BEEFORD: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake of Holderness (North Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Beeford - Petty Sessional Division of Bainton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Driffield - Rural Deanery of Hornsea - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish comprises the townships of Beeford, Dunnington, and Lissett, containing in all 5,746 acres, and 728 inhabitants. The first-named township contains 3,700 acres of land, wbich belongs to the exors. of the late Thomas Prickett, Esq., who are lords of the manor; Lord Hotham; the rector, in right of his church; the trustees of the late A. Saltmarshe, Esq.; Mesdames Iveson and Harrison; J. Jackson, Esq., Denholme; Mr. Zachariah Brown; T. IR. Cressy, Esq., York; Mr. Richard Durham; and the exors. of late Mr. William Coleman. The soil is various, in parts light land, in others strong; subsoil, clay. The principal crops are wheat of excellent quality, barley, oats, peas, and turnips. The allotment system has been introduced here by the exors. of the late T. Prickett, who have set aside 48 acres of pasture and 36 acres of arable land, which is let in acre and half-acre allotments to the cottagers. The rateable value of the township is £4,085, and the population in 1891 was 728, an increase of 21 during the past ten years.

Beeford is mentioned in Domesday Book, from which we learn that in the reign of Edward the Confessor it belonged to Ulf, an Englishman of some note, whose castle is supposed to have been at Aldborough. He was ousted from his possessions by the Normans, and his Holderness lands given to Drogo, a Norman adventurer, who accompanied the Conqueror, and received the seigniory of Holderness. Beeford was then a place of some importance, and had its church and priest. To this manor belonged the soke of Dunnington, Winkton, and Nunkeeling. Its value in King Edward's time was twenty pounds, and at the time of the Norman survey it was only worth ten shillings. This enormous depreciation in value tells its own tale of how much Beeford suffered from the devastation and ravages perpetrated by the Norman army.

The Gousle or Gouxhill family possessed lands here from an early period, and in the 13th century they are returned as lords of the manor. Soon afterwards the manor was granted to the Commandery of the Knights Hospitallers, at Beverley; and it remained in the possession of that house till the dissolution of monasteries at the Reformation. The lordship then reverted to the Crown, and Henry VIII. in 1545 granted it, with its appurtenancies, to John Bellow and Robert Powis. It subsequently passed through several hands, and was purchased by Marmaduke Prickett, Esq., of Bridlington, in the early part of the present century.

The village is long and straggling, and is situated on the old road from Bridlington to Beverley, 12 miles from the former place, and 13 from the latter. The nearest railway station is at Lowthorpe, five miles distant. A hirings for servants, called Beeford Sittings, is held in the first week of November, but is now nearly obsolete.

The church of St. Leonard is a handsome edifice, in the perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and a well proportioned western tower, containing three bells. The tower is strengthened at the angles by buttresses, which terminate in crocketed pinnacles; and it is finished with a beautiful parapet of open work, with a large pinnacle at each corner, and smaller ones between, all likewise crocketed. The aisles are divided from the nave by three pointed arches, supported by octagonal piers. The chancel, which was partly rebuilt of brick in 1719, and out of harmony with the original style, was thoroughly restored in 1865. Unfortunately in the improvements then effected the carved old oak screen and the old oak stalls of the chancel were removed. The north aisle is a modern addition, built by the liberality of Mr. Bragge, who was for some time curate here. At the east end of the south aisle are indications of a former chapel. All the windows of the chancel are filled with stained glass. The east one of three lights was presented by the Venerable Archdeacon Creyke, in memory of his mother, and the three on the south side were erected by the late Canon Trevor, in memory of his wife and daughter. The chancel walls, the oldest part of the edifice, date from the year 1240, and are built of cobble stones brought from the sea shore; and the tower was erected about two centuries later. The church was reseated and wainscoted in oak in 1871. In the chancel floor is a blue slab, in which is inserted the brass effigy of Thomas Tonge, LL.B., a former rector of the parish, who died in 1472. The figure is 3 feet 2 inches in height, and is in good preservation, though the marginal inscription is partly destroyed. He is dressed in a richly ornamented cope, and supports in his hands a large book. There are other two stones from which the brasses have been removed. Against the south wall of the chancel is the figure of St. Leonard, and another figure of the same saint stands in the west front of the tower. Several testamentary burials are recorded here in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, but the monuments that covered the graves have disappeared.

The rectory was given in moities at an early period to the Priory of Bridlington and the Knights Templars, each of which presented alternately. On the suppression of the Templars their possessions were transferred to the Knights Hospitallers. After the dissolution of monasteries the patronage reverted to the Crown, and in 1547, was granted with many other rectories, to the Archbishop of York, in exchange for lands anciently belonging to his see. In the Liber Regis it is valued at £22; it is now worth £750 per annum, derived chiefly from 526 acres of glebe, and is held by the Rev. William Meredith Lane, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, who was presented by the Archbishop of York in 1888. At the inclosure in 1766 the tithes of the township were commuted for 296 acres of land and a money payment; and at the same time 11 acres were allotted in lieu of certain balks for the repairs of the church. Those balks were then valued at £3 10s. per annum, and the land is now let for £24 a year.

