fonds PR/WP - Parish records of Wharram Percy

Identity area

Reference code



Parish records of Wharram Percy


  • 1554-1968 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.04 cubic metres

2 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 1254-1971)

Administrative history

There was a wooden chapel at Wharram Percy in the mid-tenth century, although no church is recorded in Domesday. The village and church later came to the Percy family, certainly the advowson was in the hands of Peter de Percy by 1254 and then passed to his son Robert de Percy. In 1322 it passed with the manor to Sir Geoffrey le Scrope, who had purchased the wardship of Eustachia Percy, and then to Thomas de Wake who presented it, in 1325, to the Priory of Haltemprice in Cottingham. A vicarage was ordained there in 1327.

The present church, dedicated to St Martin of Tours, dates to the twelfth century and was extended in the thirteenth and remodelled in the fourteenth. Further work was carried out in the fifteenth century, with the building of a new East wall and new windows. However the village of Wharram Percy was deserted in the early sixteenth century as the land was turned over to sheep pasture and the church entered a long period of decline.

Historically the parish included Pluckham, Raisthorpe, Thixendale and Towthorpe. Their attendance at St Martin’s meant that it continued to be used, even after the village was abandoned, although the building was reduced in size in the sixteenth century and again in the early seventeenth. By the 1740s all of the parishioners, excepting only the family at Wharram Percy farm, came from Thixendale. The construction of a church at Thixendale in 1870 and the separation of the village to form its own parish two years later removed what was left of the congregation.

The church had fallen into disrepair by the 1950s and the roof, bells and furnishings were removed in 1954. In 1959 part of the church tower collapsed. In 1968 an alteration of the boundaries with Thixendale and Fridaythorpe with Fimber took place. In 1971 the church was made redundant and the parish was united with that of Wharram le Street.

Today the ruined village of Wharram Percy is part of the parish of Wharram Percy with Wharram le Street in the benefice of Weaverthorpe with Helperthorpe, Luttons Ambo, and Kirby Grindalythe. The nave of St Martin’s was reroofed in the 1980s and the village and church is now in the care of Historic England.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1966 by the incumbent. Further additions were made to the archive in 1968 and 1972.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes register of christenings, 1554-1933; register of marriages, 1554-1752, 1754-1933; register of burials, 1570-1904; register of banns, 1823-1876; register of services, 1923-1949; records concerning benefice income, including glebe maps, 1844, 1855; churchwardens' records, including accounts, 1922-1923, 1935-1949, and repair fund appeal, c.1920; Vestry/Parochial Church Council records, including map of Wharram Percy and Wharram Grange estate, 1836; order concerning alteration of the boundaries, 1968.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received up to and including 1972.

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Registers of christenings, marriages and burials, 1554-1885, and banns, 1823-1876, are also available on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute (References: MF 809, 1763).

Related units of description

The parish records of Wharram le Street are also deposited at the Borthwick Institute.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 21.03.16.




Accession area