Parish History

Compiled by the Parish of Hemingbrough Historical/Heritage Society
All information and pictures are the reserved rights of the Society












Discover more here……



Discover more here…



Hemingbrough’s Main Street was until the late teens called Town Street, the name was most likely changed because although Hemingbrough was an important place at one time, by the end of the 1st World War it was no more than a small village.

Below is a picture of Town/Main Street in 1919.



THE VILLAGE ENTRANCE History in the making

The village entrance was once part of the original A63 Howden Road.

The tidy up of the western entrance to Hemingbrough was started in September 2009, the overgrown area was cut back, Plasmor donated 20 tons of topsoil that now makes the circular garden – by May 2010 flowers were beginning to bloom. Jan Strelczenie and Roland Chilvers constructed the village entrance sign which holds Time Capsules kindly provided by Drax Power Station in 2011. These were filled by children at Cliffe VC Primary School and Hemingbrough Community Primary School and placed inside the structure encased in concrete, to be opened in fifty years time.

A bench has been placed in the area, which is regularly used by passing pedestrians and cyclists. This bench was kindly donated by George Fillingham the village grass cutter.

The area is maintained by the Hemingbrough Historical/Heritage Society and the many flowers; shrubs have been donated by the Society and residents from Cliffe and Hemingbrough.

Below is a selection of pictures showing work that has been carried out on the village entrance over the last five years

  • overgrown area



On Thursday 5th April 1945 Flying Officer Morse of the RCAF was the pupil in Halifax LW480 who along with his instructor and six crew members  took off from Riccall. As the plane started to climb the starboard outer engine cut out followed by the starboard inner. Both engines had smoke and flames coming from them when the Halifax reached the ground at Hemingbrough.

The Instructor, Flying Officer Hugh Melville explained “When the fire broke out we were unable to get back to base so I took over for a crash landing”. A small road which runs behind the Church at Hemingbrough was the first contact as the undercarriage came down. The plane then came to land in a field where an Italian POW was ploughing with a horse drawn plough, he ran across to where the plane landed and was quite interested as to what had gone wrong – until he was informed the plane was carrying practice bombs and with the burning aircraft they would go off at anytime. On hearing this the POW move so quickly across the field he beat the horse.

One member of the eight crew on board was injured but not serious.

Flying Officer Hugh Melville said “I think we were the most unpopular people around in Hemingbrough that day as it was quite a nice day and many of the villagers had their washing out, you can imagine what it looked like after all the oily smoke from out aircraft had blown on to it”.

Halifax Bomber Crash Hemingbrough April 1945

Halifax bomber in 1945




The brickworks are mentioned in (Bulmers History & Directory of East Yorkshire in 1892) as being managed by Thomas Farrow, very little changed until after the 1939-45 war.

The brickwork kilns were coal fired and so was the boiler house.  All work was done by hand, making drain pipes at this time.  The men dug the clay by hand with forks, loaded the narrow gauge rail trucks which were hauled by wire rope up the incline out of the clay pit and into the works.

Shortly after the war ended the brickyards were taken over by a subsidiary of Shepherd group and production was stepped up dramatically.  Digging machinery arrived and a narrow-gauge railway was installed.

Below are a selection of pictures from 1960 – 1980

With the advent of plastic drainage piping demand for clay piping fell and in March 1983 the brick works closed down.




Leading from the higher sandy Romano-British settlement area to the marshy lower ground of the old River Ouse backwater, this track later connected the Norman ‘Hawes Closes’ area beyond Haw Lane with their settlement around the Church.

Called Northfield Road, Drain & Lane over the years its most recent prominence was perhaps the 1750-1970 era Brick & Tile works. The year this operation first began is not clear, but the first O.S. map of 1851 shows the area to be well developed, see below.

  • O.S. map of 1851 shows well developed area



Here are a few of the photographs ever taken of the breach of the River Derwent flood defence bank in 1947. At the same time as the River Ouse overflowed and broke its banks at Barlby and Newhay, so did the River Derwent between Barmby Ferry and Babthorpe as these photos show. The flooding in the Selby area was in the news at this time,  but the Derwent  breach was relatively unimportant and not in the news.



