The Royal Oak
The Royal Oak was first registered as an alehouse in 1780. It is though that this was probably to provide ale to the millworkers next door (Tylers’ abode) as the mill folk sailed up the river to drop off/collect grain and flour. The River Derwent flowed closer to the pub at that time. It is believed that the pub was formed from converting two farm workers cottages.
The cottages would have been quite smart and formed part of set of three cottages, with what is now Margaret’s Cottage at the end. The pubs’ frontage would have originally resembled Margaret’s Cottage, but was converted to have a beamed ‘Tudor’ look post First World War, as was the fashion at the time.
During Victorian time the extension was built which is now the main lounge and bar area. The current bar is now exactly where it was located back then, having been moved in the 1970’s, to the middle of the dining area and current snug. It was moved back to it's original place two and a half years ago during a major refurbishment, when many period features were restored and enhanced.
In the 1950’s a little extension was built to house the ladies’ toilet and provide a little extra space in the lounge area. The gents’ toilet was for much of the pubs’ history a waist high wall in the beer garden (which you can still see evidence of) and was at some point moved in to one of the outbuildings, where it remains to this day!
The current kitchen was a snug and there was a little bar shelf leading to the bar. The snug was converted to a kitchen relatively recently, around 2001-2, when it became popular for pubs to offer food, rather than just drink alone. The pub has been through many different guises over the years, and currently offers a comfortable dining experience amidst pleasant, attractive, period features.
Old Malton appears in the Domesday Book as Maltune (meaning Middleton), then a new settlement a mile down the road became known as New Malton, later shortened to Malton, and the original ‘Malton’ became known as Old Malton! To the village’s eastern side lies the River Derwent.
St Mary’s Priory Church in the village was founded as a Gilbertine Priory in the 12th Century. A church had previously existed in the village as recorded in the Doomsday Book, but it is believed that this was damaged when Thurstan of Bayeaux (then Archbishop of York) burned the village to the ground in 1138 after the Battle of the Standard.
Eustace Fitz-John, the local landowner, donated the damaged church to the Gilbertine order and they rebuilt the church as a priory. After the Dissolution, the church was reformed as the parish church of Old Malton, which it remained as, 1896 when Old and New Malton were joined together as a civil parish.
The church still exists today and is noted for being the only Gilbertine Priory church in use for regular worship in England. The building though largely amended since the Dissolution and renovated by Temple Moore in the 19th century, is now grade 1 listed. Visitors are welcome to look around this beautiful Church most days.
In May 1547, Archbishop Robert Holgate issued letters patent which declared that three grammar schools would be built in the region including one at Old Malton. The school was in existence until 1835, when the incumbent vicar at St Mary’s church moved the pupils to his own school in nearby Norton. The Grammar school building are still standing as two private dwellings and are now grade 11 listed.
Old Malton is well worth a visit! It is a delightful village, with sandstone cottages and fine houses nestled amongst beautiful scenery, with many lovely walks along the river Derwent and towards Lady Spring Woods.
Old Malton lies a mile away from Malton, which is a level, pleasant walk away. Malton is an attractive and historic town, with a lovely authentic market place and interesting independent shops.
47 Town Street, Old Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 7HB
The bus stops directly outside (No:840 Coastliner) and there is plentiful free parking in the public car park opposite and directly in front of the pub.