Burton Fleming lies in a shallow dip of the Wolds about 7.5 miles north-north-west of Bridlington, and three miles north of Rudston. Standing beside the Gypsey Race, it has occasionally been flooded along streets close to the inn. Legend claims that the Gypsey Race only flows strongly when some disaster is imminent!
This village has two names – Burton Fleming since the 13th century and North Burton as an alternative since Tudor days.
Travelling to Burton Fleming from Scarborough, we went via Hunmanby to follow a long, straight road of about four miles into the valley. A patchwork of misty fields extended to the horizon, and rain threatened.
Entering the 20mph zone, the mere seemed an obvious feature from where a pleasant walk should depart, with Mere Farm across the road. Watch geese and ducks feeding on the green.
Just ahead is the walled, St Cuthbert’s Church to your right. It stands on the site of a Norman ‘chapel of ease’, which was associated with the mother church of All Saints’ at Hunmanby. We’ll visit it later, so continue by the green with its memorial cross to the Great War, and by white cottages turn right up the Fordon road. To your left, at Woodcock’s you’ll see an old threshing machine such as farmers used before combine harvesters. Wander up the hedged lane for your free range eggs, and you’ll see the old manor house which is now a farm. During the Civil War, Queen Henrietta Maria stayed here with her army for one night in 1642. It’s said she slept at Manor Farm House when on her way to join Charles I at York.
Now turn off the Mill Road and head south past Village Farm. The green-verged, hedged lane is very pleasant. The entire village is open and spacious. Passing Westlands to the left, housing lies to either side of the road, and The Crescent is seen off left.
Crossing the Wold Newton road, followed by the Gypsey Race, you reach the Thwing Road and turn left. Passing South Lane off right, and white cottages, you re-cross the Gypsey Race. Beyond, you’ll discover Wells Butcher to your left, and a row of white cottages. Notice the bridge crossing the Race to a private house.
Reaching the crossroads, seek the old village pump beside more white cottages. It’s a wonderful reminder of those less convenient times! Also close by at the crossroads, you’ll welcome The Burton Arms, and adjacent to it, The Travellers’ Restaurant, for refreshment. Then to your right, you can’t miss Burton Fleming’s Methodist Church, which is at present for sale.
View the information plan of Burton Fleming. Nearby is the village post office and public telephone. Walk by the red-brick Chapter House and Hogpenny Cottage to a road junction. Here, turn right along Back Street, with The Old School seen to be for sale.
Just ahead, is a delightful area for peaceful reflection. A railed pond, fringed with yellow irises and frequented by ducks presents a fine village scene as swallows swoop low in pursuit of insects. Take a seat beneath the tree on the green before continuing to the end of Back Street, beyond Chapel Court.
Next, turn right along South Street, parallel with the Gypsey Race accompanying you on your left, and overlooked by properties. Near crossroads is The Willows – Care for the Elderly.
Now, maybe The Travellers’ Restaurant with take-away meals sounds appealing, or the Burton Arms where you should turn right to pass the afore-mentioned Methodist Church, public telephone, and post office to reach the road junction at the end of Front Street.
From the green with its war memorial, it’s time to visit St Cuthbert’s Church, enclosed by mature horse chestnut trees and sycamore. Seating is alongside the wall. Enter the metal gate, and follow the path across the graveyard to the church, with a low tower which is mainly 13th century.
Over the centuries there have been repairs, re-building, and some additions in a variety of styles undertaken many times. Remnants of the earlier Norman chapel are incorporated in the present building too. As a result, the church is either an uninspiring mixture of stone and brick, or a picturesque mixture, which makes an attractive picture against the background of trees. What do you think? One concern of ours, was the sad encroachment of well matured trees.
A medieval porch shelters a doorway of about 1200.
Inside, the church has a Norman font, and adorned at the foot are four stone heads.
Surrounding the church is the graveyard, with interesting memorials. Can you find the resting place of Major Artley, buried here in 1809? He was a boy who was drowned while rescuing his young brother from a pool made by the Gypsey Race.
Refreshment: The Burton Arms and The Travellers’ Restaurant.