Houses of Interest: East Riding

Strangely the modern County of East Yorkshire (or East Riding as Yorkshire folk would have it) has not been visited by the ECWtravelogue before. Which is surprising as the first symbolic act of the First English Civil war took place here. (It's also quite a trek from Château KeepYourPowderDry, but that is by the by). So here goes...

Those of you in need of further  Yorkshire adventures should check out:

 West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire , York and Marston Moor and Adwalton Moor.

Let us start with Hull, the symbolic birthplace of the First Civil War, when Sir John Hotham denied King Charles entry to the town and barred the Beverley Gate. As a consequence Hull became a significant target for Charles's ire, being besieged in 1642 and again in 1643.

Hull was Yorkshire's second largest town, only York was bigger. It was a very important port and possessed a large arsenal prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Sir John Meldrum led raiding sorties out of the town, during the siege, attacking Royalist positions: a lack of coordination of the Royalist forces would see them fall back to Beverley, and the siege withered away.

The 1643 siege was led by the Earl of Newcastle. After the Royalist success at Adwalton Moor, Royalist troops advanced through Yorkshire with an eye on Hull as their prize. These troops did not endear themselves to the local population plundering and pillaging as they went; their actions in Beverley in particular are noteworthy for their savagery.

Lord Fairfax, commanding the Parliamentarian troops in Hull ordered the land around Hull to be flooded, Parliamentarian navy ships commanded the waters of the Humber, Cromwell would cross the Humber with weapons and powder for the Parliamentarians in Hull, and the Eastern Association marched through Lincolnshire to reinforce the garrison. Newcastle attacked the town but made no real progress, the garrison would counterattack a few days later overrunning the Royalist positions, and Newcastle's men would flee to York. Famously two large siege pieces, Gog and Magog, were captured.

The Beverley Gate has been excavated and has a somewhat insignificant plaque for somewhere so important in British history.

Close by is Ye Olde White Harte, parts of the building date from 1550. Local tradition has it as the home of Hotham, but the bulk of the building dates from the 1660s. Of course, don't forget the very heavy hand of the Victorians in remodelling the building so that it looked like their interpretation of a C17th pub.

Next stop is the Charterhouse: originally a hospital on the site of a Carthusian monastery, the hospital was given over to the town in the 1550s. 

Demolished during the Civil Wars to stop the besieging Royalists from utilising the building, it was rebuilt in 1645 and constantly tweaked and upgraded for the next hundred or so years. there are a number of plaques located on the complex of buildings: the Master's House commemorates the poet Andrew Marvell, whose father was Master of the Charterhouse. 

Located on the 1978 building are two plaques: one for the one-time captain of horse fighting at Adwalton Moor, and regicide John Alured; the other for his brother Colonel Matthew Alured who raised a regiment of foot, and would later serve in the New Model Army.

A BBC news article about the Alured plaques states that there is a blue plaque for another Hull regecide, Peregrine Pelham, located somewhere in/on the Hull Truck Theatre Company building, but I could find no sign of it on the outside of the building. Nor is it listed in any blue plaque registers. Maybe one for future installation?

Beverley, located about 9 miles north of Hull is probably best known for it's Minster. 

I have flown over Beverley a few times in a Seaking during mountain rescue training exercises at nearby RAF Leconfield: the Minster is even more stunning from the air (although it is a little worrying sitting opposite the open side door when the pilot decides to do a sharp turn).

Inside there is an armorial of either Charles I or Charles II. It is usually listed as that of Charles II, but is monogrammed CR not CR II: Charles II's coat of arms usually has a '2' floating above the helmet, and often has 1660 added somewhere. There is no 'II' or even '2' on the arms, nor any date. 

There is also an interesting memorial to Sir Michael Warton, whose son fell in battle fighting for the King. Sir Michael is depicted in full armour.

The land adjacent to Minster Yard South is known as the Parks, and was used at various times during the Wars as a military camp.

The Parks

After being turned away from Hull, Charles would spend three weeks in Beverley, staying in the North Bar area. Only the gateway remains of the fortifications.

The town would be captured and held by Parliament not long after Charles's departure, falling into Royalist hands as Parliament's men withdrew to Hull after their defeat at Adwalton Moor. Newcastle's men would sack the town, literally stripping the town of everything. The Minster remained relatively untouched due to it's connection to the Percy family.

The confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Aire at Airmyn was the location of a Royalist earthwork on Fort Hill. The earthwork was part of the outlying defences of York, this one protecting the river access to the city. Lost beneath farmland and wind turbines the site can be viewed from the footpath on the other side of the river that starts on the High Street.

Wressle Castle was garrisoned by Parliament, the garrison causing considerable damage to the structure during their tenure. The castle saw no action, but would be sleighted in 1648. 

The castle is situated on a private estate, and is occasionally open to visitors.

Postcodes for SatNavs

Beverley Gate, Hull HU1 2HN
Ye Olde White Harte HU1 1JG
Charterhouse HU2 8AF

Beverley Minster HU17 0DP
North Bar, Beverley HU17 7AA

Airmyn, High Street DN14 8LG

Wressle Castle, Wressle, Selby YO8 6ET

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  1. Portraits of Sir Michael Warton's grandson, also Sir Michael (1623-88), Royalist officer, are featured in 'Of Things Collected: NT Ormesby Hall' at

    1. Thanks for the extra local knowledge Phil

  2. Love the ECW travelogue; these old buildings are inspiring for those of us who like to make terrain. Was a lot of red brick used a lot in norther England?

    1. Thanks for the kind words Codsticker.

      As for red brick: I think that may be related to date the building was built rather than locale. It certainly becomes more fashionable to build with brick and stone during Tudor times; it's all about public displays of wealth. Wattle and daub seen as building materials of the poor.

  3. Nice addition to your travelogue collection, I've never had a reason to visit Hull,but at least if I do I will know what to look for!
    Best Iain


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