In the grand scale of life on this good Earth we each must play our part in its rich and colourful history. On the following pages you will find chapters of my (Christopher Baron aka Baz Baron author of this blog) family history as of the year 2016.
My quest began at the first known location of my ancestors which is in and around the village of Skipsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Let me take you back there. In the churchyard of All Saints which overlooks the site of Skipsea Castle there lay, in the far left corner the Ivy shrouded headstone of Cornwall and his wife Elizabeth Baron.
I’d visited the church previously (on a recce) with the intention of using it as a mystery/treasure hunt location for a family country walk of the area which I devized. I think the clue I’d used was; “What symbol is etched into the Sandstone block on the lower South wall of the foundation?” or something like that. The answer was: Carved into the exterior south wall of the nave are a mass dial and a consecration cross. You can read about them here.
The actual starting point for the walk was at the nearby hamlet of Skipsea Brough at the entrance to the ancient ruin of Skipsea Castle. Of course, at the time of William the Conquerer when the castle was built, the Motte and Bailie would have looked much different.
The idea behind the walk was that I’d buried clues around the Castle grounds which would lead the party to differing points of interest culminating at the Board Inn pub for Sunday lunch. At this point, I should introduce you to, Drinkrow Baron (and yes that is a real name) Drinkrow, was the pub landlord back in the early 1800s more about him later.
Later in my search for ancestors I came to an abrupt stop at Cornwall and Elizabeth for the simple reason, I was running out of options as far as church archives were concerned. Although my work is still ongoing, I started surmising a lot (like you do) and what I do know is that at the time of the Norman conquest a guy named, Drogo de la Beuvrière was the Lord of the Manor at the time and as such (this is where the surmising comes in) did he take a wench in from the Hamlet that would later become Skipsea Brough at some stage and had his wicked way with her; therefore, I and my family tree took on another branch through him (the scallywag) well, until I find evidence to the contrary, that’s who I decended from.
So, in a way, William the Conquerer aka William the Bastard has a lot to answer for as far as the Baron clan are concerned. Just to put things in perspective we’re now at a time in History when William became the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. What this means, of course, is that if the Norman chief hadn’t defeated Harold in the Battle of Hastings I wouldn’t have been here to tell the tale. Think about that for a moment.
Right, so I’m still here and most probably a relic of the Norman invasion. Cornwall and Elizabeth Baron were quite well off. They must have been, judging by the rather ornate headstone in the churchyard. Of course, two hundred and fifty plus years of weathering hasn’t been good for it. I shall be adding pictures on a dedicated page later, so you can see for yourself, unless you happen to visit the area and see it in ‘the flesh’ as it were for it is a very interesting place to visit. Now, back to Cornwall and Elizabeth. They had two children, Robert and Mary, Robert I know for certain was a farmer and again, as per what it must’ve been like in those days. He inherited the tradesmanship from his father. There are two farms I know of that belonged to the Baron’s one of which fell into the North Sea a couple of years ago (my inheritance gone). This was it, Cliff House Farm. At the time, Robert wouldn’t have any idea that 2 centuries later it would end up in the sea.
The other farm, White House Farm was further inland and part of it is still there. The lands which make up what is now, Skirlington Market. Watch the video and pay particular attention to the old brick buildings that you see, those structures were part of (my long forgotten inheritance) oh my, if only, Cornwall and Robert could see into the future I would’ve had something to laugh about eh?