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Help and advice for FOSTON ON THE WOLDS: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.

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FOSTON ON THE WOLDS: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.

Wapentake of Dickering - County Council Electoral Division of Beef ord - Petty Sessional Division of Bainton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Driffield - Rural Deanery of Rarthill - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish includes the townships of Foston, Brigham, Gembling, and Great Kelk, comprising a total area of 4,897 acres, and a population of 582. It extends from north to south about five miles, varies in breadth from one to two miles, and is surrounded by the parishes of Harpham, Burton Agnes, Beeford, North Frodingham, Hutton Cranswick, Skerne, Nafferton, and Lowthorpe. In the township of Foston there are 1,110 acres of land, of which 1,079 are under assessment; the rateable value is £1,700, and the population in 1891 was 218. The surface is generally level and open, and the soil deep clay and loam. Wheat, oats, barley, and turnips, are the chief crops. William Herbert St. Quintin, Esq., J.P., of Scampston Hall (lord of the manor), William Jessop, Esq., Worksop; Mr. Robert Easby, Mr. Williams, and Botteril Johnson are the principal landowners.

Foston is a well-built village nearly a mile in length, standing on the bank of a small rivulet, a tributary of the river Hull, celebrated for its trout, 5 miles east-south-east of Driffield and about 3½ miles south of Lowthorpe station, on the Hull and Scarborough branch of the North Eastern railway. The church of St. Andrew, a neat stone edifice in the Early English style, consists of chancel, nave with north and south aisle, and an embattled western tower supported by massive brick buttresses, containing three bells. The windows are all filled with plain glass. The old piscina and sedilia remain in the chancel, and on the north side lies the mutilated effigy of a knight in armour. On the north wall is a beautiful marble monument in memory of John Walter Yeaman and Elizabeth his wife; the former died in 1848, and the latter in 1852. A tablet on the east wall commemorates Mary Farthing, who died in 1763. The font is circular and ancient. The interior is furnished with oaken seats which were formerly in Garton church, and were presented by Sir Tatton Sykes about 12 years ago. The church of Foston was an ancient rectory in the patronage of the king. In the early part of the 14th century the advowson was purchased by William de la Pole, a rich merchant of Hull, whom Edward III. created a knight banneret. In 1380 Sir Michael de la Pole appropriated the church to the Carthusian priory, which his father, Sir William, had founded at Hull; and the following year the Archbishop of York "ordained that there be in the church of Foston one perpetual vicar presentable by the prior and brethren of the House of St. Michael juxta Kingston-super-Hull of the Carthusian Order, the portion of whose vicaridge shall consist in 24 marks sterling per annum, payable quarterly by the said Religious to the vicar for the time being, for whom they shall also build at their own costs a competent mansion house in a certain area called Everadcote, lying nigh the church, which same vicar and his successors shall pay synodalls, episcopal rights and synodalls of the archdeacon, also find bread and wine for celebration in the church, and lights, vestments, books, and ornaments, and other burdens incumbent on the church, except the finding of one chaplen to celebrate at certain times in the Chappel of Magna Kelks, and the repairs and rebuilding of the chancell of the church of Foston when need requires." * After the dissolution of religious houses the patronage reverted to the Crown, but is now vested in the Archbishop of York. The living is worth £102, including 13 acres of glebe, and held by the Rev. William Henry Higgins, M.A., Lincoln College, Oxford.

The Wesleyans have a chapel in the village built in 1879 to supersede an older one. There is also an Almshouse for three poor widows, founded by Ann Walker, in 1717, and rebuilt in 1887. The foundress endowed it with 30 shillings a year, and the inmates also receive the rent of an acre of land in the village.

An agricultural show is held anually at Foston.

