YORKSHIRE PAST AND PRESENT.
THE EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE WITH ITS PARLIAMENTARY DIVISIONS AND WAPENTAKES, OR HUNDREDS.
Divisions of the East Riding.-The East Riding comprises six wapentakes, and the municipal boroughs of Beverley, Kingston-upon-Hull, and Hedon, which was incorporated in 1861. It is divided into twelve petty sessional divisions. The borough of Kingston-upon-Hull, which is a county of itself, has a commission of the peace and a separate court of quarter sessions; and the borough of Beverley has a commission of the peace. This riding contains thirteen lieutenancy subdivisions, consisting respectively of the borough of Kingston- upon-Hull and of the twelve petty sessional divisions, the borough of Beverley being included in the North Hunsley Beacon subdivision. The East Riding, which includes the borough of Kingston-upon-Hull, part of the city of York, and part of the borough of Malton, constitutes a division of the county for parliamentary election purposes. For police purposes the East Riding is formed into twelve divisions. It contains seven local board districts, and the borough of Hedon has an improvement commission. The East Riding is in the diocese of York; it contains 351 civil parishes, townships, or places, and part of one other township, namely, Filey, which extends into the North Riding.
Area and Population of the East Riding.- The area of the East Riding is 750,828 statute acres. The number of houses in 1871 was 56,193 inhabited; 3768 uninhabited; and 737 building. The population of the East Riding in 1871 was 268,466 persons, of whom 133,679 were males, and 134,787 females. The average number of persons to the acre was 0.36; the number of acres to a person in the East Riding was 2.80. The increase in the numbers of the people in the East Riding, in the ten years from 1801 to 1811, was 22,783 persons; from 1811 to 1821, 20,668; from 1821 to 1831, 14,248; from 1831 to 1841, 26,045; from 1841 to 1851, 26,047; from 1851 to 1861, 19,244; and from 1861 to 1871, 28,239.
The Area and Population of the Wapentakes and Boroughs of the East Riding in 1871:-
Area in Acres. Population. Beverley (borough), 2,412 10,218 Buckrose (wapentake), 109,009 14,958 Dickering (wapentake), 114,086 23,927 Harthill (wapentake), 263,532 49,268 Hedon (borough), 321 996 Holderness (wapentake), 168,399 25,579 Howdenshire (wapentake),. 34,089 8,820 Kingston-upon-Hull (borough), 3,635 121,892 Ouse and Derwent (wapentake), 55,345 12,808
Houses and Population in 1871 of the Municipal and Parliamentary Boroughs of the East Riding:-
Houses. Population. Beverley, 2,380 10,218 Hedon, 231 996 Kingston-upon-Hull (municipal borough), 25,119 121,892 Kingston-upon-Hull (parliamentary borough), 25,441 123,408
The East Riding of Yorkshire contains the wapentakes or hundreds of Buckrose, Dickering, Harthill, Holderness, Howdenshire, and Ouse and Derwent, and the county of the town of Kingston-upon-Hull. Like the North Riding, it forms one parliamentary division. But in describing the East Riding it may be convenient to speak first of those portions of it which lie in the valleys of the Derwent and the Ouse; next, of those which include the lofty central chalk hills, known as the Wolds of the East Riding; and last, of the level country of Holderness, and of the sea-coast district, including the great chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head. This is the commencement northward of the chalk beds of England, which extend southward through Lincolnshire and the Midland counties, into Devonshire on the west, and Kent and the Isle of Thanet on the east.
The Wapentake of Buckrose.- The Buckrose wapentake or hundred, probably so named either from its buch or beech trees, as in Buckinghamshire, or possibly from some incident at one of the great hunting parties of the kings of Northumbria, is a fine agricultural district. The area of the Buckrose wapentake is 109,008 statute acres.
Birdsall, in the wapentake of Buckrose, four miles S.S.E. of Malton. Lord Middleton has a seat here, which stands not far from the foot of the wolds, in a fine sporting country. The mansion is spacious and commodious, and surrounded with extensive woods and plantations.
Sledmere, in the wapentake of Buckrose, eight miles north-west of Driffield, situated in a spacious vale in the centre of the Yorkshire wolds, has been the residence of the baronets of the Sykes family for several generations. Famous for a noble collection of books and of paintings.
