WITHERNWICK: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake of Holderness (North Division) - Petty Sessional Division of North Holderness - County Council Electoral Division of Aldbrough - County Court District of Hedon - Poor Law Union of Skirlaugh - Rural Deanery of Hornsea - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

This parish, which is co-extensive with the township of its own name, comprises an area of 2,772 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at £3,337. The population in 1891 was 365 - a decrease of 155 since 1881. The surface is level; the soil varies from light to strong clay, and is generally good arable and pasture land. Beneath lies a bed of red clay, from which very good bricks are made. The principal landowners are William Bethell, Esq., who is also lord of the manor, Rise Park; the trustees of the late William Wright, Esq., Humbleton; William Wright, Esq., North Ferriby; Miss Lee; T. C. Dixon, Esq., Brandesburton; Mrs. Ash; Mrs. Richardson; and the vicar in right of his church. Amongst the lesser proprietors and property owners are Mr. J. W. Halden, Hull; Mrs. M. A. Burnham, Wyton; Messrs. G. Dunn; W. Taylor; W. Fox; and Isaac Darley, Withernwick. The inclosure of the parish took place in 1809, when 1,500 acres of common land were divided among the common right owners.

The earliest notice of this place occurs in Domesday Book, wherein it is called Widfornewick. In other ancient documents it is written Whit-thorn-wick, which, says Mr. Poulson, may suggest the etymology of the present name." The manor was held at an early period by the Fauconbergs, and is supposed to have passed from this family by the marriage of an heiress, about the reign of Richard II. It subsequently passed through various hands to the Bethells, of Rise, and it still remains in the possession of that family.

The village is large, and stands about five-and-a-half miles south-west from Hornsea, 12 miles north-east from Hull, and one-and-a-half miles from Whitedale station, on the Hull and Hornsea branch of the North-Eastern railway. The church, dedicated to St. Alban, was rebuilt in 1855, at a cost of £1,100. The edifice that previously occupied the site contained some traces of Norman work, but through frequent and tasteless restorations, its original character had been almost wholly destroyed. The present structure, built on the lines of its predecessor, comprises chancel, nave, south aisle with porch, open bell turret, and vestry. Some old stones, believed to be of Saxon date, are built into the wall of the nave. The style of the church is Early English, but it possesses no architectural features of any special interest. The chancel is furnished with oak seats, and the pulpit, reading desk, and communion rails are of the same material. The nave is fitted with open benches of pitchpine, to seat 250, of which 108 are free and unappropriated. There are tablets on the walls to the Denton and Topham families.

The earliest mention of the church of Withernwick occurs in 1115, when Stephen, Earl of Albemarle, gave the rectory and tithes to the Abbey of Albemarle, in Normandy. In 1230, the abbot and convent relinquished their claims into the hands of Walter Grey, Archbishop of York, who thereupon annexed it with all its appurtenances to the prebendal stall of Holme, which he had founded in his cathedral church of York. In 1259, a perpetual vicarage was ordained under the patronage and jurisdiction of the prebendary of Holme, but the Cathedral Act transferred the patronage to the Archbishop. At the Reformation the vicarage was valued at £6 7s. 1d., and is now worth £250 nett, derived from 96 acres of glebe, tithe rent-charge, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The present vicar is the Rev. Walter Radford Welch, who was instituted in February, 1891.

The are chapels in the village belonging to the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; the former was built in 1809, and since enlarged, and the latter in 1843.

The school was built in 1846, and enlarged in 1858, by the addition of an infants' room. Adjoining is the master's house, erected in 1865, by the late W. F. Bethell, Esq. There are 79 names on the books, and 46 children in average attendance.

A Foresters' Hall was erected by the society in 1890, at a cost, exclusive of the site, of £222. A hiring for servants is held at Martinmas, and an annual horse and foal show was established in 1890.

There are several charities, amounting to about £10 8s. per annum.

[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.