WINESTEAD: 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.

Winestead is a parish and township situated in the low flat peninsula at the mouth of the Humber. Its total extent, including water, is 2,570 acres; land under assessment, 2,048 acres; rateable value, £2,000; population 151, a decrease of 12 since 1881. The soil is in some places clay, in others light land, but generally fertile; the subsoil is strong clay; and the chief crops are wheat, beans, peas, oats, and barley. Capt. Thomas Charles Douglas Whitmore, J.P., of Gumley Hall, Market Harborough, who is lord of the manor, and Walter Samuel Bailey, Esq., J.P., are the principal landowners.

In Domesday Book, Winestead, or Wistede as it is therein written, is entered as a berewick of the manor of Patrington. The superior lords were the Archbishops of York, under whom it was held for ten generations by the family of Hilton. Ultimately, by failure of male issue, the manor was conveyed by the marriage of a co-heiress to Sir Robert Hildyard, Knt., about the time of Richard II. The male line of this family failed by the death of Sir Robert D'Arcy Hildyard, Bart., without surviving issue, in 1814. He bequeathed his estates to his niece, Ann Catherine Whyte, who, the following year, married Thomas Blackborne Thoroton, Esq., of Flintham Hall, Nottingham. This gentleman, in compliance with the will, assumed the name and arms of Hildyard. The estates have since passed by purchase to the present owners above mentioned.

The Hildyards were an ancient and knightly race, said by some to be of Saxon extraction, and to derive their name from Hildegardis, a Saxon or Old English word signifying a person of noble or generous disposition. The earliest name on the pedigree is Sir Robert Hildeyard, or Hildheard, Knt., of Normanby, in the time of Henry I. The branch of the family more immediately under notice trace their descent in an unbroken line from that Sir Robert Hildyard who married Isabel, co-heir of Sir Robert de Hilton, lord of Swine and Winestead. Sir Robert Hildyard, grandson of the above, was, according to Mr. Poulson, the famous popular leader known as Robin of Redesdale, probably from some connection with the moss troopers of the border. He headed an insurrection of the people of Yorkshire and the north in favour of the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses. Two Sir Christophers, uncle and nephew, were High Sheriffs of Yorkshire in the reign of Elizabeth. Sir Robert, the son of the latter, was a gentleman of the privy chamber to King Charles I., and a colonel in the royal army during the Civil War. He was a doughty warrior, and slew in single combat the Scottish champion, who challenged any gentleman in the royal army to meet him. For this he was made, on the field, a knight banneret. After the Restoration he was created a baronet, for his faithful services and sufferings for the royal cause. Sir Robert D'Arcy Hildyard, the fourth and last baronet, was High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1783. The present representative of the family is Thomas Blackborne Thoroton-Hildyard, Esq., of Flintham Hall, Notts.

The village is pleasantly situated 13½ miles east from Hull, one-and-a-half miles north-west from Patrington, and about one mile from the station of its own name, on the Hull and Withernsea branch of the North-Eastern railway, and locally in the parish of Patrington. The ancient residence of the Hildyards stood a little west of the church. It was surrounded by a moat, in which William, only son of Sir Christopher Hildyard, Knt., was drowned, and, in consequence of this melancholy event, it is supposed, Sir Christopher pulled down the old mansion and built a new one, in 1579, at the northern extremity of the lordship. The moated site is now a garden. This mansion was taken down and the present hall built nearly on the same site in 1710. It is a red brick structure surrounded by beautiful pleasure grounds, and stands about one mile north of the village. It is the property of Capt. Whitmore, and is at present unoccupied. White Hall is a modern mansion, a little west of the church, belonging to Walter Samuel Bailey, Esq., and the residence of Thomas Holden, Esq.

