The Old Blacksmith’s Arms, Blacksmith’s Shop and Village School at “The Cross” Seaton Ross

The old thatched cottage, which stood at The Cross in Seaton Ross, was for many years a public house and blacksmith’s shop. In the early 19th century until the mid-19th century it was the village school and thereafter a private dwelling.

The original Blacksmiths Arms was situated at the cross on the site what is now Swallow Cottage (formerly the butchers shop). It was built in 1800 as a single storey thatched cottage although it is very likely that part of the building stood here for many years before then. William Pexton was the landlord and blacksmith and in October 1810 was paying an annual rent of £35.13 shillings to the landlord, William Constable Maxwell. In 1813 The Blacksmiths Arms at North End was built and William Pexton moved his business from the Cross. The property then became the village school with James Gray the schoolmaster living in one half of the cottage and the other half used as the schoolroom. James Gray also farmed a small plot of land on which Apple Garth and Apple Garth Cottage now stand. The property remained the village school until the 1850’s when the new school was built in 1858 at South End near to St. Edmunds church.

The cottage then became a private dwelling and was occupied for many years by the Coulson family; in the 1891 census, James Coulson is listed as the occupier being a “cottage occupier, small farmer and agricultural labourer” with his wife Mary and four children.

An article on the village appeared in the Hull and East Riding Times on the 15th July 1922. The reporter commented: –

Proceeding down the village street in Seaton Ross, we arrive at “The Cross” where a road leading off to the right leads the traveller down the West End. The Co-operative stores stand here and on the opposite side of the road is the Co-op warehouse, which was erected on the site of an old thatched cottage, occupied for many years by the Coulson family. This was the last of the thatched cottages in Seaton Ross to disappear, but some of the beams, which are reputed to be 13th century, still remain“.

It would seem that the old thatched cottage was demolished sometime in the early 20th century when the Co-operative stores purchased the property to use as a warehouse. Seatonians will remember the site for many years as Simpson’s butcher’s shop, which was sold and demolished a few years ago, and on which the present day Swallow Cottage now stands.

The photograph above shows the old thatched cottage on the right at The Cross in the early 1900’s. The identity of the boy in the photograph with the basket is unknown.

Malcolm Young

sharing Seaton Ross's history