BARMBY ON THE MARSH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Howdenshire - County Council Electoral Division, Poor Law Union, and County Court District of Howden - Rural Deanery of Howden - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

Barmby-on-the-Marsh, formerly a chapelry under Howden, was, by an Order in Council, dated 9th July 1864, separated therefrom, and constituted an independent parish for all ecclesiastical purposes. It is situated on the banks of the Ouse and Derwent, which here unite their waters, and contains 1,469 acres of land and 89 acres of water. The rateable value is £2,534. and the number of inhabitants 364, an increase of 56 since 1881. The surface is low and flat, and the soil chiefly a rich warp and sand. Potatoes, wheat, oats, barley, and clover are the chief crops. Thomas Sinclair Clarke, Esq., J.P., of Knedlington Manor, and Mrs. Fox, of Barmby, are the largest landowners. The following have also estates in the parish: Thomas Birkett, Barmby; Robert White, Hanover Square, London; G. G. Fox, Barmby; Thomas Burnett, John William Sugden, Barmby; Mrs. Scaife, Brough; J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., Thicket Priory, and John S. Thompson, Barmby. The Hull and Barnsley and West Riding Junction railway intersects the township, and has a goods siding here, but no station.

A tradition, still current in the district, says that the Conqueror gave rnebi as it is written in Domesday Book, to 40 of his soldiers, each one receiving an oxgang (20 acres) of land, and that these oxgangs are still freehold property, and bear the names of their original owners. The manor, as part of Howdenshire, was held of the Bishop of Durham, who, about the year 1200, "gave all his waste in Barnebi to his men of Barnebi for ever." About 60 years later, when Howden church was made collegiate, the manor, tithes, and part of the land were appropriated towards the support of one of the canons, who took his prebendal title from this place. They were granted by Queen Elizabeth to the family of White, of Wallingwells, and now belong to Thomas Sinclair Clarke, Esq., M.A., J.P., of Knedlington Manor.

The village is large, and stands about four miles west of Howden, where there is a station on the Hull and Barnsley railway, and two-and-a-half miles south of Wressel station, on the Hull and Selby branch of the North Eastern railway. The manufacture of sail cloth and course linen was formerly carried on here, but the business declined and became unremunerative after the introduction of the factory system, which attracted all the trade to the populous centres of industry. The rivers Ouse and Derwent, which unite here, are crossed by two ferries, one to Drax and Selby, and the other to Hemingbrough.

The church, dedicated to St. Helen, is a small ancient building, consisting of chancel, nave, and western tower, containing two bells. The nave was originally built for a tithe barn for the prebend of Barmby, and was so used till the time of Henry VIII. when it was converted into a chapel, and a tower and chancel added. The former, a wooden structure with spire, having become ruinous and unsafe, was taken down in 1773, and the present dome-capped steeple, of brick, erected, at a cost of £120. The church was restored in 1870, at which time the chancel was rebuilt, the old gallery removed, and the nave re-seated with open benches, of pitchpine. The choir stalls and communion rails are of oak. The pulpit was the gift of Mrs. Clarke, of Knedlington manor. The east window, of three lights, is filled with stained glass, representing Our Lord's Ascension. The ancient piscina has been retained. The register dates from 1790. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held by the Rev. William Talbot. Its gross value is returned at £280. The Vicarage House was built by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1872, at a cost of £1,700. The impropriate tithes amount to £590.

The Primitive Methodists have a chapel here, built in 1833. A School Board was formed in 1874, for the united district of Barmby-on-the-Marsh and Asselby, and a new school was erected in 1878, for the accommodation of 150 children. There is an average attendance of 70.

Charities. - Richard Garlthorpe, in the reign of James I.,conveyed to trustees certain lands, &c., the rents thereof to be applied to the relief of the poor, to the repairs of the church, jetties, staithes, &c., and the support of a reading minister. John Blanchard, in 1712, left 25 acres of land, two houses, &c., in trust, to pay £2 yearly to the poor, and the rest of the income to a lecturer and schoolmaster, who should be elected by the resident householders. The school was held in the church, and 10 boys were free. Both the charities have been remodelled by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, issued in 1877. The income from the Garlthorpe lands, &c. - now about £150 a year - is divided into three equal portions - one-third for the poor, one-third for the repair of the church, river banks, &c., and of the remaining third, £20 yearly is paid to the minister of Barmby, and the remainder is applied to the purchase of rewards and prizes for children attending an elementary school in the parish. Under the new scheme the office of lecturer and schoolmaster was abolished, on the death of the late Rev. G. W. Robinson. And the income of the Blanchard Charity (£62 per year) is now applied as follows: the sum of £2 is given to the poor, one-half of the remainder is applied to the augmentation of the vicar's income, and the other half is distributed amongst the children of the parish in rewards and prizes, for attendance at an elementary school, and in prizes for proficiency in religious knowledge and the church catechism. David Tacker left 40s. a year towards the relief of the poor. Thos. Houldsworth, a native of Barmby but now living at Clay Cross, Derbyshire, purchased some land in the parish about three years ago, and by deed ordered the rent thereof (about £20 per annum) to be distributed half-yearly among the poor native residents of Barmby.

The common lands were enclosed and allotted in 1853, and, previous to this enclosure, horse-races were held yearly, on the last Thursday in June and the two following days. In a corner of the churchyard there was a spring called St. Helen's Well, the water of which was impregnated with iron. This was drained and filled up about 35 years ago. There was another well in the village, called St. Peter's, the water of which contained sulphur, and was reputed to be highly beneficial in the cure of scurvy and sore eyes, by external application. The water still flows, but the well is now only a duckpond.

Near the village the Hull and Barnsley railway crosses the Ouse, on a swing bridge designed by Messrs. Bohn & Shelford, and opened for passenger traffic on the 6th. July, 1885. It is an iron structure, and swings from the centre to allow vessels to pass up or down the river. The swing portion is 244ft. in length, weighs 690 tons, and is moved by hydraulic power. Seven or eight boats pass through the bridge in a day, and 167 trains cross in the 24 hours.

[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.