Aldbrough Parish information from Bulmers' 1892.


Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.

Wapentake of Holderness (Middle Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Aldbrough - - Petty Sessional Division of Middle Holderness - Poor Law Union of Skirlaugh - County Court District of Hedon - Rural Deanery of Hornsea - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

Aldbrough is an ancient parish concicting of the townships of Aldbrough East Newton, West Newton, and part of Little Cowden. By a Local Government Order, which came into operation in 1885, a detached portion of the parish, called Scarshaws, was amalgamated with Withernwick. The township of Aldbrough comprises 4,913 acres of land, and contains rateable property amounting to £5,380. The population in 1891 was 666, a decrease of 58 since 1881. Sir F. A. Talbot Clifford-Constable, Bart., J.P., D.L., is lord of the manor; and the principal owners of the land, exclusive of the hamlets, hereafter noticed, are the trustees of Tymperon's Hospital, the trustees of Towrie's Charity, C. F. Lutwidge, Esq., L. Starkey, Esq., Mr. T. Y. Hardy, Aldbrough; Mr. G. Brown, Sunk Island; Miss Stephenson, Beverley; Mrs. Fussey, Hull; Mr. G. Higham, Scarborough; exors. of the late G. H. Hutchinson, and the trustees of the Rev. Robt. Hall. The land is freehold. The soil varies from light to strong, and is generally fertile; the subsoil is clay; and the chief crops are wheat, oats barley, beans, peas, and turnips.

Aldbrough dates from times beyond the Heptarchy, and was an ancient place when taken possession of by the Angles, who called it, from that circumstance, the Ald or Old burh. Its Celto-Roman name has been lost. The Roman road from Prætorium to Gabrantuicorum Sinus (Bridlington) passed through the village, and traces of it are discernible in the vicinity. The most interesting circumstance in the early history of the place, is its connection with Ulphus, the powerful Saxon thane, whose horn is still preserved in the treasure room of York Minster. He is said to have become possessed of this and other manors by the grant of King Canute, and to have had his principal residence or castle here. He was a munificent benefactor of the church of York, to which he is said to have given all his lands and possessions. Another Ulph, probably a descendant, lived in the time of Edward the Confessor, and is mentioned in Domesday Book. The castle is supposed to have been washed away by the sea many centuries ago. It was standing in 1115, when Earl Stephen, lord of Holderness, gave to the abbey of Albemarle, the church and tenths of the castle of Aldbrough; but there is no mention of it in any document subsequent to that year. William le Gros son of the above Earl Stephen, gave lands in Aldbrough to the abbey of Meaux. The manor was afterwards held by the family of Roos, one of whom, in the 6th of Edward III. (1333), obtained a grant of a yearly fair and a weekly market at his manor of Aldburgh. The fair was held in September, and was formerly one of some importance, but is now obsolete.

There is another small manor here called Thorp Garth, long held by the family of Thorpe. It subsequently passed through several hands, and was purchased by the Harrisons, of Benningholme, in the early part of the present century. It now belongs to Lionel Starkey, Esq., Nottingham, and is farmed by Mr. R. B. Park.

The village is situate on the acclivity of a gently rising eminence, about one mile from the sea, eight miles north-east of Hedon, twelve miles north-east of Hull, and five-and-a-quarter miles south-east from Whitedale station, on the Hull and Hornsea branch of the North-Eastern railway. It is of considerable extent, and contains many elegant and well-built houses. The church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, is a handsome edifice, of stone, comprising chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and a low, massive, western tower. Aldbrough had, undoubtedly, its church before the Conquest, but no part of the present edifice is older than the reign of Stephen, when the Transition Norman style prevailed. Built into the wall of the south aisle is the circular stone of a sundial, about fifteen inches in diameter, and divided by lines radiating from the centre, into eight parts, denoting the divisions of the day in use among our Saxon forefathers. Around the margin, in Saxon characters, is inscribed "Ulf het aræran cyrice, for Hanun & for Gunthard Saula," which may be thus modernised: "Ulf reared (raised) this church for Hanum's and for Gunthard's souls." The phraseology and the eight divisions of the day clearly show that the dial belongs to a time anterior to the Conquest, probably the reign of Canute; and it is also equally certain that it does not now occupy its original position. But whether the church that Ulf erected stood, as some writers assert, "in the vicinity of the castle, near the shore," and was long ago submerged by the sea, is open to doubt. There are no appearances of an ancient village near the sea, and the name of the adjoining township, East Newton (the New Town on the east), does not favour the supposition that Aldbrough ever stood further east than it does now. It is indeed most probable that the present church was built on or near the foundation of the old one, though every vestige of that building has been obliterated.

