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Title: Yorkshire Vales and Wolds
Author: Home, Gordon
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images available at The Internet Archive)



                               YORKSHIRE

                            VALES AND WOLDS



                          BY THE SAME AUTHOR


                               YORKSHIRE

                       COAST AND MOORLAND SCENES

                            SECOND EDITION

  CONTAINING 31 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR. SQUARE DEMY 8vo.,
                 CLOTH, GILT TOP. PRICE =7s. 6d.= NET

_The Yorkshire Post_ says: ‘All lovers of Yorkshire scenery, and
especially coast scenery, will welcome Mr. Gordon Home’s “Yorkshire
Coast and Moorland Scenes.”... The illustrations, as we have said, are
wonderful examples of colour printing, and many of the moorland scenes
have been reproduced beautifully, especially the “Sunset from Danby
Beacon,” which seems to have retained the Cleveland atmosphere in a
remarkable manner.’


                               YORKSHIRE

                            DALES AND FELLS

  CONTAINING 20 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR. SQUARE DEMY 8vo.,
                 CLOTH, GILT TOP. PRICE =7s. 6d.= NET

_The Literary World_ says: ‘We must say at once that Mr. Gordon Home’s
“Dales and Fells” is just the book that was wanted. In it are
reproductions in colour of twenty of his pictures. These are delightful,
and, what is more, they combine with his letterpress in constituting a
genuinely illustrative and artistically suggestive book.’


               A. AND C. BLACK. SOHO SQUARE. LONDON, W.


                                 AGENTS

            =AMERICA=        THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                             64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

            =CANADA=         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA, LTD.
                             27 RICHMOND STREET WEST, TORONTO

            =INDIA=          MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD.
                             MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY
                             309 BOW BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA

            =AUSTRALASIA=    OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, MELBOURNE


[Illustration: YORK FROM THE MINSTER

The view is taken from the great central tower, whose parapet shows in
the foreground with the roof of the nave and western towers beyond.
Bootham Bar and part of the city wall are on the right, and between the
towers can be seen the roofs of the Tudor building known as the King’s
Manor.]



                               YORKSHIRE

                            VALES AND WOLDS

                               PAINTED &
                               DESCRIBED

                                  BY

                              GORDON HOME

                   [Illustration: rosette colophon]

                         PUBLISHED BY A. & C.
                       BLACK · LONDON · MCMVIII



                                  TO

                               J. L. K.



Preface


In two previous books, entitled ‘Yorkshire Coast and Moorland Scenes’
and ‘Yorkshire Dales and Fells,’ I have described the northern half of
the great county, and in this third volume I have in a similar manner
dealt with the southern parts. The three books, therefore, complete a
description of what has appealed to me as most notable in Yorkshire, on
account of picturesqueness or association with historic events and great
personages. Owing to the enormous area of the county and the treasures
it contains, the task of selection has not been easy, and the work of
exploring, note-taking, painting, and writing, has spread over some four
years. I have endeavoured to quote only from the most reliable and
authentic sources, and in doing so have avoided some errors which have
reappeared several times in writings of the last twenty years. Should
any inaccuracies be discovered, however, I shall be grateful to anyone
who will point them out. To those who are not familiar with Yorkshire,
I may mention that the places I have described are easily reached from
the South, the journey to York from King’s Cross only taking three or
four hours.

                                GORDON HOME


RESTON HOUSE,

   EPSOM,

    _April, 1908_.



Contents


CHAPTER I

                                                                    PAGE

CONCERNING THE WOLDS                                                   3

CHAPTER II

FROM FILEY TO SPURN HEAD                                              33

CHAPTER III

BEVERLEY                                                              71

CHAPTER IV

ALONG THE HUMBER                                                      87

CHAPTER V

THE DERWENT AND THE HOWARDIAN HILLS                                  121

CHAPTER VI

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY OF YORK                              145

CHAPTER VII

THE MANUFACTURING DISTRICT                                           159

INDEX                                                                183



List of Illustrations


 1. York from the Central Tower of the Minster (the
 Western Towers in the Middle Distance)                    _Frontispiece_

                                                             FACING PAGE

 2. Wind and Sunshine on the Wolds                                    10

 3. Filey Brig                                                        34

 4. The Outermost Point of Flamborough Head                           48

 5. Hornsea Mere                                                      62

 6 The Market Place, Beverley                                         72

 7. Beverley Minster                                                  76

 8. Patrington Church                                                100

 9. Wressle Castle                                                   110

10. Kirkham Abbey                                                    124

11. Stamford Bridge                                                  126

12. Sheriff Hutton Castle                                            130

13. Coxwold Village                                                  136

14. The West Front of the Church of Byland Abbey                     140

15. Stonegate, York                                                  150

16. Bootham Bar, York                                                152

17. New Hall, Pontefract                                             166

18. Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds                                           174

19. Haworth Church and ‘Parsonage’                                   178

20. Iron Foundries at Brightside, Sheffield                          180

_Sketch Map at End of Volume._



CONCERNING THE WOLDS



CHAPTER I

CONCERNING THE WOLDS


On wide uplands of chalk the air has a raciness, the sunlight a purity
and a sparkle, not to be found in low lands. There may be no streams,
perhaps not even a pond; you may find few large trees, and scarcely any
parks; ruined abbeys and even castles may be conspicuously absent, and
yet the landscapes have a power of attracting and fascinating. This is
exactly the case with the Wolds of Yorkshire, and their characteristics
are not unlike the chalk hills of Sussex, or those great expanses of
windswept downs, where the weathered monoliths of Stonehenge have
resisted sun and storm for ages.

When we endeavour to analyse the power of attraction exerted by the
Wolds, we find it to exist in the sweeping outlines of the land with
scarcely a house to be seen for many miles, in the purity of the air
owing to the absence of smoke, in the brilliance of the sunlight due to
the whiteness of the roads and fields, and in the wonderful breezes that
for ever blow across pasture, stubble, and roots.

Unpleasant weather does prevail on this high ground; wet sea-mists
sometimes hang there and obliterate every feature; the wind has a power
of penetrating the heaviest coats, and the rain is often merciless; but
all these things may be said of the Riviera, where one expects
uninterrupted days of warm sunshine. Taken as a whole, there is a
decided character about Wold weather conditions which appeals to all who
belong to the eastern counties of England.

Above the eastern side of the valley, where the Derwent takes its deep
and sinuous course towards the alluvial lands, the chalk first makes its
appearance in the neighbourhood of Acklam, and farther north at
Wharram-le-Street, where picturesque hollows with precipitous sides
break up the edge of the cretaceous deposits. Eastwards the high
country, scarred here and there with gleaming chalk-pits, and netted
with roads of almost equal whiteness, continues to the great headland of
Flamborough, where the sea frets and fumes all the summer, and lacerates
the cliffs during the stormy months. The masses of flinty chalk have
shown themselves so capable of resisting the erosion of the sea that the
seaward termination of the Wolds has for many centuries been becoming
more and more a pronounced feature of the east coast of England, and if
the present rate of encroachment along the low shores of Holderness is
continued, this accentuation will become still more conspicuous.

The open roads of the Wolds, bordered by bright green grass and hedges
that lean away from the direction of the prevailing wind, give wide
views to bare horizons, or glimpses beyond vast stretches of waving
corn, of distant country, blue and indistinct, and so different in
character to the immediate surroundings as to suggest the ocean. Here
and there up against the sky-line appear long dark coppices, and
half-hidden in a hollow, a purely agricultural hamlet nestles, its
presence being only made apparent by the slender spire or grey tower
peeping over the hedges. On a morning when the wind is marshalling the
clouds in echelon across the sky, and belts of shadow go a-hunting
across the swelling hill-sides, the scenery wears the aspect illustrated
here; the sunny, smiling landscape I always expect on chalk uplands.

At Flamborough the white cliffs, topped with the clay deposit of the
glacial ages, approach a height of 200 feet; but although the thickness
of the chalk is estimated to be from 1,000 to 1,500 feet, the greatest
height above sea-level is near Wilton Beacon, where the hills rise
sharply from the Vale of York to 808 feet, and the beacon itself is 23
feet lower. On this western side of the plateau the views are extremely
good, extending for miles across the flat green vale, where the Derwent
and the Ouse, having lost much of the light-heartedness and gaiety
characterizing their youth in the dales, take their wandering and
converging courses towards the Humber. In the distance you can
distinguish a group of towers, a stately blue-grey outline cutting into
the soft horizon. It is York Minster. To the north-west lie the
beautifully wooded hills that rise above the Derwent, and hold in their
embrace Castle Howard, Newburgh Priory, and many a stately park.

Towards the north the descents are equally sudden, and the panorama of
the Vale of Pickering, extending from the hills behind Scarborough to
Helmsley far away in the west, is most remarkable. Down below lies the
circumscribed plain, dead-level except for one or two isolated hillocks.
The soil is dark and rich, and there is a marshy appearance everywhere,
showing plainly the waterlogged condition of the land even at the
present day, reminding us of the fact, discovered through the patient
work of such geologists as Professor Kendall, that this level vale,
surrounded on all sides by enclosing hills, was in prehistoric times a
great lake overflowing into the Vale of York through the narrow valley
where the ruins of Kirkham Abbey now stand. Towards Holderness, the
inner curve of the crescent of chalk hills slopes gently downwards, a
fact easily explained by the continuation of the cretaceous stratum
beneath the boulder clay of the surface over the whole of the
south-eastern corner of the county.

There is scarcely a district in England to compare with the Yorkshire
Wolds for its remarkable richness in the remains of Early Man. As long
ago as the middle of last century, when archæology was more of a pastime
than a science, this corner of the country had become famous for the
rich discoveries in tumuli made by a few local enthusiasts. That the
finds were made then, and not later, is a matter of some regret to the
archæologists of to-day, for with the vastly improved knowledge of the
methods and habits of Neolithic man existing to-day, more facts could,
no doubt, have been discovered from the priceless material then brought
to light. However that may be, sufficient careful exploration and
classification has been done to show that a very large population must
have dwelt on the Wolds in Neolithic times. Although it is almost
impossible to assign any reason for the limitation, these early people
appear to have chiefly occupied the area between Filey, Flamborough,
Huggate, and Middleton-in-the-Wolds. Flint implements of this same New
Stone Age have also been found in great abundance in the neighbourhoods
of Malton, Pickering, and Scarborough.

It has been suggested that the flint-bearing character of the Wolds made
this part of Yorkshire a district for the manufacture of implements and
weapons for the inhabitants of a much larger area, and no doubt the
possession of this ample supply of offensive material would give the
tribe in possession a power, wealth, and permanence sufficient to
account for the wonderful evidences of a great and continuous
population. In these districts it is only necessary to go slowly over a
ploughed field after a period of heavy rain to be fairly certain to pick
up a flint knife, a beautifully chipped arrow-head, or an implement of
less obvious purpose, generally described as a scraper. In this way,
apart from any finds in barrows, large collections have been formed,
and the best of them have gradually left private hands and reached
permanent resting-places in the museums at York, Great Driffield,[A]
Leeds, Malton, and Scarborough. When bronze-using man reached these
parts, the population appears to have continued to be large, for their
remains have been discovered all over the Wolds; and when the
Prehistoric Iron Age in turn succeeded that period, we find from the
burial mounds that there were men still living here.

To those who have never taken any interest in the traces of Early Man in
this country, this may appear a musty subject, but to me it is quite the
reverse. The long lines of entrenchments, the round tumuli, and the
prehistoric sites generally--omitting lake dwellings--are almost
invariably to be found upon high and windswept tablelands, wild or only
recently cultivated places, where the echoes have scarcely been
disturbed since the long-forgotten ages, when a primitive tribe mourned
the loss of a chieftain, or yelled defiance at their enemies from their
double or triple lines of defence.

In journeying in any direction through the Wolds it is impossible to
forget the existence of Early Man, for on the sky-line just above the
road will appear a row of two or three rounded projections from the
regular line of turf or stubble. They are burial-mounds that the plough
has never levelled--heaps of earth that have resisted the disintegrating
action of weather and man for thousands of years. If such relics of the
primitive inhabitants of this island fail to stir the imagination, then
the mustiness must exist in the unresponsive mind rather than in the
subject under discussion.

In making an exploration of the Wolds a good starting-place is the
old-fashioned town of Malton, whence railways radiate in five
directions, including the line to Great Driffield, which takes advantage
of the valley leading up to Wharram Percy, and there tunnels its way
through the high ground.

Choosing a day when the weather is in a congenial mood for rambling,
lingering, or picnicking, or, in other words, when the sun is not too
hot, nor the wind too cold, nor the sky too grey, we make our start
towards the hills. We go on wheels--it is unimportant how many, or to
what they are attached--in order that the long stretches of white road
may not become tedious. The stone bridge over the Derwent is crossed,
and, glancing back, we see the piled-up red roofs crowded along the
steep

[Illustration: AMONG THE WOLDS

     The white chalk roads, the flying cloud shadows, the huge fields,
     and the isolated coppices on the horizon, are typical of Wold
     scenery. The view is on the road from Sledmere to Helperthorpe.
]

ground above the further bank, with the church raising its spire high
above its newly-restored nave. Then the wide street of Norton, which is
scarcely to be distinguished from Malton, being separated from it only
by the river, shuts in the view with its houses of whity-red brick,
until their place is taken by hedgerows. To the left stretches the Vale
of Pickering, still a little hazy with the remnants of the night’s mist.
Straight ahead and to the right the ground rises up, showing a wall
chequered with cornfields and root-crops, with long lines of plantations
appearing like dark green caterpillars crawling along the horizon.

The first village encountered is Rillington, with a church whose stone
spire and the tower it rests upon have the appearance of being copied
from Pickering. Inside there is an Early English font, and one of the
arcades of the nave belongs to the same period.

Turning southwards a mile or two further on, we pass through the pretty
village of Wintringham, and, when the cottages are passed, find the
church standing among trees where the road bends, its tower and spire
looking much like the one just left behind. The interior is interesting.
The pews are all of old panelled oak, unstained, and with acorn knobs
at the ends; the floor is entirely covered with glazed red tiles. The
late Norman chancel, the plain circular font of the same period, and the
massive altar-slab in the chapel, enclosed by wooden screens on the
north side, are the most notable features. Under the tower--a position
in churches where many interesting objects are often hidden up by
curtains and woodwork--you find a quaint list of rules and fines for the
bell-ringers, dating from nearly two centuries ago. Coming again into
the sunny churchyard, we pass through the shadows cast by the gently
moving foliage, and are soon climbing steadily into the smooth
undulations of the uplands. At the turning to West Heslerton, a long
entrenchment of prehistoric date stretches away on either side for two
or three miles. In the seaward direction it goes up to Sherburn Wold,
where you find an early camp, and where bronze daggers and celts have
been discovered. At a meeting of four roads a little further on, we come
to the head of the valley, appearing in the background of the
illustration given here; and going to the east we reach Helperthorpe,
one of the Wold villages adorned with a new church in the Decorated
style. The village gained this ornament through the generosity of the
present Sir Tatton Sykes, of Sledmere, whose enthusiasm for church
building is not confined to one place. In his own park at Sledmere, four
miles to the south, at West Lutton, East Heslerton, and Wansford you may
see other examples of modern church building, in which the architect has
not been hampered by having to produce a certain accommodation at a
minimum cost. And thus in these villages the fact of possessing a modern
church does not detract from their charm; instead of doing so, the
pilgrim in search of ecclesiastical interest finds much to draw him to
them.

As a contrast to Helperthorpe, the adjoining hamlet of Weaverthorpe has
a church of very early Norman or possibly Saxon date, and an inscribed
Saxon stone a century earlier than the one at Kirkdale, near Kirby
Moorside. The inscription is on a sundial over the south porch in both
churches; but while that of Kirkdale is quite complete and perfect, this
one has words missing at the beginning and end. Haigh suggests that the
half-destroyed words should read: ‘LIT OSCETVLI ARCHIEPISCOPI.’ Then,
without any doubt, comes: ‘✠ IN: HONORE: SCE: ANDREAE APOSTOLI:
HEREBERTUS WINTONIE · HOC MONASTERIVM FECIT: IN TEMPORE REGN.’ Here the
inscription suddenly stops and leaves us in ignorance as to in whose
time the monastery was built. There seems little doubt at all that
Father Haigh’s suggested completion of the sentence is correct, making
it read: ‘IN TEMPORE REGN[ALDI REGIS SECUNDI],’ which would have just
filled a complete line.

The coins of Regnald II. of Northumbria bear Christian devices, and it
is known that he was confirmed in 942, while his predecessor of that
name appears to have been a pagan. If the restoration of the first words
of the inscription are correct, the stone cannot be placed earlier than
the year 952 (Dr. Stubbs says 958), when Oscetul succeeded Wulstan to
the See of York. However, even in a neighbourhood so replete with
antiquities this is sufficiently far back in the age of the Vikings to
be of thrilling interest, for you must travel far to find another
village church with an inscription carved nearly a thousand years ago,
at a time when the English nation was still receiving its infusion of
Scandinavian strength.

The arch of the tower and the door below the sundial have the narrowness
and rudeness suggesting the pre-Norman age, but more than this it is
unwise to say.

Not far from the village there are double entrenchments and tumuli, and
many prehistoric remains have been brought to light. Among the Neolithic
and bronze implements, a stag’s-horn pick was found, and in a barrow,
where a skeleton of a young person buried in a contracted position was
unearthed, a jet necklace consisting of 122 beads and a pendant was
discovered.

And so we go on through the wide sunny valley, watching the shadows
sweep across the fields, where often the soil is so thin that the ground
is more white than brown, scanning the horizon for tumuli, and taking
note of the different characteristics of each village. Not long ago the
houses, even in the small towns, were thatched, and even now there are
hamlets still cosy and picturesque under their mouse-coloured roofs; but
in most instances you see a transition state of tiles gradually ousting
the inflammable but beautiful thatch. The tiles all through the Wolds
are of the curved pattern, and though cheerful in the brilliance of
their colour, and unspeakably preferable to thin blue slates, they do
not seem to weather or gather moss and rich colouring in the same manner
as the usual flat tile of the southern counties.

We turn aside to look at the rudely carved Norman tympanum over the
church door at Wold Newton, and then go up to Thwing, on the rising
ground to the south, where we may see what Mr. Joseph Morris claims to
be the only other Norman tympanum in the East Riding. A cottage is
pointed out as the birthplace of Archbishop Lamplugh, who held the See
of York from 1688 to 1691. He was of humble parentage, and it is said
that he would often pause in conversation to slap his legs and say,
‘Just fancy me being Archbishop of York!’ The name of the village is
derived from the Norse word _Thing_, meaning an assembly.

Keeping on towards the sea, we climb up out of the valley, and passing
Argam Dike and Grindale, come out upon a vast gently undulating plateau
with scarcely a tree to be seen in any direction. A few farms are dotted
here and there over the landscape, and towards Filey we can see a
windmill; but beyond these it seems as though the fierce winds that
assail the promontory of Flamborough had blown away everything that was
raised more than a few feet above the furrows. The hedges, tired of
being buffetted, have given up the struggle and become flattened out to
the south-west, and the few trees that have kept themselves alive are
thin and half-starved.

The village of Bempton has, however, contrived to maintain itself in
its bleak situation, although it is less than two miles from the huge
perpendicular cliffs where the Wolds drop into the sea. The cottages
have a snug and eminently cheerful look, with their much-weathered tiles
and white and ochre coloured walls. From their midst rises the low
square tower of the church, and if it ever had a spire or pinnacles in
the past, it has none now; for either the north-easterly gales blew them
into the sea long ago, or else the people were wise enough never to put
such obstructions in the way of the winter blasts. Even the ricks are
put close to the cottages for shelter, and although the day seemed warm,
with a cool wind, when we left Malton, the temperature seems to have
gone down many degrees on this exposed corner of the chalk tableland.

Turning southwards, we get a great view over the low shore of
Holderness, curving away into the haze hanging over the ocean, with
Bridlington down below, raising to the sky the pair of towers at the
west end of its priory--one short and plain, and the other tall and
richly ornamented with pinnacles. Going through the streets of sober red
houses of the old town, we come at length into a shallow green valley,
where the curious Gypsy Race flows intermittently along the fertile
bottom. The afternoon sunshine floods the pleasant landscape with a
genial glow, and throws long blue shadows under the trees of the park
surrounding Boynton Hall, the seat of the Stricklands. The family has
been connected with the village for several centuries, and some of their
richly-painted and gilded monuments can be seen in the church. One of
these is to Sir William Strickland, Bart., and another to Lady
Strickland, his wife, who was a sister of Sir Hugh Cholmley, the gallant
but unfortunate defender of Scarborough Castle during the Civil War. In
his memoirs Sir Hugh often refers to visits paid him by ‘my sister
Strickland.’

After passing Thorpe Hall the road goes up to the breezy spot,
commanding wide views, where the little church of Rudstone stands
conspicuously by the side of an enormous monolith. Although the church
tower is Norman, it would appear to be a recent arrival on the scene in
comparison with the stone. Antiquaries are in fairly general agreement
that huge standing stones of this type belong to some very remote
period, and also that they are ‘associated with sepulchral purposes’;
and the fact that they are usually found in churchyards would suggest
that they were regarded with a traditional veneration. The stone is 25
feet 4 inches high, and from a statement made in 1769 by a Mr. Willan,
we are led to believe that its depth underground is equal to its height
above, ‘as appeared from an experiment made by the late Sir William
Strickland.’ It is not known whether this ‘experiment’ consisted in
digging down to the lowest extremity of the stone; the language seems to
suggest otherwise, and the total length of the stone must remain
hypothetical until such operations take place. The rustics of the
locality incline towards a sensational depth, for, evidently based on
the stories of the half-forgotten squire’s digging, they say that they
have heard tell how that when an attempt was made to find how far down
the stone went, those who were digging found that it was impossible to
get to the bottom, and gave it up as a hopeless task. And thus you may
find a group of peasants in the churchyard on fine Sunday evenings
staring hard at the furrowed surface of the monolith, and thinking,
Heaven knows what, of the profound regions from which their stone
springs. The interior of the church is remarkable for its fine modern
organ, placed there by the owner of Thorpe Hall, who is also the
organist. To find the requisite space the instrument had to be placed
at the west end of the nave, but it is controlled from the chancel, the
necessary motive power being generated in a small building in the
churchyard. The present generation of Rudstonians should not find
themselves dull when they are given such excellent music and have a
subject for so much profound meditation as the stone.

The road past the church drops steeply down into the pretty village,
and, turning northwards, takes us to the bend of the valley, where North
Burton lies, which we passed earlier in the day; so we go to the left,
and find ourselves at Kilham, a fair-sized village on the edge of the
chalk hills. Like Rudstone and a dozen places in its neighbourhood,
Kilham is situated in a district of extraordinary interest to the
archæologist, the prehistoric discoveries being exceedingly numerous.
Chariot burials of the Early Iron Age have been discovered here, as well
as large numbers of Neolithic implements. There is a beautiful Norman
doorway in the nave of the church, ornamented with chevron mouldings in
a lavish fashion. Far more interesting than this, however, are the fonts
in the two villages of Cottam and Cowlam, lying close together, although
separated by a thinly-wooded hollow, about five miles to the west.
Cottam Church and the farm adjoining it are all that now exists of what
must once have been an extensive village. It is, indeed, no easy matter
to find the place, the church being small and inconspicuous, and the
roads pass it by in total indifference.