The Congregational chapel was built in 1814, and enlarged in 1857; and a chapel was built by the Primitive Methodists in 1873, at a cost of £460. The Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1868, at a cost of £700, raised by subscription. A new and well-arranged National school was built in 1880, at a cost of £400, and considerably improved in 1890. There are two departments, mixed and infants, and about 140 children in average attendance.

MOOR GRANGE, and farm, occupied by Mr. John Ullyott, Broumpton, is situated about two miles north-west of Beeford. The estate formerly belonged to the abbot and convent of Meaux, who built a grange here before the year 1172; the moat that surrounded it may still be traced. The estate was purchased by Baron Wood, who pulled down the old grange and built the present house in 1813. The estate descended to the late John Stocks, Esq., and was purchased from his executors by Lord Hotham. Baron Wood left a rent-charge of £10 per annum, payable out of this estate, to be distributed by the occupier among the poor of Beeford.

CROW GRANGE, the residence of Mr. Robert Oxtoby, was another estate belonging to the monks of Meaux. The house stands in the two townships of Beeford and Dringhoe, by which the monks secured a double right of pasture on the moor. The estate contains 207 acres, and belongs to Mrs. Iveson and Mrs. Harrison.

BEEFORD GRANGE, formerly the grain store of the Knights Hospitallers, has passed with the manor to the present owners. It is now the residence of Mr. Thomas Reed, a well-known horse breeder and dealer.

DUNNINGTON is a township in this parish containing 844 acres of land, belonging chiefly to Thomas Carter Dixon, Esq., who is lord of the manor, Mrs. S. Ansley, Mr. Samuel and Miss Mary Clarkson, and J. Dickinson. The soil is a strong loam, subsoil clay, and the principal crops are wheat, oats, beans and turnips. The rateable value is £811, and the number of inhabitants 98. Dunnington, or, as written in the Domesday Book, Dodintone, was a soke of the manor of Beeford. The abbot and convent of Meaux and the Knights Hospitallers had lands in this township, and the latter were also lords of the manor and had a preceptory of their order here. At the dissolution of religious houses the manor and lands reverted to the Crown. Subsequently the manor came into the possession of the Cresswells, from whom it passed to John Brigham, Esq., of Brigham and Wyton, as heir of his aunt, Catherine, widow of George Cresswell. William Brigham, in 1767, sold Dunnington to Mr. Bell, of Hedon, whose son becoming financially embarrassed, the manor and lands were sold, by a decree of the Court of Chancery, to Mr. Pearson. The property was purchased from Mr. Pearson Richardson by the present owner, Mr. T. Carter Dixon.

This hamlet consists of five scattered farm houses and a few cottages, three miles south-east from Beeford, and six miles north-north-west of Hornsea. There was a chapel here before the 24th year of the reign of Henry III. It was dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors, but very little is known of its history. It is not mentioned in the oldest terrier (A.D. 1712), having disappeared previous to that date, but how is not known. The chapel yard continued to be used for burials. In 1879 the site was cleared, and on the foundations of the nave a small chapel of brick was built, at a cost of £455. It is in the Gothic style, and is neatly furnished in pitchpine. The east window is a stained glass memorial of the late Mr. George J. Ansley, inserted by his widow. It consists of three lights, representing the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection of Our Lord, executed by Heaton & Butler, and is one of the finest examples of glass painting in Holderness.

The Wesleyans have a chapel here, built in 1858. There is no school; the children attend that at Bewholme.

The common lands were enclosed by a Vestry order, 40 acres of land and £16 a year being allotted to the Rector of Beeford, in lieu of all tithes.

Dunnington township is in the Poor Law Union of Skirlaugh.

LISSETT is a township and chapelry in this parish, containing 1,150 acres of land, belonging solely to John Dent Dent, Esq., of Ribston Hall, who is also lord of the manor. The soil and productions are similar to those of Dunnington. The rateable value is £1,381, and the population in 1891 was 105. Immediately prior to the Norman Conquest, Ulf had three carucates of land in Lessete. Subsequently the manor came into the possession of the family of Monceaux, and later passed by the marriage of a co-heiress to Sir Peter Hildyard, Knight, of Winestead. It was subsequently purchased by Jonathan Midgley, Esq., of Beverley, and passed by marriage to the Beverleys, who, in 1836, conveyed it to Joseph Dent, Esq.

The village is small, and stands about seven miles south-south-west from Bridlington, and three miles north-east of Beeford. The ancient chapel of St. James bears indications of a Norman origin. It was thoroughly restored in 1876, at the expense of the lord of the manor and the late rector, Canon Trevor, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch, and a western turret, containing two bells. The style is Norman. The font is circular and ancient, and the original piscina remains in the chancel. The chapelry is attached to Beeford, and has the right of sepulture.

The school, mixed, was restored in 1872, by J. Dent Dent, Esq., by whom it is also partly supported. There is an average attendance of 50 children.

Lissett is in the Poor Law Union and County Court District of Bridlington.

[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.