A Brief History of Barrow on Humber

669 The Mercian King gave an estate called aet Bearuwe, which is an area of land including Barton and Barrow, to his Bishop Chad for the foundation of a monastery (probably a wooden structure in Barrow or at the Castledyke cemetery in Barton). This estate split into two parts (Barton and Barrow) in the 11th Century.

This page will give a brief history of Barrow after this point.

Early History

There is early evidence of Saxon occupation (8th to 11th centuries) in Barrow.  This is near to Down Hall which was one of the manorial centres of Barrow and a possible location of the monastery of St Chad. (Excavations in this area in the 1970s found remnants of a stone church and a heavily used burial site).

In 971 AD the boundaries and land of Barrow was set out. Up to 1066 the village of Barrow belonged to the Saxon Lord, Morcar, Earl of Northumberland.  By 1086 William the Conqueror had given it to Dorgo de Beuvriere, Count of Aumale. William le Gross, the Count of Aumale, founded Thornton Abbey in 1139 and soon after Barrow became part of it.  After the dissolution of Thornton Abbey in the 16th century by Henry VIII the land passed to the Crown and was sub-let to families.

Later History

Just before 1700 Henry Harrison and his family moved into a cottage in Barrow (On Barton Lane).  Henry Harrison became a parish clerk until his death in 1728.  He had a son, John Harrison, who became the famous clock maker.  John Harrison's younger brother James was also a clock maker.  John Harrison was, of course, famous for developing a clock that would remain accurate on board a ship with violent extremes of movement and temperature.  John Harrison died in 1775.  The cottage the Harrison family lived in was demolished in the 1960's.

Around 1782 the first Methodist Chapel was built in Barrow, in 1789 Barrow Hall was built for George Uppleby and between 1780 and 1784 the Independent Chapel was built.  In 1801 the population of Barrow was a mere 926.

Between 1797 and 1803 the Parliamentary Enclosure took place in Barrow.  This replaced the Mediaeval open field system surrounding the village with the carefully surveyed straight hedge system. Pre-enclosure saw five areas of low lying pasture and meadow along the Humber, these being West Marsh, The Castles, The Ings, Ox Marsh and Summer Croft, and four open fields, these being Water Mill Field, Tarry Garth Field, Beck Lane Field and Stone Pit Field.  After enclosure these were divided into special allotments and general allotments.  The main land owners after enclosure were Marmaduke Nelson Graburn (248 acres, 1 rood, 32 perches), Joseph Hooper (192 acres, 2 roods, 25 perches), New College Oxford (154 acres, 3 roods, 24 perches), Joseph Smith (144 acres, 2 roods, 28 perches), John Hardy (137 acres, 0 roods, 24 perches), George Uppleby (135 acres, 2 roods, 96 perches) and Lawrence Wilkin (116 acres, 3 roods, 32 perches).  There were many other land owners all owning less than 100 acres.

In 1805 Robert E. Johnson (of Barton) had the Vicarage built and by 1811 the population was 1129.  In 1814 Holly House on Thorngarth Lane was built.  The population rose to 1307 in 1821 and was 1334 by 1831.  In 1833 the Primitive Methodist Chapel opened and by 1841 the population was 1662.  In 1843 the Temperance Hall was built and in 1844 the Infant School was founded.  By 1851 the population had grown to around two and a half times that of 1801 to 2283.  In 1857 the Church underwent major restoration with alterations done by DW Ashton of Hull, and the Barrow Gas Works were established.  In 1861 the population was 2434 and three years later Foresters' Hall was built.  In 1869 there was further restoration of the parish church and by 1871 the population was 2517.  In 1881 the population was 2711 but went down slightly in the next ten years, to 2695.  In 1895 the school (which was previously in Foresters' Hall) moved to the new National School.  In 1901 the population was 2808 and by 1921 it had risen to its largest total of 2959. By 1981 the population had dropped to 2502.

Barrow on Humber is still a thriving village and there are many old and interesting areas to see there.  To get to Barrow from Barton simply follow Barrow Road east out of the town and after a few minutes Barrow will appear.


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