Ice Age to Saxon times
The moraine ridge (which runs roughly along the present Cawood Road, and through what is now Queen Margaret's towards Wheldrake) would have provided an area of dry land above the more waterlogged lands of the Vale of York. The ridge was also a key route between the River Ouse at Riccall (the limit of navigation at the time from the North Sea) and York and Stamford Bridge.
Then demised by the Crown to Thomas Knyvett in 1597
When the estate was acquired it was described as:
Manor of Escrick with capital messuage, messuages, cottages, windmill and lands (Lord's Carre, Riccall Hagge, Bloome Croft and West Garth, Fogge Carre; Hither, Middle and Further Hall Flatts; Calfe Close; Horse Close, Buskett Close, Lund Wood, Horse Pasture, Hilly Flatt, the Ings, the Intake, Ricall Parke, Dighton Spring)
Manors of Escricke and Bardolgarth with 20 messuages [later corrected to 60],10 tofts, 1 windmill, 1 dovecote, 40 gardens, 1500ac. land, 200ac. meadow, 1000ac. pasture, 400ac. wood, 1000ac. heath and furze .
The Escrick Estate has remained in the ownership of descendents of Sir Henry Thompson to the present day.
Although modified and extended since, the current hall dates from this time.
The stone remains on the bridge to this day - "BT" referring to Beilby Thompson.
This started a period of reshaping the village, and establishing the hall with its own grounds with some separation from the rest of the village. The village was effectively relocated north of its former location - with the former site of the village becoming the grounds of Escrick Hall.
The new road followed a line to the west of Main St, along in part what is now the footpath leading to the playground. This was diverted further west in the 1820s, roughly along the present course of the A19, and at the same time Skipwith Road was established providing a bypass to the east.
Remains of the old church (located to the west of the then Escrick Hall), are thought to have remained until ~ 1920.
Paul Beilby Lawley (1784-1852) inherited the Estate in 1820 and changed his name to Thompson. He became Baron Wenlock in 1839 and was granted a licence to put the name Lawley before that of Thompson and for his heirs to take the name Lawley only.
By 1844 there were 142 pupils on the roll.
A rapid increase in the population during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, took the population to a peak of 717 - a level not reached again until the early 1970s.
The remains of this decoy can still be seen in Gashouse woods and to the east of Skipwith Road. A second decoy was built a few years later further south on Skipwith Road.
The hall now standing in its own extensive grounds, with no fewer than three drives approaching it, each guarded by a lodge house.
The rectory was replaced with a newer smaller building in 1951, with the 1848 rectory becoming part of Queen Margaret's School for a time, and then later the Parsonage Hotel.
More recently converted to flats of the same name.
(Now Derwent Court)
Water was drawn from an artesian well located just north of the hall. One of the four original hydrants can still be seen on Main St, opposite the footpath leading to the primary school.
Gas works were constructed in the area that now forms Gashouse woods behind Carrs Meadow.
Located about 1 mile west of the village on the road leading towards Stillingfleet, adjacent to what is now Lilac Cottage.
The size of the village had strunk during the Victorian era, with industrial towns providing employment, and farming suffering from cheaper overseas imports. Towards the end of the Victorian era, landlords such as the Wenlocks increasingly invested in their villages in an attempt to encourage residents to remain.
(originally known as Escrick Institute)
Presumably the arrival of electricity to the village made the need for gas for gas lamps redundant?
(rebuilt two years later)
The village housed many evacuees from Northern cities. Hollicarrs Woods was used as a munitions store from 1942 - with the remains of several of the brick and concrete buildings still visible.
The railway itself remained (part of the East Coast Mainline from Edinburgh to London) until 1983 when it was re-routed further west due to expected subsidence from mining.
This period of development more than doubled the population of the village - the increased ownership of motor cars started the era of Escrick as a commuter village.
(Until 2007 the primary school was split across two sites, with the juniors on the new site, and seniors in the Old School House).
Residents of Escrick fought against the proposed mine complex.
Sinking of the 1km deep shafts for the mine commenced in 1979 and completed in 1986. Production started in January 1991 and continued until
the merger with Stilingfleet mine in July 1997. The site was used for several years after as a training location.
Unlike neighbouring mines, the mine deliberately did not use the Escrick name.
Coal was not extracted at this location - instead being carried by conveyor belt to Gascoigne Wood.
During the 1980s changes in the nature of farming began to impact the nature of the Escrick Estate. Small farm holdings began to be amalgamated into larger units, and the Estate began to convert the now redundant farmsteads into office and industrial units. At the height of this rural diversification development, the Estate provided some 41 business units.
A brickworks had existed on the site (west of the current Escrick Business Park) since approximately 1850, with its own quarry on-site. The brickworks closed in 1991 and the factory building was demolished in 2006.
The bells were replaced by the former bells from St Martin-in-the-bullring (Birmingham). These bells were hung in a new two-tier 10 ton galvanized steel frame set on a massive re-inforced concrete gillage. The new frame contained 14 pits, to allow for latter augmentation. The more mellow tone of the new bells proved extremely popular in a village which had fallen out of favour with the previous ones.
The Village Green was established as part of the Carrs Meadow development, having previously been farmland. The Green is leased to the Parish Council by the Estate on a long-term peppercorn rent.
As a further diversification the Estate started the development of "The Hollicarrs" - a woodland holiday park which now comprises of nearly 170 timer lodges and chalets in the Hollicarrs woods south of the village.
A group of parents coordinated fund raising through a mix of grants and local fund raising to invest in a new playground on land kindly made available by the Estate on a peppercorn rent.
The former school site is redeveloped for housing.
The Village Hall received a £144,204 Lottery grant in 2008 which was used to extend and refurbish the village hall, provide an extra meeting room, modernise the kitchen, improve disabled access and toilet facilities and increase storage space.