not join the Kilton Fee until 1272. It seems too that the Soke of South Loftus, six caracutes of land, joined the Kilton Fee soon after the Doomsday survey. North Loftus was much bigger and was part of the Chester Fee. In 1166 the subtenant of Kilton was "Ilger de Kilton" and remained so until 1190.

Kilton remained under the Lordship of Robert de Brus until 1272.

He was succeeded by his son William who married a certain Alice. He was succeeded probably in 1219, by Matilda his niece, probably son of Roger, one of his five brothers. Matilda was married to Richard de Autrey who died and in 1226 she married Robert de Thweng.

The Castle was probably founded by Pagan Fitzwalter between 1135 and 1140 and he gave it the same of the Kilton Fief. To begin with it would be a wooden stockade but by 1140 his son Osbert began the stone construction. This was probably finished by William de Kilton between 1190 and 1200. It was from Kilton that Robert de Thweng using the nickname "Will Wither" harried the papal clergy who took his church at Kirkleatham and many others all across the North of England. Eventually he was excommunicated. He assembled some 20 of the Lords and knights of the North at Kilton and armed with their letters of support set off for Rome to be freed with an order not to interfere with the lay patrons. Robert was followed by his son Marmaduke who had married Lucia de Brus in about 1247 and had been born and baptised at Kilton Castle in 1225. His eldest son Robert was born at Kilton Castle in 1255, then came seven more sons and five daughters, the last born in 1276. The second son Marmaduke born in Kilton Castle in 1256 moved to Danby and Kilton went to his eldest son Robert who died in 1279 leaving only a daughter Lucy. Kilton then passed to Marmaduke of Danby's second son Marmaduke who married and had six sons and three daughters. He played a prominent part in the Scottish wars of that time and a major part in the Battle of Stirling on 11 September 1297 where his eldest son Marmaduke was killed. He went on as English commander defeating Bruce at Methven in 1306. Marmaduke was summoned to Parliament in 1294, but he spent almost all his time in Scotland until 1307 when, aged 51 he settled down at Kilton Castle. When his wife died in 1309 he handed over Kilton to his eldest surviving son William. He died in 1323 aged 67.

William became one of the most dissolute of the northern nobles. He had fought at Stirling and throughout the Scottish campaign of 1306. He died in 1341 and was buried at Horndale nunnery 2 miles east of the Castle. From his death Kilton Castle began to decline. He left no issue and Kilton passed to his brother Robert who was by then 63 and was a priest.

Kilton passed to his brother Thomas, the last of the Thwengs, born at Kilton in 1283 and aged 62 on his accession. He was rector of Kirkleatham. Kilton was neglected, although Catherine the widow of William lived there to her death in 1349. Between 1349 and 1358 no one lived there until Sir Marmaduke de Lumley took up residence. Thomas de Thweng died at Kirkleatham in 1374 aged 91 and Robert de Lumley, son of Sir Marmaduke succeeded his great uncle Thomas de Thweng. But he died before the year was out and his son Ralph born at Kilton Castle in 1361 became Lord of Kilton at the age of 13. When he grew up he abandoned Kilton and converted his house at Lumley into a great fortress/Palace. In 1398 he dissolved the Chapel of St Peter in Kilton Castle when he finally left Kilton for the newly completed Lumley.

By 1537 when the Crown took possession of Kilton Castle it was a gaunt, grim, ivy clad ruin. Thereafter it was used as a local source of building material. There is a story that Coulson was besieged and destroyed by Cromwell but this is most unlikely as by that time it had been uninhabited for 240 years.

About 1680 a Mr Thomas Thweng purchased the Castle from the Crown, probably a descendant of a junior branch of the family. He certainly did not live there and it was probably he who built the original Kilton Hall some 1 mile away from its stone. His only daughter Ann married Mr William Tully and at the East End of the chancel of old Brotton church (now no more) was a large memorial which said "Sacred memory of William Tully of Kilton in this county, Esq, who departed this life 27 May 1741 aged 72 and is interned underneath this monument. He married Ann sole daughter and heiress of Thomas Thweng of Kilton Castle in this county, Esq, by whom he left no issue."

The original farmstead of Stank House was built in about 1700of the stone of Kilton Castle. In the east wall of the outbuildings is a large carved stone which would appear to have once born a coat of arms, now completely obliterated.

