PAULL: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


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

This parish is situated on the bank of the Humber, and comprises the townships of Paull and Thorngumbald, having a total area of 6,910 acres, according to the Ordnance Survey. In the first-named township there are 4,767 acres of land under assessment, the rateable value is £7,344, and the population in 1891 was 524. Much of the land has been reclaimed from the river, and is covered with a deep warp soil with some clay; on the higher grounds the soil is gravelly; the subsoil is strong clay. Wheat, oats, beans, and seeds are the chief crops under cultivation, but a considerable portion of the township is laid down in pasture. The land belongs to several proprietors, of whom the following are the most extensive:- Sir Francis Augustus Talbot Clifford-Constable, Bart., of Burton Constable; the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy; James Lambert Wray, of Newton Garth; Captain Bryan Holme Holme; B. J. Hosdell, Camerton Hall; Sir James Walker, Bart., Sand Hutton, York; Thomas Connell, Sunk Island; St. John's College, Cambridge; William Leonard, Paull; John Corner, Goole; and Miss Prickett, Isle of Wight.

This place, anciently written Paghil and Pagula, is returned in Domesday Book as a berewick belonging to the manor of Burstwick; and some land at Paulflete, or Low Paull, was long held by the service of finding men to row the lord and lady of the manor of Burstwick across the Humber, from Holderness to Lindsay, for all services. The manor has been from the earliest times in the possession of the lords of Seigniory, and was held by the Constable family till 1769, when High Paull and the manor of Paghill were sold to Benjamin Blaydes, Esq., an opulent Hull merchant, for £6,700. At that time, according to Mr. Poulson, "it seldom cleared £100 per annum, on account of the breaches made in the banks of the Humber, a single tide did damage to the amount of £300." Since then extensive riparial improvements have taken place, and many thousand acres of rich land have been reclaimed from the river and secured by embankments.

The village of Paull is situated on the bank of the Humber, five miles east from Hull, and two-and-a-half miles south from Hedon station, on the Hull and Withernsea branch of the North-Eastern railway. Many of the inhabitants are employed in fishing and shrimping - now the staple business of the place, but shipbuilding was formerly carried on to some extent by the Blaydes family above mentioned, and ships of war, carrying as many as 74 guns, have been launched here. The "Anson," carrying that number of guns, and having a measurement of 1,741 tons, was built here by Mr. Steemson, in 1812, at a cost of £140,000. Charles I. visited this place in July, 1642, for the purpose of reviewing his forces, and inspecting the battery which had been erected. The latter was partially demolished the same year by the Parliamentary ships in the Humber. Another battery, built on the site during the Crimean war, is occupied by the Royal Artillery. It covers about five acres of ground, and is armed with 19 guns for the protection of the river. A lighthouse, 40 feet high, was erected here in 1836, by the Corporation of the Trinity House, Hull, but this is now disused, and four new lights have been erected, - two at Salt Ends and two between the battery and Paull Holme.

The church, of which the original dedication appears to have been St. Andrew, but named in later years S.S. Mary and Andrew, is an ancient edifice standing on an eminence about a quarter-of-a-mile from the village. This distance of the parish church from the village explains the distich, which otherwise appears to asperse the character of the women of Paull

"High Paull, Low Paull, and Paull-Holme,
There never was a fair maid married in Paull-town."

It is a 14th century building, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, transepts, and a central tower of three stages. The walls are of considerable thickness, and are partly built of cobbles from the shore. The edifice was thoroughly restored in 1880, at a cost of £2,000, raised by voluntary contributions. During the progress of the work, many traces of fire were discovered, proving that the church had suffered much damage from the guns of the Parliamentary ships in 1642, but was not entirely demolished as stated by Mr. Poulson. On the north wall of the chancel are the remains of a stone Gospel lectern, very similar to the one at Ottringham. The aisles are divided from the nave by four pointed arches springing from slender octagonal columns. The pulpit - a piece of carved oak work resting on an octagonal stone base - was presented in 1879, by the Rev. Charles C. Wood, M.A., of St. Leonards-on-the-Sea. The seats are all of pitchpine, and free. There is a stained glass window of two lights in the north-west corner of the church, inserted in 1884, in memory of the Rev. James Samuel Jones, for 25 years curate and vicar of the parish, and Sarah his wife. There are tablets in the chancel to the families of Blaydes, Stovin, Carvile, and one to the infant daughter of Anthony Bannister, Esq.

The church and tithes of Paull were given by Stephen, Earl of Albemarle, to Birstall priory - itself dependent on the Abbey of Albemarle in Normandy. Subsequently this and other possessions of the foreign monastery were transferred to the Abbot and Convent of Kirkstall. At the dissolution of that abbey, the patronage was granted to the Archbishop of York, but it was exchanged a few years ago with the Earl of Effingham for that of Rotherham. The living is a discharged vicarage with Thorngumbald chapelry annexed, gross yearly value about £220, including 68 acres of glebe, and held by the Rev. Anthony Bathe, M.A., who is also chaplain to the Paull Point battery. The vicarage house, erected in 1859, occupies an elevated situation between the church and the village, and commands a fine view of the river.

