Whitton  North Lincolnshire

 notes on the history of a village.

' ...From thence I went to Whitten. There is nothing worth seeing in the whole town......' - Abraham de la Pryme, 1697

48 AD In the Beginning....

Coin of
Claudius Gothicus

The village of Whitton, by the river Humber, was probably several centuries old by the time it was recorded in the Domesday survey of 1086.
After Claudius’ invasion of Britain in 43 AD , the Roman IXth Legion advanced north and reached the south bank of the Humber by 48 AD. Here the Romans halted to consolidate their rule in the south, before crossing the Humber northwards in 71 AD to complete the conquest.
Could Whitton have originated at this time, first as a military camp and then later as a Roman villa on the Cliff Top with its temple a few yards to the east, where the Church now stands ? Perhaps Whitton was a landing stage on the south bank for the Roman fort of Petuaria Parisorum at Brough across the river. Roman coins of Claudius Gothicus (268-270 AD) and Constantine 1 (309-337AD) have been found in the fields.
Nikolaus Pevsner suggests ( in The Buildings of England: Lincolnshire [1989], p.797) that the church tower 're-uses massive blocks of Roman stone', but these blocks of millstone grit which are to be found in several local churches (e.g. neighbouring Winteringham) may have been sailed down the Ouse and the Humber from York where Roman buildings were being dismantled or may even have come from some sort of triumphal arch or structure (perhaps like the Arch of Constantine), which might have stood at the end of Ermine Street...
In 1998 researchers from Hull University discovered major concentrations of Roman finds to the south of Ings Lane, near to the five metre contour line. Rectangular crop marks are clearly seen at certain times of the year.
Perhaps, before the river was embanked, the Humber flooded the low lying land immediately to the east of Whitton and a Roman settlement stood on a forgotten ‘shore’ where now winter wheat grows....

Roman enamelled pin found at Whitton
410 AD By 410 the last remaining soldiers had left Britain to defend Rome and Whitton ceased to be part of the Roman Empire..... As the local administration collapsed the inhabitants probably returned to the countryside, and reverted to the self-sufficient lifestyle of the pre-Roman era..... But soon there were more visitors to Whitton, as from about ...
450 AD Anglo-Saxon settlers began to arrive in the Humber estuary. (right) (Evidence of Anglo-Saxon burial practices, including oak coffins with elaborate metal fittings has recently been discovered in a Chapel Lane garden.) The early inhabitants of Whitton will have fed themselves by growing familiar crops like wheat, oats, barley, rye, peas and beans, supplemented by, fishing, hunting and wild fowling. Wild animals for food could have been got from a variety of places in the village, including the marsh and shore below the settlement as well as the woodland, and the river and estuary waters of the Humber. Whitton's diet might even have included dolphin, porpoise and whale - bones of these have been dug up at nearby Flixborough. They could have been obtained directly by hunting in the river, or from beaching sites along the shore.

And sitting, as it does, on a promontory over looking the broad River Humber, the villagers must have had a very good view of the Danish invading fleet which sailed by in the year 872 AD on its way to winter at Torksey.
Left: A woman's silver-gilt Viking brooch of the late 10th or 11th century found in Whitton in 2000.  Diameter 26mm

Click for photos of the archaeological 'dig' in Whitton in 2002

Whatever the truth, all is silence until......

1086 Domesday Book Witenai 'Land of Henry de Ferreres. Manor - In Witenai Seubar had twelve carucates of taxable land. There is land for 8 ploughs. Saswalo, Henry's man has 2 ploughs. Ten villagers and four smallholders and thirty freemen have five ploughs.   There is 300 acres of meadow.   In King Edward's time it was worth £ 10, now £ 7. Taxed £ 3.'

Notes: There is no mention of a church or priest.
The very high proportion of freemen (30 out of 44 heads of housholds) may indicate that Whitton was a settlement of Danes amongst the people that they had conquered.
Remarkably, 44 households implies a total population of around 180 for the village, which is very similar to today's figure.

Henry de Ferreres was the Lord of Longueville in Normandy; He had a castle at Tutbury, Staffs and was a Domesday commissioner. He had large holdings in Derby and also in 14 other counties. He was an ancestor of the earls of Derby. Saswalo seems to have held tenancies of Henry de Ferreres at Hough, Hatton and Etwall (DBY), Titchmarsh (NTH) as well as here at Whitton.
The 'worth' of a manor was an estimate of the money its lord would receive annually from his peasants.
A ferry is not mentioned at Whitton, although Domesday Book mentions ferries, on the Humber, at Winteringham, Barton and South Ferriby.

1086 Whitton = 'Hwita's island of land' by the River Humber ?

According to Cameron the place name  is an Old English (OE) masculine personal name,(genitive -n) + OE ēg, hence  'Hwita's island of land', but Ekwall thought the name meant ‘White Island’ perhaps assuming that the ground was chalky. Although bits of oolitic limestone are seen as scatter in the fields of Whitton, they are unlikely to have struck any colonist as sufficiently white to have influenced the name.  Gelling pointed out that the settlement is situated on an obvious ēg, i.e. an 'island' of dry land, projecting into the Humber estuary, and surrounded on east and west by former marshy ground.  
Sources: E .Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names (Oxford, 1960), p.515;   K. Cameron (ed.), Place Names of Lincolnshire: Part 6  (Nottm, 2001),  pp.118-19; M. Gelling, Place-Names in the Landscape  (1984), pp.34-5

By about 1115 (The Lindsey Survey) the village is called Witena, and in...

1179 the place is referred to as Wihitene in the Charter Rolls. By the year ....

1276 Rotuli hundredorum gives Whiten.


1197-1213 Whitton church seems to have been dedicated, some time between these years, by Robert, Bishop of Bangor. According to a note in the Welbeck Abbey chartulary, the Bishop consecrated three altars on the 27 April (no year given); the high altar in honour of St. John Baptist, an altar in the body of the church (in corpore ecclesie) in honour of the Blessed Mary, the Mother of God, and an altar in the north aisle in honour of St. Mary Magdalene.
Source: W. Page (ed.), Victoria County History of Nottingham: Volume 2 (1910), pp. 129-38.

Notes: Although some have ascribed Saxon features to the church tower, there seems no part of the church which dates from that time.   Robert de Shrewsbury was Bishop of Bangor from 1197 to 1212/13.  This is the only reference found to a north aisle.

1278 Bishop of Lincoln's Visitation to Wyten
Wyten - Abbas de Welbeck habet in proprios usus. Robertus vicarius sexagenarius ; institutus presbiter xij annis elapsis.
Whitton - Owned by the Abbot of Welbeck (in Nottinghamshire). Robert the vicar is about 60 years old and was appointed parish priest 12 years ago.
Source: C.W.Foster (ed.), Diocesis Lincolniensis: rotuli Ricardi Gravesend, Parts 1258-1279 (Lincoln Record Society, 1925)

1332 Whitton's Lay Subsidy

William sutor 6s 8d
John de Hatcheby 2s 8d
John Palmer 1s 8d
Ralph filius Walteri 8d
John Raulyn 3s
Margery de Clecham 1s
Thomas le Tayllour 3s
Henry de Houden 5s 4d
Geoffrey Raulyn 1s
Robert Marrays 1s 4d
Peter Fouler 4s
John Bygot 1s
John Halyman jnr 1s
William de Haycheby 6s 8d
Thomas Felice 8d
John filius Sibille 5s
William Abby 4s
John Kyng 2s 6d
Thomas Saunfayle 2s
Margery Alcok 4s
Alice Euerard 8d
Robert filius Galfridi 1s
Sybil uxor Walteri 2s
Simon Bygot 1s
John Halyman 1s
Total £ 3 9s 6d  
The Lay Subsidy of 1332 gives us a first look at the names of some actual Whitton people.
It is a list of those people who had to pay a proportion of the value of their property in tax, in the time of King Edward III.

From the late 1100s until 1334, personal property taxes (levies based on moveable goods, rather than land ) were determined and collected by local assessors who kept detailed accounts to present to the Exchequer. The lay subsidy rolls of 1332 were enacted by Parliament on 9 Sep 1332 in order to fund "great and arduous affairs in Ireland and elsewhere."
There were exemptions which included equipment necessary to pursue one's occupation, ranging from a knight's armour to a merchant's capital. The very poorest did not pay anything and it will be seen from the table that nobody in Whitton seems to have been assessed for less than eight pence.

Notes 'filius' means son, 'uxor' means wife and 'sutor' may mean that the man was a shoe maker.

It is interesting to see the surname 'Bygot' in the list as this family name was still in Whitton at the time of the 1642 Protestation Return. The name might be derived from an oath..
A number of surnames apparently derive from place names - 'Hatcheby' and 'Haycheby' from Haceby. 'Clecham' might be Cleatham near Kirton in Lindsey. 'Houden' is Howden in Yorkshire.
'Halyman' perhaps originally literally a holy man and no doubt used sarcastically to mean a hypocrite. 'Felice' from a nickname meaning 'happy'. 'Marrays' meaning a marsh, or from the French town of Marais in Calvados.

Villagers harrowing in Lincolnshire in 1340
- from the Luttrell Psalter

1342 French spies in Whitton ? On March 20th 1342 King Edward III issued, 'An Order to the bailiffs of Whitene to make diligent scrutiny of all those who come to Whitene for a passage……..as the king has learned that there are several spies upon his secrets in England, and others who send letters to France and elsewhere to forewarn the King's enemies.'
Source: Calendar of Close Rolls 1341-43, p.485.  This Order was sent to all ports in the kingdom.

1349 The Black Death By the middle of the 14th century Lincolnshire was one of the richest and most populous parts of England, but a series of bad harvests had caused famine and increased the chances of plague. The Black Death of 1349 was the most devastating of a long series of these scourges. Because there are no records of burials in Whitton churchyard from that time, it is not known how many Whitton people perished in the Black Death, but it may have been from a third to a half of the village.
This was the time that some villages in North Lincolnshire disappeared completely - Haytheby just west of West
Halton, Sawcliffe, High Risby and Low Risby north of Scunthorpe may have disappeared at this time.

1400 The third Church Bell 'The 3rd bell is thought to have been brought from Welton on the other side of the Humber and that tradition is confirmed by the fact that there is still in that Church, a bell precisely similar to this in the lettering: +MARIA MATER DEI EST NOMEN MEUM+. This inscription at Whitton presents the peculiarity of two crosses close together where the beginning and end of the inscription approach each other.' - Rev J.T. Fowler, 1 Aug 1845
Notes : This bell is thought to date from about the year 1400 and may have been cast in York
by John Potter. The Latin means 'My name is Mary the mother of God'. The two other bells bear the inscriptions : 'Daniel Hedderly made me in 1742' and 'John Walker C.W. 1742' and are 24 inches and 25 3/4 inches in diameter respectively.
Daniel Hedderly was born in Hanbury, Staffs was a bellfounder in Lincoln and died there in 1766.
The three bells hang in a wooden frame from wooden headstocks on plain bearings. At the moment they are judged to be in a dangerous condition and only one bell is rung.
Click to see the church bells
The 'Passing-Bell Within living memory the 'Passing-Bell' was rung to announce the death of a Whitton parishioner. The number of times that the bell chimed would indicate to the village who had died - three chimes for a child, six for a woman and nine for a man, then, after a break of a few seconds, the bell would ring again and Whitton would know the age of the deceased from the number of chimes which followed.....

1519 July. Report of an inspection by the Diocese of Stow
- Vicarius ibidem est canonicus de Welbeck. Exhibet omnia. Cimiterium non est bene clausum. Vicaria dimittitur laico, vicarius tamen residet et bene facit. Cancellus est defectiuus.
Source: A.H.Thompson,(ed.), Visitations in the Diocese of Lincoln, 1517-1531, Lincoln Record Soc., vol.33 (1947), p.94                     
Notes: The report, in medieval Latin, seems to say that the vicar was a canon from Welbeck Priory in Notts, who had succeeded a lay member of the order; he lived in Whitton and was doing a good job; that the churchyard was not properly enclosed and that the chancel was substandard in some way.
The Abbot and Convent of Welbeck were then proprietors of the village, but were expelled from Welbeck Abbey in 1539 and must have lost their lands in Whitton at the same time.

1546 'Whitton Registers commence in 1546, but have been for a great many years in such an unhappy condition that it would be well, if anyone having the time and ability to copy them would do so, before they get further perished. '- Parish Magazine in 1887
The first few, readable, marriages from the Whitton register are shown below - there were still members of the Waddingham family in the village some 400 years later:

1546 ..., Robert and Elzabeth SAWER
1562 BEALE, George and Johan HAMMILTON
1564 SOUTH, Henry and Margaret WADINGHAM
1566 GLEFEILD, John and Margaret MOORE
1567 STAYNTON, John and Elzabeth MOTE
1567 BEALE, George and Margery RIDLEY
1567 DAVYS, Stephen and Elzabeth FORMAN
1568 WESTOBYE, Robert and Elzabeth RAMSEY
1569 HARRYSON, Jonat and Johan ...
1570 PELTER, Henry and Mary ENGLE
1571 LUDDINGTON, Robert and Alyson LAINGLEY
1572 WADDINGHAM, and Margaret W.
1573 JOHNSTON, William and ... DANYELL
1574 COOKE, and Elzabeth SLATOR
1574 COOKE, William and Isable CROSBYE
1575 MANNERS, Anthonye and Margaret STAINFOURTH
1575 ROBINSON, Cycilye and Thomas ...
1575 THOMPSON, William and Janie BREWER
1576 JAMES, Robert and Alyson BIGOT
1576 RAMSEY, Thomas and Ellin BENSON

The registers are supposed to contain the names of as many as 1,800 men and women that have been buried in Whitton churchyard. How many then since the foundation of the church, 3,000 ?  The level of the churchyard, above the surrounding land, makes such a large number seem  plausible.
The registers are now held at the
Lincolnshire Archives  Office.

A 'sallytt' or sallet was a light armoured headpiece.

1558 The last Catholic priest of Whitton ?
Stephen Thomson clericus
died in December 1558 and his probate inventory, besides mentioning the usual 'fetherbedes', 'sylver spones' and 'puter pottes', lists a 'sallytt' and a 'halberd'.
This priest had lived through the years of Henry VIII's Reformation and the reigns of his children, the boy king Edward VI, the Catholic leaning Mary and he died only days into Queen Elizabeth's rule. Perhaps he was the last Catholic priest in Whitton and he had needed those items of self-defence during the turbulent times which he had seen.....

A halberd was a two-handed pole weapon.

1578 10th Jan George Waude (also called Woade or Wade) is ordained priest of Whitton by the Bishop of Lincoln. In 1598 he was described as being not a graduate, or a preacher, but of good behaviour, married, resident in Whitton and 'hospitable'. In 1602 he says the number of villagers taking communion is one hundred and the following year the church is said to be 'in reasonable good case, both for repayre and decencie in the keapinge'. He died in 1607 and was succeeded by William Walshe.

1642 Protestation Return for Whitton.  The protestation return  was a list of males over 18 in the village, who professed to be protestants, which seems to have been everybody... 46 different surnames. 58 names in total.
An estimate of Whitton's population may be worked out by doubling (to include women) and adding an estimated 40% to account for those under 18 - which gives 162; not too different from today's figure.

Taken on Saturday 5th and Monday 7th March.
'None of our towne above the aige of eightene years have refused.'

Anderson, John
Bainton, Thomas
Beale, George, sen.
Beck, Robert
Bell, George
Bell, Peter
Bell, William
Bishopp, Henry
Browne, Robert
Browne, George
Browne,Francis , Constable
Bygott, Richard
Bygott, Richard
Bygott, Michael
Bygott, John
Bygott, William
Bygot, George
Easton, William
Etherington, James
Furley, John
Garthom, Richard
Grant, Thomas
Hailes, John
Harland, Thomas,Churchwarden
Harrison, Robert
Hart, Robert
Helroys, Gervas Esq *
Herron, John
Hood, George
Lindley, Robert
Maison, Stephen
Martin, George
Newbie, Richard
Porte, George
Post, Abraham
Potton, William
Ramsey, George
Ramsey, William
Ridley, George
Robinson, William
Settles, Richard
Sharpe, George
Simpson, Christopher
Snickler, Edward
Snowden, William
Storme, Anthony
Thomas, Nicholas
Thornton, George, jun, Churchwarden
Thornton, George, sen.
Tingle, Hugh, Minister
Tingle, Simon
Townsend, John
Walker, John, Overseer
Waller, William
Welche, Timothy
Whittington, George
Williams, John
Winter, John
* Perhaps a son of Sir Gervase Elwes or Helwys, (baptised 1561, hanged 1615), court official and convicted accessory to the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury (1581-1613). The surname is variously spelled Helwysse, Helvis, Helwys and Elwaies at this time. A Jane Elwyse was baptised in Whitton on 30th Jan 1618.

1653 From the Churchwardens' Accounts

Collected in the p_ishe Church of Whitton the 21st day of August 1653 for ye inhabitants of Marlborough, ye some of xiiij s viij d and payd into ye hands of Matt Gere chosen Constable. Jo Dugdaile Minister ibid.

Note : The 14/8d ( 73p) was collected for the people of Marlborough, Wiltshire as a great fire had destroyed the centre of that town on 28th April 1653.

1660 From Whitton's Parish Register
'John, son of Thomas Norton baptised September 15th; the said John was buried the same day.'
1664  'Feb 28th burialle Sir Edmund Skerne, Knight'.
Note: Perhaps this was the same Sir Edmund of Bonby, knighted in 1619, whose family ownd lands in Alkborough and Burton Stather.

