celebrating ancient villages linked by a
Folk Museum & Family History Centre
inside The Old School
manned entirely by friendly volunteers ~~ and we need more !
Grade II Listed built 1859 * * * click here for full image
HERE to see our new case! . . . . Thanks Ken!
the oldest former council school in Hull
still used for educational purposes
This website, and all its associated pages, is brought to you
by the Sutton & Wawne Museum, inside the Old School, Sutton on Hull.
WELCOME TO OUR WEB SITE
A very warm welcome to all our visitors,
and especially to all those
ex-Sutton & Wawne folk who
may have long since left these 'gentle climes'
for other abodes in the far corners of this globe.
With special greetings for those of you now settled
in South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
the USA, and anywhere within this great world-wide
family of English-speaking peoples.
For all of you who were born and worshipped,
were married here, or have loved ones resting here -
to you all, wherever in the world you live now,
an especially warm welcome indeed.
We're pleased you have discovered us -
If you click the music button, near the bottom of the Menu Bar
on the left, you can hear a short peal of Sutton's bells.
They were added at Christmas, 2003.
Photos of all 14 CWGC War Graves in St James' churchyard
are now posted on the appropriate page.
This was finally fulfilled in time for Armistice Day, 2009.
Photos of the 5 Family Graves and Memorials were added
in time for Armistice Day 2014.
If you happen to be viewing from 'somewhere warm'
and miss the freshness of Sutton in former years ago,
perhaps you'd like to see our Little Slideshow
. . . or a couple of tiny bits of video of Sutton Churchyard,
now working again at the very end of the Photos Page.
At the last count, this website comprises about 70 pages
of assorted content, from serious history to local events,
plus a few items in a 'more light-hearted' vein,
as well as containing over 500 images.
Folk from the general Hull area may
well find these pages of interest.
May you all enjoy your visit
and brief stay with us.
We hope you will call again.
And of course, if you have a Family History
query we can help with . . .
Click the bar of chocolate to see a History of The Old School
Accessing Our Site
There are several ways to access all of it, either by
clicking on any of the buttons in the left-hand menu
or via the many other 'links' scattered around this page.
For family historians, there are the lists of graves in
St James' and St Peter's churchyards,
pages on the history of both churches, and the photo collections
from past vicars and headmasters plus written archives of local families.
For Social Historians, we have a veritable 'museum' of folk history,
with hundreds of artefacts on view representing
every-day village life in decades past.
If you happen to have reached this page directly and
the side menu is not yet visible, you can click
the green button below to access it.
Several links are also on the inter-active aerial views
of each village, shown just below here. Clicking on the
Churchyard in Sutton goes directly to the list of graves,
or clicking on the Village Hall in Wawne goes to their website.
Sorry, can't do anything for mobile phones at the moment;
even tablet browsing is not easy,
but being able to knock off the side menu
and just use the buttons below helps a little.
Where are we . . . ? - where are these ancient villages in relation to each other ?
Back to the Start Page
The Historic Villages
of Wawne and Sutton on Hull
and the 'red kite'
we were anciently known as
'Waghen' and 'Sutton-in-Holderness'
until around the 17th-18th Century
the map to the right showing their
proximity, on the northern outskirts of
Hull about 3 miles, or 2.7km, apart.
line of the old lane that connected them is now Wawne Road. It ran
along the low ridge that kept the trackway just above the floodplain,
the very track that villagers of ancient Sutton had to walk along to
attend mass at St Peter's Church in Wawne, at the time when their own
church was merely a tiny chapelry of St Peter's.
For over 700 years ago, Wawne was the 'senior' church or village, and Sutton's chapel the 'daughter' church. Though an earlier
building to the present St Peter's is thought to date from well before
the Norman conquest, the earliest known historical references date from
Until the 'new' St James' at Sutton was built, the one we see today, and then consecrated as a new and
separate parish in 1349, all burials had to be held at St Peter's. It
was along this lane that mourners would slowly proceed, carrying their
coffin, winter or summer, wet or fine, to bury their dead.
For well over 400 years, life in both villages moved through the
various changes and upheavals in English life, occasionally ravaged, touched or
influenced by some, but by-passed by many. Kings and Queens, civil wars and
insurrections, all came and went, but undoubtedly the biggest change came
with the industrial revolution, and most notably the biggest visible
sign in Sutton of that revolution, like thousands of villages nationwide, was the coming of the railway.
From that time on, in 1864, Sutton increasingly became a 'dormitory' village of
Hull, and increasing in size year on year as that nearby whaling and fishing town
also grew in both size and wealth to give us more or less what we have
It is my personal belief that had the new railway first taken a slightly more northerly course on leaving Hull, so following lower ground nearer to the river to avoid cutting through the slightly higher ground that was Sutton, it would have passed more equally between the two villages, before then turning roughly east towards Swine as it did after passing through Sutton. Perhaps then the station would have really been titled, "Sutton on Hull & Wawne," and Wawne would have benefitted more too. There were many stations so titled when two places shared the same railway. Money often played a big part, when a wealthy landowner paid or bought shares in the railway company to have the line pass through his estate, and thereby often got a 'free' station for his own use.
