Patrington Parish information from Bulmers' 1892.


Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.

Wapentake of Holderness (South Division) - Petty Sessional Division of South Holderness - County Council Electoral Division and Poor Law Union of Patrington - County Court District of Hedon - Rural Deanery of Hedon - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish and township comprises 3,693 acres of land and 48 acres of foreshore, situated in the low narrow tongue of land between the estuary of the Humber and the North Sea. The soil is loam, and the subsoil red clay. The rateable value is £6,582, and the population in 1881, was 1,360, and in 1891, 1,127. The land belongs to several proprietors of whom the principal are Walter James Marshall, Esq. (lord of the manor), Patterdale Hall, Westmoreland; the Rev. Henry Edward Maddock (lord of the rectorial manor), Patrington Rectory; Walter Samuel Bailey, Esq., Anlaby; William Chessman, Esq., Ruston House, Patrington; Arthur Henry Easten, Esq., J.P., Dunedin, Patrington; Cooper's Trustees; Mr. Robert Vickerman, Sunk Island; Mrs. George Hodges, Isle of Wight; Richard Thorp, Patrington; George Brown, Sunk Island; Mr. Edward T. Chessman, Patrington; Exors. of Isaac Dunn, Messrs. George and Michael Suddaby Meadley, Sunk Island; and Colonel Thompson, York.

That Patrington was a place of some importance in the time of our Saxon forefathers can scarcely be doubted, but some antiquaries assign to it a much higher antiquity, and think that it occupies the site of the Prætorium of the Romans, or the still older Petuaria of the ancient Britons. The word prætorium had a wide application among the Romans. In its most common acceptation it signifies a court of justice; it is sometimes used to denote a villa or other stately building, and more generally the residence of the Prætor. In excavating for the foundations of the railway station at York a small brass was found, on which was inscribed in Greek - " To the Gods of the General's Prætorium." Thus it would appear that the Prætorium was dedicated to heathen deities, and hence it was that the Jewish priests and elders would not enter the Prætorium of the Roman governors on the eve of the Passover, lest they might be defiled.

Prætorium is mentioned in the first Iter of Antoninus. The road described in the Iter ran from Eboracum (York), eastwards to Derventium, seven Roman miles distant, thence to Delgovitia, 13 Roman miles further, and terminated at Prætorium, which, according to the Iter, was 45 Roman miles from Eboracum. The breadth of the Abum (Humber), at this place was six miles, and the distance from the south side of the Abum to Lincoln, 30 miles. "No site," says Mr. Poulson, in his History of Holderness, "agrees so well with these particulars as Patrington Haven; therefore, at or near Patrington we may, with the greatest probability at least, fix the Prætorium of the Roman Itinerary in Britain." This opinion, though held by Camden and other early antiquaries, is open to very grave doubt. Prætorium was on the Abum, but there is nothing to show that Patrington has ever been a sea port; and further there have not been found at Patrington any remains of fortifications, or indeed any Roman remains whatever that can be accepted as indicating a fixed occupation of the place by the Romans, as must have been the case with Prætorium. A gold chain and several coins of gold, silver, and copper, from Tiberius to Constantine, have been found at various times in the town and neighbourhood, but these only prove the presence here of Romans, and not a permanent settlement. About 120 years ago, in taking down an old mansion called Patrick Lodge, which had formerly been the property and residence of the Hildyards, a stone was found, which was sub. sequently pronounced by several antiquaries to be a Roman altar. It was long in the possession of Mr. Little, and is now built into the wall of Mr. Lamplugh's farmyard. It is, however, very doubtful whether the stone is a Roman altar, or a fragment of the ancient Market Cross. The latter is the most generally received opinion of late observers.

