Wapentake of Holderness - County Council Electoral Division of Withernsea - Petty Sessional Division of South Holderness - Poor Law Union of Patrington - County Court District of Hedon - Rural Deanery of Hedon - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish comprises an area of 2,906 acres, according to the Ordnance Survey. Its rateable value is £2,659, and the population 245. The soil and subsoil are marl and clay; and wheat, clover, and beans are the general crops. Lord Hotham has about 1,800 acres of land in the parish; Lady Tulloch owns the manor farm; and John Tryon, Esq., Messrs. Iveson and Middleton, and Mrs. Dale have also land here. The manorial rights belong to Lord Hotham and Lady Tulloch.
The manor was anciently divided and known as East and West Halsham. One of the manors was held from an early period by the Constables, and in 1379 they obtained possession of East Halsham, which had previously belonged to Sir John de Meaux; thenceforth the distinction of East and West Halsham fell into disuse. The manors and estates continued in the possession of this family till 1877, when they were put up to public auction, and purchased by a company of speculators, who resold them the same year. Lord Hotham bought the greater portion of the land.
The village consists of a number of scattered houses and farms, situated about four miles north-west from Patrington, six-and-a-half miles east-south-east from Hedon, and one-and-a-half miles from Ottringham station, on the Hull and Withernsea branch of the North-Eastern railway. The church of All Saints is an ancient building of stone, consisting of chancel with chantry chapel on the north side, nave, aisles, and an embattled western tower containing two bells. The church underwent a general restoration in 1871, at an expense of about £1,500, of which about one half was defrayed by the rector, and the remainder by subscription. The flat leaden roof was removed, and a new one of high pitch erected, and the modern brick porch was also taken down. The interior (with the exception of the north aisle, which is still in need of repair), was thoroughly restored and re-seated. The north aisle is separated from the nave by a Norman arcade of two massive arches resting on low cylindrical columns; and on the opposite side are three Early English arches, which spring from octagonal pillars. The chancel arch is modern. The ancient triple sedilia and piscina remain. The former is surmounted by an ogee crocketed arch, the head of which is filled in with tracery. On the opposite wall is an aumbry. The remains of two altar stones were found during the recent restoration, and are preserved in the church. The pulpit hears the date 1634. The chantry chapel, which was dedicated to St. John of Beverley, was probably founded by one of the Constables, and was the burial place of some of the family. The double piscina remains in the east wall, and there is also in the chapel a fine table monument of alabaster, bearing the recumbent effigy of a knight, his hands clasped in prayer, his head resting on a helmet, and his feet on a hound. The monument is supposed to be that of Sir John Constable, who lived in the reign of Richard II. There are also monuments in the church to the ancient family of Owst. The registers date from 1563.
The living is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £13 6s. 8d., now worth £522 net, held by the Rev. Richard Percival Maurice Shipton, LL.B., of Magdalene College, Cambridge, who is also the patron. The tithe rent-charge is £760, and there are 25 acres of glebe.
The Primitive Methodists have a chapel here. It is a brick building, erected in 1873, on a site given by Mr. Dalton, of Hull. It will seat 80 or 90.
A Hospital and Free School were founded here in 1579, by Sir John Constable, of Kirby Knowle, who endowed them with an annual rent-charge of £80 for the maintenance of eight poor men and two poor women, and for the free education of eight poor boys. The charity is now managed by seven governors (two ex-officio and five representative) under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated January 22nd, 1877. The Representative Governors are appointed, two by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of York, and three by the Vestry of Halsham. The rent-charge has been redeemed by the owner of Burton Constable, and the capital invested in the 2¾ per cents. The new scheme directs that the yearly sum of £36 of the income shall be applied to the almspeople, and £12 in maintaining eight scholarships of the yearly value of 30s. each. The almspeople do not now occupy the hospital, which has been appropriated wholly to the school, for which purpose it underwent structural alterations in 1884. There is accommodation for about 50 children, and an average attendance of 32.
A little east of the church is the Constable Mausoleum, standing on a slight elevation, surrounded by woodland, and forming a prominent object in the landscape. Its erection occupied ten years, commencing in 1790, and cost £10,000. The style is the Classic, and the building circular in form, surrounded by blank arches resting on pilasters, is surmounted by a stone dome crowned with an ornamental cross. The interior is faced and floored with black polished marble, and in the centre, on a pedestal of marble surrounded by railings, is an elegant white marble urn, inscribed to Sir William Constable, who lies buried here. There are 78 shields of arms of the family and its connections ranged round the entablature, which rests on Doric pilasters. The mausoleum is built of the best white freestone, and is apparently capable of fulfilling its purpose till the crack of doom. In 1802 the bones of the Constables, previously buried in the vault of the chantry chapel of St. John of Beverley, were collected and deposited in the mausoleum, and the later members of the family have been interred here. The Constables retain possession of the mausoleum and about five acres of land.
In preparing the foundations of the mausoleum, a tumulus was opened, in which several urns were found, containing a great number of copper coins; the urns and some of the coins were taken to Burton Constable. Many skeletons were also found with urns placed at their heads.
The Constables appear to have resided at Halsham till sometime in the 17th century, but their old mansion, which stood about 70 yards north of the church, has wholly disappeared. The field where it stood is still known as Mass Garth.
If the directory which follows be compared with Baines', published in 1823, it will be seen that, with one exception, not a single inhabitant of the parish then, is represented in the parish by his descendants to-day. The exception referred to is that of Mr. William Richardson, whose ancestors have held Bush House farm successively for 476 years. The late Mr. John Richardson, father of the present occupant, died in 1885, at the age of 102 years, having spent the whole of his life on the farm
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.