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Adelingesfluet 1086 (Domesday Book). "Water-channel or stream of the prince or nobleman". Old English ætheling + fleot.

"A Dictionary of English Place-Names", Oxford University Press

Not much happens in Adlingfleet now that the Cross Keys, famous for its pie and peas and pickled eggs, is no more. However, like all of the area, it is excellent cycling territory.

Rumours of Past Greatness

Adlingfleet is different, with a history and indeed a fascination, that is all its own. Its geography underlies this.

A 16th Century visitor describes "Ethelinglfete" as "but an uplandeisch town". And it is! No mountains are visible but clearly from all diirections you climb a foot or two to Adlingfleet. It was an "island town" surrounded by marshes and rivers. And a basic truth of mediaeval geography is that "marshes divide but rivers unite". Adlingfleet is cut off to the south and west by tidal flooded wastes and these were only passable along the "King's Causeway" known in the Middle Ages as "le rodecause" that is the "riding causeway". Adlingfleet's links were across the river with Lincolnshire. In fact Adlingfleet and adjacent Garthorpe are two outlying parts of "that great belt of Saxon Country stretching along the south bank of the Humber from Trent Falls to the Lincolnshire coast and down to Peterborough".

In the greatest days of the Northumbrian Kingdom, Lindsey though from time to time it had its own sub-king, was very much part of Northumbria and these links were only broken when Northumbria's defeat by Mercia transferred the area to the Mercian Midland Kingdom. Even after the Conquest, the Archbishops of York maintained their claims to Lindsey. The determination of William the Conqueror to make Lincoln and not Dorchester (near Oxford) the See City of that extraordinary East Midland's Bishopric which, throughout the Middle Ages stretched from the Humber to the Thames, forced the Archbishop to give up his claims to Lindsey in 1071. He was bought off and so Lindsey and Lincolnshire moved into the province of Canterbury and Lindsey-Adlingfleet (unlike Lindsey-Garthorpe) became a sort of frontier town left on the wrong side of the frontier. Adlingfleet's links, through the ferries across the Don and the Trent, remained with the Lindsey Saxon Culture and communications system. We know for certain very little about this Saxon town of Adlingfleet but yet there comes to us, over and over again, mysterious hints of a vanished greatness.

The first of these is the name. This has a bewildering variety of spellings, but its meaning is not in doubt. A "fleet" is an inlet or channel of a tidal river and an "Atheling" is a Prince. Sometimes the "Atheling" is not any old Prince but, as it were, the "Prince of Wales", the Prince who is thought likely to be the heir to the throne. Which Prince (or just possibly Princess) first gave his name to this tidal inlet at the mouth of the Don we don"t know. We can"t even tell whether he (or she) was of the Royal families of Northumbria or Mercia or even perhaps Lindsey. But the name must imply that this was in some way a significant Royal estate.

Secondly, and very surprisingly, Adlingfleet was the third richest "living" in England. This becomes no less astonishing but more significant when we discover that numbers one and two were Lindisfarne and Bamburgh. They were the ecclesiastical and regal headquarters of the Northumbrian Kingdom and the wealth of those two churches must have been based not on the intrinsic economic prosperity (or even the size of the population) of the area but on the generosity of the Royal endowments. The same story can be told of the Aetheling's Church at Adlingfleet. The mystery of the Church's mediaeval wealth finds some explanation if Adlingfleet was a Royal Saxon centre of some ecclesiastical importance.

Thirdly, there is some other evidence for this. For the Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells us that "in 763 AD. Pectwine was consecrated Bishop of Whithorn at Aefletee (or perhaps - for the manuscripts vary "Adelfetee") by the Archbishop of York. "Ee" means "island" and so it was on "Aelfet" island that the consecration took place. The skullduggery of mediaeval Durham chroniclers tried to claim that this moment of ecclesiastical greatness fell to "Elvet" near Durham, but this must be bogus. We can"t prove it was Adlingfleet but it was probable. Surprisingly there were long standing links between the very opposite ends of the Northumbrian Kingdom's spheres of influence in Galloway and Lindsey. The complex tale of the links between Whithorn in Galloway and the Archbishop of York need not concern us. But York in those years was in some turmoil and it is not farfetched that the Prince's Church at Adlingfleet, so easily accessible by water from parts all of the North, was a safe and suitable place for the great ecclesiastical gathering that gave to Pectwine authority to be a spiritual leader of the Picts (for that is what the name means) in distant Galloway

Fourthly, despite the Danish invasion and settlement in the area in 1066, Adlingfleet is still a place of some importance with a major personage as its landowner. This is Siward the Nobleman (or Siwardbarn). He was a great nephew of King Edward the Confessor and plays some part too in the history of Sheffield. He submitted to William the Conqueror but then joined in a Danish invasion in 1069 and thereafter fled to join the "resistance movement" of Hereward the Wake on the Isle of Ely. He was captured in 1071, lost all his lands, and remained in prison until he was released "as an act of clemency" in 1087.

But Siward's Adlingfleet is recorded in the Domesday Book thus. "In Adelingesfluet Siwardbarn had 6 carcucates of land to be taxed; there is land for three ploughs. Geoffrey de la Wirce has now one plough and 13 villeins and one bordar with 3 ploughs. There is a church and a priest and one mill of 10 shillings; coppice wood one mile long and one quarenteen broad: the whole manor two miles long and one broad. Value in King Edward the Confessor's time four pounds; now thirty shillings".

Was this "Domesday" Church the same as that in which Pectwine may well have been consecrated in 763. Because of the Danish invasions almost certainly not! Yet there is further mystery here. The Danish Great Army between 865-875 set about the conquest of England and also it would appear its colonisation. For Haldenby which is barely a mile away from Adlingfleet is where the Danish General Halfdene settled his veterans. That it has barely survived - it is one of the tiny handful of DMV's (deserted mediaeval villages) in the Diocese of Sheffield - suggests that it is a less favoured site than Adlingfleet. Had Saxon Adlingfleet been seized and destroyed by the invading Danes? And, if so, how had the ancestors of Siward returned and rebuilt the Church? Or - as the evidence suggests - was the Danish settlement here a peaceful one foreshadowing that alliance between Dane and Saxon which was to prove disastrous to Siward in 1069?

Before leaving Saxon Adlingfleet a more speculative piece of historical reconstruction is appropriate and illuminating.

Bede was both writing his History and corresponding with the Archbishop of York in the 730s about a hundred years after the conversion of Northumbria to Christianity. He viewed the future with some alarm because, he claimed, "there are innumerable places, as we all know, allowed the name of monasteries but having nothing of a monastic way of life." Bede saw these "many and large foundations" as being "useful neither to God and man". Modern historians are not sure that all Bede's criticisms were fair. These "monasteries" can be defended both because, says Professor Wormald, "several apparently dubious houses seem to have achieved high standards of Christian culture" and also because they were a serious attempt to relate the Christian life to the Anglo-Saxon understanding of their family, its past and its future. These "monasteries" were meant to be some sort of focus for Royal and family loyalties. There are some plausible reasons for believing that Adlingfleet might have been one of the "monasteries" about which the Venerable Bede complained.

St.Willibrand's father, St.Wilgils is the first clue. Willibrand has some claim to be one of the first famous Yorkshiremen. He was born on 5th November, 689, and having been put into the care of St. Wilfrid at Ripon as a child, eventually became the Apostle of the Netherlands. His father Wilgils (and we must assume that his mother was dead) then retired to a hermitage "in the headlands that are bounded by the North Sea and the River Humber". This phrase was written by another famous Yorkshireman Alcuin and he must have meant Spurn Head and not Adlingfleet, but it shows that the Anglo-Saxons" fondness for isolated and storm-tossed spots on which to build monasteries extended to the extreme south of Northumbria. If Spurn Head why not Adlingfleet too? Only a few names have come to us of the early "monasteries". But in 757 A.D. a Yorkshire abbot named Forthred had complained to the Pope that the King had taken three monasteries from him. Pope Paul I wrote to King Eadberht of Northumbria (737-758) about this and a record of the letter has survived. The three disputed monasteries were at Stonegrave, Coxwold and "Donaemuthe". The scholars tell us that the whereabouts of "Donaemuthe" is unknown. To me, having lived for many years in houses that overlook Tynemouth Priory, which certainly began as an Anglon-Saxon monastery, it seems obvious that "Donaemuthe" is at the mouth of the Don and that must mean Adlingfleet. If this was so, it would explain why this spot was chosen for Pectwin's consecration and perhaps also explain why Adlingfleet emerges into the Middle Ages so surprisingly important.