Patrington was given by King Canute, the Dane, to Alfric, Archbishop of York, in the year 1033. The original grant is not extant; there is, however, a copy of it preserved among the Dodsworth MSS. in the Bodleian Library. After the Conquest, the archbishops retained possession of this manor, which they held distinct from and independent of the fee of Drogo, which included the rest of Holderness. There were within it, according to Domesday Book, four berewics, or villages - Wistede, Halsam, Torp, and Toruelestorp - and 85 carucates and a half, and two oxgangs and two parts of an oxgang of land to be taxed. The archbishops, as feudal lords, exercised almost regal powers within the manor, and, in the reign of Edward I., a quo warranto was brought against William Wickwane, the occupant of the archiepiscopal see, to know why he claimed to have gallows, return of writs, escheats, pleas of Withernan, to have a coroner on each side of the river Hull, to have the assize of bread and beer, wreck of the sea, and waif at Patrington, &c. To which the archbishop answered, that all his predecessors, since the grant of the manor by Athelstan, * had enjoyed the said liberties. Edward II. enlarged their privileges by the grant of a market, to be held every Monday for ever, at Patrington, and one fair yearly, of two days' duration, viz., on the eve and on the day of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, unless such market and fair were to the injury of other markets and fairs in the neighbourhood, &c. Both the market - which was in later times held on Saturday - and the fairs have been abandoned for several years. The manor continued in the possession of the archbishops till 1545, when it was transferred to the Crown, and it remained in the royal possession for about a century and a half. During part of the time of Cromwell's usurpation, it was held on lease by Matthew Allured, Esq. In 1698, William Aldworth, Esq., is returned as lord of Patrington, but whether he held it by lease or purchase is not known. From the Aldworths it passed to the Duke of Portland, and, in 1739, the estate was purchased by Henry Maister, Esq., whose descendant sold it, in 1829, to Colonel Thoroton Hildyard. The ancestors of this gentleman were possessed of a mansion and lands in Patrington early in the 17th century, and it is said, in some pedigrees of the family, that after the Restoration, Charles II. granted the manor to Sir Robert Hildyard, for his services and bravery during the Civil War. From an examination of the registers of the Manor Court, undertaken by the late Mr. William Little, at the request of the author of the History of Holderness, it appears that the Hildyards held the demesne lands, but were never lords of the manor. Walter James Marshall, Esq., the present lord of the manor, succeeded to the estate on the death of his brother, George Hibbert Marshall, Esq.

* King Athelstan lived 100 years before Canute or Knut.

The town of Patrington is situated about 15 miles east-by-south of Hull, and half a mile from the station of its own name, on the Hull and Withernsea branch of the-North-Eastern railway. A creek of the Humber, called Patrington Harem, extends to within a short distance of the town. This was formerly navigable for the coasting craft in use two centuries ago, about which time a considerable trade was done, and two porters were annually appointed by the manor court to attend to the landing and discharging of the vessels. Subsequently, in consequence of the erection of embankments along the contiguous shores of the Humber, the haven has gradually silted up, and there is not now a sufficient depth of water to permit the landing of the fishing smacks. Except for drainage purposes, the haven has been entirely disused since 1869, and the smackowners, who still continue to reside in the town, make use of the harbour at Stone Creek, which is some miles distant from Patrington. By the construction of the embankments above mentioned, a considerable quantity of land has been reclaimed from the Humber, and the distance between the town and the river increased from one-and-a-half miles to three miles. The trade of the place is now chiefly confined to agricultural produce, seeds, corn, flour milling, and brewing. There were formerly large flax scutching mills at Enholmes, about a mile west of the town. They were erected in 1848, by Messrs. Marshall, of Leeds, and continued in operation till 1883, when the trade was discontinued, and the greater part of the machinery sold. There are three friendly societies in the town. The oldest - "the Patrington Amicable Society " - was established by the resident gentry in 1792. It has a capital of £2,050, and pays to each member, who has attained the age of 70 years, 2s. per week for the rest of his life. The Loyal Thomas Hildyard Lodge of the Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity) was established in 1837, and the Sherwood Lodge (467) of the U. A. 0. of Druids (Hull District), established in 1862, has a capital of £700.

