Bishop Burton is a small village on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds in the historic East Riding of Yorkshire. In 1934, the village was described by a renowned architect as one of the 15 fairest villages in the land; we still believe it is so today. While images of the village continue to figure in many books and calendars, it is an active community that can trace its roots back to prehistoric times. Its villagers knew the Romans and the Angles; it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and was in the Middle Ages an important manor of the Archbishops of York when it acquired its present name. The village was originally referred to simply as Burtone, thought to mean a fortified farmstead. It then became South Burton to distinguish it from North Burton (now Cherry Burton).
The village is actively focused on farming; several working farms are to be found in and around the village, and a major college of agriculture is now located on the historic site of the one-time seat of the lord of the manor. The field pattern has remained substantially unaltered since the enclosures of the 18th century. Photos can be found on the UK Geograph website.
Visitors to Bishop Burton will want to spend an hour or so wandering around its complex pattern of lanes viewing an attractive mix of estate houses, open spaces and farms dating back several centuries. The village has two ponds, the larger of which is referred to as the Mere and hosts a number of geese and ducks which always welcome visitors bearing bread. The Altisidora Inn , named after a racehorse owned by a former lord of the manor that won the St. Leger in the mid-19th century, provides welcoming refreshments to villagers and visitors alike. The village shop and post office on Finkle Street can meet most material needs and is a good source of information about the village. All Saints’ Church satisfies spiritual needs but the Methodist Chapel closed in 2013. If you want to play golf in the area Golf and Bishop Burton is an introduction to the nearby courses. Combined dressage, show-jumping and cross-country feature in eventing at Bishop Burton College. The college also has a dedicated sports facility which the community may also use.
The tower of the All Saints Church was erected in about 1240 but a church probably existed on the site from the early 8th century. The church contains a wooden bust of John Wesley carved by James Elwell of Beverley; Wesley preached several times in the village and his bust was originally located in the Wesleyan chapel built in 1840 which still survives today. The bust was apparently moved out of the chapel when it became infested by woodworm and was then bought by an opportunistic vicar for £2 before being mounted in the church. An online tour of the church is available here.
The village no longer has its own school but the heads of the school have left us a legacy in their Bishop Burton School Log which records a wealth of detail about the school and its activities. We are presently transcribing the log and publishing it on this website. The village is in the catchment area for Walkington Primary School, Cherry Burton Primary School and Walkington Pre-School. Please check the East Riding website for more detail on catchment areas.
Much of the village forms a conservation area. The report defining its special interest states “The special character of the Bishop Burton Conservation area is to be found in the survival of this former estate village, whose predominantly white painted cottages are grouped around its two greens and Mere… It nestles in a hollow in the terrain which, with impressive tree cover, on its edges, adds to a feeling of enclosure. It has some strong characteristics, including the importance of its open spaces and its disciplined architecture, where features such as the use of white-painted brickwork, short chimneys, rustic porches and gabled dormers all feature strongly. In the summer, the importance of the trees on its greens and the visually cooling effect of its water create a balance to which other villages can only aspire.”
Informational maps of the village have been posted on boards beside the Mere (the pond) on School Green and inside the Altisidora Inn.Getting to the village is easy as it lies on the main EYMS bus route from York to Hull via Beverley. The X46/7 timetable may be viewed here. The bus stop is by the Altisidora Inn. If you need accommodation locally then have a look at Places to stay near Bishop Burton where you’ll find a list of bed and breakfast places, hotels and other accommodation.