The Fight for the Rectory of Adlingfleet

At the beginning of the 13th Century Adlingfleet was still the third wealthiest living in the country. By the end of the century it had sunk to number six but was still worth having with its vast income (in money of those days) of £153/6/8. Little good came to Adlingfleet from this ancient, and difficult to explain, wealth.

The succession of local landowners plays a part in this tale. The Geoffrey Wirce who took over from the Northumbrian Siward at the Conquest apparently soon returned to Normandy, and Adlingfleet became part of the growing estates of the D"Eyville family. But by the end of the century the family's involvement in the losing side of civil wars and vast debts led to their decline and the sale of the advowson of Adlingfleet to the Lovetots. This sale and the claim of at least three patrons to present four different people as Rector of Adlingfleet (none of whom probably ever set foot in Adlingfleet) led to a prolonged legal dispute of astonishing virulence.

The main protagonists were Robert of Scarbrough and Bogo de Clare. "Both" says Canon Richardson "were shameless pluralists without any compensatory redeeming features like those of John the Frenchman". Robert was Archdeacon of the East Riding and Dean of York as well as to be claiming Rector of Adlingfleet. Bogo's skill in acquiring benefices was even greater. He died in 1291 holding 2 canonries, 3 dinities in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches and 24 parishes with an income of £2,200. Archbishop Pecham said he behaved "as a robber rather than a rector". After prolonged dispute both Robert and Bogo resigned from Adlingfleet and in 1291 both died.

Meanwhile, Sir John de Lovetot seems to have established his right to present but the victory was shortlived. For, for half a century at least, Selby Abbey had been determined to "round off" their empire and to settle the long running disputes between them and successive Rectors of Adlingfleet by the acquisition of Adlingfleet Rectory for themselves. By 1306 papal approval had been gained and the first Vicar was appointed. The final seal was put on the new arrangements in 1315 when the last of the Lovetots, Joan Lovetot, agreed to sell to the Abbot of Selby whatever claims she might have had to the Advowson of Adlingfleet.

In 1307 the Rectory was appropriated to Selby Abbey and, thereafter, the Abbey appointed stipendiary priests (or chaplains) to care for the parish. The fabled wealth of the benefice went to Selby Abbey and after 1307, Vicars of Adlingfleet were not significantly better off than other incumbents. Their stipend was £9. Up to the Dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, the Abbots of Selby continued to appoint a succession of Vicars of Adlingfleet. At the Dissolution the advowson went to the Crown and, rather unusually, remained in Royal hands.

Adlingfleet church by the end of the Middle Ages was a very fine building indeed with a nave and tower as we see them now but also with a chancel that was said to be twice as long as the present nave. The repair and maintenance of that chancel was the responsibility of the "Rector". No doubt Selby Abbots as long as they were "the Rector" would do their duty. But clearly after 1539 no-one repaired the chancel. Eventually it began to fall down and in 1794 was demolished and replaced by the present small chancel. Someone somewhere has, through these centuries, been getting an income from Adlingfleet's Rectorial tithes and reneging on the responsibilities for the chancel of Adlingfleet church that went with that income. Selby had swallowed up Adlingfleet yet the parish never became part of the Selby-controlled Peculiar of Snaith. The matter is neatly put by the Historian of the Snaith Peculiar: "The Vicar of Adlingfleet, though completely isolated and detached from the diocese by the peculiar of Howden (in the diocese of Durham!) on the north, the peculiar of Snaith on the west and south, and the diocese of Lincoln on the east has ever refused obedience to the commissary of Snaith. It is also long since he contrived to incorporate into his own parish such parts of Haldenby, Fockerby and Eastoft as were anciently in the parish of Snaith". The Archdeacon of York and the Rural Dean of Pontefract had no more loyal priest within their jurisdiction than the Vicar of beleagured Adlingfleet!

The Battle for the Frontiers

To the mediaeval Rector standing on the tower of Adlingfleet church much of the geography of his parish would stand out clearly; to the north the Ouse and to the east the nearby Don set their clear limits. To the west the ancient road to Rawcliffe, Turnbridge and beyond - the King's Causeway would lead the eye along and then back to the ferries across the Don and Trent. But along that road through the featureless Marsh, where did the parish stop? And again, looking southwards into the Waste and the medley of rivers and meres that led back to Crowle and to Thorne, where was the parish boundary? The four fields that made up the arable area of Adlingfleet would stand out clearly, but the areas of common and waste that surrounded them and on which the beasts of this and perhaps neighbouring villages grazed, would be a great deal less clear. And ships loading and unloading at the Quay beyond Whitgift, where they in the parish?

The first Rector whose name has survived - Walter son of William - took the large view of his parish. The tithes of Reedness, Whitgift, Ousefleet, Eastoft, Fockerby and Haldenby were his. "Not so", said Selby. Some (if not all) of these villages are in the parish of Snaith and so the tithes belong to Selby Abbey as the "Rector" of Snaith since 1100. A compromise was reached in about 1164: the tithes were to go to Walter for his lifetime only. In return he was to pay 40 shillings per annum to the Abbot of Selby and swear fealty to him. Thirty years later Walter's successor, confusingly also called "Walter son of William", (or could it be the same Walter repenting in old age of the compromise of his youth) went back on the agreement with Selby. He showed that he thought Ousefleet was in Adlingfleet parish by building a Chapel there. Selby reacted strongly; convinced the Papal Delegates that the "Composition" of 1164 was still in force and so it was decreed "by apostolic authority" that "the Chapel was to be thrown down to the foundations". If round one had been a draw, round two clearly went to Selby.

But in 1247 (or perhaps 1245) Adlingfleet had a new Rector who was more than ready to renew the battle. He was certainly a North Countryman and possibly a Yorkshireman. But his career and fame began in France. There, despite his extreme unsuitability for a life of poverty and humility, he became a Franciscan Friar and won the favour of Pope Innocent IV who at that time was in France as a result of his struggles with the Emperor. Innocent is described as "a born ruler who was as unscrupulous in choosing means as resolute in achieving ends". The Pope sent John back to England to raise money for the Papal Wars. Confusingly he was known to the Chroniclers of the day - because he came from France - as John the Frenchman. All these Chroniclers were monks. Monks had the money. John wanted the money for the Pope and the King. The monks hated John and Alexander his fellow-friar. They "cloaked the greed of wolves under the fleece of a sheep". These "so-called brothers, set out from the King's Council riding noble steeds, equipped with golden saddles and in secular fashion adorned with the riches robes and military spurs". At both the Pope and the King's behest John was made Rector of Adlingfleet. This was not the only rich benefice he acquired, but clearly - as even a wicked Yorkshireman would - he minded a great deal about his parish at Adlingfleet. For he set about building a great new church at Adlingfleet in the newest style of architecture. The nave survives; the chancel, which was twice the size of the nave was demolished in 1794; the transepts seem never to have been completed on the scale originally planned. The huge chancel is something of problem. Certainly this hammer of the monks was not building a monastic church. There is no evidence that there was any plan for the creation of a collegiate church here. The most likely explanation is that this chancel was meant to provide a fitting setting for Adlingfleet's treasured fragment of the True Cross with space for pilgrim worshippers and the large "Trunc" or "Almsbox" into which generous offerings were made. A Royal Charter of 1261 recognised an Annual Fair of eight days at Adlingfleet beginning on the Eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This new church was to be for the towns of Ousefleet, Whiitgift, Eastoft, Reedness, Swinefleet, Fockerby and Haldenby.