In feudal times when the Castle was inhabited, there was a village of some size occupying the site of the modern farmstead of Kilton Hall, some 700 yards north west of the Castle. This village is now represented only by the hall and three modern brick cottages by the field are still called "Town End Close." The present hall occupies the site of the Georgic house which itself stood on the site of a still older manor house built from stone of the Castle.





John Farndale (FAR000217) wrote The History of the Ancient Hamlet of Kilton-in-Cleveland, printed by W Rapp, Dundas Street, Saltburn 1870

The History of Kilton dedicated to the Reverend William Jolley , Returning Immigrant, by John Farndale

A text, Impact of Agricultural Change on the Rural Community - a case study of Kilton circa 1770-1870, Janet Dowey includes much about John Farndale and his writings


This first extract comes from Impact of Agricultural Change on the Rural Community - a case study of Kilton circa 1770-1870, Janet Dowey:

The most predominant family at Kilton was the Farndales, their ancestry ages old. Its most distinguished member John Farndale wrote numerous books on the area. Kilton, the village itself had been a thriving community consisting of a public house, a meeting house, two lodging houses and a schoolhouse, from which sprang two eminent schoolmasters. A butcher's shop, a London tailor and his apprentice and eight others, a rag merchant, a shop which sold some books, pens, needles, tape and thread. Five sailors, two soldiers, two missionaries plus a number of very old people.

The picture John Farndale paints is of a peaceful rural community who boasted of no poachers, no cockfighters, no drunkards or swearers. A church going people who met together on a Sunday afternoon. Kilton at that time had nearly 20 houses and a population of 140 men, women and children, a Hall, stables, plantation and the old Castle plus 12 small farms stop when John wrote these books he was speaking of a time long since gone (the early nineteenth century), he listed each family that lives lived within the village.

Robert Jolly was a farmer and a staunch Wesleyan. After his death his farm was carried on awhile by his sons. This being the time of Nelson's death (1805), John goes on to say that there was great reformation in Kilton estate, "the little farms were joined together, about 150 acres each. Every farmer had to move to a new farm. The sons of Robert Jolly each moved away at this time, one became a lifeguard to George III and the other eventually became a minister. William Bulmer was another native of Kilton and married with nine children, he made his living buying and selling, but all his children moved away into 'respectable' situations."

Many of the farmers were weavers too, one in particular, George Bennison, had two looms plus his land and also prepared a colt for Northallerton fair once a year stop. The children of these farmers continually moved away from the district and agriculture. John Farndale says "and now they disappear, but where are they gone, I know not". John Tuke says "it is observable, but in those families which have succeeded from generation to generation to the same farm, the strongest attachment to old customs prevails. For conduct and character, the farmer under survey must deservedly rank high among their fellows in any part of England, they are generally sober, industrious and orderly; most of the younger part of them have enjoyed a proper education, and give a suitable one to their children, who, of both sexes, are brought up in habits of industry and economy. Such conduct rarely fails meeting its reward; they who merit, and seek it, obtain independence, and every generation, or part of every generation, may be seen stepping forward to a scale in society somewhat beyond the last."

However Thomas Hardy in his book "Tess of the D'Urbervilles", states "all mutations so increasingly discernible in village life did not originate entirely in the agricultural unrest. A depopulation was going on." The village life which Hardy talks about had previously "contained" side by side with agricultural labourers an "interesting and better informed class". These included a carpenter, a Smith, shoemaker, huckster "together with nondescript workers" in addition to the farm labourers. A group of people who "owed a certain stability of aim and conduct to the fact of their being life-holders or copyholders or occasionally small freeholders." When the long holdings fell in they were rarely again let to identical tenants, and they were usually pulled down, if they were not needed by the farmer or his workers. "Cottagers who were not directly employed on the land were looked upon with disfavour, and the banishment of some starved the trade of others, who were thus obliged to follow." Families such as these had formed the backbone of the village life in the past who were the depositories of the village traditions, had to seek refuge in the large centres; the process, designated by statisticians as the tendency of the rural population towards the large towns being really the tendency of water to flow uphill when forced by machinery.

