Archives & Libraries

The Scunthorpe Central Library is an excellent resource with a Local History section.



  • The Cemetery, opened in 1863, covers two acres and has two mortuary chapels.


  • Crowle was part of the Crowle sub-district of the Thorne Registration District (which is in South Yorkshire).
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 631
1871R.G. 10 / 4728
1891R.G. 12 / 3870

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Oswald.
  • The older portions of the building are of Norman origin, but some Saxon stonework also exists.
  • There is evidence that a pre-Norman, Saxon church of wooden construction may have stood here, also dedicated to St. Oswald. Oswald was a Christian King of Northumbria, who was slain on 5 August, 642.
  • A stone and brick porch was added in 1628. The entire church was restored in 1884.
  • The church seats 400.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Oswald's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2006.
  • Here is a photograph of St. Oswald's Church supplied by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):

Church Records

  • The parish register goes back to 1561 and includes entries from Eastoft.
  • Check the Isle of Axholme Deanery to see what LFHS marriage indexes exist.
  • In 1872, there was a Catholic Church built here, dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Norbert.
  • Mike KIRBY has a photograph of the Roman Catholic Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.
  • The village also boasted chapels for the Congregationalists (1760), Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists (1599) and Primitive Methodists. For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page. (JB)
  • Mike KIRBY has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2008.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Crowle sub-district in the Thorne Registration District (which is in South Yorkshire).
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Crowle is both a parish, a township and a market town in the Isle of Axholme. The town lies about three miles north of the M180 Motorway, on the A161 as it winds north to Goole, and is 17 miles north of Gainsborough and 165 miles north of London. The Old River Don skirts the north part of the village. The parish covers about 6,900 acres and includes the hamlet of Ealand, where the railway has a station.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, the village of Crowle is bisected by the A161 trunk road as it travels north from the M180 motorway.
  • Check the Crowle Community Forum web page to see what is happening in the parish.
  • Visit the White Hart pub, the oldest pub in the Isle of Axholme.
  • Check our touring page for more sources.
  • John HILES provides this photograph of an older, quieter town center (John holds the copyright, 2008):
You can see pictures of Crowle which are provided by:





  • Late Neolithic / Early Bronze Age flints have been found in the parish, as has Roman and Romano-British pottery. Pieces of amphora suggest either a higher status building or that Crowle was a trading centre.
  • The top of Mill Hill was used for arable farming from Roman times [at least] onwards. Field walking conducted between 2002 and 2004 on the east side of Mill Hill suggests that the arable farming was conducted down towards the 5 m contour. Below this point the land was too damp and used for pasture. Below about 4 m very little pottery was found. The land was too difficult to work until the invention of the tractor. The town had extensive fisheries.
  • The town seems to have gone into decline in the late Middle Ages. This could be for a number of reasons. The end of the warm climatic period saw to a growth in the marshland [and a die-back of many trees on the wetter land. Two villages to the north, Haldenby and Waterton, were deserted in this period. Possibly the Black Death gave the town a knock but what was probably more important was the switch of trade patterns, the fair declined and the growth of Hull caused trade to shift there.
  • In the 1620s Vermuyden drained the land, turning a productive marsh-based peasant economy into a less productive arable system. It was not until the late C18th that the land was drained properly.
  • Crowle was the local market town for many centuries.
  • Eastoft village was once a part of Crowle parish, but was split off in 1855 to form its own parish.
  • For many centuries Crowle held a feast on the 22nd of November.
  • A Market Hall was erected in the village in 1870.
  • After 1870 the town went into a sharp decline, as foreign competition in the meat and corn markets was coupled with bad harvests and animal diseases. The population fell from about 3500 to 2500 in 1890.
  • Histories and descriptions of Crowle and Eastoft provided by the Isle of Axholme FHS.
  • There was a station here on a branch of the Doncaster to Grimsby line of the Great Central Railway.
  • There was also a Crowle Town Station on the Axholme Joint Railway.
  • There was a Police station here in 1900. William PEACH, inspector, was in charge. In 1913, William FORD, inspector, was in charge.
  • There was a brickworks in Crowle up until 1975.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SE772131 (Lat/Lon: 53.608345, -0.833931), Crowle which are provided by:


Military History

  • Mike KIRBY has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.

Military Records

There is a photograph of the Crowle monument and the Roll of Honour and the names on them at the Roll of Honour site.

There is a monument and the Roll of Honour for Ealand, also, at the Roll of Honour site.


Names, Geographical

  • Locals pronounce the name as "Crole". But local radio personalities use "Crow..le" (as in "how by"). [Fred T. BRUMBY]
  • Pat HORTON allows that many local pronounce the name as if it were "Cruel" and some Yorkshire folk use "Crowle" ("Crow" as in the bird). [Pat HORTON]
  • Wikipedia tells us to pronounce the name as if it rhymes with "Coal".


  • In 1900, the Crowle Advertiser on High Street was published weekly, on Fridays. Publishing continued past 1923. Portions of some editions are online.
  • See our Newspapers page for additional resources.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in England and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • There is much confusion about which county is "home" to Crowle. After the 1972 redistricting plan, Doncaster was added as part of the postal address for Crowle and it was part of South Humberside. The naming was unpopular and South Humberside was split into East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and Northeast Lincolnshire. However Crowle and local parishes were in the civil Thorne Registration District in South Yorkshire, so this added to the confusion.
  • The parish was in the West Division of the ancient Manley Wapentake in the Gainsborough district (sometimes given as West Lindsey division) in the parts of Lindsey.
  • The parish was also partly in the West Riding of Yorkshire. About 500 acres of Moorland lay in the West Riding of Yorkshire, but there were no houses on it in 1841. That portion was in the Strafforth and Tickhill Wapentake.
  • In 1894, the town formed an Urban District Council to manage utilites and the like.
  • In April, 1968, the parish was enlarged by 89 acres gained from Belton Civil Parish in Lincolnshire.
  • In the 1972 government redistricting, this parish became part of the Boothferry District, which is now in the County of Humberside (formerly Lindsey, Lincolnshire).

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Epworth petty session hearings every other Thursday.
  • Three houses and ten acres of land were bequeathed for the education and relief of the poor by Richard BREWER in 1687; Thomas WALKWOOD in 1692; and Richard CLARK in 1721.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, the parish became part of the Thorne Poor Law Union.
  • In the Epworth Petty Session of 16 Sept. 1916: John SHARP of Owston Ferry was brought up on remand for arrears of a bastardy order obtained by Mabel BATEMAN, of Owston Ferry, ammounting to £6/2/6. – Inspector WESTON said he had an employer who would pay the money if the man would work for him, which he agreed to do. He had been rejected by the army.


Crowle flourished in the 1800s:



  • A National School with 23 acres of land was initially bequeathed by Richard BREWER in 1687. In 1900, average attendance was 118, and a new infant class room was planned for construction.
  • A School board was formed in 1871 and a Board School erected that same year. It was extended in 1894 to hold 350 children.
  • A Catholic School existed here in 1900, St. Norbert's Roman Catholic School, attended by 35 children. See pictures of times past at St. Norbert's.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.


The local genealogical society is the Isle of Axholme FHS.