Malton Town Trail. A circular walk around Malton's historic buildings. The historic towns of Malton and Norton where the Romans settled, the Normans conquered and Charles Dickens was inspired. Follow the trail below: The Short routes covers point 1 to 16 (approx 1 hour), Intermediate Route 18-24 (1 3/4 hours and the Long Route 25-27 about 2 1/2 hours.
- Town Hall & Tourist Information Centre
A 16th Century building, partly rebuilt in the 18th Century, that had a covered market beneath the filled in arches and justices room above. Now used by the award-winning Malton Museum, it contains Roman artefacts from Derventio. See 24 Orchard Fields for more details.
- Cross Keys
Built on the site of a hospice and resting place for pilgrims, it still has the original crypt of the Hospice with its Norman roof on massive cylindrical columns. Legend has it that an underground passage links the crypt with St. Mary Priory over a mile away.
- Crown Hotel
The Hotel itself is an old coaching inn built in the early 19th century after a fire had destroyed the previous building. The building's façade to Wheelgate is Grade II listed and many architectural and historic features of the building have been tastefully conserved. The stables of this coaching inn, which housed the horses, are now Suddaby’s Brewery
- The Old Lodge
Now privately owned and transformed into a hotel is all that remains of a mansion built in the reign of James I, by Lord Eure. In 1674, because of a dispute over the division of property on Lord Eure's death, the mansion was demolished, each heiress taking equal share of the stones. The Lodge is reputed to have a secret staircase and a priests room.
- St Leonards Church
Built about 1150 by the Gilbertines, the only monastic order to originate in medieval England. It is an unmistakable monument; whichever way you approach the town, you can hardly miss the sight of the tower and spire and clock on the hill and you can hear the chimes as well.
- Corn Exchange
Built in 1845, it was never used as a corn exchange because of its distance from the cattle market: instead it was used for hiring people for work. On January 12th 1867 10,000 men & 3500 women turned up for hiring's. Remodelled in the early 20th century it became a cinema. Currently the building is a shopping mall.
- Assembly Rooms
Formerly the Subscription Rooms and Literary Institute dated 1814. In 1905 it housed a bijou theatre, museum, reading room and a library of 3000 books, as well as librarian’s accommodation.
- York House
Birthplace of Charles Smithson a member of a family of Solicitors who practised in Chancery Lane: the family also shared in the London firm Smithson & Dunn. Charles Smithson joined the London office where he met Charles Dickens and established a lifelong friendship. Charles Dickens visited Malton many times.
- Talbot Hotel
Originally built in the 17th century as a hunting lodge by the Strickland family this coaching inn has many associations with the racing history of Malton and a frequent visitor was John Scott, known as 'The Wizard of the North'. His record of five Derby winners, sixteen St. Legers, eight Oaks, seven 2000 Guineas and three 1000 Guineas still stands today
- Vanbrugh Gateway
Built in the style of Vanbrugh, who worked on Castle Howard. The gateway led to the stables of the Talbot Mansion
- The Green Man
Although an 18th century hotel, part dates back to the 15th century. It is the town's original Coaching Inn, famous for centuries as the meeting place for the gentry.
- The Kings Head
Was used for elections and public debate. Unfortunately it was severely damaged by fire in 1913, losing some of its original features.
- The Shambles
A small street of traders leading to the livestock market place. Was traditionally the home of the butchers and other produce traders directly linked with the markets. Today it houses craft and antique shops, although the livestock markets continue in the traditional way twice weekly.
- St Michael's Church
Originally founded in c.1150 as one of two chapels of ease for the Gilbertine priory at Old Malton. The stone pillar outside in the car park was the position of the towns first gas lamp lit in 1836.
- Milton Rooms
Built by Earl Fitzwilliam to commemorate the coming of age of his son Viscount Milton, it was presented to the town by the Fitzwilliam Estate in 1948.
