Scruton Heritage & History
Ancient Origins of Scruton
There has been a settlement at Scruton since the Angles came here in the 6th or 7th century. The original name of the village is unknown but in the 9th century it took on the Viking name of Scurfa’s tun (Scurfa’s farm). By the time of Domesday in 1086 it became Skurveton or Scurueton and eventually Scruton.
Prior to the Norman Conquest there were two ‘manors’ or farms belonging to Cnut and Torfin. After the Conquest the lands in Skurveton were given over to Picot de Lascelles, a vassal of Count Alan the Red of Brittany. Skurveton remained in the hands of the Lascelles family until the end of the 13th century. It subsequently passed to the Markenfield family of Markenfield Hall in 1314 and then to the Danby family of Thorp Perrow towards the end of the 16th century.
Thomas Gale purchased the manor of Scruton from the Danbys in 1688. The Gales were an old Scruton family living in the Manor House which still survives. Thomas’ son Roger Gale was a renowned academic and MP for Northallerton. Roger Gale built Scruton Hall in 1705 and planted the old Lebanon cedars, some of which survive in Scruton Parkland and have become emblematic of the village.
The male line of the Gale family died out in 1795 and the manor of Scruton subsequently passed to the Coore family when Harriet Gale married Lt-Col Foster Coore in 1816. Wings were added to enlarge the original Queen Anne house making it much grander. Scruton estate was sold in 1953 and sadly, the hall demolished for its assets in 1958.
Church of St Radegund
The first church in Scruton was a simple barn-like structure built in the 12th century. A shallow Norman buttress from the original building still remains on the old west wall. The church was extended in the 13th century as the population grew and a chantry was founded in 1335. The tower, with its crenelated top, was added in the 15th century.
In 1795 a Diocesan inspection described the church as being in a ‘wretched’ condition. Extensive restoration took place in 1865 at a cost of £3,000 which was financed by Henry Coore and his wife Augusta.
The 3 church bells (a medieval tenor and two trebles cast in Whitechapel) were restored in 1987 to celebrate the 1400th anniversary of the death of St Radegund. The work was financed through public subscription and by families with the name of Scruton, from all over the world.