Hemingbrough: South Duffield

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: South Duffield', in A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake, (London, 1976) pp. 60-63. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/east/vol3/pp60-63 [accessed 12 April 2024]

In this section


The village of South Duffield lies 1½ mile north of Hemingbrough. on ground rising slightly above the generally low land bordering the river Derwent. It was an Anglian settlement standing close to a stream now called Folly drain, one of several crossing the township and forming parts of its boundary. South Duffield also has a short frontage upon the Derwent. The township covered 1,686 a. (fn. 1)

Apart from the small 'islands' of higher ground around the village almost the whole of the township lies at less than 25 ft. above sea-level. The small open fields were situated north of the village, entirely on the lower ground, and much of the township was covered by early inclosures. High and Low Moors in the far north adjoined North Duffield, Osgodby, and Skipwith commons, and a small area of common pasture called the Dyon lay beside the stream on the township boundary towards the Derwent. The riverside alluvium was used for common meadow land. The final inclosure of the open fields, commons, and meadows took place in 1834.

The road forming the main village street of South Duffield leads northwards towards Skipwith and southwards to Hemingbrough. Other minor roads lead to Osgodby, Woodhall, and Bowthorpe, and the turnpike road from Selby to Market Weighton crosses the northern end of the township. South Duffield is also crossed by the railway from Selby to Market Weighton, opened in 1848 (fn. 2) with a station north of the village. The station was closed in 1884 (fn. 3) and the line in 1965. (fn. 4) The Derwent Valley Light Railway crossed the township as it approached Cliffe Common station. (fn. 5) South Duffield had a landingplace on the banks of the Derwent. (fn. 6)

The most noteworthy houses in the village are South Duffield Hall, Manor House, (fn. 7) and the Knowle. The last-named is an 18th-century house, remodelled and stuccoed in 1913, (fn. 8) and it has a wheelhouse among its outbuildings. The few recent additions to the village include eight council houses. There were one or two licensed alehouses in South Duffield in the later 18th century. (fn. 9) The only inn mentioned in 1823 and later was the Cross Keys, (fn. 10) which apparently closed during the Second World War. (fn. 11) The outlying farm-houses include several which originated before final inclosure: Larabridge Farm, Lowmoor House, and North Toft House north of the village, and Dyon House and Holmes House to the east. (fn. 12) Holmes House is an outstanding 17th-century building. (fn. 13) A 'mansion house' in the North Toft was described as 'lately built' in 1709. (fn. 14)

There were 75 poll-tax payers at South Duffield in 1379. (fn. 15) Thirty-seven households were included in the hearth-tax return in 1672, 4 of them exempt. Of those chargeable 20 had one hearth each, 9 had 2, 2 had 3-4, one had 7, and one had eight. (fn. 16) The population was 160 in 1801; it subsequently fluctuated, reaching a maximum of 236 in 1861 and standing at 204 in 1901. (fn. 17) It fell to 159 in 1931 before South Duffield was united with Cliffe civil parish. (fn. 18)


An estate of 6 carucates at South Duffield belonged after the Conquest to William Malet and 2 carucates were said to belong to the king's manor of Pocklington. By 1086, however, 7 carucates and 5 bovates were held by Niel Fossard from the count of Mortain and 1½ carucate was soke of the bishop of Durham's manor of Howden. (fn. 19) By c. 1180 part of South Duffield belonged to William Esveillechien, (fn. 20) but by 1284-5 all 8 carucates there belonged to the bishop of Durham. (fn. 21) The overlordship subsequently descended with Howden, and the bishop was allotted 15 a. as lord of the manor at the inclosure of 1834. (fn. 22)

The demesne tenant under William Esveillechien c. 1180 was Alan Wastehose, (fn. 23) and by 1284-5 the Wastehose estate had passed by marriage to the Amcotes, Richard of Amcotes then holding 4 carucates. (fn. 24) By 1302-3 it had passed to Anthony Dealtry, (fn. 25) and the Bassett family held the manor of SOUTH DUFFIELD by the 1340s. (fn. 26) The estate was split up and sold by Alexander Amcotes in 1573-4, some of it passing to the Fawkes family. (fn. 27) The other 4 carucates in South Duffield were held in 1284-5 by Nicholas de Stapleton, (fn. 28) and in the 15th century the estate belonged to the Knight family as under-tenants. (fn. 29) In 1529 this manor of SOUTH DUFFIELD was conveyed by John Knight to William Maunsel, (fn. 30) and some of the land subsequently passed to the Laton and Fawkes families. (fn. 31)

