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Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire

Historical Description

Bridlington or Burlington is a seaport town and a parish in the E.R. Yorkshire. The town stands on a gentle declivity, at the Gipsy-Race river, adjacent to the Hull and Scarborough railway, about½ of a mile from the sea, 6 miles WSW of Flamborough Head, and 30f NNE of Hull. A Roman station probably occupied its site, and a Roman road can be traced in a line from it across the Wolds toward York. An Augustinian priory was founded in the time of Henry I. by Walter de Ghent, and fortified in the time of Richard II. to resist invasion by sea. The surrounding manor belonged to it, and at the dissolution was purchased by the inhabitants. The town received Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I., with military stores brought by her to the neighbouring bay from Holland, and it then was bombarded by the Parliamentarian fleet under Admiral Batten. It now consists chiefly of one long narrow street, but possesses interest for the beauty of its environs, and for its priory church, now the parish church. This was originally 360 feet long, with an Early English choir of seven bays, an Early English transept, a magnificent reredos, and five chapels in one range, and at the beginning of this century was a ruin, but has been restored at various times at considerable cost, mainly under the direction of Sir G. Gilbert Scott, R.A., and now consists chiefly of the nave, 185 feet long, 68 feet wide, and 89 feet high, in the best geometrical Decorated English; contains a hexagonal stone pulpit, and a turbinated madreporite font, and has an east window, constructed in 1861. William de Newburgh, the monkish historian, Thomas Newman, commemorated by a tablet in the churchyard, and Kent the landscape gardener were natives, and several men of note were connected with the priory. A gatehouse of the priory is used as the town-hall, and some cells have been used as a prison and a school. A market-house, with a corn-exchange, was built in 1856. The living is a rectory in the diocese of York; gross value, £364 with residence. There are here or at Bridlington Quay Congregational, Baptist, Wesleyan Methodist, Primitive Methodist, and United Free Methodist chapels, a grammar school, founded in 1637, an endowed knitting school for girls; charities, including the two schools, to the amount of £650 a year; a workhouse, two subscription libraries, a small museum, and several hotels. The town has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Bridlington Quay, a railway station, and two banks, and is a seat of county courts. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and fairs for cattle, horses, and sheep on the Monday before Whitsunday and 21 Oct. A statute fair for hiring servants is held on the nearest Tuesday to 14 Nov. Bridlington is the scene of three of Montgomery's sonnets.

The parish includes the townships of Bridlington and Bridlington Quay, Bucton and Hilderthorpe, the townships and chapelry of Sewerby-with-Marton and Grindall, the chapelry of Speeton, and the hamlet of Easton. Area of urban sanitary district, 2636 acres; of civil parish, 2519 of land and 25 of foreshore and water; population of urban sanitary district, 8916; of civil parish, 6840; of ecclesiastical parish of Bridlington (St Mary), 3761; Bridlington Quay (Christ Church), 4521; and Holy Trinity, 780.

BRIDLINGTON QUAY stands on the shore, on a fine bay, about a mile from Bridlington; is a seaport, a sea-bathing resort, and a coastguard station, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office. It comprises a spacious principal street, descending to the harbour, and some other streets, and is well built and lively. The Victoria public rooms are a Tudor edifice, with embattled tower, built at a cost of, £8000, and include promenade, exhibition, billiard, and news rooms. The church is a structure in the Early English style, built in 1840. The living (Christ Church) is a vicarage in the gift of the Vicar of Bridlington; gross value, £300 with residence. There is also a perpetual curacy (Holy Trinity) in the gift of the Archbishop of York; gross value, £304 with residence. There are hot and cold sea-water baths. The bathing accommodation on the beach is very good, the sands firm, and the views and walks delightful. A spring within high water-mark gives a copious supply of the purest water, intermittent springs are in the neighbourhood, and a chalybeate spring, of similar quality to the springs of Scarborough, is about½ of a mile distant. The harbour has two piers, extending far into the sea, and is defended by a cross battery, and the bay is a commodious anchoring place, sheltered by Flamborough Head and the Smithwick sand. The port is under Hull, and has a considerable trade in corn, malt, and manures. The seats of Boynton, Thorpe-Hall, Bessingby, Sewerby, and Sledmere Park, and some beautiful villas are in the neighbourhood. The harbour was improved in 1867 by an addition to the north pier, and in 1885 was deepened 2 feet. This is a lifeboat station. There are recreation grounds, a sailors' institute, a convalescent home, two churches, a Roman Catholic church, four dissenting chapels, and a sailors' bethel. A sea-fight between three American vessels under Paul Jones and two British ones took place in the vicinity in 1799.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyYorkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBridlington St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBridlington 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in conjunction with various Archives, Local Studies, and Family History Societies have the following parish records online for Bridlington:

Priory (St Mary) 1892-1910  
Christ Church1843-1913 1849-1908 
Holy Trinity1874-1914 1874-1930 
St Mary1564-18121754-18921564-18121564-1812

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bridlington from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for the East Riding of Yorkshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Bridlington are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following East Riding newspapers online:

CountyEast Riding of Yorkshire
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Postal districtYO15
Post TownBridlington