Compiled by the Parish of Hemingbrough Historical/Heritage Society
All information and pictures are the reserved rights of the Society

  • Memorial Window in St Mary’s Church, Hemingbrough bought by public subcription in the late 1940s.

The first mention of a Parish Clock is in the ‘Terrier’ for the years 1735-6 entered as March 3rd for the new clock £40. William Sympson’s discount for the old clock 4s.6d. The next entry regarding the clock is for 10th April 1776 stating, William Kirlew the clerk agrees to wash the surplice and tablecloth, clean the flagons, wind the clock, mow the church yard, clean the church and ring the bell at 6.0’clock all year found for £2.

 In 1922 a new clock was bought with money raised by public subscription as a First World War Memorial to replace the earlier clock. This is the clock you see today.

This clock was made and installed by G J F Newey of No 7 High Petergate, York an old established firm of clock makers who by 1968 had moved to No 3 Clifford Street. In 1999 the Parish Council agreed a contract with William Potts & Sons, Leeds to clean, overhaul and fit auto winding clock units at a cost of £7,316 plus VAT.

  • The Old Church Clock



The weathercock is mentioned in 1762 when the spire was repaired. Master Ronald Tune is photographed with the copper cockerel in 1922, this was the occasion when it blew over and Ronald was photographed with it before its reinstallation.

In 1987 it was deemed necessary to carry out major restoration work on the church roof and spire at the same time replace the old damaged weathercock with a new one. The damaged cockerel is pictured in 1989 when it was finally taken down, the small black hole is a bullet hole, “history has it”  this was put in by a member of the home-guard.

After repairs were carried out to the spire a new gold plated stainless steel cockerel was placed on top of the spire. The topping out ceremony was filmed by the BBC Blue Peter team and the local schoolchildren were involved before the cockerel was placed on top of the spire in February 1989.



Fire Insurance Marks, or Plaques were first discussed in England on 12th May 1680. The first were Cast Lead, while later ones were Copper plate and later still Tin plate. ‘Phoenix in Flame’ was the first of the Cast Lead Marks made in 1705.  ‘Sun Fire Mark’ an Insurance Company which today is the oldest in existence in the World,  being first established in 1710.

‘Royal Exchange’ Company was formed in 1720. In the early days of Fire Engines and Firemen, fires were extinguished if you had any Fire Mark and your Insurance Company paid the bill.  If you did not have Fire Insurance, you paid the bill.

 Fire insurance plaques today are no more than collector’s items but in the 1700’s the possession of one could mean the difference between your house being burnt down or not.

 Below are two examples of fire plaques.




 In November 2011 Jan Strelczenie, Roland Chilvers, and Eddie Kinsella  set about clearing overgrown vegetation from the ancient causeway in Old Ways.

 This stone causeway across the marshy ‘Old Ways’ is in all probability as old as the 15th Century John de Wessington’s Collegiate rebuild of the Church based on the fact the limestone blocks are the same type.

The reason for the causeway was to connect Hemingbrough and Newhay which had a pedestrian ferry across the river Ouse to the Quaker settlement at Summercroft on to Barlow.

  • Men at Work



The Bell News & Ringers Record’ dated Saturday March 23rd 1907 states, ‘In the two months interval diligent practice has been going on hand bells and the local band have made such progress in minor that several 18-scores have been rung, and a 72 c may come off at any time’. The bells had been selected from the catalogue shown here. I have been given to understand that were used continually until the outbreak of the 2nd World War.

With the coming of peace in 1945 a Mr G.Burt set up a local youth club and trained a group of local teenagers to ring the bells for the Church Carol singers. It is thought the hand bells have remained silent ever since those days.



The  Mort or Mounting stone which stands by the roadside almost in line with the wrought iron gates of St Mary’s church is roughly carved from a single Limestone block, today the steps are so badly worn as to be of little use as a mounting stone for horse riders, but it could still be put to its other use as a Mort stone. A  Mort stone was used in the 1400s when coffin boards or coffins were often carried by bearers to the cemetery from as far away as Barlby or Woodhall, and resting post’s were placed along the roadside




Below are fragments of a storage vessel with simple decoration on the neck and handle. This would be used for storing liquids, the vessel had been fashioned from a smooth light coloured clay and is of the type the Romans used for the transport and storage of wines etc. Also fragments of items found in the 20ft deep wood lined well in the Brickyard.  This vessel  had been black in colour and was unglazed with a wide rim and used for cooking or food storage.

  • Fragments of a storage vessel

These items are now in storage in a local museum

All the information and photographs on this page are by kind permission of our archivist.