The church, dedicated to St. Germaine, is an ancient edifice picturesquely embosomed among trees. It is believed to date from the Norman period, and its walls, like those of several neighbouring churches, have been built of sea cobbles. It was restored in 1890 at an expense of £2,250, which was raised by a bazaar and public subscription, the principal subscribers being the Bailey family, the Hildyards, the Holdens, and Captain Whitmore. The work was carried out under the direction of Mr. Temple Moore, the well-known architect, of Hampstead, who has faithfully preserved all the ancient features of the church, and carefully avoided any semblance of modern construction. The roof has been raised in pitch, and replaced by a careful reproduction of the old one. The north wall has been underpinned, and the unsound portions taken out and solidly rebuilt. The south aisle, which had been removed in the 17th century, it is believed, and the pillars and arches built up within the south wall, has been added, its features being in harmony with the other portions of the edifice. The floor of the nave has been lowered to its original level. The mausoleum on the south side of the chancel, built by Sir Robert Hildyard, the third baronet, has been pulled down, and the remains of members of the Hildyard family, which it contained, have been interred in the adjoining churchyard. This mausoleum was a brick structure, and the bricks have been used in the wall of the south aisle. The Hildyard chapel, on the south side of the chancel, has been rebuilt stone by stone. This chapel, long the burial place of the Hildyards, was originally a chantry, founded by Sir Robert de Hilton, Lord of Swine, in 1347, who endowed it with five marks annually for the perpetual maintenance of a chaplain, to celebrate, at the altar of St. Mary the Virgin, for his own soul, and for the souls of Dame Margaret, his consort, his father and mother, &c. The screen around this chapel has been formed out of the old Hildyard pew, which is said to have been made out of the panelling of the dining room of the old hall that stood near the church. The antiquated high-backed pews have been replaced by open seats of oak; and the former have been converted into a dado which runs round the nave and aisle. The old oak chancel screen, supposed to have once belonged to Birstall Priory, has been repaired, and a vaulted loft and cornice added in loving memory of Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard, the last Hildyard, owner of Winestead. The east window is filled with stained glass, representing the Crucifixion, in memory of the late Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, of White Hall, Winestead. Against the wall, below this window, is a handsome new reredos of carved alabaster. It consists of three compartments; in the central one appear two angels carrying a shield, on which are carved the emblems of the Passion. In the side panels are the sacred monograms. The brass eagle lectern, made after a design by Sir G. G. Scott, was presented by Sir Albert and Miss Rollit. There is no tower; the bell, in the bell cote at the west end, is ancient and bears on it the legend "Joannes Baptista." The old font in which so many generations of parishioners had received the regenerating waters of baptism was long alienated from the church, and applied to base uses scarcely consistent with a belief in the sacred character of the sacrament of baptism. It has been recovered and placed in its original position. The following entry relative to this font occurs in the register under the date August 25th, 1884. "The old Winestead Font was purchased from Miss Emily Owst Oldfield, of Keyingham, for £10, and brought back from Keyingham to Winestead. She told me it had been given to her grandfather, Mr. Owst, by one of the Hildyards, and it had always been known as the Andrew Marvel Font, from the tradition that it was used at his baptism."

There is nothing very striking in the architecture of the church, but there are several interesting monuments in the interior. The most prominent is the altar tomb of Sir Christopher Hildyard, bearing a recumbent effigy of the knight in plate armour. He died in 1602. Another is the recumbent effigy of a priest, somewhat mutilated, and apparently belonging to the 15th century. A still more interesting monument is a sepulchral slab bearing the effigies of a knight and his lady in brass, with two smaller brasses at their feet, representing their children kneeling - seven sons and six daughters. This is supposed to be the tombstone of the famous "Robin of Redesdale." Another stone bears a Latin inscription, in brass, to William Retherley, rector of Wystede (Winestead) and builder of the church, who died in 1418.

The living is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £12, and now worth £230, including 230 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of J. B. T. Hildyard, and held by the rev. Norman James Miller, M.A., Magdalen College Cambridge.

There is a dame's school in the village supported by voluntary subscriptions. Miss Ann Hildyard, by will proved in 1813, bequeathed the interest of £800 to found a school here, but the bequest being charged upon land was declared void under the Mortmain Act.

Winestead is the birthplace of Andrew Marvel, the poet, wit, and incorruptible patriot. His father was appointed to the rectory of Winestead, April 23rd, 1614, and in the baptismal register, under the date April 5th, 1621, is an entry of the baptism of his son Andrew. He held this rectory till 1624, when he was appointed lecturer of Holy Trinity Church, Hull, and master of the grammar school of that town, to which place he then removed. The boy received the rudiments of his education under his father, and at the age of 15 was admitted a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1657 he became assistant to Milton, who was at that time Latin secretary to Oliver Cromwell; and in the following year, he was elected by his townsmen, the burgesses of Hull, to represent them in parliament, which he continued to do till his death in 1678. He soon became a prominent man in the house, and distinguished himself by his uncompromising hostility to the corruptions of the court. Charles II. delighted in his conversation and wit, but such was his inflexible integrity of character, that neither the smiles nor the frowns of royalty, could prevail upon him to support the measures of a licentious court. The following anecdote, showing his political incorruptibility, was narrated in a small work published in 1784 : - " The borough of Hull, in the reign of Charles II., chose Andrew Marvell, a young gentleman of little or no fortune, and maintained him in London for the service of the public. His understanding, integrity, and spirit, were dreadful to the then infamous administration. Persuaded that he would be theirs for properly asking, they sent his old schoolfellow, the Lord Treasurer Danby, to renew acquaintance with him in his garret. At parting, the lord treasurer, out of pure affection, slipped into his hand an order on the treasury for £1,000, and then went to his chariot. Marvel, looking at the paper, calls after the treasurer, 'My lord, I request another moment,' then went up again to the garret, and Jack, the servant boy, was called. 'Jack, child, what had I for dinner yesterday?' 'Don't you remember sir? You had the little shoulder of mutton that you ordered me to bring from the woman in the market.' 'Very right, child; what have I for dinner to-day?' 'Don't you know sir, that you bid me lay by the blade-bone to broil?' ''Tis so, very right; child go away.' 'My lord, do you hear that? Andrew Marvell's dinner is provided; there's your piece of paper, I want it not. I know the sort of kindness you intended. I live here to serve my constituents; the ministry may seek men for their purpose; I am not one.'" He died suddenly in 1678, and as he had long been obnoxious to the court and ministry, there were suspicions of poison, but they were probably groundless. As a wit, satirist, and poet, he was held in high estimation in his own day, but it is as a true patriot and an incorruptible politician that he is now remembered. He was the last M.P. paid by his constituents.

[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.