But John's energies were also put to less praiseworthy uses. In 1248, the Chronicler tells us, "whilst a dispute was in progress between the monks of Selby and John the Frenchman a clerk of my lord the king, one monk was killed and more wounded and beaten". In 1250 the battle raged over "a certain weir in Wytegift". The jury had to decide whether it belonged to "the church of Athelingefled whereof John le Franceys is parson" or to "the Abbot". It seems they decided in favour of Selby. It was as part of this continuing feud that John demolished Whitgift Church and carried off the stone to Adlingfleet and built himself a chamber (camera) there. It is possible that this "camera1 survives (just!) in the ruined building near the church. Whitgift Church had been built about a hundred years earlier and was, presumably, thought to be a Chapel-of-ease in Snaith parish. Since the foundation of the Abbey Selby had had a "fishery" at Whitgift. But St. Mary's Abbey at York was at this time the principal landowner at Whitgift. So John battled as furiously with St. Mary's, York as with Selby. And, apparently, not without success! For in 1253, the Chronicler (Matthew Paris) tells us "the Church of St. Mary of York incurred great loss and dishonour on account of a certain charter which their opponents, of whom the greatest was John the Frenchman, judged should be repudiated. It is thought that this John, who was of northern origin, craved insatiably to swell his own revenues from the property of the said church in those parts. In the same way also the said persecutor John, whom the Lord the Avenger deprived of an eye, harassed Selby Abbey on a similar charge with irreparable damage".

But John's triumphs were short-lived. He seemed set for a great career in England. Pope Innocent IV wrote to the Archbishop of York in 1250 asking that "not withstanding his impaired sight and defect in one eye, that no hindrance be given to his promotion to superior orders."

"His life", said the Pope, "is adorned by honesty, by literary attainments, exemplary manners and recognition at the apostolic see." But his health failed. In 1252 rumour of his death "whilst in a remote part of northern England where he had gone to plead against certain monks" was believed to have prevented the King from making him his Treasurer. I think he probably had had a stroke. In 1255 he dies whilst at his other northern benefice of Caldbeck in Cumberland.

His enemies have the last word: "John the Frenchman, one of the most eminent of the lord the King's clerks and councillors stricken incurable by paralysis deserved to be mourned with dry tears by the monks of St. Mary's Abbey at York and of Selby".

John's successors as Rector of Adlingfleet were not able to hold what he had won. In 1304 Whitgift Church is to be rebuilt and Henry de Lacy, Count of Lincoln, grants to Selby Abbey "the cemetery in the vill of Wytegift consecrated a long time ago". This is so that the church can be rebuilt "which church or chapel the present and future inhabitants in ths vills of Ousefleet, Wytegift, Essetoft, Redenesse and Swynflet and also the tenants of XI bovates of land in Folquardeby and XIII bovates of land in Haldenby which aforesaid vills are within the boundaries of the parish of Snayth, will hear divine office and will receive and have the church's sacraments… " This decision doesn"t leave much for poor Adlingfleet. (A bovate is probably about 15 acres).

At some point Adlingfleet won back a little of what had been lost. For, writing in 1795, the Vicar tells us that the parish "consists at present of the four following townships - Adlingfleet, Fockerby, Haldenby and Eastoft".

The memory of these ancient battles lingers on. Around 1950 the parishes of Whitgift and Adlingfleet were united. The union was not a happy one and when the United Benefice of Marshland was created in 1988, Adlingfleet, though content to share their incumbent with the parishes of Whitgift, Eastoft and Swinefleet, rejoiced to become again a separate parish as they had been in the time of John the Frenchman.

The Battle to make a living

If prehistoric man lived in Marshland no traces of his presence has survived. Our history begins with the settlement of Saxons and Danes more than a thousand years ago. In the days before modern transport a village could only survive if year-on-year it could be fed. In the Marshland townships (or villages) we see four ways in which they make can a living.

First there are the arable fields. These gave bread and some feed for the animals. Adlingfleet had four of those open fields: Trent, West, Fowerstangs and Town End. Their name - there is still a "fowerstangs drain" - give us a good idea of how they were arranged round the village. And though the "Open strip" system was abandoned in Adlingfleet with the Enclosure Act of 1766, we have only to journey into the nearby Isle of Axholme at Belton, Epworth and Haxey to get some impression of what the "Open Fields" looked like.

Secondly, there were the animals grazing freely in the pasture and waste. In an area like Marshland this was probably as important as Arable Farming and the right to pasture animals - Cow gaits - has remained an important part (and sometimes a controversial one) until modern times. In Adlingfleet the surviving right to Cow gaits in Cow Lane is a direct link with more than a thousand years of a community's history.

The river, through both trade and fishing, provided a third source of livelihood for most of the Marshland townships. The Admiralty Courts exercised a jurisdiction to ensure that the rivers were open for traffic and free of pirates. In 1310, Edward II (who showed a great deal of interest in Marshland spending time at both Adlingfleet and Cowick), appointed two men to look after the Salmon in the waters of Humber, Ouse, Trent, Don, etc, and to ensure that there was a close season for catching Salmon. Whitgift's first historical mention comes with the gift of the fishery there to Selby Abbey which, it was claimed, took place in 1070. Corn, animals and fish provided food for the people.

The fourth source of prosperity in the Marshland was inedible - it was peat. To this day Thorne Waste seems a virtually inexhaustible source of peat. That within the peat were found great tree trunks and, occasionally human remains was a great source of puzzlement to our ancestors whose confident belief in a creation in 4004 BC left an inadequate timescale for the creation of this peat wilderness. They sought an explanation in Noah's flood or, more ingeniously, in the belief that the ancient woods that once covered the neighbourhood were destroyed by fire as an incident in the Roman pacification of their not-yet-quite-conquered province. What was not a matter for debate was that the growing prosperity of the Middle Ages (with its steady clearing of the woods by the plough) led to a fuel shortage and something like a gold rush for the peat turves of the Marshland. A "Turbary", that is the right to cut peat, became a licence to print money.

A study of the ancient boundaries of the townships and parishes shows that nearly all extend down into the Waste or Moor: all must have a share. An old name for the neighbourhood is Inclesmore. The complexities of the mediaeval system of multiple rights to the same piece of land ensured more fierce disputes as a variety of people and institutions claimed the right to cut and sell peat turves. One way and another a large number of Religious Houses in both Lincolnshire and Yorkshire acquired a share in the Marshland or Inclesmore Turbaries. Thornton Abbey shared with St. Mary's, York the distinction of having the largest Turbaries but Selby too had its share.

Through the centuries fishing has vanished and, in modern times, the grazing of animals became less important. Peat is still being exploited. But the main change through the centuries has been the steady increase in the area of land under the plough and its fertility. In the 18th and 19th Centuries this was brought about by "warping". This involved flooding the land with water from the rivers in such a way that the fertile soil, washed down from the rest of Yorkshire, settled on and made prosperous the Marshland. Even in 1795 the then Vicar of Adlingfleet could write. "The land in general, being what is called warp land (i.e., land made by the overflowing of the tides), is extremely fertile and produces great quantities of grass and hay. Not much corn is sown here, the land being for the most part applied to grazing of cattle for the market. A good part of the grounds being suitable for the growth of flax great quantities of that article are sometimes produced within the parish". Rather gloomily, he adds that the parish is "low and unhealthy, the inhabitants being very generally afflicted with agues and other complaints owing to the great stagnation of waters in the several neighbourhoods"

Adlingfleet since 1320

Since then Adlingfleet has had a good deal less history! But there was a number of reasons why a lot seemed to be happening in this neighbourhood in the early years of the 14th Century. The first was simply Scotland. Edward's first attempt to control and conquer Scotland made necessary the transport of great armies and the supplies needed to keep them armed and fed. This brought great fleets to Adlingfleet. Then Edward II's defeat at Bannockburn brought the Scots into England. Parliaments met at York and Lincoln. The King and the royal administration spent a great deal of time in the north. Edward II stayed frequently on his Manor at Cowick and seems to have passed through Adlingfleet more than once. And then the accidents of inheritance brought the estates of the Lacy Earls of Lincoln (including the Lordship of Snaith) to Thomas of Lancaster. He was "not only the richest landowner in England, he was nephew to Edward I, first cousin to Edward II, he was brother-in-law to Philip IV, uncle to the Queen of England and to three Kings of France". He was also the leader of the opposition to Edward II. Civil War led to his defeat and capture at Boroughbridge and he was sentenced to death by the King in his castle at Pontefract. His lands were forfeited to the King. It seems likely that it was these events that underlay such turmoil in Marshland that twice Adlingfleet Churchyard needed to be reconsecrated because in it blood had been shed.

But after Edward II's death, there was peace with Scotland and Royal visits to the north became much more of a rarity.

