Sessay, North Yorkshire
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Sessay is a small, linear village and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. It is situated approximately 4 miles (6 km) south-east from Thirsk, and 2 miles (3 km) west from the A19 road close to the East Coast Main Line.
The civil parish also includes the village of Little Sessay, where the parish church and school are located. In 2013 the population of the civil parish was estimated at 320. The 2001 UK Census recorded the population as 311 of which 266 were over sixteen years old. There were 130 dwellings of which 90 were detached.
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Sezai" in the wapentake of Gerlestre (from the mid-12th century known as Birdforth). It later became a detached part of the wapentake of Allertonshire. At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was the possession of the Bishop of Durham and St Cuthbert's Church, Durham. The manor became a Mesne lordship and was held after the Norman invasion first by the Percy family and then by the Darrell family from the end of the 12th century to the late 15th century. When the family line of succession ended, it passed by marriage to the Dawnay family in 1525. One descendant, John Dawnay was made Viscount Downe in 1680. The family still hold the manor.
The village is within the Thirsk and Malton UK Parliament constituency. It lies within the Topcliffe ward of Hambleton District Council and Sowerby electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council.
The village lies immediately to the east of the East Coast Main Line. The nearest settlements are Hutton Sessay 1.1 miles (1.8 km) to the north-east and Dalton 1.7 miles (2.7 km) to the north-west. Birdforth Beck runs to the south of the village on its way to join the nearby River Swale.
The school at Little Sessay, Sessay CE Primary, is within the catchment area of Thirsk School for secondary education. The school was built in 1848 by William Butterfield for Viscount Downe. It has undergone three enlargements and is a Grade II listed building.
There is a Bowls Club and a Cricket Club in the village. The Cricket Club was founded in 1850 and competes in the York Senior League. In September 2010 the club won the National Village Cup at Lord's, repeating its success in September 2016.
The parish church is dedicated to St Cuthbert and is a Grade II* listed building, rebuilt by architect William Butterfield in 1847-48 for William Dawnay, 7th Viscount Downe on the site of the original.
In the church there are three funeral brasses in the chancel to members of the Kitchingman family, and one to Mrs. Smelt. Another is that of Master Thomas Magnus on which he is depicted in his priestly robes. At the time of the Dissolution of religious houses he was master of St Leonard's Hospital, York, and was subsequently appointed to the rectory of Sessay, where he died, in 1550, and was buried in the chancel."