The early history of Husthwaite is illustrated below. If you want to get information and photographs of a more contemporary view you can find that at Husthwaite History Society's website
In AD 867 the Danes captured York and shortly afterwards began to colonise the surrounding territory. As the derivation of the name Husthwaite is Old Norse ‘hus', a house, or houses, and ‘thwaite', a woodland clearing, it is likely that the Danes were responsible for establishing the village. At this time most of the township was well-wooded countryside. Shortly after the arrival of the Danes the manor of Husthwaite was created, and the land was organised into three ‘open-fields' called Arteby Field, High Field, and one other Field, name unknown. The copyhold tenant farmers of the lord of the manor had arable strips in each of these fields. On the west side of the township the lord of Baxby Manor cultivated the West Field, a ‘woodland' field-system. Each manor had an area of meadow to cut hay for winter feed, and shared the grazing in the 600 acres of common-land in the south of the township, known as ‘Husthwaite Woods and Commons'.
In 1069 there was rebellion in the north of England and William I sent his army to subdue the rebels. The devastation and slaughter in Yorkshire was considerable and led to a drastic fall in population in many townships. Re-organisation of the villages was undertaken by the lords of the manors who, due to the depopulation, found it difficult to hire sufficient labourers to work their land efficiently, and so they created new ‘planned' villages in order to attract new tenants to their manors. This happened to Husthwaite, where strips from the open-field were taken to form tofts attached to the homesteads. The field-system was also re-structured to encourage new farmers to the township.
In the Domesday Book of 1086 Husthwaite appears in the entry referring to Bachesbi, and the township is described as having 8 carucates of cultivated land. This is calculated to be 640 statutory acres and was divided among the four fields mentioned above.
The Church may have been established in the 10th century at the same time as the village, but certainly existed in the 12th century, as an agreement exists dated 1180x1186 between the Dean of York and Newburgh Priory to place ‘Bryan', probably a canon from the Priory, in the chapel at Husthwaite.
In the 12th and 13th centuries England's population rose dramatically, from 2 million people in 1086 to 5 or 6 million by 1300 and this led to the clearing of woodland to increase the amount of cultivated land. Such land was called ‘rydings', from the Old English language. This is known today as The Ruddings at Acaster farm.
In the 14th and 15th centuries came famine and plague which was particularly bad in North Yorkshire. There is no reason to suppose Husthwaite did not also suffer from these disasters. A diminished population led to the abandonment of arable land and untenanted holdings became pasture, and the decline of the open-field system of farming began. By the beginning of the 17th century there were hardly any strips in the three Fields; most had become amalgamated and enclosed. The last strips were amalgamated in April 1780 in the Arteby Field.