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Bishopthorpe is a village and civil parish three miles south of York in the City of York unitary authority and ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Bishopthorpe is close to the River Ouse, and has a population of 3,174, increasing to 3,237 at the 2011 Census. Between 1974 and 1996 it was part of the Selby district. The area of Main Street and the Palace were made a conservation area in 1989 along with other open areas of the village.
It was formerly known as St Andrewthorpe, but in the 13th century, Archbishop Walter de Grey bought the manor house and gave it to the Dean and Chapter of York Minster. This became Bishopthorpe Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of York. Many of the roads in Bishopthorpe are named after past Archbishops.
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book and referred to as Torp/Thorpe or Badetorps depending on which translation is used. It came to be known as Thorp-super-Usam or Thorpe-on-Ouse in 1194. By 1275 the Earliest written record of the name Bishopthorpe, spelt '"Biscupthorpe"' appears in documents. In 1202, Prior and monks of St. Andrews at Fishergate, built the first church here and dedicated it to their patron saint. The name Thorp-super-Usam therefore gradually superseded by Andrewthorpe or Thorpe St. Andrew. In 1226, Archbishop Walter de Gray bought property which once belonged to the Abbot of Kirkstall Abbey and the Priory of St. Andrews. By the year 1241, Archbishop Gray had built a Manor House and Chapel by the river. He conveyed this property to the Dean and Chapter of York thus ensuring that it remained with successive Archbishops and did not fall into the king's hands during a vacancy.
In 1405, Archbishop Scrope was accused of being a traitor by Henry IV and was beheaded in a field near the nunnery of St Clements, now Clementhorpe. In 1763, Archbishop Drummond transformed the Palace by building the now familiar 'Strawberry Gothick' west front and gatehouse. Controversy surrounding the 1832 Reform Bill saw rioters from York attempt to invade Palace angered by initial lack of support from Archbishop Harcourt.
In 1763, a school was founded by local yeoman, Charles Crosby and supported by the parish. The twenty boys and girls were taught to read and write and "instructed in the principles of the Christian religion." In 1846, Archbishop Harcourt built a new village school. The former school, built in 1763 and situated in School Lane, was used as a girls' school and a house for the master, but was divided into three houses in the 1890s.
The main line of the North Eastern Railway was being constructed in 1871 and cut through the west end of the parish.
The War Memorial was erected in 1921 to parish men who made the supreme sacrifice during the First World War.
The Almshouses were demolished in 1963 due to their deterioration and the need to widen the increasingly busy junction at Sim Balk Lane and Main Street.
Governance, demography and economyEdit
Bishopthorpe lies in the Ward of the same name of Unitary Authority of the City of York. It forms part of the UK Parliamentary Constituency of York Outer and EU Constituency of Yorkshire & Humberside.The Ward also includes the nearby Village of Acaster Malbis. As of the 2011 elections it is represented by Councillor John Galvin, a member of the local Conservative Party.
In 1971 the village population of 2,350 almost doubles due to house building during the 1960s on the Bradley Estate in Acaster Lane. By 1949, the first council houses, made up of twenty semi-detached dwellings, were built in the village in Maple Avenue. The 2001 census showed that the population was 3,174. There were 1,424 dwellings, of which 33.9% were detached and 62.3% were semi-detached or terraced. House ownership was recorded at 86.9%. The largest Age Group within the population, 29.5%, were between 45 and 64 years old with 25.3% between 25 and 44 years old. Of the population aged between 16 and 74 years old, 64.99% declared they were in some form of employment and 31.1% said they were retired. The 2011 census recorded the population as 3,237.
Bishopthorpe has been a traditional farming community, though nowadays it serves as a commuter base for workers in nearby York and Leeds. There is a range of retail shops including a Post office.
Culture and communityEdit
There are three pubs. The Ebor Inn (previously known as the Brown Cow) takes its name from Eboracum, the Roman name for York. The other two are The Marcia and The Woodman. There is also the Bishopthorpe Sports and Social Club.
