A Travellerspoint blog

Cottingham the biggest village in the U.K.

The East Riding of Yorkshire


After spending another two days back in Edinburgh, Jannelle and I had recharged our batteries. I'm sure Blair and Stacey can attest to this that when your on the move sometimes it nice to just take a break and have a nap. We left the city before noon and were on our way thru Biggar and Symington and Dalmeny down to Carlisle. Somewhere after Lancaster we had missed our turn so off onto a side road too get back on track. Did I mention that all the M (motor ways) here are three lanes with a maximum of 70mph and that all road signs are wrote in miles. 2/3 of mile here, 1/4 mile till there. All these tiny little hatchbacks doing upwards of 100 mph it was like playing MarioKart. I really got to put my foot into this Ford Focus hatchback and by the time we had pulled over for our first pit stop I was limping into the Road Chef. After another 3 wrong exits (also only traffic circles here so it gets confusing) we pulled into Beverley just north of Cottingham. The whole drive down was like going thru a history book of Saskatchewan place names and both Jannelle and I's close family names. Aunt Bev! Just needed a town called Thievin or Grimes in there to make it complete.


Cottingham was a small village and really the first place we were that wasn't touristy. Jannelle and I were the only tourists actually. People were quick to pick up on this and engaged us. I went on to explain that my last name is Cottingham and that we had come from Canada to see this village. The villagers were charmed by my stupid little story and were really friendly straight away. They were quick to tell us where we might be able to find out more information about the village's past. This lead us to the local library were I once again told my story and was lead to the back of the building and handed a box full of books and leaflets about Cottingham, past and present. Unfortunaly we didn't really have time to go over 1/8 th of the info in that box. There is a society dedicated to doing annual walks around the village and surrounding area, in fact on a bulletin board when you first walk thru the entrance was a flyer posted saying "Tracing your family tree? Join us on October 25 th in the library."

I didn't think that I would be into this whole this is where my last name comes from thing but I'll tell after spending just a short day and half in that village I wish I would have had at least a week there. I was drawn into the novelty of all the local shops with my last name on it. I would recommend all my kin young and old to come for a visit to this little place. You will not be disappointed!


The first known reference to a priest at Cottingham is in the Chronicle of Meaux Abbey of the early 12th century, which records a priest here about 1150. The Domesday Book entry for Cottingham in 1086 records neither a church nor a priest but it is highly likely that both were present at this time.

The earliest part of the cruciform church, no doubt a development of an earlier church of which there is no part surviving in situ, is the nave, built after about 1320 in the Decorated style. The walls of the transepts and some of their detail are also of this time, but the transepts were probably completed later in the 14th century.

The present chancel was built when Nicholas de Luda was rector, from 1362 to 1383. He was appointed to the living by Edward Prince of Wales, known as the Black Prince, eldest son of King Edward III, who had married his cousin, the heiress Joan Wake, the Fair Maid of Kent, and lord of Cottingham manor. Their son reigned as King Richard II from 1377 to 1399. The chancel is an early example of the Perpendicular style.

Nicholas de Luda was a king's clerk. He held various appointments under King Edward III and a number of church appointments. He was a prebendary of Salisbury, St Asaph and Beverley.

The tower was probably completed about 1400 in the Perpendicular style. The pinnacles were added in 1744.

The interior owes much of its present appearance to restorations in the 19th and 20th centuries. However various earlier fittings survive, including a monumental brass to Nicholas de Luda, now in the north east corner of the sanctuary but formerly in various positions in the chancel.

Today St Mary's is Listed as a Grade One building. It stands as a monument to our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the good news of God's kingdom.


We really enjoyed this little church or parish not sure what to call it. Like the little church beside Westminster Abbey there are graves that run down the centre aisle. Some so old that the engraving has been worn smooth leaving only half of the dedication. There was a single man in there, not sure if he was the priest. He told us that the stained glass was done by a French man from around 1850's. There wasn't really adequate lighting inside which kinda added to the feel of the building. Halogens on motion sensors so if its overcast outside, which it was. Then it was quite dark inside again adding to the feel of the place. He left the church after 5 minutes and Jannelle and I stayed in there for another 3 minutes snapped a few pics then left.


The Humbar Bridge is the 6th longest suspension bridge in the world. The Golden Gate in San Fran is the 10th. It is a 2,220 m (2,428 yards) single-span suspension bridge, which opened to traffic on 24 June 1981. 6 days after I was born. It was the longest in the world from 1981 till 1998. The drive to it from Cottingham was only 10 minutes so Jannelle and I decided to go! It was already dark by the time we got to it but we went for a walk up it anyways. We stood there for awhile by the first tall support and could actually see it and feel it moving. Neither one of us had seen a bridge this big since the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey into New York which currently sits at number 20 on the list. (The 2 photos of the bridge are from Google it was too dark for any decent shots)


Posted by apolloandathena 17:09 Archived in England

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I think you missed your calling Jordan!
What a awesome history class, thanks.
Can't wait to see and hear what is next on
the journey. Hugs Aunt Bev

by Bev Grimes

Loved the history, and really enjoyed the cemetery pictures.

by Chrissy

what happened to u standing in front of the hobbit house and the picture is gone love dad

by wally

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