Various holdings in South Duffield, including Laton and Fawkes property, were acquired in the late 16th and early 17th centuries by William Hildyard, (fn. 32) who in 1626 sold his estate to Matthew Topham. After the death of Arthur Topham in 1699, the chief house and 16 a. of land passed to his widow Elizabeth, and thence to John Preston in 1700 and to Richard Sawrey in 1701. Anne Sawrey married Bacon Morritt, who also bought other land in the township. (fn. 33) In 1777 J. S. Morritt sold 290 a. in South Duffield to Sir William Lowther. (fn. 34) A house and 106 a. were conveyed to Joseph Kirlew in 1805, and, known as South Duffield Hall, to Isaac Crowther in 1836 and William Haddlesey in 1867. (fn. 35) The property was bought by Jonathan Dunn in 1874 and James Thompson in 1893. (fn. 36) J. H. Thompson sold it in 1943 to Francis Tindall, and on the death of Nellie Tindall in 1965 it was sold by her executor to G. Holman & Sons, (fn. 37) the owners in 1973. The Topham's house had seven hearths in 1672. (fn. 38) The present South Duffield Hall is an 18th-century farm-house, enlarged in the 19th century, and it retains traces of a moat.

The largest estate in South Duffield built up from the land of the two former manors was that of the Barstows, a York family. (fn. 39) It included part of the Amcotes manor, and also Holmes House farm, which Michael Barstow is said to have acquired in 1663. (fn. 40) Thomas Barstow had 405 a. in the township in 1861. (fn. 41) The family retained the estate until 1925-6, when Sir George Barstow dispersed it; Holmes House farm went to Richard Bramley, (fn. 42) and the Bramleys still had it in 1973.

Holmes House has many of the features associated with the 'Artisan Mannerism' of the late 17th century and it was probably built by Michael Barstow. It has a central two-storeyed porch with pilasters, pediments, and a shaped gable, and the mullioned and transomed windows of the main front all have pediments. One end of the house retains its shaped gable. (fn. 43) There are traces of the moated site of an earlier house.

Another estate in the township belonged to the Robinson family. After Mary Robinson's death in 1839 it was held, like her land in Barlby, by trustees (fn. 44) and in 1890 they sold the 195-acre Manor House farm to William Wheldrick. (fn. 45) This may have been the house and land which Thomas Robinson bought from Harland Grainger in 1758. (fn. 46) The Wheldricks sold it to A. H. Blakey in 1959. (fn. 47) Manor House is an 18th-century building which was given a regular front seven bays long in the early 19th century. The extensive outbuildings include a dovecot.

Drax priory had a holding in the township, including a windmill. (fn. 48)

The rectorial tithes of South Duffield descended, like those of Hemingbrough township, with Hemingbrough manor. (fn. 49) They were worth £30 in 1650 (fn. 50) and were commuted in 1834 for 293 a., awarded at the inclosure of the township to Thomas Wilson, John Tweedy, and the trustees of Thomas Smith (d. 1810). (fn. 51) In 1863 the estate, comprising Lodge Farm and 282 a., was sold to John Banks, who disposed of part of it the same year. (fn. 52) The house and remaining 108 a. were conveyed to Edward Morrell in 1886 and to Henry Ward in 1901. (fn. 53) Ward's trustees sold the farm, then of 138 a., to Mr. A. A. Robinson in 1956. (fn. 54)


On the larger estate in 1086 there was land for four ploughs but only one plough, on the demesne, was then working. There was pasturable woodland two leagues long and half a league broad. The estate had decreased in value from £4 before the Conquest to £2 in 1086. (fn. 55) Woodland later lay in both the north and the south of the township. Adjoining the commons and woods of Skipwith and North Duffield in the north was Blackwood, belonging to the bishop of Durham, where Emme Wastehose had common rights in 1256. (fn. 56) In the south other woodland adjoined the woods of Hemingbrough and Brackenholme.

