top of page

A Brief History of Harpham & St John of Beverley Church

Harpham Church3.JPG

South of the main road from York to Bridlington and the church at Kilham is Harpham which has the well of St John of Beverley, the St Quintin Arms inn and the Norman church in the village centre.

Harpham is the supposed birthplace of

Bishop John of York in 640AD who founded a monastery near or on the site of the present Beverley Minster. He was canonised in 1037 and the well of St John is by the roadside near to Harpham Church. The church dates from Norman times and some stonework exists in the outer wall with the nave having a small Norman window. The church was remodelled in the fourteenth century and in 1374 Joan St Quintin

obtained a licence to crenellate the bell tower. The chancel was rebuilt in 1827 when bricks were used for the east end and bricks were used again in 1833. The architect Temple Moore restored parts of the church including the chancel and chapel in

1909/14 and further restoration of the nave and tower followed in 1935 by Milner and Craze of London (Sir William Milner 9th Baronet and Romilly Bernard Craze): this was paid for by William Herbert St Quintin and mother Amy Elizabeth.

There are many memorials to members of the St Quintin family who were Lords of Harpham and later Scampston. Herbert St Quintin came over with the Conqueror and was granted lands in the East Riding. In the twelfth century Oliver married Adeliza who founded Nun Appleton Priory and their second son Herbert married Agnes de Stuteville who brought Harpham into the family. William was an active Lord of the Manor and he married Joan Thweng: he died in 1349 and their alabaster tomb is at Harpham Church between the chancel and north chapel. It is likely that this was set up by a Rector of Hornsea c1400. The St Quintin family lived at Harpham until the seventeenth century; the baronetcy was created in 1642 for William St Quintin. The second baronet was son Henry (1605-95) who moved the family to Scampston, where the Hall was built in 1690 – remodelled by Thomas Leverton between 1795 and 1800. The Harpham house became ruinous and all that remains today are earthworks. The 3rd baronet was Henry’s grandson who became MP for Hull and died

unmarried in 1723.


The Drummer Boy's Well


St John's Well

The 5th baronet was William St Quintin (1729-95) who bought Scampston, building much of the village and

employing Capability Brown in 1771 to design the grounds. He married Charlotte Fane but there were no children and he was succeeded by his nephew William Darley who assumed the name and arms of the St Quintin family. His son was Matthew Chitty Downes St Quintin and his grandson William St Quintin JP, who was

president of the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union in 1909.

Scampston Hall has a walled garden designed by

Piet Oudolf covering four acres and is the home of Sir Charles and Lady Legard.The north chapel has a series of windows painted with the pedigree of the family from the Norman Conquest: it was painted by William Peckitt of York in 1763-95. Peckitt was born in Husthwaite in 1731 and worked at York Minster: he died in 1795. In the chapel is an effigy of an unknown lady dated c1360/70. On the floor are fine brasses to Sir Thomas and Agnes St

Quintin (1418) and Sir Thomas de St Quintin (1445).

bottom of page