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Barton-upon-Humber in 1835

BARTON-UPON-HUMBER is a market-town of the county of Lincoln, in the wapentake of Yarborough. It is situated on the south side of the Humber, 155 miles north from London, and 33 north by east from Lincoln. The lordship of Barton contains 6,710 acres, and the manorial estates belong to the crown. Barton is a place of considerable antiquity. It was once surrounded by a rampart and fosse, the remains of which are still visible in what are called ‘the castle dykes,’ and was probably otherwise fortified against the aggressions of the Danes and Saxons, who often wasted the country on both sides the river.

At the time of the Norman Conquest, Barton was a place of some importance, and one of the principal ports of the Humber. It was then a corporate town, governed by a mayor and aldermen ; and, until the foundation of Kingston-upon-Hull by Edward I, had a considerable share of trade, which afterwards gradually declined. When Edward III required the sea-ports to contribute ships and men for his expedition against France, Barton contributed five ships and ninety-one men ; but at that time many of our present sea-ports on the eastern coast were not even mentioned. It is now principally noted for being the place where the northern road passes the Humber to Hull ; and the improvements which have been made in the ferry have rendered it a great thoroughfare. Steam-packets cross and re-cross the river every morning and evening for passengers, the distance being about six miles and a half to the opposite bank.

Although there is properly only one parish in Barton, it contains two large churches, the respective districts of which are popularly considered as parishes. St. Peter’s Church appears to have been built about the time of the Conquest. The tower, which is the oldest part of the structure, is regarded as an object of considerable architectural interest. The front of its lower compartment (as represented in a plate of the Gentleman’s Magazine for 1816) presents two rows of pillars, the lower row supporting round, and the higher pointed arches. The windows in the lower and uppermost compartments of the tower have round arches ; but in the blank windows of the middle compartment the arches are also pointed. The living is a discharged vicarage in the archdeaconry and diocese of Lincoln, valued in the king’s books at £19, 4 shillings and 8 pence, and stated to be of the actual value of £250 per annum.

The church of St. Mary is a very handsome structure of the fourteenth century, said to have been erected by the merchants of Barton as a chapel of ease to the older church. The churches are kept in repair by their separate districts, and service is performed alternately at each. The town consists of several well-built streets, with several good inns ; but, besides the churches, it contains no public building that requires notice. A court-leet is held half-yearly at Barton for the cognizance of offences committed in the town, and a court-baron every three weeks, for the recovery of small debts. A considerable trade in corn is carried on in the town, and many of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of bricks, tiles, Paris whiting, ropes, and sacking. The town has a well-supplied weekly market on Mondays, and another for fat cattle once a fortnight. The annual fair is held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Barton contained 776 houses in 1831, with a population of 3,233 persons, 1,689 of whom were females.