Sewerby is home to one of the East Riding's most popular tourist attractions, Sewerby Hall. The hall is a Grade I listed building and is home to the Museum of East Yorkshire, including a room dedicated to the aviator, Amy Johnson.
Sewerby was absorbed in stages into the town of Bridlington. In 1935 it was abolished as a civil parish and the area divided between Bridlington and the civil parish of Bempton. It was re-made a civil parish in the changes that occurred either in the creation of Humberside or in the rebirth of the East Riding of Yorkshire.
In 1974 most of what had been the East Riding of Yorkshire was joined with the northern part of Lincolnshire to became a new English county named Humberside. The urban and rural districts of the former counties were abolished and Humberside was divided into non-metropolitan districts. The new organization did not meet with the pleasure of the local citizenry and Humberside was wound up in 1996. The area north of the River Humber was separated into two "unitary authorities"—Kingston-upon-Hull covering the former City of Hull and its closest environs, and the less urban section which, once again, named itself the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Sewerby is mentioned in the Domesday Book; "In Siwardbi, Carle and Torchil had two manors, of six carucates and a half. It is now waste." This indicates the origin of the name: It was the (by) abode of Siward. (This is a Danish personal name, and one who bore it was the Governor of Northumbria). And, that Sewerby had two manors which were owned by Carle and Torchil, though no subsequent reference deals with more than one. And finally, that after William put down the English revolt in 1069, much of the land was now waste.
The two manors, formally owned by Carle & Torchil, were passed down in 1086 to Robert Count of Mortain and the Earl of Cornwall, the half-brother to William the Conqueror. Though, in the year 1088 Count Robert had his estate confiscated. There is no record of the fate of Robert's under-tenant, Richard de Surdeval, though it is possible his family survived as the de Sywardbys, using the name of the village.
The estate of Mortain passed to the Paynel family and then on to the archbishops of Canterbury. The land was held for them by the Meynells. The Meynells then granted land to Osbert de Sywardby sometime in the 1170s.
The de Sywardbys appear to have owned most of the land around Sewerby and Marton. Their position strengthened by marriages with the de Martons and the de Bucktons and during the 14th century 3 generations of the de Sywardby family were knighted.
In 1234 Robert de Sywardby held 3 carucates of land with William de Sywardby holding 4 carucates by 1299. Robert of Sewerby was lord of the manor in 1316 and the family held it until the death of William de Sywardby in 1452. Williams's daughter held the land until her son sold the land to Ralph Raysing in 1545 and so the estate finally passed out of the hands of the descendants of Osbert de Sywardby after nearly 400 years. In the same year Raysing also bought other properties in Sewerby. Raysing held the land until 1567 when he sold it to John Carliell.
The Carliell family held the land until 1714 when it was sold to John Graeme. John Graeme was actually living in the manor house when he bought the land. It is said that John and his son Robert made their fortunes by acting as agents for a Lady Boococke, a considerable landowner in Bridlington. Sewerby House was almost re-built by John Graeme between the years 1714 & 1720. There are however traces of the old house still to be seen inside the hall, most notably the Tudor doorway in the seem-basement.
The village of Sewerby (as spelt through the ages)
1086 Siuuardbi, Siward Bi