History

The village of Bolton Percy and All Saints' Church have existed for hundreds of years.

In very early times Bolton Percy stood near an important crossing of the River Wharfe. There is a substantial stone road running underneath the village coming from York and heading in the direction of Ulleskelf. It has all the appearance of a Roman construction. It may be that it was an ancient passage and crossing of the river as an alternative or early precedent to the crossing in Tadcaster. It is therefore quite understandable how a community might settle upon it and how the Church of All Hallows at Bodeltone (as it was originally called) may have come about. With the discovery of the early mediaeval coins it is fairly safe to assume there was a settlement here prior to the Viking invasion of York in 867.

A church with a priest in residence is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1083-1086. With the coming of the Normans to Yorkshire in 1069 the now valuable Manor of Bodeltone, with its church, passed into the hands of William de Percy, an ancestor of the famous Northumbrian family. In approximately 1121 Picot de Percy donated the church to the newly founded Augustinian Priory of Nostell (near Wakefield). By the year 1248 though it was in the hands of the Archbishop of York, having been exchanged for a church nearer to the Priory. Since that point the old church (All Hallows) and newly constructed church of All Saints’ (consecrated in 1424) in the village now known as Bolton Percy have been in a close relationship with York and it’s Minster. Until recent times the parish was a valuable living (in 1877, for example, the net income was £1240 per annum, enough for two curate’s and several servants) and it’s rectors, appointed by the archbishop were frequently men of high status and wealth.

To learn more about some of the people and events that are prominent in our history please click on the links below.