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



Last year we were contacted by Mr Edward Stables of Hemingbrough who had historical documents relating to his family who were farmers in the area for many years.  We were offered these documents which dated back to the years 1700-1800s, there were about 50 documents which included wills, probate, mortgage and lease holds, the documents cover the area of York, Hemingbrough and Beverley, were in good condition and readable in the parchment of the time. Most of the documents have the wax seal of the era, some have the stamp of King George III stamp act of 1765 like the one below.

Stamp pic



The stamp tax was a tax levied against paper items. A printer or law clerk was required to pay tax for the use of paper or vellum onto which he would write out an indenture after having paid the necessary tax he would fix the stamp onto the document to show that he had dutifully paid the tax. The stamp is embossed with the King’s insignia.

The Stamp Act of 1765  was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that imposed a direct tax on the British colonies and plantations in America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp.  Printed materials included legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers, and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies. Like previous taxes, the stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money. The purpose of the tax was to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. However, the colonists had never feared a French invasion to begin with, and they contended that they had already paid their share of the war expenses. They suggested that it was actually a matter of British patronage to surplus British officers and career soldiers who should be paid by London. The Stamp Act was very unpopular among colonists. A majority considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent—consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers pressured Parliament because their exports to the colonies were threatened by boycotts. The Act was repealed on 18 March 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever” by also passing the Declaratory Act a series of new taxes and regulations then ensued—likewise opposed by the colonists.

Mr Stables grandfather owned Manor Farm on Water Lane in Hemingbrough, the family left the farm around the late 1970s and the land surrounding the farmhouse was sold and houses built on it.  The farm house was left empty and in 1984 was derelict and eventually sold, knocked down and houses built on the plot.  When the farmhouse/land was sold the local bank in Selby passed on these old documents to the Stables family who have had them in storage for a number of years.  After having a clear out they didn’t want to keep these documents or destroy them and contacted the Society to ask if we would take them.

We were happy to take these documents and have managed to scan a few of the smaller ones which you can see below..  With the consent of Mr Stables the Society contacted East Riding Archives with a view to gifting these documents to the ERA for safe keeping and future generations to browse.  The ERA were delighted to take these documents which are now in their very safe hands.

  • Document dating to 1794



The pictures and information were kindly given to the society by Steve Bainbridge who spent many hours restoring the BOCM hand cart and pump and now travels to different shows and rallies over the country displaying the cart, pump and various artifacts and memorabilia he has collected over the years.

  • Olympia Mills Dennis Pump restored

The Hand Cart is made by fire engine and equipment maker Shand Mason who were in business until around 1912 so making the cart earlier than that, probably bought new when the factory was named the Olympia Oil and Cake Company. The only further information I have is when I got the cart it had been changed to carry foam equipment which was probably done for the Second World War needs, so it had a long service record.

The Trailer Pump was manufactured by Dennis Brothers Fire engine Manufactures and was new in 1939 probably to bolster the factory’s wartime fire cover I was led to believe that a National Fire Service Division was based at the factories fire station over the wartime period.

These pieces of equipment were rescued when the factory closed the fire station. They were covered in thick dust and animal feed. I have taken the hand cart to various shows over the years and will be doing this year.

The Dennis Pump has been stored in my garage waiting restoration which now that I have retired I can get on with it.

I once met a former BOCM fireman by the name of Frank  Bosworthwick aged 99 who shared a few stories the one I remember was how he said it was not a glamorous job as they were used to ladder work were often called upon to clean the spouts etc. of the factory



  • 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.