1667 A Whitton Trade Token. From the late 1640s to the late 1670s, during the turbulent period of the Commonwealth and the first part of the reign of Charles II, there was a shortage of small change in circulation. Traders produced trade tokens, which were privately produced substitutes for official coins. Seen here (right ) is the obverse of a half penny one used in Whitton. It is 19.5mm in diameter.
Obverse : Clockwise round the rim from the top   IN . WHITTON . 1667  In the centre is an image of St George and the Dragon.
Reverse:  GEORGE . BEALE  and, in the centre HIS HALF PENY
The prosperous Beale family were in Whitton for well over 100 years -see 1546 and 1642, above.

Courtesy: North Lincolnshire Museum

George Beale born 1624, married Elizabeth Thornton in 1644 and died in Whitton in 1684. In his will he left £ 5 to the poor of the village as well as £ 5 to Alkborough's poor and 20/- to the poor of West Halton. His Probate Inventory values his goods at £ 587-14-6 (perhaps £ 75 thousand, today) and shows that he owned many sheep and cattle both in Whitton and Alkborough and also, one sixteenth part of a boat, 'a vessell called hopewell' worth £ 22. (see below)

It is interesting to speculate on the trade of George Beale in Whitton. Because of the image on the token, perhaps he was an innkeeper at the sign of the 'George and Dragon'.

1676 The Compton Census was an ecclesiastical census taken in 1676 and named after Henry Compton, the Bishop of London. The adults (i.e. people over the age of 16) of each parish were recorded as either Conformists, Papists, or Non-conformists .
Whitton - 56 Conformists; 0 Papists; 3 Non-conformists, and for interest :
West Halton - 138 Conformists; 0 Papists; 4 Non-conformists
Alkborough 161 - Conformists; 0 Papists; 0 Non-conformists
Historians regard this census as a valuable source for estimating the population, but if one accepts their current idea that the proportion of the population over 16 in the parish was between 60% and 70%, a simple calculation gives the total population of Whitton as a surprisingly low 91, of West Halton 218 and of Alkborough 248.
Perhaps Whitton's low population was the result of a series of epidemics, which can be inferred from parish register entries. Between 1660 and 1679, there were 25 more deaths than births recorded. There had been as many as 100 communicants in 1603.

1678 A manuscript in the Guildhall Library in London lists Whitton parish as contributing towards the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral, which had been burnt down in 1666.

1679 The Plague in Whitton ?
Four or five names per year, appear in the Whitton Burial Registers around this time, but in the five weeks between 21st November and 30th December 1679 there are thirteen deaths recorded - a very large number for such a small village.
The years 1657-59, 1670 and 1678-80 were similarly morbid and in each of these periods about one sixth of Whitton's population died .
This might have been the last gasp of bubonic plague which had brought death on a massive scale from 1348 to about 1679 and which then mysteriously disappeared, but other diseases prevalent in England at this period were smallpox, dysentery, measles, cholera and 'ague'.
Neighbouring Winteringham had a large number of deaths in 1679/80 of which many were attributed to ague, the malarial like 'fen-fever'.

1686 The Quakers in Whitton Efforts were made by the Society of Friends to ensure that members married 'within the Truth' i.e. other members.
12 Nov 1686. 'At the house of Thomas Markham in Brigge.... it was ordered by the meeting that Thomas Wressle of Winteringham and Robert Wilkinson of the same, goe and speak to Margaret Hood of Whitton, Widdow and admonish her to keep to the Truth and to keep clear of letting out her affections towards marriage that soe Faith and Friends may not suffer by such disorderly proclivities and bring in her answer to the next monthly meeting.'
Happily, this reprimand was ineffective as the Whitton Register two weeks later shows:
             'Nov 25 Thomas Walker & Margaritt Hood, married'.
It would not be long before Methodism began to be the choice of the dissenters of Whitton...

1687 The Old Manor House used to have a piece of old oak embedded into it, marked 'PEM 1687.

'The Manor House is at present (1940) divided into two cottages, the one on the south side has had a piece built onto it . This was done by the present owner Mr Maurice Bray in 1921. The cottage which forms the north side of the house was bought at the Whitton Sale (1919) by Mr W Oxtoby' - (ks)

Note: Perhaps this house of 1687, with its tumbled gable and metal tie plate, replaced an earlier village Manor House which stood on the Cliff to the west of the Church , see the entry for 1697 below.

1696 From Whitton's Parish Register ' William Pickergill, a stranger who was slain by a fall from the Cliff, buried October 18th' - Francis Turpin, Vicar 1688-1699.

1697 An extract from the journal of Abraham de la Pryme - the Curate of Broughton

29th May "From thence ( Alkboro' ) I went to Whitten. The town is but a little inconsiderate town, as most of these Lincolnshire towns are. It is seated mighty advantageously, having the Humber running close to it.
There is nothing worth seeing in the whole town.
The present lord of it, Mr Pleadwell, who lives in London, got it by marrying the daughter of Sir John Morton who was lord of it before.
About 20 years ago there was part of a great hall standing on the west side of the Church in a cloase where the Mortons lived, but now onely part of the foundations appear.
The Church of this town is but mean and there is nothing worth seeing in it .
When I first saw the town, it put into my mind a song that I had heard of it , which ended at every verse thus:

'At Whitten's town end ,brave boys
At Whitten's town end .
At every door,
There sits a whore,
At Whitten's town end .' "

Source: A. de la Pryme, The diary of Abraham de la Pryme, the Yorkshire antiquary, Surtees Society, vol 54 (Durham, 1870), p.139
Note : 'A line of tiles, possibly a floor, was reported exposed in the cliff side and was possibly associated with the Hall' - C.W. Phillips, Ordnance Survey Site Index 1929.

1709 The Glebe terrier, an inventory of church property, highlighted the continual problem of estuarine erosion. It begins : "The Vicarage House consists of three bays, two whereof are chamber'd with fir plank and timber, the third bay used as a Barn, and no outhouses belonging to it. The Homestall contains about one half rood of ground so near adjoining the River of Humber that is to be feared that in less than an age it will be swallowed by it, for the river has in the memory of man swallowed up the ground upon which two or three cottages did stand near adjoining to it. "  (LIncs Archives: Whitton PAR/3/1)
Note: A rood is a quarter of an acre.

1721 From the Whitton Parish Register. Childbirth was a dangerous business as Rev. William Holgate noted :
20 Feb;" baptised - George, son of George Cooper & Mary and buried - Mary, wife of George Cooper : same day."

1723 Extract from Whitton Churchwarden's and Constables Accounts: 'Feb 28th. A bargain made with Robert Fairweather for to repair the church leads and windows - the steeple excepted - and for the present he is to have one pound and a shilling and to find glass, lead and powder that is wanting for the church. And for the futer (sic) to be paid ten shillings a year at every easter to keep it in repair in his lifetime and to be allowed six pence a Day for every day's work at the said Church. - Wittness our hands, Robert Langton, Thomas Hodson, Thomas Willson, Robt Potter, Thomas Walker'
Note: the mention of a 'steeple'.

1730 From the Whitton Parish Register.
31 March; baptised - Easter Wade, daughter of John and Mary Wade.
Note: Perhaps she had been born on Easter Day the 29th March, two days before.

1756 Note in one of the Whitton Church Registers." In the year one thousand, seven hundred and fifty-six our common was not stocked on May Day as usual which fell on a Wednesday, but was kept till the Monday following by reason of the very cold and wet season " - William Metcalfe (Vicar of Whitton and Alkborough 1742-1765 ).
Note: This suggests that pre-enclosure Whitton  had a by-law allowing common rights of pasturage in the (Common) Marsh from 1st May until a later, unnamed, date.

Click to see Whitton from the air

1773 WHITTON ENCLOSURE ACT The English countryside was transformed between 1760 and 1835 as the ridge and furrow, open-field system of cultivation gave way to compact farms and enclosed fields. Alkborough was the first in the area to be enclosed in 1768 and Scunthorpe/Frodingham completed the area in 1834.
Most of Whitton was already the property of Thomas Goulton, the Lord of the Manor, who was also lessee of the 'great tithes' under the Bishop of Lincoln. The usual procedure for land enclosure was the presentation of a petition to Parliament by persons locally interested - in this case Thomas Goulton. On this petition, a Bill was introduced, which was referred to a Committee, usually a Select Committee, after its Second Reading. If the Report of this Committee was favourable, the Bill was subsequently passed and Commissioners were sent to the parish concerned to arbitrate between conflicting interests, and make an award.
'An Act for Dividing and Inclosing several Open Fields, Lands and Grounds, in the Parish of Whitton' - was passed in 1773. Two Enclosure Commissioners were named in the Act, Edward Johnson of Hull and William Jepson of Lincoln.
James Goulton-Constable noted in 1889 that - 'Some of the parish had already been enclosed.
The old enclosed part consisted of all the houses, yards and gardens in the village plus Whitton Ashes and the Low Plantation, and a number of small fields immediately to the east of the village. Some of these fields , together with the Low Plantation had the name “Whathams” '. (see Appendix 2.f, below) . This old enclosing may have happened in Tudor or Stuart times to increase the amount of sheep pasture available to the Lord of the Manor.
The measurement of the then enclosed part of the Parish is not given, but that of the yet to be enclosed is given as about 1088 acres.'

1775 Whitton is transformed. Enclosure was completed in March 1775 and the changes to the village that Messrs Johnson and Jepson had drawn on their maps during the two years, are substantially those features to be seen in Whitton's landscape today.
A principal road 1.3 km long south to the West Halton parish boundary was constructed. It was 60 feet wide and separated the old Longlands field in the east from the western Lammer field. This new road joined with the road north out of West Halton, which had been laid out, two years earlier, in 1773 when West Halton was enclosed . Edward Johnson had been also a Commissioner at the West Halton enclosure.
The other principal road of about 1km was constructed south-west from the Whitton-West Halton road to the Alkborough parish boundary from where, it continued across Alkborough's Sand field along the road made in 1768 when that village was enclosed. This second principal road of Whitton may have been drawn from the Alkborough boundary to a pond next to the Whitton-West Halton road perhaps for the convenience of the new owner, Mr Goulton. The pond subsequently silted up, but has been redug in the last 40 years.
There were several new secondary roads ; Ings Lane, and the roads to Marsh and Argons were made at this time. Drains were dug to improve the drainage of this eastern area of the parish and the Enclosure Award also mentions the construction of 'sea' banks and sluices.
The familiar fields of Whitton came into existence at this time, and the new owners had to fence or hedge them with quickthorn by November of the same year.

The Table below, shows who was awarded what acreages of land, and their shares of the costs of Enclosure. The expenses incurred in fencing or hedging the new fields were extra.

Land Awarded at Enclosure

Acres  Roods  Perches

Share of Cost

a) Special Allotments .  

£ s. d

Vicar, in lieu of Glebe and rights of Common

3 2 19


Vicar, in lieu of Tithes

51 2 1


Bishop of Lincoln, in lieu of Tithes

150 2 0


Surveyors of the Highways

0 2 0


(b) General Allotments    
1. Thomas Goulton

832 2 23

570. 18. 8

2. Heirs of John Westoby

17 2 31

13. 14 2

3. John Wetherill

3 0 3

1. 17. 5

4. Ann Brown, widow

2 2 12

1. 15. 0

5. John Helm

2 1 24

1. 15 3

6. Mary Borringham, widow

2 1 10

1. 17. 4

7. Heirs of John Gawthorpe

2 0 32

1 17.11

8. John Scarborough

2 0 4

1 14. 7

Whitton was changed for ever.
Although enclosure was necessary so that farming and food supply could be revolutionised, it reduced the powers and rights of the ordinary villagers of Whitton and had unfavourable social effects. Land reallocation under the enclosure act was supposed to compensate those losing their rights to common land but, in practice they lacked the capital to utilise the land, and the smallholders could not live adequately from their new plots and had to become agricultural labourers; further, landless labourers received no compensation.
However both the power and the wealth of Thomas Goulton (1745-1826) of Walcot Hall, and his successors, were greatly increased.

Note : The last remnant of ridge and furrow in Whitton can be seen in a pasture about 400 metres down, and to the south of, Ings Lane.
The field name 'Argons' may be the old word 'argins' or 'argines' which means an embankment. (O.E.D Vol 1 ) cf. 'Agger' a mound or rampart formed by the earth excavated from a ditch.
The Whitton Enclosure Award (
ref LAO: Lindsey Award/88) can be inspected at the Lincolnshire Archives

1775 Appearance of hamlet of Bishopthorpe. 'It was under the sanction of the Enclosure Commissioners that the Bishop of Lincoln gave to Thomas Goulton the old homestead belonging to the Rectory with the decayed dwelling house, barns, stables situated in the village on the south side of the church yard, in exchange for two acres of land in the Ings, on condition that Thomas Goulton build a new dwelling house, barns and stables on some part of the land allocated to the Bishop of Lincoln in the Ings. Thomas Goulton therefore, in fulfillment of this condition, built the homestead known to this day as Bishopthorpe'.(James Goulton-Constable)

Bishopthorpe Farm

1781 Whitton Parish v Judith Coulson Overseer of the Poor and Churchwarden, Richard Langton issued a bond 'to Thos. Coulson, yeoman late of Welton, Co.Yorks, butcher to indemnify the Parish for the relief of ( his daughter, 31 year old ) Judith Coulson and the children she may bear'. The following year a warrant was issued for the apprehension of Henry Britten, the putative father of the bastard child of Judith Coulson.
Notes : The 'bond' was an agreement binding on Thos. Coulson and meant that he, rather than Whitton parish, would support Judith's children.
Judith Coulson was baptised at Welton across the river on 3rd Jan 1750...

1790 17th August Dissenters' Certificates Thomas Cousins and Sarah Sharp applied to the Bishop of Lincoln for their own houses in Whitton to be registered as places of religious worship 'for the use of His Majesty's subjects dissenting from the Church of England, now commonly called Methodists'.
The applications, which were granted, were signed by Thomas Cousins, Sarah Cousins, John Walker, Ann Walker, George Epworth and Sarah Sharp.

Notes: These villagers continued to attend services in the church and a schism, with the established Church, had yet to appear; see the 1799 church seating plan, q.v.
This was at a time when the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, was still alive; he was to die on 2nd March 1791.

1794 The old church before rebuilding

An extraordinary drawing of old Whitton Church in 1794 by John Claude Nattes (c1765 - 1839), the draughtsman and water-colourist.
Only the tower is recognisable - and that without its familiar pitched roof. The nave appears to have a south aisle and porch attached. The roof has a ladder resting on it near to gaps in the slates. The last of four pinnacles totters precariously on the top of the tower.
Source: LCCL, Banks Collection, IV, 273

1797/8 The old church is rebuilt
"1797 is spoken of as being the year when the old Church was rebuilt - before this, in all probability the tower had battlements or pinnacles. The two stone pinnacles on the top of the Churchyard wall by the gate belonged to the old Church. They were found under the chancel during the alterations in 1889." (ks)
Notes: But the later date '1798' can be seen carved into a stone of the outside south wall, above the vestry door.
The pinnacles are small pyramidal spires, apparently 'crocketed', that is having knobs of stylised foliage supposedly like a shepherd's crook.
See the criticisms of the new church, and its benefactor Thomas Goulton, by the Venerable Stonehouse under 1850, below.
(right ) The 'crocketed' pinnacles by the church gate.

1798  Wednesday 7th November.   'A sloop, called the Hull Packet, Thos. Auckland, master, laden with groceries, etc., bound from Hull for Gainsbro', was lost on Whitton Sand.  The people on board, consisting of the master, his wife and four children, and one man, were providentially saved.  Mrs Auckland, with an infant in her arms, was about two minutes under water, and on rising to the surface, she luckily put two of her fingers into the bung hole of an empty Burton Ale cask, which was the means of both being preserved.'
Source: Leed Intelligencer, 12 Nov 1798; Newcastle Courant, 17 Nov 1798

1799 Saturday 3rd August. On that day it was found necessary to have a meeting to allocate pews 'by Lot' in the new smaller church, amongst the various social classes which then existed in the village. The seating plan produced that day gives the surnames of the farmers, freeholders and cottagers with their pew numbers.
Pews were also allotted to men servants (front row), female servants (back row right) and widows and single Housekeepers (back row left.). Perhaps the men servants had been causing trouble in church.

Click to see the 1799 Seating Plan for Whitton Church

1802 Poaching 

'Whereas the game within the manors of Whitton, Halton, Aukburrow, Walcot and Colby. hath been destroyed by Poachers of various Desciptions; notice is hereby given, That whoever is found trespassing there in future will be prosecuted, Walcot near Brigg, Sept 6 1802' - Stamford Mercury , Friday 17 Sept 1802

Notes:  An advertisement presumably placed on behalf of Thomas Goulton. The incidence of poaching tended to increase, after estates and commons were removed from public access by enclosure. By early 1803 a list of authorised gamekeepers had been published in the press; John Walker, yeoman of Whitton was appointed, by Mr Goulton,  for Whitton and Alkborough.  Stamford Mercury,  Friday 14 January 1803

1803 The North Lincolnshire Legion was a 3,000 men volunteer force raised at a public meeting in Brigg, by Lord Yarborough, on Saturday 17 Sept 1803, in response to Napoleon’s planned invasion of the U.K.. The Legion, one of a number raised in the county, had its expenses defrayed by public subscriptions.
In November 1803, West Halton contributed nineteen guineas, Alkborough twenty-five and Whitton ten;                                                                

Rev William Cookson £ 2-12-6
Samuel Butter   £ 2-2-0
Joseph Sharp
£ 2-2-0
John Spilman   £ 0-10-6
Ann Cousins  £ 1-1-0
Richard Langton
£ 1-1-0
£ 1-1-0

The invasion did not happen and the Legion was disbanded in 1813
Source: Stamford Mercury, Friday 18 Nov 1803

1804 The 'Plum' The poet Henry Kirke White while staying at Winteringham vicarage, walked to Whitton and noted the petrifying spring which bubbles from a gladed dell close by the Humber and which is called by the villagers, the 'Plum'. He wrote of the spring, in his dog Latin, 'Muschum, conchas et fragiliones ramos arborum in lapidem transmutans' which seems to mean 'Moss, shells and twigs are turned to stone ' .
This feature is not shown on the 1775 enclosure map and may have been dug soon after this date as a source of gravel and building materials to replace the existing gravel pit of that time, which was at the south end of the village near to what is now the entrance to Mill Field Lane.
Radiated fossils called astroites or car-stones are searched for in the 'Plum' and on the Cliff above and local people used to call them 'kestles and postles' (which sounded like 'Christ and His Apostles' to Abraham De La Pryme ). More recently the search is called 'starring and fossiling'.
The tops of the trees in the 'Plum' can be seen in the photo accompanying the note for 1858.

