Nova Scotia Farm and Ladhill Gill

A view north-east from Hawnby Hill.

A view with several interesting features.

Bumper Hagg, on the far side of Ladhill Gill, contains an abundance of pre-historic features. Cairns, and linear earthworks1North York Moors National Park HER Map. HER No: 13021. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]..

In the distance, seemingly on the highest point of Bumper Moor, is Wethercote Farm2North York Moors National Park HER Map. HER No: 1545. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022].. This was one of the main sheep-rearing farms of Rievaulx Abbey, running with probably 4,000 sheep on the surrounding moor 3Cowley, Bill. “Snilesworth”. Page 20. Turker Books 1993.. A phenomenal number compared with modern stockage.

The oldest extant building at Wethercote is a late 18th-century L-shaped cow byre. The farmstead itself was divided into two during the 19th-century, each with their own outbuildings but re-united in about 19904Ibid..

On the left, about half way up the hillside is the ruined Bumper Castle. This is dated as mid-18th-century5North York Moors National Park HER Map. HER Nos: 1311/10082. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]. but was well-built with a slate roof so probably built originally as a shooting lodge6Cowley, Bill. “Snilesworth”. Page 101. Turker Books 1993..  It is said that the 3rd Duke of Rutland and the Marquis of Granby stayed here7Ibid.. But by the 1851 census it was certainly used as a farm as a Richard Hilbert was farming 127 acres8Ibid..

In the foreground is a residential property with a curious name, Nova Scotia.  It is listed as post medieval so probably 18th-century9North York Moors National Park HER Map. HER No: 10761. [online] Available at: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/archaeology/her-map [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]. but on the 1857 O.S. map the farm is recorded as ‘Novey House’10Maps.nls.uk. (2022). View map: Yorkshire 72 (includes: Arden; Boltby; Dale Town; Kepwick; Murton.) – Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952. [online] Available at: https://maps.nls.uk/view/102344398#zoom=6&lat=7120&lon=13357&layers=BT [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]..

One possible explanation for this name is that on 11 March 1774, the Albion, a brigantine of 150 tons, set sail from Hull bound for Nova Scotia in Canada11Scarboroughsmaritimeheritage.org.uk. (2017). Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre | Hull to Nova Scotia. [online] Available at: https://www.scarboroughsmaritimeheritage.org.uk/article.php?article=86 [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022].. She was carrying a cargo of woollens, linens, ironmongery and 188 passengers, all from Yorkshire, mostly the North Riding.

Amongst these were Lancelot Chapman, from Hawnby, 49 years old, his wife Frances, three sons, and five daughters, and his brother William Chapman who took his family, his wife Mary, five sons and four daughters12Ibid..

Lancelot was a tenant farmer of Stebanthwaite farm, and said it was “on account of their rents being raised by the Duke of Rutland, so that they could not live“. Perhaps another reason was a deep seated intolerance against Methodism as reported by John Wesley when he visited Hawnby in 175713Upperryedale.org.uk. (2022). The Hawnby Dreamers Day. [online] Available at: http://www.upperryedale.org.uk/dreamers.htm [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022].. Wesley wrote that ‘the zealous landlord turned all the Methodists out of their houses‘.

Now Stebanthwaite was located at the head of Ryedale near to Snilesworth Lodge14Cowley, Bill. “Snilesworth”. Page 57. Turker Books 1993.. On the 1857 O.S. map the farmstead is recorded as ‘Stephen Thwaites15Maps.nls.uk. (2022). View map: Yorkshire 57 (includes: Snilesworth.) – Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952. [online] Available at: https://maps.nls.uk/view/102344344#zoom=7&lat=2959&lon=6496&layers=BT [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022].. It was demolished after 1918 with the stone being reused at the Lodge16Cowley, Bill. “Snilesworth”. Page 111. Turker Books 1993..

If Lancelot was at Stebanthwaite, perhaps William Chapman was the tenant farmer down the dale at ‘Novey House‘?

But in any case, the migration of Yorkshire folk, mainly Methodist tenant farmers, continued to Nova Scotia for another year. In total 1,000 people,  migrated to Nova Scotia occurred between 1772 and 177517Wikipedia Contributors (2020). Migration from Yorkshire to Nova Scotia. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_from_Yorkshire_to_Nova_Scotia [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022].. Perhaps another Hawnby family emigrated to Nova Scotia and the farm was named in memory of those family members who left to make a new life across the Atlantic.

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