Huttons Ambo History

High Hutton from the hillsides

Research has shown that Huttons Ambo originally consisted of three manors Hutton Colswayn , Hutton Bardolf and Hutton Mynchon, eventually these evolved into the two villages existing today.

The Three Manors

The parish of Huttons Ambo was split into two main parts, even before the time of the Norman Conquest. Two manors were owned by the Crown, the one at what is now Low Hutton was called Hutton Colswayn. The second and less important was called Hutton Mynchon and was in the vicinity of Hutton Hill.

The third manor, Hutton Bardolf was in the area that is now High Hutton and was held privately until the late 1300's when it became part of the inheritance of the Bolton family who were then the holders of Hutton Colswayn , which by this time was known as Hutton-Upon-Derwent .

The centre of importance of the parish was at Low Hutton where Medieval and Roman remains have been found, in 1954 excavations were made which revealed a fortified Medieval Manor House and a ditch which seems to have been part of a defense dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain. The combined manors declined in importance and between the 15th and 19th Century there was no recorded lord of the manor.

In the 19th century the relative importance of the two settlements was reversed with the construction of a modern hall at High Hutton by the Starkey family.

The Medieval Hall of Hutton Colswain

In October 1953 and again in February 1954, excavations were made of a site at Low Hutton which contained earthworks dating back to Medieval times. These were found to be be the remains of the defenses of a Medieval fortified hall circa 12th Century.

The original building appears to have been of wood, some 45ft (15m) long by 25ft (8m) wide. At this stage there were probably no fortifications, however there was evidence of a low bank and a ditch surrounding the site. It is possible that a hedge was grown on the bank and the resulting enclosure was used to contain livestock.

Subsequently the timber building was dismantled and replaced by a much larger stone building 60ft (20m) long by 30ft (10m) wide. This new building was protected by a true defensive bank and ditch, probably the bank was surmounted by a palisade or a low defensive stone wall, which has since disappeared.

The excavation also uncovered a much older ditch containing sherds of Crambeck pottery and a coin of Constantine I, suggesting that there had been Roman occupation of the site.

Copyright 2001 Philip Stone