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LECONFIELD

LECONFIELD, (also spelt Leckonfield) a parish in the wapentake of Harthill; 3 miles NNW. of Beverley. The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Catharine (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of Harthill, of which the Earl of Egremont is the lay patron, and the Rev. Robert Rigby, of Beverley, incumbent. Pop. 302.

At this place, was once a celebrated Mansion of the ancient Earls of Northumberland, but of this, not a vestige now remains. Leland describes it as follows:- " Leckinfield is a large house, and stondish within a great mote, yn one very spacious courte; 3 parts of the house, saving the meane gate that is made of bricke, is al of tymbre. The 4 (fore -CH)parte is fair, made of stone, and sum bricke. I saw in a little studying chaumbre (=chambre, room -CH) there, callid Paradice, the genealogie of the Percys. The Park thereby is very fair and large, and meatly welle woddid. Ther is a fair tour of bricke, for a logge yn the Park."

In the year 1541, Henry VIII. in his progress to Hull, lodged at Leconfield Castle. Besides the genealogy of the Percys in this house, as noticed by Leland, it appears from the "Scarborough Guide," that there were a great many "moral inscriptions in the chambers of this noble Mansion, chiefly collected by H. Algernon Percy, fifth Earl of Northumberland." The following curious and ancient bill of fare for the breakfast of a noble Earl and Countess, may not prove unacceptable to our readers: "First, for my Lord and Lady, a loaf of bread on trenchers; two manchets of the finest meal, weighing each six ounces; a quart of beer; a quart of wine; two pieces of salt fish; six baconed (i.e. smoked) herrings; four white herrings; or a dish of sproits," (i.e. sprats.) This was during the holy fast of Lent. "On flesh-days, the bread as before; a quart of beer; a quart of wine; half a chine of mutton, or a piece of beef boiled." This about the year 1430 (as appears from the house-book) was in use at Leconfield. Nor was the general hour for meals among persons of condition, at that period, less remarkable. They breakfasted at seven, dined at ten, and supped at four: after which, between eight, and nine o'clock in the evening, they had their 'liveries' that is to say, "for my Lord and Lady, bread, as at breakfast; a gallon of beer, and a quart of wine" (the wine hot, and mixed with spices); soon after which they went to bed! Scarborough Guide.

Leckonfield was formerly the lordship and estate of Peter de Brus; who gave it in marriage with his sister, to Henry Percy, upon condition, that he and his heirs should repair to Skelton-Castle, upon every Christmas-day, and lead the Lady of the Castle from her chamber to the chapel, to mass, and thence to her chamber again; and, after dinner, to depart. --Hargrove.

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