In 1969, Vernon House, the specially built community centre for Bishopthorpe's elderly people, was officially opened. It provided a place of rest and recreation, and a kitchen and laundry. It was erected at a cost of £7,000 by Tadcaster Rural District Council to complement the area of sheltered accommodation in the village built two years earlier in Maple Avenue and Vernon Close.
In 1968, Bishopthorpe Library opened. The former library was held in the air raid shelter which was built on the same site in the Second World War. The site was formerly the village green where fairs were held for the annual two-day Trinity Feast in June.
Between 1898 and 1889, the Reading Room was built by Archbishop Maclagan as a place of rest and recreation for local men, but without the sale of alcohol. In 1904, a trust was set up whereby a committee administered the building. The Bishopthorpe Women's Institute was formed in 1919 and used it as their base. It was re-furbished in 1950 and was renamed St. Andrew's Hall becoming known as the Village Hall.
There are 35 plots on the Parish Council run allotments on Acaster Lane and a further 20 privately run plots at Glebe Farm on Moor Lane.
Bishopthorpe features prominently in the novel "The Lost Luggage Porter" by Andrew Martin. In the book the village is known as "Thorpe on Ouse" and is where the main character resides.
Geography and transportEdit
The village is close by the River Ouse, along which are "ings", fields into which the water overflows, most recently in June 2007. The Water Tower in Acaster Lane was built by Archbishop Thomson in 1862.
The village is served by two bus services. One route, operated by Harrogate Coach Travel, runs along Tadcaster Road in York, before entering the village along Sim Balk Lane and the other is a direct route along Bishopthorpe Road into York run by First Group.
It is also on the Sustrans Solar System Cycle Track which runs from York to Riccall and is part of the National Cycle Network and Trans-Pennine Way. In 1986/7, the Selby/York Cycle Path opened on the old railway line which had ceased to have railway traffic from 1983 because of the Selby Diversion.
Education and religionEdit
In 1845 The Archbishop of York's CE Primary School was opened, located on Acaster Road . The interior is depicted in a stained glass window in the parish church. In 1973, Bishopthorpe Infant's School opened on Sim Balk Lane.
The current Bishopthorpe Methodist Church opened in 1899. The first Methodist Chapel built in 1833 is now private accommodation, Wesley House, situated behind the Supermarket.
Archbishop Drummond built a second Church of St Andrew on the site of the original in 1768. The third Church of St. Andrews was constructed between 1898 and 1899, but now located away from the river. The architect was C. Hodgson Fowler.
- Bishopthorpe Bowling Club was formed in 1927 and is located on Acaster Lane. The Club have six teams playing in four different league competitions in the York area.
- Bishopthorpe Cricket Club located in Ferry Lane have been in existence for over 100 years and play in the York Vale League. The 1st XI play in Division One and the 2nd XI in Division Three.
- Bishopthorpe United Football Club play in Division One of the York Football League with the reserves playing in the Reserve Division A at their ground on Ferry Lane.
- Bishopthorpe Club Football Club play in Division One of the York Sunday Morning League. Formed in 2008 as Dynamo Megahorse, through a successful period as Marcia Bishopthorpe to where they stand now.
Landmarks and notable peopleEdit
Bishopthorpe Palace is a Grade I listed building and is the residence of the Archbishop of York. North of the village is Middlethorpe Hall, a Grade I listed building since 2008 owned by The National Trust and now used as a country hotel.
Bishopthorpe has a long history of notable ecclesiastical residents. The latest Archbishop of York, who has been resident since 2005, is John Sentamu. Many of the streets in Bishopthorpe are named after previous Archbishops: for example, Ramsey Avenue (Michael Ramsey, 1956–1961), Maclagan Road (William Maclagan, 1891–1908) and Lamplugh Crescent (Thomas Lamplugh, 1688–1691).
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