1 - Introduction
the years, many people have visited Stillington, and each has seen it
differently. Thomas Gill in his 1852
history Vallis Eboracensis saw it as
a wild place. A village within the
ancient royal hunting preserve, the
getting its name from 'the stealing town,
where tradition says the original settlers obtained a livelihood by robbing the
King's forest of its deer'.
Unfortunately for Gill's theory, the village was here and called
Stillington, before the
set up their royal hunting forests, and before taking wild game became an
Harland, researching for a 1951 book on the North Riding, visited and found a
village which, in his words, 'I had
always understood, was dull, and a trifle arid.
I found it pleasing enough, though I don't think I should ever want to
what is the truth? - Gill's romantic village of rogues, living like Robin Hood,
or Harland's sleepy little village where nothing happens? The truth, as ever, is somewhere in
between. A thriving, active village for
over 1,000 years, with for the times, a fairly large population. Nearly, but
not quite, caught up in the Industrial Revolution.
the end of the second millennium, in an era of almost unprecedented social
change, the village decided it would like to mark the occasion by writing a
village history. The question then
arose, when do you start and finish a history?
Trying to write a comprehensive history would be a major project. It would either have to be a very large book,
or would have to miss out much detail.
It was necessary to be selective.
We have gone from the era of the horse to the space age within living
memory, and the rate of change is such that things that were once taken so much
for granted that they were not recorded, are in danger of becoming lost.
Village History Group decided to take a very generous interpretation of 'a
lifetime', and produce a snapshot of village life in
Yorkshire over the last lifetime or so.