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The Villages of the Yorkshire Wolds

YO25 9P

Burton Agnes

The A166, which passes through Burton Agnes, narrows slightly, dips and turns as it meanders its way through. In the dip is the village pond which attracts children both young and old to feed the many ducks which make it their home. The Weslyan Chapel stands high on a bank on the road side and was built in 1837. The Chapel now a private residence has a small plaque stating "The ground granted by Sir Henry Boynton 1837".

The village has its own Post Office and village shop and the local public house is The Blue Bell. The locals who lost their lives during the 2nd World War are remembered by a war memorial which stands high on a bank on the main street opposite the pond. There are a few new houses which have been built recently but not as many as one would expect for a rural village which is placed between Driffield and Bridlington and on a major route. This is a good thing as many of the older properties are in keeping with the character of the village and new developments would spoil this tranquil and picturesque place.

St Martin’s Church is basically a Norman building over 800 years old. Its access is under an avenue of beautiful yew trees. It is believed to be the second church to stand on this site and has been altered greatly over the years. There a many curious features within the church and one of a number of monuments is one in memory of Robert Wilberforce, son of the reformer William Wilberforce, who at one time was a rector in the village

The most famous feature here is Burton Agnes Hall. The beautiful 400 year old Elizabethan House is 400 years old and still owned by the ancestors of Sir Henry Griffith who built designed and built it.

The Hall has change little over the years and contains superb carvings and plaster work as well as a fine Alabasta fireplace and a collection of French and English artwork. There are beautiful gardens surrounding the Hall with a maze, hundreds of varieties of plants and giant board games to play.

At the rear of the Hall can be found The Manor House. Built at the end of the 12th Century and like the main hall, is open to the public. Here there is a 17th Century donkey wheel for drawing water from the 12th Century well.

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The Burton Agnes Digital Noticeboard

Message Recieved from : Julian Thompson
Subject : The story of the Grinning Skull

I grew up in the nearby village of Harpham and attended Junior School in Burton Agnes my family have been resident in harpham for 5 generations running one of the Village farms. I remember a story from the house that is one of the most famous 'ghost' stories of this area.

The story of the Grinning Skull
A young lady called Anne Griffith (a member sir Henry Griffiths family) was walking home from the nearby village of Harpham after visiting some friends. Half way home she came across a pair off men under some tree's at the side of the track. Feeling uneasy she hid her hands thus disguising the diamond ring on her finger. Unfortunately one of the men had already seen the ring and started to approach her. They asked for the ring in exchange for her safe passage but when she resisted there approach she was beaten with a cudgel ( a kind of club) and the men then fled. Ann managed to crawl the distance to the gate way of her home at Burton Agnes Hall where she was found by a servant. She was taken to her family but was so badly injured that she died after a few hours. But before she died she asked that her head be removed from her body and that is should remain within the house or terrible things would happen. Not wanting to carry out her unusual request her body was buried in the near by church yard the following day.

On the night of her funeral when everyone had retired for the night strange loud wailing noises and banging doors kept every one up all night. These disturbed evenings carried on for three days. Feeling uneasy about the series of events they decided to exhume her body. When the cask was opened they were faced with her bare grinning skull on her otherwise normal body. Her skull was removed and placed within the house and the tormenting evenings stopped.

A few years later when a new family moved into the house a box was found containing Annes skull and a maid threw it into a cart containing rubbish. The horse pulling the cart would not move no matter how much it was beaten by its owner until the skull was removed from the cart. Upon the local community informing the new owner of the hall of the old story of Annes death the Skull was encased in a wall within the house so that it could never be removed.

Stories from when I was a child said that the skull was buried in the wall behind the picture of Anne on the Main staircase, and that on some evenings her ghost can be seen coming from the picture down the stair case through the house and then down a lane behind the house where she dissapears - possibly checking that all is well within the house.....

Julian Thompson 16/03/01

Message Recieved from : Michael Kendall, at Burton Agnes CE Primary School
Subject : School History

Does anybody have any information about the history of the School buildings or perhaps any old photographs? We should like to include a brief paragraph in our School Prospectus. Thank you.

Message Recieved from : Calvin spoerer
Subject : Alms Houses

Here are also Almshouses for four poor widows, founded, in 1709, by the widow of W. Boynton, Esq. The inmates receive out of an endowment £8 4s. per annum, and a further sum of £2 16s. from Willerby Hagg's farm, in Kirk Ella parish.

I am researching my Great Grandmother Ellen Stephenson who died on the 14th of October 1914. She lived in the Alms Houses, which stood on the south side of the Bridlington Road, just to the west of the cross-roads. The alms houses were built in 1706 and are a legacy of the will of Elizabeth, widow of William Boynton, they were demolished in 1939.

