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East Riding
All Saints Church and Monolith, Rudston - - 501153.jpg
All Saints' Church, Rudston
Grid reference: TA096676
Location: 54°5’36"N, 0°19’32"W
Population: 409  (2011)
Post town: Driffield
Postcode: YO25
Dialling code: 01262
Local Government
Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
East Yorkshire

Rudston is a small village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, standing in the Great Wold Valley between Driffield and Bridlington about six miles west of Bridlington. It is on the B1253 road.

The Gypsey Race (an intermittent stream) runs through the village. A number of Neolithic sites are associated with the stream and its valley.

This village is the current Seat of the Clan Macdonald of Sleat, the head of the family residing at Thorpe Hall.

The 2011 census recorded that Rudston parish had a population of 409.

The Rudston Monolith


The name 'Rudston' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, and means 'rood stone' (or 'cross stone', referring to the Rudston Monolith.[1] However, the prefix 'rud' often derives from Old Norse ruð, meaning a clearing or pasture, so the place name could be stone in the clearing; Ruðstane.

Ancient remains

The Rudston Monolith stands in the parish churchyard. At over 25 feet tall, it is the tallest standing stone in the United Kingdom, and gave the village its name; it is Grade I listed.[2]

Southside Mount round barrow is situated to the south-west of the village close to Woldgate reservoir.[3]

Rudston is the centre of an unparalleled grouping of four Neolithic cursus monuments, named Cursus A, Cursus B, Cursus C and Cursus D. At least one end of each cursus rests on an elevated chalk ridge on the sides of the Great Wold Valley. Cursuses A and C cross the Gypsey Race, whilst the other ends of Cursuses B and D probably lie under the village.

The Bosville Arms

Rudston Roman villa, noted for its mosaics, was first excavated in 1839. It was subsequently re-excavated in the 1930s, 1960s and 1970s.[4][5] The mosaics are now in the Hull and East Riding Museum.[6]

Parish church

Rudston's parish church, All Saints, is a Grade I listed building.[7] Of 14th-century origin, it was restored in 1861 by George Fowler Jones.[8]

The church contains the gigantic organ, originally of four manuals, given by Sir Alexander McDonald of the Isles. Now a 3 manual instrument, it stands at the west end of the church in the original case.[citation needed]

The author Winifred Holtby is buried in the church graveyard.[9]

Thorpe Hall

Thorpe Hall to the east of the village is a Grade II* listed building.[10] William Bosville (d.1813) was the last of his family to own it, and he bequeathed it to his nephew Godfrey Macdonald, 3rd Baron Macdonald of Sleat (1775–1832), whose descendants own it today.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Rudston)


  1. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 1960. p. 395 ISBN 0198691033
  2. National Heritage List 1083402: Monolith North of Church of All Saints, Rudston (Grade I listing)
  3. National Heritage List 1005232: South Side Mount round barrow, north west of Woldgate reservoir, Rudston (Scheduled ancient monument entry)
  4. "Rudston Charioteer Mosaic". A History of the World. BBC. 
  5. "Roman Villa, Rudston, East Yorkshire". 
  6. Smith, David (2005). Roman Mosaics at Hull. pp. 9ff. ISBN 0904490-34-3. 
  7. National Heritage List 1162387: Church of All Saints (Grade I listing)
  8. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York & East Riding, 1972; 1995 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09593-7page 332
  9. "South Riding hits the spot". 3 March 2011. 
  10. National Heritage List 1346645: Thorpe Hall (Grade II* listing)
  • Gazetteer — A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 10.