That Adlingfleet was no longer a rich living after its appropriation by Selby, again made it less likely that well-known people should fight for the privilege of being Vicar there. It became "small living" no different from thousands of others up and down the country.

As the trading and manufacturing history of England developed, ports were needed that led somewhere: the future lay with Airmyn and Rawcliffe and Selby and eventually Goole. As a port Adlingfleet seemed to have sunk into obscurity long before the cutting off of the southern Don made it a landlocked village. But of course life went on. We can trace the succession of Vicars from that day to this. Some have been able and conscientious. Others, alas, neglectful of their duties. That the Church still stands is proof that priest and parishioners looked after it (or at least the nave) sufficiently for it to be handed on from generation to generation. We can trace too the passing on of the lands of the parish sometimes from father to son and sometimes through marriage to more distant relatives. And, most unusually, we see the events that led to the links between Adlingfleet and Catherine Hall (now St. Catherine's College), Cambridge. As the Dayvilles had become the Egmantons so the Egmantons became the Skernes. The period after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 seemed to be a prosperous period of Adlingfleet's history. 1663 and 1697 had seen new bells in the church. The 1663 bell had the significant inscription "soli Deo Gloria. Pax Hominibus" and this must refer to the almost miraculous restoration of both King and Church and the hope of an end to Civil Wars. In 1697 two more were added. The bill has survived for £43/10/9. At much the same time Robert Skerne of Fockerby founded four scholarships to St. Catherine's Hall and bequeathed land in Adlingfleet and Whitgift to endow them. His great niece, in due course, inherited both his estates and his interest in St. Catherine's. She seems to have been a wealthy woman and in her will the greater part of her wealth went to St. Catherine's Hall. With this bequest the Grammar School at Fockerby was founded (or refounded) with some "closed" Scholarships to St. Catherine's College. The benefaction was large enough to enable the College to create six fellowships and ten scholarships and to extend their buildings. The reforming zeal of the Victorians abolished the closed scholarships. Today Fockerby Grammar School is a private house. But the Skerne Foundation still exists and notices can be read today on the Parish Council noticeboard inviting Adlingfleet parishioners to apply for educational grants from the foundation. Though St. Catherine's College has long since sold its Adlingfleet estates, two further links remain with that curious benefaction. The first is Mrs Ramsden's splendid memorial in Adlingfleet Church. It bears the not entirely truthful inscription "This monument is erected in memory of Mrs Mary Ramsden, widow of William Ramsden of Norton in the Country of York Esqr. She died the fifth of April 1745 and bequeathed her whole Estate to Catherine Hall in Cambridge". Presumably it was by her choice that her memorial was to be at Adlingfleet and not Norton. And she took care that some of her estate went to the Governors of York Infirmary for the use of poor persons from the Adlingfleet district. And she cared too for their spiritual well-being: One Pound a year was to be paid to the Vicar to preach a sermon at 10.30 a.m. each 5th November. It still is and he still does!

A result of this benefaction was to make Adlingfleet a good place for education. Apparently students came from all over the world so that they could go to Cambridge with a Skerne Scholarship from Fockerby Grammar School.

"Rivers, Rectors and Abbots", David Lunn - Bishop of Sheffield, 1990


Visitor Comments

Posted by Martin on 20/01/2006

For many centuries the Manor of Haldenby and also lands at Haldenby Park, Ousefleet, Fockerby, Eastoft and Swinefleet belonged to members of the More family, descendants of Sir Thomas More. They came into the family via the marriage of his only son, John, to Anne Cresacre. They remained in the possession of the More family until the early-1800s.

Does anyone know anything more about this? Thanks

Posted by Brenda on 07/07/2007

Still a lovely little village though! Can't beat it in my opinion!

Posted by Ken on 25/09/2007

My daughter and her husband now own Haldenby Park in Luddington and I am very interested in tracing the history of the building, which I believe dates back to the 1750s. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Jane on 28/10/2007

My father's name is Michael Haldenby Hill and could probably help you. I know that the last remaining Haldenby was Dorothy and she immigrated to Canada as did my parents in the 1960s for a few years. He is a direct descendent of the Haldenby's and even knows of the notorious card game when the hall was lost on a single hand!

Posted by Michael on 08/11/2007

The story passed down to me is that Baron de Haldenby came over with William the Conqueror and had the estates around Haldenby Park, Haldenby Manor and Haldenby Hall. One of my ancestors, Sir Francis, lies in the Church at Adlingfleet. Thomas Haldenby (my great-grandfather) was a shipwright at Burton-upon-Stather and later ran the Scarborough Steam Packet. He had three sons and a daughter (my grandmother). Two sons immigrated to Canada and had no sons. The other son, Frederick Haldenby, had a daughter and her daughter now lives in Holton le Clay. The Haldenby name lives on in my grandson, Luke John Haldenby-Hill.

Posted by Chris on 19/02/2008

My last name is Haldenby and I am very interested in tracing any family history. My grandfather was called Thomas and was from the Hull area. This is as far back as I can. My family is living in the Scarborough area. Any information it will be gladly received. Thanks.

Posted by Jonathan on 18/03/2008

I have an old jug, a bit battered, but it is inscribed Haldenby Lee in gold script.

Posted by Patrick on 04/06/2008

My mother's family is Haldenby. Our family came to Ontario Canada in 1835. Coming from Whitgift/Adlingfleet. We have since spread across North America. In the 1980s we compiled a three-inch book of descendants. Continuing this research, I spent many years studying the medieval Haldenby lineage.

We start with Robertus De Haldenby with his wife Margerita and son Robert (of the 1379 poll tax).

It is interesting, apart from their own wealth, lands etc., they were heirs from some of the great crusaders and families, namely the De Lovetots, De Furnivals, De Useflete and Ferribys etc.

The family, well-educated and many have held administration, started to lose their prominence early in the 17th Century. This is when Robert of Haldenby, Swinefleet and Swanland lost possession.

Haldenby (in Adlingfleet) was the residence of General Healfden (Halfdane). According to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle A.D. 876, General Halfdane and the Danish Army "divided the land of the Northumbrians; so that they became afterwards their harrowers and plowers" the same year Rollo the Dane penetrated Normandy.

It's a good possibility that Robertus De Haldenby is a direct descendent of General Haldane.

Posted by Ian on 12/06/2008

Haldenby Park House. Listed Grade II - the list description refers to a house built in the mid to late 18th Century with later 18th and 19th Century alterations. The house stands in a parkland setting on the north bank of the former River Don. The park is shown on Jeffrey's map of Yorkshire of 1775.

Built for the Gee family the building is in brick, stuccoed with Westmoorland slates on the roof over the earlier part.

Luddington churchyard and church contain late 18th and early 19th Century monuments to the Gee family.

Posted by Mike on 14/06/2008

I too am a Haldenby(!) and it seems that there are still many Haldenbys in the Hull/East Yorks area where the name seems to have come from. I was interested in the half-Dane theory - is that possible?

Posted by JTS on 03/11/2008

My wife's family worked around Haldenby Park in the early-1800s and they named their first son Haldenby Lee. I wonder if there is a connection with the jug that Jonathan mentioned?

Posted by Steve on 26/12/2008

I am Beverley born-and bred! I have traced myself back to William Haldenby who married Elizabeth Lindley in Luddington on 14/11/1699. I suspect William was descended from a Simon Haldenby of Luddington in early-1600s. Only just got started tree building. Got a lot of Haldenby history up to start of 17th Century - but can't yet find link through the 1600s. Love to hear from anyone who could maybe fill in gaps I'd also be keen to know how the Richard Haldenby who was at Agincourt (along with one of the Usfletes) fits in!

Posted by Catrin on 12/04/2009

I have a Haldenby Lee in my ancestry, born at Haldenby Park in 1797. I would be interested in getting in touch with the person who put the post about his wife's family and also the guy with the jug!

Posted by Carl on 30/04/2009

I have just started researching the Scott family and discovered that my great-grandmother was Hannah Elizabeth Haldenby who married Charles Marsden on 19/10/1908 in the parish of Burley in the county of Leeds. Does anyone have any information regarding that side of the Haldenby family from 1908 onwards? Thanks.

