The parish comprises the village of Sancton and the hamlet of Houghton and is located on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds. It covers 809.9ha including grazing land, arable land, forestry and the typical wold dry valley. In the 2011 census there were 286 people living in the parish, with a wide range of occupations including village based farming, game-keeping and hospitality and commuters working in education, health, construction and commerce.
The parish has an outstanding children’s nursery and an award winning gastropub. It also has an active village hall providing activities throughout the year.
The parish church, All Saints, is a listed building with a 15th century tower octagonal from base to the top of the lantern tower, a unique feature in the UK. It has a thriving congregation with popular all-age services. The Methodist Chapel was built in 1815 and enlarged in 1840, and continues to hold well attended weekly services. It is associated with the Jackson family. Thomas Jackson was born in Sancton, the son of an agricultural labourer, and became President of the Wesleyan Conference in 1838 and again in 1849. The old school building, now a private nursery, was rebuilt in 1870 as a memorial to Thomas and Samuel Jackson.
Sancton has a long history as shown by archaeological discoveries of a Romano-British farmstead and 2 cemeteries with urn burials dating to Anglo-Saxon times. Sancton was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Santun/Sautune that is Sand Town. In 1765-68, Houghton Hall, a grade I listed Georgian country mansion, was built for Marmaduke Langdale, 5th Baron Langdale and the grounds landscaped with lake.
The benefits of the 20th century were slow to arrive in Sancton, as older villagers can recall pupils collecting buckets of water from the village pump to deliver to their school.