Village History

Sewerby Village is mentioned in the Doomsday book - read on for more information about our heritage!

History of Sewerby

Part 1

The Village of Sewerby
(As Spelt Through the Ages)
Year Name
1086 Siuuardbi , Siward Bi
1284 Sywardby
1312 Siwardeby , Sywardeby , Syuuardby
1315 Seuerdby , Siwardeby , Sywardby
1346 Sywardeby
1650 Sewrby
The Domesday Book

In 1086, William the Conqueror had a complete survey of England drawn up, showing the former and present owners of land. At this time, much of the land in Sewerby was owned by Carle and Torchil, and so it is noted in the Domesday Book that; "In Siwardbi, Carle and Torchil had two manors, of six carucates and a half. It is now waste."

This indicates the origin of the name: It was the (by) abode of Siward. (This is a Danish personal name, and one who bore it was the Governor of Northumbria). And, that Sewerby had two manors which were owned by Carle and Torchil, though no subsequent reference deals with more than one. And finally, that after William put down the English revolt in 1069, much of the land was now waste.

(Carucate - Measurement of land in Danish Counties, the equivalent of a hide (approx 120 acres). Used in Domesday for tax purposes. See for more info) .

The two manors, formally owned by Carle & Torchil, were passed down in 1086 to Robert Count of Mortain (the Earl of Cornwall) who was the half-brother to William the Conqueror. Though, in the year 1088 Count Robert had his estate confiscated after he participated in the revolt against William The Conqueror's son, William II who was by now King. Count Roberts under-tenant was Richard de Surdeval who was born in 1023 in Sourdeval, Normandy. He was the father of Maud de Surdeval who married Ralph Paynel. The estate of Mortain thus passed to the Paynel family and then on to the Archbishops of Canterbury. The land was then held for them by the Meynells. The Meynells granted the land to Osbert de Sywardby sometime in the 1170's.

The de Sywardbys appear to have owned most of the land around Sewerby and Marton. Their position strengthened by marriages with the de Martons and the de Bucktons and during the 14th Century 3 generations of the de Sywardby family were knighted.

In 1234 Robert de Sywardby held 3 carucates of land with William de Sywardby holding 4 carucates by 1299. Robert of Sewerby was lord of the manor in 1316 and the family held it until the death of William de Sywardby in 1452. Williams's daughter held the land until her son sold the land to Ralph Raysing in 1545 and so the estate finally passed out of the hands of the descendants of Osbert de Sywardby after nearly 400 years. In the same year Raysing also bought other properties in Sewerby. Raysing held the land until 1567 when he sold it to John Carliell.

The Carliell family held the house and land until 1714 when it was sold to John Graeme, who was living in the manor house when he bought the land. It is said that John and his son Robert made their fortunes by acting as agents for a Lady Boococke, a considerable landowner in Bridlington. Sewerby House was almost re-built by John Graeme between the years 1714 & 1720. There are however traces of the old house still to be seen inside the hall, most notably the Tudor doorway in the seem-basement.

In 1779 the peace of Sewerby was disturbed by an event of national importance. The Battle of Flamborough Head was fought in clear view of the Hall between the ships of the Royal Navy and the United States Ships under the command of John Paul Jones. The cliffs at Sewerby and Bridlington were lined with spectators but fearing an invasion Mrs Graeme, taking her jewellery with her made haste for York.

The hall was considerably altered around 1807 by John Graemes Nephew and heir, also known as John Graeme, with the final alterations being made by Yarburgh Graeme in 1848. It was in this year that the archway to the stable yard was added along with the gatehouse that leads from the Hall grounds to the village main street. The house was in the Graeme family estate until 1934 when Yarburgh Lloyd Graeme sold the house and grounds to the Bridlington Corporation who re-named it Sewerby Hall.

Alteration to Sewerby Hall

On the 1st June 1936 the Hall was opened to the public for the first time, by the aviation heroin, Amy Johnson. During World War II the Hall was converted into a hospital to accommodate war wounded returning from France. Today, the Hall as a special section devoted to the heroic flying achievements of Amy Johnson, which includes many trophies and memorabilia.