Historical Information cont....

The village of Sproatley is situated some 4 km. north-east of the city of Hull and 8 km. southwest of the North Sea at Aldbrough. Just to the north, across the parish boundary in Swine, is Burton Constable Hall and its park, but the estate's influence on the character of Sproatley has been much diluted by the recent development of the village as a dormitory for Hull. The name Sproatley is Anglian, and may mean a clearing in which brushwood is growing. The area of the parish was 1,372 acres in 1852, and has not been changed. In the south of the parish the boundaries are mostly formed by watercourses. In the north, the parish was formerly separated from the grounds of Burton Constable Hall by a pale walk which was extinguished at inclosure in 1763, when another way, to Lelley, ran along part of the eastern boundary.

There were 129 poll-tax payers at Sproatley in 1377, and 29 houses there were assessed for hearth tax in 1672 and 8 discharged. There were just over 30 families in the parish in 1743 and 1764. From 232 in 1801, the population of Sproatley rose sharply in the 1810s and 1840s to stand at 357 in 1821 and 463 in 1851. It later declined, to 331 in 1881 and 272 in 1911. Numbers recovered to 325 in 1951, but then fell back to 264 in 1971. A rapid growth in the population followed Sproatley's development as a dormitory village for commuters working in Hull; by 1981 there were 1,289 inhabitants, and 1,442 were usually resident in 1991.

The parish is covered by boulder clay, except in the south where there is alluvium alongside the drains, and a large deposit of sand and gravel. The land lies mostly between 15 and 23 m. above sea level. A ridge rising above 23 m. provided the village with its site, and there is also a little higher ground in the north-west corner of the parish; south and east of the village the ground falls to c. 9 m. The north-west of the parish was used as a common pasture, and the rest very largely for the village's open fields and commonable meadows. Sproatley was inclosed in 1763.

Sproatley is drained largely by a sequence of streams which flow westwards along the southern boundary towards Old fleet and outfall into the river Humber. The southern drains were insufficient in 1367, when another stream running down the western boundary was also mentioned. From the village lesser streams carry water south and south-eastwards to the boundary drains, and another minor watercourse drains westwards into Thirtleby, in Swine. Improvements to the drainage under the Keyingham Level Drainage Acts of 1772 and later evidently included work on the southern streams, later known as Lelley, Sproatley, and Nuttles drains.

From Sproatley village, roads lead north to Burton Constable and West Newton in Aldbrough, east to Flinton in Humbleton, south to Preston and Hedon, south-west to Wyton in Swine and Hull, and north-west to Thirtleby in Swine. The roads to Wyton and Flinton were added to the Hull-Hedon turnpike trust at its renewal in 1767; the trust was discontinued in 1878, but those roads have since been improved as parts of the Hull-Aldbrough road. From the late 19th century Sproatley was served by buses running along it between Hull and Aldbrough and Garton. Roads called Wringland and Castlegate were recorded in 1367; the latter, leading to Lelley, was perhaps the way running along the eastern parish boundary which was awarded at inclosure in 1763 but apparently abandoned as a highway by 1827.

A footpath between Sproatley church and Burton Constable was awarded at inclosure in 1763, but soon afterwards it was evidently replaced by the new main drive to the Hall; a gatehouse was built just across the boundary on the new route c. 1785. 

Information taken from the Sproatley Life magazine May 2014