Friday 15 March 2024

Howden Hall East Yorkshire

It's a sunny breezy day - such a relief from the incessant rain - and although the snowdrops have  all finished the daffodils are looking good. A friend came yesterday and we walked around with her phone app identifying what birds were about. Not only did it identify the various types of tits and the wren but also a tree creeper which I know we often had but had not seen  so far this year. And we could also hear the wood pecker hammering away in the ash tree.

Last week I gave a talk at Skelton to the small history group which meets there about Howden Hall. It is well hidden behind its [listed] wall and although there is a lot of information about it in the Howden an East Riding Market Town book which I wrote several years ago with Ken Powls it was interesting to 'revisit' what I knew of its history.

Originally part of the extensive Metham lands for a time the Howden hall estate was a separate manor called Paradise [meaning an enclosure] owned by a family called Har[t]forth.  It can be traced as being in the ownership in the mid 16th century  of Peter Hartforth  who was the Howden vicar or possibly curate.  

Christopher Hartforth was the high constable in Elizabethan times and in the seventeenth century William Hartforth was the owner of the small manor of Paradise.which in in 1644 consisted of house, barn, stables, orchard, windmill and 3 crofts - about 30 acres in all. 

He sold it to the Belt family of Belby who owned it by 1702.

In that year it was sold to the Worsop family who  originated around Adlingfleet and Luddington. Rev Richard Worsop was vicar of Adlingfleet in the late seventeenth century.

Richard and Sarah Worsop were the first of the family to live at Howden. Richard died in 1723 aged 63 and is buried in Luddington. He is described on the family plaque as 'late of Howden'. His widow Sarah died in 1739 aged 77. 

The plaque tells us that they had four sons and three daughters all of whom died young, other than a daughter Sarah who married Samuel Smith a Hull merchant and died in 1740 and a son Richard. When Richard died  in 1758 aged 67 the Worsop property passed to two distant cousins, John and Hester Arthur.  Richard requested in his will that they take the Worsop name.

William Arthur [1675-1741] of Wadworth near Doncaster had married Hester Worsop in 1704. The Arthur family lived at Alverley Hall/Grange. John Arthur, as requested, changed his name by act of parliament to John Arthur Worsop.

So in July 1778 John Arthur Worsop of Alverley Grange married Sarah Mauleverer at Arncliffe second daughter of Thomas. It is said that he was a gambler and mortgaged many of his lands.

They had three children: Hester, Richard and John.  His wife Sarah died in 1790 and is buried at Luddington. He died 1818 and is also buried at Luddington.

After his death his eldest son Richard, who had served in the 11th Dragoons,  took up permanent residence at Howden Hall.

His sister Hester Arthur Worsop had married John Parker Toulson in 1804 at Luddington. They lived at Skipwith Hall.

His brother John Arthur Worsop (1784-1851) had also served in the army during the Napoleonic wars. He married Harriet Hesse Topham in 1806 at Thwing. She was the  daughter of Major Topham of Wold cottage She died in 1810. 

Her obituary described her as having 'the most affable and engaging manners, and  that beauty and countenance, which attracted the notice of all who saw her. She died at the age of 23 years, and has left two infant daughters—as yet unconscious of their loss'.

By 1841 John was living at Landford Manor House in Wiltshire.  The house was also occupied by his son-in-law William Trollope, married to his daughter Maria, and their family. He died on 21 May 1851. 

Back in Howden the story of Richard is not straightfoward. 

Richard Arthur Worshop 

He was educated at Harrow and Magdalen College Oxford where he matriculated  in 1800 aged 19.  He, like his younger brother, served in the 11th Dragoons. So far quite straightforward.  We know he married Mary Ann Moat  at St George's Hanover Square in London in February 1819.

But it seems as if he and Mary were already married [ I cannot find the marriage] as they had at least 6/7 children already. The eldest was Sarah born in July 1812 and the youngest Valentine born in July 1819 [after the marriage]. All these children were baptised in Sculcoates, now a part of Hull.

And who was Mary Ann Moat? We know that her parents were William and Elizabeth [nee Pool] - both were living at Howden Hall in 1841 and a Mary Ann Moat was baptised in Beverley in 1792.

So did Richard and Mary have a first 'secret' marriage'? Was she 'not suitable'? Did Richard's father not approve? We shall never know.

 Richard Arthur Worsop

Mary Ann Worsop nee Moat

But what we do know is that after they moved into the hall they had a further nine children including one born in Edinburgh in 1830 where they had a house. Richard died in 1835. Mary Ann died in 1849 and the hall was then sold.

It was bought by John Banks who was a landowner and shipbuilder and  whose family also owned Brackenholme near Hemingbrough. John owned almost 400 acres and a shipyard at Skelton near Howden.

John Banks and his wife Sarah nee Tennant had had 10 children - seven girls and three boys. Their son James died in 1874 at Wressle castle,  Sarah died in 1877, John died in March 1778 aged 82 and only a fortnight later their son John also died.

John's obituary is below.

John Banks, of Howden Hall.— We regret to report tho death of Mr. John Banks of Howden Hall, which took place on Tuesday. Mr. Banks was one of the oldest inhabitants of ihe town, and  was well-known and esteemed throughout the entire district. He commenced life in comparatively humble circumstances, and raised himself to a position of affluence. ln addition to his Howden estate, he was also a large owner of property in Goole, Selby, and otber places. He was 82 years of age

His memorial and others to the Banks family are in Hemingbrough church.

Then on 28th February 1879 John, son of James, who was only 25 died.

