The history of Gateforth

Location marker on map of UKIn 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Gateforth like this:

GATEFORTH, a township-chapelry in Brayton parish, W. R. Yorkshire; 1¾ mile SSE of Hambleton r. station, and 4¼ WSW of Selby. Post town, Hambleton, under Selby. Acres, 1, 410. Real property, £2, 437. Pop., 174. Houses, 35. The property is all in one estate. Gateforth Hall is the seat of H. Osbaldeston, Esq. Gate-forth Common is a meet for the Bramham Moor hunt. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of York. Value, £105. Patron, H. Osbaldeston, Esq. The church is modern.

Nowadays, Gateforth has its own Parish and is part of the Selby district.

Information courtesy of A Vision of Britain through Time

 Gateforth Hall

Gateforth HallGateforth Hall, originally set in an estate of 2005 acres, was built in 1812 as a hunting lodge by Sir Humphrey Brooke Osbaldeston.  Sir Humphrey made his money in the London gin trade and his main residence was at Hunmanby Hall near Filey in North Yorkshire. Consequently, Gateforth Hall was only used for part of the year, when he used the estate as a meet for the Bramham Moor Hunt. In 1781 he was the Sheriff of York. He died in 1835 at the age of 90.

The Hall has 60 rooms, one of which is 10 degrees colder than any other room and yet it has 3 inside walls. This room is where the legendary Grey Lady slept, who is the ghost of the hall.

In 1897, the Hall was sold to the City of Leeds, when it became a Hospital (owned by Leeds Area Health Authority), used to treat patients with tuberculosis.

On Friday 26th March 1920, The Gateforth Estate (about 1,533 acres) was sold by Leeds Corporation at auction at the George Hotel, Selby. It included nine of the ten productive farms, which were listed as:

  • Hagg House Farm
  • Mitchell’s Farm
  • Morley’s Farm
  • Manor Farm
  • West End Farm
  • Fir Tree Farm
  • Lund Farm
  • Gateforth Grange
  • Burton Hall Farm

 In addition, the sale also included:

  • House
  • Shop
  • Blacksmith’s Shop

Gateforth Hall GroundsOn Monday 7th September 1953, again at the George Hotel, Selby, the remaining portions of the Gateforth Estate (approximately 288.730 acres) were auctioned on behalf of Leeds Corporation. This included -

  • The Manor Farm together with various Accommodation Enclosures
  • The School House and Old School
  • Small Holding

In 1978 it was bought by auction by Mr. C. Henry and was converted back into a Hall.  In August 1978, the hall became a Grade II Listed Building.  Other notable listed buildings on the former estate include a Ha Ha and a Coach House.

1999 saw the Hall open as "Restaurant Martel" which won many awards.  This was short lived and the Hall once again became a private residence in 2002, which is still the case today.

St Mary's Church, Gateforth 1825 - 1948

St Marys Church

St. Mary’s Church, Gateforth was built of grey-white brick and stone.  It was situated next to Church Lodge, on the south facing side of the Hough, close to the Hall. It cost Humphrey Osbaldeston £4,000 to build the Chapel in 1825. 

The Chapel was almost cross-shaped, with a small chancel at the east end and a tower at the west end where the main door was located. The tower was a smaller replica of the octagon tower and spire at Brayton, only the octagon was of brick and had battlements.

Inside the chapel it was white plastered and had a set of three identical windows along the south and north walls of the nave, the windows having leaded lights. The pulpit was a most impressive three-decker one, for taking the service from one level, the lectern on the next, and the sermon from the top. The stone in the building came from Monk Fryston and was drawn on oxen carts to Gateforth. The church also had an old barrel organ, together with a harmonium.

Under the Chapel near to where the pulpit was, there is the Osbaldeston Vault. Buried there are – Catherine Osbaldeston, Humphrey Osbaldeston, Theodosis Brooke, Humphrey Brooke Firman and Brooke Firman, Lt Colonel.

The vault is all that remains on the site of the former church and it was sealed after the demolition in 1948.
Damaged Church
The church fell into disrepair after the Hall became a Sanatorium under Leeds Corporation. Just before its demolition, quite a lot of its contents went to the Corporation. The organ went to St. James Hospital in Leeds. The barrel organ that had been in the gallery of the Church was given to Leeds City Museum. One of the two alters is now the main alter in Hambleton, the pulpit went to St. James Hospital, Leeds. The cupboards are in Hambleton Church along with the Communion plated chalice.

After the closure of the Village School, a Mission Room was formed therein which the community used for recreational meetings and Church Services until the Church Authority sold it in 1977.

This information has been obtained from ‘The Parish Church of Saint Mary Hambleton – Centenary 1882-1982 Booklet
Gateforth Village Green
In 1954, the City of Leeds gifted the Village Green to Gateforth Parish Council.  The green has changed little since this day.


We've managed to obtain some old photo's which show how the Village Green looked around about the time it was gifted to the Parish.

 Gateforth Village Green Gateforth Village Green