Boundaries and Communications

A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6, the Borough and Liberties of Beverley. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

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A P Baggs. L M Brown. G C F Forster. I Hall. R E Horrox. G H R Kent. D Neave, 'Boundaries and Communications', in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6, the Borough and Liberties of Beverley, (London, 1989) pp. 161-169. British History Online [accessed 24 May 2024].

A P Baggs. L M Brown. G C F Forster. I Hall. R E Horrox. G H R Kent. D Neave. "Boundaries and Communications", in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6, the Borough and Liberties of Beverley, (London, 1989) 161-169. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Brown, L M. Forster, G C F. Hall, I. Horrox, R E. Kent, G H R. Neave, D. "Boundaries and Communications", A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6, the Borough and Liberties of Beverley, (London, 1989). 161-169. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024,

In this section


Borough and Liberties

The town's medieval charters never defined the limits within which the privileges granted were to be enjoyed, and the boundaries of the borough were indeed not set down until the 17th century. The borough presumably included, in the Middle Ages as it did later, not only the built up area of the town but also the farmlands of the townsmen and the town's common pastures. Burghal privileges were not, however, enjoyed by the villeins of Thearne, Tickton, Woodmansey, Weel, and the other hamlets which comprised the 'water towns' of the archbishop's manor of Beverley, nor by the inhabitants of Molescroft.

The water towns were first mentioned in 1309 and named in 1397; (fn. 1) they were said in 1581 to be so called because 'most of the grounds there is surrounded with the waters the greatest part of the year'. (fn. 2) Two of the water towns, Tickton and Weel, lay east of the river Hull and were sometimes reckoned to be in Holderness wapentake; they were taxed with Holderness in 1334. (fn. 3) The archbishop, however, claimed certain franchises in the manor of Beverley and all its members (fn. 4) and it was evidently on that account that the hamlets were considered to lie within the liberty or liberties of Beverley. Thus after a dispute concerning property in Beverley and Sandholme in 1392 it was ruled that all the water towns, as well as Molescroft, were in the liberty. (fn. 5) Much of Molescroft also belonged to the archbishop and the rest to the college of Beverley; (fn. 6) it was presumably for that reason besides its proximity to the town that Molescroft was included in the liberty. The college fee also included parts of the water towns.

The lack of definition of the borough caused much uncertainty in the 16th century. The charter of incorporation of 1573 declared that the town and its 'circuit, precinct, and jurisdiction' were to extend to the same boundaries as theretofore, without specifying them, and it authorized the mayor, governors, and burgesses to perambulate those boundaries in order to uphold their liberties and franchises. (fn. 7) The corporation soon after petitioned the Crown seeking clarification, a commission was appointed, and on 24 April 1574 an inquisition was held at Beverley. The resultant statement of the boundaries of the town with its liberties comprised all the water towns, as well as Molescroft and the former park of the archbishop. (fn. 8)

It was presumably those far-flung boundaries which the corporation perambulated as authorized by the charter of 1573. A perambulation took place in 1585, (fn. 9) for example, and it was decided in 1609 that the boundaries should be ridden once every seven years, changed to 10 years in 1616. (fn. 10) Probably encouraged by the inquisition of 1574 the corporation extended its jurisdiction in various matters to the water towns to the detriment of the Crown, (fn. 11) which had obtained the manor of Beverley from the archbishop in 1542. (fn. 12) The corporation was pursuing the resultant controversy in London in 1622 (fn. 13) and the limits of the respective jurisdictions were finally settled in 1624, when the boundaries of both the borough and the manor were set down. The borough comprised the town and its suburbs, together with the common pastures; beyond those limits the main roads to Thief Hurn, near Bentley, and Hull bridge—along with the bridge itself—were to be maintained by the corporation. (fn. 14) Thereafter the borough boundaries were never changed. The manor, soon to be known as the manor of Beverley Water Towns, comprised the hamlets of Sandholme, Storkhill, Thearne, Tickton, Weel, and Woodmansey, together with the former park. (fn. 15) Those places, along with Molescroft, were later said to comprise the liberties of Beverley.

There were doubts in the 18th century whether the justices of the town or those of the East Riding had jurisdiction in the liberties. The hamlets there were sometimes dealt with by the county. It was claimed in 1727, for example, that they were under the East Riding justices, (fn. 16) who certainly in 1728 and 1730 allowed the highway assessments for Molescroft; (fn. 17) and in 1787-9 the land tax assessments of Storkhill with Sandholme were made with those of the Hunsley Beacon division of Harthill wapentake. (fn. 18) At other times the hamlets were apparently the preserve of the borough justices: from 1754, for example, the alehouses of Tickton and Weel were not licensed with those of Holderness, (fn. 19) and in 1781 Thearne, Tickton, Weel, and Woodmansey were excluded from lists of freeholders in Holderness and Hunsley Beacon. (fn. 20) A legal opinion given in 1792 that the Beverley and East Riding justices had acted concurrently in the liberties until 1789 (fn. 21) was evidently correct.

Doubts were resolved in 1789 when, after the East Riding justices had attempted to deal with a case of assault at Woodmansey, Beverley was declared to have exclusive jurisdiction in the liberties. (fn. 22) That declaration gave encouragement to the corporation in the matter of the payment of tolls on goods landed at Hull bridge, on the east bank of the river, which had previously been refused on the pretence that Tickton was outside the liberties. (fn. 23) Even after 1789, however, the corporation was reluctant to take legal proceedings. When it eventually did so in 1838, it lost its case on the grounds that the long-standing non-payment of tolls suggested that Tickton was not intended to be covered by the Beck Acts of 1727 and 1745, which had authorized the collection of tolls anywhere within the liberties. (fn. 24)