Wharram-le-street, in the wapentake of Buckrose, like most of the places named from the strata of the Romans, lies upon the line of one of these great works.
The Wapentake of Ouse and Derwent extends over an area of 54,989 statute acres.
Escrick Hall, the beautiful residence of the Right Honourable Lord Wenlock, the lord- lieutenant of the East Riding, is one of the finest mansions in this part of Yorkshire, containing a most valuable collection of pictures, and surrounded by an extensive park.
Riccall, the "rich hall," is memorable as the landing place of the Norwegians in the year 1066. Here are the remains of an episcopal manor-house.
Stamford Bridge is the point at which the Roman road crossed the Derwent, and was the scene of the memorable battle in which Harald Hardrada, and Tosti the rebellious earl of Northumberland, were defeated and slain by King Harold of England. The Anglo-Saxon and Norwegian accounts of this battle are given very fully in the first volume of this work.
The Wapentake of Howdenshire.-Howdenshire is a wapentake, though small and called a shire, and includes a rich district of country situated between the river Derwent and the Humber. The old form of the name Howden was Hovenden, or "the upland valley," and it gave its name to a well-known monkish writer, Roger of Hovenden. The area of Howdenshire is 38,239 statute acres, 2227 acres being under the waters of the Humber.
Howden registrar's District (517), covers an area of 75,768 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 9823 persons; in 1861, of 15,001; and in 1871, of 14,227.
HOWDEN.-This town, in the wapentake of Howdenshire, is twenty-one miles from York, and has a good well-frequented market. It is also noted for its great horse fairs, which are amongst the best in the north of England for the number and quality of the horses exposed for sale. Howden is situated about a mile from the river Ouse, and has a small harbour for boats and a ferry on the river. In ancient times the bishops of Durham were the lords of Howdenshire, and had a palace, supposed to have been built by the munificent and tasteful Walter Skirlaw, bishop of Durham, whose arms can still be traced in some parts of the ruins. On the south side of the palace was a ark, which extended to the banks of the Ouse.
Wapentake of Harthill.- The wapentake, or hundred of Harthill is a very extensive district, which probably derived its name from the deer formerly grazing on its chalk hills. The area of the Harthill wapentake is 268,676 statute acres, 4901 acres being under the waters of the Humber.
Aughton was the residence of Robert Aske, who in the year 1536 headed the insurrection called the Pilgrimage of Grace, which brought himself and many of his followers to the block or the gallows. He is represented as a daring and honest enthusiast.
Bainton is an ancient parish. In former times a beacon was erected near this village, for the purpose of rousing the surrounding country on the approach of danger, and this circumstance has given the name of Bainton Beacon to this division of Harthill. William le Gros, one of the early earls of Albemarle, was buried in the church at Bainton.
Cave (South), seven miles S.S.E. of Market Weighty, twelve miles from Hull, and twenty-eight miles from York, is situated in a hollow, from which it probably derives its name. It is a small market town in the division of Hunsley Beacon, at the western foot of the wolds, in a very pleasant country, and about three miles from the river Humber. It is said that John Washington, an ancestor of the great American hero and President, George Washington, lived here, and possessed part of the Cave estate; that he emigrated to America about the year 1657, when he settled at Bridges Creek, in the county of Westmoreland in the state of Virginia, where the name of the family has ever since been famous.
Cottingham, six miles N.W. of Hull, is a place of considerable antiquity, and one of the pleasantest villages in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The ancient Norman family of Stuteville, or de Stoteville, had formerly a castle here, called Baynard Castle.
Dalton (South and North), in this wapentake. Here the ancient family of the Hothams, now peers of Ireland, have been resident for many ages.
Driffield (Great) is named Trifels, or the three fells, in Domesday. It is a well-built market town, at the foot of the wolds, and is the point at which the river Hull takes its rise, being formed by the confluence of a number of fine trout streams rising in the neighbouring hills. In early ages Great and Little Driffield were the residence of one of the Anglian kings of Northumbria, whose capital was at York. An inscription in the church of Little Driffield is said to cover the remains of Alfrid (the "all-peaceful"), king of Northumbria, who departed this life, January 18, A.D. 702.
