Outlying villages: Sculcoates

Pages 467-469

A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 1, the City of Kingston Upon Hull. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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The parish of Sculcoates lay on the east bank of the River Hull to the north and north-west of the town of Hull. (fn. 1) It covered an area of 738 acres. (fn. 2) The river formed the eastern boundary of the parish, while to the north and west lay Cottingham. The boundary with Cottingham on the north ran from a point on the river near Stoneferry along streams and ditches at the south end of Newland Fields. On the west it ran along a dike at the east end of Newland Tofts, on the line later taken by Prince's Avenue. On the south the boundary with Hull followed Spring Dike, later Spring Bank and Prospect Street. (fn. 3) During the 17th century the northern boundary was called 'the king's banks' and the western, south of Derringham Dike, 'the king's stone'. (fn. 4) The south-east part of the parish immediately next to the walls of Hull comprised Trippett. The Corporation of Hull had rights there from the mid-15th century, and had indeed tried to extend them over the whole of Sculcoates. (fn. 5) In 1801, when the Sculcoates Commissioners were created, Trippett remained beyond their jurisdiction. In 1837 it was incorporated in the borough of Hull together with Sculcoates but was treated as a separate liberty. (fn. 6)

'Skuli's cottages' may have been built in the 12th century on the bank of the River Hull where silting had raised the level of the land, and where drainage was making the surrounding salt-marshes more habitable. (fn. 7) By the 17th century about a dozen houses lay between the Charterhouse and St. Mary's Church, along a road which ran close to the river. The road to Beverley crossed the parish on the west, and was joined, just to the north of Sculcoates, by the road from Cottingham. (fn. 8) During the 18th century buildings spread along Sculcoates Lane, which ran from the church to the Beverley road. (fn. 9) At the end of the century the southern part of the parish was being developed as a suburb of Hull, and George Street, Grimston Street, Savile Street, and Charlotte Street had been built to the east of the Beverley road. To the west of the road, around the infirmary, were Mill Street, West Street, and Brook Street. (fn. 10) Development continued in the early 19th century with the building of Jarratt Street and Wright Street, and by 1817 houses had been built around Stepney Lane, on the east side of the Beverley road. (fn. 11) By 1834 houses were being built along both sides of the road, and the southern part of the parish was densely built-up. (fn. 12)

The principal buildings in the parish were for long the Carthusian Priory and the Charterhouse hospital in the south of the parish, and St. Mary's Church in the north. (fn. 13) Other public buildings were added, however, in the course of the 18th century. These included the workhouse and Sculcoates Hall. The hall, which stood in Jarratt Street, housed the Petty Sessions, and was later used by the improvement commissioners. (fn. 14) In 1759 the rebuilding of the church was begun, (fn. 15) and in 1777 Hull General Infirmary was built. In the early 19th century Christ Church and some nonconformist chapels were provided for the growing population of the parish, (fn. 16) and a dispensary, an asylum, (fn. 17) and assembly rooms were among new public buildings which appeared in the south part of Sculcoates as the area became fashionable. (fn. 18)

There was a manor-house in Sculcoates by 1346; in that year John Grey received a licence to fortify it. (fn. 19) It stood on the river bank in the 17th century (fn. 20) but had disappeared by the 1780s. In the 18th century the poverty of the parish was reflected in its domestic architecture: in 1743 most of the families, it was said, 'have but one low room' or 'live in a chamber'. (fn. 21)

The village had a predominantly agricultural character until the late 18th century when industries were established beside the river. A windmill is recorded in 1558, however, and there was a Lime Kiln Close in 1573. (fn. 22) There is evidence of brickmaking in the parish from the 1650s onwards: in 1656 there was a Brick Close, and in 1662 part of Bush Dike Close was appropriated for making bricks. (fn. 23) There was a brewery in Sculcoates by 1700, (fn. 24) and by 1740 a new industry, sugar-refining, had been established there and a sugar-house built on the growths of reclaimed land near the river. (fn. 25) In addition shipbuilding, weaving, wool-combing, chair-making, and dyeing are among occupations recorded in the parish in the mid-18th century. (fn. 26) By 1784 there were shipyards in Trippett, (fn. 27) and by 1818 there were more shipyards and a timber yard in Church Street, a foundry to the south of Cannon Street, and a glue manufactory. (fn. 28)