We come to a gate by a cottage, isolated in a great space of corn and
root crops, and find it leads down to the big farm of Cottam. A little
beyond it appears a small red brick building of recent date, showing all
the signs of having been locked up and deserted years ago. This is not
the case, however, for it is still in use, although for what other
purpose than as a private chapel for the farmer and his family I can
scarcely imagine. In this depressing little building we find a Late
Norman font of cylindrical form, covered with the wonderfully crude
carvings of that period. There are six subjects, the most remarkable
being the huge dragon with a long curly tail in the act of swallowing
St. Margaret, whose skirts and feet are shown inside the capacious jaws,
while the head is beginning to appear somewhere behind the dragon’s
neck. To the right is shown a gruesome representation of the martyrdom
of St. Lawrence, and then follow Adam and Eve by the Tree of Life (a
twisted piece of foliage), the martyrdom of St. Andrew, and what seems
to be another dragon.

On each side of the bridle-road by the church you can trace without the
least difficulty the ground-plan of many houses under the short turf.
The early writers do not mention Cottam, and so far I have come upon no
explanation for the wiping out of this village. Possibly its extinction
was due to the Black Death in 1349. Mr. Cole of Wetwang thinks it
significant that there were three vicars of his church (five miles to
the south-west) between 1349 and 1352.

It is about four miles by road to Cowlam, although the two churches are
only about a mile and a half apart; and when Cowlam is reached there is
not much more in the way of a village than at Cottam. The only way to
the church from the road is through an enormous stack-yard, speaking
eloquently of the large crops produced on the farm. As in the other
instance, a search has to be made for the key, entailing much
perambulation of the farm.

At length the door is opened, and the splendid font at once arrests the
eye. More noticeable than anything else in the series of carvings are
the figures of two men wrestling, similar to those on the font from the
village of Hutton Cranswick, now preserved in York Museum. The two
figures are shown bending forwards, each with his hands clasped round
the waist of the other, and each with a foot thrown forward to trip the
other, after the manner of the Westmorland wrestlers to be seen at the
Grasmere sports. It seems to me scarcely possible to doubt that the
subject represented is Jacob wrestling with the _man_ at Penuel.
Although the Bible account plainly indicates that Jacob struggled with
some God-like power, yet the actual words used are: ‘And Jacob was left
alone. And there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day,’
and the additional piece of information describing how the patriarch’s
thigh was put out of joint would be sufficient to prompt the Norman
craftsman to give the figure the ordinary form of a man. The carving to
the right shows the Temptation of Adam and Eve, the ‘general father of
us all’ being placed on the opposite side of the tree to the position
given to him at Cottam. Then follow the Massacre of the Innocents--an
ambitious subject; the Visit of the Magi, Mary being shown with the
child on her knee; and a Bishop holding a crozier in his left hand. The
period of this elaborate work would appear to be Late Norman.

At Sledmere, the adjoining village, everything has a well-cared-for and
reposeful aspect. Its position in a shallow depression has made it
possible for trees to grow, so that we find the road overhung by a green
canopy in remarkable contrast to the usual bleakness of the Wolds. The
park surrounding Sir Tatton Sykes’ house is well wooded, owing to much
planting on what were bare slopes not very many years ago, and in the
autumn the orange and red colours of the beeches and the brown carpets
beneath them are so beautiful that the scenery has no touch of sadness
even in November.

The village well is dignified with a domed roof raised on tall columns,
put up about seventy years ago by the previous Sir Tatton to the memory
of his father, Sir Christopher Sykes; the inscription telling how much
the Wolds were transformed through his energy ‘in building, planting,
and enclosing,’ from a bleak and barren tract of country into what is
now considered one of the most productive and best-cultivated districts
of Yorkshire. The late Sir Tatton Sykes was the sort of man that
Yorkshire folk come near to worshipping. He was of that hearty, genial,
conservative type that filled the hearts of the farmers with pride. On
market days all over the Riding one of the always fresh subjects of
conversation was how Sir Tatton was looking. A great pillar put up to
his memory by the road leading to Garton can be seen over half
Holderness. So great was the conservatism of this remarkable squire that
years after the advent of railways he continued to make his journey to
Epsom, for the Derby, on horseback.

A stone’s-throw from the house stands the church, rebuilt, with the
exception of the tower, in 1898 by Sir Tatton. There is no wall
surrounding the churchyard, neither is there ditch, nor bank, nor the
slightest alteration in the smooth turf; and now that all the
gravestones have been laid flush with the grass, the church stands among
the trees for all the world as though it had merely strayed into the
park, and was not fixed to the ground at all. Local opinion made
numerous comments on this wiping out of the churchyard, but the
villagers have received so many good things from the same hands as those
that thus disturbed the memorials of their ancestors, that they have no
grounds for complaint.

The church, designed by Mr. Temple Moore, is carried out in the style of
the Decorated period in a stone that is neither red nor pink, but
something in between the two colours. The exterior is not remarkable,
but the beauty of the internal ornament is most striking. Everywhere you
look, whether at the detail of carved wood or stone, the workmanship is
perfect, and without a trace of that crudity to be found in the carvings
of so many modern churches. The clustered columns, the timber roof, and
the tracery of the windows are all dignified, in spite of the richness
of form they display. Only in the upper portion of the screen does the
ornament seem a trifle worried and out of keeping with the rest of the
work.

Sledmere also boasts a tall and very beautiful ‘Eleanor’ cross, erected
about ten years ago, and has reached a certain fame from Sir Tatton’s
cattle and horses.

As we continue towards the setting sun, the deeply-indented edges of the
Wolds begin to appear, and the roads generally make great plunges into
the valley of the Derwent. The weather, which has been fine all day,
changes at sunset, and great indigo clouds, lined with gold, pile
themselves up fantastically in front of the setting sun. Lashing rain,
driven by the wind with sudden fury, pours down upon the hamlet lying
just below, but leaves Wharram-le-Street without a drop of moisture.
The widespread views all over the Howardian Hills and the sombre valley
of the Derwent become impressive, and an awesomeness of Turneresque
gloom, relieved by sudden floods of misty gold, gives the landscape an
element of unreality.

Against this background the outline of the church of Wharram-le-Street
stands out in its rude simplicity. On the western side of the tower,
where the light falls upon it, we can see the extremely early masonry
that suggests pre-Norman times. It cannot be definitely called a Saxon
church, but although ‘long and short work’ does not appear, there is
every reason to associate this lonely little building with the middle of
the eleventh century. There are mason marks consisting of crosses and
barbed lines on the south wall of the nave. The opening between the
tower and the nave is an almost unique feature, having a Moorish-looking
arch of horseshoe shape resting on plain and clumsy capitals. As for the
churchyard, I have seldom seen anything less cared for, the ground
having practically nothing to differentiate it from the surrounding
meadowland, for it is simply a piece of rough grass, without any paths
or approach suggesting an ordinary village church; and yet there are a
fair number of houses--in fact, more of a nucleus than several of the
smaller hamlets.

The name Wharram-le-Street reminds us forcibly of the existence in
remote times of some great way over this tableland. Unfortunately, there
is very little sure ground to go upon, despite the additional fact of
there being another place, Thorpe-le-Street, some miles to the south.
Evidences of a Roman road going from Malton through Wharram-le-Street
towards Beverley have been discovered, but this and three or four others
are based on slender materials, and are too much built up of conjecture,
to be of great interest. Even the Roman thoroughfare from York towards
Flamborough is not easily discoverable, and the only fact that appears
to be clearly ascertained, besides the unearthing of hoards of Roman
coins, such as the one consisting of 12,000 pieces near Cowlam, on the
line of its supposed route, is the location of the _Derventio_ of the
first Antonine Itinerary at Stamford Bridge. Traces of the important
road southwards from that point have been found at different places on
the way to Brough, where the Humber was crossed by boat.

With the light fast failing we go down steeply into the hollow where
North Grimstone nestles, and, crossing the streams which flow over the
road, come to the pretty old church. The tower is heavily mantled with
ivy, and has a statue of a Bishop on its west face. A Norman chancel
arch with zigzag moulding shows in the dim interior, and there is just
enough light to see the splendid font, of similar age and shape to those
at Cowlam and Cottam. A large proportion of the surface is taken up with
a wonderful ‘Last Supper,’ and on the remaining space the carvings show
the ‘Descent from the Cross,’ and a figure, possibly representing St.
Nicholas, the patron saint of the church.

When the lights of Malton glimmer in the valley this day of exploration
is at an end, and much of the Wold country has been seen; but many other
villages, prehistoric sites, early churches, and beautiful landscapes
lie more to the south. We have seen enough, however, to make it plain
that even an apparently bare plateau of chalk can be full of absorbing
interest as well as considerable charm.



FROM FILEY TO SPURN HEAD



CHAPTER II

FROM FILEY TO SPURN HEAD


‘As the shore winds itself back from hence,’ says Camden, after
describing Flamborough Head, ‘a thin slip of land (like a small tongue
thrust out) shoots into the sea.’ This is the long natural breakwater
known as Filey Brig, the distinctive feature of a pleasant
watering-place. In its wide, open, and gently curving bay, Filey is
singularly lucky; for it avoids the monotony of a featureless shore, and
yet is not sufficiently embraced between headlands to lose the broad
horizon and sense of airiness and space so essential for a healthy
seaside haunt.

The Brig has plainly been formed by the erosion of Carr Naze, the
headland of dark, reddish-brown boulder clay, leaving its hard bed of
sandstone (of the Middle Calcareous Grit formation) exposed to the
particular and ceaseless attention of the waves. It is one of the joys
of Filey to go along the northward curve of the bay at low tide, and
then walk along the uneven tabular masses of rock with hungry waves
heaving and foaming within a few yards on either hand. No wonder that
there has been sufficient sense among those who spend their lives in
promoting schemes for ugly piers and senseless promenades, to realize
that Nature has supplied Filey with a more permanent and infinitely more
attractive pier than their fatuous ingenuity could produce. There is a
spice of danger associated with the Brig, adding much to its interest;
for no one should venture along the spit of rocks unless the tide is in
a proper state to allow him a safe return. A melancholy warning of the
dangers of the Brig is fixed to the rocky wall of the headland,
describing how an unfortunate visitor was swept into the sea by the
sudden arrival of an abnormally large wave, but this need not frighten
away from the fascinating ridge of rock those who use ordinary care in
watching the sea. At high tide the waves come over the seaweedy rocks at
the foot of the headland, making it necessary to climb to the grassy top
in order to get back to Filey.

I can remember being caught in this manner, and attempting to climb up
the rather awkwardly

[Illustration: FILEY BRIG

     The long projection of rock is left bare at low tide, and in rough
     weather, when huge waves are breaking on it, the scene is
     remarkably grand.
]

steep slope of sticky boulder-clay. No doubt, had I been empty-handed I
should have had no difficulty at all, but being impeded with a portfolio
and painting apparatus, I reached a point half-way up, where I could
make no further progress without the gravest risk of letting myself or
my drawings go. I was alone; there was no one to shout to, and the
slight grip I had seemed going, and if I could not hold on it meant a
slide over the smooth clay, followed by a perpendicular drop into the
sea. It was only by gently and patiently kicking a place for my boot to
get a grip in the greasy clay that I succeeded in saving myself and my
drawings, one of which is reproduced here.

This incident may be taken as another warning in connexion with the
chances of the Brig. Its real fascination comes, however, at times when
it can only be viewed from the top of the Naze above, when a gale is
blowing from the north or north-east, and driving enormous waves upon
the line of projecting rocks. You watch far out until the dark green
line of a higher wave than any of the others that are creating a
continuous thunder down below comes steadily onward, and reaching the
foam-streaked area, becomes still more sinister. As it approaches within
striking distance, a spent wave, sweeping backwards, seems as though it
may weaken the onrush of the towering wall of water; but its power is
swallowed up and dissipated in the general advance, and with only a
smooth hollow of creamy-white water in front, the giant raises itself to
its fullest height, its thin crest being at once caught by the wind, and
blown off in long white beards.

The moment has come; the mass of water feels the resistance of the
rocks, and, curling over into a long green cylinder, brings its head
down with terrific force on the immovable side of the Brig. Columns of
water shoot up perpendicularly into the air as though a dozen 12-inch
shells had exploded in the water simultaneously. With a roar the
imprisoned air escapes, and for a moment the whole Brig is invisible in
a vast cloud of spray; then dark ledges of rock can be seen running with
creamy water, and the scene of the impact is a cauldron of seething
foam, backed by a smooth surface of pale green marble, veined with
white. Then the waters gather themselves together again, and the
pounding of lesser waves keeps up a thrilling spectacle until the moment
for another great _coup_ arrives.

It is under these conditions that the Brig has gained its reputation
rather than as a place for finding that purple-tipped species of
echinoidea, called by the fishermen, for some obscure reason, ‘buzzes’
or ‘buzzers.’ At low tide the opportunity for marine zoologists is
excellent, and the tight grip of the molluscs to the surfaces they have
chosen seems only just sufficient when we remember the cannonading they
periodically suffer.

Years ago Filey obtained a reputation for being ‘quiet,’ and the sense
conveyed by those who disliked the place was that of dullness and
primness. This fortunate chance has protected the little town from the
vulgarizing influences of the unlettered hordes let loose upon the coast
in summer-time, and we find a sea-front without the flimsy and
meretricious buildings of the popular resorts. Instead of imitating
Blackpool and Margate, this sensible place has retained a quiet and
semi-rural front to the sea, and, as already stated, has not marred its
appearance with a jetty.

From the smooth sweep of golden sand rises a steep slope grown over with
trees and bushes which shade the paths in many places. Without claiming
any architectural charm, the town is small and quietly unobtrusive, and
has not the untidy, half-built character of so many watering-places.

Above a steep and narrow hollow, running straight down to the sea, and
densely wooded on both sides, stands the church. It has a very sturdy
tower rising from its centre, and, with its simple battlemented outline
and slit windows, has a semi-fortified appearance. The high-pitched
roofs of Early English times have been flattened without cutting away
the projecting drip-stones on the tower, which remain a conspicuous
feature. The interior is quite impressive. Round columns alternated with
octagonal ones support pointed arches, and a clerestory above pierced
with roundheaded slits, indicating very decisively that the nave was
built in the Transitional Norman period. It appears that a western tower
was projected, but never carried out, and an unusual feature is the
descent by two steps into the chancel.

A beautiful view from the churchyard includes the whole sweep of the
bay, cut off sharply by the Brig on the left hand, and ending about
eight miles away in the lofty range of white cliffs extending from
Speeton to Flamborough Head.

The headland itself is lower by more than a 100 feet than the cliffs in
the neighbourhood of Bempton and Speeton, which for a distance of over
two miles exceed 300 feet. A road from Bempton village stops short a
few fields from the margin of the cliffs, and a path keeps close to the
precipitous wall of gleaming white chalk.

We come over the dry, sweet-smelling grass to the cliff edge on a fresh
morning, with a deep blue sky overhead and a sea below of ultramarine
broken up with an infinitude of surfaces reflecting scraps of the cliffs
and the few white clouds. Falling on our knees, we look straight
downwards into a cove full of blue shade; but so bright is the
surrounding light that every detail is microscopically clear. The
crumpling and distortion of the successive layers of chalk can be seen
with such ease that we might be looking at a geological textbook. On the
ledges, too, can be seen rows of little white-breasted puffins;
razor-bills are perched here and there, as well as countless guillemots.
The ringed or bridled guillemot also breeds on the cliffs, and a number
of other types of northern sea-birds are periodically noticed along
these inaccessible Bempton Cliffs. The guillemot makes no nest, merely
laying a single egg on a ledge. If it is taken away by those who plunder
the cliffs at the risk of their lives, the bird lays another egg, and if
that disappears, perhaps even a third. The innumerable varieties in the
eggs make the gathering of them for collectors very profitable.
Unwelcome as this annual robbing of the eggs may be, yet to watch a man
being lowered over the cliff by what appears to be a mere thread, and to
see him suspended over the restless waves, is a thrilling sight.

The great promontory of Flamborough, though in many ways claiming a high
position in the list of England’s places of natural beauty, suffers much
from being popular. In the season, I am told--for I have always visited
Flamborough in spring or autumn--the road from the station to the
lighthouse is often _crowded_, and I have not the smallest doubt that
this is true from the appearance of the roads, the village, and even the
North Landing, for on the occasion of my first visit, in the early
spring, I was painfully impressed with the feeling that everything bore
the tired, unsatisfactory appearance of a place infested with
excursionists. The edges of the paths had a look of being overworn and
overtrodden; fences, gates, and the like were too much carved with
foolish initials, and everywhere I glanced I found the distressing
scraps of old newspaper, the grocer’s paper-bag long rifled of its
contents, and the coloured cardboard box that once enclosed tablets of
chocolate. It is quite as much a desecration to litter with scraps of
dirty paper a noble cape, whose whole aspect is otherwise just as the
hand of Time has left it, as to drop sandwich-papers on the floor of
some venerable minster, and hope that the result will not be painful to
the next who enters the building.

The desecrated area of Flamborough Head lies between the village and the
North Landing, and if we are deliberately unobservant between those
points, we may be able to give the headland the appreciation it
deserves, provided always that we do not go there in the popular time.
Coming from the station, the first noticeable feature is at the point
where the road, until a few months ago, made a sharp turn into a deep
wooded hollow. It is here that we cross the line of the remarkable
entrenchment known as the Danes’ Dyke. At this point it appears to
follow the bed of a stream, but northwards, right across the
promontory--that is, for two-thirds of its length--the huge trench is
purely artificial. No doubt the _vallum_ on the seaward side has been
worn down very considerably, and the _fosse_ would have been deeper,
making in its youth, a barrier which must have given the dwellers on the
headland a very complete security.

Like most popular names, the association of the Danes with the digging
of this enormous trench has been proved to be inaccurate, and it would
have been less misleading and far more popular if the work had been
attributed to the devil. In the autumn of 1879 General Pitt Rivers dug
several trenches in the rampart just north of the point where the road
from Bempton passes through the Dyke. The position was chosen in order
that the excavations might be close to the small stream which runs
inside the Dyke at this point, the likelihood of utensils or weapons
being dropped close to the water-supply of the defenders being
considered important. The results of the excavations proved conclusively
that the people who dug the ditch and threw up the rampart were users of
flint. The one piece of pottery discovered was pierced with a hole, and
seemed to be the ear of a jar, and the worked flint implements included
a perfectly formed leaf-shaped arrow-head, a flint formed into a small
hatchet, and others chiefly coming under the head of scrapers. The most
remarkable discovery was that the ground on the inner slope of the
rampart, at a short distance below the surface, contained innumerable
artificial flint flakes, all tying in a horizontal position, but none
were found on the outer slope. From this fact General Pitt Rivers
concluded that within the stockade running along the top of the _vallum_
the defenders were in the habit of chipping their weapons, the flakes
falling on the inside. The great entrenchment of Flamborough is
consequently the work of flint-using people, and ‘is not later than the
Bronze Period.’ And the strangest fact concerning the promontory is the
isolation of its inhabitants from the rest of the county, a traditional
hatred for strangers having kept the fisher-folk of the peninsula aloof
from outside influences. They have married among themselves for so long,
that it is quite possible that their ancestral characteristics have been
reproduced, with only a very slight intermixture of other stocks, for an
exceptionally long period. On taking minute particulars of ninety
Flamborough men and women, General Pitt Rivers discovered that they were
above the average stature of the neighbourhood, and were, with only one
or two exceptions, dark haired. They showed little or no trace of the
fair-haired element usually found in the people of this part of
Yorkshire. It is also stated that almost within living memory, when the
headland was still further isolated by a belt of uncultivated wolds,
the village could not be approached by a stranger without some danger.
Those are years to look back upon with regret, because they are past,
for in the place of a jealous isolation has come the vulgarizing of the
mob. How much more interesting would have been an exploration of the
headland, if it were necessary to approach the great Dyke with caution,
looking anxiously round for one of the natives with whom to parley for
permission to go on, and then how sweet would have been the enjoyment of
the special privilege obtained to wander in a patch of a really
primitive England!

We find no one to object to our intrusion, and go on towards the
village. It is a straggling collection of low, red houses, lacking,
unfortunately, anything which can honestly be termed picturesque; for
the church stands alone, a little to the south, and the small ruin of
what is called ‘The Danish Tower’ is too insignificant to add to the
attractiveness of the place. In painfully conspicuous isolation stands a
tall and unsightly chapel, built of red brick in a style suitable for
the temple of an eccentric brotherhood. The inns are quaint in
appearance, but they have evidently never cultivated the patronage of
anyone outside the village; and a few rows of new cottages are so
woefully similar to those packed together in the slums of a great city,
that it is hard to realize the depths of depravity that could have
tolerated their construction.

All the males of Flamborough are fishermen, or dependent on fishing for
their livelihood; and in spite of the summer visitors, there is a total
indifference to their incursions in the way of catering for their
entertainment, the aim of the trippers being the lighthouse and the
cliffs nearly two miles away.

Formerly, the church had only a belfry of timber, the existing stone
tower being only ten years old. Under the Norman chancel arch there is a
delicately-carved Perpendicular screen, having thirteen canopied niches
richly carved above and below, and still showing in places the red,
blue, and gold of its old paint-work. Another screen south of the
chancel is patched and roughly finished. The altar-tomb of Sir Marmaduke
Constable, of Flamborough, on the north side of the chancel, is
remarkable for its long inscription, detailing the chief events in the
life of this great man, who was considered one of the most eminent and
potent persons in the county in the reign of Henry VIII. The greatness
of the man is borne out first in a recital of his doughty deeds: of his
passing over to France ‘with Kyng Edwarde the fouriht, yᵗ noble knyght.’

    ‘And also with noble king Herre, the sevinth of that name
     He was also at Barwick at the winnyng of the same [1482]
     And by ky[n]g Edward chosy[n] Captey[n] there first of anyone
     And rewllid and governid ther his tyme without blame
     But for all that, as ye se, he lieth under this stone.’

The inscription goes on in this way to tell how he fought at Flodden
Field when he was seventy, ‘nothyng hedyng his age.’ Then follow
reflections on the passing of the valorous old knight:

    ‘ffor all worldly joyes they wull not long endure
     They are sonne passed and away dothe glyde
     And who that puttith his trust i[n] the[m] I call hy[m] most u[n]sure
     ffor when deth strikith he sparith no creature
     Nor gevith no warny[n]g but takith the[m] by one and one.
     And now he abydyth Godis mercy and hath no other socure.’

Sir Marmaduke’s daughter Catherine was married to Sir Roger Cholmley,
called ‘the Great Black Knight of the North,’ who was the first of his
family to settle in Yorkshire, and also fought at Flodden, receiving his
knighthood after that signal victory over the Scots.

The castle, or fortified house of the Constables, is reduced to the
insignificant ‘Danish Tower’ we have seen. It stands in a meadow, and
sheep crop the grass which covers but does not hide the outline of the
foundations. Yorkshire being a county rich in superstitions, it is not
surprising to find that a fisherman will turn back from going to his
boat, if he happens on his way to meet a parson, a woman, or a hare, as
any one of these brings bad luck. It is also extremely unwise to mention
to a man who is baiting lines a hare, a rabbit, a fox, a pig, or an egg.
This sounds foolish, but a fisherman will abandon his work till the next
day if these animals are mentioned in his presence.[B]

On the north and south sides of the headland there are precarious
beaches for the fishermen to bring in their boats. They have no
protection at all from the weather, no attempt at forming even such
miniature harbours as may be seen on the Berwickshire coast having ever
been made. When the wind blows hard from the north, the landing on that
side is useless, and the boats, having no shelter, are hauled up the
steep slope with the help of a steam windlass. Under these
circumstances the South Landing is used. It is similar in most respects
to the northern one, but, owing to the cliffs being lower, the cove is
less picturesque. At low tide a beach of very rough shingle is exposed
between the ragged chalk cliffs, curiously eaten away by the sea.
Seaweed paints much of the shore and the base of the cliffs a blackish
green, and above the perpendicular whiteness the ruddy brown clay slopes
back to the grass above.

