4th August, 2019 Sunk Island postscript 2.

The above map, self-drawn by the author Boyle, J.R. Lost Towns of the Humber (1889), shows Sunk Island having much the same extent as today. However the point of the map is to show that today’s Sunk Island had an early medieval ancestor, mostly lost to marine erosion in the 14th century and then to gradually re-emerge from 16th century onwards. Boyle was to become the city of Hull’s first salaried archivist and the building which stands on the corner of Guildhall Road and Lowgate was to become the repository for the City’s archive collection, mostly catalogued by Boyle. This building remains but seems to be mostly disused, the collection of archives once held there now incorporated into the archive collection at Hull History Centre (along with collections from the University of Hull and the local studies collection at the Central Library).

Although the sites of the early medieval settlements on Boyle’s map are speculative no archaeological evidence would have survived to confirm or refute them, he sites Tharlesthorp as having been roughly where the second church now stands (s.p.b.s), the use of the word ‘towns’ being misleading if defined as it would be today.

Boyle’s evidence about Tharlesthorp comes mostly from a translation (from latin) of the Meaux Abbey Chronicles (s.p.b.s) which he quotes at length. The fact that Tharlesthorp gets a mention in the ‘Domesday Survey’ (Toruelsthorp) shows that the present Sunk Island had an early medieval ancestor. It seems that in the late 12th century Robert Constable endowed Meaux Abbey (Cistercian) with much land in south Holderness including the manor and ‘capital messuage’ of Tharlesthorp, this term being evidence of a significant building at the centre of the early medieval Sunk Island. By the mid 13the century there is evidence of a ‘grange’ (an outlying farm belonging to a monastic community) at Tharlesthorp.

(to be continued).