Scotton: from hotbed of treason to rural idyll in four short centuries

It’s hard to imagine now, but the village of Scotton, just north of Knaresborough, was once a hotbed of treasonous activity.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 3rd November 2015, 4:33 pm
Ferndale, Mire Syke Lane, Scotton - £575,000 with Dacre, Son & Hartley, 01423 864126.
Ferndale, Mire Syke Lane, Scotton - £575,000 with Dacre, Son & Hartley, 01423 864126.

None other than Guy Fawkes lived here as a teenager and may even have become “radicalised” in the village, which was at the time home to several notable Roman Catholic families, such as the Pulleyns, the Percys and the Bainbridges (his stepfather’s family).

We’ve long had an ambivalent view of Guy Fawkes. Remembered by some as the “last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions”, he has been romanticised and even idolised as a dashing rogue who managed to bring a flash of excitement to proceedings in the Chamber.

He had, of course, come very close to killing the king and just about everybody who was anybody in the Protestant body politic all in one big bang, so he was painted at the time as well nigh demonic.

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After lengthy torture he was, on January 31, given a traitor’s execution: dragged head-down on a hurdle from the Tower of London to Westminster, hanged, and then quartered, his body-parts sent to the four corners of the kingdom.

On November 5, 1605 – the same day Fawkes was arrested – Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King’s escape from assassination by lighting bonfires. And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since, even burning effigies of him – a ghoulish accolade for someone who would now be regarded as a religiously-inspired terrorist.

Fawkes attended St Peter’s School in York, and to this day the school doesn’t celebrate the execution of its most famous old boy.

It’s a different story in Scotton, though, where the locals gather around the village bonfire, before retiring to the Guy Fawkes Arms to warm up.

Despite all this, history isn’t the village’s only strong suit. The nearby Scotton Lingerfield Community Primary School is rated Good by Ofsted and the amenities of Knaresborough are on its doorstep.

The following three properties are all currently for sale in Scotton. Prospective buyers need no longer be Catholic insurgents.

Ferndale is a modern detached family home that has undergone a comprehensive scheme of extension and improvement in recent years and now has contemporary features. It has five bedrooms – two of them en-suite – lounge, office, utility room and very spacious, open-plan dining-kitchen-cum-sitting-room with underfloor heating. Bi-folding doors open onto a terrace and large private gardens which adjoin open fields, and there’s also plenty of off-street parking, a large single garage with mezzanine storage area, plus adjoining gym.

A stroll to the east is number 6 Mire Syke Lane, an end-terrace house with three bedrooms, living room, dining room and utility room. Outside, there are gardens to the front and back, as well as a single garage and outdoor store.

Finally, 1 Havikil Park is a detached family house occupying a larger-than-average corner plot. It has four bedrooms, two reception rooms, dining kitchen, very large utility room and adjoining double garage. Outside, there is off-street parking, good-sized gardens to the side and back, with patios, greenhouse and garden shed.