When the boats have just come in and added their gaudy vermilions,
blues, and emerald greens to the picture, the North Landing is worth
seeing. The men in their blue jerseys and sea-boots, coming almost to
their hips, land their hauls of silvery cod and load the baskets
pannier-wise on the backs of sturdy donkeys, whose work is to trudge up
the steep slope to the road, nearly 200 feet above the boats, where
carts take the fish to the station four miles away.

In following the margin of the cliffs to the outermost point of the
peninsula, we get a series of splendid stretches of cliff scenery. The
chalk is deeply indented in many places, and is honeycombed with caves.
Great white pillars and stacks of chalk stand in picturesque groups in
some of the

[Illustration: FLAMBOROUGH HEAD

     A typical cove at the outermost part of the promontory. The sea
     will probably isolate the projecting mass in the centre of the
     picture and wear it down until it becomes a slender stack.
]

small bays, and everywhere there is the interest of watching the heaving
waters far below, with white gulls floating unconcernedly on the
surface, or flapping their great stretch of wing as they circle just
above the waves.

The greatest of the caves is associated with the name of Robin Lythe, a
legendary smuggler, who assumes vitality in the pages of the late Mr.
Blackmore’s ‘Mary Anerley’--a story associated with Flamborough in the
same manner as ‘Lorna Doone’ is connected with Exmoor.

Near the modern lighthouse stands a tall, hexagonal tower, built of
chalk in four stories, with a string course between each. The signs of
age it bears and the remarkable obscurity surrounding its origin and
purpose would suggest great antiquity, and yet there seems little doubt
that the tower is at the very earliest Elizabethan. The chalk, being
extremely soft, has weathered away to such an extent that the harder
stone of the windows and doors now projects several inches.

In a record dated June 21, 1588, the month before the Spanish Armada was
sighted in the English Channel, a list is given of the beacons in the
East Riding, and instructions as to when they should be lighted, and
what action should be taken when the warning was seen. It says briefly:

     ‘Flambrough, three beacons uppon the sea cost, takinge lighte from
     Bridlington, and geving lighte to Rudstone.’

There is no reference to any tower, and the beacons everywhere seem
merely to have been bonfires ready for lighting, watched every day by
two, and every night by three ‘honest house-holders ... above the age of
thirty years.’ The old tower would appear, therefore, to have been put
up as a lighthouse. If this is a correct supposition, however, the
dangers of the headland to shipping must have been recognized as
exceedingly great several centuries ago. A light could not have failed
to have been a boon to mariners, and its maintenance would have been a
matter of importance to all who owned ships; and yet, if this old tower
ever held a lantern, the hiatus between the last night when it glowed on
the headland, and the erection of the present lighthouse is so great
that no one seems to be able to state definitely for what purpose the
early structure came into existence.

Year after year when night fell the cliffs were shrouded in blackness,
with the direful result that between 1770 and 1806 one hundred and
seventy-four ships were wrecked or lost on or near the promontory. It
remained for a benevolent-minded customs officer of Bridlington--a Mr.
Milne--to suggest the building of a lighthouse to the Elder Brethren of
Trinity House, with the result that since December 6, 1806, a powerful
light has every night flashed on Flamborough Head. The immediate result
was that in the first seven years of its beneficent work no vessel was
‘lost on that station when the lights could be seen.’ The strangest fact
concerning the affair is that no one appears to have taken advantage of
the old tower--at least, as a temporary expedient--although it stood
there manifestly for that purpose, stoutly resisting all the gales, as
it continues to do, although more than a century has elapsed.

One night, a good many years ago, when the glass of the lantern was
thinner than now, the light was extinguished for a few minutes during a
gale. A teal duck, which has a very rapid flight, came right through a
pane of glass, being nearly cut in two, and leaving a hole for the wind
to bluster through at the same moment.

The derivation of the name Flamborough has been conclusively shown to
have nothing at all to do with the English word ‘flame,’ being possibly
a corruption of _Fleinn_, a Norse surname, and _borg_ or _burgh_,
meaning a castle. In Domesday it is spelt ‘Flaneburg,’ and _flane_ is
the Norse for an arrow or sword.

At the point where the chalk cliffs disappear and the low coast of
Holderness begins, we come to the exceedingly popular watering-place of
Bridlington. At one time the town was quite separate from the quay, and
even now there are two towns--the solemn and serious, almost Quakerish,
place inland, and the eminently pleasure-loving and frivolous holiday
resort on the sea; but they are now joined up by modern houses and the
railway-station, and in time they will be as united as the ‘Three Towns’
of Plymouth. Along the sea-front are spread out by the wide parades, all
those ‘attractions’ which exercise their potential energies on certain
types of mankind as each summer comes round. There are seats,
concert-rooms, hotels, lodging-houses, bands, kiosks, refreshment-bars,
boats, bathing-machines, a switch-back railway, and even a spa, by which
means the migratory folk are housed, fed, amused, and given every excuse
for loitering within a few yards of the long curving line of waves that
advances and retreats over the much-trodden sand.

The two stone piers enclosing the harbour make an interesting feature in
the centre of the sea-front, where the few houses of old Bridlington
Quay that have survived, are not entirely unpicturesque. In northerly
gales the harbour is the only place of refuge between Harwich and Leith
for ships going northwards, owing to the shelter of Flamborough Head and
the good anchorage of the sandy bay. It is due to its favoured position
under these circumstances that Bridlington has enjoyed a well-protected
harbour for sixty years.

In 1642 Queen Henrietta Maria landed on whatever quay then existed. She
had just returned from Holland with ships laden with arms and ammunition
for the Royalist army. Adverse winds had brought the Dutch ships to
Bridlington instead of Newcastle, where the Queen had intended to land,
and a delay was caused while messengers were sent to the Earl of
Newcastle in order that her landing might be effected in proper
security. News of the Dutch ships lying off Bridlington was, however,
conveyed to four Parliamentary vessels stationed by the bar at
Tynemouth, and no time was lost in sailing southwards. What happened is
told in a letter published in the same year, and dated February 25,
1642. It describes how, after two days’ riding at anchor, the cavalry
arrived, upon which the Queen disembarked, and the next morning the rest
of the loyal army came to wait on her.

     ‘God that was carefull to preserve Her by Sea, did likewise
     continue his favour to Her on the Land: For that night foure of the
     Parliament Ships arrived at Burlington, without being perceived by
     us; and at foure a clocke in the morning gave us an Alarme, which
     caused us to send speedily to the Port to secure our Boats of
     Ammunition, which were but newly landed. But about an houre after
     the foure Ships began to ply us so fast with their Ordinance, that
     it made us all to rise out of our beds with diligence, and leave
     the Village, at least the women; for the Souldiers staid very
     resolutely to defend the Ammunition, in case their forces should
     land. One of the Ships did Her the favour to flanck upon the house
     where the Queene lay, which was just before the Peere; and before
     She was out of Her bed, the Cannon bullets whistled so loud about
     her, (which Musicke you may easily believe was not very pleasing to
     Her) that all the company pressed Her earnestly to goe out of the
     house, their Cannon having totally beaten downe all the
     neighbouring houses, and two Cannon bullets falling from the top to
     the bottome of the house where She was; so that (clothed as She
     could) She went on foot some little distance out of the Towne,
     under the shelter of a Ditch (like that of Newmarket;) whither
     before She could get, the Cannon bullets fell thicke about us, and
     a Sergeant was killed within twenty paces of Her. We in the end
     gained the Ditch, and staid there two houres, whilest their Cannon
     plaid all the time upon us; the bullets flew for the most part over
     our heads, Some few onely grazing on the Ditch where the Queene
     was, covered us with earth.’

This bombardment only ceased when the Dutch Admiral sent to the
Parliamentary ships to tell them that if they did not cease firing, he
would consider them as enemies, and give order for his own vessels to
open fire upon them. The tardiness of this action was explained by the
Admiral as being due to the mist.

     ‘Upon that they staid their shooting, and likewise being ebbing
     water, they could not stay longer neare the shore. As soone as they
     were retired, the Queene returned to the house where She lay, being
     unwilling to allow them the vanity of saying, They made Her forsake
     the Towne. We went at noone to Burlington, whither we were resolved
     to goe before this accident; and all that day in face of the enemie
     we disimbarqued our Ammunition. It is said that one of the
     Captaines of the Parliament Ships had been at the Towne before us,
     to observe where the Queene’s lodging was; and I assure you he
     observed it well, for he ever shot at it.’

A Parliamentary tract of the same time says that when Charles I., who
was at Oxford, heard of his consort’s escape, he is said to have
remarked that ‘the shipmen did not shoote at her, but onely tryed how
neere they could goe and misse, as good marksmen use to do.’ This would
have been poor comfort, even if such knowledge had reached the Queen, as
she crouched in the ditch showered with earth from the flying
cannon-balls.

In old Bridlington there stands the fine church of the Augustinian
Priory we have already seen from a distance, and an ancient structure
known as the Bayle Gate, a remnant of the defences of the monastery.
They stand at no great distance apart, but do not arrange themselves to
form a picture, which is unfortunate, and so also is the lack of any
real charm in the domestic architecture of the streets. Everywhere you
look the houses are commonplace and without individuality. This example
of early work is therefore isolated in its medievalism, in contrast to
the bars of York, which are surrounded by early types of houses in
keeping with their antiquity. The Bayle Gate has a large pointed arch
and a postern, and the date of its erection appears to be the end of the
fourteenth century, when permission was given to the prior to fortify
the monastery. Unhappily for Bridlington, an order to destroy the
buildings was given soon after the Dissolution, and the nave of the
church seems to have been spared only because it was used as the parish
church. Quite probably, too, the gatehouse was saved from destruction on
account of the room it contains having been utilized for holding courts.
The upper portions of the church towers are modern restorations, and
their different heights and styles give the building a remarkable, but
not a beautiful, outline. At the west end, between the towers, is a
large Perpendicular window occupying the whole width of the nave, and on
the north side the vaulted porch is a very beautiful feature.

The interior reveals an inspiring perspective of clustered columns built
in the Early English Period with a fine Decorated triforium on the north
side. Both transepts and the chancel appear to have been destroyed with
the conventual buildings, and the present chancel is merely a portion of
the nave separated with screens. One of the most interesting of the
monuments is the grave slab of Prior Robert Burstwick, who died in 1493,
and whose coffin was found in 1821 in the ground where the south
transept formerly stood. The prior’s beard and the cloth his body had
been wrapped in were found to be undecayed.

Southwards in one huge curve of nearly forty miles stretches the low
coast of Holderness, seemingly continued into infinitude. There is
nothing comparable to it on the coasts of the British Isles for its
featureless monotony and for the unbroken front it presents to the sea.
The low brown cliffs of hard clay seem to have no more resisting power
to the capacious appetite of the waves than if they were of gingerbread.
The progress of the sea has been continued for centuries, and stories of
lost villages and of overwhelmed churches are met with all the way to
Spurn Head. Four or five miles south of Bridlington we come to a point
on the shore where, looking out among the lines of breaking waves, we
are including the sides of the two demolished villages of Auburn and
Hartburn. There is no good road close to the sea, for it would scarcely
be a wise policy to spend money on a highway that would year by year be
brought nearer to the edge of the low cliffs, and another significant
fact is the shyness the railways show to this vanishing coast. Two lines
from Hull venture down to the sea, but neither has been continued to the
north or south along the coast, although the joining of Hornsea with
Bridlington would be eminently convenient.

From a casual glance at Skipsea no one would attribute any importance to
it in the past. It was, nevertheless, the chief place in the lordship of
Holderness in Norman times, and from that we may also infer that it was
the most well-defended stronghold. On a level plain having practically
no defensible sites, great earthworks would be necessary, and these we
find at Skipsea Brough. There is a high mound surrounded by a ditch, and
a segment of the great outer circle of defences exists on the south-west
side. No masonry of any description can be seen on the grass-covered
embankment, but on the artificial hillock, once crowned, it is surmised,
by a Norman keep, there is one small piece of stonework. These
earthworks have been considered Saxon, but later opinion labels them
post-Conquest.[C] In the time of the Domesday Survey the Seigniory of
Holderness was held by Drogo de Bevere, a Flemish adventurer who joined
in the Norman invasion of England and received this extensive fief from
the Conqueror. He also was given the King’s niece in marriage as a mark
of special favour; but having for some reason seen fit to poison her, he
fled from England, it is said, during the last few months of William’s
reign. The Barony of Holderness was forfeited, but Drogo was never
captured.

Poulson, the historian of Holderness, states that Henry III. gave orders
for the destruction of Skipsea Castle about 1220, the Earl of Albemarle,
its owner at that time, having been in rebellion. When Edward II.
ascended the throne, he recalled his profligate companion Piers
Gaveston, and besides creating him Baron of Wallingford and Earl of
Cornwall, he presented this ill-chosen favourite with the great
Seigniory of Holderness. Owing to the distractions in England caused by
Edward’s stubborn refusal to give up his favourite, Robert Bruce
successfully drove the English out of Scotland. The need of men to
resist the victorious Scots is shown by the levies raised in Holderness
at this time, on all men between the ages of twenty and sixty, who were,
according to their means, to act either as men-at-arms, on heavy horses,
fully armed _cap-à-pie_, or as light cavalry for skirmishing and for
harassing the enemy’s flanks.

Going southwards from Skipsea, we pass through Atwick, with a cross on a
large base in the centre of the village, and two miles further on come
to Hornsea, an old-fashioned little town standing between the sea and
the Mere. This beautiful sheet of fresh water comes as a surprise to the
stranger, for no one but a geologist expects to discover a lake in a
perfectly level country where only tidal creeks are usually to be found.
Hornsea Mere may eventually be reached by the sea, and yet that day is
likely to be put further off year by year on account of the growth of a
new town on the shore, and the increased rateable value of the place
when large sums of money are required for sea-defence. A verse,
according to Poulson, inscribed on the old steeple of the church, which
collapsed in 1733, gives a sensational impression of the encroachments
of the ocean in the past:

    ‘Hornsea steeple, when I builded thee,
     Thou was ten miles off Burlington,
     Ten miles off Beverley, and ten miles off sea.’

But when we find that Hornsea Church is thirteen miles from Bridlington
and twelve from Beverley as the crow flies, inductive reasoning would
suggest that a similar freedom may have been taken with the third
measurement, this time expanding the result liberally to round off the
last line impressively. It may be remarked that ten miles out to sea
from Hornsea Church is more than a mile outside the ten-fathoms line,
and far beyond the outermost point of Flamborough Head. It has been
calculated from the present rate of erosion that, since the Norman
Conquest, a strip of land a mile in width has been washed away.

The scenery of the Mere is quietly beautiful. Where the road to Beverley
skirts its margin there are glimpses of the shimmering surface seen
through gaps in the trees that grow almost in the water, many of them
having lost their balance and subsided into the lake, being supported in
a horizontal position by their branches. The picture given here was
drawn on a wintry day when the sun was struggling through mist and
making a golden path across the rippling waters. The islands and the
swampy margins form secure breeding-places for the countless water-fowl,
and the lake abounds with pike, perch, eel, and roach.

It was the excellent supply of fish yielded by Hornsea Mere that led to
a hot discussion between the neighbouring Abbey of Meaux and St. Mary’s
Abbey at York. In the year 1260 William, eleventh Abbot of Meaux, laid
claim to fishing rights in the southern half of the lake, only to find
his brother Abbot of York determined to resist the claim. The cloisters
of the two abbeys must have buzzed with excitement over the _impasse_,
and relations became so strained that the only method of determining the
issue was by each side agreeing to submit to the result of a judicial
combat between champions selected by the two monasteries. Where the
fight took place I do not know, and the number of champions is not
mentioned in the record. It is stated that a horse was first swum across
the lake,

[Illustration: HORNSEA MERE

     Is the largest of the natural lakes of Yorkshire. It is well
     stocked with fish, and wild-fowl are numerous on its islets and
     marshy shores.
]

and stakes fixed to mark the limits of the claim. On the day appointed
the combatants chosen by each abbot appeared properly accoutred, and
they fought from morning until evening, when, at last, the men
representing Meaux were beaten to the ground, and the York abbot
retained the whole fishing rights of the Mere.

Hornsea has a pretty church with a picturesque tower built in between
the western ends of the aisles. It chiefly dates from Decorated times,
with Perpendicular windows inserted. A fine alabaster altar-tomb under
one of the arches of the south arcade has been terribly maltreated, and
only a few words of the inscription running round the top slab are
legible. We have no difficulty in reading the words ‘Hic jacet Magister
Antonius de,’ and, with the help of Poulson, discover that this is the
tomb of Anthony St. Quintin, who died in 1430, and was the last rector.
It is the only tomb I have seen defaced with the outlines of shoes cut
upon its surface. A wooden trap-door in the chancel opens into a
small crypt consisting of two barrel vaults of brick with stone
below. A recess on the north side appears to be a fireplace. An
eighteenth-century parish clerk utilized this crypt for storing smuggled
goods, and was busily at work there on a stormy night in 1732, when a
terrific blast of wind tore the roof off the church. The shock, we are
told, brought on a paralytic seizure of which he died.

By the churchyard gate stands the old market-cross, recently set up in
this new position and supplied with a modern head.

As we go towards Spurn Head we are more and more impressed with the
desolate character of the shore. The tide may be out, and only puny
waves tumbling on the wet sand, and yet it is impossible to refrain from
feeling that the very peacefulness of the scene is sinister, and the
waters are merely digesting their last meal of boulder-clay before
satisfying a fresh appetite.

The busy town of Hornsea Beck, the port of Hornsea, with its harbour and
pier, its houses, and all pertaining to it, has entirely disappeared
since the time of James I., and so also has the place called Hornsea
Burton, where in 1334 Meaux Abbey held twenty-seven acres of arable
land. At the end of that century not one of those acres remained. The
fate of Owthorne, a village once existing not far from Withernsea, is
pathetic. For a number of years the church remained on the verge of the
cliff, in the same way as the ruins of the last church of Dunwich, in
Suffolk, stand to-day. The graveyard was steadily destroyed, until 1816,
when in a great storm the waves undermined the foundations of the
eastern end of the church, so that the walls collapsed with a roar and a
cloud of dust. When the sea went down, the shore was found littered with
debris, and among the coffins there was one believed to be that of the
founder. The body had been embalmed with fragrant spices and aromatics,
which, even after exposure to the air, had not lost their original
odour.

Twenty-two years later there was scarcely a fragment of even the
churchyard left, and in 1844 the Vicarage and the remaining houses were
absorbed, and Owthorne was wiped off the map.

The old village of Withernsea, no doubt, disappeared in a similar
fashion. For the modern town we feel pity more than indignation. It
consists of a haphazard collection of ugly lodging-houses, a modern
church and a conspicuous lighthouse, whose revolving light glares into
the windows of half the houses in the town, making sleep impossible. The
place seems consciously at war with the ocean, and gazes ruefully at
the remains of its iron pier, a limb that was savagely handled by the
sea some years ago. No doubt the frail sea-wall will crumble away before
long, and the depressing houses will then follow rapidly.

The peninsula formed by the Humber is becoming more and more attenuated,
and the pretty village of Easington is being brought nearer to the sea
winter by winter. This fact makes the restoration of the church no easy
matter, for who would subscribe to a fund for spending money on a
building that may follow the fate of Owthorne and a dozen other places?
Close to the church, Easington has been fortunate in preserving its
fourteenth-century tithe-barn covered with a thatched roof. The interior
has that wonderfully imposing effect given by huge posts and beams
suggesting a wooden cathedral.

At Kilnsea the weak bank of earth forming the only resistance to the
waves has been repeatedly swept away and hundreds of acres flooded with
salt water, and where there are any cliffs at all, they are often not
more than fifteen feet high. Unfortunately, too, they slope downwards
inland, so that each yard destroyed by the sea makes the front lower and
less effective. The road comes to an end a short distance beyond
Kilnsea, and the rest of the way to Spurn Head, marked by its
conspicuous lighthouse, visible a long way to the north, is over the
rough grass of the spit of hummocky sand which forms the extremity of
this corner of Yorkshire.



BEVERLEY



CHAPTER III

BEVERLEY


When the great bell in the southern tower of the Minster booms forth its
deep and solemn notes over the city of Beverley, you experience an
uplifting of the mind--a sense of exaltation greater, perhaps, than even
that produced by an organ’s vibrating notes in the high vaulted spaces
of a cathedral. The exceptional mellowness and richness of the whole
peal of bells removes them from any comparison with the harsh, hammering
sounds that fall upon the ear from so many church towers. Peter, the
great tenor bell, was probably cast in the latter part of the fourteenth
century, and has therefore given forth his sonorous notes ever since the
two towers were built.

The charm and glamour of Beverley is perhaps most accentuated towards
sunset on a clear evening, when you can stand by the north transept of
the Minster and see the western towers thrown out against a soft yellow
sky. From the picture given here something of the scene may be imagined,
but to the beauty of the architecture and the glowing tones of the sky
should be added the sound of the pealing bells, each carillon being
concluded with a reverberating _tangg-g boomm-m_, whose deep notes seem
to send a message to the very gates of Eternity, lying somewhere beyond
the golden light in the west.

Beverley has no natural features to give it any attractiveness, for it
stands on the borders of the level plain of Holderness, and towards the
Wolds there is only a very gentle rise. It depends, therefore, solely
upon its architecture. The first view of the city from the west as we
come over the broad grassy common of Westwood is delightful. We are just
sufficiently elevated to see the opalescent form of the Minster, with
its graceful towers rising above the more distant roofs, and close at
hand the pinnacled tower of St. Mary’s showing behind a mass of dark
trees. The entry to the city from this direction is in every way
prepossessing, for the sunny common is succeeded by a broad, tree-lined
road, with old-fashioned houses standing sedately behind the foliage,
and the end of the avenue is closed by the North Bar--the last of
Beverley’s

[Illustration: BEVERLEY MARKET PLACE

     The ‘Saturday’ market, as it is called, is one of the most
     picturesque parts of Beverley. The tower is that of St. Mary’s
     Church.
]

gates. It dates from 1410, and is built of very dark red brick, with one
arch only, the footways being taken through the modern houses,
shouldering it on each side. Leland’s account and the town records long
before his day tell us that there were three gates, but nothing remains
of ‘Keldgate barr’ and the ‘barr de Newbygyng.’

We go through the archway and find ourselves in a wide street with the
beautiful west end of St. Mary’s Church on the left, quaint Georgian
houses, and a dignified hotel of the same period on the opposite side,
while straight ahead is the broad Saturday Market with its very
picturesque ‘cross.’ On the further side of this square we look back and
see the bright and cheerful scene depicted here. The cross was put up in
1714 by Sir Charles Hotham, Bart., and Sir Michael Warton, Members of
Parliament for the Corporation at that time.

