Parish main page
Wapentake of Harthill (Wilton Beacon Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Huggate - Petty Sessional Division of Wilton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Pocklington - Rural Deanery of Harthill - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish lies partly on the Wolds, and presents a landscape diversified by hill and dale, among which there are many patches of beautiful scenery. The total area, according to the Ordnance Survey, is 7,875 acres, of which 7,722 acres are under assessment; the rateable value is £6,158, and the population in 1891 was 578. Charles Henry Wilson, Esq., M.P., J.P., D.L., is lord of the manor and sole landowner. The soil is chalk and clay, the subsoil chalk; the crops chiefly grown are wheat, barley, oats, turnips, and seeds.
The manor was granted, soon after the Conquest, to Ralph Paganel or Payn, the representative of a Norman family of good repute, who fixed his residence here. Geoffrey Fitz Payn, nick-named Trussebut, his son or grandson founded an Augustinian Priory here in 1132, and dedicated it to St. James. He endowed it with lands and gave it to the church of Wartre, and several of his descendants added to its possessions. The last prior was William Homes, who was elected in 1526. At the dissolution its net revenues were £143 7s. 8d., and, at that time, according to Gasquet, the community consisted of a prior and 12 canons, with 50 dependants and boys. The priory and lands were sold to the Earl of Rutland for £800, from whom the estate passed to the Stapletons; and about the middle of the 17th century it was conveyed, by the marriage of an heiress of this family, to Sir William Pennington, Bart. From his descendant, Joslyn, fifth Baron Muncaster, the estate was purchased by the present owner in 1878. Not a vestige of the priory remains to mark the spot where it stood.
Warter Priory, the seat of Charles Henry Wilson, Esq., M.P., is a handsome mansion of brick, with stone dressings, surrounded by a fine park of about 300 acres extent. The house has been very considerably enlarged and beautified by the present owner. The park is well stocked with game, and the gardens and greenhouses cover about 20 acres. Among the latter are a peach house, two span vineries, two early vineries, a rock fernery, a palm house, rose house, two early peach houses, two fig houses, fine orchid houses, a gardenia house, &c. In the gardens are three magnificent specimens of the yew tree.
The village is picturesquely seated in a valley on the Driffield and Pocklington road, 12 miles from the former place, and four-and-a-half from the latter. Many of the houses have been built within the last dozen years, and with their neatly kept flower gardens, give the village, in the summer months, an attractive appearance. The church of St. James was re-built by the late Baron Muncaster in 1862-4. It is a fine stone edifice, in the Gothic style, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, south porch, and western tower surmounted by a graceful octagonal spire. The tower contains three bells, one of which belonged to the old church, and has been re-cast, the other two were presented by C. H. Wilson, Esq., and the parishioners respectively, in 1884. In the north wall is a recess divided from the nave by two bays, and furnished with seats for the use of the family of the lord of the manor. There are several stained glass windows in memory of Gamel Augustus, fourth Baron Muncaster, who died 13th June, 1862, and there are several marble tablets to earlier members of the family. One is inscribed "Near this place lie, interred together, Wm. Pennington, Esq., and Sir John Pennington, Bart., Knight of the shire for Cumberland, which county he represented in Parliament 23 years, by the unanimous voice of his constituents, uninfluenced by party, unbiassed by private interests or advantage. A sincere friend and kind master. He departed this life, March 26th, 1768, beloved by his friends, respected by the world, and lamented by all." The pulpit is a massive one of Caen stone; the font is octagonal, and rests on a shaft of four clustered pillars. There are 300 sittings. The registers date from 1653.
The living is a vicarage, in the gift of Charles Henry Wilson, Esq., and worth £85 a year, derived from Queen Anne's bounty, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and some land at Bewbolme. This is, however, supplemented by a donation from the patron raising it to £200 per annum. The tithe, amounting to £500, is impropriated.
The Wesleyans have a chapel here, rebuilt in 1878, and the Primitive Methodists have also a place of worship. The schools, consisting of two large rooms and a class room, and master's house were erected by Lord Muncaster in 1868, and now belong to C. H. Wilson, Esq. There is accommodation for 150 children, and 85 names are on the books.
There are several springs of excellent water in the village.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.