The Wards

By the early 13th century the town was divided into constablewicks or wards for the administration of domestic regulations, the collection of assessments and taxes, and the like. Three wards, comprising the provost's fee, were mentioned in 1207: Mill beck and Grovehill, Minster Moorgate and Fishmarket Moorgate, and Norwood and Alford. (fn. 25) From the late 14th to the early 16th century there were usually 14 wards, not all of them topographically coherent, for the chapter fee throughout the town comprised one of them and the archbishop's and provost's fees in Keldgate two more. (fn. 26) In 1436, when two constables were appointed for each, the wards comprised Barleyholme, Beckside provost's, chapter fee, Corn Market (later Saturday Market), Fish Market (later Wednesday Market), Flemingate, 'high street' (aha via), Keldgate archbishop's, Keldgate provost's, Lairgate, Norwood provost's, Walkergate, Within North Bar, and Without North Bar. (fn. 27) After the 1540s the provost's and chapter fees ceased to be separate wards. In the later 16th century, when there were usually 12 wards, alta via was replaced by Toll Gavel, the new name for part of the street, and Beckside was divided into North and South, of which only the former constituted a separate ward. (fn. 28) In 1577, when two constables were still chosen for each, the wards comprised Fish Market, Flemingate, Keldgate and Minster, Lairgate and Newbegin, Northside Beck, Norwood, Saturday Market, Southside Beck and Barleyholme, Toll Gavel, Walkergate and Hengate, Within North Bar, and Without North Bar. (fn. 29) Twelve wards were listed in 1622 and there were 10 for the purpose of national tax assessmentin 1672 and 1692. (fn. 30) Locally, however, there were generally reckoned to be only nine by 1665 and until 1835: Southside Beck and Barleyholme ceased to be distinct, the whole of Beckside was amalgamated with Flemingate, and Walkergate and Hengate was joined with Norwood, so that the wards were Flemingate and Beckside, Keldgate and Minster Moorgate, Newbegin and Lairgate, Norwood with Hengate and Walkergate, Saturday Market, Toll Gavel, Wednesday Market, Within North Bar, and Without North Bar. (fn. 31) Occasionally Flemingate and Beckside were still regarded as separate wards. (fn. 32)

Parish Boundaries

In the Middle Ages parochial responsibilities in the town and the outlying townships were shared by the seven prebendaries in the minster, only one of whom, the prebendary of St. Martin, is thought to have served a coherent parish. In 1269 part of St. Martin's was allocated to the newly created vicarage of St. Mary's, and a separate parish of St. Nicholas's also came into existence. In the early 16th century if not earlier the area served by the prebendaries was known as 'the minster parish'. (fn. 33) Upon the suppression of the college in 1548 the minster was made a parish church, serving the town parish of St. Martin and a new parish of St. John the Evangelist, comprising the outlying townships. The two parishes together were later often known as the parish of St. John and St. Martin. The benefices of St. Mary's and St. Nicholas's were united in 1667; St. Mary's church thereafter served the two parishes, which were often known as the parish of St. Mary with St. Nicholas. (fn. 34)

The parish boundaries were first fully mapped in 1851-2 (fn. 35) but they may have been substantially those that existed in the Middle Ages. St. Mary's comprised the northern part of the town, together with the suburban areas outside North bar and part of the common pasture of Westwood, St. Martin's comprised most of the remaining built up area, as well as the rest of Westwood and the whole of Figham pasture, and St. Nicholas's comprised Beckside, Norwood, Grovehill, and Swine Moor pasture, together with a small detached part between Keldgate and Minster Moorgate, within St. Martin's parish. (fn. 36) Their areas were respectively 579 a., 873 a., and 960 a. The parish of St. John contained the townships of Molescroft, Storkhill, Thearne, Tickton, Weel, and Woodmansey, together with Beverley Parks, all of which were within the liberties of Beverley, as well as Eske township and part of the township of Aike (in Lockington), which were not in the liberties. The total area of the parish was 8,722 a. (fn. 37) The history of Aike is not dealt with in this volume but is reserved for treatment elsewhere.

Modern Boundaries

The boundaries of the borough and the liberties were not modified until 1832, when a new parliamentary borough was created which in cluded the whole of the liberties. (fn. 38) The parliamentary boundaries remained unchanged until Beverley was disfranchised in 1870. (fn. 39) The municipal borough was created in 1835, under the terms of the Municipal Corporations Act, and at first it included the liberties; under the amending Act of 1836, however, the liberties were excluded. (fn. 40) A small change was recommended by the boundary commissioners of 1837, (fn. 41) but it was not carried out. The boundaries were first accurately mapped in 1851-2, when the municipal borough contained 2,412 a. comprising St. Martin's, St. Mary's, and St. Nicholas's parishes. (fn. 42) After 1882 the area was reckoned at 2,404 a. (972.9 ha.). (fn. 43) No changes were made before the municipal borough was abolished as part of the local government reorganization of 1974. The town then became part of the Beverley district in the new county of Humberside, that district having the status of a borough; in 1981 its name was changed to the East Yorkshire Borough of Beverley. (fn. 44)

Beverley: Boundaries

The wards were reduced in number in 1835 to two, Minster and St. Mary's, the former comprising the parishes of St. Martin and St. Nicholas. (fn. 45) Because of the disparity in population between them St. Mary's ward was enlarged at the expense of Minster in 1897 (fn. 46) and again in 1936. (fn. 47) From 1974 they formed two of the many wards in the new district; in 1978 they were divided into four: Minster North and South and St. Mary's East and West. (fn. 48)

For civil purposes the parish boundaries of the early 19th century were not changed until 1882, when the detached part of St. Nicholas's parish lying between Keldgate and Minster Moorgate was transferred to St. Martin's. The overall acreages were calculated more accurately at that time, and thereafter St. Mary's was said to contain 579 a., St. Martin's 875 a., and St. Nicholas's 950 a. (fn. 49) In 1936 the three civil parishes were made one. (fn. 50) For ecclesiastical purposes the old parish boundaries were not changed until 1959, when the parish of St. Mary with St. Nicholas was divided again in two. The new St. Nicholas's included the whole of the ancient parish of St. Nicholas except that part lying west of the railway line, which was to be in St. Mary's. It also included three small areas taken from the parish of St. John and St. Martin. At the same time the detached part of St. Mary with St. Nicholas's parish, lying between Keldgate and Minster Moorgate, was transferred to St. John and St. Martin's parish. (fn. 51)

