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Wapentake of Buckrose - County Council Electoral Division of Bainton - Petty Sessional Division of Bainton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Driffield - Rural Deanery of Harthill - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish is situated on the Wolds, and includes the townships of Wetwang and Fimber. The soil is a peaty loam resting on chalk, and the chief crops are wheat, barley, oats, and turnips. Wetwang township contains 3,437 acres, belonging chiefly to Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., who is lord of the manor; Messrs. Thomas Wilberfoss, Wetwang; A. Botterill, Garton; J. Walker, J. T. Elgey, Kilnwick Percy; and the vicar of the parish. The rateable value is £3,857, and the population in 1891 was 566.
The village stands on the road leading from Beverley to Malton, about six miles west-by-north of Driffield, and a quarter of a mile from the Wetwang station, on the Malton and Driffield branch of the North-Eastern railway. The houses are well built, and at each end of the main street is a large pond which supply the inhabitants with water. Near the centre of the village stands a large stone with a hole in the centre, apparently the pedestal of an old roadside cross. The church is an ancient stone building, consisting of chancel, nave with north aisle and transept, south porch, and an embattled western tower, dating from the Norman era. Though usually called St. Michael's, the original dedication was, according to Canon Raine, St. Nicholas, and this is corroborated by an inscription, evidently of pre-reformation date, on one of the two bells in the tower, "Sancte Nickola, ora pro nobis." The tower is a portion of the original structure, the rest of the fabric having been rebuilt in the Perpendicular style early in the fifteenth century. The church was thoroughly restored in 1845, at a cost of about £1,500, which was raised by subscription and church rate. The chancel was partially rebuilt at the expense of Sir Tatton Sykes; the nave, aisle, and transept were repaired, and the walls and roofs raised, and the south porch added. The chancel arch is low and plain, and an arcade of five pointed arches, springing from circular and octagonal columns, divides the nave from the aisle and transept. The latter was a chapel in catholic times as shown by the piscina which still remains, and in later days was used for the parish school. The east window, a memorial of Mary Ann, Lady Sykes, who died in 1861, was inserted by the parishioners. The chancel is neatly furnished with oak stalls, enriched with carved poppy heads, and the nave and transept with high-backed seats of painted wood. The pulpit is of stone, supported on an octagonal pier, and finely carved. On the walls of the chancel are two marble tablets; one is a memorial of Thomas Wilberfoss, Esq., of this parish, who died in 1830. He was descended from an ancient family of that name, long seated at Wilberfoss, in this county, and succeeded to the estate here on the death of Mr. Thomas Wharram, his maternal uncle. The other tablet is inscribed to the memory of the Rev. Rowland Croxton, M.A., who died in 1833, after having held the vicarage 45 years. The church will seat 300. The registers date from 1653. The benefice is a vicarage with Fimber annexed, formerly in the gift of the Prebendary of Wetwang, in the cathedral of York, but transferred by the Cathedal Act to the patronage of the Archbishop. It is valued in the Liber Regis at £9 7s. 8®d., and is now worth £270, derived chiefly from 209 acres of glebe. The present incumbent is the Rev. Edward Maule Cole, M.A., Oriel College, Oxford.
The other places of worship in the village are two chapels belonging to the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists respectively. The former was erected in 1886, at a cost of £350, to supersede an old one built in 1812, and now used as a Sunday school; and the latter was erected in 1869, at a cost of £400, in lieu of one dating from 1824. The National School (mixed) was built in 1843, and enlarged in 1866, at the sole cost of Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart. There is accommodation for nearly 200, and an average attendance of 110.
FIMBER is a chapelry and township in this parish, belonging principally to Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., who is also lord of the manor. The total area is 1,92 acres, the rateable value £1,681, and the population 158. Fimber is included in the petty sessional division of Buckrose, and in the division of Sledmere for the election of a county councillor. The manor was granted at an early period to St. Mary's Abbey, York; after the dissolution of religious houses it came into the Yorke family, owners of Sledmere, and it has since then followed the descents and changes of ownership of that lordship.
The village is pleasantly situated on an eminence, nine miles west-by-north from Driffield, two-and-a-half miles north-west of Wetwang, and near Fimber station, on the Malton and Driffield branch of the North-Eastern railway. There are two large ponds or meres, the prescence of which gave a name to the place, Fimmer or Fimmere, corrupted into Fimber in later times. The chapel-of-ease (St. Mary) was rebuilt on the site of an ancient one in 1871, at a cost of nearly £7,000, defrayed by Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart. It is a dressed stone edifice in the Norman style, and comprises chancel, nave, south porch, and western tower containing three bells. All the windows are filled with stained glass. The chancel arch is lofty and elegant, and rests on circular piers. Separating this part of the church from the nave is a handsome screen of brass, fitted with gates of the same metal, and let into a carved stone base. Under the east window is a very beautiful reredos of marble and alabaster, and in the south wall is a triple sedilia. Oak has been used for the roofs of both chancel and nave; the former is carved exhibiting stars, the latter is painted, and the seats are also of oak, constructed after a modern type. The pulpit is of Caen stone finely carved, and the lectern is a superbly finished piece of brass-work.
There are chapels in the village belonging to the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists, both of which were rebuilt in 1863, the former at a cost of £200, and the latter £180. There is a good National School, built in 1865, for the accornmodation of 100 children.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.