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Great Driffield

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[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"GREAT DRIFFIELD, a parish in the wapentake of Harthill, and liberty of St. Peter's; 12 miles from Bridlington, 13 from Beverley, 19 from Malton, 22 from Hull, 23 from Scarborough, 30 from York, and 192 from London by way of Lincoln. The population of this place is rapidly augmenting: in 1801, it amounted to 1329; in 1811, to 1857; and in 1821, to 2303, making an increase during each 10 years of about five and twenty per cent and the ratio of mortality, owing to the combined influence of the salubrious situation of the town and the healthful pursuits of the inhabitants, does not exceed one in sixty per annum." (There is further information for Great Driffield).

"DANESDALE, in the parish of Great Driffield, and wapentake of Harthill; 2½ miles N. of Great Driffield. There are within one mile of this place a great number of Tumuli, amounting to about five hundred, which from time immemorial have been called " Danes Graves." History is silent concerning their origin, but it is highly probable that the Danes who appear to have had a fortified camp near Flamborough, may have issued from thence to ravage the country, and have fallen victims to Saxon valour. Each tumulus is three or four feet high, and from twenty to thirty feet in circumference at the base. Many of these ancient depositaries of the dead have been recently opened, and found to contain each a human skeleton, which from the dry calcareous nature of the soil has been kept in excellent preservation upwards of a thousand years."

"ELMSWELL, in the parish of Great Driffield, and wapentake of Harthill; 1½ miles W. of Great Driffield. Pop. with Kelleythorpe, 93."

"KELLEYTHORPE, in the parish of Great Driffield, and wapentake of Harthill; 1¼ miles SSW. of Great Driffield."

"KENDAL HOUSE, in the parish of Great Driffield, and wapentake of Harthill; 1½ miles NNW. of Great Driffield."

"LITTLE DRIFFIELD, in the parish of Great Driffield, and 1 mile from it to the North West." (There is further information for Little Driffield).

"WOLD HOUSE, a farm house in the township and parish of Great-Driffield; 3¼ miles NNW. of Great Driffield."

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]




Church History


Church Records


Description and Travel





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  • Available from Yorkshire Parish Registers as a downloadable purchase are a Collection of birth, marriage & death notices, indexed by surname. and a Collection of articles of local interest, indexed by surname (1861-1870). all taken from the Driffield Times.

Memorial Inscriptions

Monumental Inscriptions


Names, Geographical

  • The following places are within the boundaries of this (ancient) parish, but I have no further information on them other than the Ordnance Survey Landranger Grid reference shown:
    • (TA020601) Blakedale
    • (TA020620) Clitheroe
    • (TA028619) Danes Dale
    • (TA020633) Dane's Graves
    • (TA017602) Great Kendale
    • (TA017599) Little Kendale