Posted by Paul on 03/06/2009

Another Haldenby here as well. My father's family came from Hull, although I think my great-grandfather moved there from Lincolnshire. I had heard he had a number of brothers so if anyone has anything that links to a Charles Haldenby in the Sculcoates area I would be fascinated to know more.

Posted by John on 01/08/2009

Haldenby Lee (b. 1796/97 was my great-great-great-grandfather. I believe his parents to be Nicholas Lee and Mary Stapp. Happy to share what I know about his family. Would be delighted to learn more.

Posted by Catrin on 11/08/2009

John, it would appear we are cousins.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 27/08/2009

There are two pre-Tudor coats-of-arms for the Haldenby family inside Adlingfleet parish church. 8 quarterings thus:

Top from left on shields: Haldenby/Haldenbie - ? - Usflete/Useflet - Furnival/Furnivall

Bottom from left: Ferriby? - Luddington - Ella/Ellay - Wentworth

There are other early phonetic or variant scribe-forms of these surnames and indeed many others.

One of these two coats-of-arms shows the Haldenby's first crest on top of the shield. It is a knight's helmet with an arm coming out of the top holding a cup. The pre-Tudor family motto was "The Divine Toast".

The later second family crest was a black swan and only six quarterings on the coat-of-arms, Ella and Wentworth missing.

When the historian J. Hunter cited the various quarterings (or someone else on his behalf) for his book on areas what he called South Yorkshire, there was a confusion on the heraldic usage of "dancettee (dancetty, etc.)" and "indented", so instead of citing the seventh quartering (or third on the bottom row from left to right) for ELLA, it was wrongly cited for CORBRIDGE.

The "dancettee" is a dancing/zigzaged line/band and mainly has three top points/peaks and the "indented" line/band differs. The ELLA family coat-of-arms is: "sable a fess dancettee surmounted of three fleur-de-lis Or", and included on the Haldenby quarterings via the Usflete one, Usflete also having three fleur-de-lis on but in another order and tinctures.

Posted by Patrick on 01/02/2010

My name is Patrick Haldenby, I live in France. My father, Eric Haldenby, was born in Hull around 1916, His father was Arthur Haldenby, married to Elisabeth Kent. I'm much interested by the origins of our family.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 08/07/2010

Haldenby Family's second Crest to be seated on top of their coat-of-arms:

There is the Australian and New Zealand area black swan with a red beak and feet and this can now be found in many other areas in the world including not far from where we live, i.e., on waters of the Norfolk Broads.

However, there was in England once a larger black swan and indeed the Haldenby family knew of it and used it has their second crest to go on top of their coat-of-arms, i.e., after they had to relinquish the first crest and family-motto.

By inheritance via related-families, e.g., the Usfletes, members of the Haldenby family gained property in Swanland near North Ferriby, so should the white swans with yellow beaks and feet on the village pond there be "Black" and if there are not any on the pond these days indeed their village signs depict a white swan, although Swanland may be a corruption of Swain, i.e., Swain's land.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 08/07/2010

Elizabeth Wentworth, spouse of Francis Haldenby (his tomb in Adlingfleet Parish Church):

It is said that the Wentworth connection could not be proven when the Haldenby's were compelled to have granted their second heraldic crest and that this could be a reason why the Wentworth coat-of-arms quartered on the Haldenby shield was removed, along with the Ella family one. However, Francis Haldenby would have had recent knowledge of his wife's family and one would have thought that her father and mother if still alive along with other Wentworths would have been at Francis's and Elizabeth's wedding and there are pedigrees compiled at the time listing the marriage, so perhaps there was another reason for the removal of the Wentworth quarter and indeed the much older Ella one,?.

The early main branch of the Haldenby family after the Reformation of the 1530s remained Catholic up to at least the English Civil War and this was frowned upon by the "New Church of England" and some of the ruling classes, making note that many people today with English roots back to the 1530s and before would have had Catholic ancestors and indeed what are now Anglican churches built before the Reformation were once Catholic worship-places, including the parish churches in Adlingfleet and Whitgift, yet one meaning of Catholic is simply "Christian".

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 09/07/2010

The Incredible Survival of the First Haldenby Crest and their 8 times quartered Coat-of-Arms:

After the Reformation many items in churches that were regarded "too idolatry" were removed and even wall paintings were covered-over with "white-wash", etc.

However, the first Haldenby crest was not inside Adlingfleet Parish Church until the Haldenby home had become almost derelict and if the first crest with 8 quartered shield was in or on the outside of the Haldenby home, it was salvaged and placed inside Adlingfleet Parish Church and this may have been done in the 19th Century, having been placed over Francis Haldenby's tomb, but there are some parts of this first crest damaged or "chopped-off" when removed from a building or when placed in the church, ie. where "supporters" would have been on both left and right sides of the shield, yet on examination by me what could have been "supporters" is just foliage (leaves, etc.) and not standing animals supporting the shield on either side. There has also been some damage to Francis's tomb.

The Haldenby family were granted a second crest (black swan) because the church officials and a herald of arms regarded the first Haldenby crest to be a form of religious idolatry and not because the first crest was "unofficial" but because of what it represented and the "Motto" that went with it and indeed because they knew it was "papist", ie., the garter-belt on the helmet of this first crest depicts a "papal rose", no it is not a small Yorkshire rose. Also, although there is a small Wentworth shield on the front side-panel of Francis Haldenby's tomb, the family included the earlier 8 quartered coat-of-arms on the head-panel of the tomb depicting the Wentworth quartering, also Ella, but with no crest, yet the first crest with an 8 quartered shield now placed over Francis's tomb is much older than the "not-crested" shield on the tomb's head-panel.

There is a remote possibility that some Haldenby monumentals in Adlingfleet Parish Church were placed there after North Ferriby Parish Church was rebuilt. Indeed, after the church in North Ferriby was rebuilt, the Haldenby monumentals in the previous building were not placed in the new church. But, once again, this is a remote possibility, yet the N.Ferriby Haldenby monumentals did have a mention of an "Elizabeth Wentworth".

Mr.Tickell was writing c.1786 and in his "History of Hull" he mentions the Haldenby monumentals that were in North Ferriby Parish Church at that time thus: "Orate pro anima Elizabeth Haldenby, Uxorem Armigerum, et Filiam Johannes Wentworth, quae tredecim habuit (or habiut) filios et eid ejus amimam (or aminam) Deus condonat, 1562".

This more-or-less is meaning "Pray for the soul of Elizabeth Haldenby, the wife of Haldenby, and daughter of John Wentworth, (who had thirteen sons), whose soul may the Lord pardon, 1562".

Parish registers for N.Ferriby: burial of Elizabeth Haldenbie (Haldenby), X1th of May, Anno dm 1562(/3) Eliza: 5to.

So, Ellizabeth Haldenby (nee' Wentworth) was buried at North Ferriby, but her husband [Francis] was entombed in Adlingfleet Parish Church and the possibility that Francis's tomb was once at N.Ferriby we indeed do not agree with but where the Haldenby first crest and 8 times quartered shield was before placed in Adlingfleet Parish Church is conjectural, yet a probability would be at the Haldenby home before the 19th Century.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 09/07/2010

Garter-belted Helmet on the first Haldenby Crest:

At the base of the helm (helmet) is a garter-belt and on the left end of it is what appears to be a small rose and above on the extention to the belt appears to be another rose?, yet that is not clearer than the other. On the end to the right side of the belt is what appears to be a buckle.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 04/08/2010

Haldenby family of Reedness, etc.:

The National Register of Archives, ref. GB/NNAF/F81872. years 1650 to 19th Century: deeds 1650-18th ? Century, settlements 1757-1818, papers and family papers + legal papers 19th Century. Pedigrees of Haldenby family and other related families, e.g., of Reednees, Haldenby/Adlingfleet, etc.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 30/12/2010

4, 5 or 6 little birds in Adlingfleet Parish Church.

The two larger Haldenby shields, one on the head panel of Francis Haldenby's tomb, the other with a crest on the wall over his tomb, indeed that being pre-Tudor and when salvaged during the 19th Century, it was placed inside the church:

On these two shields, fourth from the left on the top row is the quartered coat-of-arms for the Furnival family depicting six martlets, but if there are only four or five, this would be an error, yet not three with other branches of the Furnivals.

