Easington is a medium-sized village which nestles in the south east corner of Holderness, East Yorkshire. It is situated about ½ 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 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 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 on his cloak, was unearthed. These finds prove conclusively that the district has been inhabited for a very long time.
The church in Easington is dedicated to All Saints’ and dates from around 1190. It is centrally placed on raised ground, with a surrounding cobblestone wall, and with the older part of the village clustered around it.
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 stone 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; burials now take place at the cemetery on the outskirts of the village. The church’s registers date from 1654 and are complete.
Adjacent to the church stands the so-called ‘Tithe Barn’, a timber-framed and thatched three-aisle building. The structure is thought to be 14th to 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 barn, which was formerly owned by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and used as an ordinary farm building, was later used as a folklore museum housing a number of farming implements and bygone artefacts.
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 in1851. This closed in 1964, and is now a private residence. In 1851 a Wesleyan chapel was built on the eastern fringe of the village, but this too has now closed.
The Square (or market place as it was once called) provides a large focal area in the centre of the village. The village at one time boasted three shops but alas they have all now gone. The last shop to close sat upon 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.
At present there are only two public houses in the village. There used to be three, and a beer house. 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. During World War II the site was used as an R.A.F. observation post. The mill was finally dismantled in the 1960s.
A school 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 were built in 1905 specifically for their use. They maintained watch along the coast from Spurn, Kilnsea and Easington. They were backed up by auxiliaries in the form of L.S.A. (Life Saving Apparatus Company).
Always known as the ‘Rocket Crew’ they used a rocket and breeches buoy to aid 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 along the coast.
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 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 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 after the old Kilnsea village fell into the sea. Ravenser Odd now lies out at sea to the east of 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.
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 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. Initially given a twelve-year life span, due to other discoveries, now 53 years on with various expanded gas terminals it is still going strong. It also boasts the longest under-sea gas pipeline from Norway.
There is also a wind turbine farm to the north of the village and a large wind turbine farm situated offshore. Easington really is in the centre of the energy coastline.
A caravan site with both static, touring and chalet-type accommodation has been in existence on the road leading to the beach since the mid-1960s.
Mike Welton (January 2019)