In the winter of 1946 the snow was many feet deep with drift’s up to 10ft, the snow hung around until the end of February 1947 and in March there was a rapid thaw upstream and in the vale of York.  The river could not take the volume of water and so the floods came.  The above photo was taken from a boat at Chantryfield Hill looking towards Hemingbrough, the lower photo is the bottom of the garden at Tithe Farm on Main Street.

On Saturday evening March 22 1947 the Hippodrome in Millgate Selby was flooded and by Sunday afternoon the river had overtopped the bank at Barlby.  By Monday evening Hemingbrough was cut off and remained so for about ten days.

  • Chantryfield Hill looking towards Hemingbrough

By mid-week the Army had arrived and were running a kind of irregular bus service to Selby, these men were billeted at the Britannia Pub (now re-named Fox and Pheasant) The Army also went out to outlying properties where people were still stranded.




According to the {History of the county of York} Hemynburg signifies in the Saxon language “a fort upon the edge of ground near a river”.  But Dr Stukely in his “Infer Curlosum” says the Romans had a fort here and a fragment of wall is incorporated in the west wall of the Church? And although a copper coin of Victorinus was found in the village, the Roman occupation of Hemingbrough has passed without leaving a trace behind.  But whether a Roman fort stood here or not, it is evident from the name that there was a fortification of some kind in the Saxon period, as Heming was a common name among Norsemen.  At the time of the Domesday Survey, Hemingbrough was in the hands of William the Conqueror, who subsequently gave the Manor and the Church, together with his lands at Brackenholme to the Prior and Convent of Durham.

Richard Hoton, the Prior obtained from Edward I on the 22nd April 1295 a charter for a market and also a fair, the former to be held every Thursday the latter on the day of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and on the six days following, viz from the 15th to the 21st August.  The market fell into disuse and in 1780 the fair and country feast was arranged that it should begin on the last Sunday in June to avoid any interference with the Harvest work.  The Prior Hoton Hemingbrough was indebted for the erection of a toll-booth, a shop which was supposed to be the tollbooth was granted by James I to John Cooke.

This building stood in the centre of Town Street (Main Street) and was eventually turned into a smithy, and in 1780 a vote was taken to have it removed.



 After the Romans left Britain the area around Jorvik was a scene of much unrest, while over the next centuries either the Danes or the Anglo-Saxons ruled.  In the summer of 1066 Harold of Hardrada, the King of Norway sailed past Hamiburg with an army, casting anchor at Riccall on his way to do battle at Fulford.  On September 24th Jorvik submitted.  Meanwhile King Harold of England marching North to regain Jorvik confronted the North-men at Stanfordbrycg {Stamford Bridge} and upon winning the ensuing battle he then march south to do battle with William of Normandy who had landed at Hastings.  King Harold was slain there and William was crowned King in Westminster on Christmas Day 1066. After an uneasy peace rebellion broke out in 1067, William marched to York in 1068 to restore peace, leaving a Knight, William de Malet to suppress further rebellion but in the autumn of 1069 Swewn Ulfsson the King of Denmark sent forces up the river to York, thus began the second siege in which they succeeded in storming the two wooden castles and threw off the yoke of the Frenchmen. Once again King William marched North to York determined on vengeance, ‘Par splendeur Dex,’ he swore and carried out his oath with the “Wasting of the North” which changed a vast area around Jorvik into wasteland, every Well & Settlement was destroyed or burnt, and the inhabitants and cattle driven out.     Below is a diagram of the type of dwelling used during that period with wooden sides and thatched roof?  It is believed that the space between the twin poles may have been used for storage, it also kept the inner chamber warmer in winter.

Thus began the Feudal system whereby lands were given to Norman Lords based on the principle that all lands belonged to the King by virtue of his conquest of the Country.

Diagram of the type of dwelling used

Early Dwelling



Today St Mary’s Church is the only visible evidence of early Hemingbrough

All the information and photographs on this page are by kind permission of our archivist.