A manor house existed in Easington in 1260, but had probably disappeared by 1470. Thomas de Overton of Easington was the first Prior of Haltemprice in Cottingham, and another Overton, also called Thomas, was a Baron of the Exchequer in 1403.
The Overtons held land for three or four centuries in the Easington area. A John Overton held land in Easington from about 1560 onwards and a Christopher Overton held land in 1608. Another John had land in 1697. Colonel Robert Overton was the Governor of Hull in 1659-60.
A ghost story
A certain Rev. Edmund Spencer came to believe in ghosts while serving as a private chaplain to Colonel Robert Overton at the now demolished Easington Hall in the 1600's. His story is quite literally haunting. In a letter to a non-conformist minister, he says the rooms commonly said to be disturbed were the garret and the three bed-chambers. He reports:
"I heard things frequently in the night as if a person came up the back stairs into those rooms and walked up and down the next room to me, and when it went down the stairs it was as if a woman descended, and her coat swept the stairs".
A servant repeatedly told the Reverend Spencer that a copper had been filled overnight ready for hot water in the morning, but blood had been found in it the next day. Milk was spoilt in the same manner. No amount of locked doors prevented the spoiling even though the clergyman himself attempted to stop it.
The Hall was situated to the east of the village square and on the south side of Seaside Road. The map from 1770 shows the Hall which was then owned by Sir William Milner.
It was recorded in 1672 that the Hall had 10 hearths. The Overtons lived there at that time, and it was often called the Manor House or Easington Hall. It was quite a large structure with a short wing at either end. The Hall contained an oak panelled apartment, decorated with portraits of the Kings of England from the Conquest to Charles II.
In Easington Church there is a marble plaque to John Overton Esquire and to his wife Joan, who died before 1651. During the English Civil War John was a faithful follower of Charles I and despised the Roundheads.
The inscription on the tablet reads;
THIS MONUMENT SPEAKS THE MEMORY OF THE DECEASED
BUT NEVER TO BE DIVIDED JOHN OVERTON ESQ AND JOAN
HIS WIFE WHO LIVED BELOVED AND DIED LAMENTED
THEIR SACRED DUST ONE GRAVE CONTAINS UNTIL THE TRUMP OF
GLORY SHALL UNITE THEIR BODIES TO THEIR SOULS
PRETIO PRUDENTIA PRAESTAT
NE FAMAM PERIMAT MARMOR LONGAEVA VETUSTAS
VENTURIS MEMORA NOMINA GESTA VIRIS
NON OPUS HAEC ARTIS CONATU PINGERE TANTO
INCLYTA VIRTUTES SUNT MONUMENTA SIBI
NIL DECORAT LONGO CENSERE SANGUINE MENTES
SED QUAE NOBILITAT MENS GENEROSA VIROS
qUID MULTISS LECTOR VERAE VIRTUTIS IMAGO
CONDITUR HIC SINE QUA STEMMATA SPRETA IACENT
BE INDEX MARBLE TO THEIR FAMES
RECORD THEIR VIRTUES WITH THEIR NAMES
WHICH ART NEEDS NOT TO REPRESENT
VIRTUE ITS OWN VIVE MONUMENT
FOR BLOOD NOT MINDS BUT MINDS ADORN
THEIR BLOOD WHO RE BETTER THAN GREAT BORN
IF SO KNOW READER IN ONE WORD
HERES MORE THAN MADAM OR MY LORD
ROBERTUS FILIUS MAERENS
SCRIPSIT ANNO 1651
The Overtons sold the Hall and lands to William Milner in 1720, and in 1771 at the parliamentary enclosure of Easington, Sir William Milner was allotted 88 acres of land. His son, Sir William Mordant Milner, sold the land to Robert Taylor in 1796. He died in 1798, and the land was sold in 1800 by his trustees to Robert Linsdall, later passing through other hands.
The Hall was much altered during the 19th century, and had been split into three tenements. In 1887 it was purchased by Mr Robert Webster and it was demolished soon after. A shop and three dwelling houses were built adjacent to the site of the old hall and they still carry the name of Overton to the present day (2007).
During road resurfacing in 1978, evidence of some foundations in front of Webster's shop were exposed. Possibly this was a garden wall of Easington Hall.
Michael A. Welton, January 2007