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A History of Ravenser Odd

ravenser-odd.jpgWhen I was young we had a copy of a book on the History of Yorkshire which I read from cover to cover.  It was by someone called Singleton (I probably only remember this because of the Blue Peter presenter of the same name). There may have been a second author as well.  In the book there was a map of showing the coast of the East Riding and how it had been eroded away since Roman times, and the locations and names of the towns that had been lost as a consequence.  The most memorable of these town names was that of Ravenser Odd.

A day ago I was prompted by a posting by Pluvialis to look up Ravenser Odd on the web and came across this fascinating history  by Richard  Hayton at yorkshirehistory.com.  Here is a bit on the demise of the town from the Chronica Monasterii de Melsa written between the years 1349 and 1353:

When the inundations of the sea and of the Humber had destroyed to the foundations the chapel of Ravenserre odd, built in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that the corpses and bones of the dead there horribly appeared, and the same inundations daily threatened the destruction of the said town, sacrilegious persons carried off and alienated certain ornaments of the said chapel, without our due consent, and disposed of them for their own pleasure; except a few ornaments, images, books and a bell which we sold to the mother church of Esyngton, and two smaller bells, to the church of Aldeburghe. But that town of of Ravenserre odd, in the parish of the said church of Esyngton, was an exceedingly famous borough devoted to merchandise, as well as many fisheries, most abundantly furnished with ships, and burgesses amongst the boroughs of that sea coast. But yet, with all inferior places, and chiefly by wrong-doing on the sea, by its wicked works and piracies (praedationibus), it provoked the wrath of God against its self beyond measure. Wherefore, within the few following years, the said town, by those inundations of the sea and the Humber, was destroyed to the foundations, so that nothing of value was left.

On the 25 th July, 1355, the abbot of Meaux was ordered to gather up the bodies of the dead which had been buried in the chapel yard of Ravenser, and which by reason of inundations were then washed up and uncovered, and to bury them in the church yard of Esington.

And if that is not apocalyptic enough for you, just remember that the Black Death hit Britain in 1348-49.

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