Godmundham, or the God-protected home, has already been mentioned in this work in the account given of the introduction of Christianity among the Angles of Northumbria, under the teaching of Paulinus and the influence and example of Edwin, the first Christian king of Northumbria, and the first founder of York minster. At this point, which is situate in the wapentake of Harthill, about a mile and a half N.N.E. of Market-Weighton and on the lowest acclivity of the wolds of the East Riding, was the pagan temple of the Angles of Northumbria, which is supposed to have stood on the site of an earlier temple of the Britons, and probably near the Roman station of Delgovitia. The site of the temple can still be traced by an extensive cluster of artificial hills, now called the Howe Hills. The church of Godmundham furnished several fine specimens of Anglian or Saxon architecture. The exterior arch of the west end of the tower, intersected by a buttress, the arch of the south entrance, and the interior arch entering into the chancel, are believed to be Saxon; but the inner part of the church is supposed to have been renewed.
Holme on Spalding Moor, on the high road to York from Market-Weighton, possesses a most commanding view over a great part of the wapentake of Harthill, and has a beacon named Holme Beacon, which was formerly the rallying point of the whole of the district when threatened with invasion. Even in more recent times it was considered dangerous to cross the great moors which surround the beacon, without a guide.
Londesborough, two and a half miles north of Market Weighty, was for several centuries one of the seats of the great house of Clifford, earls of Cumberland, from whom it passed by marriage with the heiress of the Cliffords to the Cavendishes, dukes of Devonshire, who recently sold it to Lord Londesborough. The position is most commanding and beautiful.
Market Weighty is called Mickel Weighty, when first mentioned by the Anglian writers. It was a residence of one of the chiefs of Deira, a district which extended over a great part of the East Riding. It is supposed to stand on the line of a great Roman road, which formerly ran from Eboracum, or York, to the mouth of the river Humber. It has an extensive corn trade, and a navigable canal to the Humber, besides the usual facilities for railway travelling.
Pocklington is thirteen miles from York. It is a market town, possessing the advantage of a navigable canal to the Humber, formed about the year 1814.
Watton, six miles south of Driffield, is supposed by some to be the scene of the great battle of Brunenburh between King Athelstane and the Danes and Norwegians, which is regarded as the greatest victory gained by the Anglo-Saxons. There was a nunnery here about A.D. 686, and in the year 1150 Eustace Fitz-John founded a priory of Gilbertine nuns, fifty-three in number.
Wressell, four miles north-west of Howden, was formerly one of the chief Yorkshire castles of the Percys, earls, and ultimately dukes, of Northumberland, who were also earls of Beverley. It was pulled down by order of the Long Parliament about the year 1644-45. Little more than the shell of this once princely mansion now remains.
THE HISTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF BEVERLEY. Beverley, the most considerable borough in the wapentake of Harthill, is situate about nine miles north-north-west from Hull, and twenty-nine miles from York. The neighbouring district on the west is elevated and pleasant. On the east extends a level country. This in the last century was little better than a fen, but it has been reclaimed by drainage, inclosures, and good cultivation. The town of Beverley is airy and pleasant, and its beautiful minster and St. Mary's church are sufficient to render it interesting to every intelligent visitor. Beverley is a town of great antiquity, dating from the time of the introduction of Christianity into England by Augustine, Paulinus, and St. John of Beverley. In the eighth century the site of Beverley was known as "Deira-wodu," that is, the forest of Deira, which extended over the wolds of the East Riding. Beverley gained importance and fame from St. John of Beverley, who built his hermitage here. He received Christian training at Whitby, and after living some time as a hermit in a cell near the Tyne was made bishop of Hexham (687), and was afterwards translated from that see to York (705). He devoted himself earnestly to the spread of religion amongst the Anglian race, and visiting the great wood or forest of Deira, founded here a church dedicated to St. John. This he afterwards enlarged and enriched, and having gathered here a brotherhood of monks he resigned his archbishopric of York, or Northumbria as it then was (718), joined himself to the convent, and died in his hermitage May 7, 721.
