BRANDESBURTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


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

This parish comprises the township of its own name, and also that of Moor Town, containing a total area of 5,496 acres, and a population of 698. The boundaries of Brandesburton township were extended about five years ago, so as to include the hamlet of Heigholme, previously in the township of Hempholme, and now enclose an area of 4,984 acres. The rateable value is £4,886, and the number of inhabitants in 1891 was 698. The soil varies from carr land to strong clay, and produces good crops of wheat, barley, oats, turnips, and mangolds. A diluvial ridge of gravel and sand runs through the centre of the parish, and is known as Brandesburton Barfe. It varies from 20 to 60 yards in height, and has long served the inhabitants with gravel for the repair of the roads. Relics of an early world have been found here occasionally, by the men employed in digging the gravel. Among them have been the tusk of an elephant, the teeth of the mammoth, and buffaloes' horns. Three human skeletons with the knees drawn up towards the head were unearthed near the crown of the hill. There were no cists, nor had any barrow or tumulus been raised over them. The principal landowners are the Governors of Emanuel Hospital, who are lords of the manor, J. J. Harrison, Esq., J.P., William Bethell, Esq., of Rise Park, Hull, William C. Harrison, Esq,, Robert Hymers, Esq., and the rector in right of his church.

Brantisburton was one of the places given by King Athelstan to the church of St. John of Beverley, and the canons were in possession of lands here at the time of Domesday Survey. The St. Quintins appear as lords of the manor soon after the Conquest. As early as the reign of Richard I. or John, Herbert St. Quintin granted a license to the abbot and Convent of Meaux to make a ditch between Hayholme and Brandesburton; and another Herbert St. Quintin, in 1286, obtained a charter for a weekly, market on Thursdays, and a fair yearly on the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross. He had also a grant of free warren at Brandesburton and several other places in Holderness. About the beginning of the 14th century, Lora, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Herbert St. Quintin, Knt., transferred the manor in marriage to Sir Robert Grey; and Elizabeth, their daughter, in like manner, conveyed it to Sir Henry Fitz Hugh. Subsequently it descended by marriage to the Lords Dacre of the South. Gregory, Lord Dacre, dying without issue, left this manor to his wife Anna, daughter of Sir Robert Sackville. This lady died in 1596, surviving her husband less than a year, and left the manor and upwards of 3,000 acres of land to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, in trust for the benefit of Emanuel Hospital, Westminster, which she had founded.

The village of Brandesburton is pleasantly situated on the Beverley and Bridlington road, about eight miles north-east of the former town, and six miles west of Hornsea, whereat is the nearest railway station. The market and fairs have long been obsolete, but the market cross still occupies its wonted position. The shaft, about ten feet high, is octagonal, and stands on a base ascended by three steps, giving it a total height of about 15 feet. It was once richly decorated with sculptured figures, but these have suffered so much at the hands of the village vandals that they are now unrecognisable. The church (St. Mary) is a spacious edifice of stone, partially rebuilt during the Decorated period, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch of brick, and a western tower containing two bells. The chancel was thoroughly restored, and the nave partially, in 1889, at a cost of about £1,600, which was raised by subscription. The chancel was unroofed and raised to its original pitch, as indicated by the dripstone on the east wall of the nave, and such of the windows, as were before blocked up, have been opened out. The east window is a fine pointed one of five lights, exhibiting some beautiful tracery. There is a niche in the wall on the north side of the altar, which doubtless once contained a statue of the titular saint of the church. The aumbry remains in the south wall, and there is a very perfect piscina in the east end. During the progress of the restoration, the remains of a rood-screen were discovered, and also a doorway, which is supposed to have led into a chantry chapel on the north side of the chancel. This doorway has been opened out, and leads into the vestry. In the eastern jamb there was a hagioscope, or "squint," but, owing to the weak state of the wall, it was found necessary to partially build it up. The nave is separated from the aisle on each side by five pointed arches, springing from slender columns. The aisles are lighted on each side byeight pointed windows of three lights, with tracery of a Decorated character, and the nave by three square-headed double lights in the clerestory. There are two windows of a similar character in the chancel. At the east end of the south aisle there was formerly an altar, as shown by the piscina which still remains in the wall. The tower is in a dilapidated and unsafe condition, and requires timely restoration, which it is estimated will cost about £600. Both Norman and Early English work may be seen in the church. On a large blue-stone slab in the floor of the chancel are two brasses, containing life-size figures of a knight and lady. The former is in plate armour, his feet resting on a greyhound - but his head has been torn off. The lady is in loose flowing robes, with a highly ornamented cap, her feet resting on a greyhound. Above her head is a shield, charged with the arms of St. Quintin. The inscription is almost entirely obliterated, but the date (which is legible) and the arms show that the effigies are those of Sir John St. Quintin, who died in 1397, and Lora, his wife, who died in 1369. Another brass bears the half-length figure of William Darrell, rector of Halsham, and also of Brandesburton, who died in 1364. The head of this figure is also gone. The registers date from 1558. The living is a rectory, and was formerly in the gift of the collegiate society of St. John, of Beverley, but reverted to the Crown on the dissolution of that body at the Reformation. It was purchased from James I., and subsequently came into the possession of Dr. Watson, bishop of St. David's, who presented it to St. John's College, Cambridge, before 1699. It is valued in the King's Book at £24 13s. 4d., and is now worth about £800 per annum (gross), derived from a tithe rent-charge of £676 and 144 acres of glebe. The present rector - the Rev. William James Furneaux Vashon-Baker, M.A., formerly fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge - was presented to the rectory in 1887, on the death of the late Dr. Hymers. This gentleman, at his death, left all his wealth, amounting to upwards of £150,000, for the foundation and endowment of a college at Hull, for "training intelligence in whatsoever rank of life it may be found." The bequest was invalid under the statute of mortmain, and reverted to his brother, Mr. Robt. Hymers, who voluntarily gave £50,000 to the Corporation, to carry out the wishes of his deceased brother.