Sculcoates was for long a small, poor settlement. In 1334 it contributed £1 14s. to the fifteenth, (fn. 29) and in 1377 only 19 adults paid the poll tax. (fn. 30) In 1524 seven taxpayers paid 11s. 6d. in all, (fn. 31) and in 1584 the parish provided four men at a muster. (fn. 32) In 1672 15 householders were chargeable for the hearth tax. (fn. 33) Numbers increased during the 18th century, however, and in 1743 88 'little and poor' families were counted. (fn. 34) The subsequent development of Sculcoates as a suburb of Hull was reflected in the growth of the population: it reached 5,448 in 1801 and 13,468 in 1831. (fn. 35)

Among records of parish government which have survived are churchwardens' accounts covering, with gaps, the period from 1757 to 1834. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries parish meetings were usually held at Easter, but occasionally in February or June, to elect officers, audit accounts, and levy a parish rate. The meetings frequently took place in the Charterhouse chapel. The earliest recorded rate, that of 1757, was of 1s. in the pound; it raised £29 from property valued at £576. Similar sums were raised until 1771, except in 1761 when a rate of 1s. 6d. 'towards finishing' the new parish church brought in £46. Later rates varied from 1d. to 6d. in the pound. There was a striking increase in the rateable value of the parish, however, as a result of its development as a residential suburb of Hull: it was valued at £3,096 in 1784 and £45,812 in 1837. The sum raised in 1837 was accordingly as high as £286. The only rate known to have been raised for other than general purposes was one of c. 1795 which brought in £175 for 'bounties given to five volunteers raised in this parish'. Expenditure in the earliest recorded years varied from £9 to £29. Towards the end of the century it rose sharply, reaching £153 in 1793, for example.

In addition to churchwardens and overseers of the poor, a constable is mentioned, in 1757 and 1758. Overseers themselves are mentioned only twice. In 1758 the same two men acted as overseers and churchwardens. In 1770 the offices were held separately by different men. (fn. 36) The parish maintained its own workhouse. (fn. 37) With its growth as a suburb of Hull, Sculcoates acquired a new body to supplement the work of the vestry. In 1801 improvement commissioners were appointed for the parish and they continued to act until after its absorption in the borough. (fn. 38)

Manors and Other Estates

The manor of Sculcoates comprised two carucates. The overlordship, when first mentioned in the 13th century, was held by the Archbishop of York. (fn. 39) The archbishop is last mentioned in this connexion in 1378, (fn. 40) although he probably remained overlord until the 16th century, when the manor was acquired by the Crown. An intermediary lordship is recorded from 1281 until the early 15th century. During this period four bovates in Sculcoates were held under the manor of Cottingham. (fn. 41)

The first demesne lord of SCULCOATES seems to have been Benet de Sculcoates, who held it late in the 12th century. (fn. 42) By 1221 the manor had passed to Robert de Grey, Benet's nephew by marriage. (fn. 43) Sculcoates remained in the hands of the Greys until late in the 14th century. They at first held 12 bovates of the Archbishop of York, and by 1294 they had acquired the remaining 4 bovates. (fn. 44) From about 1312 until 1330 Robert de Moreby, who had married the widow of John de Grey the elder, shared the lordship of the manor with John de Grey the younger. (fn. 45) In 1376 Robert de Grey granted the manor to John de Neville. (fn. 46) A year later Neville granted it to Michael de la Pole, (fn. 47) and in 1379 Pole granted it to the Carthusian Priory of Hull. (fn. 48) The manor passed to the Crown at the Dissolution, (fn. 49) when it was valued at £86 a year. (fn. 50)

The fee of four bovates which belonged to Cottingham manor was held in 1281 by the family of Meaux. (fn. 51) By 1294, however, the Greys held the fee as tenants of the Meaux family, and retained it until at least 1318. The land was later granted by Sir John de Meaux to Haltemprice Priory, and the priory held it in 1406. (fn. 52) Presumably at the Dissolution it came into the hands of the Crown and was re-united with the rest of the manor.