Beyond the Market-place the streets become narrow, except at the
triangular space, half-way to the Minster, called the Wednesday Market,
and I cannot honestly say that there is any charm or attractiveness to
be found in this portion of the city. There is a rather poverty-stricken
appearance in the houses and the shops that seems unnecessary, and
hardly what we should expect on approaching the Minster precincts.
When, in time, the splendid pile appears in front of us, it is with a
sense of intense disappointment that we find the surroundings utterly
unworthy. All who know Winchester or Salisbury or Canterbury realize the
intense charm of their beautiful closes, where stately cedars pronounce
a benediction over the gables and ancient leaded windows of houses whose
every detail is exquisite. At Beverley, instead of any small suggestion
of such charm, we find modern cottages, which, if not aggressively ugly,
are so woefully out of place that they should be swept away at any cost.
On the south side there is a space of uneven ground partially enclosed
by dilapidated fragments of fence, littered with rubbish, and surrounded
by squalid little houses. The unfinished aspect of this miserable scene
is less depressing than it might otherwise be, in the hope it inspires
that some scheme of improvement may make use of the present opportunity.
It is on account of its dismal environment on the south side that I
prefer the north, and in painting the western towers under an evening
light I have chosen a time when the commonplace cottages facing them
lose their offensiveness. Without the towers I should not regard the
exterior of the Minster with any real pleasure, for the Early English
chancel and greater and lesser transepts, although imposing and massive,
are lacking in proper proportion, and in that deficiency suffer a loss
of dignity. The eulogies so many architects and writers have poured out
upon the Early English work of this great church, and the strangely
adverse comments the same critics have levelled at the Perpendicular
additions, do not blind me to what I regard as a most strange
misconception on the part of these people. The homogeneity of the
central and eastern portions of the Minster is undeniable, but because
what appears to be the design of one master-builder of the thirteenth
century was apparently carried out in the short period of twenty years,
I do not feel obliged to consider the result beautiful. The five pairs
of turrets at the outer angles of the transepts and chancel are so
ponderous and so tall that they dwarf the great gables and spoil the
general outline by their wrong proportions. And as for the windows, they
are unrestful and unpleasing to the eye in a way that is typical of the
period. I explain my dislike for this style of English church
architecture from the lack of those continuous lines that made their
appearance in the Decorated period, and not only softened the crude
angularities of the earlier style, but gave an impression of reposeful
strength, instead of the detached effect of decoration in stories, each
independent of what was below or above.

In the Perpendicular work of the western towers everything is in
graceful proportion, and nothing, from the ground to the top of the
turrets, jars with the wonderful dignity of their perfect lines. No
towers I have seen in this country compare with those of Beverley in the
masterly way in which they combine continuous lines and rectangular
ornament with the most exquisite grace and dignity.

A few years before the Norman Conquest a central tower and a presbytery
were added to the existing building by Archbishop Cynesige. The
‘Frenchman’s’ influence was probably sufficiently felt at that time to
give this work the stamp of Norman ideas, and would have shown a marked
advance on the Romanesque style of the Saxon age, in which the other
portions of the buildings were put up. After that time we are in the
dark as to what happened until the year 1188, when a disaster took place
of which there is a record:

     ‘In the year from the incarnation of Our Lord 1188, this church was
     burnt, in the month of September, the night

[Illustration: BEVERLEY MINSTER

     Showing the Perpendicular western towers and the north porch of the
     same period.
]

     after the Feast of St. Mathew the Apostle, and in the year 1197,
     the sixth of the ides of March, there was an inquisition made for
     the relics of the blessed John in this place, and these bones were
     found in the east part of his sepulchre, and reposited; and dust
     mixed with mortar was found likewise, and re-interred.’

This is a translation of the Latin inscription on a leaden plate
discovered in 1664, when a square stone vault in the church was opened
and found to be the grave of the canonized John of Beverley. The picture
history gives us of this remarkable man, although to a great extent hazy
with superstitious legend, yet shows him to have been one of the
greatest and noblest of the ecclesiastics who controlled the Early
Church in England. He founded the monastery at Beverley about the year
700, on what appears to have been an isolated spot surrounded by forest
and swamp, and after holding the See of York for some twelve years, he
retired here for the rest of his life. When he died, in 721, his memory
became more and more sacred, and his powers of intercession were
constantly invoked. The splendid shrine provided for his relics in 1037
was encrusted with jewels, and shone with the precious metals employed.
Like the tomb of William the Conqueror at Caen, it disappeared long ago.
After the collapse of the central tower to its very foundations came
the vast Early English reconstruction of everything except the nave,
which was possibly of pre-Conquest date, and survived until the present
Decorated successor took its place. Much discussion has centred round
certain semicircular arches at the back of the triforium, whose ornament
is unmistakably Norman, suggesting that the early nave was merely
remodelled in the later period. The last great addition to the structure
was the beautiful Perpendicular north porch and the west end--the glory
of Beverley. The interior of the transepts and chancel is extremely
interesting, but entirely lacking in that perfection of form
characterizing York. On entering the great transept of Beverley the
intelligent visitor is inclined to look about him and comment on the
fine Early English work; at York, in the same part of the Minster, he
will probably be silenced by the overwhelming sense of perfection
conveyed by the ideal proportions of every part. Beverley is merely on
the road to York.

A magnificent range of stalls crowned with elaborate tabernacle work of
the sixteenth century adorns the choir, and under each of the
sixty-eight seats are carved misereres, making a larger collection than
any other in the country. The subjects range from a horrible
representation of the devil with a second face in the middle of his body
to humorous pictures of a cat playing a fiddle, and a scold on her way
to the ducking-stool in a wheel-barrow, gripping with one hand the ear
of the man who is wheeling her. Bears, foxes, lions, deer, and birds are
the most favourite subjects, while the most unique is perhaps the
elephant at one end of the front row of stalls on the south side. It is
shown with a howdah on its back, a most curious trunk, an ear resembling
a bat’s wing, and a monkey behind, in the act of dealing a tremendous
blow with a stick. This cannot compare with the remarkably fine
elephant, with a tall howdah filled with armed men, carved as a finial
in front of the Bishop’s throne in Ripon Cathedral.

In the north-east corner of the choir, built across the opening to the
lesser transept on that side, is the tomb of Lady Eleanor FitzAllen,
wife of Henry, first Lord Percy of Alnwick. It is considered to be,
without a rival, the most beautiful tomb in this country. The canopy is
composed of sumptuously carved stone, and while it is literally
encrusted with ornament, it is designed in such a masterly fashion that
the general effect, whether seen at a distance or close at hand, is
always magnificent. The broad lines of the canopy consist of a steep
gable with an ogee arch within, cusped so as to form a base at its apex
for an elaborate piece of statuary. This is repeated on both sides of
the monument. On the side towards the altar, the large bearded figure
represents the Deity, with angels standing on each side of the throne,
holding across His knees a sheet. From this rises a small undraped
figure representing Lady Eleanor, whose uplifted hands are held in one
of those of her Maker, who is shown in the act of benediction with two
fingers on her head. On the north side, the corresponding position is
occupied by a figure of our Lord, with the right hand in the act of
blessing, and the left pointed to the wound in His side. By climbing the
winding stone staircase to the top of the screen a close scrutiny can be
made of the astonishingly fine details of the carving on that side.

In the north aisle of the chancel there is a very unusual double
staircase. It is recessed in the wall, and the arcading that runs along
the aisle beneath the windows is inclined upwards and down again at a
slight angle, similar to the rise of the steps which are behind the
marble columns. This was the old way to the chapter-house, destroyed at
the Dissolution, and is an extremely fine example of an Early English
stairway. There are two medieval tombs surmounted by richly carved
effigies to unknown people--one an ecclesiastic, and another, possibly,
a merchant of note--both in an aisle of the great north transept; and in
the Percy Chapel--a Perpendicular addition at the north-east corner of
the chancel--stands the altar-tomb of the fourth Earl of Northumberland.
This Earl was succeeded by Henry Percy, the fifth to hold the title, and
the compiler of the ‘Household Book,’ mentioned in the next chapter in
connexion with his great castle at Wressle, some twenty miles to the
west. Near this chapel stands the ancient stone chair of sanctuary, or
frith-stool. It has been broken and repaired with iron clamps, and the
inscription upon it, recorded by Spelman, has gone. The privileges of
sanctuary were limited by Henry VIII., and abolished in the reign of
James I.; but before the Dissolution malefactors of all sorts and
conditions, from esquires and gentlewomen down to chapmen and minstrels,
frequently came in undignified haste to claim the security of St. John
of Beverley. Here is a case quoted from the register by Mr. Charles
Hiatt in his admirable account of the Minster:

     ‘John Spret, Gentilman, memorandum, that John Spret, of Barton upon
     Umber, in the counte of Lyncoln, gentilman, com to Beverlay, the
     first day of October the vii yer of the reen of Keing Herry vii and
     asked the lybertes of Saint John of Beverlay, for the dethe of John
     Welton, husbondman, of the same town, and knawleg [acknowledged]
     hymselff to be at the kyllyng of the saym John with a dagarth, the
     xv day of August.’

On entering the city we passed St. Mary’s, a beautiful Perpendicular
church which is not eclipsed even by the major attractions of the
Minster. At the west end there is a splendid Perpendicular window
flanked by octagonal buttresses of a slightly earlier date, which are
run up to a considerable height above the roof of the nave, the upper
portions being made light and graceful, with an opening on each face,
and a pierced parapet. The tower rises above the crossing, and is
crowned by sixteen pinnacles. Its circular windows in the lower portion
of the tower are filled with tracery, and are unusual in the period of
its construction. The southern end of the transept receives additional
support from the great flying buttresses, added by Pugin in 1856.

In its general appearance the large south porch is Perpendicular, like
the greater part of the church, but the inner portion of its arch is
Norman, and the outer is Early English. One of the pillars of the nave
is ornamented just below the capital with five quaint little minstrels
carved in stone. Each is supported by a bold bracket, and each is
painted. The musical instruments are all much battered, but it can be
seen that the centre figure, who is dressed as an alderman, had a harp,
and the others a pipe, a lute, a drum, and a violin. From Saxon times
there had existed in Beverley a guild of minstrels, a prosperous
fraternity bound by regulations, which Poulson gives at length in his
monumental work on Beverley. The minstrels played at aldermen’s feasts,
at weddings, on market-days, and on all occasions when there was excuse
for music. This ‘toune of Beverle,’ which Leland describes as being
‘large and welle buildid of wood,’ must have been a pleasant and
exceptionally picturesque place to dwell in when we remember the old
gateways, and replace the many dull buildings of to-day with such
beautiful timber houses as those in the old streets of York. Above the
curious gables rose the two stately churches, and if the minstrels were
idle, no doubt the bells were filling the air with their music, telling
of sorrow or gladness.



ALONG THE HUMBER



CHAPTER IV

ALONG THE HUMBER

    Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh;
    But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
    Stay and be secret, and myself will go.’
               _Richard II._, Act II., Scene 1.


The atrophied corner of Yorkshire that embraces the lowest reaches of
the Humber is terminated by a mere raised causeway leading to the wider
patch of ground dominated by Spurn Head lighthouse. This mere ridge of
sand and shingle is all that remains of a very considerable and populous
area possessing towns and villages as recently as the middle of the
fourteenth century.

Far back in the Middle Ages the Humber was a busy waterway for shipping,
where merchant vessels were constantly coming and going, bearing away
the wool of Holderness and bringing in foreign goods, which the Humber
towns were eager to buy. This traffic soon demonstrated the need of
some light on the point of land where the estuary joined the sea, and in
1428 Henry VI. granted a toll on all vessels entering the Humber in aid
of the first lighthouse put up about that time by a benevolent hermit.

His petition is quaintly worded, and full of interest. It commences:

     ‘To the wyse Comones of this present Parlement. Besekith your povre
     bedeman, Richard Reedbarowe, Heremyte of the Chapell of our Lady
     and Seint Anne atte Ravensersporne. That forasmuche that many
     diverses straites and daungers been in the entryng into the river
     of Humbre out of the See, where ofte tymes by mysaventure many
     divers Vesselx, and Men, Godes and Marchaundises, be lost and
     perished, as well by Day as be Night, for defaute of a Bekyn, that
     shuld teche the poeple to hold in the right chanell; so that the
     seid Richard, havyng compassion and pitee of the Cristen poeple
     that ofte tymes are there perished ... to make a Toure to be uppon
     day light a redy Bekyn, wheryn shall be light gevyng by nyght, to
     alle the Vesselx that comyn into the seid Ryver of Humbre....’

No doubt the site of this early structure has long ago been submerged.
The same fate came upon the two lights erected on Kilnsea Common by
Justinian Angell, a London merchant, who received a patent from Charles
II. to ‘continue, renew, and maintain’ two lights at Spurn Point.

In 1766 the famous John Smeaton was called upon to put up two
lighthouses, one 90 feet and the other 50 feet high. There was no hurry
in completing the work, for the foundations of the high light were not
completed until six years later. The sea repeatedly destroyed the low
light, owing to the waves reaching it at high tide. Poulson mentions the
loss of three structures between 1776 and 1816. The fourth was taken
down after a brief life of fourteen years, the sea having laid the
foundations bare.

As late as the beginning of last century the illumination was produced
by ‘a naked coal fire, unprotected from the wind,’ and its power was
consequently most uncertain. In a great gale in 1803, the keeper was
convinced that the tower would be blown down, for the wind was so
furious that it increased the heat of the fire until the bars of the
hearth melted like lead, and finally extinguished the light. New bars
had to be put in before the fire could be rekindled. Smeaton describes
how ‘upon the 5th September 1776, the fires were kindled with _stone
coal_, which exhibited an amazing light.’

Smeaton’s high tower is now only represented by its foundations and the
circular wall surrounding them, which acts as a convenient shelter from
wind and sand for the low houses of the men who are stationed there for
the lifeboat and other purposes.

The present lighthouse is 30 feet higher than Smeaton’s, and is fitted
with the modern system of dioptric refractors, giving a light of 519,000
candle-power, which is greater than any other on the east coast of
England. The need for a second structure has been obviated by placing
the low lights half-way down the existing tower. Every twenty seconds
the upper light flashes for one and a half seconds, being seen in clear
weather at a distance of seventeen nautical miles.

That such a narrow spit of shifting sand should exist so tenaciously on
a part of the coast suffering so much from the inroads of the sea
appears most remarkable until we realize that its existence is probably
the result of the erosion of the shore to the north, combined with the
opposed action of river and ocean. There seems little doubt that the
material composing the spit of land is the waste of the Holderness
shore, and possibly contains some of the material of the land on which
the romantic town of Ravenserodd stood. Although we must regret the loss
of this historic town, all its attractiveness might have been dissipated
by this time, even if it had survived, by the processes that turned the
picturesque town of Hull into an ugly, if exceedingly prosperous,
seaport.

In the Middle Ages great fortunes were made on the Humber without the
accompaniment of dirt and unsightly surroundings. Sir William de la Pole
was a merchant of remarkable enterprise, and the most notable of those
who traded at Ravenserodd. It was probably owing to his great wealth
that his son was made a knight-banneret, and his grandson became Earl of
Suffolk. Another of the De la Poles was the first Mayor of Hull, and
seems to have been no less opulent than his brother, who lent large sums
of money to Edward III., and was in consequence appointed Chief Baron of
the Exchequer and also presented with the Lordship of Holderness.

The story of Ravenser, and the later town of Ravenserodd, is told in a
number of early records, and from them we can see clearly what happened
in this corner of Yorkshire. Owing to a natural confusion from the many
different spellings of the two places, the fate of the prosperous port
of Ravenserodd has been lost in a haze of misconception. And this might
have continued if Mr. J. R. Boyle had not gone exhaustively into the
matter, bringing together all the references to the Ravensers which
have been discovered.

There seems little doubt that the first place called Ravenser was a
Danish settlement just within the Spurn Point, the name being a compound
of the raven of the Danish standard, and _eyr_ or _ore_, meaning a
narrow strip of land between two waters. In an early Icelandic saga the
sailing of the defeated remnant of Harold Hardrada’s army from Ravenser,
after the defeat of the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge, is mentioned in
the lines:

    ‘The King the swift ships with the flood
     Set out, with the autumn approaching,
     And sailed from the port, called
     Hrafnseyrr (the raven tongue of land).’

From this event of 1066 Ravenser must have remained a hamlet of small
consequence, for it is not heard of again for nearly two centuries, and
then only in connexion with the new Ravenser which had grown on a spit
of land gradually thrown up by the tide within the spoon-shaped ridge of
Spurn Head. On this new ground a vessel was wrecked some time in the
early part of the thirteenth century, and a certain man--the earliest
recorded Peggotty--converted it into a house, and even made it a
tavern, where he sold food and drink to mariners. Then three or four
houses were built near the adapted hull, and following this a small port
was created, its development being fostered by William de Fortibus, Earl
of Albemarl, the lord of the manor, with such success that, by the year
1274, the place had grown to be of some importance, and a serious trade
rival to Grimsby on the Lincolnshire coast. To distinguish the two
Ravensers the new place, which was almost on an island, being only
connected with the mainland by a bank composed of large yellow boulders
and sand, was called Ravenser Odd, and in the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey
and other records the name is generally written Ravenserodd. The
original place was about a mile away, and no longer on the shore, and it
is distinguished from the prosperous port as Ald Ravenser. Owing,
however, to its insignificance in comparison to Ravenserodd, the busy
port, it is often merely referred to as Ravenser, spelt with many
variations.

The extraordinarily rapid rise of Ravenserodd seems to have been due to
a remarkable keenness for business on the part of its citizens,
amounting, in the opinion of the Grimsby traders, to sharp practice.
For, being just within Spurn Head, the men of Ravenserodd would go out
to incoming vessels bound for Grimsby, and induce them to sell their
cargoes in Ravenserodd by all sorts of specious arguments, misquoting
the prices paid in the rival town. If their arguments failed, they would
force the ships to enter their harbour and trade with them, whether they
liked it or not. All this came out in the hearing of an action brought
by the town of Grimsby against Ravenserodd. Although the plaintiffs seem
to have made a very good case, the decision of the Court was given in
favour of the defendants, as it had not been shown that any of their
proceedings had broken the King’s peace.

Between 1310 and 1340 there are many references to the ships and armed
men Ravenserodd was required to furnish for the wars in Scotland,
Flanders, and elsewhere. The period of the town’s greatest prosperity
was no doubt from a few years before 1298, the year when a royal charter
was granted making it a free borough, and about 1340.

It is extremely interesting that one of the earliest names connected
with the new port is Peter-atte-see. In the Middle Ages, just such a
distinction is what we would expect to be added to the baptismal name of
a man who had taken up his abode on a lonely patch of land produced by
the action of the sea. It is therefore more than probable that this
Peter was either the founder or the son of the founder of Ravenserodd.
Later generations altered the name to De la Mare, and it was Martin de
la Mare who at first opposed, but afterwards assisted, Edward IV. when
he landed at Ravenser Spurn, 1471.

But long before that historic event, earlier even than Henry IV.’s
landing on the same spot in 1399, the sea had reclaimed its own. In a
short time not only Ravenserodd, but also Ald Ravenser and Sunthorp had
been washed away.

The story of this disaster, which appears to have happened between 1340
and 1350, is told by the monkish compiler of the Chronicles of Meaux.
Translated from the original Latin the account is headed:

     ‘_Concerning the consumption of the town of Ravensere Odd and
     concerning the effort towards the diminution of the tax of the
     church of Esyngton._

     ‘But in those days, the whole town of Ravensere Odd, ... was
     totally annihilated by the floods of the Humber and the inundations
     of the great sea; ... and when that town of Ravensere Odd, in which
     we had half an acre of land built upon, and also the chapel of that
     town, pertaining to the said church of Esyngton, were exposed to
     demolition during the few preceding years, those floods and
     inundations of the sea, within a year before the destruction of
     that town, increasing in their accustomed way without limit
     fifteen fold, announcing the swallowing up of the said town, and
     sometimes exceeding beyond measure the height of the town, and
     surrounding it like a wall on every side, threatened the final
     destruction of that town. And so, with this terrible vision of
     waters seen on every side, the enclosed persons, with the reliques,
     crosses, and other ecclesiastical ornaments, which remained
     secretly in their possession and accompanied by the viaticum of the
     body of Christ in the hands of the priest, flocking together,
     mournfully imploring grace, warded off at that time their
     destruction. And afterwards, daily removing thence with their
     possession, they left that town totally without defence, to be
     shortly swallowed up, which, with a short intervening period of
     time by those merciless tempestuous floods, was irreparably
     destroyed.’

The traders and inhabitants generally moved to Kingston-upon-Hull and
other towns, as the sea forced them to seek safer quarters.

When Henry of Lancaster landed with his retinue in 1399 within Spurn
Head, the whole scene was one of complete desolation, and the only
incident recorded is his meeting with a hermit named Matthew Danthorp,
who was at the time building a chapel. Perhaps it was thought to have
been a happy augury that the first person met should have been a holy
man, for on the day following his coronation, Henry IV. granted a royal
licence for the hermit to complete the chapel, improperly begun without
any official sanction, and also right over all ‘the wreck of the sea
and waifs’ for two leagues round the chapel.

Whether the chapel-of-ease at Ravenserodd, built some time between 1235
and 1272, and, therefore, in the Early English period, bore any
comparison to those of the neighbouring villages of Patrington and Hedon
we do not know, but if the prosperity of the port had led to the
building of such a church, its loss is melancholy indeed. The beautiful
spire of Patrington church guides us easily along a winding lane from
Easington until the whole building shows over the surrounding meadows as
it appears in the illustration given here. A farm with a well-filled
stack-yard lies on the left, and closely trimmed hedges border the
roads, while the village, being on the other side of the church and some
big trees, is out of sight. We seem to have stumbled upon a cathedral
standing all alone in this diminishing land, scarcely more than two
miles from the Humber and less than four from the sea. No one quarrels
with the title ‘The Queen of Holderness,’ nor with the far greater claim
that Patrington is the most beautiful village church in England. With
the exception of the east window, which is Perpendicular, nearly the
whole structure was built in the Decorated period; and in its perfect
proportion, its wealth of detail and marvellous dignity, it is a joy to
the eye within and without. The plan is cruciform, and there are aisles
to the transepts as well as the nave, giving a wealth of pillars to the
interior. Above the tower rises a tall stone spire, enriched, at a third
of its height, with what might be compared to an earl’s coronet, the
spikes being represented by crocketed pinnacles--the terminals of the
supporting pillars. The four corner pinnacles of the tower, carrying
flying buttresses to the spire, are very unusual in form, being widened
at their bases to allow the making of an archway through each. This
gives them the appearance of grotesque little men, with bent legs,
resting one arm on the spire, and might have caused a serious loss of
beauty if the whole work had been less perfect in its conception. A
curious outside staircase, reached from within, goes over the south
window of the transept, giving it a deeply recessed appearance; and the
bold buttresses, terminated with crocketed pinnacles, throw broad
shadows during the afternoon, which add immensely to the charm of the
building. The gargoyles are a wonderful study in eccentricity, each one
endeavouring to be more unconventional than his neighbour, and to
Poulson they appeared to be in ‘ill accord with the fastidious delicacy
of the present age.’ The interior of the church is seen at its loveliest
on those afternoons when that rich yellow light Mr. Dean Howells so
aptly compares with the colour of the daffodil is flooding the nave and
aisles, and glowing on the clustered columns. A good point of view is
from the north porch, where you look into the south transept through
four arcades of pillars, or from the south transept, looking towards the
mellow light at the west end.

In the eastern aisles of each arm of the transept there were three
chantry chapels, whose piscinæ remain. The central chapel in the south
transept is a most interesting and beautiful object, having a recess for
the altar, with three richly ornamented niches above. In the groined
roof above, the central boss is formed into a hollow pendant of
considerable interest. On the three sides are carvings representing the
Annunciation, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. John the Baptist, and
on the under side is a Tudor rose. Sir Henry Dryden, in the
_Archæological Journal_, states that this pendant was used for a lamp to
light the altar below, but he points out, at the same time, that the
sacrist would have required a ladder to reach it. An alternative
suggestion made by others is that this niche contained a relic where it
would have been safe even if visible. I cannot help wondering if the
staircase outside the south transept, already mentioned, which makes the
roof of this chapel very accessible, has any connexion with this pendant
niche. Also in this transept there is a very curious staircase,
zigzagging over the tower arch and giving access to the belfry and the
space above the vaulting of the aisles, and, therefore, to the top of
the chantry; in the centre there is a grotesque dragon-headed corbel,
and others at each end of the steps. In the north transept a hoary
ladder is bracketed out above the tower arch on enormous corbels.