The medieval reclamation of woodland and waste is scantily recorded, though there was mention of Richard le Venur's assart 'towards the bridge of Bowthorpe' in 1311. (fn. 57) The 40-acre Eastwood was still in existence in the 1590s, (fn. 58) but Blackwood had apparently been inclosed by 1622. (fn. 59) The southern woods gave way to inclosures known as West Haye moors and Wood closes by the 19th century, (fn. 60) and there is still a small Haymoors wood.

The open-field land included Mill and West fields by 1606, Worm field by 1685, (fn. 61) and Townend and Far fields by the 18th century. (fn. 62) At final inclosure in 1834, (fn. 63) under an Act of 1820, (fn. 64) about 460 a. were dealt with, including the open fields, extensive commons occupying the former Blackwood area, a small stream-side common called Dyon, and meadow land near the Derwent. Allotments were made from High and Low Moor commons, totalling 258 a., Dyon common (15 a.), the ings (39 a.), Far field (39 a.), Worm field (30 a.), Mill field (18 a.), Townend field (16 a.), and Far North field (14 a.); a further 35 a. were in allotments made from more than one open field, together with small areas of roadside common. An allotment of 262 a. was awarded, along with 31 a. of old inclosures, to the impropriators in lieu of tithes. There were 2 allotments of 60-79 a., 2 of 10-19 a., and 15 of under 10 a.

There were usually 10-15 farmers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Seven of them had at least 100 a. in 1851 (fn. 65) and 3 had 150 a. or more in the 1930s. (fn. 66) In the 20th century the southern part of the township has been largely arable, with much more grassland in the north and east. (fn. 67)

A linen weaver of South Duffield was recorded in 1685. (fn. 68) A windmill was mentioned in 1311 (fn. 69) and in the 17th century. (fn. 70) A mill was worked throughout the 19th century and a miller was last mentioned in 1925. (fn. 71) The tower still stands, at the north-west end of the village.


No manorial records are known. South Duffield joined Selby poor-law union in 1837; (fn. 72) its poorhouses were still standing in 1850. (fn. 73) The township became part of Riccall rural district in 1894, Derwent rural district in 1935, (fn. 74) and the Selby district of North Yorkshire in 1974.


A house in South Duffield was registered for dissenting worship in 1808. (fn. 75) A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1824 at the expense of Jane Haddlesey. (fn. 76) It was closed in 1969 (fn. 77) but still stood in 1973.


In 1871 South Duffield children went to school at Hemingbrough and Skipwith, (fn. 78) and there is no mention of a school at South Duffield until one was built in 1881. (fn. 79) It was taken over by a school board in 1885. (fn. 80) In 1913 a temporary building was moved from Barlby to accommodate infants. (fn. 81) Attendance at the school was about 30-40 in 1908-38. (fn. 82) In 1960 senior pupils were transferred to Barlby secondary school, and South Duffield school was closed in 1962 and the pupils transferred to Hemingbrough. (fn. 83) The building still stood in 1973.


An unknown donor at unknown date gave 7 a. at Hemingbrough for the poor of South Duffield and Osgodby. The rents were distributed in 1823. (fn. 84) No more is known of the charity.

South Duffield also benefited, with Barlby, from Mary Carr's charity. (fn. 85)