In the later 19th century the outlying townships that comprised St. John's parish became civil parishes for local government purposes. In 1935 Thearne and Woodmansey civil parishes were combined as Woodmansey civil parish, and Eske, Storkhill and Sandholme, Tickton and Hull Bridge, and Weel civil parishes were combined as Tickton civil parish; Molescroft remained unchanged. (fn. 52)

After 1974 Molescroft formed a ward in the new district of Beverley Borough, as did Woodmansey with the addition of the neighbouring hamlet of Dunswell; Tickton gave its name to a large new ward that extended far beyond the liberties of Beverley. (fn. 53) In 1985 the civil parish of Woodmansey was enlarged to become coextensive with the ward. (fn. 54)


River and Beck

The right of the archbishop of York, as lord of Beverley, to passage along the river Hull (fn. 55) gave the town a vital link with the Humber and the sea. Navigation was evidently improved after 1269, when the archbishop reached agreement with Joan de Stutville, lady of Cottingham manor, that she would keep the river clear of obstructions in return for the payment of £4 a year. (fn. 56) By 1344-5 the town had taken over that payment from the archbishop (fn. 57) and in 1380 the rent was charged upon the Dings. (fn. 58) A dispute with the town of Hull over the obstruction of the river by piles was in progress in the 1360s. (fn. 59) A staith on the river at Grovehill may from early times have been used by vessels plying to and from Beverley, but at an unknown date the stream known as Beverley beck was so improved as to allow boats to sail from the river to within ½ mile of the minster.

The town's efforts to keep the beck navigable, by cleansing and scouring, and to maintain the staiths and roads beside it, were recorded from the 14th century. (fn. 60) A sluice or grate at Low bridge, at the head of the navigation, (fn. 61) was presumably intended to prevent rubbish reaching the beck, and another sluice at High bridge, for which a contract was made in 1454, was meant to provide a head of water which could be used to scour the beck between the bridges. (fn. 62) A dam at the beck end, presumably near the river, mentioned in 1649, and 'the great dam' and 'the dams' recorded in 1669 (fn. 63) may have served to keep out the water while cleansing was in progress. The making of a sluice in the beck was under consideration in 1695, when the town surveyors were ordered to consult a haberdasher of hats about it. (fn. 64) The cost of beck work was met from the town's general revenues in the Middle Ages, but later on benevolences were sought, like the £55 given in 1562-3, and assessments raised, as for example in 1599 and 1601. (fn. 65) In 1699 gifts from members of the Warton family, money collected in the town, a loan, and the sale of timber all helped to raise £172 towards dressing and scouring the beck from end to end at a cost of £197. (fn. 66) Beverley continued to uphold its right of navigation on the river: thus it was in dispute about passage through the new bridge at Hull in the 1550s, (fn. 67) and it protested in 1602 against a proposal to build jetties at Hull. (fn. 68) Some vessels still berthed at Grovehill in the 17th century, and others also at Hull bridge. A landing place was ordered to be made at Grovehill in 1614, and work was done at the 'stairs' there in 1653-4. (fn. 69)

The cost of maintaining the beck was bemoaned by the corporation in 1704, when reference was made to the annual rent paid to Cottingham and the heavy expenditure incurred five years earlier. The clearance of weeds, the removal of a sand bed at the confluence of Mills Cut with the beck, and the dressing of the barricade or dam were seen as constant tasks. It was therefore decided to impose dues on freemen's boats, excepting only the market boat which was let by the corporation to tenants who carried townsmen's goods to Hull, with double rates for non-freemen; (fn. 70) when duties had been imposed in 1638 they applied only to nonfreemen. (fn. 71) In 1715 the corporation ordered a Dutch plough to be sent from Holland (fn. 72) and in 1725 it received from John Warburton proposals for cleansing and dressing the beck which included the construction of an 'engine boat' like those used in Holland and the making of locks or dams at the bridges to enable the beck to be flushed out at low tide, the cost to be met by voluntary contributions. Other advisers doubted the adequacy of the tidal flow in the river. The corporation rewarded Warburton but took no action. (fn. 73) Instead, in 1727, an Act was secured which empowered the corporation to collect dues on all goods loaded or unloaded within the liberties, in addition to those imposed in 1704. The money was to be used to maintain the beck and the roads leading to the river. The town's J.P.s were authorized to levy rates and appoint street cleansers, and the corporation to fix a crane and erect a toll collector's office at Old Waste, beside the beck, and remove shelves in the river Hull. (fn. 74) The income proved insufficient and the legal powers to check cargoes inadequate, and a second Act was needed, in 1745, to provide remedies. (fn. 75)

During the rest of the 18th and the earlier 19th century money was regularly spent on cleansing the beck, maintaining dredging boats, and providing a crane or cranes. (fn. 76) Major works at the beck end were necessary at the turn of the century when the Beverley and Barmston drain was made under an Act of 1798. In 1801-2 the drain was culverted beneath the beck and the beck was diverted a few yards to a new confluence with the river. (fn. 77) As a result it was evidently necessary to raise the water level in the beck and a lock was built at the beck end in 18023, together with a lock-keeper's house. (fn. 78) The corporation also contributed towards the removal of obstructions from the river (fn. 79) and took steps to ensure that drainage works, bridge building, or the construction of staiths did not impede navigation. (fn. 80) A public landing place beside the river at Grovehill was still maintained by the corporation. (fn. 81)