Notes: Kirke White (1785-1806) is supposed to have penned the lines which start ' Oft in danger, oft in woe' after crossing the Humber in a ferry from Whitton.
The word 'Plum' may have originated from one of two dialect uses of the word. It can mean 'a deep pool in a river' or alternatively 'soft easily worked rock'. (O.E.D Vol 7)

The 'Plum' in high summer.

1814 18th October. Burial of ' Hannah the daughter of John and Elizabeth Gell who accidentally starved to death by wandering from her parents into the fields, aged 2 ' - Rev. John Wilson.
Note: Here 'starved' has the local dialect meaning of 'cold' .

1818 19th June Independent Methodists . On this day application was made to the Bishop of Lincoln for a Dissenters' Certificate to enable the 'house or appartments of John Westoby' to be used by 'His Majesty's subjects dissenting from the Church of England commonly called Independents' as a place of religious worship. The application was signed by 'The Minester (sic) Mr Plumstead, Joseph Dinsdale, John Westoby, William Smith and Edward Cambell'.
Note: The Independents seem to have been founded by a Warrington chairmaker called Peter Phillips around 1806 and a Quaker plainness of speech and dress was apparently evident in their manner.

1818  24th July  The Revd William Cookson,   who had been vicar for forty-five years since February 1773,   died on the 24 July. A memorial stone was fixed on the north wall of the chancel  to commemorate his ministry and, when the church was rebuilt in  1893, (q.v.) that stone was laid on its back in the churchyard, close to the church’s north wall.  It is now  difficult to decipher, but reads in part:

Whate'er I did believe, whate'er I taught,
Whate'er He did for me, who mankind bought,
In faith, in life, in word, in deed, in thought,
Resurgam of them all is the full draught,
Whate'er is preach'd—and is not this—is nought,
Who preaches this, receive him as ye ought;
Reader learn well, but this short text from me,
Though I be dead, yet still, I preach to thee!                                               

The Governance of Whitton The affairs of the village were under the control of the Vestry that is, in theory, all the village ratepayers meeting once a year in the Church vestry at Easter to review the accounts and elect parish officials, but in fact the work was done by just a few unpaid volunteers who were answerable to the Justices of the Peace and the Chief Constable. There should have been six men chosen - two Overseers, Churchwardens and Constables but in practice, over very many years, Whitton was run by less than this, as one or more served in two capacities. For example in the year....
1819 March 30th. 'John Spilman and John Langton gave up their accounts and their :

Imbursements wherein

£ 179-04-0

Disbursements wherein

£ 177-14-7

Into Purse

£ 1-09-5

'At the same time Joseph Sharp and Thomas England chosen Overseers of the Poor of the parish of Whitton and John Spilman chosen Constable and Churchwarden for the ensuing year by us whose names are under writen
Tho Butters Thos Walker John Westoby John Laming'

Notes: The 'imbursements' were monies raised by levies on the occupiers of property. The cash was spent on Whitton's widows, orphans and aged. These accounts continue until 1834 when The Poor Law Amendment Act replaced the parish Overseers with a national system for dealing with poverty and its relief, based around the Union workhouse at ( in Whitton's case), the Workhouse on Union Road (now St. Peter's Road) in Brigg. The site later became Glanford Hospital and was demolished in the 1980s.

1824 Whitton from an engraving of 1824, surveyed between 1819 and 1822.
The Windmill is clearly seen just to the left of centre in Mill Field Close.
Willwick Hill Plantation is below it, its shape very similar to that of today. A row of trees, (scotch firs ?) greets the traveller at the top of the hill as he crosses into Alkborough parish,bottom left.
Bishopthorpe cottages on the West Halton road have yet to appear.
The pier and the road to it are not yet built.
Ings Lane and the road to the Marsh are seen in 1824, but a thoroughfare north of Ings Lane and parallel to it exists now only as a footpath -
see the photos of Whitton from the air..
The population in 1821 was 212 (in 49 houses) , which is more than today's figure of about 180

1824 18th June. Burial of Thomas Wade, son of Wm. and Elizabeth Wade who was accidentally killed by a cart wheel running over his neck. He was seven.

1826 Thomas Goulton (1745-1826), owner of most of Whitton (and Walcot) died and the estates passed to his nephew, Marmaduke Constable. Marmaduke was the son of Thomas Goulton's sister Sarah and the Rev. Thomas Constable of Sigglesthorne and Wassand, E. Riding Yorkshire.

1831 The census recorded 245 people - 134 males and 111 females in 54 houses. However the Land Tax Assessment for 1831, lists only 41 tax paying properties - perhaps 13 families were either sharing houses or lived in properties valued at under 20s. per year and officially exempted from paying tax.
Four of the villagers, the widow Elizabeth Langton, Driffield Legard, John Everatt (at Bishopthorpe ) and John Spilman together farmed, as tenants, a total of 70% of the taxable value of Whitton.

of the unfortunate
Master Mariner of the Post
Ipswich who was accidentally shot
on the 19th of November 1832
: AETAT 33:
Leaving a Widow and Two Children to
lament their loss.
Remember me!

1832 According to the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal  of 30 November 1832, he was 'sailing in  a small boat on the river Trent with a friend, when a gun which they had with them, went off and the contents lodging in Mr Riches' side, he died two hours afterwards.'

1837 The violent end of Alice Dinsdale of Whitton

Wednesday 7th June at 6am and Whitton shop-keeper Alice Dinsdale was waiting on board the Hull to Gainsborough steam packet, the Union, for it to leave on the short journey from the Humber Dock Basin at Hull to Whitton.  She had just two minutes to live.
As the Union cast off there was a rumbling and its boiler blew up with a tremendous explosion, throwing large bits of metal 80 ft into the air and raining corpses onto, and through, the roofs of Minerva Terrace alongside the dock. In that instant thirteen passengers and crew died . Some bodies were never found, but Alice Dinsdale’s was retrieved from a neighbouring steam packet, the Don, 'and presented a spectacle too horrid to attempt to describe.' Alice was interred in Whitton churchyard and a piece of doggerel on her gravestone reads :

'Stop my friend and view my stone, Consider well where I have gone.
Prepare yourselves make no delay, For in a moment I was call'd away.

Note: Alice Hobson was born in Frodingham in 1795 and was married in Winterton, in 1818, to Whitton farmer Joseph Dinsdale . ( See list in 1842, below).
Source: Hull Packet , Friday, 9 June 9, 1837; Morning Chronicle (London) Monday, 12 June , 1837..

1842 Whitton, an extract from White's 'Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire'
Whitton, a village and ferry on the Humber, about 3 miles below Trent falls, and 9 miles W. of Barton, has in its parish 217 souls and 1240a. 1r. 15p. of land. Marmaduke Constable, Esq., owns nearly all the soil, and is impropriator and lord of the manor, which is parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster.  The church (St. John The Baptist,) was rebuilt many years ago, when its fine Norman doorway was destroyed, but the ancient font is still preserved.  The vicarage valued in K.B. £ 6. 10s. was augmented with £ 200 of Q.A.B. in 1767, and has long been united with that of Aukborough.  At the enclosure, about 70 years ago, land was allotted in lieu of tithes.  Opposite Whitton, there, is in the Humber, a bed of silt, called Whitton sands, more than a mile broad, and two miles in length, which is left bare at low water, and upon which steamers and other vessels are often left aground until the return of the tide, and in stormy weather sometimes wrecked.  The ferry boat here takes passengers to and from the steam packets, or carries them across the river to Brough, or Weighton Lock.  In the gravel pit here, a very remarkable dip of the strata is exposed, exhibiting, among the boulder stones, ammonites, gryphites, and other fossils and shells, similar to those in the debris on the shore, where many conglomerate masses have fallen from the cliff; near the summit of which a petrifying steam comes from an incrusted rock.  The Ferry House is at Brough, on the Yorkshire side of the Humber.

GREEN John stonemason
GREEN Robert stonemason
LAMMING William coal merchant
WILSON Rev. John
DINSDALE Joseph farmer
EVERRATT John farmer, Bishopthorpe
LANGTON William farmer
MILLSON William farmer
LEGARD Driffil farmer
SPILMAN John farmer, also miller
KENDAL William shopkeeper
WALKER William shopkeeper

1848 Rural crime.  'A few evenings ago Mr John Green of Whitton had a quantity of cucumbers stolen. The thieves have not yet been found out.'  Hull Packet, Friday, 25 August 1848

1848 Offensive effluvia. ' The Health of Towns Act we are informed want enforcing at ... Alkboro and Whitton; at these places there are manure heaps and cesspools in close contact with the dwelling houses, and the effluvia arising from which is most offensive. The maxim, "cleanliness" is next to godliness, is much discanted (sic) on, but not sufficiently put onto practice.'
  Source: Hull Packet,  Friday, 08 December 1848.    Notes;  After much campaigning by the Health of Towns Association, and a severe outbreak of cholera in 1848, the government was forced to act, and Edwin Chadwick's,  Public Health Act of 1848 was passed ; 'To discant' is an archaic term, meaning to comment on.

Whitton Main Street in Victorian times.

The man with the wheel barrow is standing outside the gate of Spilman's stackyard. It is thought that he is Amos Bullivant (1861-1935) who was the Whitton roadmender for over 30 years and a Primitive Methodist preacher for more than 40 years.

Two miles east of Whitton village, the Ness on a fine summer's day with Brough, Yorkshire in the background
1849 March 23 Whitton Ness 'The Humber here a little below the confluence of the Ouse and the Trent, which has for some time being nearly choked with the detritus from these two rivers, is again navigable for steamers and sailing vessels, the large sandbank having shifted elsewhere. Passengers may now embark and disembark at Whitton instead of that inconvenient and bleak spot, the Ness. Our correspondent says he has sometimes had to stand shivering for two or three hours waiting for the packets. Barley the ferryman, it is hoped, will now meet with that support he deserves for his past, badly paid services to accommodate the public. He has been constant at the Ness, though nearly two miles from the ferry, exposing himself to all weathers to put passengers on board the packets and take them off'. - Stamford Mercury 23rd March 1849 page 2, column 2.

Note: It is believed that the ferryman at this time was 31 year old Carey Barley (1818-1851), who had been born at Roxby.

1850 'The church was rebuilt about 40 years ago............... but not in such good taste as Alkboro'.
The church consists now of only a small nave, and the old tower has been slated like a pigeon house. Here again we meet with the old abomination of selling the lead and substituting a flat plaster ceiling for the old wood roof, which leaves the Archdeacon little cause to thank Mr. Goulton for his munificence. The Vicarage House is very pleasantly situated near the Humber, at least it appears so as you pass in the steam packet on a fine day. What sort of residence it is on a dark night "when stormy winds do blow" is not very difficult to conjecture. The house is in good repair but it is difficult to maintain the foreshore in front of it. The Vicar informs me the Humber has made great inroads lately but he cannot prevent it because the Lord of the Manor claims the foreshore. There is an allotment of land to the vicarage, rich warp below the hill adjoining the Humber, subject to the encroachment of the daily tides and now 3 acres of this glebe have been swept away.'- Venerable W.B Stonehouse 'A Stow Visitation'
Notes : The 'Vicarage House' is now called 'Prospect House'; The Vicar was John Wilson; 'Warp' is land reclaimed from the river ; The 'allotment' could be the field called 'Bonding' which is below Ashes plantation and just over the parish boundary into Alkborough .

This is the only known photograph of the church criticised by the Venerable W.B Stonehouse in 'A Stow Visitation', above. It shows an ivy covered tower and the small nave erected by Thomas Goulton in 1797/8 to replace the one illustrated in Nattes' drawing (q.v.) and explains why it was necessary for parishioners to have a meeting to allocate pews in their reduced church. This 'miserable structure' was torn down in 1893 (q.v.) and replaced by the present chancel with a vestry at the S.E. corner. All but one of the scotch firs have disappeared.....

Photo: courtesy of Stephen Ingram of
  S. Ingram & D. Robinson Ltd  Bookbinders
The photograph was taken by William T. Watson (1835-1899) of Anlaby Road, Hull, probably in 1872.

1851 A Religious Census in Whitton Alongside the usual decennial Census of 1851 the Government authorised a survey of Religious Worship.
Census enumerators asked representatives of the three places of worship that they found in Whitton to fill in a questionnaire on Sunday 30th March. Here are their answers:

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH rebuilt before 1800 by Thomas Goulton Esq. of Walcot Hall. Endowed with land £ 86-7s, other permanent endowment £ 1-5s, fees 10s, Easter offerings £ 15
Average attendance during previous 12 months.
In morning : General Congregation 50, Sunday scholars 20. In afternoon : General Congregation 50, Sunday scholars 20.
'Teacher of the Sunday School confined; few of the Sunday scholars attending Divine Service in consequence' Signed John Wilson, Minister
WESLYAN CHAPEL Not a separate or entire building. Not used exclusively as a place of worship. Free sittings 40. On 30 March, In evening General Congregation and Sunday scholars 30.
Ave attendance during previous 12 months: In evening: General Congregation and Sunday scholars 30.
Signed Henry Naylor, Local Preacher
PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL Not a separate or entire building. Not used exclusively as a place of worship. Free sittings 30.
On 30 March, In morning General Congregation 40. In evening General Congregation 62
Signed Henry Richardson, Leader

Notes: If the figures are to be believed, 162 of Whitton's 190 inhabitants attended Church or Chapel on Sunday afternoon/evening . The Weslyans met in the White House at the time. It is not clear where the Primitive Methodists met before the construction of the tin chapel in 1905.
John Wilson ( 1777-1867 )
Henry Naylor ( 1831- ? )
Henry Morley Richardson ( 1797-1868 )

1854 When Whitton was a Port
The Sloop 'Walcot' was built in 1854 by John Wray, (1796-1884) Shipbuilder of Burton Stather for £ 380. Length of keel 54' 6" , breadth of beam 14' 9", height 6' 6" from bottom of keel to top of skin.
She operated from the Whitton landing place called the Stone Heaps, and later from the Pier
Photo - Collection of TMS

'Miss Wells, the Postmistress says that her father's spade was used to cut the first sod of the pier' (ks)
Note: If true, this would have been William Wells (1838-1923) who was actually a shoe maker and Whitton's first sub-postmaster ....

1856 Whitton, an extract from White's 'Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire'
WHITTON, a village and ferry at the northern termination of the Cliff range of hills, 0n the south shore of the river Humber, about 3 miles below Trent-falls, and 9 miles west of Barton, has in its parish 190 souls, and 1240 Acres l Rood 15 perches of land. The wife of the Rev. W. H. E. Bentinck, archdeacon of Westminster, owns nearly all the soil, and is impropriator and lady of the manor, which is parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Church (St. John the Baptist) was rebuilt many years ago, when its fine Norman doorway was destroyed, but the ancient font is still preserved. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £ 6 1O s. was augmented with £ 200 of Q.A.B. in 1767, and has been long united with that of Alkborough. At the enclosure, about 90 years ago, land was allotted in lieu of tithes. Opposite Whitton, there is, in the Humber, a bed of silt, called Whitton Sands, more than a mile broad, and two miles in length, which is left bare at low water, and upon which steamers and other vessels are often left aground till the return of the tide. The ferry-boat here takes passengers to and from the steam packets or carries them across the river to Brough, or Weighton Lock. In the gravel pit here, a very remarkable dip of the strata is exposed, exhibiting, among the boulder stones, ammonites, gryphites, and other fossils and shells, similar to those in the debris on the shore, where many conglomerate masses have fallen from the cliff; near the summit of which a petrifying steam oozes from an incrusted rock. 

The wife of the Rev. W. H. E. Bentinck was Frances Constable . She married William Harry Edward Bentinck 19 July 1814 and died 13 March 1862 .
Q.A.B is Queen's Anne's Bounty - a money supplement to 'poor clergy', with incomes less than £ 50 p.a., from fund established by Act of Parliament of 1704.
Brough is 2.4 miles NE and Weighton Lock is 1.7 miles NW of Whitton.
Ammonites are fossils consisting of whorled chambered shells once thought to be coiled petrified snakes and called in consequence 'snake stones'. The name comes from their resemblance to the horn of Jupiter which was called 'Ammon'. Gryphites are fossil oyster shells of the genus gryphaea.

