The Sitwell Arms

The Manor of Morton is first mentioned in the Will of Wulfric Spott Saxon nobleman of the Kingdom of Mercia, in the year 1002, when it was bequeathed to Burton Abbey. Forty years later in 1042, it had changed hands and was in the possession of another Saxon nobleman named Swain Cilt.

At the time of the Doomsday Survey in 1086, Walter Danescourt was the owner, and after this date the Manor appears to have changed hands quite a number of times.

The Deincourt family lived at Park Hall or Park House as we know it, and on the failure of the male issue the estate passed by marriage to Lord Cromwell and to Lord Lovel. Subsequently Morton and other estates passed to the Leakes of Sutton Scarsdale, from which the Earldom of Scarsdale was created.

On the death in 1738 of Nicholas Leake, Earl of Scarsdale, the estates were sold by his trustees to Henry Thornhill, who in turn sold the Morton estate in 1749 to Francis Sitwell of Renishaw.

William Holbrook was born in the 1700’s and lived at Church Farm, farming some 200 acres. After his death in 1848, Mr Sitwell divided the farm in two, rebuilt Church Farm and The Sitwell Arms Inn, to which the licence of the Royal Oak Inn had been previously transferred.

There was thus an older building, a thatched cottage, standing on the present site. Previous to 1848 the tenant and landlord was Joseph Henson, for many years Sexton of Morton Church.

During alterations in 1974, a carved stone bearing the date 1681 was discovered and this was probably the lintel stone of the old building.

As stated above, in 1848 Mr Sitwell had the old thatched cottage pulled down and the present Sitwell Arms erected. The title given to the Inn was intended to perpetuate the name of the Sitwell family.

In March, 1863, to commemorate the marriage of the then Prince of Wales, the lime tree was planted in front of The Sitwell Arms, and the chestnut tree was moved from the churchyard and replanted at the crossroads opposite the Parish War Memorial.