In 1552 closes in Sculcoates were let by the Crown to Robert Thornton and Thomas Aldred. In 1558, however, the whole manor, together with the reversions of the leases, were granted to Sir Henry Gate and Thomas Dalton. Gate and Dalton are said to have divided the property into three parts c. 1560, Gate keeping one-third and Dalton two. (fn. 53) In 1563–4 Gate granted four messuages from his share to Dalton. (fn. 54) The rest of Gate's share passed in 1588 to his son Edward, (fn. 55) who granted it in 1589–90 to John Aldred. (fn. 56) One of the Dalton shares remained in the Dalton family. (fn. 57) The other is said to have been granted in 1560 to Alexander Stockdale. (fn. 58) Stockdale's son Robert conveyed it to John Aldred and others in 1594; it was to be sold by them to pay his debts. Their title to this share was disputed, however, by members of the Estoft family who claimed that Stockdale was lunatic, and that the share had been sold to them. (fn. 59) Nevertheless, Aldred and the others retained the share and conveyed it to Mathew Brownell in 1600. (fn. 60) By 1658, however, it had been acquired permanently by the Aldred family. (fn. 61) The Aldreds now held two shares of the manor. In 1668 John Aldred conveyed both shares to John Dalton, and the manor was thus re-united under the lordship of the Dalton family. (fn. 62)

John Dalton was, in fact, the penultimate member of the main line of Daltons. In 1685 he devised the manor to his brother Thomas (fn. 63) who died childless, and in 1700 the manor passed with other Dalton estates to Thomas's widow Elizabeth. (fn. 64) She subsequently married Robert Dolman, who became lord, (fn. 65) but on his death the manor remained in the hands of Elizabeth's family, the Withams. (fn. 66) Part of the Witham family estate, including land in Sculcoates, was dispersed by Act of Parliament in 1767 and was acquired by the Broadley family. The rest of the Witham's land in Sculcoates passed to Francis Fowkes in 1758 and seems also to have come to the Broadleys. (fn. 67)

In addition to the Carthusian Priory and Haltemprice Priory, the Canons of North Ferriby had lands in Sculcoates. By 1536 they held seven closes of land which had formerly belonged to the Charterhouse. (fn. 68) Other small estates were amassed in Sculcoates by builders at the end of the 18th century. William Settle, for example, acquired plots there in 1795. (fn. 69) These small estates, together with the estate of the Dock Company, to the north of Queen's Dock, were developed as a residential suburb in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


Nothing is known of the pattern of agriculture in Sculcoates during the Middle Ages, although meadow and pasture are mentioned in 1294. (fn. 70) By the 16th century there was common pasture called Ox Pasture, and meadows lay on the west of the Charterhouse, from which they took their name. (fn. 71) A 17th-century map depicting the inclosure of Sculcoates shows meadows called Great Ings and Little Ings lying on the west and east respectively of the Beverley road. Next to them lay Great Pasture and Little Pasture. Two other meadows, Hall Ings and South Ings, are mentioned, but their position is not shown. The map depicts three fields which may represent the pattern of arable farming in the parish before inclosure. West Field extends from the village to the Beverley road; in the north-east corner of the parish is Green Fields; and next to it lies North Field. (fn. 72)

