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Wapentake of Harthill (Holme Beacon Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Bubwith - Petty Sessional Division of Howdenshire - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Howden - Rural Deanery of Weighton - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
Bubwith is a parish of considerable extent, lying on the east bank of the Derwent. It includes the townships of Bubwith, Breighton-cum-Gunby, Foggathorpe, Gribthorpe, Harlthorpe, Spaldington, and Willitoft. The surface is generally level, fairly well wooded, and well cultivated. In the township of Bubwith there are 1,467 acres of land subject to assessment, the rateable value is £2,640, and the population in 1891 was 566, showing an increase of 52 since the last decennial enumeration. Henry Stourton, Esq., of Holme-on-Spalding Moor, is lord of the manor, and the following are the principal landowners :- J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., Thickett Priory: Robert Chaplin, Esq., Menthorpe; E. C. Weddell, Esq.; Exors. of T. Weddell, Esq.; Thomas Sinclair Clarke, Esq., M.A., J.P., Knedlington Manor; the Dean and Chapter of York; Thos. Hepton, Liverpool; and George Newstead, of Eccles Hill, near Bradford. The soil is partly sand and partly clay, and the subsoil clay; the chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes. The low lying lands near the river, called the Ings, yield very fine crops of hay, but in consequence of the narrowness of the channel of the river in its lower reaches, they are frequently flooded when the river is swollen by sudden freshes from the hills. When these freshes occur very considerable damage is often the result, whole fields of hay being sometimes swept away.
The village stands on the bank of the Derwent, which is here crossed by a bridge, erected in 1793, at a cost of about £2,000. It is about 88 yards in length, and consists of ten arches, the three which span the waterway are of stone, and the other seven, on the Duffield side of the river, are of brick. A little lower down, the Selby and Market Weighton branch of the North-Eastern railway is carried over the stream by an iron girder bridge, and passes near the village, where there are two stations, one half-a-mile distant, and the other, called Highfield, about a mile. The village is about six miles north-north-west from Howden, 14 miles south-east from York, and about seven miles from Selby. There is a spacious wharf where boats discharge their cargoes of lime, gravel, coal, &c. The local industries are such as are usually carried on in country villages. The brewery of Messrs. Lamb & Son was established 115 years ago.
The church, an ancient structure, dedicated to All Saints, consists of a spacious chancel, nave, aisles, and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing three bells. The chancel arch is Norman, with three bold mouldings ornamented with a dog-tooth pattern; the nave is separated from the aisles by four pointed arches resting on cylindrical pillars. In the south side of the chancel is a leper window, a memento of the time when that foul disease, leprosy, was not uncommon in this country. The chancel is the oldest part of the edifice, and still retains its ancient piscina. There is another piscina in the Butler chapel at the east end of the south aisle. The vestry, formerly a chapel, on the north side of the chancel is chargeable for repairs on the owners of Gunby farm. The clerestory is lighted by square windows, and is surmounted by an embattled parapet with pinnacles. Those on the south side bear shields of arms. There are several tomb slabs on the chancel floor inscribed to the Vavasours, and on the walls are the arms, funeral helmets, and mantlings of the same family. The church was repaired in 1792, and is now in a dilapidated condition. The plaster has fallen from the walls in places, and the broken glass in the west windows tells a tale of rough usage.
The living is a vicarage, formerly in two medieties, one of which was given by Guarin de Bubwith to the Dean and Chapter of York, and the other was given by John de Mowbray, lord of Oxholme, to Byland Abbey. There were thus two vicars in the church, whose yearly stipends are valued in the Liber Regis at £7 2s. 6d. and £8 Os. 5d. respectively. At the dissolution of religious houses the latter mediety fell to the Crown, and the Lord Chancellor (for the Crown) and the Dean and Chapter of York now present alternately. The gross annual value is £300. The late vicar (the Rev. W. G. Wilkinson), who died in 1891, held the living for the long period of 44 years. On his death, the Rev. William Oliver Fitz-Hardinge Campbell was presented by the Dean and Chapter.
The Vicarage House, erected in 1871, is a handsome building of brick, standing in its own grounds.
The Wesleyan chapel, a substantial building of brick, dates from 1796, and was enlarged in 1870. It will seat 200. The Primitive Methodists built a new chapel in 1862, and the Friends have a meeting-house - a corrugated-iron building, erected in 1879.
A School Board, consisting of seven members, was formed in 1875, for the united district of Bubwith, Breighton-cum-Gunby, and Harlthorpe; and in 1872, a commodious school, with master's house attached, was erected at a cost of £3,000. There are 140 children on the books.
Charities - James Turner, of Foggathorpe, who died in 1714, left six acres of land in Asselby, now let for £6 10s. a year, for the benefit of the poor of the parish of Bubwith; and the poor of Bubwith township have the rent of six-and-a-half acres of land (£12 10s. per annum), and £5 a year - the interest of money obtained by the sale of a portion of the charity land to the railway company. These charities are distributed on St. Thomas's Day.
This village was the birthplace of Nicholas de Bubwith, bishop of Bath and Wells, one of the English prelates who attended the Council of Constance in 1415. He had a residence at Menthorpe, on the west bank of the Derwent, and is said to have built the tower of Bubwith church.
