Welcome to the Official Website for ALDBROUGH, Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK

“Ihas been,” says Cade “a large Roman city, but by what name distinguished has never been ascertained. The vestiges still remaining very plainly indicate its great antiquity”. –  He then adds,“Aldburgh may date its decline from the new military way or road, being directed ad Tisam vinovium, and the vallum; on which account we hear of no altars, inscriptions, or other memorials of any kind found there, to assist us in our inquiries.” -Archaeol.

This passage was thought to refer to Aldbrough near Weatherby, but scholars – including Cade – have known that Roman name ISURIUM BRIGANTUM for centuries, and Isurium Brigantum is littered with artefacts as opposed to Cade’s account that we hear of none.  This is not the same Aldbrough. 

By the strangest coincidence,like the other Aldbrough in North Yorkshire, we too, are at the threshold of a Brigantian encampment. Only half a mile from Aldbrough is Stanwick – home of the Brigantian queen Cartimandua. It has long been my belief that here in our Aldbrough, was a Roman presence. Stanwick was in turmoil.  The Romans subued the Brigantes and kept the peace. We know that from contemporary writings. No-one has yet convinced me that during the attacks on Stanwick and later peace-keeping, the Romans simply packed up their kit at tea-time and went home to Cataractonium [Catterick] to return the next day to continue their siege.

So what’s in a name?  To the Vikings, Aldbrough means “Old Burh” or an old fortified stronghold. We have found the original burh site within the village, and believe we have identified the original fortification within the oval burh site. Later, I present the case for “Aldbrough Castle” – the name is used loosely –  from early writings and from new evidence.

In the mid 1500s, John Leland acting on a warrant from Henry Tudor, visited Aldbrough [Albruch]. We know this was our village as he described its proximity to Piercebridge [Pers Bridg] on the river Tees [Tese]. He wrote in his diaries:

“There appere great ruines of a howse or litle castel at Albruch village, and thereby rennith a bekke. It standith a 2 mile south from Perse Bridg on Tese”  – John Leland C 1540

SO…..In 1540, the “litle castle” was already a great ruine! As buildings were at a premium and occupied for centuries, how old was our castle when Leland saw it?

Oh yes – Aldbrough DID have a “castle”.  For further information, read the article on “Aldbrough Castle”.

Stanwick St John

 

All this has permitted a remarkable sense of peace and quiet; the only road traversing the parish is a third class one, narrow and winding. The adjacent parish of Forcett still has its old manor house, Forcett Hall, with its parkland and lake, nowadays open for concerts. Development has been restricted there also, resulting in a countryside of farms of arable and pasture land, whose peace is only broken by the larger farm machinery or the luckily infrequent scream of jets from the airbase at Leeming about 12 miles away.

*Not to be confused with the Parish Church Council, whose job it is to look after the church in the adjacent village of Aldbrough St John and the burial ground – still in use – around our church.

For non- residents, Stanwick St John is pronounced “Stannik Sent Jon” – the “w” is silent.

(In the air photo, which looks north, the nuclear village is clear with the church in the middle distance and Kirkbridge courtyard opposite. In the foreground are the residual large (converted) stable buildings and the original gardens which are now private dwelling areas, with the lodge house to the right. Running right from the top of the picture is the tree-lined ancient embankment of ‘Stanwick Fort’.

Carlton is beyond the area of the picture to the top right)