The Minster.-The ancient church of St. John occupied the site on which, now stands the noble building called the Minster; but which never served the uses of a monastic institution. It suffered greatly from a destructive fire in the reign of Henry II., and no part now existing is of earlier date than the twelfth century. With some slight exceptions the structure east of the nave belongs to the thirteenth century, and the nave, the north porch, and the west front, belong to the fourteenth century. It is uncertain to what member of the family of the Percys, the celebrated Percy shrine, which fills the arch between the choir and the north-east transept, was a memorial. It is one of the most superb monuments of decorated work remaining in England. The rich and beautiful details cannot be described in words, but require the aid of the engraver to present them suitably to the imagination. The same remark will apply to the most interesting parts of the interior. It must, however, be regretted that of these several are greatly impaired by the presence of tasteless, ill-placed, modern monuments. The original shrine of St. John of Beverley was most probably destroyed by the fire in 1187. A second shrine, containing the relics of the saint, was destroyed at the dissolution of the monasteries; but the relics were found and again buried in 1736. They rest now, it is said, "under the fifth centre square slab of black marble from the tower westward." The old Frith-stole, or seat of peace, to which belonged the privilege of affording a sanctuary even to murderers, stands in the choir-aisle, and close to the aisle-transept. In the south transept hangs a tablet, repainted in the time of Charles II., and containing a rhythmical version of the extensive grants and privileges said to have been made to the church of Beverley by King Athelstane, the grandson of Alfred the Great, after the great victory over the Danes at Brunenburh. But the rhymes are said by Poulson, the historian of Beverley, to be of the fourteenth century, about the reign of Edward III., though the privileges themselves were probably conferred by Athelstane. The exterior of the minster has two grand features- the west front, almost incomparable as a specimen of perpendicular architecture; and the north porch, which is exceedingly graceful. This minster gives enough of architectural beauty to Beverley; but in addition, we have still to notice a structure almost worthy of being compared with it. This is St. Mary's Church, which has lately been restored by that great master of ecclesiastical architecture, Sir. G. G. Scott.
Pocklington Registrar's District (516) covers an area of 110,624 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 10,637 persons; in 1861, of 16,710; and in 1871, of 15,964.
Beverley Registrar's District (518) covers an area of 80,220 acres. In1801 it contained a population of 12,748 persons; in 1861, of 21,029; andin 1871, of 21,450.
Driffield Registrar's District (523) covers an area of 111,286 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 8894 persons; in 1861, of 19,226; and in 1871, of 19,265.
Dickering Wapentake.-The Dickering wapentake, which approaches the German Ocean at Flamborough Head, may perhaps be named from one of the great dykes extending for many miles, which were formed in early times to protect the inhabitants either from floods of the Derwent, or from the greater dangers of hostile invasion. It is an agricultural and pastoral district, that stretches to the sea on its eastern side. The area of Dickering wapentake is 114,085 statute acres.
Auburn, or the water-brook, is in the parish of Fraisthorpe, near to the sea-coast, and three and a half miles south of Bridlington.
Boynton stands on an elevated ridge of ground. Boynton Hall, a lofty pavilion erected by Sir George Strickland, commands very fine views both of the sea and land.
Filey, at the junction of the wapentakes of Dickering in the East Riding, and Pickering Lythe in the North Riding, about seven miles south-east of Scarborough, stands on a fine bay, and has become a flourishing watering place. The neighbouring country is very bold, especially along the sea-coast; and at Filey the sands are very firm, and are bounded on the north by a remarkable ridge of rocks, extending nearly half a mile into the sea, and called Filey Brig. Filey is considered one of the best points that could possibly be chosen for the constructing of a harbour of refuge on this coast, capable of insuring the safety of large ships.
