Wapentake of Holderness (Middle Division) - Petty Sessional Division of Middle Holderness - County Council Electoral Division of Withernsea - Poor Law Union of Patrington - County Court District and Rural Deanery of Hedon - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
Hilston is a small parish and township lying on the coast of the German Ocean, between Garton and Tunstall. Its total area, inclusive of the beach, is 552 acres, and the extent of land under assessment is 543 acres; rateable value, £465, and the population in 1891 was 38. Christopher Sykes, Esq., M.P., of Brantingham Thorpe; Rev. N. J. Miller, Winestead; Mr. J. A. Foster, Hilston; Mr. Thomas Kirk, Owston, and the rector in right of his church, are the principal landowners. The manorial rights have been claimed by different parties, and we believe their ownership is still in dispute. The soil varies, but is chiefly of a loamy nature; the subsoil is clay, and wheat, oats, and beans are the chief crops.
In Domesday Book, Hildoveston is returned with Hostewick (Owstwick), and in documents a century or two later, the name is written Hildofston and Hildeston. Murdoc was the last Saxon owner. In the 13th century the manor and estate came into the possession of the Constables. In the reign of Elizabeth, Richard Michaelburn is returned as owner of the manor and advowson of the rectory. The next proprietors were the Storrs, who were seated here before the middle of the 17th century. The last one of this family who possessed this estate was John Storr, admiral of the red, who died in 1783, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
The village is very small and stands near the sea, nine miles north-east of Hedon, and about seven miles from the stations at Rye Hill and Ottringham, on the Hull and Withernsea railway. The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, stands upon high ground at the east end of the village. The old Norman church that previously occupied the site, having become very dilapidated, was taken down in 1860, and the present handsome edifice erected and completed in 1862. It is in the Early English style, built from the designs of Mr. J. L. Pearson, of London, and consists of chancel, with small vestry and organ chamber, nave and western tower with spire. The total cost was nearly £6,000. The walls are very solidly built of rubble and cobbles with cut stone dressings, and the interior walls are faced with dressed freestone. The tower is in three stages and contains one bell, inscribed in latin, "Glory to God in the highest, 1713, E. Seller." The belfry is reached by a winding staircase within a projecting octagonal turret. The spire rises to a height of 79 feet. The chancel arch is lofty and is enriched with Purbeck marble shafts. The floor is laid with encaustic tiles by Minton and Maw in beautiful patterns, conspicuous amongst which is a black lozenge charged with a white square, on which is a lozenge vert; there are also tiles bearing the arms of Sykes and Foulis. The reredos, pulpit, and font are of alabaster, elaborately carved. The latter was the gift of the late Ven. Archdeacon Long, and on its four sides, sculptured in high relief, are the "Baptism of Our Lord," the "Benediction of little children," "Noah entering the Ark," and the "Passage of the Red Sea." On the front of the pulpit is represented Christ's sermon on the Mount. The east window consists of three lancet lights, filled with stained glass in memory of the Rev. Chris. Sykes, A.B., who died in 1857, and was for 38 years rector of the parish. The west window is a memorial of Dame Ann Sykes, erected by six of her children. A single-light window in the chancel commemorates Jonathan Foster, of Hilston, and his son Joseph; another similar one on the opposite side is in memory of John Miller, of Hilston, and Catherine his wife; and on the south side of the nave are two memorial windows to members of the Storr family, of Owstwick. On the south side of the nave is a fine old Norman doorway, on a double arch with zig-zag moulding, and on the north side is a low, plain, roundheaded one. Both of these doorways belonged to the old church, and have been retained as memntoes in the present edifice.
The living is a rectory united with that of Tunstall, by an order in council, dated May 17th, 1877, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York and Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., who present alternately, and held by the Rev. Charles Abbott of St. Bees College, who resides at Tunstall. The joint value is returned at £190, including 70 acres of glebe, with residence. The rectorial tithes amount to £10 17s.
Near the village is an eminence called Hilston Mount, on which is an octagonal tower of brick with a circular turret on its northern side, built by Mr. Justice Storr in 1750. It is 62 feet in circumference, 50 feet in height, and is a well known landmark for vessels navigating this part of the coast. The old hall, the residence of the Storrs, was taken down about 80 years ago, but some fine old trees remain to mark the site.
The children of the parish attend the school at Roos.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.