2 Talbot Hotel
Charles Dickens took beverage here (a busy staging post for horse-drawn transport). The hotel re-opened in 2012 after a major refurbishment. www.talbotmalton.co.uk.
3 York House
York House was the birthplace of Charles Smithson, the great friend of Charles Dickens. Smithson was baptised at St Michael's Church, Malton, on Christmas Eve, 1804. St Michael's was originally founded in c.1150 as one of two chapels-of-ease for the Gilbertine priory at Old Malton - where Smithson was buried.
4 Middlecave Road
Home of Mrs Jump and her husband, who lived in a little white house standing just below a beautiful clump of beech trees on the north side of what is now Middlecave Road. It is said that Dickens portrayed her as Mrs MacStinger in Dombey and Son.
5 Market Place
At the time Dickens visited Malton in July 1843, Alfred Lamert Dickens (his younger brother), who was an engineer, was engaged on the construction of the York-Malton-Scarborough railway line, and later at the Malton & Driffield Railway Company: there was an office in the Market Place near Saville Street.
6 Chancery Lane Offices
The Smithsons had their solicitors' offices here, where Richard, the father, and subsequently his sons, John, Henry and Charles, carried out the duties of the Town Bailiff. Dickens told the Smithson family that he used the offices as the basis for Scrooge's counting house in A Christmas Carol. The bells Scrooge heard on Christmas morning were based on those of St Leonard's on Church Hill.
7 Saville Street
Charles Dickens delighted audiences with his readings wherever he went. He read in Malton, in what was said to be a theatre, on one of his visits. Although there is no evidence of a Saville Street Theatre, there is much speculation as to where it might have been. Saville House, believed to have previously been called Ebenezer Chapel, is a possibility, or the Methodist Chapel. Alternatively there might have been an entrance through to the Corn Exchange (destined to become a cinema) from Saville Street and to the Subscription Rooms, which were at that time used as a literary society reading room. Given the popularity of his readings, whoever organised them could have simply borrowed one of the town's other chapels.
8 Railway Station
Dickens' younger brother Alfred, would have worked at this site. The Malton and Driffield Railway, on which he also worked, opened in 1853, and was later to be called the ‘Malton Dodger' because of the winding rail track between the two towns.
9 St Leonard's Church on Church Hill
The bells heard by Scrooge in A Christmas Carol were based on those of St Leonard's. In the novel, Scrooge wakes up, and the bells of a neighbourhood church ring from six until twelve, then stop.
10 The Old Lodge
Now privately owned and transformed into a hotel, it is all that remains of a mansion built in the reign of James I, by Lord Eure. In 1674, because of a dispute over the division of property on Lord Eure's death, the mansion was demolished, with each of two heiresses taking an equal share of the stones. The Lodge has a secret staircase and a priest's hole. Dickens would have passed here on his way to Abbey House (Smithson's final home).
11 Abbey House, Old Malton
Is situated behind St Mary's Priory Church. Smithson moved here in 1843 and died in 1844 aged only 39 years. Dickens, in a letter to his wife Kate from the Abbey House dated 6th April 1844, described how he and the Smithson family searched high and low for a will, here and at the office in Chancery Lane. In both places you can almost feel the presence of Dickens frantically searching through the cupboards and desks. He wrote, "There appears to be no doubt whatsoever that he died without a will. Every place has been searched that could be thought of and nothing has been found." It is almost impossible to believe that a solicitor should die without drawing up a will but this was certainly the case. The great author did not forget his friend: Smithson lives on as Mr Spenlow of Spenlow and Dorkins in David Copperfield: he also forgot to leave a will. Alfred (Dickens' younger brother), who at this time was living at Hillside Cottage, Greengate, Malton, was one of the administrators who extracted the grant of letters of administration for Smithson.
12 St. Mary's, Old Malton
Charles Smithson was the first person to be buried, in 1844, in a newly-consecrated part of the church graveyard. Old Malton Priory was founded by Eustace Fitz-John, in 1150 and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. It was visited by Charles Dickens.
13 Hillside Cottage
Hillside Cottage, Greengate, Malton (and Derwent Cottage on Scarborough Road, Norton), now private homes, were houses where Alfred Lamert Dickens lived during his time working as a railway engineer around Malton.
Easthorpe Hall (on the road to Castle Howard)
Home of Charles Smithson until the autumn of 1843. In a letter to Felton dated 1st September, Dickens recalled how "For days and weeks we never see the sky but through green boughs and all day long I cantered over such moss and turf that the horses' feet scarcely made a sound upon it". His pen was not idle even on vacation, for he wrote here a poem for Lady Blessington entitled "A Word in Season", which appeared subsequently in "The Keepsake", a fashionable annual edited by that Lady. Here he also wrote part of Martin Chuzzlewit. The character of Sairey Gamp is reputed to be a portrait of the housekeeper in the temporary employ of Charles Smithson. Easthorpe Hall, sadly destroyed by fire in the 1960s, was situated on the Castle Howard Road, some 2½ miles from Malton.
Kirkham (off the A64 York road)
Was visited by Charles Dickens. He described visiting monasteries at night, and wrote on 6th July 1843 to Daniel Maclise, saying of the Malton area "For I am quite serious in saying that this is the most remarkable place of its size in England, and immeasurably the most beautiful".
For more information about Malton, click here.