- Chancery Lane
The shuttered windowed building facing into this lane is reputed to be the model for Scrooge's counting house in the Charles Dickens novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ his brother Alfred Lamert Dickens a railway engineer lived in Malton during the construction of the York-Scarborough railway and the Malton/Driffield line. He married Helen Dobson from Strensall York and moved to Norton.
- Railway Bridge
The railway was built in 1845 with the approach to the station over a wooden bridge, which was replaced in 1870 by the present iron bridge.
- Railway Station
Built in 1845 by George Townsend Andrews, the station was used as a distribution centre for agricultural supplies, coal and other goods, with a line to the coast and York.
- River Derwent
In Queen Anne’s reign, grain and provisions were taken to the West Riding by boat, and woollen goods returned. The arrival of the railway in 1845 saw the demise of the river transportation. The river runs through Malton to Barmby-on-the-Marsh where it joins the River Ouse.
- Picnic Area
At the end of the bridge take the riverside path to the picnic area, proceed to join Norton Road that takes you to County Bridge.
- County Bridge
This stone bridge carried the turnpike road to Scarborough. A Toll House stood in the middle dividing the East and North Ridings.
Built in 1735. After the official end of the workhouse system in 1930, Malton workhouse briefly became a hospital under its original name of Spring Hall, but closed in 1934. The casual ward was in use until 1940. The former workhouse site is now largely occupied by modern housing. The male infirmary ward now forms part of a fire station
- Castle Site and Gardens
In 1086 the Manor of Old Malton was given to Ivo De Vescy, who built the first castle on this site. No longer needing the Manor, Eustace Fitzjohn (Ivo De Vescy’s son-in-law) gave the Manor to the Gilbertine order, who built a Monastery there in the 1150’s. The Vescy family presided over this castle for 150 rebellious years. This included surviving several sieges and two separate rebellions against ruling Monarchs. The castle survived another onslaught in 1317 before succumbing to Robert the Bruce in 1322. Sadly the castle slowly fell into ruin, although its 12th Century Chapel remained until 1543. In 1604 the Jacobean Manor House was built on the site. (See 6. The Old Lodge Hotel.) The 6-acre Castle Site has ongoing renovation work being carried out to create a woodland area and gardens for public access.
- Orchard Fields
This area was once the site of a huge 22-acre legionary camp. The Roman Fort (Fort Derventio) which overlooked the river Derwent was occupied from AD70 to the 4th century. Plaques tell the story of the site and the stone marker shows where excavations were carried out from 1926.
- Lady Spring Wood
The wood has a beautiful mosaic trail designed and hand made by Norton
Wildlife Watch group. It is bursting with ancient and beautiful springs bubbling with clear spring water. This natural area is an important site, with abundant dead wood and calcareous flushes providing a rich habitat for invertebrates.
- Abbey House
Charles Smithson lived at the Abbey House after autumn of 1843, the house is
behind St Mary's Priory Church he died in 1844 aged only 39 years. (The interesting Abbey House is now a private Residential Home for the Elderly). Charles Dickens attended the funeral here at Old Malton, leaving York by post-chaise at 7.00 am on the 5th April and arriving just in time for the funeral at 9.30 am. No doubt this speedy journey over rough uneven terrain was very uncomfortable, but it emphasises Dickens' tenacity and stoicism in undertaking so many journeys in his lifetime enabled his understanding of life in those days and his experiences and social comment to be related in such variety and detail.
- St Mary’s
St Mary’s Priory Church the Domesday Book records a church on this site: amongst the stone fragments displayed in the church can be seen part of a pre-Conquest cross-head. The present church is a fragment of the large & stately church of the Gilbertine Priory which stood upon this site. Some idea of the external appearance of the church & claustral buildings is conveyed by the reconstruction sketch which hangs inside the church. The Gilbertine Order had twenty-six Houses, all of them in England. St Mary’s, Old Malton, is the only church of the order still in use.
Malton Trail Map:
Old Malton Map:
See also the Norton Trail