The present church appears to have been erected during the Transition Norman period; and subsequent restorations in the Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular styles are shown by the architecture. The nave and aisles were rebuilt and the apse of the chancel restored in 1871, at a cost of about £2,200. The arcades of the aisles are each four bays in length, but different in style. In the south one the arches are pointed and somewhat flattened; and on the north side two are semicircular and two pointed; the pillars are circular, with square capitals. The tower arch is lofty, massive, and well moulded, and springs from five engaged cylindrical shafts. All the windows are square-headed, except the east window of the chancel and those in the tower. In the north front of the latter is a very fine Transition Norman one. The roofs are open to the timbers; that of the chancel is boarded over pentagonally. The north aisle was formerly the chapel of St. Mary, and in it was probably the chantry of St. Germains: there was also a chantry, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen and St. Helen, and another to the Holy Trinity; but in what part of the church they were situated is not known. St. Mary's chapel was the burial place of the Meaux or Melsa family, lords of Bewick; and here is the altar tomb of Sir John de Melsa, who died in 1377, desiring, in his will, to be buried in the choir of St. Mary, before the altar. On the table lies the effigy of the knight in armour, six feet six inches in length. The monument was most elaborately carved in quatrefoils and panels, exhibiting various shields of arms. Above the tomb is the morion or helmet of the knight - a unique relic of the past, there being only one other helmet of the same period, it is said, in existence. Another table monument of freestone bears the effigy of a lady, wearing a mantle, displaying three griffins, the cognisance of the Meaux family. It is supposed to commemorate Maud, the wife of Sir John. St. Mary's chapel was endowed by the Melsa family with lands at Etherdwick, which, after the suppression of chantries, were appropriated by Edward VI. to the endowment of Giggleswick Grammar School. Subsequently the chapel was converted into a school, and the children appear to have indulged their destructive propensities by mutilating these two monuments; the helmet too, that venerable trophy of Edwardian wars, shared no better fate; this they used as a scuttle for carrying coal.

The chantry of St. Mary Magdalen was founded by John de Beverley, lord of Aldbrough and Thorp, and endowed with six oxgangs of land in the former place. The advowson of Holy Trinity chantry was held by Sir John de Carlton about the year 1300, and was worth five marks per annum. The founder of the chantry of St. Germains is not known, but Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, who died in 1425, presented a chaplain.

In the tower are three bells (silver rimmed, - the tenor one-and-a-quarter tons weight) and a clock, presented in 1849, by Mr. John Truslove, a native of the place. There are tablets to the Hall and Speck families, and one to James Bean, Esq., who died in 1767, and left the sum of 2/- a week to be given in bread to the poor of Aldbrough, but this charity has been lost. The nave is seated with open benches to accommodate 450. The earliest register is a long folio of vellum, bearing the date 1510, but the beginning is wanting; from 1619 to 1580 there is a a gap, and it is again defective between 1790 and 1793.

The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Austin Buchanan Prole (sophister of Trinity College, Dublin), who was inducted, January 13th, 1888. Its nett yearly value is £470, derived from 122 acres of glebe and tithe rent-charge.

The Wesleyans have had a chapel in the village since 1828. The present one was rebuilt in 1888, on an enlarged site, at a cost of £600, exclusive of the extra land, which was given by Mr. John Grindell, of Cottingham. It is a building of red brick, with white string courses to the windows, entrance doorway, &c. The windows on the north and south side are semicircular headed. There is a gallery at the north end. The chapel is fitted with pitchpine benches to seat 250. Adjoining is a Sunday school, built in 1835. The Primitive Methodist chapel dates from 1850.

The school is a neat building of brick, faced with stone, erected by the trustees of Towrie's Charity, in 1862. The interior is spacious, lofty, and well lighted. There are 112 children on the books.

The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture. Brewing and malting are carried on at the old-established brewery of Messrs. Ralph Jackson and Sons, and brick and tile making by Mr. J. S. Teasdale. A Floral and Horticultural society was established in 1880, and is now in a flourishing condition. A hiring for servants, after being obsolete for many years, was revived in 1891, and met with a fair share of success.

CHARITIES. - Robert Towrie, of Riccall, by will dated 1663, gave the tithes of East Newton and Ringborough, and some land in the former place, for the augmentation of the vicarage of Aldbrough. He also left a farm, of 130 acres in Aldbrough fcr the benefit of the poor. This charity land is continually decreasing, in consequence of the encroachments, and its estimated extent is now only 119 acres. The income derived from it is £150, of which sum £30 goes towards the salary of a teacher, £10 to West Newton for educational purposes, and the residue is expended in the support of the school, apprenticing children, and the relief of poor families belonging to the parish. The trustees of this charity are the vicar, churchwardens, and the overseers of the poor for Aldbrough and West Newton.

