HOLME ON SPALDING MOOR, a parish in the wapentake of Harthill; 5 miles SW. of Market Weighton, and well known by the name of Hemp Holme, from the quantity of Hemp formerly cultivated here. The hill or mount on which stands the ancient church, is a very fine object, particularly on the high road to York from Market Weighton.

From this elevated situation a delightful survey may be had of the surrounding country, in which Howden church and York Cathedral are prominent objects. Upon this mount stands a beacon, from which that division of this extensive wapentake of Harthill, called Holme Beacon, is said to take its name. Here is a bed of gypsum, in which are also found ammonites, or snake stones. A practise has been adopted in this parish, by some of the principal landholders, of allotting a certain quantity of land, as a cowgate, to their labourers, which has materially tended to the comfort of their families, and to the ease of the parish. A shock of an earthquake was felt in this neighbourhood on the 18th of January, 1822, at 10 o'clock at night. The church is dedicated to All Saints (see Churches for photograph), and is in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge, who let out the rectory to the vicar, by lease, for his life, at a pepper corn yearly rent. There are here two chapels, one for the Roman Catholics and the other for the Methodists. Pop 1318. A tradition exists that in times long since passed, when a great part of this region was a trackless morass, a cell was founded, either by the Vavasours or the Constables, at Welham bridge, on the edge of Spalding moor, for two monks, one of whom was employed in guiding travellers over the dreary wastes, and the other in imploring the protection of heaven for those who were exposed to the dangers of the road; and there are persons yet living who can remember the time when, in foggy weather, it was considered a dangerous attempt to cross the common without a guide.

The following is the entire data from Langdale's Topographical Yorkshire Dictionary:

Bacon says, "Holme Rectory is an impropriation in St. John's College, Cambridge, which presents to the vicarage thereof, and lets out the rectory to the vicar by lease for his life, at a pepper corn rent yearly, if demanded".

Besides the parish church, there was a chapel at Holme, called the chapel of St. Nicholas. In this chapel was founded a chantry by Sir Marmaduke Constable, of Flamborough, A.D. 1349; and he and his descendants presented cantarists or chaplains to it, until the year 1532 inclusive. He also endowed it with one messuage and sixty acres of land, in the town and territories of Holme. --Torre's M.S. A messuage is known at this day by the name of Chapel-house, and the small ascent on which it stands, is called Chapel-hill. Near this place was a Cell, founded by one of the Vavasours or Constables, for two Monks, whose employment, it should seem, was to guide travellers over these dreary wastes. This estate was for several centuries possessed by the Constables of Flamborough, of whom it was purchased by the celebrated Sir Marmaduke Langdale, one of the bravest generals of King Charles I.

Sir Marmaduke having distinguished himself by his loyalty to his sovereign, and by his military talents during the civil wars, was, after the restoration, created a peer, by the title of Baron Langdale, of Holme, the first Englishman that was advanced to the dignity of a peer by that prince. On the death of the last Lord Langdale, the male line of the family became extinct, and the estate devolved on his lordship's daughter, the Consort of the Right Hon. Charles, Lord Stourton, whose son, the Honourable Charles Langdale, now makes the manor house his residence. --Camden. --Bigland.

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]