From the mid 19th century the beck was kept open to navigation by periodic dredging and repairs to piling and banks. (fn. 82) Much work was needed in the 1850s and 1860s. (fn. 83) In 1874 it was necessary to pump water from the Beverley and Barmston drain into the beck to maintain its level. (fn. 84) A steam dredger was ordered to be hired in 1882. (fn. 85) By 1892 repairs needed to piling, walls, and lock were estimated at as much as £1,644. (fn. 86) After neglect during the First World War much dredging work was done in 1921. (fn. 87) A petition for improvements, including the deepening of the lock, was submitted in 1935 by 24 owners and masters of barges trading between Hull and Beverley. The anticipated benefits of deepening the lock were not thought to justify the cost, but eventually the lock was reconstructed in 1958. (fn. 88) When improvements were considered in 1968 the two firms which were the main users of the waterway reported that only a small increase in traffic was expected and that modern barges were too large to enter the beck. (fn. 89) Except for three boatyards commercial use of the beck had ended by 1987. (fn. 90)

Beverley: Communication

Roads and Bridges

Beverley has long been served by half a dozen main roads radiating from the town, giving access to the surrounding countryside and beyond to Hull, Malton, York, and the Humber crossing en route for London. In the Middle Ages the parts of those roads that lay within the borough were, like the town streets, repaired by the town itself. Beyond the borough, within the liberties, responsibility fell at least in part upon the townships and individual proprietors. When c. 1362, for example, the Hull road was described as impassable responsibility was placed upon Thearne and Woodmansey townships and the tenants of the archbishop, whose park adjoined the road. (fn. 91) Again, in 1367 the village of Tickton was held to be responsible for the neglect of the Holderness road in the township. (fn. 92) It is possible that the town took some responsibility for two of the roads in the liberties, that known as Queensgate, which led south through the archbishop's park towards Hessle and the Humber ferry, and the Holderness road as far as the bridge across the river Hull. The only record of town expenditure was for the repair of Hull bridge in 1344. (fn. 93) In 1407, however, the town was indicted for the non-repair of the Holderness road in Storkhill township, and in 1412 the town and the chapter of Beverley, the latter presumably as lord of Bentley, were indicted for the Hessle road as far as Mile cross, probably the sanctuary cross in Bentley, just beyond the liberty boundary. On both occasions the defendants were discharged from liability, in the latter case because the road had not been repaired by Beverley time out of mind. (fn. 94)

Some contribution towards repairs was made by gifts and collections. An indulgence was promulgated in 1230 for the repair of the Hessle road. (fn. 95) Offerings were presumably made to the incumbent of a chantry chapel at Hull bridge, who was to pray for those who helped towards the upkeep of the bridge and the causeway on either side. (fn. 96) The 6s. 8d. given by the keepers of Beverley in 1366 to a hermit for work on the bridge was presumably such an offering. (fn. 97) Bequests, too, were made for individual roads or the roads around the town in general. (fn. 98)

After statutory responsibility for road repairs had been placed upon the parish in 1555 (fn. 99) all four parishes in Beverley, including St. John's, which comprised the townships within the liberties, were liable for parts of the main roads. The town also took a more active part in the repair of the road to Hull bridge, if not of the other main roads in the liberties, perhaps as a consequence of the extension of its jurisdiction into the liberties after the granting of the charter of incorporation in 1573. (fn. 100) It is rarely clear whether work done on the Hull bridge road was within the borough or in Storkhill township. It was certainly within the borough that the corporation ordered work to be carried out in 1611: chalk was to be carried to the causeway from Beverley to Hull bridge and money given to a man to maintain the 'wain way' from Stump cross to Mantholme Gate, (fn. 101) at the borough boundary. The causeway to Hull bridge repaired in 1572-3 after it was breached by floodwater (fn. 102) may well have been in Storkhill. In 1601 an assessment for repairs to the pavement between the end of Norwood and Hull bridge was to be divided between St. Mary's and St. Nicholas's parishes and the corporation, (fn. 103) the last mentioned perhaps in respect of the road in Storkhill. The road between Beverley and Hull bridge, without further specification, was also repaired by the corporation in 1600, 16034, 1608-9, and 1611-12. (fn. 104)

The corporation's dispute with the Crown over jurisdiction within the liberties was settled in 1624, when, among other things, the pavement of the Holderness road as far as Hull bridge, together with the bridge itself, and of the Hessle road as far as Thief Hurn, at the liberty boundary, (fn. 105) was held to be the responsibility of the corporation. (fn. 106) A lease of the tolls and court profits to the corporation the next year contained a covenant that the town would maintain roads in the borough, (fn. 107) presumably meaning to include those to Hull bridge and Thief Hurn. Later that year the profits of the tolls were assigned to the mayor on condition that he paid £40 a year towards the repair of pavements and bridges. (fn. 108) Although the tolls were later let, the corporation still in 1650 earmarked the profits for road repairs. (fn. 109)

After 1624 the corporation duly maintained its roads, evidently with help from the parishes. (fn. 110) It was later alleged, however, that in the early 1640s the corporation began to neglect the roads to Hull bridge and Thief Hurn, (fn. 111) and soon afterwards there began a protracted dispute over those roads between the corporation and St. John's parish. Material to the dispute was the nature of the roads, both of which evidently consisted of a paved causeway and an unpaved 'low way'. (fn. 112) It was the pavement for which the corporation was held liable in 1624, which suggests that the 'low ways' were left to the parish. The corporation apparently accepted its liability for the pavement even in the 1650s, when it twice ordered them to be repaired before any work was done on streets within the town. (fn. 113) Indictments of the town and the parish began in 1650 and the dispute was not settled until 1676, when verdicts were given against the town. (fn. 114) There the matter rested, and when the highway to Thief Hurn was mentioned in 1690 it was for the corporation to remind its surveyors to repair it at the town's charge. (fn. 115)

