Leaving aside the question of the location of the early, pre-medieval village (see Saxon, Dane & Norman section) it is clear that the village of today can trace its links directly back to the medieval village.
Documentary evidence has provided a sequence of maps from 1799 to 1912 which illustrate the evolution of the villages to their current status.
Although records of the medieval period in Marton cum Grafton, as in many other locations, are scarce – Margaret Power comments (4) “no feudal castle ever stood in this parish”- it can be overlooked that the many battles in Yorkshire, particularly in the 14th Century, must have had a significant impact. Commandeering of men, demanding food and supplies, general looting and revenge or ‘celebratory’ attacks by winners were no doubt commonplace. Without going into the political complexity of the time, the following is a summary of those battles of local significance:
Scottish Incursion of 1318
This was rather well summarised by William Grainge ( a famous Yorkshire Historian) as follows (5 ): “ The defeat of the English army at Bannockburn, the discontent of the nobles, and the misgovernment of the King, began to be felt by disastrous effect by the kingdom. In 1318, the Scots entered England under the command of Lord Randolf and Sir James Douglas, and wasted northern counties with fire and sword, almost without opposition. They poured like a torrent of fire across the wapentake of Claro; murdering, plundering, and burning all before them. The Forest of Knaresbrough suffered greatly from their ravages. They abode some time at Pannal, making the church their headquarters, which they wantonly burnt on their departure.
Battle of Myton, 1319
In 1319 Edward II, Earl of Lancaster, Earl of Pembroke marched North to recapture Berwick, which had been taken by Robert the Bruce. While such a force was in the Border region, a Scottish army lead by Sir James Douglas(Red Heart) invaded Yorkshire. With an untrained army, the Archbishop of York, William Melton, tried to fight off the Scots but was defeated at Myton-on-Swaledale, near Boroughbridge. With the Scots threatening their lands to the north, the earls with Edward at Berwick abandoned the siege and returned home. Queen Isabella who was in York at the time managed to escape to safety at Nottingham.
Battle of Boroughbridge, 1322
The Earl of Lancaster who was essentially a rebel, and a long term thorn in the side of king Edward, but who was also the most powerful baron of his time, decided to extend his influence further by marching north from his base in Pontefract. His route was along the Great North Road, which would have taken him within a mile of Marton cum Grafton, but he was halted at the bridge crossing in Boroughbridge, by an army lead by Andrew Harcley, the Earl of Carlisle, and his forces loyal to the king. They repulsed Lancaster’s attacks, and he was forced to surrender. He was taken back to Pontefract, where Edward had taken control, and Lancaster was executed a few days later. The battle monument stands in Aldbrough.
In 1323 a Peace Treaty was signed by Edward II and Robert the Bruce and things presumably slowly returned to normal, but clearly this period was not one of the best for the regular inhabitants of Marton cum Grafton.
A number of Land Transfers from the 15th – 16th centuries exist which are currently undergoing closer examination.