The church is dedicated to St. Patrick, from whom, it is said, the town derives its name of Patrington, that is Patrick's town. It is a magnificent structure of stone, in the Early Decorated style, and, for graceful symmetry and exquisite ornamentation, it stands without a rival among the churches of Holderness. In massive dignity it cannot compare with the church at Hedon, which has been called the King of Holderness, but for elegance and unity of design, richness of ornamentation, and harmony of proportion in its several parts, it is vastly superior, and well deserves the name by which it is known far and wide, "The Queen of Holderness." It is cruciform in plan, with a central tower and spire. The chancel inclines to the south, symbolising the inclination of Our Saviour's head upon the Cross. There are aisles to the nave and also to both transepts. The tower rests upon four clustered columns of 20 shafts, encircled near the base by a square stone bench, and at the springing of the arches by foliated capitals most richly carved. The foliation of the capitals is continued throughout the church, but with such diversity that no two capitals present the same ornamentation. The tower terminates in a plain parapet, with gargoyles under the cornice, and carries a beautiful octagonal corona, from which rises a graceful tapering spire. At the angles of the corona are buttresses, surmounted by crocketed pinnacles, and flying buttresses spring from the corners of the tower. The spire rises to a height of 189 feet, and is a prominent object in the landscape for many miles around. The chancel is spacious, and possesses a fine Perpendicular window, evidently an insertion or alteration subsequent to the erection of the church. This window appears as if it had been originally intended to be much larger; the lower part between the jambs has been filled with masonry, and a blank space left in the interior, apparently for a large reredos above the altar. In the south wall are three elegant canopied sedilia and a piscina. On the north side is a sculptured recess, formerly used as an Easter or Holy sepulchre. It is still in good preservation, and, as these Easter sepulchres are rarely met with, it is perhaps the most interesting feature in the church. It is divided into four horizontal stages, under a cinquefoil arched canopy terminating in a finial, and from each side rises a pinnacle. The lower division contains three niches, with ogee canopies, in which are three Roman guards, realising by their attitudes the gospel narrative. The next has a small recess, in which the pyx containing the sacred host was deposited on Maunday Thursday, in memory of the entombment of Christ. In the third division Christ is represented rising from the tomb, with censing angels kneeling at each side, and in the division above is a small deep recess, probably intended to denote the sky, into which the Saviour ascended.

Separating the chancel from the nave is a fine old rood screen, a very beautiful piece of 15th century work, which happily escaped destruction when, in 1720, orders were issued by Dr. Heneage Dering, archdeacon of the East Riding, for the removal of high screens from the churches of Holderness. An arcade of five pointed arches divides the nave on each side from the adjoining aisle. The pillars which support the arches are composed of eight clustered shafts, with richly carved foliated capitals. Each transept has also two aisles, three bays in length, with turret staircases in the western angles. There were formerly three altars in the eastern aisle of each transept, as is shown by the piscinæ that remain.

The Lady aisle is most beautifully groined, and has central bosses resembling those in the vestibule leading to the Chapter House of York Minster. The roofs of the other aisles are of timber, but the stone springings and curiously carved corbels show that groined roofs were intended but never completed. It has been conjectured that the occurrence of the Black Death, or Plague, in 1347, prevented the completion of this part of the original design. The Ladye Chapel, which gives a name to the aisle, is in the centre bay, and has a projecting semi-hexagonal apse between two narrow painted windows. At the entrance and pendant from the groined roof is a piece of stone sculpture, the purpose of which is not known with certainty. It is ornamented with figures in niches, representing the Annunciation, St. Catherine with the wheel, and St. John with the Lamb. It is open on the side facing the place where the altar stood, and is supposed by some to have been a reliquary, and by others a lantern. Traces of fresco paintings may still be seen on the walls, and the uncanopied sedilia for the priest and the acolyte is still in good preservation. In this chapel, and also at the entrance of the north-west porch, are two corbel heads, said to represent Edward II. and his queen, Isabella of France.

