Wapentake of Dickering - County Council Electoral Division of Nafferton - Petty Sessional Division of Bainton Beacon - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Driffield - Rural Deanery of Bridlington - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
Ruston Parva, or Little Ruston, is a small parish lying in a valley between Nafferton and Kilham. Its total area, according to the Ordnance measurement, is 969 acres, and its estimated extent 929 acres; rateable value, £1,176; and population, 140. The soil is chalky and the subsoil chalk. This chalk is extensively quarried and burnt into lime for the supply of the adjacent district. One of the quarries covers an area of about two acres, and has been excavated to the depth of 80 feet. From the hill above this quarry an extensive and beautiful view is obtained, embracing Hull, Beverley, with its minster, the churches and villages of Ruston Parva, Lowthorpe, Harpham, Foston, and Kilbam, and the ships in Bridlington Bay. The scenery around Bracey Bridge is picturesquely beautiful. William Herbert St. Quintin, Esq., J.P., Scampston Hall, who is also lord of the manor, Col. Lloyd Greame, and John Dickson, Esq., Nafferton Wold, are the principal landowners. The last-named gentleman is the lay impropriator.
The village is small, but pleasantly situated a little north of the road leading from Driffield to Bridlington, four miles north-east of the former place, and two miles from Lowthorpe station, on the Hull and Scarborough branch of the NorthEastern railway. The church (All Saints' - or, according to Canon Raine, St. Nicholas') occupies an elevated situation in the village. It is a small plain edifice of brick, rebuilt in 1832, and consists of chancel, nave, and a turret containing one bell. There are no ancient memorials, but a stone, now in the ruined chancel of Lowthorpe church, bearing the effigies in high relief of a male and female and other ornamentation, is said to have been removed from the interior of this church to its present position. No inscription is perceptible, nor is there any heraldic emblazonry to tell the lineage of the honoured dead; but, as a family named de-Ruston formerly possessed lands and resided here, it may possibly have belonged to one of them. The register dates from 1833. The living, formerly a perpetual curacy, is now a vicarage, annexed to Lowthorpe, in the gift of the lord of the manor, and held since 1853, by the Rev. George Carey, B.A., Trinity College, Dublin, who resides at Bridlington. The separate value is about £40 per annum.
There is a small Wesleyan chapel in the village, and on the green are the remains of an ancient stone cross.
Ruston is a place of considerable antiquity, and is thus mentioned in Domesday Book: - " In Roreston, Egfrid has three carucates of land to be taxed. There is land for two ploughs; value twenty shillings." We have here a clew to the origin of the name. Hroar was a personal name among the Norsemen, and this was Hroar's tun, written by the Norman scribe Roreston, and subsequently corrupted into Ruston. A writer in the Weekly Supplement to the Leeds Mercury says - " It has puzzled many persons to know why the suffix Parva (little) was added to the name of this village, and some have made the foolish guess that it was to distinguish it from Rudston; but, had that been the case, the suffix Magna (great) would have been added to Rudston also, in contradistinction. * * The addition of the suffix Parva was to distinguish it from Long Riston in Holderness. It is singular that, at the time of the Domesday Survey, in 1086, Long Riston was called Riston only, and two or three centuries later it had become corrupted to Ruston, and Hroarston (Ruston Parva) had undergone the same corruption, hence there were two Rustons in the East Riding, and the prefix Long and the suffix Parva were added to distinguish them."
Within the memory of persons still living there was a beacon on the hill near the church. This beacon was to take its light from that at Rudston, and in turn give the signal to the watchers in charge of Bainton beacon.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.