1856 A Pub in Whitton The first mention of a public house in Whitton seems to be in the 1849 edition of 'White's Lincolnshire' when a pub 'The Ferry Boat ', with Robert Arnold (1791-1872) as licensee, makes an appearance. It appears in the 1861 census, but has gone by the 1881 census. When the farm buildings, (cowsheds, gig-house, granary etc.) immediately to the south of the pub were built in 1871, it was called, the 'Steam Packet Inn' with John James Barley (1849-1880) as tenant.
The pub was, in what is now a private dwelling house with tumbled gable roof called 'Village Farm' at the corner of Main Street and Post Office Lane.
It must have been popular with the boat men and visitors waiting for the ferry so why it disappeared is obscure. An elderly resident once told the writer many years ago that there had been 'some trouble over it'. That was all that could be remembered. There was a branch of the Church of England Temperance Society in the village in the 1880s. Nowadays the nearest pub is the 'Butcher's Arms' in West Halton.

1858 Diary of T Harris - "Letters are brought from Winterton by a walking postman. Residents have no time to answer letters by return of post as the man leaves Whitton directly he has delivered the letters."
Jan 7th He speaks of 'a gang of plough jacks going to Alkborough from Whitton'.

July 10th -'There is no National School at Whitton but only a Dame's School kept by Ann Powell. When therefore the boys and girls have learnt there to read and write pretty well, they come to the National School here ( Alkborough ) and bring their dinners with them.'
Notes :A visit to the school on December 4th 1861 by the Diocesan Inspector, Mr Read noted 27 girls and infants in one 'room in a dwelling house, but sufficient'. He added '.....this is a small Dame's school of small pretensions, supplementary (for girls and infants) to the Alkborough school. There is no playground.....the school fittings are of a simple kind'.
Dame schools were often run by women with few qualifications who charged 3d or 4d per pupil a week and taught reading and writing to a rudimentary level. Dame schools were often held in kitchens while the "dame" continued with other household work - some historians think they were little more than child minder services.
Thomas Harris was the 17 year old pupil of Rev Frederick Stockdale at nearby Alkborough and his diary indicates the importance of Whitton, at the time, as a ferry port:

"Jan 6th. Yesterday Rev. F S. and I walked to Whitton to see the Reverend Lee (Master of Chelmsford Grammar School) off by the Packet to Goole.
Jan. 2lst. Rev. F. S. went to Hull on l9th hired a Harmonium from Hull, which Mumby brought from Whitton Pier on 20th.
Feb.3rd. By carriage from Kingerby to Market Rasen station, thence by train to Hull, thence by Goole boat to Whitton.
Apr.l2th Rev. F.S left at 12.25 intending to go by the York boat which passed Whitton Stoneheap at 1, but being too late he crossed in an open ferryboat to Bruff and thence went by train to Hull and thence Kingerby vicarage.
May 11th. Rev. F S. left at 3.30. pm. for Whitton thence to Goole, and Doncaster to see about a new Infant School Mistress.
Jun.7th. Rev. Sheepshanks walked to Whitton and then crossed with ferry boat to Brough and thence went by train to Leeds. " - T Harris

The Pier at Whitton built 1865

Whitton seems also to have provided seasonal delicacies....
August 17th 'It is now the season for Humber Salmon-Trout, some are caught at Whitton and brought round to sell. They are very good'.
1859 Diary of T Harris -" Nov 6th The sermon at Whitton was so long that the congregation was not dismissed until half past one".
1860 Diary of T Harris - "Jan 28th Three vessels sank off the coast of Whitton; no lives were lost.
                                        Feb 27th Another vessel wrecked, no lives lost."

Note: Thomas Harris (1841-1907) went up to Jesus College, Cambridge in 1860 and subsequently became a priest. He died in 1907 shortly after retiring from being vicar of Scotton and East Ferry. Surprisingly he was Dean of Honolulu 1868-70.

1860 "We had a terrible hurricane here on the 28th of May; the trees blown down on this estate were counted by hundreds and on Sir Robert Sheffield's (at Normanby) by thousands". - Alexander Aitken.

1861 Census of 7th April reveals the occupations of the people of Whitton, which at the time had a population of 209 in 45 houses.

Agricultural labourers 37
Female servants 10
Carters 7
Farmers 6
Dairymaids 3
Male farm servants 3
Ferrymen 2
Dressmakers 2
Millers 2
Nursemaids 2
Housemaids 2
Groom 1
Coal merchant 1
School mistress 1
Cordwainer 1
Grocer 1
Huckster 1
Inn Keeper 1
Housekeeper 1
Vicar 1
Curate 1
Bricklayer 1
Cow boy 1
Sailor 1
Note: The cordwainer made shoes. The huckster was a pedlar or hawker. The male farm servants were unmarried agricultural labourers,  sometimes called 'servants in husbandry', who 'lived in' with the families of farmers.

 1864 Whitton School The present stone and brick structure was built as a National School in 1864 with a single schoolroom, cloakroom/porch and coalhouse, at the expense of Lady Strickland (née Mary Constable who had also built Alkborough Infant School ). It became a Public Elementary School in 1893 and a Council School on 11 Oct 1930. It closed 17 March 1943.
Elizabeth Wade (1795-1848) was referred to as the 'school mistress' at her funeral and Ann Powell, is also listed earlier than the 1864 school building opening, (see 1858) but they may have had to use their own homes in which to teach. The new school was built on a piece of land of almost an acre and has a plantation to its north, formerly used as a shady play area and as an outdoor classroom on hot summer days . There is a small triangular piece of ground to the south, formerly hedged, which was used as a playground as well.

1848 Elizabeth Wade mentioned as school mistress.
1851 Mary Hardcastle listed as school mistress in census.
1858 Ann Powell is the school mistress of a 'Dame's School'
1860-1876 Ann Green, school mistress
1892 Miss Charlotte Barley, school mistress Average attendance 28;
1893 May. Miss Denton was appointed to the post of Mistress of the Whitton School which had been opened as a Public Elementary School
1896 Dec: Miss Emma Denton, school mistress resigns. Average attendance 32
1896-1899 Miss F Atkinson, school mistress
1899-1905 Dec Miss Ada Campbell resigns.
1906-1913 Mrs Eleanor Smedley, school mistress
1913 April 9-Nov28 Miss Clara Woods from Alkborough, temp schoolmistress.
1913-41 Miss Lillian Ellis, school mistress
1941-3 Mrs Kathleen Tomlinson
, school mistress

Whitton School in the early 1930s, as remembered by Jessie Grant née Burgess, appears as Appendix 4 below.
More school photos - click here

1865 Whitton Pier In the 1860s, because the Stone Heaps were getting increasingly difficult to use as a landing place for Whitton and perhaps due to the success of the New Holland Pier, Lady Strickland and the Walcot Estate decided that the village should have its own pier. In June 1865 a civil engineer from Boston called Edward Welsh who was Surveyor and Engineer to the Witham Drainage Commission submitted plans for a combined jetty/pier structure, of total length 180 yards to be built about 400 yards east of the Stone Heaps, close to where a stream emerges from the gladed dell called the 'Plum' and falls into the Humber. It was constructed in November 1865.
The structure consisted of a stone jetty sloping down to the water each side at 45 degrees, and extending into the river beyond it, a wooden pier of about 200 feet in length with a 12 feet wide walkway on top. At the pier end, a 40 feet landing stage extended east so that steam packets ( left ) could easily embark passengers. Later an extra landing stage was built onto the east side of the jetty.
"There was for many years a pier here on which people wishing, could go on the steam packets which went daily from Goole to Hull.
This boat was often very far from punctual and I have myself waited often an hour before it has come..............The business of most of the farmers was in those days done in Hull...and Whitton was quite busy on Tuesdays and Fridays with the various people who were congregating to take the boat for Hull. There was also a Market Sloop which ran between Hull and Whitton on which corn, manure etc were brought to the surrounding farms. This boat was in the joint ownership of Spilman and Barley. Tom Barley acted as Captain for many years and the sloop was moored at the jetty which was on the east side of the old pier landing stage.(ks)

1867 31 Oct. Rev John Wilson died at the age of 90 . He had been Vicar for almost 50 years, having been appointed in 1818. For some years he had suffered from an illness and a curate, Rev F. Stockdale who lived at Alkborough, had had to be appointed. T Harris wrote 27 Aug 1857 'We walked to Whitton and called at Mr Wilson's who is mad.'
Note : John Wilson had actually officiated at his first funeral, as curate, in June 1813 but on 20th May 1818 he buried the Rev William Cookson and shortly afterwards was appointed to succced him.

1868 7 August. Rev Francis Exton is appointed to be vicar of Alkborough with Whitton.

1873 August 29th A collision in the Humber between the steamers Emily and Londos, of Goole. The Emily sank on Whitton Sand.
December. A fog bell was installed at the end of Whitton Pier and then, in November 1875, Hull Trinity House told the Board of Trade that they proposed to place a permanent 'Floating Light Vessel' at Whitton Ness in place of a temporary vessel (built by John Barley), that had been in use since 1865.  The new vessel (right ) was built by Richard Day of New Holland for £ 380 and was put in place on Jan 31st 1877.

The Upper Whitton Lightship of 1877

1874 Whitton votes...or did it ? In the General Election of January 1874 (which Mr Gladstone had suddenly called, promising to abolish Income Tax if he were returned to power) there were actually only eight Whitton people out of a population of 200 who were eligible to go to the polling place at Winterton to vote ...
The Reform Act of 1832 had extended the franchise by means of various property qualifications and five male villagers (below left) were entitled to vote by reason that they paid rent of more than £ 50. The second Reform Act of 1867 increased voting rights in rural areas, to occupiers rated at £ 12 a year or more, and so added three extra voters ( below right ).
Occupying land with rental £ 50 plus
William Blanchard (In the town)
William Millson Langton (South end)
Joseph Naylor (Bishopthorpe)
Thomas Spilman (South end)
Thomas Wilson (Longlands, Argands & Robcroft)
Occupying land with rental between £ 12 and £ 50
John Barley, sen. (North end of town)
John Barley, jnr. (North end of town)
Walker Green (In the town)
Whitton did not actually vote in 1874; the Liberals failed to put up candidates in the North Lincolnshire Constituency and so the two Conservatives (Rowland Winn of Appleby and Sir John Dugdale Astley of Elsham) were returned unopposed.
Notes : Mr Gladstone lost and it was the Conservative, Benjamin Disraeli who won the election.
In 1951 (q.v.) out of a population of 173, all 125 adults in Whitton over 21 were eligible to vote ....

1880 James Goulton Constable criticises Whitton School,  built by his grandmother  Lady Strickland  in  1864.
The owner of Whitton shows his reactionary side in a book he publishes in 1880:
'The education of the masses in our rural districts is in these days being very much overdone .….. What is the use of teaching a child of four that a certain shape is called a parallelogram and that another certain shape is called a trapezoid ?  Much use will such knowledge be to him when he is set to tent a field or to cut up turnips for sheep, or to feed pigs even supposing the shape of the field to be a parallelogram and he himself careful to cut up his turnips into the most complete trapezoids. … he is then taught what is the highest mountain in Carnarvonshire and what relation Edward the Black Prince was to his uncle. Knowledge such as this must, of course, be of immense importance to a lad when he is set to drive a plough…'
 Source:  J. G. Constable, The anatomy of wealth, or, The ABC of every day life (York, 1880), p.87 ;  'to tent' is to look after, or guard.

Note: James Goulton-Constable (1850-1922) was the principal landowner of Whitton; born in Cotesbach, Leics , he lived at Walcot Hall with his wife Mary and son Lewis. In 1873 he is recorded as owning a total of 2,975 acres with an annual rental value of £ 4681-7-0 . Source: J.Bateman (ed.),The great landowners of Great Britain & Ireland (1873), p.102        See 1919, below, for more about James Goulton Constable.....

1882 The Charities of Mary Anne Bord and Nathaniel Easton. In 1882 Mary Anne Bord in her will, left the interest on £ 47-9-7 for the purchase of flannel to be distributed annually amongst the oldest widows who were not in receipt of parochial relief and four years later, in a codicil to Nathaniel Easton's will of 1886, the interest on £ 133-3-4 was bequeathed for the poor and deserving inhabitants of the parish. The two charities were, effectively, combined in 1908 and in the early days gifts were made of meat and flour to eligible Whitton parishioners; then for many years, quantities of coal were supplied just before Xmas, until its purchase in bulk became impossible because of wartime rationing. Cash payments then took the place of coal.
The charities ceased to operate as recently as  September 2010. See the website.

    Mary Anne Bord was born in 1813, the daughter of Whitton farmer, Thomas Butter. She married in 1843 a clerk at the Bank of England called Richard Bord. After his death in London she, 'a widow lady of independent means' and her son came back to north Lincolnshire to live.
A life-long epileptic, on the 20th June 1882, she took by mistake 'chloride of lime' (powdered bleach) and died on the 22nd June. She was buried in the family plot in Whitton churchyard- Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Friday, July 7, 1882.
     Nathaniel Easton was born in Barton in 1818 of a family that had been in Whitton since the early seventeenth century. (The Whitton register has Ellen, daughter of William Easton, being baptised in 1610, for example).   Nathaniel  was a successful auctioneer and valuer,  in
  Bowlalley Lane Hull, for many years, before retiring to  Torquay and dying in 1886 aged 67.

1887 21st June "The Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated at Whitton by a special Church service at 11am. A cricket match , Married v Single was played and Single won by 7 runs. At 4.30pm a tea in Mr Edward Naylor's barn at which 140 sat down After tea, sports were indulged in. Shortly before 11pm a bonfire was lighted on the summit of the hill-top. The children above five were entertained by Mr Goulton Constable at Walcot." (ks)
Note: The day after the 50th anniversary of the accession, Tuesday the 21st, was declared a bank holiday.

Whitton's windmill stood in Mill Close a 1.84 acre field now part of Mill Field , just to the south west of the village. It was a four sail tower mill with a circular brick body and a timber cap, which contained the windshaft. This meant that only the cap had to turn to face the wind.

When it was demolished the mill stones were taken and used as the centrepieces of raised garden beds at Grove Farm.
In the 1950s the remains of the mill's foundations were still to be seen, but even these have now been removed and a slight mound in the field is all that remains of the site.

1889 December The Parish Magazine says “ This Church is in a very bad state. The roof is very rotten, large patches of plaster having fallen off and the rain coming in, in several places. The walls also appear in a bad state but these can be adapted with a re-arrangement of the windows and re-building of east wall “
There are many accounts subsequently of money being raised - the sum needed being £800.

BARLEY John vessel owner
BARRETT George farmer
BLANSHARD William farmer
DUNGWORTH Robert Henry-miller (wind)
LAMMING William farmer
MORWOOD Harriett, Mrs shopkeeper
NAYLOR Edward farmer
NAYLOR Joseph farmer, Bishopthorpe
ROBINSON Thomas farmer
SPILMAN Thomas farmer
WADE Dan shopkeeper
WELLS William shoemaker

1893 A Post Office in Whitton seems to have been set up for the first time in this year in a cottage on what is now called Post Office Lane. Its first sub-postmaster was William Wells, the village cobbler (1838-1923) and he was followed in the role by his daughter Miss Florence Jane Wells (1874-1967) . She was succeeded in the job by Miss Gwen Bullivant (1902-1981) and the Post Office was in a curtained part of her front room with a Post Box set into the outside wall. (To this writer, when as a small child, sent to the post office to buy stamps, the sudden dramatic appearance of Miss Bullivant from behind her curtain will always remain a traumatic memory ).
In 1978 the Post Office moved to Mrs Kirkby's shop in Main Street and the post box followed it. In the 1980s it moved again and for a little time was in a house in Old Mill Lane, but now Whitton is without a Post Office.

The original Post Office cottage is seen on the right of the photo.
The white sign says 'Telegraph Office ' and the smaller black one below, 'Whitton Post Office'. Later the Post Office moved a few yards to the cottage in the middle of the photo. A child in a white dress, standing outside, has moved while the picture was being taken and her image appears several times...

1893 May 1st 'Free Education' comes to Whitton.
'Miss Denton was appointed to the post of Mistress of the Whitton School which had been opened as a Public Elementary School and as the parents are now, at any rate for the present, able to send their children free of expense, a Penny Bank will be opened'. (ks). Thirty children had appeared on the first day, seventeen below the age of seven years old.
4th May. Mary Goulton Constable paid a surprise visit to check the register against the number of pupils present. She noted 37 - correct.
Notes : The
Elementary Education Act of 1891 provided that a 'fee grant' at the rate of ten shillings (50p) a year be paid to every 'efficient elementary school for each child between the age of three and thirteen years in average attendance'. It was thus possible to discontinue the practice of 'school pence' whereby children would bring a sum of money (perhaps 2d or 4d) each  Monday morning to pay for their education. It seems that in Whitton an attempt was made to divert this money into savings.
Emma Denton had been born in Hull in 1849 and was a Certificated Teacher.
Education was now suddenly popular with the parents of Whitton....

1893 May “ The Parish Magazine says :"We are all rejoiced to see the work of Restoration is now fairly in hand. The weather has been most propitious so far. The east end of the Church, or what did duty for a chancel having been pulled down, some beautifully carved bases of pillars, clustered columns etc. having been brought to light proving that the older Church had been a very fine one, very different from the miserable structure afterwards erected in its place".
Note: The restoration was under the direction of William Bassett-Smith (1830-1901) of 10 John St., The Adelphi, London. His ground plan is shown above.
1894 April 11th “ The Church was reopened. The day was lovely. The bells rang merrily at intervals. The day began with the celebration of Holy Communion, the bishop Celebrant ( Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln). And there were 38 communicants. Eighteen clergy attended at the 11 o’clock service and the Church was crowded. Afterwards luncheon was held in Mr Dann’s barn, the bishop being present. The Chancel is entirely new, also roofs and windows. The Sanctuary with its new hangings and properly vested Altar gives a very dignified appearance".