Inclosure may have taken place in Sculcoates as early as the 16th century. North Ferriby Priory had several closes among its possessions in Sculcoates then, and a Bush Dike Close existed by the early 17th century. (fn. 73) During the 17th century itself much of the parish seems to have been inclosed. The precise date at which this occurred is unknown: certainly the process had been completed by 1691. The method of inclosure followed is equally uncertain. By 1691 there were fourteen principal landowners. Thomas Dalton was the largest with an estate comprising 22 plots, the acreage of sixteen of which amounted to 167 a. The Corporation of Hull had five plots, three of which contained in all 29 a., and a Mr. Catlin also held 29 a. Three estates were between 10 a. and 20 a., and four were under 10 a. The remaining four estates were each of one or two plots, and their acreage is unknown. (fn. 74)

The appropriation of land in Sculcoates for industry in the 18th century swiftly changed the hitherto agricultural character of the parish. Nevertheless, North Field, Green Fields, and Great and Little Ings were mentioned as late as the 1750s and were apparently still used for farming. (fn. 75) By the end of the 18th century land which had not already been built on was used for feeding cattle on permanent grass, (fn. 76) and in the early 19th century there were market gardens. (fn. 77)

Flooding was as great a threat to Sculcoates as it was to neighbouring parishes in the Hull valley. Maintenance of the river bank, exclusion of salt water from land drains, and drainage of fields and pastures were doubtless primary considerations from an early date. By 1668 at least one sluice, Sculcoates Clough, had been built; it lay near the middle of the village. (fn. 78) During the 18th century there were regular assessments for its repair and maintenance. Until the 1770s between 20 and 40 people were assessed; thereafter the number rose to between 60 and 80. The totals raised were usually under £20, although in 1726 £35 was collected. (fn. 79) The river bank was also closely inspected. The growth of industry along the river sometimes caused dangerous obstructions, as around 1740 when the piles on which the sugarhouse stood caused currents to damage the bank severely. (fn. 80) At the end of the century the drainage of Sculcoates was improved when new drains were built there as part of the Beverley-Barmston level. (fn. 81)


