We are very sorry to say that owing to a shortage of volunteers the Malton & Norton Heritage Centre will no longer be open on Saturdays. It will however, be open each Thursday from 10am to 3pm, starting Thursday 24th June!
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Heritage Trail Quizzes

Local and Community History Month comes to an end on Bank Holiday Monday, May 31st, and therefore sadly so do our Heritage Trails. If you haven't had the chance to do them yet, the clock is ticking! Whether you have done them or not we have devised two quizzes based on the trails. Each quiz has just 10 multiple choice style questions. Click on the links below to have a go. (Please note that no personal information is collected or stored by Woodhams Stone as a result of you attempting these quizzes.)

Malton Trail Quiz
Norton Trail Quiz

New Heritage Trails

To coincide with Local and Community History Month (an initiative promoted annually by the Historical Association) we have devised new ‘heritage trails’ for both Malton and Norton. There are more than 50 locations on the Malton trail and more than 30 on the Norton trail. Look out for the information sheets in shop windows and at other locations. Maps can be seen and downloaded by using the buttons below. Alternatively, scan the QR code shown on any of the information sheets. Subject to Covid regulations printed maps will also be made available at Malton and Norton libraries. (30th April 2021)

Malton Heritage Trail
Norton Heritage Trail

Passing of Sid Woodhams

It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of the founders of the Woodhams Stone Collection. Sid Woodhams passed away on the 10th March a week before his 84th birthday. He will be greatly missed by all the team at the Woodhams Stone Collection. The trustees of the Woodhams Stone Collection pay tribute to Sid for his dedication to the organisation founded in his name and his generous support that will ensure his beloved Collection will be available to the community in Malton and Norton for many years to come. A celebration of his life will be planned for later this year. (11th March 2021)

Taking on MaltonHistory.info!

We are delighted to be 'inheriting' the information from the MaltonHistory website. This has become a valuable resource for local and family historians. It now has a secure home under the Malton & Norton Heritage Centre umbrella where it can continue to grow. This, and more can be seen under the 'Research' menu item. It is expected that the MaltonHistory website will be retired at the end of 2020. (15th November 2020)

Object of the Month

Each month one object or subject from the Woodhams Stone Collection is featured on this page. The objects are chosen by one of our volunteers, trustees or visitors and are accompanied by research about the use and historical context of the object. We are also interested in what factors made them choose it!

Comments including additional information on any of these objects are very welcome - please use our contact details at the bottom of this page.

Object of the Month - November
Holloway's Ointment Pot

This little object – less than four centimetres tall – is an ointment pot which once contained the world famous Holloway’s Ointment. The transfer print on the pot depicts Hygieia, the Greek goddess of hygiene and cleanliness, seated with her brother Telesphoros, the god of convalescence. He carries a sign which says “Never Despair”. On her other side is the single snake from the staff belonging to her father, Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Holloway’s initials TM are embossed in the bottom of the inside of the pot.

Holloway’s ointment made enormous claims. Our little pot claims to cure gout and rheumatism, inveterate ulcers, sore breasts, sore heads and bad legs. However, this is quite modest as in advertisements Holloway’s ointment and pills also claimed to cure burns, cancers, fistulas, glandular swellings, lumbago, piles, sore throats, scurvy, tumours, cuts and wounds as well as chest problems, skin diseases, snake bite, depression, children’s ailments, “youthful indulgences” and “all the maladies to which females are liable”. Analysis of the ointment seems to indicate that the ingredients were unlikely to actively cure anything, but they caused no harm – unlike some other popular quack medicines of the time. Find out more

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Object of the Month - November 2020

Click on the red button to open the book
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Object of the Month Holloway's Ointment Pot
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This little object – less than four centimetres tall – is an ointment pot which once contained the world famous Holloway’s Ointment. The transfer print on the pot depicts Hygieia, the Greek goddess of hygiene and cleanliness, seated with her brother Telesphoros, the god of convalescence. He carries a sign which says “Never Despair”. On her other side is the single snake from the staff belonging to her father, Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Holloway’s initials TM are embossed in the bottom of the inside of the pot.

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Thomas Holloway was born in Devonport, Devon in 1800. He began selling his ointment in 1837 – the first batches being made, so it is said, in his mother’s kitchen. It is reported that he sent his brother to pharmacies to ask for Holloway’s Ointment and then followed him after having proved the demand! He placed his first advert in three Sunday newspapers in the same year he started the business. Unfortunately, he spent too much on advertising and in 1839 he ended up in Whitecross Debtors' prison. However, he repaid his debts and never got into debt again. He established his business first at the Broad Street Buildings in London, later moving to the Strand and then, at the end of the 1860s, to 533 Oxford Street - where our pot came from.

Holloway’s ointment made enormous claims. Our little pot claims to cure gout and rheumatism, inveterate ulcers, sore breasts, sore heads and bad legs. However, this is quite modest as in advertisements Holloway’s ointment and pills also claimed to cure burns, cancers, fistulas, glandular swellings, lumbago, piles, sore throats, scurvy, tumours, cuts and wounds as well as chest problems, skin diseases, snake bite, depression, children’s ailments, “youthful indulgences” and “all the maladies to which females are liable”. Analysis of the ointment seems to indicate that the ingredients were unlikely to actively cure anything, but they caused no harm – unlike some other popular quack medicines of the time.

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By 1845 Thomas was spending £10,000 a year on advertising. This grew to an incredible £50,000 a year by the time of his death in 1883. He advertised in newspapers, on trade cards, envelopes, drawing books, stamps and metal tokens. His adverts were known all over the world. He even put up advertising hoardings on the Great Pyramid and at Niagara Falls. He became a multi-millionaire and one of the richest men in England.

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He married Jane Pearce Driver in 1840. After their marriage proved childless, they decided that they would use their great wealth for philanthropic purposes. They built the Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water and, under Jane’s influence, they built Holloway College for Women at Egham, now part of the University of London. Neither of them saw the buildings opened. Jane Holloway died in 1875 and Thomas Holloway in 1883. He died of congestion of the lungs. He remained suspicious of doctors to the last. The business continued into the 20th century, finally being bought out by its rival Beecham’s Pills in 1930.

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Written November 2020


Contact Us

Contact us by email
Reg'd Charity No: 1177312
Our address:
Malton & Norton Heritage Centre
3 Commercial Street
Norton YO17 9HX

Our opening hours are:
From Thursday 24th June we are open each Thursday from 10am to 3pm

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Please Donate

The Woodhams Stone Collection is entirely run by volunteers and is housed in the Malton & Norton Heritage Centre. A donation however small would help towards our running costs and the purchase of archive quality materials required to store and preserve the Collection for future generations. If you should decide to donate via the PayPal button neither you nor Woodhams Stone Collection will be charged a fee for this donation.

At the end of the transaction you will be asked if you wish the payment to be made as part of the GiftAid scheme. If you are a UK taxpayer and able to do this it means that Woodhams Stone Collection can benefit by an additional 25% of your donation.

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Malton & Norton Memories

This group is for those who are interested in life as it used to be in the twin towns of Malton and Norton. It is chiefly a showcase for photos and items from the Woodhams-Stone Collection but you are welcome to post any comments, memories or photos you may have to share.

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