Hambleton parish population estimate: 110 (2000)
Oulston is an attractive and relatively unspoilt village with a village green; situated between Easingwold and Coxwold in North Yorkshire. It nestles in the upper part of a small valley running into the southern slopes of the Howardian Hills rising from the Vale of York. There are thirty-six houses in the village centre plus some outlying houses and farms.
The village is a conservation area in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its particular visual interest comes from the traditional stone cottages fronting the road. Other cottages are ranged along the Green in short rows or loosely scattered around it. A ring of stones on the Green marks the position of the old well, this was covered by a brick octagonal building which was demolished in the nineteen forties. The uphill approach to Oulston from the south is attractive in itself. On the eastern side of the road, from the bottom of the road and passing the Old Forge, the footpath is on a raised causeway bounded by a white post and rail fence, whilst on the west side is a stone retaining wall.
The road is bordered by cobbled gutters on both sides. From the green there is a fine view westwards to Crayke and over the Vale of York. To the north of the green the road climbs gently from Oulston Hall to High House Farm. Mature trees surround Oulston Hall itself and there is another group of trees framing the road to the top of the village.
Does Oulston qualify to be called a village since it does not have a pub, a shop, a post office or a school? It used to have all these facilities when the population was much larger than it is today. What it does have is a well-used village hall and a strong community spirit.
Oulston- a History
The village dates back at least to Roman times. It stands at a Roman crossroads and the remains of at least one Roman villa have been found in the vicinity; mosaics from the villa can be seen in the York Museum. Oulston appears in the Domesday book where it is spelt Uluestun. The name of the village may be Anglian and derived from a personal name Ulf, a variant either of the Old English Wulf or Old Norse Ulfr.
The layout of Oulston has changed very little over the last four centuries. A few of the old houses from the eighteenth and nineteenth and possibly a very few from the seventeenth century still survive. For most of the last four hundred years the village has belonged to the Newburgh Priory estate. Before that the manor of Oulston had various owners including the priors of Newburgh Priory. Several of the houses are still owned by the Estate. A few of these bear the crest of Sir George Orby Wombwell; together with a date. This date indicates either when the house was modernised by the estate or when it was built.
Oulston History Group
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OULSTON, in the parish of Coxwold, and wapentake of Birdforth; 3.5 miles NNE. of Easingwold. Here is a Catholic chapel. Population 225.