BRIGHAM township contains 1,380 acres of land belonging chiefly to Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., who is also lord of the manor. It is traversed by the river Hull and also by the Driffield canal which joins that river about 1½ miles southeast of Brigham village, and is navigable for vessels of 70 tons. The soil is deep clay and peat, and the subsoil clay. Wheat, oats, barley, and turnips are the chief crops. The extent of land under assessment is 1,310 acres, rateable value £1,135, and the population in 1891 was 73.

The village, which is small, is situated on the Driffield and Hull canal, 5 miles south-east of the former place, 34 miles south from Nafferton station, and 1 mile south-west of Foston. The Wesleyans have a small chapel here. In the Torre Maunscript it is stated that Brigham "contained 6 carucates of land, 3½ of which were held of the fee of Meynell, who held them of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he of the King; and 2½ carucates were held of the King, whereof Gilbert de Gant held one carucate, and Berangille de Balliol held another carucate of the Socage of Driffield." Brigham gave name to a family that possessed the estate from the year 1100 to 1793, when it was sold to Sir Christopher Sykes, Bart., Sledmere. The late William Brigham, Esq., of Lymm, Cheshire, in 1823, re-purchased a small farm, and in one of the meadows erected a pillar or monument to the memory of his father, the last possessor of the old family estate. It bears the following inscription : - Gulielmus Brigham, chirurgus, antiquæ religionis cultor eximius, vixit annos lvi,; decessit Mancunii x Kal Sextil ann. MDCCCXV. Monumentum patris optimi indulgentissimi Gulielmus filius nat maximus, heic poni voluit in reliquiis aviti agri, jam a potitis regni Normannis per perpetuam majoram traditi, (William Brigham, surgeon, firm and zealous in the faith of his ancestors, lived 56 years. He died at Manchester on the 10th before. the Kalends of August, in the year 1815. A memorial of a good and indulgent father, William, his eldest son, caused this stone to be erected here in the relics of his ancestral territory, handed down to this time from the Norman Conquest, through a continuity of ancestors). The family also possessed estates at Wyton and Dunnington, but their chief residence was at Brigham. William Brigham, of Brigham, Esq., who died in 1438, occurs among the testamentary burials mentioned in the Torre Manuscript, as desiring to be buried in the church of St. Andrew, of Foston.

GEMBLING township contains 1,230 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at £1,275. The population in 1891 was 119. The soil is a deep loam, subsoil clay, and the chief crops are wheat, barley, and oats. John Dent Dent, Esq., M.A., J.P., of Ribston; William Bainton, Esq., Beverley Parks; and William Herbert St. Quintin, Esq., are the principal landowners, and the last-named gentleman is lord of the manor. A branch of the Hilyard family owned lands and resided here in the 16th century, and Rauf Hyllyarde, of Gembling, who died in 1569, desires in his will to be buried in the church of Foston. The village is small, and stands about 6 miles east of Driffield, 2½ miles south by east of Lowthorpe station, on the Hull, Bridlington, and Scarborough branch of the North-Eastern railway, and 1 mile from Foston. The houses are built round a spacious green or common covering, about 10 acres, on which large numbers of geese are reared by the villagers. There is a small Primitive Methodist chapel here, built in 1845. It will accommodate 50 persons.

GREAT KELK township comprises 1,170 acres of land, belonging chiefly to William Herbert St. Quintin, Esq., Scampston Hall, who is lord of the manor; H. Preston, Esq., Moreby Hall; and Col. Lloyd-Greame. The soil is strong clay; the chief crops are wheat, oats, and beans. The rateable value is £1,265, and the population 172. The village, which consists of a number of scattered houses, stands about one mile south-east ot Lowthorpe, and six miles east by north of Driffield. It is mentioned in Domesday Book, wherein it is spelt Chelche, signifying in modern English chalk. The chapel of Magna Kelks is mentioned in the deed appropriating the church of Foston to the Carthusian priory at Hull, signed in 1380, hut it long since disappeared, and its site has passed out of memory. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have places of worship here. The tithe amounts to £205 and is impropriated.

* Torre's Manuscript.

[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.