Yeddingham is a small village situated by the banks of the River Derwent on the B 1258 road that runs between the A64 and the Al70, 9 miles from Malton and 12 miles from Scarborough.
Yedingham was the site of a small Benedictine Priory founded in 1163 (see below) which controlled the bridge crossing the River Derwent, which was formerly navigable to Yedingham. The medieval bridge knocked down in 1968, an example of modern cultural vandalism, was replaced with a new one as a part of the process of realigning the river to enhance the drainage in the eastern end of the Vale of Pickering. The bridge, a small part of which remains was built in 1731. The old Bridge was built using the same oak pile foundations of a 13th Century predecessor, one of the piles which had an iron point was dated using dendro-chronology (tree-ring dating) in the 1980s.
In addition to revenues derived as dues from use of the bridge and docks, on the western side of the bridge, the Nunnery would have held lands in many locations beyond the parish. This may explain why Yedingham Parish is so very small, it is the smallest Parish in the Vale of Pickering. The bridge one of only two crossing the Derwent up-river from Malton carried a drove-road which linked the North York Moors and lands further north to the Wolds and ultimately to the sea-port at Hull. It is likely that this route has prehistoric origins, and it is possible that Yedingham had been the setting for a Roman bridge although this is at present un-proven.
Nowadays there is The Providence public house, the Church (St John the Baptist) and a newly re-furbished village hall. The latter being used regularly for dog training classes and an indoor bowls club twice a week. Some residents in the village have lived here all their lives and some are relatively new to the village, with a wide span of age.
THE PRIORY OF YEDINGHAM (follow the link for more details)
The priory of Yedingham, sometimes called that of Little Mareis, from the site on which the house was built, was founded before 1163 by Helewise de Clere.
In 1239 a compact was entered into between John, Prior of Guisborough, and Emma, Prioress of Yedingham, and their respective convents, that Guisborough should give the nuns 4 oxgangs of land in Sinnington
On 16 August 1241 the church of Yedingham was consecrated by Gilbert, Bishop of Whithern, suffragan of Archbishop Gray, in honour of the most blessed Virgin Mary, at the instance of Emma de Humbleton, the prioress, and the convent.
On 1 March 1279-80 Archbishop Wickwane appointed Robert de Brus of Pickering to the custody of the house of the nuns of Yedingham and its temporalities
In 1314 Archbishop Greenfield allowed the prioress and convent to receive Alice daughter of Roger de Wyghton to the habit of the conversae in their monastery; at the same time very strictly enjoining them that no sister conversa was, on any account, to be allowed to wear the black veil on her head, but was to use a white veil.
In 1494 Innocent IV granted the prioress and convent the right of electing a discreet priest to be their confessor.
12 May 1352, a grant made from Alice Pykering, prioress, and the convent of Yedingham of a yearly corrodium moniale, given in return for an unspecified sum of money to Emma daughter of Nicholas Hert of Westerdale. A certain building called ‘ le chesehouse,’ with solar and cellar, was assigned her to dwell in, and in return she promised to work faithfully as long as she could. At the Dissolution there were nine nuns besides Agnes Bradrigge, aged forty-one, the prioress, who received a yearly pension of £6 13s. 4d.; two of them received yearly pensions of 40s., and the others of 26s. 8d. They are described as ‘all of good maner of liffyng,’ and against each name, except one, the word ‘ religion’ is written in the margin, indicating an intention to remain in their vows.
From: ‘Houses of Benedictine nuns: Priory of Yedingham’, A History of the County of York: Volume 3 1974.
Only one wall of the Priory remains