History of Walmsley House

Old map of BemptonWalmsley House was first mentioned in the census of 1790 and was the residence of one George Walmsley (listed occupation: gentry). The Walmsley family owned most of the eastern wolds and the coastal lands from their family seat in Rudston. Presumably George was sent to manage the eastern part of the estate, and this was the manor house. The Walmsley family lived here until the beginning of the 20th century, when Elizabeth Ann Walmsley turned the house into a private day school for girls. Elizabeth gifted the church clock in Bempton in memory of her parents, but died two years before it was installed in 1924. Throughout this period the grounds included the whole triangle of land that the house sits in and also some of the land around the church. The other houses on High Street were workers’ cottages, the ‘Antiques’ yard was the stables and the house on the church side of Church Lane was the carriage house.

We believe that the house was used as an officers’ residence during World War 2, probably for the prisoner of war camp between Bempton and Buckton rather than the early warning station up by the cliffs. At some point around this time the house became a Youth Hostel, and the house was connected to the workers’ cottages to make a much larger building – you will notice that number 31 High Street is of more modern construction (the doorway through to the other buildings was where the downstairs toilet now resides!) However, the Hostel was closed after only a few years.

Walmsley House was bought in memory of Simon’s mother – a lovely lady who spent her childhood coming on holidays to Bridlington staying with her grandparents. We have traced her father’s family back to the nearby village of Speeton, where in the 18th century our ancestors were little more than tied labourers living in a farmers’ yard. So George Walmsley was their lord of the manor! Walmsley House has been enjoyed by generations of families holidaying together and this is exactly what she would have wanted.