William Tymperon, of Beverley by will dated 1723, devised all his manor in Aldbrough, and lands, tenements, and hereditaments therein, for the support of poor widows, three of whom are lodged at Aldbrough, and two at Beverley. The property belonging to this trust consists of 205a. 3r. 1p. of land, with farmhouse and dwelling-house and garden. Each beneficiary receives 5s. per week, with coals, and £2 per annum, at Easter, for clothing.

At the inclosure of the township in 1764, 13 acres of land were allotted to the poor; and this, with 20 acres belonging to Towrie's charity, is let to the parishioners, in plots varying in extent from a rood to an acre.

The sands are smooth and firm, and the air bracing and healthy. On the cliff is a coastguard station for two men, and adjoining is a life-saving apparatus, belonging to the Board of Trade, worked by volunteers from the village.

The under-mentioned hamlets, containing about 3,000 acres, are included in the township of Aldbrough for the maintenance of the poor, but each one is separately rated for its own highways.

BEWICK, containing 827 acres of land, lies about one mile north of Aldbrough, This lordship formerly belonged to the knightly family of Meaux or Melsa, whose principal residence was here. From the Meaux it passed by marriage to the Hastings, and was held by that family till 1507, when it was sold. Edward VI. granted it to the Hospital of St. Thomas, in London, which be had founded, and it was held on a lease from the governors of that institution for many years by the family of Moore. The estate is still the property of St. Thomas' Hospital, and is divided into three farms. Bewick Hall is an ancient structure, bearing above the entrance the date, 1636; the wings were built or rebuilt in 1788. Contiguous with it, is a piece of land 2r. 30p. in extent, surrounded by a deep moat, within and around which are some fine old trees. The great tithes of Bewick belong to Alfred J. Bethell, Esq.

CARLTON, is a hamlet, containing about 606 acres of land, lying from one to two miles west of Aldbrough. It is divided into two farms, one of which belongs to Commander G. R. Bethell, R.N., M.P., who is also lord of the manor, and the other to H. G. Thornton, Esq., and Mrs. Notley. Its early owners bore the name of the place, but they have left few traces of their individuality behind them. In later times a moiety of it belonged to the Michaelbournes. The old manorial residence fell to the ground about 125 years ago, but the old well of the hall, and the foundations, are still to be seen on East Carlton farm.

ETHERDWICK, one mile south-west of Aldbrough, is a hamlet containing, by estimation, 610 acres, divided into three farms, belonging, respectively, to Colonel W. H. Harrison-Broadley, of Welton; C. F. Lutwidge, Esq., of Tunbridge Wells; and Y. G. Lloyd Greame, Esq., of Sewerby. Ousthill House, the property of Colonel Harrison-Broadley, and residence of Mr. T. Wilson, commands a good prospect.

FOSHAM, is a hamlet situated from two to three miles north-west from Aldbrough. It contains ahout 625 acres, divided into four farms (two large and two small). Black Bush is the property of, and occupied by, Mr. Thomas Dent; Sir F. A. Talbot Clifford-Constable, Bart., is the owner of the other large farm, and the two smaller ones belong to Mr. D. P. Garbutt, of Wyton Lodge.

TANSTERNE, lies about two miles south-west; contains 391 acres of land, in two farms, belonging to Commander Bethell, R.A., M.P.

EAST NEWTON, is a small township lying on the sea coast, about one mile east of Aldbrough. Its extent by estimation is 569 acres, rateable value £497, and population (1891) 31, The soil varies from medium to strong, and rests upon clay; the chief crops are wheat, oats, beans, and peas. The landowners are Mesdames Byrom and Hobart; Mr. H. P. Robinson, Carnaby; Rev. G. P. Clucas; the Misses Phillips; and the Vicar of Aldbrough; each of whom claims the manorial rights of his or her property. Ringborough is an estate in this township, in one farm. It is mentioned in Domesday Book, and after the Conquest it passed through various hands. It was purchased by Thomas Grimston, Esq., of Grimston Garth, in the early part of the 18th century, and is now in the possession of his descendants, Mesdames Byrom and Hobart.

WEST NEWTON, and BURTON CONSTABLE form a joint township for poor law purposes, containing 2,073 acres, rateable value £1,994, and population (in 1891) 166. The soil varies, but is generally fertile, producing good crops of wheat, barley, oats, and turnips. Sir F. A. Talbot Clifford-Constable, Bart., is lord of the manor and owner of all the land. Each hamlet maintains its own roads separately. West Newton, comprising 777 acres, is in the parish of Aldbrough; Burton Constable is in that of Swine, under which it will be found.

The village is small, and stands about four-and-a-half miles west of Aldbrough. The poor of West Newton and Marton have the rent of about 12 acres of land at Fitling.

LITTLE COWDEN, see Mappleton.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of East Yorkshire (1892)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1892.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.