In the earlier 18th century several of the main roads within the borough were repaired by the parishes: St. Mary's and St. Martin's paid for work on the York and Howden roads across Westwood in 1731, for example, and St. Nicholas's for the Holderness road as far as Mantholme Gate in 1746. (fn. 116) Occasionally the parishioners of St. John's were indicted for the neglect of roads in the liberties: the inhabitants of Woodmansey and Beverley Parks for the Hull road in 1717 and those of Tickton for the Holderness road in 1737, for example. (fn. 117) Tickton township presumably paid at least part of the cost of rebuilding Tickton bridge, over the Holderness drain, which was under consideration in 1725-6. (fn. 118) The corporation also suffered indictment for the Hull road between Lund and Figham gates, where it formed the borough boundary, in 1728, for the. road to Hull bridge in 1750, and for the York road in 1752-3. (fn. 119)

Most of the roads radiating from the town were soon to pass under the control of turnpike trustees, the corporation always playing an active part in securing the necessary Acts. (fn. 120) The Beverley-Hull road, the first in the riding to be dealt with, was turnpiked in 1744. (fn. 121) The turnpike began at the Golden Fleece Inn, in Beck Side; (fn. 122) the first toll bar was within the liberties, 1 km. south of the hamlet of Woodmansey, and with side gates at the end of Long Lane and Thearne Road. (fn. 123) The road was disturnpiked in 1871. (fn. 124) In 1761 the Holderness road was turnpiked from Beverley to White Cross, in Leven, and the trust was continued until 1867. (fn. 125) The turnpike started at the 'stone pillars' at the end of Norwood (fn. 126) and the first toll bar was within the liberties, c. 200 m. west of Hull bridge. (fn. 127) The BeverleyYork road was turnpiked as far as Kexby bridge in 1764 and the trust was continued until 1881. (fn. 128) The turnpike began close to North bar (fn. 129) and the first toll bar was in Bishop Burton. (fn. 130) The road to Driffield, together with the Malton road from Molescroft as far as Bainton, was turnpiked in 1766 and the trust was continued until 1881. (fn. 131) The turnpike began at Willows pump, at the end of North Bar Without, (fn. 132) and the first toll bar was in Molescroft, initially just beyond the borough boundary but in 1852-3 moved to the junction of the two roads. (fn. 133) To prevent the evasion of tolls by travellers using the road (now Woodhall Way) leading to Beverley by way of Pighill Lane a locked gate was installed and local farmers provided with keys; by 1852 it had been replaced by a side gate placed at the end of the road, in Molescroft. (fn. 134) The Beverley-Hessle road was turnpiked in 1769 and the trust was continued until 1878. (fn. 135) The turnpike may have begun at Keldgate bar, as was contemplated the previous year, (fn. 136) and the first toll bar was just within the borough boundary, c. 80 m. north of Butt Lane. (fn. 137) Tolls collected at the bars enabled the trustees, with help from the corporation and the townships, to maintain the roads in a satisfactory condition. The low-lying Holderness road, in Storkhill township, needed special treatment in the late 18th century, with several 'arches' to allow winter floodwater to pass beneath it. (fn. 138) When Tickton bridge was rebuilt in 1835 the cost was shared by the turnpike trustees and the drainage commissioners. (fn. 139)

After disturnpiking the liability for repair reverted to the corporation and the townships, and there were disputes in the early 1870s over those parts of the Hull road which formed borough and township boundaries. (fn. 140) In 1879 the township of Storkhill and Sandholme secured a contribution from county rates when the Holderness road was declared a main road under the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act of 1878, (fn. 141) and the obligation to maintain main roads passed to the newly formed county council in 1888, although not all of those in and around Beverley were immediately placed in that category. (fn. 142)

The main roads around the town were widened and straightened in several places in the early 20th century. Thus the Driffield and Malton roads at Molescroft were improved in the 1920s, (fn. 143) the Hull road in Thearne was straightened and a new Plaxton's bridge built to carry it over the Beverley and Barmston drain in 1930, (fn. 144) and the Holderness road in Storkhill was straightened in 1937-8. (fn. 145) Further improvements were made in the 1950s, when the bridge carrying the Holderness road over the Beverley and Barmston drain was enlarged (fn. 146) and the Hessle road was widened in Beverley Parks, (fn. 147) and c. 1966 the Driffield and Malton roads were widened and a roundabout was made at their junction in Molescroft. (fn. 148) In 1974 a bypass 2 km. long was completed around the north side of Tickton, on the Holderness road, incorporating new bridges over the drain and the river Hull; at the same time the road was straightened east of the village. (fn. 149) A more fundamental change to the road network was the building of an outer bypass for the town from the Hull to the York roads through Beverley Parks and neighbouring parishes; it was completed in 1981. (fn. 150) At the same time a straight new stretch of the Hessle road was built in the Parks with a bridge over the bypass. Other large-scale work done in the 1970s and 1980s was the construction of a new road with a bridge over Beverley beck in 1972-3 to link the Hull road with Swinemoor Lane and so provide an eastern bypass, the building of the New Walkergate relief road in the town centre in 1980, and the building of a new road to replace a winding stretch of Queensgate and Victoria Road in 1985-6, together with a junction for an intended relief road leading to the Hull road. (fn. 151)

The only bridge of significance to the wider communications network of the town (fn. 152) was that which carries the Holderness road over the river Hull. A bridge there was mentioned c. 1260, when rebels destroyed (fregerunt) it to isolate Holderness during a revolt. (fn. 153) It was evidently rebuilt before 1279 and benefited from offerings made at a chantry in a nearby chapel. (fn. 154) Payments by the town for work on the bridge were recorded from 1344. (fn. 155) It was presumably of wood, for in 1397 the archbishop, as lord of Beverley, had a Crown grant of a ferry nearby to provide revenue for a stone bridge which was intended to be built. (fn. 156) In the 17th and 18th centuries tolls and pontage taken at the bridge by the corporation were used to repair it, (fn. 157) and a chain kept there may have been used to prevent evasion. (fn. 158) The bridge obstructed boats and was damaged several times in the later 18th century. (fn. 159) By an Act of 1801 (fn. 160) it was transferred to the Driffield Navigation Commissioners, who rebuilt it in brick with a higher arch in 1803 and thereafter took an increased pontage. (fn. 161) The bridge was replaced in 1913 with a steel rolling bridge built by the county council. (fn. 162) After the making of the Tickton bypass the old bridge was demolished in 1976 and a high footbridge built on its site. (fn. 163)