The church has been partially restored under the direction of Mr. F. S. Broderick, architect, Hull, at an expense of £3,000, and another £1,000 at least is still required to complete the work satisfactorily. Every part of the work so far has been carried out with the most reverend and conservative care, and not a single feature of the ancient and beautiful church has been altered or defaced. No tools have been used in cleaning the delicate stone work ; the accumulated layers of paint and whitewash have been removed by a strong solution of soda, revealing the exquisite carving of the capitals and corbels. The old oak roofs have been thoroughly repaired, and the floor lowered to the original level. The old pulpit bearing the date 1612 and two 17th century pews have been repaired and refitted, and the nave and the south transept furnished with open oak seats of suitable design. The western aisle of this transept was restored and the groining completed in memory of George Hibbert Marshall, Esq., of Enholmes, who died in 1887. The east window of the chancel was filled with stained glass by the relatives of the late rector, under whom the chancel was restored. The font, formed out of a solid block of Tadcaster stone, is a 12 sided cylinder, enriched on the outside with traceried arches, divided by crocketed pinnacles, and having triangular crocketed canopies. It has been re-set in its original position in front of the west window.

In the course of the restoration a recumbent figure of a female in a religious habit was discovered beneath the old pews; and in the wall of the south aisle were found two tombstones beneath semicircular arches, previously hidden by the pews. Each stone bears an incised floriated cross, one somewhat plain, the other more elaborate. They rest on stone coffins, but there is no legend or device to show whose remains they covered. There were also found embedded in the walls, fragments of nail-head moulding, showing clearly that a previous edifice, in the Transitional Norman style, had occupied the site. A square headed doorway, ornamented in this style, has been built into the wall of the south transept, near the roof, opening into a triforium passage, which communicates by a stone staircase with the belfry in the tower. In the floor of this transept was found one of the old altar stones which had been removed at the Reformation. It is in good preservation, and bears upon it the characteristic five crosses, symbolical of the five wounds of our Saviour. An effective organ, built by Messrs. Forster and Andrews, of Hull, at a cost of between £400 and £500, will be placed in the church during the present year (1891).

The exterior of the church is no less elegant than the interior. The western front is formed into three divisions by buttresses, finished with square pinnacles terminated in pyramidal caps, with foliated crockets and finials. The centre window at this end is a fine example of the Flamboyant style. It consists of four lights with a transom, the sweep of the arch being filled with elegant tracery. The nave and chancel, which are about equal in length, are divided on each side by buttresses into four parts, and the sides of each transept are similarly divided into three parts. From the buttresses along the south side of the church project gargoyles, curiously and quaintly carved. Two of them appear to represent martyrdoms. In one a Roman soldier is thrusting a dagger into the neck of a woman, whilst he holds aside the hair to bare the neck. In another the prow of a vessel is represented with waves beneath; on one side is a fiend, and on the other a female form with hair floating back and her wrists bound. On others there are grotesque forms, which, though they seem inappropriate according to our modern enlightenment, had doubtless a well-known and significant meaning to the eyes of the ancient builders. There are both north and south porches, each having above it a parvise or priest's chamber. The belfry stage of the tower is arcaded, and contains a clock with three dials and five bells. The church will seat 500.

The Archbishops of York were lords of Patrington, and it is beyond doubt, that to them the parish is indebted for its beautiful church. Archbishop Melton was a man of artistic tastes and a great builder. He completed the nave of York Minster, and from the marked similarity between Melton's work at the minster and Patrington, it is highly probable that a considerable portion, if not indeed the whole of the church, was erected during his episcopate and by his munificence.

The living is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £22; its present gross value is £500. It was formerly in the gift of the Collegiate Society of St John of Beverley. After the dissolution of that body at the Reformation, the patronage was granted to the Constables of Burton Constable. In 1717 it was purchased by the master and fellows of Clare College, Cambridge, for £550, and it still remains in the possession of that college. The present rector is the Rev. Henry Edward Maddock, M.A., late Fellow of Clare College, F.G.S., and rural dean of Hedon. The tithes were commuted in 1768 for about 400 acres of land; there is, however, a tithe rent-charge of 2s. per acre, on about 800 acres of old inclosure, and 198 acres of new land, reclaimed from the Humber.