1894 20th August 'Frank Holgate Barley was drowned when making ready to leave with a cargo of hay from Whitton jetty - his body was recovered at Burton Stather'. (ks)
Note: He was 27 and was the mate on his father's Humber Keel ; his body was washed up near Burton on the 28th August. His son, also Frank Holgate Barley born October 9th, (whom he never saw ), was killed in WW1.

"For the first time in the memory of man, which substantially is the first time in the world's history, a confirmation was held at Aukboro' " (ks)

December 4th, Tuesday - The first Parish Meeting under the 1894 Local Government Act (which had  established civil parish councils) was held in the schoolroom. Edward Naylor. took the chair on a show of hands of the 17 electors present. The Parish Meeting decided unanimously, not to petition the County Council to order the election of a Parish Council.

1894 Whitton in the House of Lords On the night of 21st/22nd December 1894 the Whitton No.2 lightship broke loose in a violent gale and drifted towards the Lincolnshire shore near Read's Island. A team of local 'punt gunners and smack owners' saved it from becoming wrecked and claimed salvage from its owners, Hull Trinity House. They refused to pay up on the grounds that a lightship was not a 'ship' and so was not subject to the laws of salvage. The Yorkshire County Court said that it was a ship; next the Admiralty Division said although not a ship, it was still subject to salvage. The Appeal Court said it was not a ship and not subject to salvage and finally, on 24 Mar  1897, the House of Lords agreed with the Appeal Court so no salvage money was paid....

1895 April. "The Magazine speaks of a bazaar held on the Hill Top and says 'having the festivities at Whitton will be a novelty'. This was for Church restoration funds - unfortunately these festivities were spoilt by a terrible thunderstorm." (ks)
1896 The bazaar held in aid of the Tower Fund in July 1896 on the Hill Top was "attended by people who came from Hull on the 4 o'clock boat..." (ks)

Click to see Whitton from the air

BARRATT George parish clerk
BARLEY John vessel owner and coal merchant
BELL Emma, Mrs shopkeeper
BLANSHARD William farmer
DANN Sarah, Mrs farmer
DUNGWORTH Robert Henry -miller (wind)
GERALD Rev. Arthur curate
LAMMING William farmer
MORWOOD Harriett, Mrs shopkeeper

NAYLOR Edward farmer and overseer of the poor
NAYLOR Joseph farmer, Bishopthorpe
RIPLEY George farmer
SPILMAN Thomas farmer
WADE Dan shopkeeper
WALKER Grace shopkeeper
WELLS William shoemaker (and Sub-postmaster
seen here with his wife Harriet (1838-1912) outside the Telegraph and Post Office. )
POST AND TELEGRAPH OFFICE: Sub-postmaster William Wells. Letters via Doncaster and Frodingham arrive at 9.30 a.m. and are despatched at 4.45 p.m. Postal orders are issued but not paid.
NATIONAL SCHOOL (MIXED): Schoolmistress Miss Emma Denton. Average attendance 32

1897 The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated in Whitton by the planting of a tree, and a suitably engraved stone was placed at its base. Unfortunately the tree died and the stone was moved, for safe keeping into the front garden of Cliff House, where it remains to this day.

1899 March 20th The Parish Meeting examined plans to build a Light Railway from Frodingham to Whitton with branch lines to Winterton and Winteringham and were strongly in favour of the scheme. However it was not to reach Whitton until 1910, below.

1900 Mafeking not relieved. May 15th 'School holiday in honour of the Relief of Mafeking '.
May 16th 'We were a little premature with the above holiday, owing to mistaken news' - Ada Campbell, schoolmistress.
Note: Happily the Boer siege of this Cape Colony hamlet was ended by "C" Battery, Royal Canadian Field Artillery at 4:00 a.m. the next morning,
17th May  1900. Whitton school children did not get a further day's holiday.

1900 "Miss Bell at the shop can remember the Parish Clerk, Mr George Barratt, collecting Easter Dues (2d per person over 16 ).They had to be collected before 12 midday on Easter Monday. They stopped in about the year 1900." (ks)
Notes: Probably the George Barratt born in Whitton 1833 died 1906.
Easter Dues was money due to the clergy at Easter, formerly paid instead of the tithe for personal labour.

Looking down Chapel Lane towards the old Vicarage, now called 'Prospect House'. The River Humber can be glimpsed through the trees...

The white cottage on the right, with the children outside, has acquired an upper storey, but the white cottage at the bottom of the lane remains seemingly unaltered.

1901 March 2nd. A large whale 43 feet long and 7 feet across the tail weighing about 20 tons swam past Whitton into the Trent, where it was stranded on the 'Brickyard sands' between Flixboro' and Burton and shot.

1901 The Barleys of Whitton The census of 31st March 1901 records that thirty-five (35) or one in five of the 173 inhabitants of Whitton had the surname Barley. They ranged from 79-year-old John Barley and his 75-year-old wife Hannah to the newly born Holgate aged just 3 weeks and included five men who worked on the River Humber. The first Barley in Whitton may have been John, (perhaps born Flixboro' 1764 ) who came to the village to marry Mary Cross in 1785 - their child James was born in 1787. There are a  large number of Barley graves in Flixboro' Old Churchyard.

1902 Plough Monday Jan 7th. 'School obliged to close for the day as only seven children turned up, it being 'Plough Jack Day' ; some old custom which is still kept up ' - Miss Ada Campbell, schoolmistress 'till Dec 1905.
Note: The Monday after Twelfth Night, when farm work was resumed after the Christmas holidays, was known as Plough Monday. In olden times ploughs were blessed and decorated and dragged around the parish by plough-boys, known as Plough Jacks or Jags, who demanded food, drink and money. Mummers' plays were performed, which enacted ritual combat and symbolic death and revival.

1903 The first parish meeting under Arthur Balfour's Education Act of 1902, which provided much needed money for elementary education, was held on 27th March  1903. Rev. Benjamin Hunter, Chairman and Thomas Spilman, Secretary.
Note: The Act made education the responsibility of local government through new local education authorities . The board schools (like West Halton) became council schools and the voluntary C of E schools (like Whitton) were subsidised by public funds. This was controverisal because non-conformists did not wish to pay for a religious education with which they disagreed.

1906 Whitton's strangest funeral. On the morning of the 26th June 1906 the sight of a wreck, the sloop Masterman, presented itself close to the foreshore, embedded in Whitton Sand. A telegram was sent to Brough and it was learned that the crew had managed to escape and had landed there, but that five women had been trapped below, in the cabin and had drowned. They were Mary Ann Barr (46) of Hull and her four daughters Emily Eastwood (20), Frances Barr (15), Jane Barr (9) and Joy Barr (7). The bodies were never recovered but the emotion in the village was so strong that the vicar decided to hold a funeral service for them. Their names were entered in Whitton's burial Register, but the funeral rites on Friday 27th July 1906 were held, not in the Church, but in a boat moored in the River Humber above the wreck 'where they are, in a manner, buried' wrote Rev. Benjamin Hunter in the Register..

1907 Infectious diseases were both common and serious before vaccination became universal. This year saw a measles epidemic in Whitton and the school was closed by the medical authorities from May 23rd till June 17th.

1908 Feb 17 ' Frank Holgate Barley left school today at the age of 13, because he had made sufficient attendance during the last 5 years to gain Exemption' - Mrs E Smedley, schoolmistress.
Note: Normal school leaving age had been raised to 14 in 1900, but young Frank, needed to earn a wage for the family as his father had been drowned in 1894. Unfortunately he was to be killed in the Great War at the age of twenty-two and is remembered at the Menin Gate at Ypres......

1909 Old Age Pensions Act of 1908 came into force on Jan 1st and Whitton Post Office began paying villagers over 70 whose yearly means were not more than £ 21.50 per year, a non-contributory pension of 5 shillings ( 25p) per week . To qualify it was necessary to have lived in the U.K for 20 years and to have not been in prison for 10 years, nor to be a 'drunkard or malingerer'.
This Act, at a stroke, removed the threat of the workhouse from the aged cottagers of Whitton. Thus ended the worst effects of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 and presaged the end of the Brigg Workhouse - see 1819 above .

BARLEY Holgate coal merchant
BARLEY Thomas potato merchant
BELL Emma, Mrs shopkeeper
BLANSHARD William farmer
DANN Sarah, Mrs farmer
DOOK Charles farmer
NAYLOR Thomas threshing machine propr.
NELSON Frank farmer, Bishopthorpe
SHORT Frank miller (wind)
SPILMAN Thomas farmer and overseer of the poor
VESSEY Edward farmer
WADE John shopkeeper
WELLS William boot and shoe repairer and sub-postmaster
WOOD William Henry blacksmith
WALKER Rev John curate
SMEDLEY Eleanor, Mrs schoolmistress (average attendance 26)

A Blacksmith's Shop in Whitton Just as one enters the village, on the left, at the bottom of a slight incline, now called Blacksmith's Hill, stood Whitton's Smithy. It was a small building of stone and brick with a tiled roof and large double wooden doors. In the 1930s it bore an A.A. roadsign with the words - 'Whitton. 176¾ miles to London'.
When the blacksmith was working, the doors were opened wide and passers-by could see the rear of the horse and the red glow of the forge . As well as shoeing the horses, the smith was also responsible for fitting steel tyres to the wheels of carts and wagons, and for making and repairing metal fittings on other items, from wheel-barrows to ploughs. The Tophams of Alkborough seem to have been Blacksmiths in the later part of the 19th century,and Charles Wright is also mentioned in Directories. Wm Henry Wood (born Thealby in 1855) who lodged at Burton Stather is listed as smith in 1909 and 1919. The last smith may have been Thomas Edward (Ted ) White who lived at Alkborough. Like the smiths before him he had several shops in neighbouring villages and travelled from one to the other on different days of the week.
The Smithy closed sometime at the end of the 1930s. By the 1950s it was a tumble-down ruin and children were warned to stay away from it. Now it has completely disappeared and a small plantation of trees, on about 90 sq. yds of land, marks the place where it once stood.
Note: The A.A. sign was removed in July 1940 along with other roadsigns, due to the threat of enemy invasion.....

1910 The Railway comes to Whitton

This branch of the North Lindsey Light Railway was built to service the iron ore workings to the north of Scunthorpe. The first section to West Halton from Scunthorpe was opened in 1906. It was extended to Winteringham in 1907, and a short line was constructed to the Humber bank where it linked with a cargo ferry to Hull. The final stage was the line extension to Whitton which was opened on 1st December 1910, where it also connected with a packet sailing between Gainsborough and Hull operating three days per week. It was hoped to link the line with the Fockerby branch line on the other side of the Trent but this did not happen.

Passenger traffic was light and ceased in 1925.
Freight continued for some time after, but the West Halton to Whitton section finally closed to all traffic on 11th October 1951.
A section of this had been used for wagon storage in the war years - see 1939 below.

Left : Whitton Railway Station

1910 The Cinema comes to Whitton ' January 9 1911. Reopened school after Xmas holidays of 2 weeks, 23 children present. During the holidays L. Constable Esq. gave the children a treat consisting of a cinematograph and tea in the schoolroom, after which oranges and crackers were distributed.'- Mrs Smedley, head teacher from 1906 till 1913.
Notes: This was on 29th December 1910. Lewis Robert Goulton-Constable (1877-1946) was the son of the owner of Whitton.

1911 May 1st Whitton School Register

Standard 6: Percy Bullivent, Fred Peake, Albert Standerline
Standard 5: Sydney Cowling, Maud Barley, Florrie Parrott
Standard 4: Stanley Short, Gwennie Bullivent, Jessie Standerline
Standard 3: Nil
Standard 2: George Barley, Stanley Cowling, Doris Barley, Florrie Standerline, Doris Cowling, Annie Hurd
Standard 1: Harold Peake, Arthur Parrott, Edith Short, Clifford Hurd
Sixes : James Barley, Harold Hurd, Ethel Bullivent
Under 5: Ellen Cowling

Note: Nobody was without a relative in the school room.
Four Barleys and Cowlings, three Bullivents, Hurds and Standerlines, two Parrotts, Peakes and Shorts = 23 pupils.

1912 Sunday 21st April 6.30pm. A service was held in Whitton Church to commemorate the loss of the liner 'Titanic' on th 15th.. The Rev William H Prichard preached and took as his text, 2 Corinthians IV 18: 'While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.'      The collection raised 9/2d (46p).

1912 Crop Failure. A year of unusually bad weather in Lincolnshire with a notably wet March soon followed by twice the average rainfall in the months of June, July and August and an unseasonably cold August, September and October. In Whitton much of the wheat and barley in the fields could not be harvested, because, in the damp, the grain sprouted on the stalk, and was ruined. Many acres had to be ploughed back into the soil.

1913 1st December. Lillian Ellis (right) took over as schoolmistress of Whitton School from Mrs Eleanor Smedley (1863-1928) who retired due to illness. Miss Ellis taught the children of Whitton until 27th October 1941 when she herself retired, and the school's final teacher, Mrs Kathleen Tomlinson (née Dann ) of Thealby who had been working at Winterton, took charge..

1914 The Great War August 3rd 'Bank Holiday not be taken this year as the managers (of the school ) have fixed Friday 7th for the closing of the school for the Harvest Holidays'.
August 4th '11pm War declared'.
August 7th 'School closed for the Harvest Holidays'.
August 31st 'School re-opens'.
September 18th 'School closed for the potato picking holidays for one month'.
October 19th ' School reopens. Papers received concerning the War . Had lessons on 'War'and 'Trafalgar Day'. - Miss Lillian Ellis

1915 The 'Audrey', built by Joshua Watson at Gainsborough in 1915, was one of three vessels which marked the treacherous sandbanks serving as middle, upper and lower Whitton lightship.
In years gone by there was a jingle among sailors and Whitton villagers which warned of the dangers:
'Between Trent Falls and Whitton Ness, many are made widow and fatherless'.
The 'Audrey' was bought by the Sobriety project in Goole in 1986, and has undergone refurbishment costing £ 75,000. She has been converted to the gaff-rigged ketch 'Goole Billy Boy', which is a sea-going version of a Humber keel or sloop. The 'Audrey' is now mainly used to give disadvantaged young people and community groups a taste of life on the water.

1916 Aeroplanes appear over Whitton An airfield across the river and a seaplane site on the river were established in 1916 for the production and testing of their early aircraft by the Blackburn Aircraft Company at Brough. Aircraft production increased in the 1930s and it became very busy modifying US lend-lease aircraft as well as producing its own aircraft. After the war many Whitton people will have seen the Blackburn Beverley heavy-lift transport aircraft lumbering into the air over the Humber. Today, the factories are still producing parts for British Aerospace. The airfield is still used, though the shortness of the longest runway, (1054m) means that Whitton will only see the light aircraft that can use it.

1918 13th March
'School opened at 9.30 as a heavy bombardment or air raid kept many of the children up last night and early morning'- Miss Lillian Ellis.
Note: This attack of 12/13 March was the last airship raid of the Great War and was carried out by Zeppelin L.63 (above). A total of 12 bombs were dropped on Hull and the surrounding countryside.

1918 Whitton lost three soldiers in the Great War -
Pvt Frank Holgate Barley, 11th Bn, Sherwood Foresters died Sat, 14th April 1917. Age 22. Ypres, Belgium
The son of Frank Holgate Barley,who had been in drowned August 1894 and of Alice Barley.
Cpl Henry Spilman, 8th Bn, East Yorkshire Regiment died Wed, 2nd May 1917. Age 21, Etrun, France
There is a memorial window to him in the church .
Cpl Harry Standerline, 1st Bn, Lincolnshire Regiment died Fri, 23rd April 1915. Age 28, Ypres, Belgium.
Son of Charles and Hannah Standerline.
An illuminated scroll in the church also records the following, who served in the Great War and returned to Whitton:

Percy Charles Barley Royal Naval Reserve Frank Kew Durham Light Infantry
Fred Bee Royal Navy Tom Standerline East Yorks Regiment
John E Bullivent Royal Engineers Alex Waddingham Sherwood Foresters
Fred Cowling Lincolnshire Regiment    

1918 Influenza December 1st. 'School closed by order of Dr Clegg as influenza prevalent here. Mistress and assistant both ill with it, also many of the children. Many deaths in the neighbourhood. '- Miss Ellis
The Xmas holidays were prolonged and the school finally reopened on Jan 13th 1919
Note: The influenza pandemic of 1918-19 killed more people than the Great War, at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history.
Charles Standerline (1844-1918) was the only Whitton death in this period, but his demise, on the 5th December, was certified as due to 'senile decay'.

Looking south down Main Street, at the junction with Post Office Lane.
On the right a child ('Hetty' Bell?) sits on the front step of the grocer's shop. The shoemaker's shop is the tiny building next door.
Fred Bell bought the three bedroomed cottage with both shops, a garden and various outbuildings including coal house, cow sheds and pigsty, for the sum of £ 100 in the 1919 Whitton sale.