Soon after the opening of the Hull and Selby line in 1840, providing east Yorkshire's first railway link with the West Riding, abortive plans were made for a line from Hull to Beverley, and it was still being considered in 1844; a site for the terminus was suggested near the minster or in Well Lane. (fn. 164) Also in 1844 a line from Hull to Bridlington was proposed, (fn. 165) and at the beginning of 1845 the corporation was approached by the Hull and Selby Co. with an offer to buy the Inner and Outer Trinities as the site for a station in Beverley. (fn. 166) Despite the corporation's enthusiastic response later that year to an alternative plan for a line from York to Hull via Beverley, (fn. 167) it was the Hull and Selby Co.'s proposal that came to fruition. A 6-a. site in the Trinities was acquired for the station (fn. 168) and the Hull to Bridlington line was opened in October 1846. A line from York to Market Weigh ton was opened in 1847 but it was not until 1865 that it was continued to Beverley, joining the Bridlington line just north of the town. (fn. 169) The station was designed by G. T. Andrews. The symmetrical fafade, of one storey, is 21 bays long. The train shed was originally supported on a central row of columns. Alterations made later included the removal of the Italian Renaissance entrance, the provision of a canopy over the new entrance, and the erection of a single-span roof to the train shed. (fn. 170) The line to Market Weighton was closed in 1965 (fn. 171) and the track has been lifted.