  • 1. An account of the parish is in J. Travis-Cook, Sculcoates Manor, Church & Parish.
  • 2. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 492.
  • 3. O.S. Map 6" (1856).
  • 4. Copy survey of Sculcoates Lordship, c. 1691 (in Hull Pub. Libr.); T. Sheppard, Evolution of Hull, 60.
  • 5. Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.385, 507a; see p. 79.
  • 6. See p. 6.
  • 7. P.N.E.R. Yorks. (E.P.N.S.), 214; June Sheppard, Draining of the Hull Valley (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. no. 8), 3.
  • 8. Copy survey of Sculcoates, c. 1691.
  • 9. Tuke's plan Holderness, 1786.
  • 10. Hargrave's plan Hull, 1791.
  • 11. Craggs's plan Hull, 1817.
  • 12. Moreland's plan Hull, 1834.
  • 13. See pp. 304, 333.
  • 14. Sheahan, Hist. Hull, 637; see p. 440.
  • 15. See p. 304.
  • 16. See pp. 305, 383.
  • 17. See pp. 384–5.
  • 18. See p. 420.
  • 19. Cal. Pat. 1345–8, 514.
  • 20. Copy survey of Sculcoates, c. 1691.
  • 21. Abp. Herring's Visit. Ret. iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 75), 114.
  • 22. E.R.R.O., DDHV/32/1.
  • 23. Tickell, Hist. Hull, 897.
  • 24. C.P. 25(2)/896/10 & 11 Wm. III, Hilary.
  • 25. E.R.R.O., CSR/18/8.
  • 26. Reg. Sculcoates, 1538–1772 (Yorks. Par. Reg. Soc. 123), 47 sqq.
  • 27. Thew's plan Hull, 1784.
  • 28. Anderson's plan Hull, 1818.
  • 29. E 179/202/43; a payment is also recorded under the liberty of Beverley, with no separate figure. No figure for the ninth of 1297 is available.
  • 30. E 179/202/59, m. 37.
  • 31. E 179/203/183.
  • 32. Miscellany, v (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 116), 89.
  • 33. E 179/205/504.
  • 34. Abp. Herring's Visit. Ret. iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 75), 114.
  • 35. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 492.
  • 36. This account is based on the following records kept in the vestry: churchwardens' accounts 1757–71; ibid. 1784–1806; ibid. 1823–34; parish assessment, 1837. Vestry minutes 1801–51 were said to exist in 1939: Par. Docs. E. Riding (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 99), 88; they were not available in 1966.
  • 37. See p. 440.
  • 38. See pp. 199, 231.
  • 39. Feud. Aids, i. 151.
  • 40. Cal. Pat. 1377–81, 289.
  • 41. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 260; Cal. Close, 1405–9, 222.
  • 42. E.Y.C. i. 45; Chron. de Melsa (Rolls Ser.), i. 169–70.
  • 43. Cur. Reg. R. x. 168; Chron. de Melsa, i. 169–70.
  • 44. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 182.
  • 45. Cal. Inq. p.m. v, p. 193; Feud. Aids, vi. 166; Parliamentary Rep. of Yorks. i (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 91), 74; Cal. Chart. R. iv. 168.
  • 46. Cal. Anct. D. iii. D416; C.P. 25(1)/277/138/3, 17.
  • 47. C.P. 25(1)/277/140/2.
  • 48. Cal. Pat. 1377–81, 318.
  • 49. Miscellany, iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 80), 131.
  • 50. Dugdale, Mon. vi. 22.
  • 51. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 260.
  • 52. Kirkby's Inquest (Sur. Soc. 49), 79, 411–12; Cal. Close, 1405–9, 222.
  • 53. Cal. Pat. 1557–8, 289; Suppression of Monasteries (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 48), 120.
  • 54. Yorks. Fines, i. 286.
  • 55. C 142/220/82.
  • 56. C 66/1350.
  • 57. Yorks. Fines, 1603–14, 88; ibid. 1614–25, 241; E.R.R.O., DDHU/32/2.
  • 58. Suppression of Monasteries (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 48), 120.
  • 59. Yorks. Fines, iv. 16, 17; E.R.R.O., DDBE/23/9, 19, 33, 51; C 142/242/91.
  • 60. Yorks. Fines, iv. 146; Yorks. Fines, 1603–14, 18.
  • 61. C.P. 25(2)/615/1658, Easter.
  • 62. Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.881, 882.
  • 63. E.R.R.O., DDCC/134/116.
  • 64. Ibid. /222; QDR/2/22.
  • 65. T. Blashill, Sutton in Holderness, 161.
  • 66. Blashill, Sutton, 222; E.R.R.O., QDB/5/10; /7/2; QDR/2/59.
  • 67. 7 Geo. III, c. 73 (priv. Act).
  • 68. Miscellany, iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 80), 131.
  • 69. Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, M.855.
  • 70. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 182.
  • 71. Miscellany, iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 80), 131.
  • 72. Copy survey of Sculcoates, c. 1691.
  • 73. Miscellany, iii (Y.A.S. Rec. Ser. 80), 131; Stanewell, Cal. Hull Deeds, D.796a.
  • 74. Copy survey of Sculcoates, c. 1691; a further seven plots have no acreages and are not marked with the owners' names or initials.
  • 75. E.R.R.O., QDB/5/10.
  • 76. A. Harris, Rural Landscape of E.R. Yorks., 1700– 1850, 90.
  • 77. Anderson's plan Hull, 1818.
  • 78. Osborne's plan Hull, 1668.
  • 79. E.R.R.O., CSR/4/22, 167, 213, 445; /16/57, 66, 67, 84, 92, 109; /17/47, 48.
  • 80. Ibid. /20/106.
  • 81. June Sheppard, Draining of the Hull Valley (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. no. 8), 16.