1919  Wednesday November 12th;  Whitton is sold by James Goulton Constable for £ 46,433


1 Bishopthorpe Farm,
Mr. F. Nelson, 330.3.1
£ 11,700

2 The Grove Farm,
Mr. L. Spilman, 372.1.8
£ 9400

3 Manor House Farm,Oxtoby £ 3000
Mr. E. Dore 95.3.36

4 The Grange Farm,D Jones £ 7600
Mr. C. R. Dook 279.2.10

5 Farm, Ferraby £ 2600
Mr. W. C. Jarvill. 54.3.32

6 Dairy Farm, Vickers £ 1500
Mr. E. Vessey, 39.3.32

7 Small Holding,
Mr. T. Naylor, 20 2 34
£ 920

8 Cottage and Garden, L.Spilman £ 110
Mr. H. Cowling, 1. 29

9 Cottage and Garden,L.Spilman £ 100
Mr. J. Barley, .37

10 Garden, Mr. J. Barley, 1 .15
Mrs Bentham £ 28

l l School and Plantation,Mrs Bentham £ 135
School Trustees 3. 34

12 Cottage and Garden, Pacey £ 90
Mr. T. Thornton,.35

13 House and Garden F.Harris £ 335
Mr. S. Spink, 1 .11

14 Cottage, Grocer's and
Shoemaker's Shop with Garden
Mr. F. Bell ,.35
£ 100

15 Garden,
Mr. F. Bell, 2. 5
Ferraby £ 20

16 Blacksmith's Shop, Phillips £ 50
Mr. W. H. Wood, .3

17 Cottage, Garden and Arable Field
Mr.W. R. Cook, 1 1. 7
£ 225

18 Cottage and Garden, L Spilman £ 95
Mr. H. Hare, 1 .16

19 Cottage, Garden and Paddock £ 340
Mr. M. Bray 6 .1. 22

20 Cottage and Garden,Allenby £ 100
Mr. E. Cowling, .30

21 Cottage, Garden and Field, Phillips £ 160
Mr. W. Barley, 3 .34

22 Cottage and Garden and 2 Fields
Mr. T. Barley, 3 .2. 24
£ 250

23 Cottage and Garden, Phillips £ 140
Mr W. Breighton, 3. 35

24 Pair of Cottages,Allenby £ 130
Mr. S. Foster, Mr. H. Birkett 1. 14

25 Cottage and Garden,
Mr. F. Short 3. l6
£ 165

26 Two Cottages and Gardens
Miss M. J. Barley, Mr. G. Wade 2 .14
Miss M. J. Barley £ 200

27 Cottage and Garden,
Mr. G. Hewitt, 1. 21
Jones £ 235

28 Cottage and Garden
Mr. J. Cowling 1. 3
Rowbottom £ 90

29 Cottage and Garden
Mr J. A. Wade, 3. 1
£ 275

30 Chapel Site and Garden,
Chapel Trustees and Mr. J. A. Wade, .31
Trustees £ 25

31 Cottage and Garden,
Mr A Bullivant, 1.33
Ling £ 125

32 Garden, Various, 2 .2 Mrs Bentham £ 35

33 Garden, Mr M Bray, 1.7 L.Spilman £ 10

34 Cottage and Garden,
Mr. W. Wells, .27
£ 150

35 Cottage and Garden,
Mr. A. Stockford 2. 13
Hewitt £ 170

36 Cottage and Garden,
Mr. G. H. Barley, 2. 24
Foster £ 140

37 Cottage and Garden
Mr. T. Coulam, 2. 16
Naylor £ 110

38 Cottage and Garden
Mr. J. Waddingham, 3. 6
£ 180

39 Cottage and Garden,
Mr. B. Holgate 2. 5
Naylor £ 140

40 Four Cottages and Gardens
Mr. J. W. Wells and others, 3.37
Geo Wade £ 320

41 Whitton Pier and Coal Wharf G Davey £ 310
Mr. T. Barley 2 .12

42 Grazing Land,
Various 67. 1. 8
Waite £ 2200

43 Grazing Land,
Various 8. 3. 30
Killick £ 350

44 Plantation and Grass Field
Various 15. 2. 22
Allenby £ 500

45 Grazing Land
Various 1. 1. 36
Allenby £ 60

46 Grass Field and Road Frontages
Various 8. 3. 18
Phillips £ 300

47 Grass Field (Argons) £ 1200
Mr. T. L. Spilman, 28 .1. 2

Whitton sale, the second revolution

If Whitton's first revolution had been the enclosure of the open fields in 1775 and the consequent increase in power of the owner Thomas Goulton, then the second revolution was the sale of Whitton by Mr Goulton's successor James Goulton  Constable.
The Whitton part of the Walcot Estate was sold on Wednesday, November 12th 1919 at the 'Blue Bell' Hotel in Scunthorpe. The estate was the property of Mr J Goulton Constable J.P. of Walcot Hall ( below .

But 'Goulton Constable' was not his sur name at all .......
The Rev. Charles Constable of Walcot (1773-1852) got Walcot and Whitton from his mother Sarah Goulton and he left an only child, Mary, who became Lady Strickland on her marriage to Sir George Strickland, bart. On Lady Strickland's death in 1865, the Walcot and Whitton estate was left to her daughter and son-in-law, Lucy Henrietta Marriott (1822-1871) and the Rev. James Powell Marriott (1819-1871), on condition that they assume the surname Goulton Constable, which they did in 1866. At their deaths five years later, they were succeeded in the estate by their third son, James Marriott (1850-1922), on the condition that he too assume the surname Goulton Constable, which he did in 1872.
By November 1919
James Goulton  Constable  was 69 years old and (perhaps because of threats to nationalise land, made by Lloyd George, in his 1909 budget.) had decided to sell the estate.

The Whitton estate comprised a little more than 1350 acres - 'Four compact mixed farms, a grass farm, small holdings, woodlands, grass lands together with cottages and gardens'.
A table showing the 47 lots with their tenants before the sale, and the area of each lot is shown (left). The price paid is shown in italics together with the new owner, also in italics , if he or she is not the sitting tenant.


Acres 1350. 3. 20

Total price paid £ 46,433
 REFS: This writer's copy of Particulars, Plan and Conditions of Sale;  LAO:  10NOTT, (Acc. 2000/101) ; Burke's Landed Gentry, 18th edn., vol.3, p. 613

The Motor Car arrives in Whitton in the 1920s.

A busy day on Main Street as a group - probably Maurice and Isabella Bray and family - with black dog stand outside the old Manor House and watch the cameraman.
Maurice Bray was a builder.

1920 Stone Heaps and the Devil's Causeway 'The Stone Heaps lay at the bottom of the first cliff. These were blown up in the year 1920 by the Humber Conservancy, because owing to the land having been washed away, they were a distance into the water and were not visible to ships at high tide.The cost of blowing them up was about £ 500 and the weight about 1700 tons.
The Causeway is marked on all old maps and consists of flat squarish lumps of stone or rock. it is not far from the old Stone Heaps and crosses the river in an easterly direction. Mr Holgate Barley has told me that when the tide is low, he has distinctly felt his small boat catch the stones at various places across the river.' (ks)
Note: A purely natural geological formation or a Roman aid to crossing the river ?
As soon as the Roman army crossed the Humber in AD 71, a fort was constructed at Brough, immediately across the river from Whitton . The site was used throughout the Roman period, either as a military settlement or as the civitas capital Petuaria Parisorum. It does seem at least possible that Whitton was a landing stage on the south bank for this fort. However estuarine erosion is presumed to have destroyed most of the archaeology on the Whitton foreshore, and we may never know for certain.

1920 Whitton Pier is demolished.

Whitton Pier in its heyday.

A Steam Packet waits to pick up passengers.

The pier at the end of its life. Smoke billows from the waiting room chimney. The railway line buffers can be seen at bottom right.

The pier was done away with in about the year 1920 owing partly to the moving of the channel making it impossible for the boats to call and also because it was getting unsafe. "(ks)
'The Gainsborough United Steam Packet Company Ltd.' owned the boats which plied between Hull and Gainsborough from as early as 1814 to the 1930s.
Only the small pier waiting room remains - now in the garden of the newly built 'Ellerker House'.

When the Whitton jetty was demolished in about 1920, some of its smooth stones were used by Maurice Bray in the building of this bungalow by the river. It seemed, from a distance, like a fort erected to guard the foreshore.
It was the home of the Brays and then the Burgess family and was converted to a house in 2002.

Left : Whitton children outside the village's Primitive Methodist Chapel some time in the 1930s. Opened in June 1905, it seated about fifty on polished wood benches
The 'Tin Tabernacle' was on a small plot of land of about 940 sq yards on Chapel Lane. It has since been pulled down and replaced with a cottage.
The Weslyan Methodists had met in a room at the White House (right) for many years, but combined with the Primitive Methodists in 1936.

1921 Whitton Social and Sports Club. For a time in the 1920s, during the period that William Vickers, landlord of the Blue Bell Inn on High St. in Scunthorpe owned Humber View Farm, there was a Social and Sports Club in Whitton. In 1922 Harry Birkett was listed as Secretary, and later it is believed that Frank Short (1871-1931) was Steward. The Club was in a hut in the yard of Humber View Farm and members could play cards and dominoes while enjoying a glass of beer. It is not known when or why it closed.

The Social and Sports Club in 2004.......

1922 Train Timetable One train a day to Whitton. This passenger service from Scunthorpe closed three years later.

1922  James Goulton Constable of Walcot Hall,  died on the 1st December aged 72. He had sold Whitton in 1919 for £ 46 thousand, but his will, published in May 1923, revealed that he left only £ 3,778 - 13s - 10d.  Hull Daily Mail,  Monday 7 May 1923

BARLEY Holgate coal merchant
BELL Fred shopkeeper
BRAY Maurice overseer and rate collector
DOOK Charles farmer
NAYLOR Thomas cowkeeper & parish clerk
NELSON Frank farmer
SHORT Frank miller
SPILMAN Thomas L. farmer
WADE George painter and decorator
WHITE Thomas blacksmith
WELLS William sub-postmaster
UNSWORTH Herbert stationmaster
ELLIS Lillian, Miss schoolmistress
A sports and social club was opened in 1921 with Mr Harry Birkett as secretary.
The church was restored in 1894 at a cost of £ 900 and in 1897 the tower was also restored at a cost of £ 140. On the north side of the church a stained glass window was erected in 1918 to the memory of Henry Spilman who fell in the Great War.
A motor omnibus service, from and to, Scunthorpe serves the village three times daily.
Note: 'Old Tommy' Naylor (1854-1940) is remembered as a tall white-haired, unsmiling man who rang the three church bells all by himself, one bell rope in each hand and one looped rope, rung with his right foot....

1923 'The Whitton Flyer'. Starting in 1923 this motor bus owned by Mr William Jarvill and Mr Charles Vessey, travelled the route between Whitton and Scunthorpe, via Thealby and Alkborough .
1925 The first Private Car in Whitton ?
Whitton farmer Thomas L. Spilman enjoys a picnic lunch while posing proudly beside his new possession - a 'Bullnose' Morris Oxford. Later in that year he toured as far away as Cambridge and Norfolk enjoying the near deserted roads of the day.....

1924 Lewis Robert Goulton Constable gave up his right to alternately appoint the vicar of Whitton (the advowson), since when the vicar has been appointed exclusively  by the Bishop of Lincoln.  Ref: London Gazette, 27 June 1924.

1929 The end of the Parish Constable. As far back as 1872 the Parish Constables Act, had directed that the election of parish constables was unnecessary, as an efficient police force (the Lincolnshire Constabulary) had been established . Whitton however, perhaps thinking that the 'bobby' on his bike at Winterton was a long way away, continued to nominate, rather than elect these officials, as it had done for centuries - records of such elections, by the Vestry Meeting, exist from 1609.
In February 1929 the Parish Meeting nominated Constables for the last time; they were Sam Foster, George Short, T.L.Spilman and Stan Spink.

BELL Fred general dealer
BRAY Maurice builder
DOOK Charles farmer
FOSTER William farmer
GREY Charles farmer
NELSON Frank farmer
NAYLOR Thomas fmr and parish clerk
SHORT Frank miller
SPILMAN Thomas L. farmer
WADE George painter and decorator
PEACOCKE Rev Benjamin (Cliff House)
BELL Fred shopkeeper
BRADER William farmer
BRAY Maurice builder
DOOK Charles farmer
GREY Charles farmer
NAYLOR Thomas farmer
NELSON Frank farmer
SHORT Frank miller
SPILMAN Thomas L. farmer
WADE George painter and decorator
FORD Rev William (Cliff House)
DOOK Charles retired farmer (Cliff House)
BELL F.R. shopkeeper
BRAY Maurice builder
FISHER Fred farmer
KNAPTON T.N. farmer (The Grange)
NELSON Frank farmer
OGG BROS. farmers
SHORT Charles S. corn and flour dealer
SPILMAN Thomas L. farmer
WADE George painter and decorator
'In Mr Dook's opinion the two worst things to happen to agriculture were the operation of the Agricultural Wages Board and the introduction of summer-time....'The Hull Times 8 April 1933
Note: Charles Robert Dook ( 1866-1951 )
1936 July The 'Hindenburg' over Whitton At 803 feet long and 135 feet in diameter, the German passenger airship 'Hindenburg' (LZ-129) was the largest aircraft ever to fly. She was launched in May 1936 and began the first of ten round trips from Friedrichshafen to the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, New Jersey. It was widely thought in Whitton that the trips, which took it sometimes over Hull and Liverpool, were clandestine Nazi spying missions. This peaceful rural scene with the school and village children outside Cliff House contrasts strongly with the sinister shape of the Nazi airship.
The 'Hindenburg' burst into flame coming into land at Lakehurst Naval Air Station on 6th May 1937 killing 37 of the 91 passengers on board .
Photo : Mary Parker née Thornton

1937 Holgate Barley (1850-1939) plants a tree ( the one opposite Cliff House) to commemorate the Coronation of George VI on 12 May 1937. .
Always dressed in a peaked cap, a man which cannot fail to impress....to stop for a word is to step over the threshold of 80 years of rural life. His father John Barley was the light keeper on the river bank when they were the only guide to navigation.There were 6 children in the family but it became the lot of Holgate to assist his father, first in the coal business and later to take up the lighting and surveying. Eventually a lightship was placed in the Humber and he was one of the first to assist in keeping it. Later with the growth of the packet service between Hull and Gainborough a pier was constructed and Holgate saw it built, rented it and was pier master for 20 years until it ceased to be a paying concern and was pulled down. A widower for over 30 years, he has 12 children.-The Hull Times 8 April 1933

Note: At one time, on the foreshore at Whitton, there used to be a strange railway-like construction. Narrow gauge lines, along the shore, carried a wooden structure on bogie wheels with a navigation light on top. As the navigable channel and the sand banks in the Humber changed, the light structure was moved along the track giving boats a more accurate warning of the danger of grounding.

1938 The end of the Cargraver
Along with Parish Constables and Overseers , the Parish Meeting had, for generations, elected a cargraver (or cargreave or cargrave). This was an official who looked after the Carr Drain and the Marsh Drain and the sluice gate ( which in Whitton is called the 'cleugh', pronounced 'clew') . The last cargraver, Fred Fisher seems to have been elected in 1938 but by 1943 the duties of the cargarver had been taken over by the  River Ancholme and Winterton Beck Catchment Board.

1938 Air Raid Precautions In February Brigg Rural District Council asked the village to nominate a Decontamination Post and a First Aid Post in Whitton, which could be used in the event of a gas attack. They also asked for a list of private cars which could be requisitioned in the event of enemy action. The Parish Meeting, on Monday 21st Feb, suggested the School and Church respectively and advised Brigg RDC that Whitton's four motor vehicles belonged to Norman Knapton, T.L. Spilman, Stanley Spink and George Wade..

1939 Whitton at War "Ten territorials from Gainsborough came and took over the top part of the Cliff. They brought a search light and later on an anti-aircraft gun arrived. The site is now taken over as a permanency by the War Office.
On Sept 3rd the evacuees arrived from Hull. Whitton took in five boys, five girls a teacher and a helper. By Xmas only six remained'. (ks) ( The children came from the Wheeler Street School, Hull , HU3 5QE. )
September 12th Evening Church Services moved to 3pm owing to war. If windows could be 'blacked out' services could again be held in the evening.
October 8th 'Black-outs' installed. Evening Services at 6.30 again. Senior A.R.P warden Mr F.F.Fisher checked to see that 'black-outs' in accordance with regulations.
'In October 1939, when war had been on a few weeks, the railway line between Winteringham and Whitton was taken over by the Government. There were about 100 trucks all sealed and supposed to contain ammunition and mines . They were guarded night and day by 20 naval men. My husband in order to cross the railway line to shepherd, had to show a pass otherwise he was liable to arrest.
The First Aid Post was set up in Bullivant's old cottage "(ks)
October 11th 'Distribution of gas-masks to children this afternoon before 'home-time'. '
October 17th Air Raid Practice - school practises dismissing children quickly in groups, in case of air raids. All children could get home in 2½ to 3 minutes.
October 25th "We are just noticing (after very little navigation on the Humber lately ) that some of the passing ships are now carrying guns." - Miss Ellis, schoolmistress.

Circular depressions, where the anti-aircraft gun, searchlight and a 'big ear' listening device were placed during the war, can still be clearly seen in the grass on the Cliff Top. ( The rectangular piece of concrete nearby is, however, the base of the old Whitton Cricket Club practice net.) About ten regular soldiers, under a Sgt. Entwhistle, lived in tents for about two years, manning the Unit. There was a field kitchen in a hut, first under the trees between the school and the Old Vicarage and then on the Cliff itself, nearer the Unit. The men were sometimes able to get a hot bath, have their clothes washed and enjoy a warm meal at Sam and Annie Foster's house.
A large dry circular pit 30 yards to the south west of these three depressions on the Cliff Top, often referred to by ks as the 'dew pond', was probably dug long ago to provide a constant source of drinking water for cattle in the Cliff Field. In frosty weather the ice which formed on the pond was sometimes thick enough to support skating children. It has in the last 30 years, been largely filled in with soil and straw.
Frederick F. Fisher, the Air Raid Warden, lived at 'Humber View Farm' and moved to Roxby in 1945.
Bullivant's old cottage was at the corner of Chapel Lane and Post Office Lane.