The fact that the east window belongs to a slightly later period than
the rest of the church does not in any way minimize its beauty--it
appears to me rather to be a crowning glory; and its glass has a
medieval richness produced only with soft colours restful and satisfying
to the eye. The screen is considered to be coeval with the church, and
has been restored with all the care it deserves. Yet another interest is
the remarkable Easter Sepulchre to the north of the sanctuary, which has
only suffered the loss of the sculpture in the upper panel. The middle
portion shows our Lord coming

[Illustration: PATRINGTON CHURCH

     Known as the ‘Queen of Holderness,’ is one of the most beautiful
     village churches in England. It was almost entirely built in the
     Decorated period, and has aisles to its transepts and much
     beautiful carving.
]

from the tomb, with an angel on either side swinging a censer, and below
the recess are slumbering soldiers.

Patrington village is of fair size, with a wide street; and although
lacking any individual houses calling for comment, it is a pleasant
place, with the prevailing warm reds of roofs and walls to be found in
all the Holderness towns.

On our way to Hedon, where the ‘King of Holderness’ awaits us, we pass
Winestead Church, where Andrew Marvell was baptized in 1621, and where
we may see the memorials of a fine old family--the Hildyards of
Winestead, who came there in the reign of Henry VI. The well-wooded
acres surrounding the old Hall of the Hildyards, although the male line
died out nearly a century ago, seem still to be haunted with the memory
of that redoubtable soldier, Sir Robert Hildyard, also known to history
as ‘Robin of Redesdale,’ who, with Sir John Conyers, led the successful
Lancastrian rising which resulted in the defeat and capture of the Earl
of Pembroke at Edgcote.

Further on we come to Ottringham, where there is a restored stone
reading-desk in the church, as at Pocklington. The tower has a spire,
and so also has the church at Keyingham adjoining, making, with
Patrington, three conspicuous landmarks along the Humber.

The stately tower of Hedon’s church is conspicuous from far away; and
when we reach the village we are much impressed by its solemn beauty,
and by the atmosphere of vanished greatness clinging to the place that
was decayed even in Leland’s days, when Henry VIII. still reigned.

The father of English topography found the town insulated by creeks
where ships lay--

     ‘but now men cum to it by 3 Bridges, where it is evident to se that
     sum Places wher the Shippes lay be over growen with Flagges and
     Reades; and the Haven is very sorely decayid. There were 3 Paroche
     Chirchis in Tyme of Mynde: but now there is but one of _S.
     Augustine_: but that is very fair.’

Also we are told that not far from the church garth there were remains
of a castle for the defence of the place, and that

     ‘The Town hath yet greate Privileges with a Mair and Bailives: but
     wher it had yn _Edwarde_ the 3 Dayes many good Shippes and riche
     Marchaunts, now there be but a few Botes and no Marchauntes of any
     Estimation.... Treuth is that when _Hulle_ began to flourish,
     _Heddon_ decaied.’

No doubt the silting up of the harbour and creeks brought down Hedon
from her high place, so that the retreat of the sea in this place was
scarcely less disastrous to the town’s prosperity than its advance had
been at Ravenserodd; and possibly the waters of the Humber, glutted with
their rapacity close to Spurn Head, deposited much of the disintegrated
town in the waterway of the other.

The exterior of the church is much discoloured and weathered, suggesting
that in places an excess of moisture reaches the walls. Inside, too,
there is an atmosphere of neglect, perhaps caused by the need of funds
for the proper maintenance of the beautiful building. No great cost
would be entailed, however, in keeping the churchyard tidy; and the old
shoes, the empty pots, and other litter near the east end, might be
removed at a trifling expense. Great Driffield keeps its churchyard as a
well-ordered garden, Hedon with less care than is devoted to its green.
Surely the ‘Mair and Bailives,’ armed with the mace they believe to be
the most ancient in the country, would do well to go in procession to
the churchyard, and, having made a careful examination of the litter and
counted the tin cans and old shoes, make an urgent report to the
incumbent.

The nave of the church is Decorated, and has beautiful windows of that
period. The transept is Early English, and so also is the chancel, with
a fine Perpendicular east window filled with glass of the same subtle
colours we saw at Patrington.

In Preston Church, a mile to the north, are the richly carved fragments
of an alabaster Easter sepulchre, or possibly a reredos, found during
the restoration in 1880.

In approaching nearer to Hull, we soon find ourselves in the outer zone
of its penumbra of smoke, with fields on each side of the road waiting
for works and tall shafts, which will spread the unpleasant gloom of the
city still further into the smiling country. The sun becomes
copper-coloured, and the pure, transparent light natural to Holderness
loses its vigour. Tall and slender chimneys emitting lazy coils of
blackness stand in pairs or in groups, with others beyond, indistinct
behind a veil of steam and smoke, and at their feet grovels a confusion
of buildings sending forth jets and mushrooms of steam at a thousand
points. Hemmed in by this industrial belt and compact masses of cellular
brickwork, where labour skilled and unskilled sleeps and rears its
offspring, is the nucleus of the Royal borough of Kingston-upon-Hull,
founded by Edward I. at the close of the thirteenth century.

It would scarcely have been possible that any survivals of the
Edwardian port could have been retained in the astonishing commercial
development the city has witnessed, particularly in the last century;
and Hull, despite its interesting history, lays no claim to even the
smallest suggestion of picturesqueness. The renaissance of English
architecture is beginning to make itself felt in the chief streets,
where some good buildings are taking the places of ugly fronts; and
there are one or two more ambitious schemes of improvement bringing
dignity into the city; but that, with the exception of two churches, is
practically all.

When we see the old prints of the city surrounded by its wall defended
with towers, and realize the numbers of curious buildings that filled
the winding streets--the windmills, the churches and monasteries--we
understand that the old Hull has gone almost as completely as
Ravenserodd. It was in Hull that Michael, a son of Sir William de la
Pole of Ravenserodd, its first Mayor, founded a monastery for thirteen
Carthusian monks, and also built himself, in 1379, a stately house in
Lowgate opposite St. Mary’s Church. Nothing remains of this great brick
mansion, which was described as a palace, and lodged Henry VIII. during
his visit in 1540. Even St. Mary’s Church has been so largely rebuilt
and restored that its interest is much diminished.

The great Perpendicular Church of Holy Trinity in the market-place is,
therefore, the one real link between the modern city and the little town
founded in the thirteenth century. It is a cruciform building and has a
fine central tower, and is remarkable in having transepts and chancel
built externally of brick as long ago as the Decorated Period. The De la
Pole mansion, of similar date, was also constructed with brick--no doubt
from the brickyard outside the North Gate owned by the founder of the
family fortunes. The pillars and capitals of the arcades of both the
nave and chancel are thin and unsatisfying to the eye, and the interior
as a whole, although spacious, does not convey any pleasing sensations.
The slenderness of the columns was necessary, it appears, owing to the
soft and insecure ground, which necessitated a pile foundation and as
light a weight above as could be devised.

William Wilberforce, the liberator of slaves, was born in 1759 in a
large house still standing in High Street, and a tall Doric column
surmounted by a statue perpetuates his memory, in the busiest corner of
the city. The old red-brick Grammar School bears the date 1583, and is
a pleasant relief from the dun-coloured monotony of the greater part of
the city. Of the walls, besieged in a half-hearted fashion during the
‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ trouble, and in a most determined fashion during
the Civil War, nothing remains, and, our interest slackening, we
suddenly realize that we have been long enough in this shipping city. It
is not altogether easy to leave Hull behind, for Hessle, four miles
further on, is in the suburban area. Sutton-in-Holderness, to the north,
is a pretty hamlet threatened by the skirmishers of the city. In the
church is a fine tomb of one of the Lords of Sutton, who owned the place
almost from Domesday times until the days when Kingston-upon-Hull began
to appear. A most instructive volume devoted to this one village has
been written by the late Mr. Thomas Blashill.

In going westward we come, at the village of North Cave, to the southern
horn of the crescent of the Wolds. All the way to Howden they show as a
level-topped ridge to the north, and the lofty tower of the church
stands out boldly for many miles before we reach the town. At first
Howden seems a dull and somewhat disappointing town, compared with what
we would have expected to have seen surrounding a collegiate church on
such imposing lines. There are too many modern houses of that
unsatisfactory whity-red brick so extensively used in these parts of
Yorkshire. If the houses were colour-washed, this would be unimportant,
but only in rare instances is this done, and these are almost invariably
the oldest buildings. The cobbled streets at the east end of the church
possess a few antique houses coloured with warm ochre, and it is over
and between these that we have the first close view of the ruined
chancel. The east window has lost most of its tracery, and has the
appearance of a great archway; its date, together with the whole of the
chancel, is late Decorated, but the exquisite little chapter-house is
later still, and may be better described as early Perpendicular. It is
octagonal in plan, and has in each side a window with an ogee arch
above. The stones employed are remarkably large. The richly moulded
arcading inside, consisting of ogee arches, has been exposed to the
weather for so long, owing to the loss of the vaulting above, that the
lovely detail is fast disappearing. To make a temporary roof of light
rafters and boarding, covered with old or smoked tiles, and to fill the
windows with plain glass, would be inexpensive, and would not be
unsightly. With this first aid carried out, there would be time to
collect a sufficient sum for properly restoring this architectural gem.

The west end of the nave is a fine example of Decorated work, and shows
in its turrets how much more beautiful the transepts of Beverley might
have been if it had been built at a slightly later period. The tower is
in two stages, and although it is all Perpendicular, the upper portion
is much later than the lower. There are survivals of Early English work
in the south transept, where the tombs of several members of the ancient
families of Saltmarsh and Metham are of absorbing interest.

About four miles from Howden, near the banks of the Derwent, stand the
ruins of Wressle Castle. In every direction the country is spread out
green and flat, and, except for the towers and spires of the churches,
it is practically featureless. To the north the horizon is brought
closer by the rounded outlines of the wolds; everywhere else you seem to
be looking into infinity, as in the Fen Country.

The castle that stands in the midst of this belt of level country is the
only one in the East Riding, and although now a mere fragment of the
former building, it still retains a melancholy dignity. Since a fire in
1796 the place has been left an empty shell, the two great towers and
the walls that join them being left without floors or roofs.

Wressle was one of the two castles in Yorkshire belonging to the Percys,
and at the time of the Civil War still retained its feudal grandeur
unimpaired. Its strength was, however, considered by the Parliament to
be a danger to the peace, despite the fact that the Earl of
Northumberland, its owner, was not on the Royalist side, and an order
was issued in 1648 commanding that it should be destroyed. Pontefract
Castle had been suddenly seized for the King in June during that year,
and had held out so persistently that any fortified building, even if
owned by a supporter, was looked upon as a possible source of danger to
the Parliamentary Government. An order was therefore sent to Lord
Northumberland’s officers at Wressle commanding them to pull down all
but the south side of the castle. That this was done with great
thoroughness, despite the most strenuous efforts made by the Earl to
save his ancient seat, may be seen to-day in the fact that, of the four
sides of the square, three have totally disappeared, except for slight
indications in the uneven grass.

[Illustration: WRESSLE CASTLE

     WAS one of the two great castles of the Percies in Yorkshire; the
     other was at Leconfield, but only its site remains. Wressle
     probably dates from about 1380-90. Three sides of the quadrangular
     space enclosed by the buildings were destroyed by order of
     Parliament in 1650, and what remains is the fourth or southern
     side. Howden Church and the Wolds appear on the horizon.
]

A letter dated October 30, 1648, addressed to _Hugh Potter, Esquire_, at
Northumberland House, gives a most clear account of the miserable work
of destruction:

     ‘SIR,

     ‘Yours I received; and since I writ my last, on the same daye, the
     Commissioners sett on workmen to pull downe and deface that stately
     structure. They fell upon the Constables Tower, and hath with much
     violence pursued the work on thursday and ffriday. Their Agents
     wold showe noe care in preserveinge any of the materialls, but
     pitched of the Stones from the Battlements to the ground; and the
     Chymneys that stood upon the Lead downe to the Leades, which made
     breaches through the roof where they fell. All the Battelements to
     the roofe, on the ffront of the Castle (excepting the High Tower
     over the Gate) are bett downe. What materialls could be sav’d Mr.
     Plaxton did sett on some Tenants to take awaye, and laye in the
     barne. Belieeve it, Sir, his Lordship hath sustained very deepe
     losses in his house; I conceive 2000_l._ will not repaire the
     ruynes there: But I hope their work is at an end; for this day the
     Major and Mr. Plaxton are sett forward to attend Major Generall
     Lambert with the Lord Generall’s order to him: And in the meane
     tyme the soldiers are to hold them of, from doinge further violence
     to the Castle which I wish had bin done by order 2 dayes sooner.’

The saddest part of the story concerns the portion of the buildings
spared by the Cromwellians. This, we are told, remained until a century
ago nearly in the same state as in the year 1512, when Henry Percy, the
fifth Earl, commenced the compilation of his wonderful Household Book.
The Great Chamber, or Dining Room, the Drawing Chamber, the Chapel, and
other apartments, still retained their richly-carved ceilings, and the
sides of the rooms were ornamented with a ‘great profusion of ancient
sculpture, finely executed in wood, exhibiting the bearings, crests,
badges, and devises, of the Percy family, in a great variety of forms,
set off with all the advantages of painting, gilding, and imagery.’

The chapel was in the tower shown in the picture reproduced here, and
was fitted up ‘in a ruder style’ and at a more early period than the
other apartments. Bishop Percy describes the sculptured badges as being
still in a fair state of preservation, and mentions the motto on the
ceiling: _Esperance en Dieu ma Comforte_. At that time--namely, just
before the fire which has been mentioned--this chapel was used as the
parish church, that building being then a mere ruin with only the west
end standing at the distance of a bow-shot from the castle. Since then
it has been rebuilt with red brick, and is uninteresting, save for an
early tomb slab by the south door. The full measure of the destruction
caused first by the Parliamentary agents, and a century and a half
later by the fire, can be gauged by reading Leland’s account of the
castle written in the reign of Henry VIII. He describes it as being
constructed with very fair and great squared stones inside and out, and
the tradition at the time was that much of it was brought from France.
No subsequent writer has ventured to state whether the stone comes from
Caen or any other French quarries, although its power of resisting the
action of weather is so remarkable that, despite the fire and the
century of total neglect which has since passed, it has a
freshness--almost a newness--of aspect hardly to be expected in a castle
erected probably between 1380 and 1390.

There was a moat on three sides, a square tower at each corner, and a
fifth containing the gateway presumably on the eastward face. In one of
the corner towers was the buttery, pantry, ‘pastery,’ larder, and
kitchen; in the south-easterly one was the chapel; and in the
two-storied building and the other tower of the south side were the
chief apartments, where my lord Percy dined, entertained, and ordered
his great household with a vast care and minuteness of detail. We would
probably have never known how elaborate were the arrangements for the
conduct and duties of every one, from my lord’s eldest son down to his
lowest servant, had not the Household Book of the fifth Earl of
Northumberland been, by great good fortune, preserved intact. By reading
this extraordinary compilation it is possible to build up a complete
picture of the daily life at Wressle Castle in the year 1512 and later;
it is more than possible, for the pictures are ancillary to reading. The
prices to be paid for food and many other necessities are given, also
the sums given out by the treasurer to each department, and what was to
be done with what remained unspent during the year.

From this account we know that the bare stone walls of the apartments
were hung with tapestries, and that these, together with the beds and
bedding, all the kitchen pots and pans, cloths, and odds and ends, the
altar hangings, surplices, and apparatus of the chapel--in fact, every
one’s bed, tools, and clothing--were removed in seventeen carts each
time my lord went from one of his castles to another. The following is
one of the items, the spelling being typical of the whole book:

     ‘ITEM.--Yt is Ordynyd at every Remevall that the Deyn Subdean
     Prestes Gentilmen and Children of my Lordes Chapell with the Yoman
     and Grome of the Vestry shall have apontid theime ii Cariadges at
     every Remevall Viz. One for ther Beddes Viz. For vi Prests iii
     beddes after ii to a Bedde For x Gentillmen of the Chapell v Beddes
     after ii to a Bedde And for vi Children ii Beddes after iii to a
     Bedde And a Bedde for the Yoman and Grom o’ th Vestry In all xi
     Beddes for the furst Cariage. And the iiᵈᵉ Cariage for ther
     Aparells and all outher ther Stuff and to have no mo Cariage
     allowed them but onely the said ii Cariages allowid theime.’

The daily life of the great nobles was carried on at this time in a
scarcely less elaborate and sumptuous manner than that of the king’s
court, and an instance of the magnificence of the Earl of
Northumberland’s establishment can be taken from the _eleven_ resident
priests. Of these, the chief was a doctor or bachelor of divinity, who
was dean of the chapel. One of the priests was my lord’s secretary,
another his surveyor of lands, another a master of grammar, another rode
with my lord, and one was chaplain to the eldest son.

The servants were so numerous that no one had more than one duty, and
when one considers the liberal food allowed to every one in the
establishment, to obtain a post in my lord’s household must have been an
ideal for the hungry agricultural peasant, and accounts to some extent
for the ease with which a feudal lord could rely upon the devoted
services in peace or war of a hundred or more stout men.

There was ‘an arris-mender’ who was hourly in the wardrobe for working
upon ‘my Lordis Arres and Tapstry’; a groom of the chamber looked after
the two sons, ‘brushing and dressing of their stuf’; my lord’s armourer
was ‘hourely in th’ Armory for dressing of his harness’; a ‘Groim
Sumpterman’ attended daily at the stable to dress the sumpter-horses and
‘my Laidis Palfraies,’ and these are, of course, merely instances taken
from the different types of office. The clerk of my lord’s ‘foren
Expensis,’ who attended to the ‘grossing up’ of the books relating to
foreign expenses, was concerned with disbursements outside the
household, and not with purchases or expenses abroad, ‘alien’ being the
word then used for what is now termed ‘foreign.’

We have seen the astonishingly tall spire of Hemingbrough Church from
the battlements of Wressle Castle, and when we have given a last look at
the grey walls and the windows, filled with their enormously heavy
tracery, we betake ourselves along a pleasant lane that brings us at
length to the river. Here we find a curious wooden swing-bridge, guarded
by a very high white gate, with a large motor-car in difficulties with a
herd of cows at the very narrow opening. From this point the spire
gives a picturesque finish to the perspective of road straight ahead,
and grows more imposing as we approach the village. The cottages are
scattered, and the atmosphere of the place is that of the deepest
slumber. A bend of the Ouse is within half a mile, and the low-lying
fields intervening were marshes before they were drained. The low wall
surrounding the raised ground of the churchyard has, no doubt, been
reached by the floods on many occasions. The spire is 120 feet in
height, or twice that of the tower, and this hugeness is perhaps out of
proportion with the rest of the building; yet I do not think for a
moment that this great spire could have been different without robbing
the church of its striking and pleasing individuality. There are
Transitional Norman arches at the east end of the nave, but most of the
work is Decorated or Perpendicular. The windows of the latter period in
the south transept are singularly happy in the wonderful amount of light
they allow to flood through their pale yellow glass.

The oak bench-ends in the nave, which are carved with many devices, and
the carefully repaired stalls in the choir, are Perpendicular, and no
doubt belong to the period when the church was a collegiate foundation
of Durham.



THE DERWENT AND THE HOWARDIAN HILLS



CHAPTER V

THE DERWENT AND THE HOWARDIAN HILLS


Malton is the only town on the Derwent, and it is made up of three
separate places--Old Malton, a picturesque village; New Malton, a
pleasant and old-fashioned town; and Norton, a curiously extensive
suburb. The last has a Norman font in its modern church, and there its
attractions begin and end. New Malton has a fortunate position on a
slope well above the lush grass by the river, and in this way arranges
the backs of its houses with unconscious charm. The two churches,
although both containing Norman pillars and arches, have been so
extensively rebuilt that their antiquarian interest is slight. Nothing
remains of the castle mentioned by Leland, and even Lord Eure’s great
house which succeeded it was taken down before the end of the
seventeenth century, before the building had had time to lose its
newness. On the way to Old Malton, some huge gateways on the right are
survivals of the imposing house.

On account of its undoubted signs of Roman occupation in the form of two
rectangular camps, and its situation at the meeting-place of some three
or four Roman roads, New Malton has been made one of the competitors for
the honour of having been the _Derventio_ of the Antonine Itinerary. It
is, however, far more probable that Stamford Bridge, further down the
Derwent, bore that name.

Old Malton is a cheerful and well-kept village, with antique cottages
here and there, roofed with mossy thatch. It makes a pretty picture as
you come along the level road from Pickering, with a group of trees on
the left and the tower of the Priory Church appearing sedately above the
humble roofs. A Gilbertine monastery was founded here about the middle
of the twelfth century, during the lifetime of St. Gilbert of
Sempringham in Lincolnshire, who during the last year of his long life
sent a letter to the Canons of Malton, addressing them affectionately as
‘My dear sons.’ His death took place at Sempringham when he was over a
hundred years old, and his burial in the priory church there was
witnessed by a great multitude, as well as the grief-stricken priors
and abbots of his own and other orders. Very little remains of Malton
Priory with the exception of the church, built at the very beginning of
the Early English period. Of the two western towers, the southern one
only survives, and both aisles, two bays of the nave, and everything
else to the east has gone. The abbreviated nave now serves as a parish
church.

Between Malton and the Vale of York there lies that stretch of hilly
country we saw from the edge of the Wolds, for some time past known as
the Howardian Hills, from Castle Howard which stands in their midst. The
many interests that this singularly remote neighbourhood contains can be
realized by making such a peregrination as we made through the Wolds.

There is no need to avoid the main road south of Malton. It has a
park-like appearance, with its large trees and well-kept grass on each
side, and the glimpses of the wooded valley of the Derwent on the left
are most beautiful. On the right we look across the nearer grass-lands
into the great park of Castle Howard, and catch glimpses between the
distant masses of trees of Lord Carlisle’s stately home. The old castle
of the Howards having been burnt down, Vanburgh, the greatest architect
of early Georgian times, designed the enormous buildings now standing.
In 1772 Horace Walpole compressed the glories of the place into a few
sentences. ’... I can say with exact truth,’ he writes to George
Selwyn, ‘that I never was so agreeably astonished in my days as with the
first vision of the whole place. I had heard of Vanburgh, and how Sir
Thomas Robinson and he stood spitting and swearing at one another; nay,
I had heard of glorious woods, and Lord Strafford alone had told me that
I should see one of the finest places in Yorkshire; but nobody ... had
informed me that I should at one view see a palace, a town, a fortified
city, temples on high places, woods worthy of being each a metropolis of
the Druids, vales connected to hills by other woods, the noblest lawn in
the world fenced by half the horizon, and a mausoleum that would tempt
one to be buried alive; in short, I have seen gigantic places before,
but never a sublime one.’

The style is that of the Corinthian renaissance, and Walpole’s
description applies as much to-day as when he wrote. The pictures
include some of the masterpieces of Reynolds, Lely, Vandyck, Rubens,
Tintoretto, Canaletto, Giovanni Bellini, Domenichino and Annibale
Caracci.

[Illustration: KIRKHAM ABBEY

The gateway is the chief relic of this once beautiful Cistercian abbey.
On the right and through the archway the Derwent can be seen flowing
beneath hanging woods.]