BREIGHTON-CUM-GUNBY is a joint township lying on the east bank of the Derwent. It contains 1,598 acres of land under assessment; there are also about 500 acres unenclosed, and 150 acres of common. The soil and productions are similar to those of Bubwith. The rateable value is £1,802, and the population in 1891 was 131, a decrease of 50 since 1881. Messrs. Wm. Liversidge & Sons, of Selby, are lords of the manor of Breighton and owners of all the land, except about 13 acres belonging to Richard Middlebrooke, of North Cave. The Manor House was built by the present owners in 1881. The hamlet of Breighton is situated one-and-a-half miles south of Bubwith, on the bank of the river, across which is a ferry to Menthorpe. The Wesleyans have a chapel here, erected in 1864, capable of seating 120. Hall Garth is the site of an ancient mansion; the moat which surrounded it still remains in a very perfect state.
GUNBY, containing about 360 acres, is a distinct manor belonging to Jonathan Burtt, Esq., York. It was given by William the Conqueror to his standard-bearer, Gilbert Tison, whose descendants were styled De Gunby, and resided here for many generations. Their old mansion house, taken down about a century ago, was successively the residence of the Knights, the Dolmans, and the Vavasours. The terminal syllable of the name shows the Danish origin of the place, and in the first syllable we have the name of the Danish settler, Gunnr, who fixed his by or abode here.
FOGGATHORPE is a township containing 1,320 acres of land lying on the bank of the Foulness river, which forms the eastern boundary of the parish. It possesses a stiff clayey soil, with very little sand, and a clay subsoil. Wheat, beans, and oats are the principal crops. The rateable value is £1,443, and the population in 1891 was 131 - an increase of 18 since 1881. C. Blackburn, Esq., Brighouse; William Townsley, Foggathorpe; T. S. Clarke, Esq., Knedlington Manor; Thomas Hepton, Esq.; and Manoah Rhodes, Esq. are the largest landowners. The tithes amount to £140, of which £13 belongs to the vicar of Bubwith, £24 to Mr. C. Blackburn, and £103 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
Foggathorpe, called Fulcathorpe in Domesday Book, was given by the Norman Conqueror to Gilbert Tison, his standard bearer, whose descendants settled at Gunby and took their name from that place. In times more recent it belonged to the Aikroyds, one of whom was buried in the chancel of Bubwith church in 1673. Their old mansion was taken down in 1743, and a farmhouse erected on the site. The moat, by which it was protected, is still visible.
The village is small, and is situated about three miles east from Bubwith, and seven north from Howden. There is a station here, on the Selby and Market Weighton branch railway, which intersects the township. The Wesleyans gave a chapel in the township, built in 1803, which is also used as a day school, under the management of the Holme-on-Spalding Moor United District School Board. There are 41 children on the books.
GRIBTHORPE is a small township situated about three miles east of Bubwith. It contains 875 acres of land, of which 853 are under assessment; rateable value, £656; and present population, 29, The soil is strong clay; subsoil, clay. Wheat, oats, barley, and beans are the chief crops; a considerable quantity of land is in grass; and turnips and potatoes are sparsely grown. Lord Leconfield is lord of the manor and owner of the whole township, except 25 acres which belong to C. Blackburn, Esq., of Brighouse. The great tithes, value £56, belong to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the small tithe, amounting to £8, to the vicar of Bubwith.
HARLTHORPE (i.e. Harald's thorpe) is a small township, situated two miles east of Bubwith. It contains 758 acres, of which 714 acres are under assessment. The rateable value is £542, and the population in 1891 was 55. The soil is a strong clay, and the subsoil clay. J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., Thicket Priory; C. Holroyd, Esq.; Rev. J. M. Burn Murdick; the Dean and Chapter of York; and C. Blackburn, Esq. are the principal landowners.
SPALDINGTON is a township lying on the south side of Spalding Moor. It contains 3,542 acres, belonging chiefly to Charles E. Jones, Esq., and the Earl of Londesborough. The soil is mostly clay, with small portions of sand. Wheat, oats, barley, clover, beans, and peas are the chief crops. The rateable value is £2,695, and the population in 1891 was 248, - a decrease of 48 since 1881. The great tithes, amounting to £126, belong to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the vicar's tithe amounts to £39.
The manor formerly belonged to the De la Hayes, from whom it passed by the marriage of an heiress to the Vavasours in 1431. The old mansion of this family, a fine Elizabethan structure, was pulled down in 1838, and the present hall was erected two years afterwards. The estate was sold by Sir H. M. Vavasour about 20 years ago, and has since passed through several hands to the present owner, Charles E. Jones, Esq., of St. Mildred Street, London.
The village, which is scattered, is situated about four miles north-by-east of Howden. The township also includes the scattered hamlet of Spaldington Outside. There was formerly an Episcopal chapel here, which is now used by the Wesleyans.
A School Board, consisting of six members, was formed about 12 years ago, for the united district of Spaldington, Gribthorpe, and Willitoft. The old Wesleyan chapel, built in 1820, was converted into a school, and opened in 1877. There are 68 children on the books.
WILLITOFT is a small township consisting of three farms, the hall, and a few cottages, situated about two miles south-east of Bubwith. Its total area is 855 acres; rateable value, £641; and number of inhabitants, 48. The soil is chiefly clay, which is suitable for strong crops. A portion of the township, containing 150 acres, is in the parish of Aughton.
The manor formerly belonged to the Vavasours, who had a residence here in the reign of Charles I. The present hall, now in the care of a labourer, was erected in 1825. There was a chapel here in olden times. It stood in a field now called Chapel Garth, but every vestige of it disappeared long ago. The whole township, with the exception of one-and-a-half acres of glebe, belongs to the trustees of the late Alfred Stopford, Esq., of Manchester, who are also lords of the manor.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.