1940 In January, Whitton shop began to ration bacon, butter and sugar. This was soon followed by meat, fish, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, milk and canned fruit.
Food shortgages would be a problem throughout the war , but the fact that many village people had large vegetable gardens made the situation, perhaps more tolerable for them, than those living in towns. There was the occasional treat; an oft-told tale recalls how Sam Foster shot a swan which had unwisely flown over his garden. His wife Annie promptly roasted it, although it barely fitted in the AGA, and the family had a splendid feast that evening. Realising that the swan is a protected bird (and theoretically belonged to the King) , Annie made a present of, what she called, a nice 'goose' sandwich when the local policeman called in on his rounds later that evening.

Jan 24th  Because of the intense cold, the radiators in the church froze and the boiler burst .
Jan 30th   "The snowy weather which started about the 10th of this month and has continued without one thaw, has at last turned Whitton into a completely isolated village. No one has been able to get in or out of the village - 40 men have been at work digging out the road to Bishopthorpe which in some places is 4ft deep and 2 to 3 ft practically the whole length. There is a great shortage of coal, paraffin and bread - no yeast.
The soldiers on the Cliff had emergency rations brought through late in the evening by horse and cart. The Humber is a mass of ice, great lumps being wedged together. The Trent is so frozen that 7 men and 7 women walked over from one side to another. At High Risby the drift is 9 to 10ft high. Such weather has not been known within the memory of living man.
The birds are dying and even the poachers and duck shooters have stopped going out as they say it is simply murder - the wood pigeons are eating the greens in the village gardens.

Snowdrifts on Whitton Road

Numerous people and cars have been dug out of snow drifts. The Wells family have had the Post Office for very many years and they say that for 46 years until Jan 30th 1940 there has never been a day when the letters missed coming into Whitton". (ks) The Army was of course on hand to dig the village out. Soldiers from Whitton and West Halton started from their respective villages and met in the middle.
Note:The winter of 1939/40 was the coldest since 1894, but wartime censorship prevented this being made public.
Feb 16th 'Ronald Whitehead (evacuee) returned to Hull this afternoon. He has been staying at Mrs Burgess's, at the Humber Side Bungalow.'
June 21st Very bad air raids lately ....children having very 'broken' nights. There was a very bad one on the 19th when parents and children were up most of the night.
June 26th Because of the disturbed nights through air raids, the school to be opened at 10 o'clock in the mornings until further notice. As it is very bad just now, this time to commence tomorrow.
June 27th Very bad air raid - thankful for extra hour off - 150 incendiary bombs dropped at Scunthorpe.' - Miss Lillian Ellis.
August 26th The Bishop wrote to Whitton Parochial Church Council ordering that all the church plate and the Registers should be buried either in the church wall or in the floor of the church in case of invasion. The Council decided that the chalice, paten and flagon ' be enclosed in a certain spot and that a plan of the spot be kept by the Vicar and a copy sent to the Bishop.' The 'certain spot ' was a small hole dug between the altar and the east wall and covered by four floor tiles (which are still loose) . The Registers were left in the Church safe.
October 8th - 'Reopened school after holiday. Only one evacuee left. Ronald Howland is the little Hull lad and he is very happy at Mrs Spilman's ' - Miss Lillian Ellis.
He left Grove Farm and returned to his parents, in May 1941 and there were no more evacuees in Whitton.

The Home Guard in Whitton. With the German invasion a very serious threat, 'The Local Defence Volunteers' (LDV) was formed on 14th May 1940 but the name was changed in July 1940 to the more inspiring 'Home Guard'. The Section Commander for the village was Sgt Alec Spilman (1894-1950) and the Platoon Commander for Alkborough, West Halton, Winteringham as well as Whitton, was Capt. Arnold Drinkall M.M. (1897-1971), who was an Alkboro' undertaker and joiner. Both men were WW1 veterans. The Whitton Section consisted af about ten men who were in reserved occupations like farming or steelworking and so could not serve in the regular army. The Whitton Section occasionally drilled in the school, but were mostly in evidence each night as a two man guard occupying a lambing shed which had been towed to a piece of grass at Whitton Lane end. In case of invasion, rifles and grenades were kept in a small brick lock-up (now gone) in the garden of North Cottage on Main Street.
By 1943 with fears of invasion faded and with the Germans seemingly on their way to defeat, absenteeism nationally began to be a problem.The Home Guard stand-down was on 3rd December 1944, and it was disbanded on 31st December 1945.

Small magazine .303 Lee Enfield Rifles were issued to the Home Guard

1941'...many will remember the time when burnt debris floated down with the tide, after the awful night when Hull had been seen from Whitton, a mass of flames burning, the result of the German incendiary bombs..' (ks)
Note : ks is remembering the 7th May 1941 when the Luftwaffe launched the first of two massive consecutive night raids against the port of Hull and the anti-aircraft gun in Whitton Cliff field was at its busiest. Later in the same week the House of Commons and Westminster Abbey were bombed.

27th October. Miss Ellis Retires Lillian Ellis taught the children of Whitton from 1913 until 27th October 1941 when she retired, and the school's final teacher, Mrs Kathleen Tomlinson from Thealby took charge..
When a teacher, Miss Ellis cycled to and from Whitton School to Winteringham along the side of the railway track. In bad weather she would stay overnight in Whitton (sometimes with the Dooks or the Barleys and later with Miss Gwen Bullivant). On her last day, after 28 years at Whitton School, she wrote in the School Log,  ' Goodbye little ones'.
Lilian Ellis was born in Hull in 1877 and lodged in Winteringham (with Miss Viner on Back Lane) where she continued to live and play the church organ after retiring from teaching, and where she died in November 1948 aged 71.

1943 Whitton school bell rings for the last time Jan 8th 'Letter received today from Mr Bray stating that the school is to be closed for the duration of the War. The children and myself to go to Alkboro. This is owing to the serious shortage of teachers in Lindsey at present'.
Feb 17th 'School children to be transferred as soon as Alkboro' canteen is working '.
March 17th 'Whitton school closed today.' - Mrs K Tomlinson, schoolmistress
Note:  The school did not reopen...

( Right: photo of the old Whitton school bell, courtesy of Claire Birkett )

1944 March 25th. The Parochial Church Council bought, for £ 30, a piece of land at the south west corner of the churchyard in order to extend it. The land had belonged to the executors of a Miss Bentham and the Council had been willing to pay as much as £ 35 for it...
The new, additional, triangular piece of land, made the churchyard into more of a rectangular shape.
The line of the old boundary can still be seen in the grass of the churchyard today.
Left :the piece of ground that was added.

1945 Victory in Europe At their regular meeting on 19th April  the Parochial Church Council made tentative arrangements for a Thanksgiving Service at 10 am on 'Victory in Europe Day'..... whenever that happy day should be.  In the event, it was held less than three weeks later - in Whitton church at 6.30 in the evening of V.E. Day - Tuesday, 8th May  1945...

'A fund for the boys on their homecoming provided about £ 4 per head . It was decided that the share of those that did not return was to go to start a village war memorial, but owing to some people disliking the idea, the money was given to the next of kin and so no memorial was erected in the village. The Mothers' Union raised money for a shelf to hold flowers under the plaque in the Church.
During this war 30 people were on the list as helping in some way - Army, Navy, Air Force, ATS and Land Army. Three never returned - Robert Bray killed in Italy, Percy Foster killed at Tobruk and Thomas Levick Noel Spilman killed in Italy. These three boys' names are on the plaque in the Church under the names of the three killed in the 1914-18 War.
When peace was declared a stack of old straw was set alight at the top of Backsides . Owing to the unsatisfactory state of the world, no celebrations were held....' (ks)

Pvt Robert John Bray 5th Bn., Sherwood Foresters died Sat, 8th January 1944 Age 19. Cassino, Italy
Able Seaman William Percival Foster, H.M.S. Martin died Tue 10th November 1942 Age 23. off Tobruk, Libya
Son of Samuel and Annie Foster
Cpl Thos L. N. Spilman 27th Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps, died Monday 23rd October 1944 Age 21. Forli, Italy
Nephew of Henry Spilman killed in the Great War............. and the only son of  Kate Spilman (ks).
'Backsides' is the grass field, immediately behind the houses and gardens, on the west side of Main St.

Whitton did get its celebration, in the form of an August Bank Holiday fête on the Cliff Top and although the Sports were curtailed by the cold windy weather and both the Opening Ceremony and Fancy Dress Parade had to be held in the old school , the sum of £ 26-14-6 ( £ 26.72½ ) was raised. The village was thus able to send its children on a day trip to Cleethorpes on a budget of 7/6 ( 37½p ) per child. This seaside visit was on Wednesday, 29th August 1945.

1949 Whitton got its own telephone box.
From the mid 1930s the public telephone had been in the Post Office , that is in Miss Wells' front room, where she would answer calls with the words, "Whitton One! Attendant speaking."
Villagers who went to her front room to make a call were understandably unhappy about the lack of privacy and there were continual requests for the GPO to make more suitable arrangements. These were not answered till 1949, and the kiosk that the GPO installed has been in its present position since that time.   The kiosk has now lost its phone  and serves as an information box

LEFT: An American tourist, with Whitton ancestry, has her photograph taken next to the former village telephone box.

Whitton's General Store
Whitton's best remembered shop was on Main Street and stood opposite the end of Post Office Lane. (right )
For very many years the shop was run by the Bells. Mrs Emma Bell ( 1841-1910) was the first of the family and then her son Fred ( 1874-1939) took over and combined running the general store with a shoemaker's shop. Fred's sister Harriet Bell (born 1877) went to live at the shop, in about 1922, after Fred's wife died (soon after their youngest child was born). After Fred himself died in 1939, Harriet carried on running the shop for a while with the help of Fred's daughter 'Hetty'
It was little larger than a small box room but sold a surprising range of items - tinned foods, cigarettes, newspapers (brought out to Whitton on the 8 o'clock bus), sweets in big glass jars and lots of other things.... Paraffin was sold from a big tank in the little end building that had been the shoemaker's shop (left of photo). At Christmas the shop window was full of toys....
When the Bell family gave up the shop it was bought by Mr Drinkall and run by Mrs Norah Kirkby ( 1914-1999). It has now been converted into a private house called 'The Old Post Office', which it was for a while in the 1970s .

In the late part of the 19th century there were also two other very small shops in Whitton - both in Post Office Lane. One was in the cottage on the corner opposite the Chapel and the other on the opposite side of the road The directories show Harriet Morwood (1820-1901) and Grace Walker having shops at this time.
For a while in the 1960s 'pop' and crisps and choc bars were sold by Stan and Phyllis Short from their cottage on Old Mill Lane.

1951 October The West Halton to Whitton section of the North Lindsey Light Railway finally closed to all traffic on 11th October. Whitton station remained derelict for many years and a visitor in 1952 noted ' ....its windows devoid of glass staring at the turbulent river . The weed choked lines which run before its cracked single platform and halt at the weighing office are hidden by the undergrowth.The waiting room door, swinging crazily on broken hinges, bears the chalked legend - No trains today".
All traces of the Railway Station have now been removed and new houses are being built where it stood.

Derelict Whitton station stares across the river to Yorkshire.

In 1954 a suggestion from the Parish Meeting that the County Council should take over the disused railway line, and make out of it a 'direct highway' to Winteringham was rejected .

1951 November Surnames on the Whitton Register of Electors, qualifying date 20th November 1951
- Barley; Bell; Birkett; Blanchard; Bower; Bray; Breeton; Buffham; Bullivant; Burgess; Chapman; Cook; Coultard; Cowling; Curtis; Danson; Dawson; Dook; Everatt; Foster; Hawksworth; Hewitt; Hill; Howlett; Hughes; Hollier; Kennett; King; Knapton; Langton; Loftus; Ogg; Panton; Porkess; Roberts; Rudkin; Shaw; Short; Spilman; Spink; Standerline;Thomas; Thornton; Vessey; Waddingham; Wade; Webb; Wells; Williamson; Wright; Yorke.
Fifty-one surnames and 125 electors - see complete list as Appendix 6, below. Of these names only Bell, Thomas and Thornton appear in the 1642 list and are not, of course, necessarily related at all.

1952 March The County Council told the Parish Meeting that their earlier request that Whitton should elect a Parish Council might be approved, although the village's population was only 168. The Meeting reconsidered their request and since interest in village affairs was low, decided against pursuing the matter.

Old Mill Lane For most of recorded history the little Whitton thoroughfare known as 'Old Mill Lane' was called 'The End' . There were a few old cottages on either side of the lane and towards the bottom, the White House with the little Weslyan Chapel adjoining it. Opposite the Chapel and the White House were a pair of cottages where two miller brothers called Stan and George Short carried on a business started by their father Frank (1871-1931) . Mr Stan Short had a milling machine in his yard and used a lorry to deliver corn and flour to customers in Whitton and surrounding villages. This business gave its name to 'Old Mill Lane' because sometime in the 1950s the name of the lane changed and that was the end of 'The End'.

Stan Short (1901-70), the miller of Old Mill Lane

1953 June 2nd "The coronation of Elizabeth II. Sports were held and seats were placed in places in the village. It was a wet day and so the sports had to be curtailed. Many watched the service from Westminster Abbey on their television sets. Every house received a souvenir - a tin of tea. " (ks) ...and every child received a coronation mug.
Note: It is very unlikely that anyone in Whitton watched the ceremony on television because of the absence of mains electricity in the village at the time.

Whitton children are presented with their Coronation Mugs, Tuesday 2nd June 1953

Photo : courtesy of Michael Bray.

Back Row: left to right

Lesley Thornton : Elizabeth Thornton : Jaqueline Thornton : Pat Buffham : Margaret Buffham : Josie Hawksworth : Pauline Kennet : David Knapton : Janet Thornton : Stuart Webb : Malcolm Kirkby : Mrs Kennet

Middle Row: left to right

Keith Thornton : Michael Bray : David Wright : Michael Thornton : Pauline Hawksworth : Tony Langton : Jane Webb : Diana Knapton : Marion Kennet

Front Row: left to right

Maureen Bower : Phillip Wright : Anne Bray

Little Ones: left to right

John Wright : Peter Breeton : Sheila Bray : Stephen Cowling

Left: sometime in the 1950s.....
a bus of the Lincolnshire Road Car Co. in green and cream livery (perhaps a Roe bodied Leyland Tiger TS8 ) waits opposite the shop on Main St, Whitton to leave for Scunthorpe. For many years Mr Fred Firth and Mr Billy Foster were the bus-drivers.

Right: buildings, which have since disappeared, between Village Farm and the white painted Manor House are seen in this photograph from 1966.

1953 Sunday July 19th 'The church was open for services again after being closed for repairs for many weeks. A different arrangement for the fall of the water from the roof has been made, the old gutterings having been removed; they were worn out....the crack in the tower has been mended and the stones pointed up and made safe. The loft has been cleaned out. Cracks in other parts of the church have been repaired and the stonework of the windows attended to. The tiles in the chancel have been reset and the whole of the inside (of the church) has been cream washed. The names on the Roll of Honour are being regilded. Electric light has been fitted.' - (ks)
Notes: The electric lights could not be turned on for another seven weeks as cables were still being strung across the fields and had not reached the village.
The tower was repaired at the expense of ks and her husband in memory of their son killed in the War and a brass plate commemorating this, was dedicated by Rev Summers on Aug 8th 1954.

Right: Staring at the camera from the scaffolding surrounding the roof of Whitton church in the spring of 1953 - from left, John Spilman, Harry Spink, Jack Langton and Bernard Ogg.

Yorkshire Post 28 Aug 53
1953 Thursday August 27th "Lord Noel-Buxton walked across the Humber. He used a boat for the dredged channel on the Brough side. He left Brough at 3.10 and arrived at Whitton here at 4.36pm There were about 500 to see him leave Brough and the same to see him arrive. He landed in the Marsh where the helicopter which had been following him landed to welcome him. Many of the sightseers were in a far muddier condition than Lord Noel-Buxton as owing to the high tides the foreshore was muddy and slippery. ... he walked it very easily with a pause of 1/4 hour or so on the far side of the water. This side was bare sand and mud, but within 1/2 hour there was deep water all over the part he had walked. I found later that the Humber had been walked by four Ferriby men about 15 years ago." (ks)

"The crossing was unexpectedly easy," said Lord Noel-Buxton afterwards. " At no point was the water above my waist, and at many places on the sandbanks it was little more than ankle-deep".

Note: Rufus Alexander Buxton (1917-1980), 6'3" 2nd Baron Noel-Buxton. In the previous year 1952,  he had 'walked at low tide across the river bed just here ( Houses of Parliament ) without getting his head wet, to the general admiration of his fellow parliamentarians assembled on the Terrace, in order to prove that there had once been a ford.'- Hansard 30 Oct 1997 : Column 1202

1953 Mains electricity in Whitton " Sunday, September 11th The electric lights in the Church were switched on for evening service. The street lights had been on for about a fortnight ".(ks)
A few days later mains electricity began to be supplied to Whitton houses by the Yorkshire Electricity Board. The noisy petrol generators, which had supplied some homes with power, fell silent and paraffin lamps began to be replaced with light bulbs..

1955 How Whitton looked from the air in the mid-fifties....
ABOVE: Looking north with the Humber in the background. Main Street winds through the village with Ings Lane and its six newly built council houses to the lower right. The Mill stood in the field at the bottom left hand corner. Mill Field Lane can just be seen at lower left of Main Street and just above it north of a small white circle is the ruin of the Blacksmith's shop. The Church is seen at the top of the photo just below the gap in the trees.

BELOW: Grove Farm with its tennis lawn, stack-yard and crew-yard, and across Main Street the white-fronted, old Manor House.


