TUNSTALL: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


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

This parish and township lies on the coast between Hilston and Waxholme, and contains, according to the Ordnance Survey, 1,346 acres. It is, however, constantly diminishing in extent from the encroachments of the sea, and upwards of 100 acres are said to have been swallowed up within living memory. The distance between Tunstall church and the sea in 1786, was, according to Mr. Tuke, 924 yards, and in 1833 the distance was only 763 yards. If this rate of diminution has been constant since the time of the Conquest, the parish has lost a strip of land considerably more than a mile in breadth. The extent of land under assessment is 1,211 acres; rateable value £1,164, and the population in 1891 was 121. Mrs. Byrom and Mrs. Hobart own the manorial rights, but they possess only about four acres of the land; the rest belongs to several proprietors. The soil varies, but is generally clayey and of a free nature; the subsoil is red clay, and wheat, oats, beans, and peas, form the chief crops.

The manor, which is co-extensive with the parish, has been for several centuries in the possession of the Grimston family, and now belongs to the daughters of the late Colonel Marmaduke Jerard Grimston. There was another manor in Tunstall called Monkewick, mentioned in Domesday Book as containing two carucates of taxable land. It belonged to the provost of Beverley, and appears, after the dissolution of religious houses, to have come into the possession of the Grimston family. It adjoined Tunstall on the north, and has long been absorbed in that manor, the only trace left of its individuality being the name Monkwith still applied to a few fields on the coast.

The village of Tunstall is small and stands near the sea, 14 miles east-by-north from Hull, eight miles east-north-east from Hedon, and four miles northnorth-west from Withernsea station, on the Hull and Withernsea branch of the North-Eastern railway. The church is an ancient structure of stone, built or rebuilt in the Early English period and partly covered with ivy. There is no mention of a church here in Domesday Book, but the dedication to All Saints is, in the opinion of many persons, indicative of a Saxon origin. However, if not built before the Conquest, it was in existence 50 years after that event, as appears from a grant of Stephen, Earl of Albemarle, 26th Henry I. (1115), in which he gives the church and tithes of Tunstall to the abbey of St. Martin, Normandy. The plan comprises chancel, nave, two aisles, south porch, and a square embattled western tower, containing two bells. The porch is modern and of brick. The fabric being very much out of repair was restored between the years 1874 and 1877, at an outlay of £650. The north and east walls of the chancel and the west end of the south aisle were rebuilt, and the whole edifice re-roofed. The chancel floor was raised and tiled, and a new altar table, rails, prayer desk, and stalls were provided. The nave and aisles were reseated and a new pulpit and lectern added, and all the pillars and arches of the interior were dressed and cleaned. At the same time the east window of three lights was filled with stained glass, in memory of Messrs. John Barron and James Snaith, natives of this place. The latter died at Beverley in 1870, and left a rent-charge of £16 per annum for educational and charitable purposes in Tunstall. There is another fine three-light window in the west front of the tower belonging to the Perpendicular period. The windows of the aisles are chiefly square headed, and filled with cathedral glass. On the south side of the chancel arch is a hagioscope, or in more homely language, a "squint," through which, in Catholic times, a person seated there could witness the sacrifice of the mass.

This church, as before stated, was given to St. Martin's Abbey, and subsequently, with the permission of that convent, it was appropriated to the succentorship of York Cathedral, and it remained in the possession of the subchanter until the Cathedral Act transferred the patronage to the Archbishop. The living is now a rectory, united with that of Hilston, by an order in Council, dated May 17th, 1877, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York and Sir Tatton Sykes, Bart., who present alternately, and held since 1858 by the Rev. Charles Abbott, of St. Bees College. The joint value is returned at £190 per annum, derived chiefly from 70 acres of glebe and tithes. The latter were commuted at the inclosure in 1777, for £34 15s. There is a good Rectory House, erected in 1866.

There is no school in the parish, the children attend that at Roos.

[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.