The martlet, sometimes depicted without feet or a beak in heraldry, is a diminutive of the bird named martin, but martlet was also used to imply a swift and a hirondelle (swallow), yet in German heraldry it depicted a lark and in French heraldry sometimes a duckling and also a "merle" (blackbird).

Posted by Jayne on 17/06/2011

I am a descendent of Anne Haldenby (bapt. 1776, Panton, Lincolnshire). Her parents were William Haldenby of Waterton Hall, Luddington and Sarah Parker. William's father and grandfather were also William Haldenby's of Waterton Hall. The earliest William Haldenby of Waterton Hall I have died in 1729. Does anyone have any information on the same Haldenbys? Thanks.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 19/06/2011

There is/was a card surname index for Haldenby (Haldendie and other early variants of the name) at the Doncaster Archives, some from parish registers, e.g., Adlingfleet, Whitgift, etc.

The parish registers for Luddington would be at the Lincoln Archives and have a survival date from 1700. However, the Bishop's Transcripts for Luddington survive from 1599 but often the BT's are not consecutive and have gaps, e.g., especially the first Commonwealth period from 1649/1650 to 1660, the monarchy having been restored in 1660 (King Charles II) and the king helping to restore the Church of England resulting in the restoration of the ejected Bishops in 1661.

Posted by Patricia on 09/07/2011

In Bishops transcripts for Luddington, there is William (bapt. 22/08/1604), son of Simon, with siblings Francis (bapt. 25/05/1602) and Jarret (bapt. 14/03/1600). There are also children of William and Elizabeth between 1683 and 1692, but no William.

Posted by Kit on 20/08/2011

It would seem a lot of us here are related in some distant way - very cool :. My father's family are from the Hull area too. I've got back as far as my great-grandfather Horace Haldenby and would love to get further back. Anyone else know the name?

I've been told that we are indeed half Danes - the name Haldenby was given to children of half Danish/half Anglo-Saxon birth. Completely fascinating.

Posted by Perry on 16/12/2011

I was born in Hull. My dad is Keith Haldenby, grandad is Ralph Haldenby, great-granddad is Ciril Haldenby. I just find this history really interesting. I never knew Haldenby Manor existed. So are all Haldenbys connected?

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 17/12/2011

Hull is not that far from Swanland near North Ferriby and in the parish church at N. Ferriby before it was rebuilt in the 19th Century, inside there were Haldenby monuments and family coat-of-arms, but not put back into the newer church.

The Haldenby family of Swanland would have come-into inheritance via the Usflete (Ousefleet) family, this long before the English Civil War and at the outset the Swanland branch of the Haldenby family would have had their origin at Haldenby between Luddington and Adlingfleet.

This would also be the case for early Haldenbys on the south-side of the river Ouse, e.g., Reedness, Whitgift, Ousefleet, etc., i.e., origin from the main-branch at Haldenby, or at least from the place-name, the village becoming redundant long-ago. So, some Haldenbys may be related to the gentry-branch of Haldenby who had a coat-of-arms, but others may just have lived in the old village and took on the placename to become "surnamed", eg., after leaving the area, therefor any DNA analysed with Haldenbys today may show a connection, yet could also be conjectural and this would be the case with any surname from a place-name.

Posted by Sam on 15/01/2012

My great-great-grandmother was Annie Elizabeth Haldenby, she was baptised in Althorpe in 1878. She married William Mason in 1898 and they had seven children.

Annie's father was John Haldenby (b. 1837 in Luddington); he was married to Rebecca Storm and died in 1900. His father was also John Haldenby (b. about 1814 in Whitgift); he was school master, married three times to Hannah Theaker, Jane Cook and Ann Ward; he died in 1900.

John's father was William Haldenby (b. 1795 in Eastrington) who was married to Sarah Jackson; he lived in Whitgift and Reednees and died in 1876.

William's father was another William Haldenby, born in 1768 in Skelton, Howden; he was married to Ann Beaumont.

I know his father was John born around 1740, but the trail goes cold, it would be great to hear from anyone connected to this family or if they can link it back to Francis Haldenby!

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 16/01/2012

Baine's Directory & Gazetteer (year 1822):

Wm. Haldenby, vict., (at) Ferry House, Reedness.
Nicholas Ella, vict., (at) King's Head, Swinefleet.
John Ella, carpenter, Swinefleet.

Posted by Emma-Louise on 09/10/2013

My name is also Haldenby! Well, my maiden name is. I now go by Haldenby-Creighton. It would be lovely to know whether I am related to any of you other Haldenbys.

My grandad is Malcolm Haldenby. He has a brother called Stuart Haldenby. My Dad is Dean Haldenby. I'm afraid I don't know my great-grandads name.

Posted by JC on 05/12/2013

Thomas Haldenby was the first apprentice of Henry Royce and rose to become works director of Rolls Royce during World War II.

Posted by Margaret on 24/10/2014

Our grandfather was Charles Frederic Haldenby, (b. 1878 in Burton-upon-Stather). My cousin Michael Haldenby Hill and his daughter have communicated with this website in 2007. My brother George Frederick Haldenby Reynolds and I will visit Adlingfleet and Luddington as our nephew is now living in Epworth. We would like to visit the church and the various Haldenby houses. In the 1960s/1970s I came across a Nellie Burrell nee Haldenby who had a family tree done for her when she was young. Cousins of ours took this further, resulting in visiting this area and we would like to do so again. Many Haldenbys abound.

Posted by Brian on 06/02/2015

I am the son of George Fredrick Haldenby (b. 1910 in Hull). His father was a fisherman lost at sea in 1915. His name was Thomas. I have been trying to find information about him.

Posted by Ken on 19/04/2016

Although I have been a family history researcher for 50 years, I have only started on a Haldenby family in the last week for a friend. I traced them off to Canada and now back to the Hull area of Yorkshire. Then I have to try and prove the links you have mentioned over the years. I have Michael Haldenby and his wife Mary with a son William (bapt. 30/08/1809). He immigrated to Canada near Quebec before 1836. He married Mary Manuel in the Anglican church of Montreal in 1838. Can anyone link this to the families around Adlingfleet?

If it's of interest, Michael and Mary had a son William who was married to Mary Manuel. Their son was Edward married to Adelaide Richards. Their son was John Frederick who married Jessie Amelia Deacon. Their son Earl (b. 1907) was sent to the UK in WWII in the Royal Canadian Air Force, where he met and married Lavinia nee Hall formerly Cross. They both went back to Canada in 1946 but the marriage did not last. 1n 1949 Lavinia came back to Hampshire with her 4-year-old daughter. It is this daughter I am doing the research for. I will be most grateful for any help.

Posted by Patricia on 05/08/2009

My grandfather Edward Scutt was the landlord of the Cross Keys from 1924 to 1938 when he moved across the road to Rose Cottage. He also owned the Wesleyan chapel which he used as a workshop because he was a carpenter and joiner. He used one of the outbuildings of Rose Cottage as a blacksmiths forge.

Posted by Sam on 03/03/2010

Seeing the Cross Keys pub at Adlingfleet on this site stirred a memory or two for me. It was run by a bloke, if I recall, called Faff Barker who worked for Parsons at Drax during the day where he was known as Captain. I went to school with his daughter Susan who was a lovely girl as I remember.

We were once waiting to vine peas down Cow Lane one night but couldn't start until about 3am, so someone had a bright idea that we would have a ride to Faffs and, surprise surprise, it was still open, just. We were let in and all got a pint a piece when suddenly the door opened and in walked this dark imposing figure - it was Pete Rowells the local copper from Swinefleet. I nearly choked as it was well gone 2am by this time. He took off his helmet and asked for a pint of best and then chatted away to us all as though it were 8pm, asking what we were on with, etc.

He drank his pint and then he announced, well lads I'll leave you to it before I embarrass you by having to lock you all up at this fine hour. I remember thinking to myself that seven lads and him wouldn't have fitted into his Ford Anglia somehow. Safe to say though when he had gone we were on our way back to the field a bit sharpish.

Anyone remember Pete Rowells? He didn't take many prisoners but you knew all hell was coming sooner or later if you had done something wrong in the villages. Good times all the same.

Is Cow lane still as bumpy? No wonder I now suffer from a bad back on occasions!