There is a neat chapel belonging to the Primitive Methodists, erected in 1871, at a cost of £250, and also one for the Wesleyans. The national school was built in 1868, and has been twice enlarged since. There is now accommodation for 100 children, and an average attendance of 62. One and not the least of the attractions of Paull is the museum of curiosities, collected by Mr. J. D. Battersby, and to which the public are admitted on the payment of a small charge. The space at our disposal precludes any enumeration of the contents, but we cannot help mentioning two or three objects that possess more than a passing interest; a fac-simile of the death warrant of Charles I., with the names of the regicides who signed it; a model of Hull Town Hall, in cork; and the entire skeleton of Miss Jenkins, better known as "Rabbit Nanny." She hawked rabbits in the streets of Hull, and her piercing shrill voice, it is said, has been heard at Barton, four miles distant across the river. She sold her body previous to her death for £5 to the medical faculty of Hull, for dissection. The skeleton was purchased at the sale of the late Dr. Hay.

High Paull House and manor, formerly the property of Benjamin Blaydes, twice mayor of Hull, has been purchased by the War Office, and is used as the head quarters of the Humber Section, Coast Battalion, Royal Engineers, who perform the duties of sub-marine mining at this station. A new iron pier was erected in 1887.

Boreas Hill, formerly called Boar House and Bower House, with about 300 acres of land, was recently purchased from the Prickett family by Mr. R. J. Hosdell, of Camerton Hall.

PAULL HOLME, has long been held by the Holme family, who took their name from the place. A brick tower (now partly covered with ivy) - a portion of their old hall - is still standing. It is about 30 feet high, with battlements, and small loophole windows on each side. A narrow staircase, barely sufficient for one person to ascend, leads to the roof, and about 50 years ago a bullock of considerable size and weight, succeeded in squeezing itself in, and climbing to the battlements, over which it fell to the ground, and was killed. Contiguous is a farmhouse, built in 1837, out of the materials of the old hall. There was anciently a chapel at Paull Holme which was standing in a state of dilapidation in the reign of Queen Anne. Robert Holme, of Paull Holme, who died in 1503, directs that a priest should celebrate mass in the chapel of Paull Holme, during his wife's life, and after her death for 20 years successively for the repose of their souls. On an eminence close by, fires were lighted in ancient times as signals to Thornton Abbey on the Lincolnshire side of the river.

At Newton Garth, a little east of the village, on the road to Hedon, stood an ancient hospital, of which very little is known. It was founded by William le Gros, in the reign of Henry II. (or, according to Cox, by Thomas, Lord Wake, at a later period), for the relief of poor and impotent persons, and was kept by the members of some religions order. It continued to fulfil the purpose of its institution till the Reformation, when its revenues, then valued at £40 per annum, were seized by the king, and the poor inmates turned adrift to perish, mayhap, by the roadside.

CHARITY. - Thomas Locke, Esq., of Kingston-upon-Hull, bequeathed by will, in 1825, the sum of £50, directing that one-half of the interest be given to the poor in money, and the other half in bread, within the church of Paull, and as near the tomb of his late wife as possible.

THORNGUMBALD, is a township in this parish, containing 1,600½ acres of land, belonging chiefly to Charles H. Johnson, Esq.; Charles Sykes, Esq., M.P.; Mr. John Leonard, Ryhill; Dr. Craven, Hull; J. R. Ringrose, Esq., Sutton; B. B. Jackson, Esq., Thearne; Mr. Egginton; Samuel Fisher, Thorn Villa; Mr. T. G. Simpson, Willesden, London, and Matthew Henry Goundrill, Ryhill. The soil and subsoil are clay and sand, and the chief crops are mustard, wheat, beans, oats, and clover. There is some excellent grazing land, and some market gardens. The rateable value is £2,682, and the population in 1891 was 291.

This manor, called Tome in Domesday Book, belonged anciently to a family named Gumbald, from whom it received the second portion of its name. It afterwards came into the possession of the Wastneys, from whom it passed in marriage to the Holmes of Paull Holme. Subsequently it was divided between two heiresses, and passed through several hands. In 1768, Captain S. Standidge, who had accumulated a large fortune by commerce, and received the honour of knighthood, purchased the freehold of 200 acres, and erected a handsome residence here. The property was subsequently sold to Mr. Butter, from whose descendant it was purchased, in 1880, by Charles Hargitt Johnson, Esq., the present owner and lord of the manor. The present mansion, in the Elizabethan style, was built the following year, and a new water tower, 100 feet in height, has since been added.

The village stands on the road from Hedon to Patrington, about two miles south-east of the former place.

The church of St. Mary is a small ancient building, formerly belonging to the monks of Albemarle, afterwards to those of Kirkstall, and now annexed to Paull. It was thoroughly restored in 1858, at a cost of about £400. The nave and chancel were re-roofed, two new buttresses erected, and the brick tower (added in 1768) removed. A new organ, by Forster & Andrews, of Hull, was erected in 1891, at a cost of about £100. A portion of the churchyard appears to have been added to the adjoining estate about the year 1790, and, during excavations here, human bones are frequently disinterred.

The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have chapels in the village.

The old Manor House, which had weathered the storms of some four centuries, has been removed by the present owner, and a new farmhouse built on an adjacent site.

A School Board for the united district of Thorngumbald, Ryhill, and Camerton was formed in 1875, and a school was erected a short distance from the village, in the parish of Ryhill.

[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.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.