Flamborough, or Flamborough Head, four and a half miles north-east of Bridlington Bay, which it shelters from the north-eastern blasts, and sixteen miles south-east of Scarborough, is one of the loftiest and grandest promontories on the English coast, rising to the height of upwards of 300 feet above the sea. Its name probably implies "the hill of the lighthouse," and it was no doubt provided with a lighthouse from the time of the Romans, as well as during the Anglian period. The cliffs, which are of chalk, extend in a range from five to six miles, and at the base of these rocks are several extensive caverns, some formed by convulsions of nature, and others worn by the never-ceasing action of the ocean. The most remarkable of these excavations are the Dovecot, the Kirk Hole, and Robin Lyth's Hole, the last of which far surpasses the others, and is thus described by an eloquent writer:-"It (the cavern) has two openings, one communicating with the land, the other with the sea. The former is low and narrow, giving solemn admission into the cavern, which at the first entrance is surrounded with deep gloom; but the darkness gradually dispersing, the magnificence becomes unfolded, and excites the admiration of the exploring stranger. The floor is a solid rock, formed into broad steps of an easy descent, and the stones at the sides are curiously variegated. The roof is finely arched, and nearly fifty feet high at the centre. On approaching the eastern extremity a noble vista is formed by its opening into the sea, which appears in its highest grandeur to those emerging from the gloom of the cavern. In the summer season the ridges of these immense cliffs form the breeding place of millions of aquatic birds; and in the months of May and June the rocks seem absolutely animated, being covered with innumerable sea-fowl of various plumage." A law, proposed by Mr. Christopher Sykes, one of the members for the East Riding, has been recently passed by Parliament prohibiting the wanton destruction of these beautiful birds. The remains of a deep ditch, the outwork of a camp supposed to have been formed by the Danes, can still be traced on the neck of this stupendous natural fortress. The erection of a lighthouse has in modern times again given comparative security on this dangerous coast, as will be seen from the following note in Coates' descriptive poem of Bridlington Quay:-"From June, 1770, to the end of the year 1806, not fewer than 174 ships were wrecked or lost at Flamborough Head and its environs; but since the erection of the lights to month of March, 1813, not one vessel had been lost at that point when the lights could be seen."
Kilham, six miles N.N.E. of Driffield, had formerly a market on Thursday, which is now disused. The town is situated in a pleasant vale amidst the wold hills. The first part of the name means a spring or fountain of water, and this is one of the places at which the periodical springs named the Gipseys break out on the edge of the chalk district after a long continuance of heavy rain. In very wet years the springs burst forth with so much violence as to form an arch, under which a man on horseback may ride. The name, as we have already stated, means a rush of water, and is derived from the Norse words gypa, "a whirlpool." There are many of these temporary springs around the chalk formation, not only in the wolds of Yorkshire, but in all the chalk districts in the kingdom; and there is an interesting account of them in the Rev. Gilbert White's "History of Selborne," which parish stands on the edge of this formation.
Wold Cottage, in the parish of Thwing, is chiefly remarkable for the fall of one of the largest aerolites ever known to have fallen in this country. This occurred on the 13th December, 1795, and to commemorate the event an obelisk was erected, with this inscription:-"Here, on this spot, December, 1795, fell from the atmosphere an extraordinary stone, in breadth 28 inches, in length 36 inches, and whose weight was 56 lbs. This column in memory of it was erected by Edward Topham, 1799." In its fall it forced its way to a depth of 12 inches in the earth and 7 inches into the chalk rock, making in all a depth of 19 inches from the surface. The whole question of the origin and fall of aerolites is well discussed in Humboldt's "Gosmos."
BRIDLINGTON OR BURLINGTON.- The pleasant and commodious town and port of Bridlington or Burlington, in this wapentake, eighteen miles from Scarborough and forty from York, is situated near the sea-coast and about a mile from the shore, in the recess of a beautiful bay from which it takes its name, which is probably derived from the Norse word berlingr, or "the smooth water;" that being the only place on this part of the coast in which there is any natural shelter for ships. Burlington is supposed to be the site of the well- harboured bay mentioned in Ptolemy's "Geography," which gives it a claim to great antiquity. In the Norman times a priory was erected here in the reign of King Henry I., by Gilbert de Gant. This priory, the remains of which stand at the east end of the town, is pleasantly situated, with a fine view of the sea; and according to Burton, the historian of the monasteries of Yorkshire, it was fortified with walls of stone and lime in the year 1388, to secure it from attack from the pirates who then infested these seas. The church of the priory was a noble structure, and the west end, although erected, as the date shows, in the year 1136, is still a fine object. Originally it had two towers, but they are now both demolished. Of the walls and fortifications which once inclosed the priory, nothing now remains except an arched gateway, above which there is a large room, formerly used as a town hall. The monastery produced some men of distinguished abilities, if including William of Newburgh, an early English historian, who was a native of Bridlington, but who took the name of Newburgh from the circumstance of his having become a canon of the last-named house.
