Just before the Norman Conquest two men with the splendid names of Fredgist and Arnegrim each held a ‘manor’ at Huntington (or Huntindune, as it was then called).

Between them, they held two carucates and six oxgangs of land, according to the History of the County of York. An oxgang was the amount of land that could be ploughed by a single ox in a year, or roughly 15 acres; a carucate the amount of land that could be ploughed by a team of eight oxen in a year. So there were eight oxgangs to one carucate, making a carucate about 120 acres. Fredgist and Arnegrim between them controlled about 330 acres of land beside the River Foss.

This land, like so much in the North, passed into the hands of King William 1 after the conquest, and was still listed as owned by the crown in the Domesday Book of 1086. We don’t, sadly, know what happened to poor Fredgist and Arnegrim. We can probably guess.

Down the years, the land around present day Huntington has passed through many hands, royal and non-royal alike. St Mary’s Abbey owned a slice of land here for a while; as did the Knights Hospitaller of St John, an order of military religious knights who were heavily involved in the crusades. By 1303, they held four carucates here - about 480 acres. The vicar of All Saints Church also held land here, for a while - a whole two oxgangs of it (about 30 acres) in 1535, according to the History of the County of York.

While there was always good land aplenty, however, Huntington was never very populous. John Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, published from 1870-72, described Huntington like this: “Huntington: two villages, a township and a parish in York The villages are East H and West H, and they stand on the River Foss, near the York and Market Weighton and the York and Scarborough railways. The township includes the villages; has a station ...and comprises 2,557 acres. Population 529, houses 115.”

It’s all a bit different these days, what with the urban spread of York over the last hundred years, the coming of Monks Cross, and the imminent opening - we hope - of the new community stadium.

We don’t have any photographs of medieval Huntington, sadly. But we did stumble across an old folder of more recent photos, from the 1960s onwards, which offer a series of snapshots of Huntington over the last few decades.

They include Lady Celia Milnes-Coates opening the ‘new’ Huntington Library in October 1964; land earmarked for a play park at the Brockfield Park Estate pictured in March 1972; new bells being installed at Huntington Parish Church on November 1, 1977; the Flag and Whistle pub in February 1982, while still under construction; and the building of the Monks Cross shopping centre in May, 1988. What would Arnegrim and Fredgist have made of that, we wonder?

Stephen Lewis

The Last Tram

Reader and local historian Peter Stanhope called about the photograph we ran last week showing the last of the York horse trams in 1909. The caption didn’t say where in York the photo had been taken. Did anyone know, we asked?

Peter did some digging, and found a description of the last horse tram journey in the late Hugh Murray’s book Horse Tramways of York. According to Mr Murray, that last of the horse trams ran from The Mount to Nessgate. It was driven by the Lord Mayor, Alderman James Birch, with Alderman Carter acting as conductor. As it drew towards the end of its journey, there were cheers from sympathisers, a few tears, and a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Quite right too. Many thanks, Peter...