All posts by Ebberston Village

The visitor

We were very happy to have an impromptu visit by Christine Buckton (nee Baker) at the village hall this week. Christine used to live at Cliff House, and has been staying there on holidays.

Her father was W.P. Baker who wrote the book The English Village, in which there appears a lovely description of village life in Ebberston in the 1950s.

Christine and her family were shown around the village hall, which she remembered as the school, and she got re-acquainted with some of the objects we have in our “treasure” cabinet, much of which her father had collected and left to the village – some with his old hand-written labels still attached.

Ebberston Archaeology Tour: Sword Quest

The sword in the stone (wall). Image: Judith Winters

We all know the story of the sword in the stone, but did you know there is a real sword in the north wall at St Mary’s church in Ebberston?

The stone is particularly interesting because the carving was not made for the wall. Rather the stone has been selected and reused from an earlier monument (very possibly one that was close by). However it does seem to have been appreciated by the wall builders who recognised something of its significance and importance and kept it facing outward.

Despite earlier theories, it is almost certainly not an emblem that’s been cut out of a larger slab with a cross or other carvings on it. The stone edges have been chamfered (i.e. shaped with sloping edges) which is highly unlikely to have been done at the point of reuse . It would therefore appear to be an emblem-only monument that found a second life in the wall of a church.

What it marked, or who or what it memorialised, we do not know. However the style of the sword pommel (the handle) and the drooping curved guard does tell us that Viking-style sword pommels persisted in the north long after the Norman conquest. The sword is also similar in style to the ‘real’ one found at Cawood, now in the Yorkshire Museum.

It’s difficult to date (but it is clearly earlier than the 14th century church wall), but from the style of the sword, archaeologists think that it was probably carved in the 12th or 13th century.

Sword quest. Achievement unlocked. 2016. Image: Judith Winters


Ellis Davidson, H.R.  1998 The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England: Its Archaeology and Literature, Boydell Press.

Grove, L. 1938 Five Viking-Period Swords. The Antiquaries Journal, 18(3), 251-257. doi:10.1017/S000358150000723X

Perkins, J. 1941 Persistence of Viking types of sword. The Antiquaries Journal, 21(2), 158-161. doi:10.1017/S0003581500086194

And thank you to my colleague Dr Aleks McClain (Dept. Archaeology, University of York) for the pointers.

Judith Winters

Dargo the Dog

About 1km north west of Ebberston is Dargo Plantation in which can be found a memorial to Dargo, one of the dogs of the estate gamekeeper (Matthew Pateman).

The memorial is dated 1812 and so is in the time of Squire Osbaldeston’s predecessors – the Hothams. The engraving is barely visible now but thanks to some villagers in the early 1990s, who attended a course on village history (organised by the Workers’ Education Association), a booklet about the village was compiled and they were able to obtain a copy of what the engraving said. And now it can be shared again.

Enclosed beneath this peaceful shade

Dargo my faithful dog is laid

Who in his day performed a part

And gained applause from every heart

He was steady to scent and always true

For well his business Dargo knew

But now he’s gone, his work is o’er

My faithful Dargo is no more

Here snug he rests beneath these sods

And leaves the sport to other dogs

Dargo’s memorial, Ebberston. Image courtesy of Di Fletcher

Taken from: A History of Ebberston 1994 published by Centre for Continuing Education, Development and Training, University of Hull.

Village help during latest lockdown

Just a reminder that the Ebberston Village cv19 Support Group is ready to help anyone needing help with shopping, prescription collection, a friendly chat, post office etc. Village co-ordinators are Sarah Walker 01723 850703/07447 564552 and Sharon Smartt 01723 859836. A volunteer is already collecting prescriptions from the surgery later this week so please let us know if you need medication collecting.

Helping hands

David and Val’s Christmas Quiz

David and Val Palfrey have hosted the Christmas quiz at the village hall for the last few years. Although things are a little different this year, they wanted to make sure you did not miss out so have kindly created a bumper 100 question quiz for you to do over the festive period. Just for fun. Some paper copies will also be placed on the Chapel Notice Board.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that we will soon be back to using the Village Hall!

Answers will be posted here on 2nd January. Any quibbles, well, the quizmaster and quizmistress’s word is final of course!

Val and David say

“Hope you had time over Christmas and New Year to attempt the Ebberston Christmas Quiz (you could always have Googled the answers!). Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2021 and hoping we can all Quiz together in the Village Hall next December.”

Ebberston’s Window Wonderland

Ebberston’s “Window Wonderland” starts on 1st December, and there will be at least one new festive display to see around the village every day all the way until Christmas Eve.

Although we are not yet able to organise any face to face events, Ebberston village hall committee was keen to arrange a Covid-safe alternative event. And over 40 households rallied to the call to join in and are making colourful festive, Christmas or Winter themed displays in their front windows (or doors, or garden), all visible as residents walk around the village . 

The list of where and when displays can be seen is on the village hall noticeboard or you can download your own list to print out here.

We’re so excited and look forward to how creative and Christmassy Ebberston will look!

Window Wonderland

An Ebberston advent calendar with a twist

 Although we are not yet able to organise any face to face events, Ebberston village hall committee are keen to arrange a Covid-safe alternative event in the run up to Christmas.

Our plan is for residents to make a colourful festive, Christmas or Winter themed display in a front window (or house or garden or door step 🏡 – which many of you will do anyway) which can be seen as residents walk around the village . Each household would be assigned a date 📅 which would be the day their display goes on show, the idea being that there would be something new to see every day, from 1st December onwards. We will create a list (on the noticeboard, on the village website and the Facebook group) to show where there will be something new to see each day.

Merry Christmas window. Portland Oregon. December 23, 2017 by drburtoni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Getting involved would be free of course and everyone is welcome to take part – it won’t be limited to 24! Displays can be on window sills or in your front garden. They can be as big or small, as low key or as funny and adventurous as you like, from door wreaths to fairy lights to full displays. As long as it’s family friendly you’re on to a winner. It would be up to residents to decide how long their display lasts but we hope you can be persuaded to keep your display up until the big day itself.

Do you want to get involved? Email or contact Judith Winters, Sarah Walker or Lynne Hall by 20th November. We don’t need to know what you are planning – we just need to know your address/location in the village and a “title” or some sort of clue to your festive display (or where it will be). We will assign you a date once we have an idea of numbers, after 20th Nov.

Let’s see just how inventive, creative and Christmassy 🎄 Ebberston can be!