Posted by Patricia on 10/03/2010

I'm new to this feed but have visited other chat sites on this website. I'm looking for relatives who lived in this area pre national records as I have exhausted them! Where can I find baptism/marriage records for Adlingfleet and Reedness? Looking for my greats(x3) from the mid-1700s called PURVIS. Thanks.

Posted by Paul on 27/05/2010

I have a Leggott WHITAKER, (b. 1809 in Adlingfleet), son of a farmer Robert Whitaker and Ann Leggott. Anyone know of any other Whitaker from Adlingfleet? Thanks.

Posted by Patricia on 28/05/2010

I have found Leggat Whitaker (baptised 08/10/1809), son of Robert and Ann, also Elizabeth (baptised 03/10/1852) and William (baptised 09/02/1851), children of Rachel and Henry (Miller) but they lived in Fockerby.

Posted by Neil on 27/07/2010

Just moved into what was the Cross Keys pub and was wondering if anyone has some pictures of it when it was a pub, inside or out. I'd like to get a series of pictures of it over the years to show the changes.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 02/10/2010

Tomb effigy of a 14th Century Lady in Adlingfleet Parish Church:

On the side panel to the tomb are 4 shields thus:

First from the left is for Bohun (DeBohun, D'Bohun) of Lincoln and if once painted the blazon would be: Azure (blue) on a bend Argent (silver) cottised (coltised) Or (gold), betwixt (between) 6 lions rampant, - Or (gold) -3 escallops Gules (red). Sometimes escallops are not included.

Second is for Stapleton, blazon being: Argent (silver), a lion rampant Sable (black).

Third is for Dayville (Davill, Dayvill, Daville, Deiville, d'Eiville, etc.), blazon: Gules (red) a lion rampant, within an orle of 8 small fleur-de-lis (flowers of the lily). Sometimes the small fleur-de-lis are not included.

Fourth is for Wigton and the blazon is: Sable (black), 3 estoiles (star shapes) Or (gold).

Posted by Tune on 24/08/2011

I am searching for the ancestors of Jane TUNE (b. 1818 in Adlingfleet). I believe her parents to be John Tune and Martha Bycroft, can anyone help? Thanks

Posted by Patricia on 28/08/2011

Jane Tune (bapt. 03/05/1818 at All Saints, Adlingfleet) was the daughter of John Tune cordwainer and Martha Bycroft who were married 8 September 1812. Other children were Elizabeth (b. 02/05/1824), George (b. 21/10/1821) and Joseph (b. 21/05/1826).

I lived in Adlingfleet from 1946 to 1950 and visited several times a year until 1963.

Posted by Andrew on 02/07/2012

My great(x7)-grandfather was Edward Tune (b. 1665) who lived in Adlingfleet with his wife Elizabeth Tune formerly Copley. Does anyone who know anything about them or any info regarding the Tune family? Thanks.

Posted by Pat on 02/09/2011

I lived in Adlingfleet for 24 years and am sorry to see how it has changed. The Cross Keys, post office/shop and village hall (old school) have all gone. Years ago the Community Association prophesised the village was dying and now all those things have gone. Very sad.

Posted by Patricia on 03/09/2011

When I lived there the post office was in Post Office Row, which was where the bungalows are now on Garthorpe Road. I remember the new post office opening about 1959 in the house that we called Auntie Annie Jackson's although she died in 1946. Things change continually.

Posted by Wendy on 03/09/2011

I was born in Adlingfleet and lived there for the first eighteen years of my life. As kids we always found something to do, so I can't believe kids nowadays when they say they are bored! My mam and dad still live there and there are still some people there who I remember from my childhood and yes it certainly has changed over the years.

Posted by Taz on 27/12/2011

Just had a drive through the village, where I lived for a few years, after a pleasurable walk down Cow Lane with my wife and our dog. Adlingfleet is still the most attractive village in the area and the residents should be proud of it. I disagree with the previous correspondent describing the village as dying - judging by the number of new houses I would say quite the opposite.

Pubs are closing all the time and need customers to keep them open and village post offices are very few nowadays. Not many people shop in small village stores when nearly everything one needs can be bought from a supermarket in one trip (or often on their way home from work - how many Adlingfleet residents still work in the village or surrounding villages?).

I was surprised at the number of visitors at the RSPB site - perhaps the shop and pub could have benefitted here had they still been available.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 04/09/2011

Marie and I are not from Adlingfleet but the few times we have visited the village we found it very peaceful and pleasant and I recall on my first visit some years ago having to collect the key for All Saints Church from the then post office/shop.

I hear that there are "Heritage Open Days" in Adlingfleet every September with members of the Local History Group. Perhaps people who live there and who once did can meet each other? The church opens 10am to late afternoon.

Posted by Anne on 15/05/2012

I am trying to trace my family tree on my father's side. I know that my great(x3)-grandfather was William HAGUE (b. 21/12/1809 in Luddington) and my great(x3)-grandmother was Hannah LONGBONES (b. around 1810 in Adlingfleet). They married at Adlingfleet Parish Church on 14 June 1832 but there is no record of Hannah Longbones in the census and her death is recorded as "before 1881". I would love to know who her parents were if anyone can help. Thanks.

Posted by Patricia on 15/07/2012

Hannah Longbones (bapt. 15/06/1798 at All Saints, Adlingfleet) was the daughter of William and Sarah. Her siblings were Thomas (b. 15/12/1799), Jane (b. 08/02/1796) and George (b. 27/06/1802). Hannah Hague was buried in Eastoft 20 August 1861 age 51 which fits with your birthdate of 1810. William and Hannah Hague are both listed in the 1861 census as age 51 in Eastoft.

According to the 1851 census, Hannah was born in Ousefleet (which probably makes her the daughter of William and Mary) and baptised 11 September 1814 with brother John (b. 1816).

Posted by Fiona on 14/10/2012

I have a story about Adlingfleet Church told by a friend of my father who spoke about him at his funeral.

In the 1950s there was a production of Murder in the Cathedral which was performed in local churches. My father was one of the knights. An obsessive smoker (about 80 players a day) he slipped out for a crafty smoke in the dress rehearsal. It was a misty night and the story goes that a woman leaving the Cross Keys with a jug of ale saw my father amongst the gravestones and thought he was one of the monuments from the church come to life, or a ghost! She dropped her ale and ran off screaming. My father found out who she was from the landlord and, in his own clothes, took her another jug of ale!

Posted by Elaine on 27/10/2012

I'm doing my family tree and have traced it back to George THORPE born in Adlingfleet around 1811. Does anyone know anything about this family? Thanks.

Posted by Raymond & Marie on 16/11/2012

George Thorpe (b. c.1809-12 in Adlingfleet) married Rebecca Ayre 27 December 1832 at Whitgift.

Posted by David on 08/04/2013

Relatives of mine, Henry Amery and Hannah lived in Adlingfleet in the 1861 Census. The address is given as 4 All Saints Square. I know the church is known as All Saints. Was it connected to this and where was the Square? Thanks.

Posted by Myrtle on 09/04/2013

Would like to know if anyone remembers the BUCKLE family? I think Edward (Ted) was a sea captain. Thanks.

Posted by Steve on 12/05/2013

I used to live a couple of doors up from a Mrs Buckle in Grange Road, Adlingfleet from the early-1960s to early-1970s. Left the area because of my dad's work when I was thirteen. Used to visit her as a small boy. Don't remember a Mr Buckle though. Could've been away a lot I suppose as a sailor and it was a long time ago!

Posted by Patricia on 15/01/2014

I remember Ted Buckle, he was a friend of my cousin Gordon when we lived at Rose Cottage.

Posted by Michelle on 29/08/2013

I believe ancestors of mine lived in Adlingfleet and wondered if anyone had any information regarding them? William HALKON and Mary Ann COULT, who I believe was born there.

Posted by Ray on 23/09/2013

There was a Mary Ann Coult (baptised 22/02/1846) at Adlingfleet church, parents Will[iam] and Mary.

The surname Coult figures quite a lot in the area and one early example is: Jon Coult ( bapt. 04/07/1695 at Whitgift), father Tho[mas] Coult. The year of baptism for Jon son of Tho[mas] Coult would be 1697. There are also Coult entries for Swinefleet church registers.

