Hemingbrough: Introduction

A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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'Hemingbrough: Introduction', in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake, (London, 1976) pp. 37. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/east/vol3/p37 [accessed 24 April 2024]


The Extensive ancient parish of Hemingbrough occupies the southern end of the wapentake, bounded by the winding course of the Ouse on the south and west and by that of the Derwent on the east. (fn. 1) Its dimensions are in places five miles by four, and its total area in 1850 was 10,847 a. (fn. 2) The parish included a dozen villages and hamlets, one of which, Barlby in the extreme west, was a chapelry which achieved independence from the motherchurch in the 18th century. In the 20th century part of Barlby has become in effect an industrial suburb of Selby, across the Ouse in the West Riding. Six of the hamlets are now so shrunken as to be virtually depopulated settlements, though none of them was ever very large. Since 1883 the parish has also included Newhay, (fn. 3) a former grange of Drax priory (Yorks. W.R.), which occupied ground that had lain south of the Ouse until the river changed its course in the early Middle Ages.

Most of the parish is covered by the typical outwash sand, gravel, and clay of the Vale of York, and it is on those deposits that its villages and hamlets are sited. It is nevertheless only in places, and especially towards the west of the parish, that the land exceeds 25 ft. above sea-level. Lying still lower is a belt of alluvium that stretches around the margins of the parish beside the Ouse and the Derwent. (fn. 4) Hemingbrough is thus devoid of marked natural topographical features, and the pattern of settlement and land utilization depends upon subtle variations in relief and soils.

The village of Hemingbrough and its various subordinate settlements were formed into seven civil parishes in the 19th century. This arrangement was, however, changed in 1935. Barlby and Osgodby civil parishes were then combined as Barlby civil parish; most of Cliffe with Lund and most of South Duffield civil parishes were combined as Cliffe civil parish; Hemingbrough and Brackenholme with Woodhall civil parishes, together with 29 a. from Cliffe with Lund and 130 a. from neighbouring Barmby on the Marsh, were combined as Hemingbrough civil parish; Menthorpe with Bowthorpe civil parish was added to neighbouring North Duffield; and 5 a. of South Duffield were transferred to neighbouring Wressle. (fn. 5) In this account Hemingbrough itself is described first, followed by the other townships according to the earlier arrangement of civil parishes.


  • 1. This article was written in 1973.
  • 2. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
  • 3. Bulmer, Dir. E. Yorks. (1892), 626.
  • 4. Geol. Surv. Map 1", solid and drift, sheet 71 (1973 edn.); drift, sheet 79 (1973 edn.).
  • 5. Census, 1931.