Monthly Archives: February 2011

Kingston Upon Hull

Driving along the eastern coast of England next to the North Sea, we found ourselves leaving Scarborough where the fair had been held as a 45-day event starting mid August to the end of September. Norway, Denmark and the Baltic States came to the English fair.  In 1383 prosperity of the fair slumped and closed in the 17th century but was started again in the 18th century.  Alas, it finally ended in 1788, but there was a Fair in July 2006 with Medieval Jousting Competitions. 

North Froddingham was our next stop; I found the church where my Thomas Beecroft was christened in 1772. Notice the moss growing on the steeple.

 The older stones  surrounding the church from the 1700s have not survived the harsh wind and rain (unreadable) and are no help at all. The only ones that survived are the inscriptions within the church and those under trees. As I was taking photos, a gigantic group of bicyclists flew (about 50) by on their bikes.  Right away they knew we were tourists.

After arriving in Kingston Upon Hull, we bought a city map at a petro station.  Even with a map it was hard to find the churches I was seeking.  I had no clue that this would be so hard. We still had to ask someone how to find Holy Trinity.  We had walked 5 to 6 blocks in the wrong direction. Found Holy Trinity and St. Mary’s was only just down the block from it.  

Now, my Robert Dobson from York had wanderlust and moved his family from York to Hull. His daughter Margaret met Thomas Beecroft who had moved from North Froddingham to Hull. They were married at Holy Trinity in 1792.  Robert and his wife Ann were both buried there. I found the street where they had lived but the buildings had been demolished and turned into a car park.
Just my luck; Holy Trinity was closed, they were renovating this church and St. Mary’s. My great great grandmother Emma Beecroft was christened at Holy Trinity. She and her family joined the Mormons, took a train to Liverpool, boarded a ship to America and crossed the plains to Utah.

St. Mary’s was a Scottish church where my William Fraser married Catharine Cripps (he was from King Edward, Aberdeen, Scotland).  Their daughter Isabella Fraser married Henry Beecroft (parents of my Emma). They are the ones who became pioneers and crossed the plains not only once but a second time as well.

Thornton le Dale

This absolutely delightful cottage took my breath away and is apparently one of the most photographed cottages in England.  In front of this cottage is a clear stream of slowly moving water that runs throughout the village, reminding me of a calm running river filled with trout.  Talk about picturesque and quaint, it was the very essence. We stopped in Thornton le Dale because that is where our Dobson family had lived before they moved to the large compacted city of people in York.
Thornton le Dale Church
After walking about, looking at tombstones in the front and back of the church, we decided to travel onward toward my goal of reaching Kingston Upon Hull.  If I had known how quickly we could reach the eastern side of England, we would have spent a bit more time in York and Thornton le Dale.  Oh well, such is life!

Green Door in York

What’s behind that green door?  It’s so small too! Is there music? Can I come in? Oh, if we only had more time to explore the green door and York but we were on a schedule.  


We did, however, climb the stairs on Bootham Bar, looked out cross shaped holes that were made for weapons when the guards were guarding the city, walked the stone wall that surrounded the city.  We could look right into people’s backyards from the wall.  I would really hate it if my house was next to a wall where people could look into my backyard.  Where’s the privacy? One clever thing was that a lot of yards had steps up to the wall so maybe, the guards lived in those houses at one time and that was their way to go to work.  Bar was a gate and gate was a street – part of the Viking language.

The Shambles

While looking for another church in York, we came across the Shambles.  Walking was very difficult on the cobblestones within this narrow walkway. Being the oldest street in Europe and also being mentioned in the Domesday Book, it has become a tourist area full of quaint little shops.  Originally, it was a street of butchers.  Some places in the street are so narrow that if you stand in the middle with outstretched arms, you can touch houses on both sides.  


A lady who lives in York stopped to chat with us because I asked if she knew where Christ’s Church was.  She had no idea.  As we came out of the Shambles, it opened up into King’s Square and right in the middle was a monument and a tree dedicated to the very church that I was searching for. Looking at the brick flooring, we found that there was still epitaphs of the departed who were buried there. This church that is no longer there was where my 4th great grandmother was christened in 1773.


Not far from King’s Square, we found a Thai Restaurant which by the way, had excellent food.  I kept hearing that the food in the UK was awful and boring but apparently, those people are ones that go on tours and only eat where the tour buses stop. 
One of the very intriguing gates of York:
Michael Bar

I love the City of York

Can I state it again?  I loved York.  It was fascinating – the shambles, boat trips, ghost story tales, Roman ruins, my ancestors lived there, the vikings, there was never enough time to do all that I wanted to do and see in York.  I want to go back. 

Right next door to York Minster was St. Michael Le Belfry;  my 5th great grandfather Robert Dobson married Ann Haddock in 1768 in this church. He was a basket maker so he needed to be in a city where he could sell his wares.  

With my luck, the church was closed so I could not go inside. Being the last pre-reformation church to be built in York (1525 to 1536) by John Forman, it was called Le Belfry from its closeness to the bells in the SW tower of York Minster.  It is the only ancient church in the city that was completely erected at one time. To walk the streets and see the churches where my ancestors were married and christened, just gives me chills.  It is an incredible feeling that is hard to describe.



We stayed at the Cottage Hotel at 3 Clifton Green but I would not recommend it because it is above a pub which was rather loud and noisy.

All Saints Pavement Church is where my Robert was christened in 1780.  His family was hard to find because sometimes it was written as Dopson; apparently, back when spelling was not an issue, Dopson and Dobson were interchangeable.

All Saints Pavement Church stands in the center of the earliest paved streets; hence the name. It is mostly 14th century although there has been a church there on this site since Saxon times.

Small green door.  Darla is only 5’5″ and she is taller than the door. Does anyone remember that song about the green door?

York -York Minster was astounding

We found a map of the city at the museum.  We used the map to do a walking tour. From the map we discovered that the ruins on the grounds adjacent to the museum was St. Mary’s Abbey.



The first gate we passed through on our way to York Minster was Bootham Bar (they called their gates Bar).

Bootham Bar still has the walls attached to it on both sides that was part of the Roman fortress. The walls connected to four gates and surrounded the city. It is the oldest gate in York; parts of the gate date from the 11th century but most was built during the 12th and 13th centuries.


We walked through the gate without knowing any of this history and onto York Minster which took my breath away.  



It is so large that it is hard to get the whole building in a photograph. Below is a shot of the ceiling inside in one section.

The astronomical clock

The apostles. 

One of the large chapels; there were more chapels in this gothic cathedral which just amazed me. This is the largest gothic cathedral in Europe. There were small chapels on the sides, large chapels in the middle – it was absolutely astounding.  I have never seen anything like it.

The west window.