Two or three miles to the south, the road finds itself close to the deep
valley of the Derwent. A short turning, embowered with tall trees whose
dense foliage only allows a soft green light to filter through, goes
steeply down to the river. The railway, although traversed by thundering
express trains bound for York or the coast, is so hidden that it
scarcely interferes with the beautiful spot where stand the ruins of
Kirkham Abbey. We cross the deep and placid river by a stone bridge, and
come to the Priory gateway. It is a stately ruin partially mantled with
ivy, and it preserves in a most remarkable fashion the detail of its
outward face. Ten shields bear the devices of Clare, Plantagenet, Ros,
Greystoke, and Vaux, with others of some uncertainty, possibly including
Espec, the founder of the Abbey. Through the wide pointed arch there is
a glimpse of a sloping meadow backed by tall trees and the steeply
rising ground just beyond the river. It appears in the picture of the
gateway reproduced in these pages.

The mossy steps of the cross just outside the gateway are, according to
a tradition in one of the Cottonian manuscripts, associated with the
event which led to the founding of the Abbey by Walter Espec, lord of
Helmsley. He had, we are told, an only son, also named Walter, who was
fond of riding with exceeding swiftness.[D]

One day when galloping at a great pace his horse stumbled near a small
stone, and young Espec was brought violently to the ground, breaking his
neck and leaving his father childless. The grief-stricken parent is said
to have found consolation in the founding of three abbeys, one of them
being at Kirkham, where the fatal accident took place. The stone the
unfortunate boy struck in falling is, according to the legend,
incorporated in the base of the cross. Unfortunately, this picturesque
story lacks any confirmation from other sources, and all that is
definitely known is that Walter Espec founded the priory for Austin
canons early in the twelfth century.

Of the church and conventual buildings only a few fragments remain to
tell us that this secluded spot by the Derwent must have possessed one
of the most stately monasteries in Yorkshire. One tall lancet is all
that has been left of the church; and of the other buildings a few
walls, a beautiful Decorated lavatory, and a Norman doorway alone
survive.

Stamford Bridge, which is reached by no direct

[Illustration: STAMFORD BRIDGE

The river is the Derwent, and the bridge is not ancient. In the battle
fought here in 1066 between Harold and the Norwegians, the wooden bridge
which figured so conspicuously in the early part of the fight crossed
the river close to the point from which this picture was made.]

road from Kirkham Abbey, is so historically fascinating that we must
leave the hills for a time to see the site of that momentous battle
between Harold, the English King, and the Norwegian army, under Harold
Hardrada and Harold’s brother Tostig. The English host made their sudden
attack from the right bank of the river, and the Northmen on that side,
being partially armed, were driven back across a narrow wooden bridge.
One Northman, it appears, played the part of Horatius in keeping the
English at bay for a time. When he fell, the Norwegians had formed up
their shield-wall on the left bank of the river, no doubt on the rising
ground just above the village. That the final and decisive phase of the
battle took place there Freeman has no doubt. The Saga of Snorro the
Norwegian is full of detail in regard to the fight, which, however
fascinating, must be considered to a very great extent mythical. Yet
there are English chronicles giving certain broad facts, and with these
Freeman allows us to picture something of the last victory of the
English:

     ‘We may see how, step by step, inch by inch, dealing blow for blow
     even in falling back, Northman and Scot and Fleming give way before
     the irresistible charge of the renowned Thingmen. We may see the
     golden dragon, the ensign of Cuthred and Ælfred, glitter on high
     over this its latest field of triumph. We may hear the shouts of
     “Holy Rood” and “God Almighty” sound for the last time as an
     English host pressed on to victory. We may see two kingly forms
     towering high over either host.... We may see the banished
     Englishman [Tostig] defiant to the last, striking the last blow
     against the land which had reared him, and the brother who had
     striven to save him from his doom.... There Harold of Norway, the
     last of the ancient sea-kings, yielded up that fiery soul which had
     braved death in so many forms and in so many lands.’

The bridge of to-day is shown in the accompanying illustration, the site
of its early predecessor being in the foreground of the picture, a fact
plainly demonstrated by the roads on each side of the river pointing to
this spot. There is a fair-sized village of low red-brick houses looking
on to a green, with one side open to the river, and a water-mill, built
on a natural rock foundation, rises to a great height by the weir. A
sundial over the doorway is dated 1764, which is probably the year when
the present mill was put up.

Stamford Bridge being, as already mentioned, the most probable site of
the Roman _Derventio_, it was natural that some village should have
grown up at such an important crossing of the river.

An unfrequented road through a belt of picturesque woodland goes from
Stamford Bridge past Sand Hutton to the highway from York to Malton. If
we take the branch-road to Flaxton, we soon see, over the distant trees,
the lofty towers of Sheriff Hutton Castle, and before long reach a
silent village standing near the imposing ruins. The great rectangular
space, enclosed by huge corner-towers and half-destroyed curtain walls,
is now utilized as the stackyard of a farm, and the effect as we
approach by a footpath is most remarkable. It seems scarcely possible
that this is the castle Leland described with so much enthusiasm. ‘I saw
no House in the North so like a Princely Logginges,’ he says, and also
describes ‘the stately Staire up to the Haul’ as being very magnificent;
‘and so,’ he continues, ‘is the Haul it self, and al the residew of the
House.’ At the south-western angle is a tower in a fair state of
preservation, whose lowest story is now used for cattle, the floor being
deep in straw, and elsewhere farming implements are stored under the
shattered walls that threaten to fall at any time.

We come to the north-west tower, and look beyond its ragged outline to
the distant country lying to the west, grass and arable land with trees
appearing to grow so closely together at a short distance, that we have
no difficulty in realizing that this was the ancient Forest of Galtres,
which reached from Sheriff Hutton and Easingwold to the very gates of
York. The greater part of the forest, however, was, in Leland’s time,
only low meadows and ‘morish ground ful of Carres,’ while in other
places it was ‘reasonably woddid.’ Galtres remained a royal forest until
1670, when an Act was passed for its enclosure.

In the complete loneliness of the ruins, with the silence only
intensified by the sounds of fluttering wings in the tops of the towers,
we in imagination sweep away the haystacks and reinstate the former
grandeur of the fortress in the days of Ralph Neville, first Earl of
Westmorland. It was he who rebuilt the Norman castle of Bertram de
Bulmer, Sheriff of Yorkshire, on a grander scale. Upon the death of
Warwick, the Kingmaker, in 1471, Edward IV. gave the castle and manor of
Sheriff Hutton to his brother Richard, afterwards Richard III., and it
was he who kept Edward IV.’s eldest child Elizabeth a prisoner within
these massive walls. The unfortunate Edward, Earl of Warwick, the eldest
son of George, Duke of Clarence, when only eight years old, was also
incarcerated here for about three years. Richard III., the usurper, when
he lost his only son, had thought of making this boy his heir, but the
unfortunate

[Illustration: SHERIFF HUTTON CASTLE

Belonged to Warwick the Kingmaker, and the arms of the Nevilles still
appear on one of the ruined towers. Princess Elizabeth, afterwards Queen
of Henry VII., was imprisoned here for a time, and also her cousin, the
unfortunate Earl of Warwick, eldest son of the Duke of Clarence, who
passed all except the first years of his childhood in confinement.]

child was passed over in favour of John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and
remained in close confinement at Sheriff Hutton until August, 1485, when
the Battle of Bosworth placed Henry VII. on the throne. Sir Robert
Willoughby soon afterwards arrived at the castle, and took the little
Earl to London. Princess Elizabeth was also sent for at the same time,
but whether both the Royal prisoners travelled together does not appear
to be recorded. The terrible pathos of this simultaneous removal from
the castle lay in the fact that Edward was to play the part of Pharaoh’s
chief baker, and Elizabeth that of the chief butler; for, after fourteen
years in the Tower of London, the Earl of Warwick was beheaded, while
the King, after five months, raised up Elizabeth to be his Queen. Even
in those callous times the fate of the Prince was considered cruel, for
it was pointed out after his execution that, as he had been kept in
imprisonment since he was eight years old, and had no knowledge or
experience of the world, he could hardly have been accused of any
malicious purpose. So cut off from all the common sights of everyday
life was the miserable boy that it was said ‘that he could not discern a
goose from a capon.’

On a commanding position raised above the Forest of Galtres, and having
a most memorable view over the whole vale of York, stand the castle and
village of Crayke. Until 1844 Crayke was a detached fragment of the
county of Durham, and the castle was to a great extent rebuilt in the
fifteenth century by Robert Neville, Bishop of Durham. The Parliament
ordered the castle to be made indefensible in 1646, and it is now
partially restored as a private house. About four miles to the north we
reach the beautiful neighbourhood of Coxwold and Newburgh Priory. The
roads near the park are bordered by wide and beautifully kept turf, and,
with afternoon sunlight throwing long shadows from the trees and turning
the grass into a golden green, there could scarcely be found any more
attractive approaches for a village and its park.

Some portions of the Augustinian Priory are built into one extremity of
the house, and these include the walls of the kitchen and some curious
carvings showing on the exterior. William of Newburgh, the historian,
whose writings end abruptly in 1198--probably the year of his death--was
a canon of the Priory, and spent practically his whole life there. In
his preface he denounces the inaccuracies and fictions of the writings
of Geoffrey of Monmouth. At the Dissolution Newburgh was given by Henry
VIII. to Anthony Belasyse, the punning motto of whose family was _Bonne
et belle assez_. One of his descendants was created Lord Fauconberg by
Charles I., and the peerage became extinct in 1815, on the death of the
seventh to bear the title. The present owner--Sir George Wombwell,
Bart.--inherited the property from his grandmother, who was a daughter
of the last Lord Fauconberg. Sir George is one of the three surviving
officers who took part in the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava
on October 25, 1854. His account of that famous deed, written in the
diary which he kept during the eleven months he was in the Crimea, is of
thrilling interest. I am able to give some extracts which describe his
temporary capture by the Russians:

     ‘Both brigades of cavalry then advanced, and an order in writing
     came down from Lord Raglan telling us to attack some guns, which
     were firing on us.... We broke into a gallop, every man feeling
     convinced that the quicker we rode through the awful shower of
     grape-shot, musketry, and shells which they poured into our flanks
     as we passed, the better chance we should have of escaping unhurt.

     ‘We charged up to the guns, which kept firing at us till we got up
     to them, and cut the Russian gunners down as they stood at their
     guns. The way the showers of grape and cannister, musketry, and
     shells came among us was something too awful to describe; the men
     were falling in heaps all round me, and every time I looked up I
     could see our line getting thinner and thinner, till, by the time
     we passed the guns and got up to the third line of Russian cavalry,
     we were but a mere handful.... My horse was shot under me, in what
     place I know not, but down he came. I luckily soon caught a trooper
     which had lost its rider, and got on his back and joined the second
     line, but in coming back he got quite knocked up and refused to
     move.

     ‘I at last got him into a slow walk, and was congratulating myself
     on having passed unseen two squadrons of Russian Lancers, when
     suddenly a horrid yell arose and I was surrounded by a lot of them,
     brandishing their swords and lances, and desiring me to throw down
     my sword, which, seeing resistance was useless, I did. They then
     seized my pistols in my holsters, and helped me in a very rough way
     off my wounded trooper, and marched me off a prisoner on foot
     between two of them, with three more behind.

     ‘I, of course, walked quietly with them, but seeing the 11th
     Hussars coming back at a gallop, when they got near I made a rush
     forward and luckily caught another trooper, on which I jumped and
     joined the 11th, and rode back with them.... The first person I met
     was the Duke of Cambridge, who, seeing me coming into camp, rode up
     and said, “Well done, young Wombwell.”’

The late Duke of Cambridge paid several visits to Newburgh, occupying
what is generally called ‘the Duke’s Room.’ Rear-Admiral Lord Adolphus
FitzClarence, whose father was George IV., died in 1856 in the bed still
kept in this room. In a glass case, at the end of a long gallery
crowded with interest, are kept the uniform and accoutrements Sir
George wore at Balaclava; the missing sword and pistols bringing home
vividly the reality of the incident just described.

The second Lord Fauconberg, who was raised from Viscount to the rank of
Earl in 1689, was warmly attached to the Parliamentary side in the Civil
War, and took as his second wife Cromwell’s third daughter, Mary. This
close connexion with the Protector explains the inscription upon a vault
immediately over one of the entrances to the Priory. On a small metal
plate is written:

     ‘In this vault are Cromwell’s bones, brought here, it is believed,
     by his daughter Mary, Countess of Fauconberg, at the Restoration,
     when his remains were disinterred from Westminster Abbey.’

The letters ‘R. I. P.’ below are only just visible, an attempt having
been made to erase them. No one seems to have succeeded in finally
clearing up the mystery of the last resting-place of Cromwell’s remains.
The body was exhumed from its tomb in Henry VII.’s Chapel at
Westminster, and hung on the gallows at Tyburn on January 30, 1661--the
twelfth anniversary of the execution of Charles I.--and the head was
placed upon a pole raised above St. Stephen’s Hall, and had a separate
history, which is known. Lord Fauconberg is said to have become a
Royalist at the Restoration, and if this were true, he would perhaps
have been able to secure the decapitated remains of his father-in-law,
after their burial at the foot of the gallows at Tyburn. It has often
been stated that a sword, bridle, and other articles belonging to
Cromwell are preserved at Newburgh Priory, but this has been
conclusively shown to be a mistake, the objects having been traced to
one of the Belasyses.

Coxwold has that air of neatness and well-preserved antiquity which is
so often to be found in England where the ancient owners of the land
still spend a large proportion of their time in the great house of the
village. There is a very wide street, with picturesque old houses on
each side, which rises gently towards the church. A great tree with
twisted branches--whether oak or elm, I cannot remember--stands at the
top of the street opposite the churchyard, and adds much charm to the
village. The inn has recently lost its thatch, but is still a quaint
little house with the typical Yorkshire gable, finished with a stone
ball. On the great sign fixed to the wall are the arms and motto of the
Fauconbergs, and the interior is full

[Illustration: COXWOLD

Laurence Sterne was incumbent here for some years. The pulpit from which
he preached can still be seen in the church, and his house is on the
right-hand side, a little way out of the picture, beyond the elm.]

of old-fashioned comfort and cleanliness. Nearly opposite stand the
almshouses, dated 1662.

The church is chiefly Perpendicular, with a rather unusual octagonal
tower. In the eighteenth century the chancel was rebuilt, but the
Fauconberg monuments in it were replaced. Sir William Belasyse, who
received the Newburgh property from his uncle, the first owner, died in
1603, and his fine Jacobean tomb, painted in red, black and gold, shows
him with a beard and ruff. His portrait hangs in one of the
drawing-rooms of the Priory. The later monuments, adorned with great
carved figures, are all interesting. They encroach so much on the space
in the narrow chancel that a most curious method for lengthening the
communion-rail has been resorted to--that of bringing forward from the
centre a long narrow space enclosed within the rails. From the pulpit
Laurence Sterne preached when he was incumbent here for the last eight
years of his life. He came to Coxwold in 1760, and took up his abode in
the charming old house he quaintly called ‘Shandy Hall.’ It is on the
opposite side of the road to the church, and has a stone roof and one of
those enormous chimneys so often to be found in the older farmsteads of
the north of England. Sterne’s study was the very small room on the
right-hand side of the entrance doorway; it now contains nothing
associated with him, and there is more pleasure in viewing the outside
of the house than is gained by obtaining permission to enter.

During his last year at Coxwold, when his rollicking, boisterous spirits
were much subdued, Sterne completed his ‘Sentimental Journey.’ He also
relished more than before the country delights of the village,
describing it in one of his letters as ‘a land of plenty.’ Every day he
drove out in his chaise, drawn by two long-tailed horses, until one day
his postilion met with an accident from one of his master’s pistols,
which went off in his hand. ‘He instantly fell on his knees,’ wrote
Sterne, ‘and said “Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy
name”--at which, like a good Christian, he stopped, not remembering any
more of it. The affair was not so bad as he had at first thought, for it
has only bursten two of his fingers (he says).’ In a letter to his
daughter Lydia, who was in Paris acquiring a little French vanity, he
writes: ‘My pleasures are few in compass. My poor cat sits purring
beside me. Your lively French dog shall have his place on the other side
of my fire; but if he is as devilish as when I first saw him, I must
tutor him, for _I will not have my cat abused_. In short, I will have
nothing devilish about me.’

The beautiful Hambleton Hills begin to rise up steeply about two miles
north of Coxwold, and there we come upon the ruins of Byland Abbey.
Their chief feature is the west end of the church, with its one turret
pointing a finger to the heavens, and the lower portion of a huge
circular window, without any sign of tracery. This fine example of Early
English work is illustrated here. The whole building appears to be the
original structure built soon after 1177, for it shows everywhere the
transition from Norman to Early English which was taking place at the
close of the twelfth century. The founders were twelve monks and an
abbot, named Gerald, who left Furness Abbey in 1134, and after some
vicissitudes came to the notice of Gundreda, the mother of Roger de
Mowbray, either by recommendation or by accident. One account pictures
the holy men on their way to Archbishop Thurstan at York, with all their
belongings in one wagon drawn by eight oxen, and describes how they
chanced to meet Gundreda’s steward as they journeyed near Thirsk.
Through Gundreda the monks went to Hode, and after four years received
land at Old Byland, where they wished to build an abbey. This position
was found to be too close to Rievaulx, whose bells could be too plainly
heard, so that five years later the restless community obtained a fresh
grant of land from De Mowbray, at a place called Stocking, where they
remained until they came to Byland.

Great heaps of fallen masonry, grown over with grass, now fill the nave
and transepts, and it is quite possible that a much better idea of the
church could be obtained if a thorough examination were made. There are
no restrictions to the promiscuous curio-hunters, who smash pieces of
moulding off the bases of exposed columns, to take away as mementoes to
be kept for a season and then thrown away. Almost any of the roads to
the east go through surprisingly attractive scenery. There are heathery
commons, roads embowered with great spreading trees, or running along
open hill-sides, and frequently lovely views of the Hambletons and more
distant moors in the north.

In scenery of this character stands Gilling Castle, the seat of the
Fairfaxes for some three centuries. It possesses one of the most
beautiful Elizabethan dining rooms to be found in this country. The
walls are panelled to a considerable height, the remaining space being
filled with paintings of

[Illustration: BYLAND ABBEY

The west end of the ruined church is shown in the picture. It is Early
English, while most of the structure is Transitional Norman. Byland was
a Cistercian abbey.]

decorative trees, one for each wapentake of Yorkshire. Each tree is
covered with the coats of arms of the great families of that time in the
wapentake. The brilliant colours against the dark green of the trees
form a most suitable relief to the uniform brown of the panelling. In
addition to the charm of the room itself, the view from the windows into
a deep hollow clothed with dense foliage, with a distant glimpse of
country beyond, is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere.

Stonegrave church is notable for its pre-Norman crosses, and
incorporated in the walls of Barton-le-Street’s modern church is a
marvellously fine collection of Norman carved stones from the former
building. The most notable are in the shelter of the north porch, and
are thus preserved from the weather.

Before reaching Barton-le-Street on our way back to Malton, after
completing this large circle of exploration, we pass through the pretty
village of Slingsby, where the ruins of its castle show their ivy-clad
outline. Although the site is probably ancient, the existing walls are
not earlier than the seventeenth century. It is, in fact, stated that
this house--for it is scarcely a castle--was building at the time of the
Civil War, and was never completed or even occupied at any time.



A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY OF YORK



CHAPTER VI

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY OF YORK


To thoroughly master the story of the city of York is to know
practically the whole of English history. Its importance from the
earliest times has made York the centre of all the chief events that
have taken place in the North of England; and right up to the time of
the Civil War the great happenings of the country always affected York,
and brought the northern capital into the vortex of affairs. And yet,
despite the prominent part the city has played in ecclesiastical,
military, and civil affairs through so many centuries of strife, it has
contrived to retain a medieval character in many ways unequalled by any
town in the kingdom. This is due, in a large measure, to the fortunate
fact that York is well outside the area of coal and iron, and has never
become a manufacturing centre, the few factories it now possesses being
unable to rob the city of its romance and charm.

There could scarcely be a better approach to such a city than that
furnished by the railway-station. Immediately outside the building, we
are confronted with a sloping grassy bank, crowned with a battlemented
wall, and we discover that only through its bars and posterns can we
enter the city, and feast our eyes on the relics of the Middle Ages
within. It is no dummy wall put up to please visitors, for right down to
the siege of 1644, when the Parliamentary army battered Walmgate Bar
with their artillery, it has withstood many assaults and investments.
Repairs and restorations have been carried out at various times during
the last century, and additional arches have been inserted by the bars
and where openings have been made necessary, luckily without robbing the
walls of their picturesqueness or interest. The bright, creamy colour of
the stonework is a pleasant reminder of the purity of York’s atmosphere,
for should the smoke of the city ever increase to the extent of even the
smaller manufacturing towns, the beauty and glamour of every view would
gradually disappear.

Of the Roman town called Eburacum there still remain parts of the wall
and the lower portion of a thirteen-sided tower, showing that the
walled area of York in Roman times was scarcely a fifth of the medieval
city.

The four chief gateways and the one or two posterns and towers have each
a particular fascination, and when we begin to taste the joys of York,
we cannot decide whether the Minster, the gateways, the narrow streets
full of overhanging houses, or the churches, all of which we know from
prints and pictures, call us most. In our uncertainty we reach a wide
arch across the roadway, and on the inner side find a flight of stone
steps leading to the top of the wall. We climb them, and find spread out
before us our first notable view of the city. The battlemented stone
parapet of the wall stops at a tower standing on the bank of the river,
and on the further side rises another, while above the old houses,
closely packed together beyond Lendal Bridge, appear the stately towers
of the Minster.

On the plan of keeping the best wine until the last, we turn our backs
to the Minster and go along the wall, trying to imagine the scene when
open country came right up to encircling fortifications, and within were
to be found only the picturesque houses of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, many of them new in those days, and yet so admirably designed
as to be beautiful without the additional charm of age. Then, suddenly,
we find no need to imagine any longer, having reached the splendid
twelfth-century structure of Micklegate Bar. Its bold turrets are
pierced with arrow-slits, and above the battlements are three stone
figures. The archway is a survival of the Norman city. In gazing at this
imposing gateway, which confronted all who approached York from the
south, we seem to hear the clanking sound of the portcullis as it is
raised and lowered to allow the entry of some Plantagenet sovereign and
his armed retinue, and, remembering that above this gate were fixed the
dripping heads of Richard, Duke of York, after his defeat at Wakefield;
the Earl of Devon, after Towton, and a long list of others of noble
birth, we realize that in those times of pageantry, when the most
perfect artistry appeared in costume, in architecture, and in ornament
of every description, there was a bloodthirstiness that makes us shiver.

The wall stops short at Skeldergate Bridge, where we cross the river and
come to the castle. There is a frowning gateway that boasts no
antiquity, and the courtyard within is surrounded by the
eighteenth-century assize courts, a military prison, and the governor’s
house. Hemmed in by these buildings and a massive wall is the
artificial mound surmounted by the tottering castle keep. It is called
Clifford’s Tower because Francis Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, restored
the ruined walls in 1642. The Royal Arms and those of the Cliffords can
still be seen above the doorway, but the structure as a whole dates from
the twelfth century, and in 1190 was the scene of a horrible tragedy,
when the people of York determined to massacre the Jews. Those merchants
who escaped from their houses with their families and were not killed in
the streets fled to the castle, but finding that they were unable to
defend the place, they burnt the buildings and destroyed themselves. A
few exceptions consented to become Christians, but were afterwards
killed by the infuriated townspeople.

