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Malton is a market town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town is the location of the offices of Ryedale District Council and has a population of around 13,000 people.
It is located to the north of the River Derwent which forms the historic boundary between the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire.
The earliest established building at Malton comes from the late first century AD. The Roman auxiliary fort of Derventio was established under the governor Agricola around the same time as Eboracum. The site was established on the north bank of the River Derwent. A large civilian settlement grew up alongside the fort, on the south bank of the river. A single Roman cavalry unit, the Ala Gallorum Picentiana is recorded from the site.
The site remained occupied (and subject to continued development) throughout the four centuries of Roman occupation in Britain, particularly in the Trajanic, Severan, Constantian and Theodosian periods and is notable for the manufacture of jet jewellery at the site as well as a single unique inscription identifying a goldsmith shop.
In the 11th century, a wooden Norman castle, Malton Castle, was built in what is now Castle Garden. This had been rebuilt in stone by Eustace de Vescy by the time Richard the Lionheart visited the castle in 1189. Other visitors included Edward II, in 1307 and Robert the Bruce in 1322. The great house subsequently became ruined.
The castle site was inherited by Lord William Eure in 1544, when he was also made a baron.In 1569 Ralph Eure built a new house on the castle site and in 1602, the house was rebuilt in much grander style. This was a spectacular property and it was described by the diarist and gunpowder plotter Sir Henry Slingsby as the rival of many other great houses, including that at Audley End.
The house was subsequently demolished in 1674 and the stones divided between two sisters, Mary (who married into the Palmes family) and Margaret Eure. They had quarrelled over their inheritance and the demolition was the settlement ordered by Sheriff Henry Marwood. The Old Lodge Hotel is the remaining fragment of the original Jacobean "prodigy house" and its size hints at the grandeur of the complete structure.
According to contemporary archives, during the 18th century attention was paid to the improving the facilities for traders in Malton, in particular for the numerous butchers, .The town’s Shambles, currently opposite Malton Town Hall, used to be located on the north side of St Michael's Church, which still stands in the centre of the Market Place.
The town hall was commissioned in 1749. The building was first used as a butter market, butter being the main marketable product for many farmers of the day. The town hall was extended and changed at various intervals over the years.A sure sign of a town up and coming' was the advertisement of a light coach, setting out from Leeds to Scarborough returning to Malton to dine.'
In the last year of the 18th century, there was a famine in the area, and a soup kitchen was set up in a brew house in the town. The Earl Fitzwilliam of the time subscribed to a fund, which helped provide poor strong soup' for the hungry poor.In 1801 the population of Old and New Malton numbered 3,788. The workhouse contained 15 elderly people and 17 children.In 1809 Malton’s Talbot Hotel was extended and modernised with a third floor being added and new stables being constructed across the road from the hotel.The town’s Assembly Rooms were opened in 1814, a place in which 'polite society' could mingle. According to the 1840 edition of White’s Gazetteer, it was noted that Malton's "town and suburbs have much improved during the last twenty years, by the erection of houses; and gas works were constructed in 1832." Later the 1840 York Herald reported that Malton,s streetlights were not in working order due to flooding.
The development of the local railway network flourished during the mid-1800s – the York to Scarborough railway opened in 1845 and the Malton and Driffield Junction Railway opened in 1853.
The navigation capacity on the Derwent was one of the earliest in Britain to be significantly improved around 1725, enabling extensive barge traffic to transport goods and produce.The navigation continued to compete with the railway, having been extended as far as Yedingham after 1810. The river’s use as a highway declined only after it was bought by the Railway itself and cheaper coal began to arrive by rail, while river maintenance was deliberately neglected.
Attractions in modern Malton include the signposted remains of the Roman fort at 'Orchard Fields', and Malton Priory a Gilbertine priory. Eden Camp, a military themed museum, is located just outside the town. Malton Museum is located at the Subscription Rooms in Yorkersgate. The town has an independent cinema, which also houses the World Wide Shopping Mall, and independent retailers, high street shops, cafés, public houses and restaurants.
Both towns are known in connection with Charles Dickens, who made regular visits to the area to see his friend Charles Smithson; he also wrote the famous novel "A Christmas Carol" while staying in Malton. There have been recent revivals of Dickens-related festivals. Malton and the neighbouring village of Old Malton provide the settings for the collection of stories told in the book, "All is Bright - A Yorkshire Lad's Christmas" by Dave Preston
Malton holds a market every Saturday, and a farmers' market once every month. The town has a war memorial and several historical churches (Norton-on-Derwent also holds large church buildings). The town is served by Malton railway station.
Malton is the middle-ground between York, Pickering (access to the North York Moors and also a terminus of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway), Scarborough, Filey and Whitby. The route of The White Rose Way, a long distance walk from Leeds to Scarborough, North Yorkshire also passes through.
Malton and Norton is significant for its horse racing connections, and has a number of training stables in the vicinity. The most recent Malton Stables Open Day, held in August 2013, showcased 19 trainer stables. Writer Norman Maitland describes the history of horse racing as "being in the blood in this part of Yorkshire for generations ..." with meetings being advertised as early as 1692.
Malton was voted one of the best places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times in March 2014.
The 300-year-old Fitzwilliam Malton Estate owns and manages commercial, residential and agricultural property in and around the town of Malton. In 1713 The Hon Thomas Watson Wentworth purchased the Manor of Malton, beginning a long association between the town and the Wentworth, Watson-Wentworth, Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, and Naylor-Leyland families. A book detailing the history since 1713 was published in 2013, entitled 300 years of continuity and change: families and business in Malton from the 18th century to the present.
Malton's churches include St Michaels Anglican church and St Leonards with St Mary catholic church. There are other churches in the area.
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