barnbrough barns _MG_8162
Long the home of the Cresacres whose hall, with priests hiding chamber, had stood since the 16th century. Tradition tells of Sir Percival Cresacre being attacked by a wild cat in 1477 , both man and beast being killed in the church porch of St. Peters Church. A wild cat is on the family shield and carved in stone on the church tower.
St. Peters Church, Barnburgh The lower part of the tower and the north arcade are part of the church of the 12th century. The south aisle and the arcade are 14th century.
The stone ribbed porch has pinnacles and panelled buttresses. Mediaeval relics are gravestones serving as lintels in the clerestory, several piscinas and the font. There are fine old roofs and some 15th century screenwork.
In the nave is the tall shaft of a Norman Cross remarkable for its carving of two figures.
A rare possession is the preserved oak figure of Sir Percival Cresacre of 1477; he lies under the arched canopy of a tomb adorned with shields and rosaries, a badge of his family. He is in armour and helmet, with a heart between his hands and a cat at his feet. On his wife's stone are rosaries arranged like a cross.
Isabel, daughter of Percival Cresacre was the second wife of John Bosville, of Ardsley, they had six children and Isabel became executrix of his will when he died in 1441.
A link with a famous Englishman is a brass inscription to Anne Cresacre,(1511-1577) the only child and heiress of Edward Cresacre (1485-1512); she married John (1510–1547) in 1529, the only son of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535). They had 7 children:
* The eldest Thomas More II (1531-1606) married in 1553 to Mary Scrope(1534-1607), a niece of Henry Scrope ,of Bolton
* Augustine, born 1533, died young
* Edward, born 1535; died and buried at Barnburgh May 1620
* Gerome, stillborn or died soon after birth, probably in 1537
* Thomas More III ¹, born 1538; died before 1606. Married, but name of wife not recorded.
* Bartholomew born 1540 - died young of the plague in London
* Francis, born 1546. Died when still a child
¹ Thomas More III - He had three children: Cyprian, Thomas and Constantine. (The statement that he had a son Cresacre is an error in one of the family pedigrees. The Cresacre, born 1572, was the youngest son and heir of Thomas II and Mary Scrope).*
After the death of John More, Anne married George West of Aston in 1559. Ann was aged 66 when she died.
Of the 13 children of Thomas And Mary More (Nee Scrope), 8 were daughters, one of the 5 sons died young, by 1599 only 3 were living:
1. John, son and heir, born in 1557
2. Thomas baptised at Barnburgh, January 13, 1565. He died April, 1625
3. Henry, baptised March, 1657.
4. Chistopher Cresacre who married a daughter of Thomas Gage. They had 3 children: Helen (1606-1633), Benedictine Nun, and Bridget died October, 1692. Thomas, married a daughter of Sir Basil Brooke.
His son and heir Basil More sold the family property in Hertfordshire and came to live in Barnburgh where he died in 1702.
Children of Basil More:
* Christopher Cresacre, second but eldest surviving son. Daughter Mary, married in 1733, Charles Waterton Esq. of Walton.
* Thomas of Barnburgh married Catherine daughter of Peter Gifford. Their son and heir Thomas, was the last male of the family and died at Bath in 1795. Thomas of Barnburgh died August, 1739
Thomas Peter Metcalfe was son of Peter Metcalfe who married a sister of the last Thomas and eventually took the name arms and crest of More in 1797 and was the owner of Barnburgh.
*Source: "The Family and Descendants of St Thomas More", by Martin Wood. Published by 'Gracewing'. April 2008
St. Helen's Well
The ruins of St. Ellen's Chapel lie in St. Ellen's field, the most easterly of the open fields in the village. The ruins which lay close to Ricknield Street have been examined and described as Norman. They are preserved in a copse a few yards away from a dried up well. A number of holy wells in Yorkshire were dedicated to Elen, the celtic goddess of armies and roads. They were re-dedicated by the early Christians to Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine.
George Mompesson (b 1663) became rector of Barnburgh
John Thomas Becher,(1770–1848), Church of England clergyman and poor-law reformer was presented to the living of Barnburgh in 1830.
Barnburgh Hall was once the home of the Griffiths. Elizabeth Sidney Griffith, Henrietta Griffith, and Anna Maria Griffith all spinsters, were daughters and coheiresses at law of Rev. John Griffith of Handsworth and Henrietta (Nee Johnson) his wife
Barnburgh Hall was demolished in 1967, the dovecote remains in the extensive gardens.
In 2001 a team of archaeologists spent 10 weeks at the grounds of Barnburgh Hall. The hall was quite extensive and included a stable block, a rare hexagonal dovecote, which would have once housed more than 2,000 birds, a lime kiln, gardener's cottage and walled gardens. Their haul included hundreds of fragments of old pottery from vessels and cooking pots, timbers, metalwork and medieval tiles. The earliest evidence was of a Romano-British enclosure and field system, dating from the first to fourth centuries. They found remains of a building, maybe the site of an earlier hall dating from around the 13th to 14th centuries.