Monthly Archives: December 2017

28TH December, 2017. Humberside large period houses – final one of my list.

Normanby Hall, four miles north of Scunthorpe, was built in the 1820s, again on the site of an earlier mansion. It was built by, as was its predecessor, the family of the Earls of Sheffield. One hundred years previously an ancestor had built Buckingham Palace in London. Post-war Normanby Hall was gifted to the local authority and was developed by Humberside County Council as a public park, across the 300+ acres of parkland, and visitor attraction. Since 1996 it has been managed by North Lincolnshire Council and is a very popular venue for visitors as it includes a professionally restored walled-garden, play facilities, herbaceous borders and lawns, parkland walks, a farming museum and, like at Burton Constable, courtyard facilities in what was the stable-block. The house, with mostly original fixtures and fittings, is usually open to the public.

14th December, 2017. Humberside large period houses – south bank (cont.).

Elsham Hall (see above) is in the village of Elsham, the most southerly of the six ‘Low Villages’ (South Ferriby, Horkstow, Saxby All Saints, Bonby, Worlaby and Elsham) all of which stand along the near the base of the scarp slope of the Lincolnshire Wolds along the spring-line. Saxby All Saints has a large Hall in private grounds with some evidence of emparking across the Vale of Ancholme remaining. South of Elsham is the ‘Barnetby Gap’ in the Wolds, beyond this are a further series of spring-line villages south to Caistor.

Elsham Hall was expanded in the 18th century on the site of an earlier property. Various changes to the structure in the 19th century and again in the 20th century, when the Hall and grounds were bought by the Elwes family in the 1930s, have quite radically changed the Georgian building. The five-bat two-storey property was built of brick, freestone and Westmorland slate (roof). The Hall is private to the family but the grounds are much promoted and usually open to the public.

Like the Halls at Sledmere and Burton Constable, and some others considered, Elsham Hall includes a private Roman Catholic chapel.

12th December, 2017. Humberside large period houses, south bank (cont.).

Barrow Hall (Barrow on Humber) stands immediately south of the village and is currently a private nursing home. The main block, built as a period residence in the late 18th century, is a two-storey, brick-built and hip roof plain classical construction with its seven-bay, centre-entrance main façade west facing (see aerial photo. above). Considerable evidence of the hall’s original emparking remains in the form of plantations and an avenue but much of what was once pasture-land is now cultivated. Most of the buildings behind the main block and forming an L shaped ground plan (see above) are later additions. Just off picture bottom-left is an intact ha-ha. In many ways similar to Baysgarth House, Barton but Barrow Hall did not incorporate an earlier building which almost certainly existed on this site. Barrow Hall is not visible from the road and has to be approached along a surfaced lane, security exists.

Barrow Hall has a Grade 1 listing.

10th December, 2017. Humberside large period houses, south bank (cont.).

Baysgarth House in Barton on Humber (s.p.b. on Baysgarth Park immediately south of the house) was built of brick to an L-shaped ground-plan. The earlier park of the building complex, behind the south-facing frontage seen above, had a north-south orientation and faced west, the seven bay two-storey addition dates from the mid-18th century (see above). Records show that the large room in the older part of the house which now houses the Council Chamber was a large room when for 400 years this house was a private residence, maybe originally a great hall which lost all the timber-framing when the house was modernised by the Nelthorpe Family in the 18th century (maybe also being when the older part was brick encased and the earlier timber-framing removed, as we know was the case in other properties in Barton at that time e.g. 59, Fleetgate. Tyrwhitt Hall in Barton retains its late medieval timber-framed great hall, this being opened to view by the current owner on the national heritage weekends in September.

Baysgarth House is a museum owned by North Lincs. Council but administered by C.H.A.M.P., Community, Heritage, Arts and Media Project, a Barton based charity. Currently the museum is open Thursday/Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm.


9th December, 2017. Humberside large period houses – south bank.

Whereas, particularly on the southern Yorkshire Wolds, there was a cultural trend for those who achieved wealth and status through business and trade in Hull to move out to ‘the country’ and to build or extend ‘country seats’ (see Allison, K. Hull gent seeks country residence), on the south bank of the Humber no parallel trend occurred. Those who gained considerable wealth through Barton’s industrial revolution, particularly brickyard and tile-work owners built their ‘posh’ new houses in, or at least very near, the town, as did, for example, the owner of the basket making business in Barrow in the form of Down Hall. The large houses built out in the countryside after Parliamentary Enclosure were farmhouses, often for tenant farmers, rather than rural retreats.

A leading high status dynasty for some centuries was the Nelthorpe family. From the 16th to the early 19th centuries they owned Baysgarth House in Barton (s.l.b.) but sold this and had built South Ferriby Hall (see above). This brick built house of a rather individual design commanded views up the middle and upper Humber but was built on low land at the foot of the Lincs. Wolds rather than on higher land to the south east which had been, since Parliamentary Enclosure in the late 18th century, in their ownership. Anyway the family’s principal ‘seat’ had become Scawby Hall near Brigg (not to be considered here).

The pleasure grounds of South Ferriby Hall have been eroded away by tidal action, evidence of these and their subsequent loss comes from the researches and writings of Raymond Carey of South Ferriby. A small circular plantation higher up the Wold valley side, now surrounded by arable land, suggests that there may have been some initial emparking but there is no evidence of this from early O.S. maps. However, whereas the view of this plantation from the Hall is today blocked by a linear plantation along the lower Wold slopes, there is considerable evidence that this plantation is a product of the late 19th century and previously the Hall would have had open views south-east and up the hillside.

4th December, 2017. Humberside large period houses, some conclusions.

Before going onto four houses on the south bank of the Humber Estuary need to draw a few parallels from those already covered from East Yorkshire.

Almost all of those covered so far were built/rebuilt/enlarged in the 18th century in the then fashionable neo-classical style (Georgian architectural style), at great cost (presumably) to the landed families of the day.

Many were built on the site of an earlier manor house, with little more than a passing reference to these one assumes that they might well have been timber-framed, thatch and possibly wattle and daub walling – no listed building preservation lists then! Sometimes part, or whole, villages were ‘removed’ also, certainly to make way for the ’emparking’.

Most of these Georgian period houses were complimented by ’emparked’ grounds, this again being the fashion of the day by which relatively small areas of formal gardens were replaced by expansive man-made ‘naturalistic’ landscapes, much admired today where they have survived. However a lot of this landscaping has been abandoned to the pressures of modern agribusiness, during the Second World War and since 1960s.

Surprising number of landed East Riding families clung-on to the Roman Catholic faith with chapel, altar, even priest holes incorporated into the internal arrangement. Liable to recusancy fines in the late Tudor era (particularly if out of favour at court) and anti-Parliamentary fines during the Civil Wars (1642-1651) and the Commonwealth and Protectorate of the 1650s these landed families survived and prospered in an era of some relaxation of anti-Catholic fervour. Although the detailed history of each landed family would have been different it is surprising that so much wealth could have been lavished on the ‘Georgianization’ of the landscape of both Holderness and the Yorkshire Wolds.

Most reflect the rise of brick as the basic building material.

(Above = reminder image of Burton Constable Hall).