The Rectory manor, of which the rector is lord, and which is distinct from, and independent of the manor of Patrington, consists of 14 or 15 allotments of ancient inclosed lands, amounting in the whole to 15 acres 2 roods 1 perch, and fields inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1766, 82 acres 2 roods 4 perches, - the whole of which pays an annual rent to the lord of £2 3s. 5d.*

The Wesleyan Chapel is a brick structure, capable of seating 300, erected in 1811; and the Primitive Methodist Chapel, erected in 1841, was rebuilt in 1862, at an expenditure of £230. It will accommodate 340 persons. The National School, erected in 1855, is a large block of red brick buildings, comprising separate departments for boys, girls, and infants, with master's residence attached. Each department will accommodate about 100 children, and there is an average attendance of 72 boys, 55 girls, and 40 infants.

The Working Men's Institute, established in 1886, comprises reading-room and library of 200 vols., in addition to which 50 vols. are received quarterly from the Yorkshire National Union, Leeds. The Temperance Hall, a substantial building of red brick, is capable of seating about 400 persons. It was built in 1869, by the late William Chessman, Esq., and is now the property of Mr. William Chessman, his nephew. There is a Band of Hope in connection with it, and it is also used for public meetings, entertainments, &c.

The Police Station for the Southern Division of Holderness is situated here. It comprises residence for the inspector, two cells, and a court-room, in which Petty Sessions are held monthly.

Patrington Union embraces a district containing 62,166 acres, and a population, according to the returns of 1891, of 8,443. The total rateable value is £79,492. The following places are included in the Union : - Burstwick-cum-Skeckling, Burton Pidsea, Easington, Frodingham, Halsham, Hilston, Hollym, Holmpton, Keyingham, Kilnsea, Ottringham, Out-Newton, Owstwick, Owthorne, Patrington, Paull, Rimswell, Roos, Ryhill, Skeffling, Sunk Island, Thorngumbald, Tunstall, Waxholme, Welwick, Winestead, and Withernsea.

The Workhouse is a large structure of brick, erected in 1837, at a cost of about £2,000. It will accommodate 100. The average number of inmates is about 30.

About a mile from the town is Patrington Haven or Havenside, a hamlet, erected when the creek was navigable, and vessels loaded and discharged here. There is a Primitive Methodist Chapel here, and also an infant school, the private property of W. J. Marshall, Esq., by whom it is supported.

Enholmes Hall, about one mile west of Patrington, the property of Walter James Marshall, Esq., of Patterdale Hall, Westmoreland, and the residence of his son, Richard Marshall, Esq., was built in 1858 by the late William Marshall, Esq., formerly M.P. for East Cumberland. The estate comprises about 1,000 acres.

Dunedin, the seat of Arthur Henry Easten, Esq., J.P., C.C., is a neat residence at the west end of the town; and Ruston House, the seat and property of William Chessman, Esq., is delightfully situated on the south-east side. Manor House, formerly owned by the Hildyards, belongs to Mrs. Hodges, and is occupied by Mr. Henry Dunn.

CHARITIES. - Linsdale's Hospital, consisting of four cottages, was founded in 1843 by Miss Phœbe Linsdale, of Winestead, for four poor widows, and endowed with a weekly stipend of 4s. for each. The poor parishioners have 26s. a year from Mrs. Watson's charity, and a yearly rent-charge of 52s. left by the Rev. N. Nicholls, and also the interest of £66 left by Robert Robinson and other donors. There are likewise four small cottages, erected many years ago, with £50, ancient benefaction money.

Stephen de Patrington, D.D., of Oxford University, Provincial of the Carmelite Order in England, Chaplain and Confessor to King Kenry V., and Bishop of St. Davids, was a native of Patrington. He was a man of considerable learning, and a powerful preacher. "It is incredible," says Leland, "what multitudes of people crowded to his sermons." He was an opponent of the Wycliffites, and was deputed by the King to attend the Council of Constance, convened in 1414, by Pope John, XXIII. He died shortly after his return to England, and was buried in the Church of the White Friars, Fleet Street, London.

* Poulson's History and Antiquities of the Seigniory of Holderness, vol. II., p. 458.

[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.

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