Cowdon or Colden, Great and Little

COWDON or COLDEN, GREAT and LITTLE, an ancient parish, in the union of Skirlaugh, partly in the Middle, but chiefly in the N., division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 3½ miles (S. by E.) from Hornsea; containing 151 inhabitants, of whom 19 are in Little Cowdon. Great Cowdon is described in Domesday book as a berewick, belonging, in the Confessor's time, to St. John of Beverley; and the manor was in the possession of the Archbishop of York at an early period subsequent to the Conquest. At Little Cowdon was a parochial chapel dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, anciently given to the monks of St. Martin, Albemarle, who conveyed it in the 18th of Richard II. to the convent of Kirkstall; the patronage before this time had been exercised by the knightly family of Despencer. The parish is commonly considered a township, sometimes called Cowdons-Ambo, partly in the parish of Aldbrough, but chiefly in that of Mappleton: it comprises by measurement 1503 acres, of which about 800 are in Great Cowdon; one-fourth is pasture, and the remainder arable. The village of the latter place is situated at the very edge of the cliffs, on the German Ocean, and is occupied by a few farmers and persons employed in obtaining gravel from the cliffs. The chapel, with a portion of the village, suffered from the devastations of the sea, and was swept away about half a century since: the living, however, exists, and is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £2. 13. 4., and annexed to the living of Aldbrough. Some time since, the incumbent received £3000 in satisfaction of his claim to tithes.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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