  • 1. Reg. Greenfield, iv, p. 277; Cal. Inq. Misc. vi, p. 199.
  • 2. P.R.O., E 310/32/191, f. 8.
  • 3. V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. v. 3.
  • 4. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 221-3.
  • 5. H.R.O., BC/II/2, ff. 29-29B.
  • 6. Below, Outlying Townships.
  • 7. H.R.O., BC/I/70 (print. Poulson, Beverlac, App. p. 22).
  • 8. Ibid. BC/I/71 (print. Poulson, Beverlac, App. pp. 23-7).
  • 9. Ibid. BC/II/6/37.
  • 10. Ibid. BC/II/7/4/1, f. 45 and v.
  • 11. Ibid. DDBC/2/17.
  • 12. Below, Manors.
  • 13. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, f. 33 and v.
  • 14. H.U.L., DDCV/15/271.
  • 15. Ibid. DDCV/15/270.
  • 16. H.R.O., DDBC/13/5.
  • 17. Ibid. QSV/1/2, ff. 140, 167.
  • 18. Ibid. QDE/1.
  • 19. Ibid. QDT/2/9.
  • 20. Ibid. QDT/1.
  • 21. Ibid. DDBV/57/19.
  • 22. Ibid.; ibid. DDBC/13/7; Min. Bks. 64, 72.
  • 23. H.R.O., DDBV/57/19; ibid. BC/II/7/8, ff. 278v.279V., 281-282v.
  • 24. Ibid. DDBC/13/21; ibid. BC/11/7/12, p. 34.
  • 25. Ibid. PE/129/150, f. 44v.
  • 26. Ibid. BC/II/7/1, ff. 12-13, 35v., 74v-77v., 123, 163v.; L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 310; Y.A.J. xx. 318-28.
  • 27. H.R.O., BC/II/7/1, f. 7.
  • 28. Ibid. BC/II/6/24, 42; BC/II/7/2, ff. 8-9.
  • 29. Ibid. BC/II/4, f. 38.
  • 30. Ibid. DDCV/15/270; P.R.O., E 179/205/504; E 179/218/219.
  • 31. H.R.O., BC/II/7/6, f. 3 and passim.
  • 32. e.g. below, Beverley, 1700-1835 (Table 10).
  • 33. H.R.O., BC/II/3, f. 47; BC/II/6/19.
  • 34. Below, Churches.
  • 35. O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCX, CCXI (1855 edn.). For maps of St. Nic. par. in 1806 and 1834 see H.R.O., DDBC/20/3; ibid. DX/129. For others of St. Mary's and St. Nic. par. in 1847-8 see B.I.H.R., TA. 26M, 360M.
  • 36. The boundaries of the detached part may earlier have been different, for in the 18th cent. the incumbents considered that 3 almsho. on the N. side of Minster Moorgate were in St. Nic. par.: B.I.H.R., Bp. V. 1764/Ret. 1, no. 57; Herring's Visit. i, pp. 102-3.
  • 37. Acreages from O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCX, CCXI (1855 edn.).
  • 38. Rep. Com. Divisions Cos. and Bounds. Boros. H.C. 141, pt. 6, pp. 175-8 (1831-2), xl; Parl. Bounds. Act, 2 & 3 Wm. IV, c. 64.
  • 39. Bridgwater and Beverley Disfranchisement Act, 33 & 34 Vic. c. 21.
  • 40. 5 & 6 Wm. IV, c. 76; 6 & 7 Wm. IV, c. 103.
  • 41. Rep. Com. Bounds. Boros. H.C. 238, pt. 1, s.v. Beverley (1837), xxvi.
  • 42. O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCX, CCXI (1855 edn.).
  • 43. Census.
  • 44. Beverley Boro. Counc. Mins. 2 Apr. 1974; 23 Apr. 1981.
  • 45. 5 & 6 Wm. IV, c. 76; Lond. Gaz. 7 Dec. 1835, p. 2303.
  • 46. H.R.O., BC/II/7/22, p. 230.
  • 47. Beverley Corp. Mins. 1936, 183; Beverley Guardian, 22 Feb. 1936.
  • 48. Reg. of Electors, 1977-8.
  • 49. Census, 1891.
  • 50. H.R.O., CCO/335.
  • 51. Ibid. PE/129/113.
  • 52. Census, 1935 (pt. II).
  • 53. Ibid. 1981.
  • 54. E. Yorks. Boro. of Beverley (Parishes) Order, 1985 (copy at counc. offices, the Hall, Lairgate, Beverley).
  • 55. V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. i. 14-15.
  • 56. Reg. Giffard, 139.
  • 57. H.R.O., BC/II/6/1.
  • 58. Corp. MSS. 20. It was still paid to the lord of Cottingham Richmond in 1854: H.R.O., BC/II/6, passim; BC/ IV/1/1-6, passim.
  • 59. H.R.O., BC/II/6/2; ibid. DDBC/13/1.
  • 60. Ibid. BC/II/6, passim; above, Med. Beverley (Trade and Ind.).
  • 61. Corp. MSS. 171, 174.
  • 62. Ibid. 11.
  • 63. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, f. 92; Boro. Rec. 145.
  • 64. H.R.O., BC/II/7/5, f. 238 and v.
  • 65. Ibid. BC/II/6/25; BC/II/7/4/1, ff. 5v., 14.
  • 66. Ibid. BC/II/7/5, f. 267; B.L. Lansd. MS. 896, f. 167.
  • 67. Above, Beverley in 16th Cent. (Economy).
  • 68. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, f. 13v.
  • 69. Ibid. BC/II/6/63; BC/II/7/4/1, ff. 32, 54v., 69; Boro. Rec. 145.
  • 70. Boro. Rec. 113-14.
  • 71. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, f. 69.
  • 72. Min. Bks. 8.
  • 73. Ibid. 10-11; B.L. Lansd. MS. 896, ff. 163-4, 166-7.
  • 74. 13 Geo. I, c. 4.
  • 75. 18 Geo. II, c. 13.
  • 76. H.R.O., BC/IV/2/1, 5, both passim; Min. Bks. 13, 18, 30, 32-3, 50, 54-5, 57-8, 104, 148.
  • 77. H.R.O., DCBB/1/1, pp. 114-16; DCBB/5/18; O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCXI (1855 edn.).
  • 78. H.R.O., BC/IV/2/1;BC/IV/5/1311, 1319-20; Min. Bks. 84-6; see below, plate facing p. 204.
  • 79. H.R.O., BC/II/7/13, pp. 147-8; Min. Bks. 44, 56, 98.
  • 80. H.R.O., BC/II/7/13, p. 450; Min. Bks. 49, 51-3, 80-1.
  • 81. H.R.O., BC/II/7/8, f. 372v.; BC/II/7/12, pp. 61, 168; B.I.H.R., TA. 360M.
  • 82. H.R.O., BC/II/7/14-22, passim; Beverley Corp. Mins. 1897-1974, passim.
  • 83. H.R.O., BC/II/7/14, pp. 251-2, 328, 370; BC/II/7/15, pp. 24, 252, 318, 444-6, 497-8, 506.
  • 84. Ibid. BC/II/7/16, pp. 368-9, 402-3.
  • 85. Ibid. BC/II/7/19, p. 18.
  • 86. Ibid. BC/II/7/21, p. 3.
  • 87. Beverley Corp. Mins. 1921, 10 and passim.
  • 88. Ibid. 1935, 2, 126-7; 1958, 132, 166.
  • 89. Beverley Corp. Mins. 1968, 120, 358.
  • 90. Inf. from beck warden, 1987.
  • 91. Public Works in Med. Law, ii (Selden Soc. xl), p. 312.
  • 92. Poulson, Holderness, i. 119.
  • 93. H.R.O., BC/II/6/1.
  • 94. Ibid. BC/II/2, f. 18; BC/II/3, f. 25v.; BC/II/6/5. For Bentley see V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. iv. 142, 144.
  • 95. Reg. Gray, p. 39.
  • 96. Yorks. Deeds, ix, p. 11.
  • 97. H.R.O., BC/II/6/2.
  • 98. e.g. B.I.H.R., Prob. Reg. 3, f. 263v.; 4, f. 81; 11B, f. 606v.; H.U.L., DDSY/4/161; N. Country Wills, i (Sur. Soc. cxvi), pp. 172-3; Y.A.J. xxiv. 71 n.