Bridlington Quay, is a pleasant harbour and healthful sea-bathing place in the parish of Bridlington, one mile to the south-east of the town. The quay, being a harbour of refuge on a coast where it is greatly required, is formed by two piers which extend a considerable distance into the sea. The pier, situated most to the north, has a convenient platform which furnishes an agreeable promenade, commanding a delightful view of the lofty promontory of Flamborough Head. The number of coasting vessels that, in time of stormy weather or of adverse winds, resort to this bay for safety, is frequent large, and gives great animation to the scene. The port, though small, is clean and secure. It is sheltered on three of its sides by the coast, the town, and the piers. The harbour is defended against the approach of an enemy by batteries which enfilade the entrance to the port, and form a cross fire at right angles. The first stone of a northern pier was laid in the year 1818. The harbour, which is dry at low water, has a spring-tide flow of about eighteen feet at the entrance, and below high water mark is an ebbing and flowing spring of fine fresh water, which was discovered in the year 1811 by the late Benjamin Milne, collector of the customs at this port. Few places present a more inviting beach than that which here descends from the quay to the sea, and which is peculiarly favourable to sea-bathing.
Bridlington Registrar's District (524) covers an area of 66,592 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 8150 persons; in 1861, of 14,371; and in 1871, of 15,415.
The County and Town of Kingston-upon-Hull.- The county and town of Kingston-upon-Hull have an area of 5107 statute acres, 1472 acres being under the waters of the Humber. As already mentioned, Kingston-upon-Hull contained a population of 121,892 persons at the Census of 1871.
The Borough of Kingston-upon-Hull.- We have already fully described this great seat of commerce, the third port in England, and the first of the ports of Yorkshire.
Hull Registrar's District (520) covers an area of 1054 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 22,161 persons; in 1861, of 56,888; and in 1871, of 68,316.
Hessle, five miles W.S.W. of Hull, is a very ancient place, and the head of an extensive parish which included, or was supposed to include, the present site of the town of Hull.
Swanland, a pleasantly situated village seven miles from Hull, commands a fine view of the Humber and the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire coasts.
Sculcoates Registrar's District (419) covers an area of 38,584 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 13,487; in 1861, of 51,956; and in 1871, of 68,142.
The Wapentake of Holderness.-Holderness, or the ness or promontory of the lower land, lying to the east of the ancient forest of Deira, which once covered the wolds of the East Riding, is a remarkably rich and well- cultivated country, with excellent markets for all its produce in the flourishing town of Kingston-upon- Hull, and in the numerous watering places along the sea-coast. The area of the wapentake of Holderness is 200,963 statute acres, 32,243 acres being under the waters of the Humber.
Aldbrough, on the coast of Holderness, no doubt, stands on the ruins of one of the ancient British or Roman positions to which the Angles, when they conquered this part of England, gave the name of Aldbrough, or the ancient fortress. It is a flourishing village, situate on the declivity of a slight eminence, and contains some elegant and well built houses. In the interior of the church is an ancient circular stone, fifteen inches in diameter, commemorating the building of the church, with an inscription stating that the "Ulf " (the Wolf, a favourite name amongst ancient warriors) "commanded this church to be erected for the souls of Hanum and Gothard. A Roman road runs through Aldbrough, and no doubt formerly connected the towns or positions near the mouth of the Humber with those lying in the neighbourhood of Flamborough Head."
Atwick, or the camp of the altar, or place of sacrifice, in the Anglian language, is two miles from Hornsea. It is a small but pleasant village, situated near the sea, and much threatened by its encroachments.
Burton Constable is in the parish of Swine (probably a corruption of Sweyn, the name of the great king of Norway, the father of Canute the Great, whose fleets long held the entrance to the river Humber), about five miles north of Hedon. Near to Burton Constable stands the ancient and elegant mansion of the Constables of Burton Constable, who have been knights or baronets from a very early age. The mansion is pleasantly situated in the centre of a large deer park, and is surrounded by fruitful gardens, and ornamented with great taste.
