Wapentake of Holderness (North Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Burton Agnes - Petty Sessional Division of Dickering - Poor Law Union and County Conrt District of Bridlington - Rural Deanery of Hornsea - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish is situated on the coast, at the northern extremity of Holderness, and is separated from the Dickering Wapentake by the Earl's Dyke, which, according to Leland, was made by one of the Albemarles, earls of Holderness. Part of this watercourse was incorporated in the Beverley and Barmston Drain, which empties itself into the sea at the latter place. The parish forms a single township, covering an area of 2,418 acres, exclusive of the sands, and belonging chiefly to Sir Henry Somerville Boynton, Bart., J.P., of Burton Agnes Hall, who is also lord of the manor. The soil is a sandy loam, and the subsoil gravel and sand; wheat, barley, oats, turnips, and mangel wurzel are chiefly grown. The quantity of land under assessment is 2,273 acres, the rateable value £2,060 ; the population in 1881 was 198, and in 1891, 213.
The earliest mention of this place is in Domesday Book, wherein it is stated that the manor of Beneston (probably a mis-spelling of Berneston, as the name is written in subsequent records) was divided among four proprietors, Torchil, Siward, Bonde, and Arkil. These were dispossessed by the Conquerer, and, about the beginning of the 12th. century, the manor was held by Sir Alan de Monceaux, Knt., as a vassal of Stephen, Earl of Albemarle and Lord of Holderness. In or about the year 1430, Berneston passed, by the marriage of an heiress, to the family of De la See. Sir Martin de la See, the issue of this marriage, left two daughters co-heiresses, of whom Margaret, the eldest, married Sir Henry Boynton, Knt., and, on the death of her father in 1497, inherited the manor of Barmston. It still remains in the possession of this family. The Prior of Bridlington had an oxgang of land in the field of Barmston, the gift of Peter de Poictiers; and Thos. de Monceaux granted to the members of the same convent, and all their tenants, the privilege of passing through his manor of Barmston free of toll. Sir Alan de Monceaux and Ingram, his son, gave the church of Barmston to the Abbey of Whitby, but the advowson remained with the manor.
The village of Barmston (Bjorn's town) is situated on the Hull road, near the sea coast, six miles south of Bridlington Quay, and four miles from Carnaby station, on the Scarborough and Hull branch of the North-Eastern Railway. The church is an ancient building of stone, dedicated to All Saints, and consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch, and an embattled western tower containing one bell. The present edifice is chiefly in the Perpendicular style, but the principal doorway and a small one on the north side are probably the remains of an earlier church, which is supposed to have been built by Sir A. Monceaux, about the year 1100. The aisle is separated from the nave by pointed arches springing from three octagonal piers. The east end was a chantry dedicated to St. Mary, and in the wall separating it from the chancel is a Hagioscope, or aperature passing obliquely through the wall, which was intended in old Catholic times to afford the persons kneeling there a view of the high altar. The east window of the chancel is filled with coloured glass; in the south wall is the sedile. On the north side is an alabaster altar tomb, the dado of which exhibits niches, each alternate one containing the full-length figure of an angel holding a blank shield. On the slab lies the recumbent figure of a knight in plate armour his hands joined as in prayer, his feet resting on a lion (or perhaps a griffin) and his head on a helmet. He has a conical headpiece, and the fillet in which the head is bound hears this motto "Jesu Nazarene." On the body the village vandals of past generations have carved their initials, some of which are dated as far back as 1672. The monument bears no inscription except the motto, but it is generally supposed to be the memorial of Sir Martin de la See, who died 1494. There are monuments of the Boynton family, dating from 1680. The font is ancient. The chancel was restored in 1873, and the nave in 1874. There are about 200 sittings. The registers date from the year 1640. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's Book at £18 11s. 10d., and now worth £920 per year, including 105 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of Sir Henry Somerville Boynton, Bart., and held since 1860 by the Rev. Griffith Boynton, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. The tithe rent-charge is about £650.
The Wesleyans have a small chapel here, built in 1839. There is also an almshouse, founded by Sir Griffith Boynton, Bart., in 1726, for four old men, and endowed with £15 a year. The poor have a third share of the interest of £300, left by the Rev. John Holme, B.D.
Barmston was formerly the residence of the Boynton family. Their mansion, which stood near the church, was erected in the reign of Elizabeth, and was surrounded by a deep moat, allowing access only by a drawbridge. The house was dismantled many years ago; the present manor house is a portion of the venerable mansion.
HERTBURN was formerly a hamlet in this parish, and was destroyed by the incursions of the sea.
WINKTON was formerly a hamlet in this parish and was depopulated previous to the year 1553.
Near the outlet of the Barmston Drain is a lifeboat station, belonging to the National Lifeboat Institution. The boat is manned by men from Bridlington.
LOCAL WORTHIES. - The Rev. William Dade, rector of the parish, who died here in 1790, was a diligent antiquary, and accumulated a vast amount of material for a projected History of Holderness.
Another distinguished name in the list of rectors is that of Cuthbert Tunstal, afterwards Bishop of London, and then of Durham, of which latter see he was deprived by Elizabeth, because he declined to take the oath of supremacy, and to accept the doctrines of the Reformation. He was the last Catholic bishop of Durham.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.