On the opposite side of the Foss, a stream that joins the Ouse just
outside the city, the walls recommence at the Fishergate Postern, a
picturesque tower with a tiled roof. After this the line of
fortifications turns to the north, and Walmgate Bar shows its
battlemented turrets and its barbican, the only one which has survived.
The gateway itself, on the outside, is very similar in design to
Micklegate and Monk Bars, and was built in the thirteenth century;
inside, however, the stonework is hidden behind a quaint Elizabethan
timber front supported on two pillars. This gate, as already mentioned,
was much battered during the siege of 1644, which lasted six weeks. It
was soon after the Royalist defeat at Marston Moor that York
capitulated, and fortunately Sir Thomas Fairfax gave the city excellent
terms, and saved it from being plundered. Through him, too, the Minster
suffered very little damage from the Parliamentary artillery, and the
only disaster of the siege was the spoiling of Marygate Tower, near St.
Mary’s Abbey, many of the records it contained being destroyed. Numbers
were saved through the rewards Fairfax offered to any soldier who
rescued a document from the rubbish, and as the transcribing of all the
records had just been completed by one Dodsworth, to whom Fairfax had
paid a salary for some years, the loss was reduced to a minimum.

Walmgate leads straight to the bridge over the Foss, and just beyond we
come to fine old Merchants’ Hall, established in 1373 by John de
Rowcliffe. The panelled rooms and the chapel, built early in the
fifteenth century, and many interesting details, are beautiful survivals
of the days when the trade guilds of the city flourished. On

[Illustration: STONEGATE, YORK

Is typical of the old streets of the city, with their overhanging upper
storeys and quaint windows. The south transept of the minster shows at
the end of the street.]

the left, a few yards further on, at the corner of the Pavement, is the
interesting little church of All Saints, whose octagonal lantern was
illuminated at night as a guiding light to travellers on their way to
York. The north door has a sanctuary knocker.

The narrowest and most antique of the old streets of York are close to
All Saints’ Church, and the first we enter is the Shambles, where
butchers’ shops with slaughter-houses behind still line both sides of
the way. On the left, as we go towards the Minster, one of the shops has
a depressed ogee arch of oak, and great curved brackets across the
passage leading to the back. All the houses are timber-framed, and
either plastered and coloured with warm ochre wash, or have the spaces
between the oak filled with dark red brick. In the Little Shambles, too,
there are many curious details in the high gables, pargeting and oriel
windows. Petergate is a charming old street, though not quite so rich in
antique houses as Stonegate, illustrated here. A large number of the
shops in Stonegate sell ‘antiques,’ and, as the pleasure of buying an
old pair of silver candlesticks is greatly enhanced by the knowledge
that the purchase will be associated with the old-world streets of
York, there is every reason for believing that these quaint houses are
in no danger. In walking through these streets we are very little
disturbed by traffic, and the atmosphere of centuries long dead seems to
surround us. We constantly get peeps of the great central tower of the
Minster or the Early English south transept, and there are so many
charming glimpses down passages and along narrow streets that it is hard
to realize that we are not in some town in Normandy such as Lisieux or
Falaise, and yet those towns have no walls, and Falaise has only one
gateway, and Lisieux none. It is surely justifiable to ask, in
Kingsley’s words, ‘Why go gallivanting with the nations round’ until you
have at least seen what England can show at York and Chester? Skirting
the west end of the Minster, and having a close view of its two towers
built in late Perpendicular times, which are not so beautiful as those
at Beverley, we come to what is in many ways the most romantic of all
the medieval survivals of York. There is an open space faced by Bootham
Bar, the chief gateway towards the north; behind are the weathered red
roofs of many antique houses, and beyond them rises the stately mass of
the Minster. The barbican was removed in 1831, and the interior has
been

[Illustration: BOOTHAM BAR, YORK

Is one of the most perfect survivals of the medieval city. The minster
towers show in the background. Travellers going northwards through the
forest of Galtres left the city by this gate, and armed guides could be
obtained to protect them from wolves while they passed through the
forest.]

much restored, without, however, destroying its fascination. We can
still see the portcullis and look out of the narrow windows through
which the watchmen have gazed in early times at approaching travellers.
It was at this gateway that armed guides could be obtained to protect
those who were journeying northwards through the Forest of Galtres,
where wolves were to be feared in the Middle Ages.

Facing Bootham Bar is a modern public building judiciously screened by
trees, and adjoining it to the south stands the beautiful old house
where, before the Dissolution, the abbots of St. Mary’s Abbey lived in
stately fashion.

When Henry VIII. paid his one visit to York it was after the Pilgrimage
of Grace led by Robert Aske, who was hanged on one of the gates. The
citizens who had welcomed the rebels pleaded pardon, which was granted
three years afterwards; but Henry appointed a council, with the Duke of
Norfolk as its president, which was held in the Abbot’s house, and
resulted in the Mayor and Corporation losing most of their powers. The
beautiful fragments of St. Mary’s Abbey are close to the river, and the
site is now included in the museum grounds. In the museum building
itself there is a wonderfully fine collection of Roman coffins, dug up
when the new railway-station was being built. One inscription is
particularly interesting in showing that the Romans set up altars in
their palaces, thus explaining the reason for the Jews refusing to enter
the prætorium at Jerusalem when Christ was made prisoner, because it was
the Feast of the Passover.

We can see the restored front of the Guildhall overlooking the river
from Lendal Bridge, which adjoins the gates of the Abbey grounds, but to
reach the entrance we must go along the street called Lendal and turn
into a narrow passage. The hall was put up in 1446, and is therefore in
the Perpendicular style. A row of tall oak pillars on each side support
the roof and form two aisles. The windows are all filled with excellent
modern stained glass representing several incidents in the history of
the city, from the election of Constantine to be Roman Emperor, which
took place at York in A.D. 306, down to the great dinner to the Prince
Consort, held in the hall in 1850.

The Church of St. Michael Spurriergate, built at the same period as the
Guildhall, is curiously similar in its interior, having only a nave and
aisles. The stone pillars are so slight that they are scarcely of much
greater diameter than the wooden ones in the civic structure, and some
of them are perilously out of plumb. There is much old glass in the
windows.

St. Margaret’s Church has a splendid Norman doorway carved with the
signs of the zodiac; St. Mary’s Castlegate is an Early English or
Transitional building transformed and patched in Perpendicular times;
St. Mary’s Bishophill Junior has a most interesting tower, partially
Roman, and adapted to its present purpose in Saxon times, and the list
could be prolonged for many pages if there were space.

We finally come back to the Minster, and entering by the south transept
door, realize at once in the dim immensity of the interior that we have
reached the crowning splendour of York. The great organ is filling the
lofty spaces with solemn music, carrying the mind far beyond petty
things, and making it seem almost undesirable to inquire into the dates
and periods of construction of one of the most glorious buildings ever
raised to the glory of God.

Edwin’s wooden chapel, put up in 627 for his baptism into the Christian
Church nearly thirteen centuries ago, and almost immediately replaced by
a stone structure, has gone, except for some possible fragments in the
crypt. Vanished, too, is the building that was standing when, in 1069,
the Danes sacked and plundered York, leaving the Minster and city in
ruins, so that the great church as we see it belongs almost entirely to
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the towers being still later.



THE MANUFACTURING DISTRICT



CHAPTER VII

THE MANUFACTURING DISTRICT


In the south-western parts of Yorkshire there still remains sufficient
unspoiled scenery to remind us that, before industrialism claimed this
area, it was as picturesque as many parts of the North Riding. No
landscape in the world can remain beautiful when its atmosphere is
polluted with grime, when ugly black villages are huddled near big
factories and tall shafts, and when once luxuriant vegetation is
blighted by sulphurous vapours. If a government brought into power with
a mandate for beautifying England seriously set to work, no doubt smoke,
the greatest trouble of all, could be dealt with by the compulsory use
of some improved form of smoke-destructor. Following on this would come
a thousand boons, and perhaps before another century had passed, in a
clearer atmosphere, men might see things plainer, and light those
Beltane fires in which Mr. H. G. Wells pictures the destruction of all
the ugliness in this country.

Smoke and blackness being allowed to have its own happy-go-lucky way, we
find, even on the very outskirts of the manufacturing district, that the
towns are not exactly the places we should choose in selecting an
objective for a vacation. Thus, Selby, although surrounded by pleasant
unspoiled country, seems infected by the smoky towns a few miles to the
west, and has black roads and the unsatisfactory suggestion of poverty
everywhere. The great abbey church shows its long roof-line over dull
houses, and does its best to make up for the deficiencies of the town.
In this it is not very successful, having only a low central tower, and
the severe character of the Norman and Early English work of the western
half deprives the building of any outline which would relieve the
monotonous appearance of the town. Even the Ouse adds no charm to Selby,
for its sluggish waters flow between muddy banks without a trace of the
picturesque. There is only one place where we can forget the sense of
disappointment Selby gives, and that is inside the abbey church, where
now, alas! the transepts and choir are still in the hands of masons and
carpenters, who are renewing the stone and wood destroyed in the recent
fire. Buildings of this character seem almost as though they could not
be burnt, and probably if the choir roof had been vaulted with stone, as
appears to have been originally intended, the fire would have been
confined to the north transept and the chapel adjoining, where the newly
constructed organ was being completed.

It was before midnight on October 19, 1906, that the flames were first
seen bursting from the Latham Chapel, where the organ was placed. The
Selby fire brigade with their small engine were confronted with a task
entirely beyond their powers, and though the men worked heroically, they
were quite unable to prevent the fire from spreading to the roofs of the
chancel and nave, and consuming all that was inflammable within the
tower. By about three in the morning fire-engines from Leeds and York
had arrived, and with a copious supply of water from the river, it was
hoped that the double roof of the nave might have been saved, but the
fire had obtained too fierce a hold, and by 4.30 a correspondent
telegraphed:

     ‘The flames are through the west-end roof. The whole building will
     now be destroyed from end to end. The flames are pouring out of the
     roof, and the lead of the roof is running down in molten streams.
     The scene is magnificent but pathetic, and the whole of the noble
     building is now doomed. The whole of the inside is a fiery furnace.
     The seating is in flames, and the firemen are in considerable
     danger if they stay any longer, as the false roof is now burned
     through.

     ‘The false roof is falling in, and the flames are ascending 30 feet
     above the building. Dense clouds of smoke are pouring out.’

About the same time the timbers in the tower were burnt to such an
extent that they could no longer support the weight above.

     ‘The falling of the bells from the tower provided one of the most
     exciting incidents. They came down into the already ruined mass
     with a great crash, and sent up a tremendous shower of sparks,
     which flew to a great height into the air, and, spreading out, fell
     like a great firework display over the river.’

When the fire was vanquished, it had practically completed its work of
destruction. Besides reducing to charred logs and ashes all the timber
in the great building, the heat had been so intense that glass windows
had been destroyed, tracery demolished, carved finials and capitals
reduced to powder, and even the massive piers by the north transept,
where the furnace of flame reached its maximum intensity, became so
calcined and cracked that they were left in a highly dangerous
condition.

Only a day or two before this disaster I spent some hours in the abbey
church, wandering through the dark Norman aisles and the less sombre
chancel, noting many beautiful features which I little realized would
cease to exist in a very few days. When I next visited Selby, it was to
find the churchyard converted into a mason’s workshop, and the interior
of the building filled with a complicated mass of timber framework,
supporting the cracked and calcined masonry.

Fortunately the splendid Norman nave was not badly damaged, and after a
new roof had been built, it was easily made ready for holding services.
The two bays nearest to the transept are early Norman, and on the south
side the massive circular column is covered with a plain grooved
diaper-work, almost exactly the same as may be seen at Durham Cathedral.
All the rest of the nave is Transitional Norman except the Early English
clerestory, and is a wonderful study in the progress from early Norman
to Early English.

On the floor on the south side of the nave by one of the piers is a slab
to the memory of a maker of grave-stones, worded in this quaint
fashion:

    ‘Here Lyes yᵉ Body of poor Frank Raw
     Parish Clark and Gravestone Cutter:
     And yˢ is writt to let yʷ know:
     W^ʰᵗ Frank for Othʳˢ us’d to do,
     Is now for Frank done by Another.
     Buried March yᵉ 31, 1706.’

A stone on the floor of the retro-choir to John Johnson, master and
mariner, dated 1737, is crowded with nautical metaphor.

    ‘Tho’ Boreas with his Blustring blasts
     Has tos’t me to and fro,
     Yet by the handy work of God
     I’m here Inclos’d below
     And in this Silent Bay I lie
     With many of our Fleet
     Untill the Day that I Set Sail
     My Admiral Christ to meet.’

The great Perpendicular east window was considered by Pugin to be one of
the most beautiful of its type in England, and the risk it ran of being
entirely destroyed during the fire was very great. The design of the
glass illustrates the ancestry of Christ from Jesse, and a considerable
portion of it is original.

Of the grave-slabs of the abbots of Selby, the earliest is that of
Alexander, who held the office from 1214 to 1221. In the floor of the
north aisle of the choir is a very much mutilated alabaster slab to
that abbot--John de Shireburn--who, it will be remembered, was one of
the chief witnesses in the great law-suit in the fourteenth century
between Lord Scrope of Bolton Castle in Wensleydale and Sir Robert
Grosvenor, as to the right to bear the arms ‘_azure_, a bend _or_.’
Shireburn stated that those arms were in the porch of the infirmary of
Selby Abbey, and that they were always attributed to the Scropes, in
whose favour the case was decided. William Pygot, who was the next
abbot, succeeded in 1407; John Cave followed him in 1429, and both are
buried near Abbot Shireburn. A terribly mutilated effigy of a knight in
chain-armour is also preserved in the choir. Head, arms, and legs are
missing, but the arms on the surcoat are those of Saltmarshe, and the
figure no doubt represented one of the members of that ancient family.

Although it cannot be denied that Selby Abbey suffered severely in the
great conflagration of two years ago, yet its greatest association with
history, the Norman nave, is still intact. At the eastern end of the
nave we can still look upon the ponderous arches of the Benedictine
Abbey Church, founded by William the Conqueror in 1069 as a mark of his
gratitude for the success of his arms in the north of England, even as
Battle Abbey was founded in the south.

Going to the west as far as Pontefract, we come to the actual borders of
the coal-mine and factory-bestrewn country. Although the history of
Pontefract is so detailed and so rich, it has long ago been robbed of
nearly every building associated with the great events of its past, and
its present appearance is intensely disappointing. The town stands on a
hill, and has a wide and cheerful market-place possessing an
eighteenth-century ‘cross’ on big open arches. It is a plain, classic
structure, ‘erected by Mrs. Elisabeth Dupier Relict of Solomon Dupier,
Gent, in a cheerful and generous Compliance with his benevolent
Intention Anº Dom’ 1734.’

The castle stood at the northern end of the town on a rocky eminence
just suited for the purposes of an early fortress, but of the stately
towers and curtain walls which have successively been reared above the
scarps, practically nothing besides foundations remains. The base of the
great round tower, prominent in all the prints of the castle in the time
of its greatest glory, fragments of the lower parts of other towers and
some dungeons or magazines are practically the only features of the
historic site that the imagination finds to feed

[Illustration: NEW HALL, PONTEFRACT

This fine old Tudor mansion is now in ruins. It stands just to the north
of Pontefract, and was occupied by the Parliamentary troops during the
sieges of 1644 and 1645.]

upon. A long flight of steps leads into the underground chambers, on
whose walls are carved the names of various prisoners taken during the
siege of 1648. Below the castle, on the east side, is the old church of
All Saints with its ruined nave, eloquent of the destruction wrought by
the Parliamentary cannon in the successive sieges, and to the north
stands New Hall, the stately Tudor mansion of Lord George Talbot, now
reduced to the melancholy wreck depicted in these pages. The girdle of
fortifications constructed by the besiegers round the castle included
New Hall, in case it might have been reached by a sally of the
Royalists, whose cannon-balls, we know, carried as far, from the
discovery of one embedded in the masonry. Coats of arms of the Talbots
can still be seen on carved stones on the front walls over the entrance.
The date, 1591, is believed to be later than the time of the erection of
the house, which, in the form of its parapets and other details,
suggests the style of Henry VIII.’s reign. It is exceedingly probable
that Lord George Talbot, who was granted the Priory of St. John the
Evangelist at Pontefract by the Crown soon after the Dissolution, built
this stately mansion, to a considerable extent, with the materials of
the demolished monastery, for many of the stones bear Norman and later
carving, and even the wooden beams have palpably been used in an earlier
building. Nearly all the outer structures of the courtyard on the east
side have disappeared; in 1828 the north tower fell, and year by year
the decay of the walls advances.

Although we can describe in a very few words the historic survivals of
Pontefract, to deal even cursorily with the story of the vanished castle
and modernized town is a great undertaking, so numerous are the great
personages and famous events of English history connected with its
owners, its prisoners, and its sieges.

The name Pontefract has suggested such an obvious derivation that, from
the early topographers up to the present time, efforts have been made to
discover the broken bridge giving rise to the new name, which replaced
the Saxon Kyrkebi. No one has yet succeeded in this quest, and the
absence of any river at Pontefract makes the search peculiarly hopeless.
At Castleford, a few miles north-west of Pontefract, where the Roman
Ermine Street crossed the confluence of the Aire and the Calder, it is
definitely known that there was only a ford. The present name does not
make any appearance until several years after the Norman Conquest,
though Ilbert de Lacy received the great fief, afterwards to become the
Honour of Pontefract, in 1067, the year after the Battle of Hastings.
Ilbert built the first stone castle on the rock, and either to him or
his immediate successors may be attributed the Norman walls and chapel,
whose foundations still exist on the north and east sides of the castle
yard. During his advance towards York for the conquest of the north of
England, William the Norman was delayed for three weeks at Castleford,
owing to the river being so flooded that it could not be crossed even
with boats, and it was no doubt during his enforced stay on the south
side of the river that he realized the importance of the site of
Pontefract; and if Ilbert de Lacy were with him at the time, it is
reasonable to suppose that the Norman lord expressed to the Conqueror
his liking for the neighbourhood.

The De Lacys held Pontefract until 1193, when Robert died without issue,
the castle and lands passing by marriage to Richard Fitz-Eustace; and
the male line again became extinct in 1310, when Thomas, Earl of
Lancaster, married Alice, the heiress of Henry de Lacy. Henry’s
great-grandfather was the Roger de Lacy, Justiciar and Constable of
Chester, who is famous for his heroic defence of Château Gaillard, in
Normandy, for nearly a year, when John weakly allowed Philip Augustus to
continue the siege, making only one feeble attempt at relief. Thomas,
Earl of Lancaster, who was a cousin of Edward II., was more or less in
continual opposition to the king, on account of his determination to rid
the Court of the royal favourites, and it was with Lancaster’s full
consent that Piers Gaveston was beheaded at Blacklow Hill, near Warwick,
in 1312. For this Edward never forgave his cousin, and when, during the
fighting which followed the recall of the Despensers, Lancaster was
obliged to surrender after the Battle of Boroughbridge, Edward had his
revenge. The Earl was brought to his own castle at Pontefract, where the
King lay, and there accused of rebellion, of coming to the Parliaments
with armed men, and of being in league with the Scots. Without even
being allowed a hearing, he was condemned to death as a traitor, and the
next day, June 19, 1322, mounted on a sorry nag without a bridle, he was
led to a hill outside the town, and executed with his face towards
Scotland.

In the last year of the same century Richard II. died in imprisonment in
the castle, not long after the Parliament had decided that the deposed
King should be permanently immured in an out-of-the-way place.
Hardyng’s Chronicle records the journeying from one castle to another in
the lines:

    ‘The Kyng the[n] sent Kyng Richard to Ledis,
     There to be kepte surely in previtee,
     Fro the[n]s after to Pykeryng we[n]t he nedes,
     And to Knauesburgh after led was he,
     But to Pountfrete last where he did die.’

Archbishop Scrope affirmed that Richard died of starvation, while
Shakespeare makes Sir Piers of Exton his murderer.

       _King Richard._ How now! what means death in this rude assault?
    Villain, thy own hand yields thy death’s instrument.
          (_Snatching an axe from a servant and killing him._)
    Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
          (_He kills another. Then Exton strikes him down._)
    That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
    That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
    Hath with the King’s blood stain’d the King’s own land.
    Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
    Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.

On the west side of the castle ruins some broken walls are pointed out
as Richard’s chamber, on what evidence I do not know.

During the Pilgrimage of Grace the castle was besieged, and given up to
the rebels by Lord Darcy and the Archbishop of York. In the following
century came the three sieges of the Civil War. The first two followed
after the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, and Fairfax joined the
Parliamentary forces on Christmas Day of that year, remaining through
most of January. On March 1 Sir Marmaduke Langdale relieved the Royalist
garrison, and Colonel Lambert fell back, fighting stubbornly and losing
some 300 men. The garrison then had an interval of just three weeks to
reprovision the castle, then the second siege began, and lasted until
July 19, when the courageous defenders surrendered, the besieging force
having lost 469 men killed to 99 of those within the castle. Of these
two sieges, often looked upon as one, there exists a unique diary kept
by Nathan Drake, a ‘gentleman volunteer’ of the garrison, and from its
wonderfully graphic details it is possible to realize the condition of
the defence, their sufferings, their hopes, and their losses, almost
more completely than of any other siege before recent times.

In the third and last investment of 1648-49 Cromwell himself summoned
the garrison, and remained a month with the Parliamentary forces,
without seeing any immediate prospect of the surrender of the castle.
When the Royalists had been reduced to a mere handful, Colonel Morris,
their commander, agreed to terms of capitulation on March 24, 1649. The
dismantling of the stately pile by order of Parliament followed as a
matter of course, and now we have practically nothing but
seventeenth-century prints to remind us of the embattled towers which
for so many months defied Cromwell and his generals.

Liquorice is still grown at Pontefract, although the industry has
languished on account of Spanish rivalry, and the town still produces
those curious little discs of soft liquorice, approximating to the size
of a shilling, known as ‘Pontefract cakes.’

To the west of Pontefract, in a comparatively small space, and connected
with a wonderful network of railways, lie Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford,
Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, and a dozen smaller centres of
manufacture, while further south are Barnsley and Sheffield. It seems
unfair that a district contributing so much to England’s wealth should
be repaid by gloomy skies and depressing landscapes.

Wakefield has a fine Perpendicular church with a tall crocketed spire,
which became a cathedral in 1888, when the new diocese was formed. The
chantry on the bridge over the Calder is entirely a modern
reconstruction. It is, however, so richly carved, and so deceptive in
its appearance of age, through the weathering of the Caen stone
employed, that even Ruskin was under some misapprehension in regard to
its age. There is nothing in the town to connect it with Goldsmith’s
‘Vicar of Wakefield,’ and it is not known if he ever visited the place.

The great black city of Leeds has a nucleus consisting of several fine
streets possessing numbers of modern buildings, making an imposing
effect worthy of the fifth English city and the commercial capital of
Yorkshire. New public buildings, banks, shops, or whatever they may be,
however white they commence their existence, in a very short time are
toned down to the uniform sable tones of the whole city. Clock-faces
stand out with painful whiteness against the sooty stonework of towers
and gables, and the only colour to be seen is restricted to the
shop-windows. Architects should remember the atmosphere of Leeds, and
use coloured glazed bricks and porcelain extensively, so that whole
buildings could every year be washed down from the roofs to the ground,
and cheer the citizens of the great town with their cleanliness and
colour. In City Square, just outside the stations of the Midland, Great
Northern, and other

[Illustration: KIRKSTALL ABBEY, LEEDS

Just outside the city, on a level stretch of grass by the River Aire,
stand the ruins of the great Cistercian abbey of Kirkstall. Some of the
conventual buildings, including the chapter-house and refectory, have
survived in a fairly complete state. Not far off on every side are
factories and tall chimney shafts.]

railways, and therefore where people get their first impression of
Leeds, stands a fine statue of the Black Prince mounted on a noble
charger. It seems curiously appropriate that the one member of the royal
line of England with such a distinction should have been chosen for a
prominent statue in the chief of the black cities of England, especially
when we know that Edward III.’s son was, according to tradition,
instrumental in introducing the weaving industry from Flanders into
Yorkshire, where it has flourished increasingly ever since. Edward III.
has been called ‘the father of English industry,’ and if this is a
justifiable distinction both he and his son are in a measure responsible
for the blackness as well as the riches their foresight has produced.