There is a Wesleyan and also a Primitive Methodist Chapel in the village. The former was erected in 1809, and renovated in 1888, and the latter was purchased from the Independents in 1856 for the sum of £100, and enlarged in 1863.

The National Schools were erected in 1843, and enlarged in 1877 by the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London, as trustees of Emanuel Hospital, Westminster. There a total accommodation for 200 children in the three departments, and there are about 180 names on the rolls. In the girls' school is a monument to Lord and Lady Dacre, who left the manor and estate for the foundation and endowment of the above hospital.

A Mutual Improvement Society was formed in 1852, and now consists of about 60 members. There is a reading room in connection with it, and a library comprising about 1,540 volumes.

A court leet and baron is held in the village annually in December. The manor house, formerly called Hall Garth, is a commodious residence, occupied by William Christopher Harrison, Esq.

Brandesburton Hall, formerly the property of the Midgeleys, was purchased in 1836, by Jonathan Harrison, Esq., of Pocklington, and is now the seat of James Jonathan Harrison, Esq., J.P. It is a handsome structure of brick, rebuilt in 1872, but a portion of the old 18th century building has been incorporated. The house is surrounded by pleasure grounds and gardens, and stands in a park of nearly 200 acres. The hall contains a splendid collection of rare birds, game, &c., shot by Mr. Harrison during his travels in Africa and America.

The parish was enclosed in 1643, and Brandesburton Moor, lying between Brandesburton and Beeford, the common rights of which were long in dispute, was enclosed and divided, pursuant to an Act of Parliament passed in 1844.

CHARITIES. - MrS. Frances Barker, in 1729, left £100 for the education of poor children of this place; the money was expended in the purchase of 10½ acres of land at Sutton, and the rents are applied in accordance with the will of the testatrix. William Mason, father of the above lady, left a rent-charge of 50s.; the poor also receive 20s. a year, the interest of £20 left by Mr. Boswell, and they have likewise £8 7s. 6d. from Holmes' gift.

Thomas Keith, Esq., author of several works on mathematics, but better known by his "System of Geography," was born here in 1762. He was at one time secretary to the Master of the King's household, and afterwards accountant to the British Museum. He died in London in 1826.

The parish can boast of at least one centenarian, Frank Graham, who died here in 1833, at the age of 102 years, and is interred in the churchyard.

BURSHILL, or as it has been also written, Bristhill, Bursall, and Boshill, is a hamlet consisting of four farms and a few cottages, situated about one-and-a-half miles west of the village.

BRISTHILL, see Burshill.

BURSALL, see Burshill.

BOSHILL, see Burshill.

MOOR TOWN is a small township containing 512½ acres, and valued for rating purposes at £414. The gross tithe rent-charge is £86 19s., and the population 19. Anciently the place belonged to a family styled de la More, and from them it passed by marriage to the Ellerkers. The next owner was Baron Wood, who purchased it with all rights and privileges from the Ellerkers, and bequeathed it to his nephew, the late John Stocks, Esq. The present owners are James John Harrison, Esq., of Brandesburton Hall, and Robert Hymers, Esq., of Stokesley. The soil is of a black peaty character and rests on clay. Mangolds, grass, and corn are the chief crops. The hamlet consists of three scattered farms and is distant about two miles north from Brandesburton. On the edge of the moor, adjoining the high road leading to Beeford, is a small Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1870, at a cost of £125, and there is also a travelling mission chapel belonging to the parish church. Near one of the farmhouses on the edge of the carr, is what appears to have been the site of a moated dwelling, but nothing is known of its history.

[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.