| The Parish of Osbaldwick with Murton | |
The Village of Osbaldwick
Dating from the 5/6th centuries, the old village of Osbaldwick was a rural community right through to the mid 1900s when it grew into the suburban village that it remains today.
In the 19th century Osbaldwick was a centre for growing flax which provided cattle food and linen. The village also hosted two private asylums, one for men and the other for women. Following the example of The Retreat in York, these treated their patients in a kindly and humane way and received good reports from the Metropolitan Commissioners.
In 1927 York City Council bought land in the parish to build council housing and to store cattle from Ireland. The cattle were driven on the hoof to the Thursday market in the centre of York. As late as the early 1960s villagers were warned to close their gates on market day to prevent strays getting into their gardens.
A large community Hall was built after the First World War between Osbaldwick and Murton to commemorate those killed in the war. For many years it was an important focus for the social life of the community with a flourishing tennis club. It closed in 1939 and is now the headquarters of Anelays, the nationally known builders and restoration experts.
The village school used to be in the building opposite the church on Murton Way. When numbers increased in the 1960s, classes were held in the old Methodist chapel as well and finally a new school was built off Osbaldwick Lane. The old school was then used as a church social centre and is now a private nursery, and the old chapel is now the village hall.
The 1950s and the first half of the 1960s saw an enormous expansion. New small shops, including two butchers, a post office and a chemist appeared and Osbaldwick became a dormitory suburb to York. Today many of the small shops and the post office have gone. However, with a frequent bus service and Sustrans cycle track to the city centre, as well as its proximity to the University, Osbaldwick remains a most popular place to live.
The centre of the old village round the village green is now a conservation area and presents a well loved picture with echoes of Osbaldwick’s rural origins.
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Osbaldwick and Murton Churches | Designed by: Nick Wainwright