The village of Colton is today one of the smaller settlements in the South Ainsty area, but it features in Domesday when the township covered an area of around 900 acres (c 365 ha). The boundary of the township to the north is formed by the ‘Streete’ – the Roman road from York to Tadcaster. It is a classic linear village, with the manor house situated at the east end. There are extensive remains of a moated site which is depicted covered in trees on the Bolton Percy township map of 1596; it is now permanent pasture land. The exact date of the moated site is not clear, but it could be 11th or 12th century in origin.

We have good documentary evidence for the village from around 1250 until the 1480s, the period when it was owned by the Leicester family from Cheshire. There was a large house, a chapel (recorded 1254), and assorted other buildings. In 1379, 39 people are recorded as paying the Poll Tax. The documentary sources paint a picture of frequent land sales and exchanges, and also of woodland clearance, suggesting the area was heavily wooded.