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The Ancient Parish of KILNSEA

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"KILNSEA, a parish in the wapentake and liberty of Holderness; 8 miles SE. of Patrington. The church, dedicated to St. Helen (see Churches for photograph), is now in a state of dilapidation, and in such a dangerous situation, being near to the cliff, that the inhabitants think it useless to bestow on it any further repairs, expecting from the annual encroachments of the sea, that it will, in a short time, be shaken into the abyss which has already swept away part of the burial ground. The Rev. Geo. Inman, A. M. vicar, resides at Skeffling, the patron of the living is L. Thompson, Esq. Pop. 196.

In the Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1821, may be seen a view of an ancient Cross, that stood here till the year 1818, when it was taken down and removed into the Park of Sir Thomas Constable, Bart. at Burton Constable, on account of the encroachment of the sea. "This ancient Cross, according to Tradition, was originally erected at the town of Ravenspur," (long since swallowed up by the sea) "to commemorate the landing of Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, afterwards King Henry IV. in the year 1399. The appearance of the two latter numeral figures formerly observed on the Cross, seems to support this conjecture. Ravenspur was also celebrated for the landing of Edward, Duke of York, afterwards King Edward IV. in the year 1471." --Gents. Mag."


"SPURNHEAD, the Ocellum Promontorium of Ptolemy, in the parish of Kilnsea, wapentake and liberty of Holderness; 3 miles SSW. of Kilnsea, 12 miles SSE. of Patrington. This is the utmost part of Yorkshire, extended by a narrow neck of land into the Humber, at its junction with the German Ocean, and may literally be called an island, as the overflowing of the tides frequently render it impassable from Spurnhead to the main land. There are here two light-houses, and a few small houses, inhabited by a number of old seamen, who are pensioned by the Trinity House of Hull, for the purpose of managing the lights and life boats, which are kept here, for the purpose of rendering assistance to distressed sailors. Spurnhead being too frequently the scene of maritime misery.

Not far distant from this point was the famous seaport of Ravenspur, celebrated in history for the landing of Henry IV. in 1399, and, Edward IV. in 1471. Ravenspur has long since been swallowed up by the sea or the Humber, the precise spot where it stood being unknown. --Drake. --Magna. Brit. Population included with Kilnsea."

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. 2010]

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