After this the whole of the Howden hall estate was put up for sale in October 1879

Important Property Sale.—On Thursday week, Mr. Robert Brown offered for sale by auction, at Bowman's Hotel, the Howden Hall estate, late the property of Mr. John Banks which included a number of houses, and 137 acres of land. There were in all 27 lots, of which Lot 21, the most important, comprised “the hall, outbuildings pleasure grounds, grass land adjoining:—in all, 55 acres. This was offered subject to the life interest of the Misses Banks and a charge of £3000. The highest bid was £3,600 by Mr. J. Hawke, but the lot was withdrawn. 

Several of the detached dwelling-houses were sold at £400, or rather over; some of the smaller lots were sold at fair prices. The bidding for the land was of a very much less spirited character, only one field being bought at the sale, the price being £200. Several small plots of  ground  sold remarkably well, one of about  three quarters of an acre being knocked down for £260. Mr. Henry Green was solicitor for the vendor, and the attendance was the largest ever known at a property sale at Howden.

In April 1881  Miss Ann Banks aged 45 was living alone in the hall  with a cook and a housemaid. But in September that year at Howden she married Henry Blanchard Anderson a timber merchant a few years older than her whose business was at Howdendyke. Henry and Annie lived lived at the hall until her death in 1897.

Henry died in 1899. His obituary reads

Mr H. B. Anderson, of  Howden Hall, died suddenly yesterday morning the age of 71. Though a native Fimber. near Driffield, he had for over forty years been resident Howden, where he successfully carried the business of a timber merchant. He was a Justice the Peace for the Riding and chairman of the local Conservative Association. For some years he was churchwarden.  He was a Past Master of St Cuthbert's Lodge of Freemasons.

Both Henry and Ann were buried at  Hemingbrough.

In early 1900 the hall was advertised for sale but had no takers.

A report from February 1900 reads that 

at the Station Hotel, Hall, on Thursday afternoon, the Howden Hall Estate was offered for sale by public auction. The auctioneer entertained the company to whiskey and cigars, and then spent half-an-hour in endeavouring to induce a bid, but was reluctantly compelled to declare the sale closed without one offer having been made

The contents were put up for sale in March 1900

Mr. JAMES GLEW is favoured with instructions from the Exors. of the late Henry Blanchard Anderson, Esq., J.P, to SELL BY AUCTION, on Thursday, March 29th, the Valuable Furnishings. Pictures, Electro-plate, Glass, etc., in the Drawing Room, Dining Room, Breakfast Room, six Bedrooms, Bath Room, Box Room, Entrance Hall, Wine cellar, Pantries, Passages, Office, Kitchen, Scullery, Garden, Greenhouse, Yard, etc. 

There is no mention here of the ballroom which is there now. A bit of a mystery as to who had it built and why?

Howden Hall painted by local artist Frances Hutchinson

By 1901 Mrs Elizabeth Wilkinson was living at the hall. She was a 45 year old widow of independent means. Also there was her 17 year old niece Dorothy, a cook, a house maid and a kitchenmaid. Mrs Wilkinson was, before her marriage, Elizabeth Chaplin whose family were large landowners in the Bubwith area. She  had married John William Wilkinson, fourth son of the vicar of Bubwith. He had died in 1899.

Mrs Wilkinson lived at the hall until her death in 1943. She maintained her interest in the Bubwith area and seems to have lived quietly in Howden.

In 1903 for example she gave new carved oak choir stalls to Bubwith Parish Church. The work, which cost about £200, was carried out by Messrs. Jones and Willis, of Birmingham, under the supervision of Mr. M. Wilson, of Sheffield, and included two prayer desks for the clergy.

After the death of Mrs Wilkinson the Howden hall estate was bought by James Edward 'Jimmy' Mortimer and his wife Mary. They had moved from Knedlington manor and he  was something of an entrepreneur having previously owned the Howden airship station.

But soon after moving from Knedlington he died in 1946. His widow Mary died in 1951 leaving the hall to Dr and Mrs Mackenzie of Newport.

The Yorkshire Post reported in May 1951 that 

A doctor and his wife of Newport, East Yorkshire, are undecided whether to occupy Howden Hall, with 52 acres of parkland and gardens, together with two cottages and outbuildings, left to them by the late Mrs. Mary Mortimer, who lived there until last February. Mrs Mortimer left £51,287 (net £50.130, duty paid £7,713). Dr. James M. McKenzle and his wife were both friends of Mrs. Mortimer, whom the doctor had attended for the past three years. Mrs Mortimer's husband died about four years ago. shortly alter they went to live at the Hall. Mrs. McKenzic told "The Yorkshire Post" last night that Mrs. Mortimer had hinted that she might leave the Hall them, but it was not confirmed until after her death. Dr. McKcnzie has been practising the Howden district for about 25 years. 

The Mackenzies remained at Newport and later sold a large part of the estate to the East Riding council who built a new secondary school on the site.

The hall itself has had other subsequent occupiers - bank manager Mr  Harrop and latterly Peter White and his family.


  1. Very interesting, lived opposite at Wood Lane farm all my childhood

  2. Prior to retiring, I had the opportunity to look round the hall some years ago when working on the central heating. Mr Peter White showed me the various nooks and crannies which included the attic rooms where servants quarters were arranged under the tiles. It's a fascinating old building which appeared to have had parts removed/altered over the years as can be seen by study of the external brickwork, particularly on the North West facing walls.
    There must be an extensive structural history which could fill a book.

  3. Is this the house on Hailgate where Susan Harrop and her family lived?

  4. Yes it is where the Harrops lived.