It is mentioned in Archbishop Sharp ‘s manuscript that a little house stood with a yard south of the churchyard at Seaton Ross, which belonged to the benefice. This seems very likely to be the predecessor of the property, which now stands on the same site namely “Ashley Cottage” which still remains York Diocesan property.
Ashley Cottage, built in 1800 and known as ‘The Parsonage’. On William Watson’s June 1811 plan of Seaton Ross the occupiers were Hannah Clark and Mary Rispin. It seems likely that the incumbent was by this time living elsewhere (possibly at Harswell or Everingham) as in 1818 the diocese declared the cottages unfit for residence. The perpetual curacy, valued at £93.00 was augmented with a parliamentary grant of £1200 in 1825.
The White House on Everingham road was built in 1814 and was known as ‘The Vicarage’. William Watson’s June 1828 plan of Seaton Ross clearly shows the site The White House on Everingham Road and the occupier as Rev. William Alderson BA, curate. It seems very likely that The White House was therefore purpose built as the new vicarage for Seaton Ross. Also on the plan the occupier of Ashley Cottage is shown as Henry Clark. Parish Cleric and tenant. The Revd Thomas Hughes Terry, the vicar lived at The White House from 1839 to 1874. The 1841 census shows the Revd Terry living there aged 35, with his wife Mary Helmsley Terry aged 35 and their daughter Mary Louise aged 5 and son Thomas Hughes junior aged 2. The 1851 census also confirms Revd Terry and his family living at The White House with his occupation listed as Perpetual Curate of Seaton Ross.
The White House would appear to have been the residence of the incumbent of Seaton Ross from 1826 until the early 1860’s. The 1861 census shows that the White House ceased to become the home of the local incumbent and the occupation changed to that of a farmhouse, remaining so until the late 20th century. In 1879 the White House is stated as “the Cottage is a vicarage, with a yearly value of £95 in the gift of Lord Herries including 43 acres of glebe and held by the Revd Edmund Willes Atkinson who resides at Harswell and the tithe, amounting to £14, is impropriated”. From the late 1870’s the home of the vicar of Seaton Ross became the Rectory at Harswell and from the early 1930’s it became the vicarage at Everingbam.
Ashley Cottage and the White House remain standing albeit now empty and are shells of their former days of the Georgian and Victorian period. The White House must have been a very grand and impressive dwelling with its imposing white frontage in the middle of the 19th century – a reminder of days gone by when it was the vicarage at Seaton Ross.