The ruins of the great Cistercian Abbey of Kirkstall, founded in the
twelfth century by Henry de Lacy, still stand in a remarkable state of
completeness, about three miles from Leeds. With the exception of
Fountains, the remains are more perfect than any in Yorkshire. Nearly
the whole of the church is Transitional Norman, and the roofless nave is
in a wonderfully fine state of preservation. The chapter-house and
refectory, as well as smaller rooms, are fairly complete, and the
situation by the Aire on a sunny day is still attractive; yet owing to
the smoke-laden atmosphere, and the inevitable indications of the
countless visitors from the city, the ruins have lost much of their
interest, unless viewed solely from a detached architectural standpoint.
We do not feel much inclination to linger in this neighbourhood, and
continue our way westwards towards the great rounded hills, where, not
far from Keighley, we come to the grey village of Haworth.

More than half a century has gone since Charlotte Brontë passed away in
that melancholy house, the ‘parsonage’ of the village. In that period
the church she knew has been rebuilt, with the exception of the tower,
her home has been enlarged, a branch line from Keighley has given
Haworth a railway-station, and factories have multiplied in the valley,
destroying its charm. These changes sound far greater than they really
are, for in many ways Haworth and its surroundings are just what they
were in the days when the members of that ill-fated household were still
united under the grey roof of the ‘parsonage,’ as it is invariably
called by Mrs. Gaskell.

We climb up the steep road from the station at the bottom of the deep
valley, and come to the foot of the village street, which, even though
it turns sharply to the north in order to make as gradual an ascent as
possible, is astonishingly steep. At the top stands an inn, the ‘Black
Bull,’ where the downward path of the unhappy Branwell Brontë began,
owing to the frequent occasions when ‘Patrick,’ as he was familiarly
called, was sent for by the landlord to talk to his more important
patrons.

A not unpicturesque passage just above this inn leads to the church, the
schools, and the ‘parsonage.’ Everything that is not a recent accretion
is built of stone, and generally roofed with stone slabs also, all,
however, of that blackish hue that needs creepers, white window-frames,
and bright-coloured shutters and doors, to relieve the gauntness. Such
cheerful touches are lacking in Haworth, and no doubt the want of colour
in their surroundings accounted for much of the morbid melancholy so
marked in the children who grew up in the sombre house.

We cannot see to-day the church the Brontës knew. With the exception of
the tower, it has been rebuilt, and even the old pulpit and
sounding-board of Mr. Brontë’s time are not to be seen. The verger
knows of their existence in a barn, and perhaps one day the Brontë
Society will contrive to have them replaced in the church. Many pilgrims
to Haworth would find more pleasure in seeing an object which must have
been so extremely familiar to Charlotte and her sisters, than in
examining the very pathetic and often painful mementoes in the society’s
museum in the village. We are not far enough removed from the times of
the Brontës to make it seemly to exhibit in glass cases garments, and
obviously inexpensive boots, worn by Charlotte.

The churchyard is, to a large extent, closely paved with tombstones
dating back to the seventeenth century, laid flat, and on to this dismal
piece of ground the chief windows of the Brontës’ house looked, as they
continue to do to-day. It is exceedingly strange that such an
unfortunate arrangement of the buildings on this breezy hill-top should
have given a gloomy outlook to the parsonage. If the house had only been
placed a little higher up the hill, and been built to face the south, it
is conceivable that the Brontës would have enjoyed better health and a
less melancholy and tragic outlook on life. An account of a visit to
Haworth Parsonage by a neighbour, when Charlotte and her father were the
only survivors of the family, gives a

[Illustration: HAWORTH CHURCH AND ‘PARSONAGE’

From this point of view the home of the Brontës is almost unaltered
since the day when Charlotte, the last of Mr. Patrick Brontë’s family,
died. The church has been rebuilt with the exception of the tower, but
this and the other changes do not make themselves apparent from this
side. Behind are the moors where Charlotte and her sisters, particularly
Emily, loved to take lonely walks.]

clear impression of how the house appeared to those who lived brighter
lives:

     ‘Miss Brontë put me so in mind of her own “Jane Eyre.” She looked
     smaller than ever, and moved about so quietly and noiselessly, just
     like a little bird, as Rochester called her, barring that all birds
     are joyous, and that joy can never have entered that house since it
     was first built; and yet, perhaps, when that old man married, and
     took home his bride, and children’s voices and feet were heard
     about the house, even that desolate crowded graveyard and biting
     blast could not quench cheerfulness and hope.’

Very soon after the family came to Haworth Mrs. Brontë died, when the
eldest girl, Maria, was only six years old; and far from there having
been any childish laughter about the house, we are told that the
children were unusually solemn from their infancy. In their earliest
walks, the five little girls with their one brother--all of them under
seven years--directed their steps towards the wild moors above their
home rather than into the village. Eighty-eight years have passed, and
practically no change has come to the moorland side of the house, so
that we can imagine the precocious toddling children going hand-in-hand
over the grass-lands towards the moors beyond, as though we had
travelled back over the intervening years.

The unnatural environment of the Brontës’ childhood gave that lurid
colour to their imaginations so evident in the writings of Charlotte and
Emily, and, when at Roe Head School, one of Charlotte’s friends, after
describing in a letter her companion’s strange gift of ‘making out’
histories and inventing characters, writes: ‘I told her sometimes they
were like growing potatoes in a cellar. She said sadly, “Yes, I know we
are.”’

It is difficult to quite absolve the father of this remarkable family
for not realizing that his little girls were not living a healthy
childhood, mentally or physically, and all we read of Mr. Brontë in Mrs.
Gaskell’s book suggests a total want of appreciation of the important
elements so woefully lacking in their upbringing. In those days Haworth
was extremely isolated, and the few outside influences that reached the
neighbourhood came no nearer than the small manufacturing town of
Keighley, four miles away. The journey to London was then a vast
undertaking, whereas now we can reach the famous old ‘parsonage’ from
St. Pancras, by the Midland Railway, in less than four hours.

The purple moors so beloved by the Brontës stretch away to the Calder
Valley, and beyond that depression in great sweeping outlines to the
Peak of Derbyshire, where they exceed 2,000 feet in

[Illustration: SHEFFIELD AT NIGHT

The picture was made at Brightside, where the great foundries produce
armour-plate, cannon, and steel rails. The cherry-coloured flames that
crown the shafts are a wonderful sight.]

height. Within easy reach of this grand country is Sheffield, perhaps
the blackest and ugliest city in England. At night, however, the great
iron and steel works become wildly fantastic. The tops of many chimneys
emit crimson flames, and glowing shafts of light with a nucleus of
dazzling brilliance show between the inky forms of buildings. Ceaseless
activity reigns in these industrial infernos, with three shifts of men
working during each twenty-four hours; and from the innumerable works
come every form of manufactured steel and iron goods, from a pair of
scissors or a plated teaspoon to steel rails and armour plate.



INDEX


Acklam, 4

Aire, River, 168, 176

Albemarle, Earls of, 59, 93

Ald Ravenser, 93, 95

Alexander, Abbot of Selby, 164

Angell, Justinian, 88

Antonine Itinerary, 122

Argam Dyke, 16

Aske, Robert, 153

Atte-See, Peter, 94, 95

Atwick, 60

Auburn, 58

Augustinian Order, 56, 132


Balaclava, charge at, 133, 134, 135

Barnsley, 173

Barton-le-Street, 141

Barton-upon-Humber, 82

Beacons of East Riding, 49, 50

Belasyse. See Fauconberg
  Anthony, 133
  Sir William, 137

Bellini, Giovanni, 124

Bempton, 16, 17
  Cliffs, 38, 39

Benedictine Order, 165

Berwick-on-Tweed, 46

Berwickshire coast, 47

Bevere, Drogo de, 59

Beverley, 28, 60, 71-83
  gateways, 72, 73
  Minster, 71, 72, 74-83, 109
  St. John of, 76, 77, 81
  St. Mary’s Church, 72, 73, 82

Black Death, 22

Blacklow Hill, 170

Blackmore, R. D., 49

Blackpool, 37

Black Prince, Edward the, 175

Blashill, Thomas, 107

Boroughbridge, Battle of, 170

Bosworth, Battle of, 131

Boynton, 18

Bradford, 173

Bridlington, 17, 50-58, 61
             Priory, 56, 57

Brontë family, 179
  Branwell, 177
  Charlotte, 176, 178, 179, 180
  Emily, 180
  Society, 178

Bronze Age remains, 9, 12, 15

Brough, 28

Bulmer, Bertram de, 130

Burlington. See Bridlington

Burstwick, Prior Robert, 57

Burton, North, 20

‘Buzzers’ (sea-urchins), 37

Byland Abbey, 139, 140


Calcareous Grit, Middle, 33

Calder, River, 168, 173, 180

Cambridge, Duke of, at Newburgh Priory, 134

Canaletto, 124

Carlisle, Lord, 123

Carr Naze, 33, 35

Caracci, Annibale, 124

Carthusians at Hull, 105

Castleford, 168, 169

Castle Howard, 6, 123, 124

Cave, John, Abbot of Selby, 165

Charles I., 55, 133, 135
  II., 88

Château Gaillard, 169

Cholmley, Sir Hugh, 18
  Sir Roger, 46

Cistercian Order, 175

Civil War, the, 18, 53-55, 107, 110, 135, 141, 145, 150, 167, 172, 173

Clarence, George, Duke of, 130

Clifford, Francis, Earl of Cumberland, 149

Cole, the Rev. E. M., 22

Constable, Sir Marmaduke, 45, 46

Constantine, 154

Conyers, Sir John, 101

Cornwall, Earl of. See Gaveston

Cottam, 20, 21, 22, 29

Cowlam, 20, 22, 29

Coxwold, 132, 136, 137, 138, 139

Crayke, 132

Crimean War, 133-135

Cromwell, Oliver, 172, 173
  bones of, 135, 136
  Mary, 135

Cynesige, Archbishop, 76


Danes at Flamborough, 44, 47
  Spurn Head, 92
  York, 156

Danes’ Dyke, 41-44

Danthorp, Matthew, 96

Darcy, Lord, 171

De la Mare, Martin, 95

De la Pole, John, 131
  Michael, 105
  Sir William, 91, 105

_Derventio_, 122, 128

Derwent, River, 4, 6, 10, 26, 27, 109, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126

Devon, Earl of, at Towton, 148

Dewsbury, 173

Domenichino, 124

Drake, Nathan, 172

Driffield, Great, 9, 10, 103

Drogo de, Bevere, 59

Dryden, Sir Henry, 99

Dunwich, Suffolk, 65

Dupier, Solomon, 166

Durham Cathedral, 163
  Collegiate, foundation of, 117
  county of, 132

Dutch ships, 53-55


Early Man, 7-10

Easington, 66, 95

Easingwold, 130

Easter Sepulchres, 100, 104

Eburacum (Roman York), 146

Edgcote, 101

Edward I., 104
  II., 60, 170
  III., 91, 175
  reign of, 102
  IV., 46, 95, 130
  Earl of Warwick, 130, 131
  the Black Prince, 175

Edwin, baptized at York, 155

Egg collectors at Bempton, 39, 40

Elizabeth, Princess, eldest child of Edward IV., 130, 131

Entrenchments, prehistoric, 9, 14, 15, 16

Epsom Races, 25

Ermine Street, the, 168

Erosion of Holderness coast, 58, 60, 61, 64

Espec, Walter, Lord of Helmsley, 125, 126

Eure, Lord, his house at Malton, 121

Exton, Sir Piers of (in Shakespeare’s ‘Richard II.’), 171


Fairfax family, seat of the, 140, 141
  Sir Thomas, 150, 172

Falaise, 152

Fauconberg, the Lords, 133, 135, 136, 137
  Mary, Countess of, 135

Filey, 8, 16, 33-38
  Brig, 33-36

Fitz-Allen, Lady Eleanor. See Percy

Fitz-Clarence, Rear-Admiral Lord Adolphus, 134

Fitz-Eustace, Richard, 169

Flamborough Head, 4, 5, 8, 16, 28, 33, 38, 40-53, 61
  village, 44-47

_Flaneburg_. See Flamborough, 52

Flaxton, 128

_Fleinn-borg_. See Flamborough, 52

Flodden Field, 46

Fortibus, William de, Earl of Albemarle, 93

Furness Abbey, 139


Galtres, Forest of, 129, 130, 132, 153

Garton, pillar near, 25

Gaskell, Mrs., 176, 180

Gaveston, Piers, 60, 170

Geoffrey of Monmouth, 133

George, Duke of Clarence, 130

George IV., 134

Gerald, founder of Byland Abbey, 139

Gilbertine Order, 122

Gilling Castle, 140, 141

Glacial boulder clay, 5, 7, 35

Grasmere Sports, 23

Great Driffield, 10

Grimsby, 93, 94

Grindale, 16

Grosvenor, Sir Robert, 165

Guillemots, 39
  ringed, 39

Gundreda, mother of Roger de Mowbray, 139

Gypsy Race, 17, 18


Haigh, Father, 13, 14

Halifax, 173

Hambleton Hills, the, 139, 140

Hardrada, Harold, 92, 127

Harold II., 127

Hartburn, 58

Harwich, 53

Haworth, 176-180

Hedon, 97, 101, 102, 103

Helmsley, 6, 125

Helperthorpe, 12, 13

Hemingbrough, 116, 117

Henrietta Maria, Queen, 53-55

Henry III., 59
  IV., 95, 96
  VI., 88
  VII., 46, 82, 131
  VII.’s Chapel, 135
  VIII., 45, 81, 102, 105, 113, 133, 153

Heslerton, East, 13
  West, 12

Hildyard, Sir Robert, 101

Hode, 139

Holderness, 7, 25, 72, 87, 91, 104
  coast of, 5, 17, 52, 57, 58
  Seigniory of, 59, 60

Hornsea, 58, 60, 63
  Beck, 64
  Burton, 64
  Mere, 60, 61, 62

Hotham, Sir Charles, Bart., 73

Household Book, the, of the fifth Earl of Northumberland, 81, 112-116

Howardian Hills, 27, 123

Howden, 107, 108, 109

Hrafnseyrr. See Ravenser

Huddersfield, 173

Huggate, 8

Hull, 58, 91, 96, 102, 104-107

Humber, 6, 28, 66, 87, 88, 97, 102, 103

Hussars, 11th, 134

Hutton Cranswick, 22


Iron Age, Prehistoric, 9, 20


Jacob wrestling at Penuel, 23

James I., 81

Jerusalem, 154

Jesse Window at Selby, 164

Jews, massacre at York, 149

John, 170

Johnston, John, epitaph to, 164


Keighley, 176, 185

Kendall, Professor P. F., 7

Keyingham, 101

Kilham, 20

Kilnsea, 66

Kingston-upon-Hull. See Hull

Kirkdale, 13

Kirkham Abbey, 7, 124, 125

Kirkstall Abbey, 175

Knaresborough, 171

Kyrkebi. See Pontefract


Lacy, Alice de, 169
  Henry de, 169
  Ilbert de, 168, 169
  Robert de, 169
  Roger de, 169

Lambert, Major-General John, 111, 172

Lamplugh, Thomas, Archbishop of York, 16

Lancaster, Henry of (Henry IV.), 96
  Thomas, Earl of, 169, 170

Langdale, Sir Marmaduke, 172

Leeds, 9, 161, 171, 173, 174, 175

Leith, 53

Lely, Sir Peter, 124

Lincoln, John de la Pole, Earl of, 131

Liquorice at Pontefract, 173

Lisieux, 152

London, Tower of, 131

Lutton, West, 13

Lythe, Robin, 49


Malton, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 28, 29, 121, 122, 123, 128, 141
  Priory, 122, 123

Margate, 37

Marston Moor, Battle of, 150, 172

Marvell, Andrew, 101

Meaux Abbey, 62, 63, 64, 93, 95

Metham, tombs at Howden, 109

Middleton-in-the-Wolds, 8

Milne, customs officer at Bridlington, 51

Monolith at Rudstone, 18

Moore, Temple, 25

Morris, Colonel, 173

Mortimer, J. R., museum of, at Great Driffield, 9

Mowbray, Roger de, 139, 140


Neolithic man in the Wolds, 7, 8, 15, 20, 42, 43

Neville, Ralph, first Earl of Westmorland, 130
  Robert, Bishop of Durham, 132

Newburgh, William de, 132
  Priory, 6, 132-137

Newcastle, Earl of (1642), 53

New Malton. See Malton

Norman fonts, 21, 22, 23, 29
  tympana, 16

North Cave, 107
  Grimston, 28, 29
  Landing, Flamborough, 40, 41, 47, 48

Northumberland, fourth Earl of, 81
  fifth Earl of, 81, 112-115
  Earl of (1648), 110
  House, London, 111

Norton, 11

Norwegians at Battle of Stamford Bridge, 127


Old Byland, 139

Old Malton. See Malton

Oscetul (or Oskytel), Archbishop of York, 14

Ottringham, 101

Ouse, River, 6, 117, 149, 160, 162

Owthorne, 64, 65, 66


Patrington, 97-102, 104

Pembroke, Earl of, 101

Percy, Bishop, 112
  Lady Eleanor, 79, 80

Percy, first Lord, 79
  fifth Lord, 81

Peter, Atte-See, 94, 95

Philip Augustus, 170

Pickering, 8, 10, 122, 171
  Vale of, 6

‘Pilgrimage of Grace,’ 107, 153, 171

Pitt Rivers, General, 42, 43

Pocklington, 101

Pole, Sir William de la, 91

Pontefract, 110, 165, 166-173

Potter, Hugh, 111

Prehistoric Iron Age, 9

Preston, Yorkshire, 104

Prince Consort, the, 154

Puffins, 39

Pugin, Welby, 82, 164

Pygot, William, Abbot of Selby, 165


Raglan, Lord, in Crimea, 133

Ravenser, 91, 92, 93

Ravenserodd, 90-97, 103, 105

Ravenser Spurn, 95

Ravensersporne. See Spurn Head

Raw Frank, epitaph to, 163

Razor-bills, 39

‘Redesdale, Robin of,’ 101

Reedbarowe, Richard, the hermit, 88

Regnald II. of Northumbria, 14

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 124

Richard, Duke of York, 148
  II., 170, 171
  III., 130

Rievaulx, 140

Rillington, 11

Ripon Cathedral, 79

Rivers, General Pitt, 42, 43

Riviera, the, 4

Robin Lythe, 49

Robinson, Sir Thomas, 124

Roe Head School, 180

Roman coins, 28
  remains at York, 154, 155
  roads and camps, 28, 122

Rowcliffe, John de, 150

Rubens, 124

Rudstone, 18, 19, 20, 50

Ruskin, John, 174


St. Andrew, 22

St. Catherine of Alexandria, 99

St. Gilbert of Sempringham, 122

St. John the Baptist, 99

St. John of Beverley, 76, 77, 81

St. Lawrence, 21

St. Margaret, 21

St. Mary’s Abbey, York, 62, 63, 150, 153

St. Nicholas, 29

St. Quentin, Anthony, 63

St. Stephen’s Hall, Westminster, 135

Saltmarshe, effigy at Selby, 165
  tombs at Howden, 109

Sand Hutton, 128

Saxon inscription at Weaverthorpe, 13

Scarborough, 6, 8, 9, 18

Scots, invasions of, 60, 170

Scrope, Archbishop Richard, 171
  Lord, of Bolton Castle, 165

Sea-urchins, 37

Selby, 160
  Abbey, 160-165

Sempringham, Lincolnshire, 122

Sheffield, 173, 181

Sherburn Wold, 12

Sheriff Hutton Castle, 129, 130

Shireburn, John de, Abbot of Selby, 164, 165

Skipsea, 58, 59, 60
  Brough, 59

Sledmere, 13, 24, 25, 26

Slingsby, 141

Smeaton, John (the engineer), 88

Snorro, Saga of, 127

South Landing, Flamborough, 48

Spanish Armada, warning beacons at time of, 49

Speeton, 38

Spret, John, 82

Spurn Head, 58, 64, 67, 87-96, 103

Stamford Bridge, 28, 92, 122, 126, 127

Sterne, Laurence, 137-139
  Lydia, 138

Stocking, 140

Stonegrave, 3
  Church, 141

Strafford, Lord, 124

Strickland, Lady, 18
  Sir William, Bart., 18
   ir William, Bart. (1769), 19

Suffolk, Earl of (De la Pole), 91

Sunthorp, 95

Superstitions at Flamborough, 47

Sussex Downs, 3

Sutton-in-Holderness, 107

Sykes, Sir Christopher, 24
  the late Sir Tatton, 24, 25
  Sir Tatton, 13, 24, 25, 26


Talbot, Lord George, 167

Teal duck, 51

Thirsk, 139

Thorpe-le-Street, 28

Thorpe Hall, Rudstone, 18, 19

Thurstan, Archbishop of York, 139

Thwing, 16

Tintoretto, 124

Tostig, 127, 128

Towton, Battle of, 149

Trinity Brethren, 51

Tumuli, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15

Tyburn gallows, 135, 136

Tynemouth Bar, 53


Vale of Pickering, 6, 11
  York, 6, 7, 122, 132

Vanburgh, Sir John, 123, 124

Vandyck, 124

Vikings, age of, 14

Villages of the Wolds, characteristics of, 15

Wakefield, 173
  Battle of, 148

Walpole, Horace, 124

Wallingford, Baron. See Gaveston

Wansford, 13

Warton, Sir Michael, 73

Warwick, the King-Maker, 130

Weaverthorpe, 13

Weaving in Yorkshire, 175

Welton, John, 82

Westminster Abbey, 135

Westmorland, Ralph Neville, first Earl of, 130
  wrestlers, 23

Wetwang, 22

Wharram-le-Street, 4, 26, 27, 28

Wharram, Percy, 10

Wilberforce, William, 105

Willan, Mr., 19

William the Conqueror, 59, 165, 169

William, Abbot of Meaux, 62

Willoughby, Sir Robert, 131

Wilton Beacon, 6

Winestead, 101

Wintringham, 11

Withernsea, 64, 65

Wold Newton, 16

Wolds, the, 3-29, 72, 107, 123

Wombwell, Sir George, Bart., 133

Wressle Castle, 81, 109-116

Wulstan, Archbishop of, York, 14


York, 28, 62, 83, 125, 128, 139, 145-156, 161, 169
  Bootham Bar, 152, 153
  Clifford’s Tower, 149
  Guildhall, the, 154
  Marygate Tower, 150
  Micklegate Bar, 148, 149
  Minster, 6, 147, 155, 156
  Museum, 9, 23, 153
  St. Mary’s Abbey, 150, 153
  See of, 77
  Skeldergate Bridge, 148
  Vale of, 6, 7, 122, 132
  Walmgate Bar, 146, 149

BILLING AND SONS, LTD., PRINTERS, GUILDFORD

FOOTNOTES:

 [A] Mr. J. R. Mortimer’s museum at Great Driffield is still in his own
 hands.

 [B] ‘Flamborough Village and Headland,’ Colonel A. H. Armytage.

 [C] A worked flint was found in the moat not long ago by Dr. J. L.
 Kirk, of Pickering.

 [D] ‘Multum delectabatur in equis velocibus equitare.’





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