Kilnsea (St. Helen)

KILNSEA (St. Helen), a parish, in the union of Patrington, S. division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 8½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Patrington; containing 140 inhabitants. This parish, sometimes called Kilnsea with Spurn, comprehends the narrow neck of land at the south-eastern extremity of the county, terminating in the promontory of Spurn Head. It comprises about 1000 acres, inclosed a few years since, and, with the exception of the promontory, some warren, and marshes, consists of arable land; the soil is strong, and of productive quality, the surface level, the scenery wild, and destitute of wood. The immediate vicinity of the village of Kilnsea has been subject for a considerable time to the encroachments of the sea, and so great have these been of late years, that the part of the village which now remains is situated near the edge of the cliff, and some of the buildings within a few yards of it. On August 1st, 1826, the church, which stood upon the cliff, fell into the water, a fragment of the tower only being left; this for some years afterwards appeared in the form of a picturesque ruin, but it has also been swept away. Divine service has since been performed in a large room. Spurn Head, the Ocellum Promontorium of Ptolemy, had once a wellfrequented port called Ravenspurn and Ravensburgh, which, with its populous market-town of the same name, was washed away early in the fifteenth century; it enjoyed a considerable trade, and sent members to parliament in the reigns of Edward I., II., and III. On the point are two lighthouses, and a few cottages for the life-boat men stationed here by the Hull Trinity House, for the purpose of assisting distressed sailors. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 8. 6½.; net income, £82; patron, G. L. Thompson, Esq., who is also impropriator.

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

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