Easington

   
 

Easington is a medium-sized village which nestles in the south east corner of Holderness, East Yorkshire. It is situated about kilometre from the North Sea on its eastern side and two kilometres from the river Humber on the south.

   
 

According to the Domesday survey of 1086 ‘in Esinstone, Morcar had fifteen carucates of land to be taxed, and there may be there as many ploughs, Drogo has now there one plough and thirteen villanes and four bordars, three ploughs and 100 acres of meadow’.

   
 

Archaeology has revealed an even more ancient past, with the discovery of four graves and the near complete burial of a horse, thought to be of a late Iron Age date (c. 200 BC) in a settlement just adjacent to Dimlington. A few years ago a Bronze Age barrow (i.e. a burial mound) close to the sea, dating from around 2000 BC, and thought to be the grave of a leader/warrior was found. A large jet button, possibly a clasp of his cloak, was unearthed. These finds prove conclusively that the district has been inhabited for a very long time.

   
  Jet Button 1063
The jet button found in 1963.
Photo courtesy of Rod Mackey
   
 

The church in Easington is dedicated to All Saints and dates from around 1190. It is centrally placed on raised ground, with a surrounding cobble stone wall, and with the older part of the village clustered around it.

  Easington Church circa 1895
Easington Church circa 1895
   
 

The church has evidence of Saxon foundations, so there was probably another church of some type predating the existing one. The present structure is built of Roche Abbey stone, with a mixture of cobble stones and at a later period some brickwork was added. The church has a tower and three bells. The churchyard was closed for burials in 1883.

   
 

Adjacent to the church stands the ‘tithe barn’, a timber-framed and thatched three-aisled building. The structure is thought to be 15th or 16th century but its actual origins are a little unclear. A round house or engine shed was added at some time, probably in the 19th century.

   
  the Tithe Barn
   
 

In addition to the church, the village has had three chapels in the past: a Primitive Methodist chapel was recorded in a directory of 1823 and another was built in 1851. This closed in 1964, and is now in private hands. In 1851 a Wesleyan chapel was built on the eastern fringe of the village, and this is still in use to the present day.

   
 

The Square (or market place as it was once called) provides a large focal area in the centre of the village. There used to be at least three shops in the village but only one remains. This building sits on the old site of Overton Hall, a large manorial type of structure that was in existence in the 1600s but was demolished in about 1887.

   
  Overton Hall
A pen and ink drawing of Overton Hall.
   
 

At present there are three public houses in the village. In the 19th century at least two other ‘beer houses’ were recorded. Easington once boasted a windmill: a mill was recorded in 1260 and a mill was operational until the late 1920s and was only finally dismantled in the 1960s.

   
 

A school and school-house has been present in the village since 1860, with various additions over the years. It was finally closed in 1992 with the construction of a new school building in High Street.

   
 

The Coastguards were present in the village from as early as the mid-19th century, and somewhat later a row of houses was built in 1905 specifically for their use. They maintained watch along the coast from Spurn and Kilnsea, and were backed up by auxiliaries in the form of L.S.A. (Life Saving Apparatus Company) who used a rocket and breeches buoy for mariners in distress. The full time Coastguards left Easington in the late 1980s, but a contingent of auxiliaries continue to maintain their presence with patrols and watch keeping from then until the present day.

   
 

Although Easington village has expanded over the years, conversely the parish has become reduced in area due to coastal erosion. At one time the parish of Easington included the villages of Turmarr, Hoton, Northorpe, Dimlington, Old Kilnsea and Ravenser. These places have now been lost to the ever encroaching sea, and many of them had disappeared before the end of 1400. The town of Ravenser Odd was situated to the east of the present Spurn Point, and it is recorded that it suffered inundation from the sea in 1355 when many of the human remains that were interred there were removed and reburied in Easington churchyard after being exposed by the sea. One of the bells now in Easington church is said to be from Ravenser chapel. A new village was constructed at Kilnsea in the 19th century and Ravenser Odd now lies out at sea to the east of the present Spurn Point. In Easington there is still a place known locally as Turmarr Bottoms, which is a section of cliff and sandy beach. There is also a collection of houses named Turmarr Villas so the name lives on!

   
 

The village of Easington had land and property in four separate manors: the manor of Easington, Kilnsea and Skeffling; the manor of Dimlington; the manor of Thornton; and the rectory manor. The act of enclosure took place at Easington in 1771.

   
  Map of Easington 1771
The map shows the centre of Easington in 1771
   
 

Easington has been a fairly self-sufficient village in the past, with a variety of trades flourishing within it. At various times butchers, grocers, drapers, shoe-makers, straw bonnet makers and milliners, blacksmiths, tailors, wheelwrights, coal dealers, builders, a surgeon and even a taxidermist have all been recorded in directories. The predominant occupation of the area has been agriculture, but a certain amount of fishing was also carried out. A Royal National Lifeboat Institute lifeboat was stationed here from 1913 to 1933.

   
 

In 1966 life in Easington changed due to the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea, and Easington became the first place in England to have a gas terminal, where the pipeline came ashore on its doorstep. Over the last 40 years the gas terminals have expanded, and the village has recently received gas from Norway via the world’s longest under-sea gas pipeline. In addition to the gas terminals, there is also a wind turbine farm just to the north, so the area does indeed rate as quite a concentrated energy coast line.

   
 

A caravan site with both static and touring caravans has been in existence on the road leading to the beach since the mid 1960s.

   
  Ariel Shot of Easington
An aerial shot of the village, showing both the gas terminal and the caravan site.
The new school is in the fore-ground.
Photo courtesy of Taylorsyms.
   
 

Michael A. Welton (January 2007)