  • 99. Highways Act, 2 & 3 Phil. & Mary, c. 8.
  • 100. Above, Boundaries.
  • 101. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, f. 28v. Stump cross evidently stood on the Hull bridge road near the end of Swinemoor Lane: R.D.B., F/432/938; Poulson, Beverlac, App. p. 42.
  • 102. H.R.O., BC/II/7/3, f. 47v.
  • 103. Ibid. BC/II/7/4/1, f. 11v.
  • 104. Ibid. BC/II/6/44, 49, 51-2; BC/II/7/4/1, f. 11.
  • 105. Thief Hurn is the site of Jock's (now Bentley) Lodge: R.D.B., GB/27/26.
  • 106. Above, Boundaries.
  • 107. H.R.O., BC/I/81.
  • 108. Ibid. BC/II/7/4/1, f. 36.
  • 109. Ibid. f. 93.
  • 110. P.R.O., E 134/19 Chas. II Mich./14; E 134/27 Chas. II Mich./42.
  • 111. H.R.O., DDBC/13/2.
  • 112. P.R.O., E 134/19 Chas. II Mich./14; E 134/27 Chas. II Mich./42.
  • 113. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, ff. 89, 93.
  • 114. Ibid. ff. 89, 94v.; ibid. DDBC/13/2; DDBV/57/6; ibid. QSV/1/1, ff. 136v.-137;P.R.O., E 134/19 Chas. II Mich./14; E 134/27 Chas. II Mich./42; Boro. Rec. 134, 136, 139, 15561. Several entries relating to the dispute (H.R.O., BC/II/7/5, ff. 35v., 36v., 44, 74v.-75, 79, 88-9, 91) are omitted from Boro. Rec. which also deals too briefly with the final entry, for which see BC/II/7/5, f. 92v.
  • 115. H.R.O., BC/II/7/5, f. 203.
  • 116. Min. Bks. 14-15, 27-8.
  • 117. H.R.O., QSF. Mids. 1717, B.1; Mich. 1737, B.1.
  • 118. Ibid. CSR/4/203, 214.
  • 119. Ibid. QSF. Christ. 1753, B.9; Min. Bks. 13, 31-3.
  • 120. K. A. MacMahon, Roads and Turnpike Trusts in E. Yorks. (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. xviii), 17-22, 26-7, 29-30.
  • 121. Ibid. 17-19, 70.
  • 122. H.U.L., DDMM/31/1.
  • 123. Ibid. DDCV/15/230; H.R.O., DDBV/57/48; O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCXI (1855 edn.).
  • 124. The toll house was later replaced by a house which bears the inscription 'Toll Bar Cottage/1744/1888'.
  • 125. MacMahon, Roads and Turnpike 'Trusts, 26, 70.
  • 126. H.R.O., AP; O.S. Map 1/1, 056, Beverley 3 (1853 edn.).
  • 127. H.R.O., QDB/9, pp. 141-2; O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCXI (1855 edn.).
  • 128. MacMahon, Roads and Turnpike Trusts, 22-3, 70.
  • 129. O.S. Map 1/1, 056, Beverley 1 (1854 edn.).
  • 130. V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. iv. 3.
  • 131. MacMahon, Roads and Turnpike Trusts, 29, 70.
  • 132. H.R.O., AP; ibid. TTBM/5; Min. Bks. 59; O.S. Map 1/1, 056, Beverley 1 (1854 edn.).
  • 133. H.R.O., TTBM/5; ibid. QDB/9, pp. 66-8; ibid. DDBD/49/2.
  • 134. MacMahon, Roads and Turnpike Trusts, 51; Hull Advertiser, 15 June 1821; O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCX (1855 edn.).
  • 135. MacMahon, Roads and Turnpike Trusts, 30, 70.
  • 136. Min. Bks. 49.
  • 137. H.R.O., BC/II/7/18, p. 127; O.S. Map 6", Yorks. CCX (1855 edn.).
  • 138. H.R.O., TTBW/1, pp. 68, 73, 99-103, 242.
  • 139. Ibid. p. 242.
  • 140. Ibid. QAH/1/34; ibid. BC/II/7/16, pp. 344, 487, 617.
  • 141. Ibid. QAH/1/38; QAH/3/2; QSV/1/29, p. 114.
  • 142. Ibid. BC/II/7/20, pp. 286-7, 717-18; BC/II/7/21, pp. 4-5; BC/II/7/22, pp. 179-80; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1889-90, 2-4; 1899-1900, 164-74; and passim.
  • 143. R.D.B., 303/440/360; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1925-6, 42.
  • 144. R.D.B., 334/235/187; 334/237/188; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1928-9, 32; 1930-1, 16-17.
  • 145. R.D.B., 610/381/310; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1937-8, 287.
  • 146. Date 1955 on bridge.
  • 147. R.D.B., 1049/515/467; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1956-7, 63.
  • 148. R.D.B., 1421/544/469; 1467/344/304; 1477/362/303; 1596/527/418; E.R.C.C. Mins. 1964-5, 246; 1966-7, 122.
  • 149. H.R.O., HD/131.
  • 150. Hull Daily Mail, 13 May 1981.
  • 151. Ibid. 12 June 1986; Beverley Guardian, 2 Mar. 1973; 5 Sept. 1985; Humbs. C.C. Mins. 1981-2, G. 194.
  • 152. For small bridges in the town see below, Street Names (s.vv. Bow bridge; Cross bridge; High bridge; Low bridge; Neat bridge). For Grovehill bridge see below, Outlying Townships (Weel).
  • 153. Chron. de Melsa (Rolls Ser.), ii. 107; B. English, Lords of Holderness, 1086-1260, 74.
  • 154. Below, Outlying Townships (Storkhill, Church).
  • 155. Above (this section).
  • 156. Cal. Pat. 1396-9, 170.
  • 157. P.R.O., E 134/19 Chas. II Mich./14; E 134/27 Chas. II Mich./42; Driffield Navigation Act, 41 Geo. III, c. 134 (Local and Personal).
  • 158. H.R.O., BC/II/7/4/1, f. 96; Boro. Rec. 183.
  • 159. Min. Bks. 50, 57, 81-3.
  • 160. 41 Geo. III, c. 134 (Local and Personal).
  • 161. Date stone in footbridge; Min. Bks. 87; Green's Almanack, 1896, s.v. Chronicle of Events, June 1895; Hull Advertiser, 11 June, 1 Oct. 1803. For photographs see H.U.L., DDMM/30/2; DDMM(2)/7/1; see below, plate facing p. 285.
  • 162. Date stone in footbridge; H.R.O., CSR/31/70; R.D.B., 145/313/284; 146/378/321; 146/461/391.
  • 163. Date stone; Hull Daily Mail, 24 Sept. 1976; 5 Aug. 1977.
  • 164. Hull Advertiser, 21 Aug. 1840; 26 July 1844; K. A. MacMahon, Beverley, 68.
  • 165. Hull Packet, 23 Aug., 6 Sept. 1844.
  • 166. H.R.O., BC/II/7/13, pp. 21-2.
  • 167. Ibid. p. 60.
  • 168. Ibid. pp. 85, 92, 95-6, 98-9, 120-1, 158; R.D.B., GG/339/407.
  • 169. K. A. MacMahon, Beginnings of E. Yorks. Rlys. (E. Yorks. Loc. Hist. Ser. iii), 12, 14.
  • 170. Ibid. 13; Hall, Hist. Beverley, 100-1; O.S. Map 1/1,056, Beverley 4 (1854 edn.); ibid. 1/500, Yorks. CCX. 8, 19, 24 (1892 edn.).
  • 171. V.C.H. Yorks. E.R. iv. 11.