Thwing & Octon Parish Council

THWING  is an ancient village  Opinions are divided as to the origin and meaning of the name, but most historians favour a 'strip of high land', derived from Scandinavian.  It is also said to originate from an old Norse word - THIGA - meaning to speak, implying a local court or meeting place. A find of a 'moot' (meeting) by archeologists must lend support to this theory. The third suggestion is that it originated from the Danish - TWYNGE - meaning to force or subdue.

THWING is a small village, lying 300-350ft above sea level, on the eastern end of the beautiful East Yorkshire Wolds. Together with it's associated hamlet of Octon-cum-Octon Grange, it forms a parish four miles long, covering 4024 acres and situated between 300 and 540 feet above sea level.

The parish is aligned from the tumulus known as Willy Howe in the east to a prehistoric earthwork in the southwest, and bounded by the Gypsey Race valley in the north and a Roman road (the High Street B1253) in the south. .

The internal boundary between Thwing and Octon follows the dry valley of Syn Dale, with the village of Thwing lying in the uppermost end of the dale.

The pattern of field in the parish has remained largely unchanged from the Inclosure of 1769, and the free draining wold soil with it's underlying chalk subsoil is ideal for cereal growing.

There is a series of ponds and springs through the village including the Mere and the Keld. At the Inclosure the Mere was set aside to supply water for the village, and the Keld (now silted over) was the common watering place. and was included in the rector's allotments. Thee foundation of houses and the church are still distinguishable in a neighbouring grass field.

The public house The Raincliffe Arms, was first recorded in 1893, the period 1879-1889 it had been The Rampant Horse, and The Bottle and Glass is mentioned between 1823-1872. * 

Originally Thwing was also associated with the village of Swaythorpe, which was largely depopulated during the 14th century black death. Swaythorpe now consists of one large farm, but the ancient.

History shows that another ancient, extinct village was also associated with Thwing, namely Fornetorpe.

Fornetorpe and Octon formed a berewick or small part of a manor of Thwing.

At Octon Grange, a mile northwest of Octon there are two 19th century farmhouses, and earthworks that mark the site of the former Grange which was established by Meaux Abbey.

Archeological excavations carried out in recent years have shown evidence revealing signs of occupation at various times from Neolithic man to the Middle Ages.

An aerial survey in 1967 showed a concentric cropmark of a Class 2 Henge Monumnet, at the site at Paddock Hill which is part of the present day Octon Manor. Activity has been recorded from the Middle Stone Age, 6000 B.C. to 4000 B.C. A massive circular fort surrounded by a deep ditch and chalk rampart, with palisade and opposite gateways, from the Bronze Age. Anglo Saxon occupation around 700AD with signs of a large rectangular structures with hearths, metal working debris and ovens. Within the area was also a cemetery of shallow graves. 

1600-1750 Wholesale rebuilding of farmhouses and cottages took place in the East Riding. Two of the earliest surviving cruck framed houses in the East riding are at Octon and S. Dalton. The two cruck trusses at Octon follow the usual form found in N Yorkshire. At the apex of the cruck blades are tenoned into a saddle that supports the ridge piece. Each truss has a tie beam ad a collar, both halved over the blades and pegged. The houses are of the hearth  passage plan, a development of the longhouse plan. Initially the open-hearth was moved from a more central position to back on to a through passage which links the front and back doors and divides the humans from the animals an storage. **

Source: Thwing Handbook The place Names of East Riding of Yorks, and York XIV: Thwing, Excavation & Field Arch, in East Yorks. TB Manby

​*(Baines History Of Yorkshire Kellys Directory N.ER Yorks)

​** Yorkshire & York & The East Riding Nikolaus Posner & Davi dNeave.