We can speculate that our fabled station might well have been on that same lane, perhaps near where "The Swallow" pub is now just south of the Wawne Drain. The area immediately around would surely have grown up long before, as it did some 100 years later when Bransholme estate was built.
As it was, trudging 3 miles to the nearest station in Sutton was better than no station at all, or else traverse the muddy 5 miles or so directly down through Stoneferry into Hull. Perhaps there was marginal benefit to Wawne after all.
My circles on the map mark the centre of both parishes, and show both villages appear to be well separated. And so they are now.
Newcomers to Hull and it's history could be forgiven for thinking that first Bransholme, and then Kingswood, were always there. But it wasn't always so.
see more of the map in a new window
This year, 2017, Bransholme is just 50 years of age, and the even more recent Kingswood still but a pup. The estates, now comprising what is in effect a small town, were born out of the remnants of what had been the 'Abercrombie Plan' devised for Hull after the massive destruction of the Blitz. As well as slum clearance that would have happened anyway, some 80% of the city's housing stock was destroyed or damaged in the wartime bombing. Hull needed a lot of new homes.
Even more folks may be surprised to know that it was never originally intended for Hull's new 'dormitory town' to be built on the flood plain where it is now - but first planned for the slightly more highly elevated fields and woods around either Rise Park, to the north east beyond Skirlaugh, or equally well to the east at Burton Constable! Come into the museum and view our copy of the Abecrombie Plan - we have the maps of what was first proposed and it certainly was not what we have now.
All of Bransholme, Sutton Park and Kingswood, were virgin fields, frequently flooded from an untamed River Hull in winter, but dry enough to graze cattle in summer. There were several dairy farms, but two of them, Low and High Bransholme, gave the area it's name today. Wawne Drain, one of several dug by the monks of Meux, was always the boundary between the two ancient parishes, and would be so today had not the very new St John's been built on Wawne Road itself.
The actual shape of the historic Sutton parish is even more of a surprise, for only a fraction of that parish is shown on the map above. Until 1887,
it's former shape could be roughly likened to this mishapen red kite, where the wobbly tail extended way to the south, right down Cleveland Street to the north side of Witham, and thence north back up Dansom Lane. The west side of the wobbly tail was the course of the River Hull. The white cross marks the relative position of St James' Church in Sutton village, and the white line that of Witham and Holderness Road today. The green cross is the area of Stoneferry, the mauve cross is Wilmington, and the green circle denotes the area known as 'The Groves', or anciently, the 'Growths'. It was very wet around there, the river bursting its banks with monotonous regularity until better drainage was installed in Victorian times. In fact, it flooded annually even all down Witham to even as recently as the 1950s. Click the graphic to enlarge it.
Thus all of Stoneferry, Wilmington and St Mark's in the Groves (or Growths, to give it's even older title) were areas whose inhabitants were often baptised, married and buried in St James' churchyard in Sutton village itself, leading to much confusion today amongst family history researchers. As an aside, it's worth pointing out here that another minor point for confusion is that St James' at Sutton is often mistaken for the war-damaged - and since demolished - church of St James', in St James' Square just off Hessle Road behind the ARCO building.
The 1881 Census was the last to record Lime Street and The Groves as being in Sutton Parish. Increasing industrialisation brought the numerous new terraced streets and tiny courts housing those thousands more inhabitants up both sides of Cleveland St. They were folk who would eventually gain their own parish churches - St Mark's consecrated in 1887 was one - and so the old Sutton parish was divided up.
Before we leave 'Lime St', it is worth mentioning the connection with the famous hymn tune, 'Melita', known to generations of Royal Navy seamen as "Eternal Father, Strong to Save ...". The man who wrote that tune, and set those now famous words, was Rev. John Bacchus Dykes, born in 1823 down Lime St. He later became a lifelong abolitionist and good friend of William Wilberforce, amongst many others. It is of particular note to us that baby John was baptised in St James' Church in Sutton, perhaps our most notable example of one born so far away from Sutton village but baptised there, because it was his family's parish. Another of his many famous hymn tunes was 'Holy, holy, holy." How many times has that been sung in St James' over the past 150 years and folks had no idea of the connection. A great deal more detail of John's life may be found on a PDF page, at Hull University,
HERE in a new browser, written by Robb Robinson.
A 'stylised' map of the immediate Groves area shows the very southernmost extent of Sutton Parish until 1887,
though St Mark's Church itself is just off this map a hundred yards to the north, beyond Mulgrave Street. The map can be seen here, on clicking this thumbnail.
The red kite lost its tail.
Or maybe it was a red flatfish.
Nav Buttons for Tablet Browsers
are at the very top, and very end, of this page