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Mulgrave Castle

The seat of the Earl of Malgrave, in the township and parish of Lythe, east-division of Langbarugh; 4 miles from Whitby, 17 from Guisbrough. Mulgrave Castle is perched on a neck of land between East Row and Sandsen Becks. Near the present elegant mansion, and upon a steep hill stand the ruins of an ancient castle. The ruins are of several periods, protected by a massive curtain wall supported by huge buttresses. It originally dates from around 1200 - the keep was altered in the 15th century and the castle was enlarged domestically in the 16th century. The ground plan is that of an irregular four-sided enclosure with a central keep, the entrance guarded by twin circular towers which rose above a moat crossed by a drawbridge. The castle was ruinous in 1309, but was in a habitable state in the Civil War when it was held for the king. It was destroyed in 1647, £1000 being paid by Parliament in compensation to the owner. Tradition avers that two centuries before the Conquest, Duke Wada resided in a castle here which he had built. Wada is represented as having been of gigantic stature, and two solid rocks on the summit of a hill nearby, standing about seven feet high, and 12 feet apart, have borne the name of Wade's Grave. His wife, Bell, was also of enormous size, and, according to the legend, carried in her apron the stones with which her husband made the causeway that still bears his name. After the Conquest the manor of Grif, as this place is called in Domesday Book, was granted to Nigel Fossard, and in the reign of Richard I, transferred by the marriage of the heiress of this family to Robert de Turnham. The issue of this marriage was an only daughter, Isabel, who  was given by King John in marriage to Peter de Mauley, a native of Pictou, as a reward for murdering Arthur, his elder brother's son.  He rebuilt the castle. In the war between Charles I and the Parliament, this castle was garrisoned for the King, but was afterwards dismantled by order of Parliament.  The castle and manor remained in the possession of the Mauleys for seven generations, when the line terminated in an heiress, who married Sir John Bigot; and, by the marriage of Dorothy Bigot, the estate was transferred to the Radcliffes. After passing through various other hands it came into the possession of Edmund, Lord Sheffield, Lord President of the North about 1625. King Charles I in 1646 created him Earl of Mulgrave. The fourth earl was advanced to the marquisate of Normanby in 1694, and the dukedom of Normanby and Buckingham in 1703, but dying without issue, in 1735, all his honours became extinct. The title was subsequently revived in the person of Constantine Phipps, grandson of Catherine, duchess of Buckingham and Normanby, by her first marriage, with William Phipps, Esq., who was created Baron Mulgrave, of New Ross, County Wexford, in 1767.  In 1774 a lease of the Mulgrave estate was confirmed to him and his heirs for the sum of £30,000, and a quit-rent of £1,200 per annum. (Restoration work to the ruins is ongoing with help provided by the English Heritage Fund)

In an extensive and beautifully wooded park, stands the modern Mulgrave Castle. It is an elegant mansion in the castellated style, erected about the middle of last century by Catherine, duchess of Buckingham, natural daughter of James II., and wife of John Sheffield, duke of Buckingham and Normanby. Within the grounds are the ruined keep, two circular towers, and a few other fragments of the ancient castle or fortress, from which the present mansion borrows its name. The view from the park combines a varied and beautiful landscape, with a fine sea view.

LYTHE: The parish forms part of the liberty of Langbaurgh, but was added several years ago to the wapentake of Whitby Strand. It includes the townships of Lythe, Barnby, Borrowby, Ellerby, Hutton-Mulgrave, Mickleby, Newton-Mulgrave, and Ugthorpe, containing a population of 2,095, but for ecclesiastical purposes, the six last named townships were, in 1868, formed into a separate parish. The township-fields or common-lands were inclosed in 1776-8.
The township of Lythe contains 5,347 acres, and comprises the villages of Lythe, Goldebro', Kettleness, and Sandsend, with a population of 1,182, rateable value, £3,603. The Marquis of Normanby is the principal landowner, and lord of the manor. The village of Lythe is situated about half-a-mile from the coast, at a height of 500 feet above the sea level.
The Church, dedicated to St. Oswald, was an ancient rectory, in the patronage of Lord Mauley, and was given by Robert Fossard to the Prior of Nossell. At the Dissolution it was granted to the Bygods, the then owners of Mulgrave. Upon the attainder of Sir Francis Bygod, in the reign of Henry VIII., it reverted to that monarch, who gave it to the Archbishop of York. In 1546, Robert, the then archbishop of York, ordained that there be a perpetual vicar in the parish church of Lythe. The burial place of the Mulgrave family is under the chancel, and on the church walls are numerous tablets to various of its members. The organ and font are gifts of the Mulgrave family.


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