Meaux was formerly noted for a monastery of the Cistercian order, founded here in the year 1136 by William le Gros, earl of Albemarle. Little remains of the building; but the moats or ditches may still be traced, and there is abundant historical evidence of the wealth and greatness of the abbey of Meaux. We have already stated in our history of Hull, that the site of that great town formerly belonged to the abbots of Meaux, and was sold by them to King Edward I.
Patrington, about eighteen miles from Hull, was supposed by Camden to have been the Praetorium mentioned in the "Itinerary" of Antoninus, as the termination of the first Iter, extending from Eboracum eastward to Praetorium. A navigable creek of the Humber comes within a mile of the place, and is called Patrington Haven. The church is a beautiful Gothic structure in the form of a cross, and is dedicated to St. Patrick, from whom, according to other authorities, the town is said to have derived its name.
Sigglesthorne, in the wapentake of Holderness. The hall is the residence of Sir William Wright, Kt. Bach., chairman of the Hull Docks.
Skipsea was formerly adorned with a stately castle inhabited by the lords of the district.
Skirlaugh, or the Shirehill, is a place for the Census registration of this district.
Sunk Island, in Holderness, a range of 6914 acres, was recovered from the Humber by strong banks, and is now in a high state of cultivation.
Swine, or probably Sweyn, is the site of an ancient encampment, and has a very old church. It is said that several Roman coins, some of them of the age of Constantius, the father of Constantine the Great, have been dug up here.
Winestead, was long the residence of the baronets of the Hildyard family, and was the birthplace of Andrew Marvell, the poet and patriot, who was born here on the 31st March, 1621.
Hedon has had assigned to it a remote antiquity. It is stated to have been a place of some importance in the Saxon times. The Danes are said to have destroyed it, and a field called Danesfield is adduced as a traditional proof that a great battle had been fought at this place by that people. Camden says, "Hedon formerly advanced to the highest pitch, from which it fell by the nearness of Hull and by the silting up of the harbour, and is so sunk as to have scarce the least traces of its former splendour. The manufacture of cloth was probably once carried on here, as the burgesses were convicted, in the 4th Edward I., of making it of less breadth than was required by law."
The borough of Hedon, although it has lost its claim to be considered a port, is still a pleasantly situated market town, and has recently been again raised to the position of a municipal borough. The old harbour which insulated the town consisted of about 300 acres. Where, in the reign of Edward III. lay vessels of superior size, now extends luxuriant meadow ground; and the busy hum of the seaport is changed for the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep. The town is now situated two miles from the Humber. Still there is some business done in shipping corn for London and the west of Yorkshire, and returns are made in general merchandise. The town was formerly divided into two parishes, St. Nicholas and St. Augustine, which includes the whole place. Here are a Roman Catholic chapel, a Wesleyan and a Baptist chapel, and Day and Sunday schools.
Newton Garth is celebrated for an hospital, founded in the reign of Henry II.
Hornsea and Withernsea.- In such a district we must not look for the picturesque. The nearest approach to beauty will be found in some old halls and mansions, comfortably seated among woods and plantations, as at Burton Constable, Rise Hall, Wassand Hall, Grimston, Garth, and Winestead.
Holderness has two sea-side watering places-Hornsea and Withernsea. The former is chiefly noted for its mere or pool, nearly five miles long, and defended from the encroaching sea by a barrier that will not long defend it. The latter, Withernsea, consists of a row of houses and a spacious hotel near the low reddish-brown cliffs, and likely in the course of a few years to be still nearer.
We must not forget to mention Smeaton's lighthouse at Spurn Point. It rests upon a gradually shifting foundation of land formed from the waste of the coast, and has a tower ninety feet high. Two former towers have fallen here. The existing tower and the adjacent life-boat station have done noble service to navigation at the mouth of the Humber.
Patrington Registrar's District (521) covers an area of 62,166 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 5947 persons; in 1861, of 9681; and in 1871, of 9115.
Skirlaugh Registrar's District (522), covers an area of 67,457 acres. In 1801 it contained a population of 6150 persons; in 1861, of 9654; and in 1871, of 9778.
THE AINSTY OF YORK.
The Ainsty of York, or independent district around that ancient city, extends over an area of 52,059 statute acres. It includes a large portion of the rich vale of York.
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