And so to the conclusion:-

"An introduction to this small work, although small, yet I hope it will be interesting to the tourist. The emigrants returning after a long series of years to his nativity, as well as the missionary from the continent, the soldier from his long campaign; the lifeguard from the city of London all these we have hailed with joy to their dear home Kilton, which strange to say there are no little boys ought and girls playing there. Is this well pleasing, to kind providence, who said to our first parents, when he puts them into the Garden of Eden, "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." Would it not be advisable to divide and subdivide and divide again this great continent - this farm, and obey our Father's commands, being fruitful and multiplying, and what a noble race of young girls would then be playing in this Jerusalem, as in the olden time.

We are now surprised to hear the above, on their return from a far country saying, "no place can equal Kilton for loveliness" standing as it does, in the midst of sylvan scenery, beautiful landscape and woodland scenery, and what a perfume of sweet fragrance from wildflowers, particularly the primrose acres that would grace any gentleman's pleasure ground of beauty into loveliness. Kilton as it is situated, is fitted only for a prince"

"Now much has changed, we oft times have looked and looked again, but no corner of this large farm has been neglected. Witness, this rich stack yard of 100 acres of wheat, the staff of life, and 100 more, oats, beans, peas, hay, clover, potatoes and turnips piled up against the winter storms. In the fold are housed 100 head of sheep, a stable with 14 farming horses, besides the young horses, pigs and geese in abundance, carts, wagons, ploughs and harrows and all implements.

"He makes across the hills adorn,

He clothes the smiling fields with corn,

the beasts with food his hands supply,

and the young ones when they cry."

This was the Kilton John Farndale knew and loved. It had changed beyond belief. Several of the very old and larger states were less crowded than they had been; where a better cultivation had taken place, the small cottages had given way gradually to shape a farm worthy of the person having such money to improve it. A lot of the field structures and hedges were still in place, only some of the hedges had been taken out to make bigger fields. The hedge structure at Kilton was probably there 50 years before John Farndale was born. In one instance a hedge appears to have been put in to divide a field.


Some of the reasons for the demise of Kilton were the industrial revolution, which was the need to centralise craftsmen from the small villages, a revolution in farming methods and farming machinery, a wholesale destruction of the village for the town. The Napoleonic Wars had an influence on the price of farm produce, the price of food was kept at a fairly high level during the war but after the war finished the price of grain fell to one of its lowest levels along with falling meat prices, and disastrous harvests. Farming methods were needed to get the harvest in quicker. This finally led the landlord to enlarge the farms and bring in a farmer with money to modernise the farm. The mechanisation of farming policies on the one hand and the progressive quantity of urban factories on the other, combined to drastically alter that rural life. Taking into consideration also the turnpike roads, the invention of the railway and the canal networks it is obvious that economic and technological forces were bringing far reaching changes. During the period when enclosure was in progress, "the revolution in agricultural methods", there was moderately steady process of new village creation, a considerable upsurge within the 18th century. Enclosure or amalgamation of the Kilton village farms, probably happened in the late 1860s, thus was the complete destruction of the village.

Kilton became a victim not only of the "Monstre farm" but also of the Industrial Revolution.

"And now dear Farndale, the best of friends must part,

I bid you and your little Kilton along and final farewell.

Time was on to all our precious boon,

Time is passing away so soon,

Time know more about his vast eternity,

World without end oceans without sure."

John Farndale. 1870





Countryside at Kilton in 1980





Kilton Hall 1795           




Kilton Hall in about 1890








Kilton Lodge Farm in about 1920



Kilton Hall 1980                                                                                       



Buck Rush Farm about 1912 (it was part of Kilton Lodge Farm under Charles Farndale)







John Farndale (FAR000217) was born at Kilton in Cleveland, Yorkshire on 15 August 1791, second son of William and Mary Farndale (née Ferguson), farmers and business people. On his 84th birthday (1874) he wrote his memoirs. He stated that he was in good health. He died in 1879 aged 88. The following notes are taken from his memoirs which were written in very descriptive Victorian English.

He first described Kilton as "of great interest with a great hall, stable, plantation and ancient stronghold in ruins (Kilton Castle)". "It is still a small place" he says and he describes how many have left it and made their name.

"My first remembrance began in my nurse's arms when I could not have been more than 1 1/2 years old; a memory as vivid as if it were yesterday. She took me out on St Stephen's Day 1973 into the current Garth (a small enclosure) with a stick and 'solt' to kill a hare. A great day at the time. Another time (after celebrating the victory of Trafalgar, 1805) he was dangling head foremost down the draw well hanging by the buckle of his shoe. He goes on to describe a very happy childhood and he clearly adored his mother. "At this time I believe I loved God and was happy."

