Views of the Humber Estuary 2.

The picture above shows part of the first known navigational chart of the Humber compiled by Lord Burleigh, or more likely his workforce, c.1560. It clearly shows the coastline of south Holderness before the reclamation of Cherry Cobb Sands and Sunk Island – in doing so it shows the Humber Estuary lapping-up to the southern edge of the villages of Patrington, Ottringham and Keyingham with a ship having navigated a channel up to the ‘port’ at Patrington (St. Patrich’s church shown with the needle spire topping the crossing tower of the church). It also shows the deep-water channel crossing the Estuary diagonally (lower centre), later to be called ‘Hull Roads’ and an important factor in explaining the rise in importance of the port at Kingston-upon-Hull.
Lord Burleigh’s map focussed on the East Riding which is why little detail is shown for north Linconshire except for a representation of the church of St. James’, Grimsby and the part late-Saxon church at Clee (inland from Cleethorpes today). In fact Burleigh’s map is very instructive in terms of the history of regional church buildings, he did not have a standard icon for parish churches but usually showed them, albeit on a very small scale, as they then were. Further up the Holderness coast are shown some communities since lost to coastal erosion.

Recently did, for the first time in ages, a reasonable walk; a circular route from Paull walking the south bank of Hedon Haven up to the underpass of the bypass, followed some municipal parkland with mature hawthorn hedges just coming into leaf (as at Oak Road playing fields), over the old main road and through to the north side of town following a green corridor. Then to Market Green, round St. Augustine’s church to Market Place (one stall only but still lock-down). Out of town south and followed Thorngumbald Drain to the relatively new clay-bank of the area of managed retreat east of Paull. To Paull church, back to the Humber bank and so to the end in Paull village. Will say bit more about this next time.

Views of the Humber Estuary.

Today’s photo. shows a view across the Estuary from the south bank. This particular point along the coast is known as Chowder Ness, a curious name, its etymology being unknown to me. As along much of the south bank, the coastline here is a man-made sea bank and ‘promenade’. I think this is one of the points where blocks of Scunthorpe slag have been bonded together to create the sea-wall, much of this work having been done after the 1953 floods along the North Sea coast. The waters on this south bank bend in the Estuary are particularly turbulent both at ebb tide and flow, this may explain the wooden structure just off-shore which seems to have been a support for a navigational light. I don’t think it still functions as such but, although the deep-water channels change over time, shipping travelling up-Estuary on the incoming tide pass this point very close to the shore and arking round the coast of South Ferriby are anchored a number of metal green and red light-boats. In the middle distance can be seen the north tower of the Humber Bridge, Hessle foreshore and the lower dip-slope of the Yorkshire Wolds.

AlthoughI will continue the Views of the Humber theme for a while I have been taking stock of my blogs over the last three years and have identified which ‘runs’/titles might best be expanded to extended articles, a project which will be long-term one but which will present the finished products in a more acceptable and available form. The first one I’m about to start is entitled ‘Hull’s Historic Communities’ which incorporates blogs between 4/02/2020 and 15/07/2020, a total of 45 blogs (my longest run).

Monastic History Hull and East Riding 20.

The final location in this series on monastic history is the site of Hull’s Carmelite Friary. The photo. above shows the excavated site of Hull’s Beverley Gate, one of four gates in the late-medieval town wall, with Whitefriargate street stretching east. The name Whitefriargate comes directly from the position of the Carmelite Friary, ‘white’ from the neutral colour of the friar’s cloaks and ‘gate’ derived from the Scandinavian word for street or way. The friary complex was immediately right of this point, just through Beverley Gate, with the friary church being the first prominent building encountered on passing through the gate and into the town. The fact that the name of the street endured across the centuries after the Dissolution might support the notion that in Hull the friars had been well respected. Hollar’s plan of Hull, 1640/’41 shows Beverley Gate centre bottom and the outline of what had been the site of the Carmelite Friary with a few scattered buildings (maybe the surviving from the friary complex), but shows no surviving friary church, this suggesting that the church’s fabric had been plundered across the preceeding century. Ken MacMahon estimates that there might have been just eight Carmelite friars in Hull at the time of the Dissolution (1539).
The Carmelite Order of friars has continued through to the present day, both abroad and at home since Catholic Emancipation. The friars refer to each-other as ‘brothers’ and a prior is described as ‘a leader among equals’. The Order continues under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church.
In the Conclusion to her book, The End of Medieval Monasticism in the East Riding of Yorkshire (see early blogs in this section) Claire Cross states that most ‘male religious’ eventually secured priest positions and ‘integrated themselves into the secular church’. That stated two Hull Carthusian ex-monks did migrate to the continent and joined ‘Counter-Reformation catholocism’. She concludes by stating that few ‘romantic ruins’ such as those in West and North Yorkshire survive in the East Riding. As seen above (s.p.b.s) nothing physically remains of most monastic sites while at Bridlington and Swine part of the church remains, as does the prior’s lodgings at Watton and the Blackfriar’s priory ay Beverley.

