| The Parish of Osbaldwick with Murton | |
The Village of Murton
There has been a settlement in Murton since at least the 11th century, with “Mortun”, the town on the moor, listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.
Because of its proximity to York, Murton was probably a source of food supply for the city, and by the 18th century, tenants of the land were market gardening. From about the 1840s Murton and nearby Dunnington became a major centre for the growing of chicory, which was roasted in local kilns and used for the adulteration of coffee. At one stage over 1000 acres were being cultivated annually but the trade declined in the late nineteenth century, following changes in taxation and competing imports from Belgium.
By early the next century, racehorses were being trained in the village. The winner of the 1832 Derby, St Giles, was a Murton trained horse, although there was some suspicion that the horse had been fraudulently entered for the race with a wrong age.
Early in the 20th century the village was still a centre for market gardening. Fruit, particularly strawberries, and vegetables were supplied to York and dairy farms provided milk. There are still three working farms in the village and other land is farmed by farmers from neighbouring parishes. Other agricultural related activity includes an animal feed mill and associated farm stores, a busy livestock centre, an abattoir, and a farming museum. There are various small businesses within the parish, but the majority of local people commute to York and elsewhere.
Although close to York, Murton remains a small village protected by surrounding Green Belt land and by the Conservation Area status of the old village.
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Osbaldwick and Murton Churches | Designed by: Nick Wainwright