If anyone has a photograph of the Alms Houses I would be eternally grateful the cottages have now been replaced by Hill House.
Please address your mail to :-


Message Recieved from : Calvin spoerer
Subject : In need of Archive news or old photos of the village from 1850 to 1915

This is a transcript from the Bridlington Free Press on the 23rd of October 1914. Are their any inhabitants in the village today who's ancestors are mentioned in the transcript below, who may have any old photographs or village news from that period of time.

An inquest was held into the death of Ellen by the local MP Luke White as follows.

Inquest and Funeral-On Thursday Sir Luke White, MP held an inquest relative to the death of Mrs Ellen Stephenson, aged 73 years, and widow of Mr John Stephenson, of Burton Agnes.

She had died suddenly in her chair about 8 o'clock on Wednesday evening, in the presence of her niece, Mrs, Fanny Hope, wife of stud groom Mr Walter Hope. She had been laughing and talking only a minute before her death. She had been to Nafferton on Monday to see her niece (Mrs Reed) having availed herself of a fine day for the outing. On Tuesday night she complained of having tired herself out with walking, but no further notice was taken of the trouble.

Dr Eccles, of Nafferton told the jury that heart failure had been the cause of death, and a verdict of "Natural Causes" was returned. Deceased will be greatly missed in the parish-in fact she had been greatly indispensable. For a great number of years she had gone out from house to house as a nurse, having turned out at all hours of the night to give a helping hand. Of late years she had been unable to stand night work, but her thoughts had been centred on many a home, as her inquiries had later revealed. The funeral was very largely attended, a tribute of the respect of the parish. She leaves three sons (one, George being in Canada) and two daughters. Messier, W. Down, G Wright, G. Regard, G.Eden, D.Theakston, W.Brigham, R.Brown, and A. Gray. carried the coffin to its last resting-place.

The mourners were Mr and Mrs Stephenson (son Harry of Scalby near Scarborough) Mr and Mrs Reed niece of Nafferton; Miss A Stephenson (Ada daughter); Mr A Stephenson ( Albert son); Mr and Mrs G.Lowe(niece)Fimber;Mr and Mrs Hope(niece)of Burton Agnes; Mrs Vickerman (niece) Kelk; Mrs Raines (niece) Driffield; Miss E Lowe (niece) Burton Agnes; Miss Jackson, Bridlington; Mrs T. Gardiner Bempton; Mrs C. Noddle, Mrs Elgar, Mrs Theakston, Miss Eden, Mrs R.Noddle, Miss Ashby, Mrs Estill, Miss Cook, Mrs A. Milner, Mrs R Brown Mrs Wright.

There were several beautiful wreaths, which had been sent by Harry and Hannah, Ada and Albert, Hannah and William, Walter and Fanny, Mrs and Mrs J lower, Mr and Mrs G Lowe, Mr and Mrs Vickerman, Mrs Baines Mr and Mrs Jackson and family, Mrs Milson, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Harrison, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Harker, Mr and Mrs Estill, and Mrs Duffill, The funeral service was conducted by the rector, the Rev, C. Hutton Coates, M.A.

Message Recieved from : Rosie
Subject : Neighbourhood Watch

A group of us in the village have decided we need a neighbourhood watch.
There are to many youths running around on the School side of the village causing havoc and tormenting some of our residence.
The local police are willing to give us all the support we need.
Is there anyone else in the village who will support us ?

Message Recieved from : Calvin Spoerer
Subject : History of a Resident of Burton-Agnes

After five years of extensive research on the Stephenson family of Burton-Agnes, I have finally been able to put together a significant amount of history with photographs on my web page. There maybe residents in the village today that are a descendant of my Stephenson family whose origins started in the village of Kilham in 1750.

The beginnings of the Stephenson line in Burton Agnes go back to Oliver Stephenson, the local Carrier Who worked with George Arnott and Jane Day, transporting goods on-route to Bridlington, on Wed. and Sat. Oliver also held a position on the village jury between the years of 1830 and 1840, as well as been a jury member Oliver took the position of Deputy constable in the village through the years 1839 and 1840.

The majority of cases that came before the juries in the 1830 were for wilful trespass by cattle and swine on resident's land, in most cases the fines varied between 1/- and 2/-. My earlier entry on Ellen Stephenson ( Collinson) who was my G.G.Grandmother, and born in Burton Agnes gave me the inspiration to research more into my family history.

to visit the website

Message Recieved from : Gregory Gibbs
Subject :
Henry Griffiths memorial

I do not know if anybody can help me, but I would like to know where abouts in Burton Agnes I can find the Henry Griffiths memorial. If I could have this information as soon as possible I would be most greatful.

Message Recieved from : Gerrard Oldham Thompson
Subject :
Need to contact

Would Julian Thompson, author of 'The story of the grinning skull' dated 16/03/01, please contact me urgently.

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YO25 9P
Burton Agnes Hall

Burton Agnes Hall, a beautiful 400
year old Elizabethan House


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