Posted by Helen on 31/10/2013

My family lived at Clough House in Adlingfleet in 1841. Has anyone any idea where this might have been? The family in question were the Thompson's. Thanks.

Posted by Ann on 29/07/2015

Adlingfleet Grange.

My daughter hasn't long moved to the above address, an address which I find fascinating, to say the least. Firstly was this ever a Grange? It would make sense. I notice in an early 19th Century map, the farm was called Common House. Does anyone have any information on this property? Thanks.

Posted by Polo on 03/08/2015

Adlingfleet Grange is a very interesting place and quite different today, sad even, to what it was say just thirty years ago when it was all but the centre of the universe! Everything happened at the Grange to do with the running of the large Goole Coop farming Estate, always a vibrant and very busy place with tractors and machinery coming and going.

The modern house which stands there now, although a nice property, is nothing to the majestic house that once stood on the site just a little further forward towards the lane. A very grand imposing building indeed, always very well maintained and was the Estate Managers house, a place that few menials were ever allowed to enter. The gardens were immaculate and it had a nice gravel drive to the right of the property bordered by a well-tended privet hedge, behind was an orchard and lawns where the present house now stands. I remember getting told off once for driving my crawler tractor and plough through the privet hedge and down the gravel drive to save running on my ploughing! The manager wasn't impressed either when I said at least I shut the gates on my way out! Happy days!

Next to the house was the main office where all farming decisions happened and then across the yard was the estate workshop which could tell a few stories if it were able to talk. The managers I recall, Mr Dodsworth and Mr Williams always did well for the estate in general, had nice families and lived at the Grange in quite reverence and were held in high esteem in the area. The place holds a great deal of memories and good times for a lot of people who worked on the estate No doubt one or two more people will contribute to your thread in due course. Be assured your daughter will be well happy living at the Grange, "the centre of the universe."

Posted by Taz on 11/12/2015

Perhaps it was called Common House because the parish of Adlingfleet extended as far as that (as with Swinefleet Common, Reedness Common, Whitgift Common, Ousefleet Hall, etc.)

If I remember when I was first interviewed back in 1970, before I started work there, Noel Dodsworth's office was in the old house away from the estate office. When Alan Williams started as manager he had his office in the Estate Office. The old house was demolished and the new one built around the time that John Chapple became estate manager.

Pasture Farm house still stands empty and looks quite sad in its present state.

Polo, I remember taking our flasks in the old kitchen for Mrs Kirk to fill if we were working overtime - the teapot seemed enormous! Happy days. Or is it just that we were a lot younger?

Posted by Polo on 16/12/2015

Wow, nearly forgot about Mrs Kirk filling the flasks, always strong stuff if I remember right, a mouse could have trotted over it, but very welcome all the same! Both she and Ern were top class folks of the old school. Those were definitely the best days bar none, pity we can't turn the clock back knowing what we know now. Couldn't beat a riding job and a bit of overtime, I reckon we were lucky to have been there at the right time, just young lads playing with good tackle.

I saw the old house a few months back - a shame it's been left to rot as it could certainly be made a nice place for someone. Don't get Mack to fit the new kitchen though, last one took him over two years, ha ha. Have a good one to you and yours, stay lucky.

Posted by Polo on 08/09/2016

Was past Pasture Farm house the other day and it looks like someone is spending some serious brass around the place. No doubt it will be something to do with the wind farm project going on behind up to Common Farm. The Pasture farm access road is now in good shape and much wider than when it was first put in. I remember carting brick rubble for the foundations for it from Goole Fields, every brick hand balled onto the cart! Most of the rubble came from the original farm house that was knocked down at Park farm. Porky levelled it out with the bulldozer and Roly Leeman rolled it down with the old green road roller.

Some of my handy work is still visible approaching from Eastoft, myself and Kevin Drayton built a small wall in the dyke to hold back the new road. We made it out of breeze blocks laid on their side for added strength and remember Kev saying that'll not shift! Forty years on he was right on that one.

The surrounding garden wall has been knocked down and is being re built which looks a nice job and in keeping with the house itself. Many years ago Tivvy let me have one of the Yorkstone coping stones from the top of the wall which cleaned up nicely and served me for many years as the hearth stone in our house. Hopefully they will be as sympathetic to the old farm house as it is a lovely place and needs preserving properly, not ending up under a new farm road at some stage.

Looking over the fields to the front of the house I see the poplar trees are still thriving along the lane from the Grange. Never thought they would survive the way they were put in, a bit rough and ready to say the least. Me and a guy from Crowle called Mick Halifax buried most of them so they are lucky to have survived but, at least they were watered in well as Mick managed to put his spade through the water pipe leading to the cattle troughs and didn't mention it for a week! Happy days. Stay lucky.

Posted by Taz on 22/09/2016

I remember Mick - he always got the crap jobs but was always cheerful. When I first started there he used to come to work on a motorbike twice the size of him. Trev once got up to about 60mph on it while it was on the stand - if it had dropped off the stand the wall would have gone along with the bike, Trev and Mick who was stood in front of him!

I presume the wind farm is paying for the wall repairs because they had to take the corner off to get the turbines in.

On a sadder note Cliff W has gone so no more calling you Polo! I knew him for most of my life - my old lady used to regularly fall out with his dad over silly things when he was in the field next door to where we lived but she still went to his shop for bits and pieces! Take care mate.

Posted by Sam on 23/09/2016

Sad to hear that Cliff has passed away, another character that will not be replaced. I'm pleased that I called to see him when I did as he was very frail then. I will lay Polo to rest as well which will be a good gesture to him. Everyone had a run in at times with both Cliff and his dad but still went into the shop for bits and bobs. That shop can tell some tales as well but we will leave that for another day.

The first time I met Mick Halifax, Ern sent me upstairs in the barn to where Mick was grinding barley for the cows in the fold yard below. This guy came wandering out of the dust cloud absolutely covered in white powder looking like a ghost but smiling from ear to ear like he had the best job in the world. You wouldn't get anyone to do those kind of jobs today.

What was scrap to most folks he would find useful though, strap it on the motorbilke and take it home. We were both riding the MF30 drill one foggy morning I looked around and suddenly he was gone, thought he had slipped and fallen off under the harrows and we'd find him mangled up on the way back, but no, a while later he appeared out of the murk chuffed to hell as he was clutching an old bike mudguard he'd found in the dyke bottom! Stay lucky.

Posted by Stephen on 05/11/2016

I have an ancestor Thomas REVELL who was probably a sailor. This was early December 1825. Although he is buried in Althorpe his abode was given as Adlingfleet. He was only 31. How can I find out how he met his demise in November/December 1825? Thanks.

Posted by Sam on 19/03/2021

You can go down the same road for years in a car and then when you bike it there will be something new you've never seen. There were loads of small farms around in the day but most have been sold due to economics or the next generation didn't want to take it on, etc. I could spend a full day just on the common calling on farms, the same going down the villages. If you didn't sell anything at least you had a brew and a natter but most would by something eventually.

I always say that the Barker family were the best farmers I ever dealt with. Always looking forward to improve themselves and no matter how busy they were they always had time for me and most of all they were honest to deal with. It was nice to see them grow up over the years and take an active part in the business. I sold them loads of kit over the years which was always appreciated.

I spend a bit of time on a local farm here shooting my air rifles which is always good fun trying to outwit the bunnies but gone are the days when you can wander down the main street toting a gun as Wilf used to do every tea time, funny he'd always coiled a big rat over as well. You'd soon have the local plod let alone the police helicopter for company if you did it today, but it was just the norm then. Stay lucky.

Posted by Bill at 02/07/2022 17:30

Adlingfleet was probably the site of a high status Anglo Saxon ecclesiastical and royal settlement. It originally lay in the within the political sphere of the Kingdom of Lindsey. It features in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle as "Donaemuthan" or "Don Mouth" where it is recorded as the site of a major Danish attack on the minster of Ecgfrith in AD 794. Recorded as "Adelingesfluet" at Domesday, the name is suggestive, deriving from "Prince's inlet" or "estuary". A further hint of Adlingfleet's former importance is found in the post-Conquest value of its clerical living. As late as the 13th Century, the rector of Adlingfleet commanded an income of £153/6s/8d, the fourth highest in England (info from "Church Archaeology", Vol 21, p46, article by Hugh Willmott).

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