Monastic History Hull and East Riding 19.

The above picture shows a remnant of Blackfriargate Staithe which led to the River Hull ‘Old Harbour’, incidentally, the point from which the Hull – Barton ferry sailed from 1320s onwards as permitted initially by Edward II. Just inland of this point was the built complex of the Augustinian friary in Hull from the 13th century to March 1539, the site is now mostly covered by the relatively new Magistrate’s court (the building programme was preceded by an archaeological excavation), and will probably be impacted by the current work on the A63. For its working life this friary stood very near the Humber foreshore and at the end of the 14th century town walls.
The Augustinian friars (often known as ‘Austin’ Friars) followed the Rule of Augustine of Hippo compiled in the early 5th century – they committed to corporate poverty, contemplation in the friary complex and an apostolic ministry (preaching out in the community and often relying for their daily needs on private charity).
The term Blackfriars comes from the fact that when ‘out in the community’ they wore a cloak of black woolen cloth.
One famous Austin friar was Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) until his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church in 1520.
Because friars accepted personal poverty they and their friaries were of comparatively low value at the time of the Dissolution and the friars received no pensions from the Tudor state, many however were welcomed as parish priests. The monetory values of monastic sites were recorded at the time of the Reformation in a manuscript later known as Valor Ecclesiasticus. The large Franciscan Friary in Beverley was valued at just £5 in February 1539. Both of Hull’s friaries were surrendered by their priors to the King’s Commissioners on the 10th March 1539, less than a month after those in Beverley had been surrendered.
(to be continued Hull’s other friary).

Monastic History Hull and East Yorkshire 18.

When Ken MacMahon’s history of Beverley was printed (Beverley (Dalesman Books, 1973) he wrote of the site of the Dominican Friary ‘the building stands pathetic, forlorn and desolate – grim evidence of 20th century official vandalism and planned neglect’. By the early 21st century David Neave, in his updating of Pevsner’s Yorkshire – York and the East Riding, p.301, was able to be more positive ‘This restored building, used as a Y.H.A. hostel since 1984, is a significant remnamt of a wealthy Dominican Friary established in Beverley by 1240’. These post-Dissolution remaining parts of the medieval Friary buildings have a complex archtectural history described in detail by D. Neave (p.301), apparently most of the Dominican’s church lies below the nearby section of the Hull to Scarborough rail-line and has in the past been partially excavated on both sides of the line. Unlike most monastic churches (but not all) the cloister and cloistral range of buildings in a friary were directly north of the friary church, this being so at Beverley – perhaps curiously, a few of the slender friary crossing towers have survived intact, one example being beside London Road, Kings Lynn.
MacMahon (see above) tells us about the much less well known Beverley Friary of the Franciscan Order. Sited near the once Keldgate Bar (one of Beverley’s four/five brick and stone gated entrances into the medieval town all of which were demolished in the 18th and 19th centuries except for the surviving brick North Bar) no physical evidence remains and the area is now one of inter-War housing. Documentary evidence proves that this Friary was in existance by the late 13th century and in its day it was equal in status to the Dominican Friary. Ironically this Friary site was originally on the very edge of town but it is at the more in-town site that most built evidence survives.
(to be continued – Hull’s friaries).

Monastic History Hull and East Riding 17.

Contemporary with the establishment of Hull’s Carthusian monastery (s.p.b.) friars and friaries had become the most endowed of monastic establishments. Unlike the ‘older’ monastic orders friaries were usually established in urban, rather than rural, areas and the lifestyle of friars was outgoing rather than cloistered. Two results of these points are that friars must have been far more visible than their monastic counterparts in everyday life in 14th century England and, secondly, that surviving built evidence of friary complexes are more rare than those of Cistercian monasteries, for example, because their site post Dissolution in the late 1530s was at more of a premium for other uses as were their building materials for re-use.
The four main orders of friars were represented in the East Riding, the Augustinian and Carmelite friaries in Hull and the Dominican and Franciscan orders in Beverley. The photo above shows part of the remarkably well preserved section of Beverley Dominican Friary with the east end, sub transepts, north transept and west towers of Beverley Minster visible above tree-level. The Dominican friars of the 14th and early 15th centuries may well have watched the progress of the Minster’s re-building programme replacing the earlier minster and leading to the one seen today. Some parts of the Friary complex were there by 1240 and in 1263 Henry III gave the Friary 15 oaks from the Forest of Galtres, north of York, presumably for a further building programme. Houses of friars tended to have few or no lay brethren (s.p.b.s) and prioritised ‘work in the community’ above manual labour – by the early 14th century there were 42 friars resident at Beverley’s Dominican Friary. Dominican friars were known as ‘black friars’ from the colour of their cloaks.
Whether in the floor of the church or in an on-site cemetery this Friary would have been the chosen last resting place of many members of East Yorkshire’s baronial families.
(to be continued)