1. Rumours and myths in Whitton's history.

a) 'Turner painted most of his sunsets from Whitton Cliff top when he stayed at Walcot Hall.' - J M W Turner had a Lincs. girlfriend and patrons in Lord Yarborough and Col. Sibthorpe and his watercolours of Lincoln, Stamford and Boston are well known. There is no record, however, of a visit  to this corner of the county.

b) 'King John's treasure buried under tree on West Halton Road in Whitton parish.'- He died on 19 Oct 1216 at Newark having lost jewels and money the day before while crossing the Wash. The treasure was not recovered officially, so seems to be rumoured hidden in all sorts of places.

c) 'Kirke White carved 'Oft in danger,oft in woe' on a tree in Marsh field' - A curious assertion, and it seems more likely that the young Nottingham poet used a notebook to record his work while staying at Winteringham vicarage.

d). 'Ghostly black dog' - stories of black dogs which run alongside cyclists and then disappear are not unknown in the area.

e). 'You can see York Minster from Whitton' -  Yes, it is possible to see, with even a small pair of binoculars, the east end of the Minster, 24 miles away,  from a position near  the stile by Ashes plantation.

f). "Whathams" and Saint Etheldreda - According to the Liber Eliensis about the year 672, St.Etheldreda, left her husband King Egfrith of Northumbria to return to Ely in Cambridgeshire. On the way south she is supposed to have crossed the River Humber at Wintringham and then, to have interrupted her journey and stayed on an island in a fen at a place called 'Alfham'. Whilst at Alfham she founded a monastery, before restarting the trip to Ely. This monastery site is usually linked to Whitton’s neighbour West Halton where the church is dedicated to St. Etheldreda, but West Halton church does not look like an island site as described in the Liber Eliensis.
It is perhaps too fanciful to think that Alfham might instead be associated with the five old enclosures of Whitton called "Whathams". These lie above the five metre contour line just to the east of the modern village and would have been dry and above the marsh before medieval land reclamation. An old lane, clearly visible on the aerial photos, peters out as it nears the start of these enclosures. Perhaps beneath the soil of Whitton parish are the postholes and remains of a wooden monastery building founded by a saint….
However David Roffe, a former research fellow at the University of Sheffield, in a paper 'St Æthelthryth and the Monastery of Alftham' has identified the monastery of St.Etheldreda (or St Æthelthryth) with the deserted village of North Conesby, in Flixborough parish.
Also Prof Cameron in 'The Place Names of Lincs ' Part 6 derived 'Whathams' from an old word for 'wheat'.

2. 'The Whitton Flyer' - a poem by Alwyn. J. Barley in tribute to bus driver Fred Firth

You can have your veteran rally on that, famous " Brighton run ",
Just give me one very dear old friend that gave us lots of fun,
Remembering that old passenger bus of grand and great renown
That gave we rustic populace an exciting ride to town.
A member of the " Lily " fleet, F.W. 40 was her name
And on the Scunthorpe-Whitton run she won her place in fame.
A tough old gal in every way of that there was no doubt,
With engine so reliant she put the rest to rout.

Some drivers would abuse her with harsh and clashing gear,
But one I know he loved her and always held her dear.
With touch so slick and skillful and possessive in every way.
A knight complete with charger, gallant, astute, and gay
This grand machine a " Flyer " so formidable and sure
Was " carrier cart " to market, a conveyance so secure
Many an " Irish Paddy " with pockets filled with gold
Was full of praise and laughter as the old bus pitched and rolled.

Returning after trip to town for " Mass " and then " Blue Bell ",
F.W. 40 was their " Saviour St. Patrick ", Pope as well.
The school kids just adored for that ladder on the back
Which meant a cheap ride out the village and then a long walk back.
This bus was temperamental on brake, " declutch " and " start ",
And a time I still remember she just would not depart.
Our driver quite resourceful. his face all wet with sweat
Turned and swung the handle but trying not to fret.

Another driver came to his rescue whom we all knew as " Fred "
He came upon the scene after cruel words were said.
He walked up to the bonnet with an endearing word and pat,
Then grabbed the starting handle just grinning like a cat.
I heard him mutter " Come on, Lass " the only words he spoke,
And with touch of so long standing he gave a little " choke ".
He swung the handle only once and the engine came to life
He turned and said quite coolly " Just treat her like your wife.

Always treat her gently this classy `Chevrolet'
She likes a little coaxing just like a little pet ".
Our driver looked astounded. his face all red then pale.
As the engine sang in unison right up and down the scale.
The driver then admitted as he gave a rueful grin.
"The old girl just had me well beat, I knew I couldn't win ".
And so on and on our hero went on her tough and rugged route.
Admired by young and old alike. she really was quite cute.

And to "Fred", our astute driver, she was a " Queen " with every load,
But he became a legend and a " Knight " of Whitton Road.

3.Whitton School in the early 1930s - a memoir by Jessie Grant née Burgess.
'Up until about 1930/31 the children attended until school leaving age (14 yrs). After that time, they left at 11 and went to Alkborough school until they were 14. The teachers were Miss Ellis (aged about 60) who taught the older children and Miss Marion Barley 1906-1998 (who had been a pupil teacher at Whitton school) who taught the infants. There were about 25 children, all taught in the same classroom. The school day was 9 to 12 and 1.30 to 4. The children went home for dinner. During the summer many lessons were done outside under the trees. The playground was the old school plantation – a lovely wild, wooded area.

Whitton School in 1936
seen from the South

Lessons centred round reading, writing and arithmetic with some history and geography There were visits from the dentist. At Christmas a party was held with presents for the children. Events held in the School -The school was also used as the village hall. Concerts, which included songs, monologues, etc., were given by the police (which I think were quite hilarious.There were also slide shows, whist drives and dances. A Christmas party, with games, was given each year for the whole village. Mrs. Ford (the parson's wife) organised pantomimes put on by the Sunday School children'

4.Whitton's three Listed Buildings.
The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed by English Heritage. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are many built between 1700 and 1840.
The best are called Grade One (I) listed buildings. these are 'buildings of exceptional interest'. In Lincolnshire about 5% are Grade I. There are no such buildings in Whitton.
The next best are called Grade Two Star (II*), these are 'particularly important buildings of more than special interest'. In Lincs 7% of listed buildings are Grade II*. a)The Church is graded II*
The rest are called Grade Two (II), these are 'buildings of special interest, which warrant every effort being made to preserve them'. In Lincs 88% - are Grade II. Both the Old Vicarage and Grove Farm are listed Grade II :-
b)The Old Vicarage (right) because it is late C.18th or early C.19th and is an example of a particular group of buildings - vicarages.
c) The Grove because it has C.18th or earlier origins, although much altered. It was raised and re-fronted in the later C.18th and the front was again altered and a rear extension added to accommodate the increasing family of Thomas Spilman (1809-1888) which had moved from the White House in 1853.

Right - The Grove in 1925 shortly after a large tree had been removed from the front garden so that the flowerbeds, lined with box, (which still survive ) could be established.

5. A Flood in Whitton ? Yes, that was on Sunday 6th June 1982. See more of Fran Ross' photos of the inundation here

6. A vivid memoir of the 1974 Flixborough explosion by John Wright of Whitton

' At around 5pm on Saturday, June 1, 1974, I was sitting round the teatable at 3 Ings Lane having tea with mum, dad and my brothers. I was a sub-editor in Hull in those days but had come over on the New Holland ferry the previous day to spend the weekend with the family. As we ate and chatted, the kettle stopped singing. My mother said: "I thought I asked you to put the kettle on?" to one of us. At that point, the electrical sub-station next to the Flixborough caprolactam plant had been vapourised by the explosion, killing the supply. A huge shockwave was, at that moment, sweeping around the coast to Whitton. "I did put it on and it was singing", said one of us and as we all looked at the offending kettle there was a mighty crash and one of the windows in the kitchen fractured.

 We shot up and looked over the field to where a huge plume of smoke was tearing into the sky. The steelworks at Appleby Frodingham had 'gone up' was the family's thought but to me the direction seemed closer to Burton Stather than to Scunthorpe.  My journalistic instincts came to the surface. "Take me to that" I said to my brother pointing to the column of smoke and in a flash we were off in his car.  Burton Stather looked like a bomb had hit it as we drove through. People were standing outside their homes, where doors were blown in and windows smashed, dazed and covered in blood. Some houses had their roof torn off and the closer we got to Flixborough there were more houses in this state. On the back road between Burton and Flixborough we found a perfect viewpoint to look down on the devastated plant. An incredible firestorm was burning with such ferocity that it was pulling in great pockets of air to feed itself, from the hills behind us and from across the Humber. 40 miles away in Hull, the pressure wave had raced across the river unhindered and broken windows in the city.

The firestorm was rumbling and we left for our own safety. In Thealby, some 20-25 minutes after the blast, pieces of smoking sheet metal were landing on the road in front of us, causing my brother to swerve. A little further on, just through Coleby, we were waved  down by a frantic woman and her family who stopped their car in the middle of the road. "It's not Flixborough is it!? My husband works there. Please tell me it's not Flixborough!".  All I could do was look at her and say "I'm so sorry, so sorry. Yes, it's Flixborough". She cried out and started sobbing. "Look, he probably left before the explosion' I said (the blast came shortly after a shift change - in fact 28 died and it could have been many, many more). "Have you seen it?" she wanted to know.  Yes, I told her, we have just come from there. "And?" All I could do was shake my head. We got back into the car, leaving her sobbing with her family in the road.

 Later that evening we took Mum up to Winterton as BBC Radio Humberside was broadcasting a warning that poisonous gases from the explosion may drift round the coast to land on Whitton. My eldest brother, Dave, and his wife and daughters lived in Winterton. While we were there discussing the disaster, a radio broadcast said that deadly toxic clouds were heading for Whitton. "We've got to rescue the dogs!", we said.  My dad was away in Grimsby that day. He bred black Labrador dogs to retrieve to hand and we had had dogs in kennels behind our house for as long as I could remember. All four brothers piled into the car and drove back down to Whitton. As we approached Bishopthorpe, the scene was like something from War of the Worlds - huge, individual grey-white clouds were floating over the village and softly falling to nestle in the fields like immense evil mushrooms. And a police car was pulled across the road. Luckily, there was just one police officer.

 "I'm sorry lads you can't go in, we have evacuated the whole village. Look at those things", he said, indicating the bizarre clouds.

 We explained that we had to go in, rescue the pups and come out. Whether he liked it or not, we said, we were going in. He looked us up and down for a few seconds. "Well for God's get in and get out but I'm giving you five minutes and that's it", he said.  We were past him, down into Ings Lane and into the back kennels in two minutes, throwing the black pups out hand-to-hand, their ears flapping in the soft summer night, eyes wide in wonder as we passed them, one to the other, in a human chain, down to the car. Above our heads on Ings Lane, weird perfectly-formed lozenge clouds the size of several houses were silently settling down into adjacent fields and across local lanes. Then it was into the car, doors slammed and up and out of the village, pausing only to thank the police officer and show him that we had the dogs safe and sound. "Right, now **** off, this village is closed", he said.

That night, in the Butchers Arms pub in Winterton, we watched the raging fire on News at Ten. People came up to us in the bar. "Are you the guys who went back to Whitton for the dogs? What's it like? Is it true they've cordoned the village off?" and so on.  Hours later, we slept on the floor of my brother's house, utterly exhausted. Around 3am, the Army came banging on the door to say that Winterton had to be evacuated as well. Not that they got any answer from the house. We only knew about it because a neighbour came round the next morning and told us. About an hour after the Army had been, the wind shifted and the alert for Winterton was called off.
"It would not have mattered how long they beat on your door", said the neighbour: "I don't think they were waking you lot up".....'

Notes:  A Wikipedia article  about the Flixborough disaster is at this webpage,

7. Whitton Register of Electors 20 November 1951

Barley, Alwyn Joseph, Whitton
Barley, Edith M., Whitton
Barley, Joseph L. Whitton
Barley, Mary, Whitton
Barley, Alice Mary, Humberside
Barley, Norman, Humberside
Barley, Rita, Humberside
Barley, William Norman. Humberside
Barley, Thomas Holgate, Whitton
Bell, Anthony A., Whitton
Bell, Henrietta, Whitton
Bell, Joseph C., Whitton
Birkett, Elsie, 5 Council Villas
Birkett, Harry, 5 Council Villas ,
Blanchard, Lilian M., The Grange
Bower, Jessie Rosemary, The Bungalow
Bray, Geoffrey N., Whitton
Bray, Mary A., Whitton
Breeton, John W, Whitton
Breeton, Frank Leslie, 2 Council Villas
Breeton, Mollie, 2 Council Villas
Buffham, Edith, Whitton
Buffham, John A., Whitton
Bullivant Alice M.,Whitton
Bullivant Annie G. Whitton
Bullivant, Percy H., Whitton
Burgess, Henry S, The Bungalow
Burgess, Jessie E, The Bungalow
Chapman, Elizabeth Marian, Whitton
Chapman, Joseph W., Whitton
Cook, Annie E, Whitton
Coultard, Benjamin, Bishopthorpe Farm
Coultard, Gertrude, Bishopthorpe Farm
Cowling, Dorothy, 1 Council Villas
Cowling, Ernest Alfred. 1 Council Villas
Cowling, Rose, 1 Council Villas
Curtis, Henry B., Humberside
Curtis, Mary L., Humberside
Danson, Florence May, Whitton
Danson, George Richard, Whitton
Dawson, Eileen, 4 Council Villas
Dawson, Leslie, 4 Council Villas
Dook, Charles R., Cliff House
Everatt, Elsie J., Manor Cottage
Everatt, Frederick, Manor Cottage
Everatt,Stanley P., Manor Cottage
Foster, Annie, East View
Foster, Edwin Vivian, East View
Foster, Samuel, East View
Hawkesworth, Kathleen, Cliff House
Hawksworth, William C., Cliff House
Hewitt, George, Whitton
Hill, Ada, Mill House
Howlett, Charles H., Old Manor House
Howlett, Edith, Old Manor House
Howlett, Peter, Old Manor House
Hughes, Gordon, East View
Hughes, Lilian, East View
Hollier,James Henry,Bishopthorpe Farm
Kennett, Geoffrey L., Ivy House, Whitton
Kennett, Lilian M, Ivy House, Whitton
King, Ada, Whitton
Knapton, Marjorie M., The Grange
Knapton, Norman, The Grange
Langton, Jack, Whitton
Langton, Joan, Whitton
Loftus Eland, Old Mill Lane
Loftus, Hilda, Old Mill Lane
Ogg, Alec B., Whitton
Ogg, Hilda Mary, Whitton
Panton, Helen, Whitton
Panton, William A., Whitton
Porkess, Herbert, Whitton
Roberts, Alec, Bishopthorpe
Roberts, Fred, Bishopthorpe
Roberts, Nellie, Bishopthorpe
Rudkin, Mary, Bishopthorpe
Rudkin, Wilfred, Bishopthorpe
Shaw, Beatrice, Bishopthorpe Farm
Shaw, Joseph, Bishopthorpe Farm
Short, Charles S., Mill House
Short, Phyllis, Mill House
Short, George E., Whitton
Short, Norah, Whitton
Spilman, Alec N E, Humber View Farm
Spilman, Nellie, Humber View
Spilman, Kate, The Grove
Spilman, Kathleen A. A , The Grove
Spilman, Patricia C, The Grove
Spilman, Thomas L, The Grove
Spink, Alec Morris, Prospect House
Spink, Audrey M. Prospect House
Spink, Georgina, E., Whitton
Spink, Jeanne A., Whitton
Spink, John H. F., Whitton
Spink, Ralph Stanley, Whitton
Spink. Stanley M , Whitton
Standerline, Ellen, Whitton
Thomas, Mary, Chapel Lane
Thornton, Alfred James, Whitton
Thornton, Catherine, Village Street
Thornton, Martha, Village Street
Thornton, Thirza, 6 Council Villas
Thornton, Walter, 6 Council Villas
Vessey Ernest E., Whitton
Vessey, George E., Whitton
Vessey, William C., Whitton
Waddingham Alexander D., Humberside
Waddingham, Annie E., Chapel Lane
Waddingham, Henry, senr., Chapel Lane
Waddingham, Henry, jun., Chapel Lane
Wade, Clara, The Cottage
Wade, George, The Cottage
Webb, Ernest Paul, Whitton
Webb, Kate A, Whitton
Wells, Florence Jane, Whitton
Williamson, Mabel, Whitton
Williamson, Robert T., Whitton
Wright, Herbert L , 3 Council Villas
Wright. Joan M., 3 Council Villas
Wright, Charles H. E., Manor House
Wright, Clarence E ., Manor House
Wright, George L. , Manor House
Yorke, Barbara A., East View
Yorke, Fred, East View


Many of the photos are courtesy of Maureen Toms (née Bower), Mary Parker (née Thornton), Jean Clark (née Dennis), Nigel & Wendy Spilman, Fran Ross, Michael Bray, Marion Manson (née Kennett), Claire Birkett , Joyce Ogg ( née Barley ) and, her sister, the late Joan Langton ( née Barley) .

1332 Lincolnshire Lay Subsidy Rolls transcription: Dr. D. A. Postles, , Lincolnshire Lay Subsidy Rolls
Church photo of 1872 : courtesy of S. Ingram & D. Robinson Ltd 

Paragraphs bearing the initials (ks) were written by Kate Spilman (1890-1959)

She is seen here, in Whitton, in about 1950 with some chickens, and her first grandchild who is the present writer...

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End of the Whitton on the Web page...


Further Reading

For further reading on north-west Lindsey, vide unpublished, 2012 University of Nottingham PhD thesis:

'Enclosure & agricultural improvement in north-west Lincolnshire from circa 1600 to 1850'


'Warping and parliamentary enclosure: the example of north-west Lindsey, Lincolnshire' in
Agricultural History Review 62 (2014), 1, pp.83-97