  • 1. O.S. Map 6", Yorks. (1854 edn.). Most of the township is covered by sheet 222, a little by sheet 207.
  • 2. MacMahon, Beginnings of E. Yorks. Rlys. 14.
  • 3. Ex inf. Divisional Manager, Brit. Rlys. (Leeds), 1972.
  • 4. Hull Daily Mail, 12 June 1965.
  • 5. See p. 56.
  • 6. e.g. E.R.R.O., Enrolment Bk. G, p. 138; O.S. Map 6" (all edns.).
  • 7. See p. 62 and below.
  • 8. Date on building.
  • 9. E.R.R.O., QDT/2/15.
  • 10. Directories.
  • 11. Local information.
  • 12. E.R.R.O., IA. South Duffield.
  • 13. See below.
  • 14. R.D.B., A/224/320.
  • 15. T.E.R.A.S. xv. 51-2. There is no return for 1377.
  • 16. E 179/205/504.
  • 17. V.C.H. Yorks. iii. 498.
  • 18. Census.
  • 19. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 224, 293.
  • 20. E.Y.C. ii, p. 317.
  • 21. Feud. Aids, vi. 37.
  • 22. E.R.R.O., Enrolment Bk. G, p. 141. See above p. 57.
  • 23. E.Y.C. ii, p. 317.
  • 24. Feud. Aids, vi. 37; Burton, Hemingbrough, 215; Cal. Close, 1259-61, 330.
  • 25. Feud. Aids, vi. 138.
  • 26. Ibid. 224; Yorks. Fines, 1347-77, P. 5; Cal. Chart. R. 1327-41, 471.
  • 27. Yorks. Fines, ii. 49; Burton, Hemingbrough, 215.
  • 28. Feud. Aids, vi. 37; Yorks. Fines, 1300-14, p. 76.
  • 29. Burton, Hemingbrough, 217.
  • 30. Yorks. Fines, i. 54, 65.
  • 31. Burton, Hemingbrough, 219-23.
  • 32. Yorks. Fines, iii. 142; iv. 186, 195; 1603-14, 9, 39, 158.
  • 33. Burton, Hemingbrough, 225-7.
  • 34. R.D.B., AZ/5/7.
  • 35. Ibid. CL/272/439; FA/380/391; KE/10/14.
  • 36. Ibid. LM/212/262; 61/257/248 (1893).
  • 37. Ibid. 659/136/115; 1396/86/80; 1400/238/210.
  • 38. E 179/205/504.
  • 39. E.R.R.O., Land Tax.
  • 40. Burton, Hemingbrough, 216-17, including pedigree.
  • 41. R.D.B., ID/110/147.
  • 42. Ibid. 316/525/434; 318/260/216; 328/359/273.
  • 43. See plate facing p. 129.
  • 44. See pp. 48-9.
  • 45. R.D.B., 37/211/195 (1890).
  • 46. Ibid. AA/14/14.
  • 47. Ibid. 1142/329/293.
  • 48. Cal. Chart. R. 1300-26, 180.
  • 49. See p. 39.
  • 50. C 94/3 f. 77.
  • 51. E.R.R.O. Enrolment Bk. G, pp. 138-41.
  • 52. R.D.B., IL/256/330; /259/331; /261/332.
  • 53. Ibid. 10/2/2 (1886); 32/48/46 (1901).
  • 54. Ibid. 1035/64/59.
  • 55. V.C.H. Yorks. ii. 224.
  • 56. Reg. Pal. Dunelm. ii. 1310-12.
  • 57. Cal. Chart. R. 1300-26, 180.
  • 58. E.R.R.O., DDLA/6/2-3.
  • 59. Ibid. DDHV/27/1.
  • 60. Burton, Hemingbrough, 212.
  • 61. Y.A.S., MD. 163.
  • 62. E.R.R.O., DDX/31/111, 120.
  • 63. Ibid. Enrolment Bk. G, pp. 129 sqq.; IA. South Duffield (map).
  • 64. 1 Geo. IV, c. 26 (Private).
  • 65. H.O. 107/2351.
  • 66. Directories.
  • 67. [1st] Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 32; 2nd Land Util. Surv. Map, sheet 689 (SE 63-73).
  • 68. Y.A.S., MD. 163.
  • 69. Cal. Chart. R. 1300-26, 180.
  • 70. Yorks. Fines, 1603-14, 41.
  • 71. Kelly's Dir. N. & E.R. Yorks. (1925), 551 and other directories.
  • 72. 3rd Rep. Poor Law Com. 178.
  • 73. O.S. Map 6" (1854 edn.).
  • 74. Census.
  • 75. G.R.O. Worship Returns, Vol. v, no. 2129.
  • 76. Stone on building.
  • 77. B.I.H.R., Meth. Archives 2, S. Duffield.
  • 78. Returns relating to Elem. Educ. 790.
  • 79. Ed. 7/135 no. 169.
  • 80. Bulmer, Dir. E. Yorks. (1892), 633.
  • 81. E.R. Educ. Cttee. Mins. 1912-13, 323; 1913-14, 72.
  • 82. Bd. of Educ. List 21 (H.M.S.O.).
  • 83. E.R. Educ. Cttee. Mins. 1955-6, 151; 1960-1, 98-9; 1962-3, 61.
  • 84. 11th Rep. Com. Char. 772.
  • 85. See p. 52.