He remembered "an old relation of my father" (there were several in Kilton at that time) remarking that his elder brother George was a "prodigal son", while John was the son at home with his father. But he describes how he got up to many frolics and had some narrow escapes, although he was no drunkard or swearer.

His parents, he said, "were strict Church people and kept a strict look out. I became leader of the (Brotton) church signers, clever in music" and he excelled his friends. He had a close friend, a musician in the church choir. One day he met him and said he had been very ill and had been reading a lot of books including "Aeleyn's Alarum" and others "which nearly made my hair stand on end." . His friend told him that he was going to alter his way of life and if John would not refrain from his revelries, he would "be obliged to forsake your company.". "That was a nail in a sure place. I was ashamed and grieved as I thought myself more pious than he. Now I began to enter a new life as suddenly at St Paul's but with this difference, he was in distress for three days and nights but for me it was three months". He fasted all Lent and describes his torment. "How often I went onto the hill with my Clarinet to play my favourite tune."

His companion lived one mile away (at Brotton perhaps?) and they met half way every Sunday morning at 6am for prayer. He remembered well meeting in a corner of a large grass field. George (Sayer) began and he followed. When they finished they opened their eyes to see "a rough farm lad standing over us, no doubt a little nervous. Next day this boy said to others in the harvest field 'George Sayer and John Farndale are two good lads for I found them in a field praying.' " On the following Sunday they moved to a small wood and met under an oak tree and met an old man who wanted to join them. As usual George began and John continued when the old man began to roar in great distress






From White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory for 1840 for Yorkshire, East and West Ridings:


KILTON, a small neat village, 6 miles NE by E of Guisborough, has in its township 80 inhabitants and 1,510 acres of land, all the property and lordship of John Wharton Esq and formerly belonging to the ancient family of Thweng, who had a castle here, of which some traces still remain. Directory: Jph Newbegin, vict; Thos Robson, miller; and Matthew and Martin Farndale, George Jennings, George Moore, Thomas Raw & Joseph Thompson, farmers.



In Kelly’s Post Office Directory of 1872:


Kilton is a township, 6 miles north east by eat of Guisborough, and one south from Brotton. Here was formerly a castle of which but few traces remain. Here are church schools, recently erected and supported by John Thomas Wharton esq who is lord of the manor and landowner. The population in 1861 was 93; in 1871, 222; acreage 1,723; gross estimated rental £1,731; rateable value £1,593.


Kilton – commercial:


Farndale, Martin & Charles, farmers

Garbutt, John, miller, Kilton hill

Judson, William, farmer, Stank House

Kilton Iron Stone Co

Porritt, John, farmer, Buckrush

Wood Thomas, farmer, Greenhow


In Kelly’s Post Office Directory 1879, Martin and Charles Farndale were again shown as farmers in the commercial section.




Kilton, 1888:




Kilton 1955:




Four sisters perhaps at time of Charles' family at Kilton Lodge about 1890




Kilton Lodge about 1925 - George and Grace Farndale (whose father was Charles) sitting



Photo of George Farndale taken about 1925 when Vincent was visiting Britain




Picnic at Kilton Lodge about 1910

Back row Vincent's sister, Ray, George, Mary, Grace & Chas Farndale

Front row Mrs Farndale, Grace Todd (Vincent's Aunt), Liz (Vincent's sister), Mary Todd (another aunt) and Vincent





Kilton Lodge about 1910, Vincent Grainger, Mrs Farndale (Ann), Mr Farndale (Charles), George, Grace, man unknown, girl believed to be Mary or Sophie





A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated


Tea Party at Kilton Lodge about 1910 - Mrs Ann Farndale, Charles Farndale, visiting vicar, Vincent Granger (who worked on the farm) and Grace Farndale




This is believed to be Mary Farndale's (daughter of Charles) wedding about 1920




Vincent Grainger aged 16 taken on the steps of Kilton Lodge and aged 93 in 1985

Vincent Grainger worked on the farm at Kilton Lodge as a mamber of the family




John Farndale (FAR00116) looks to have been the first Farndale to live at Kilton.






Kilton in 2016






























 Mine works at Kilton









 Kilton Castle




The remains of Kilton Castle today (takes a bit of finding!)