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Coordinates: 53°46′32″N 0°55′28″W / 53.775682°N 0.924430°W / 53.775682; -0.924430

Wressle, Main Road.jpg
The main road through Wressle
Wressle is located in East Riding of Yorkshire
 Wressle shown within the East Riding of Yorkshire
Population 271 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference SE709315
Civil parish Wressle
Unitary authority East Riding of Yorkshire
Ceremonial county East Riding of Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SELBY
Postcode district YO8
Dialling code 01757
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Haltemprice and Howden
List of places

Wressle (with spelling variations of Wressell, and Wressel, in Leland's 'Itinary' Wreshil, in the Domesday book Weresa) is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, lying on the eastern bank of the River Derwent approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north-west of Howden.

Wressle village has a late 18th-century church, St.John, and on the western fringe of the village is the grade I listed structure and scheduled monument, the ruins of Wressle Castle. Wressle railway station is located within the village.

The parish includes the hamlets of Brind, Newsholme and Loftshome.


The civil parish of Wressle is bounded by the civil parishes of Hemingbrough and Cliffe in the county of North Yorkshire to the west, separated by the River Derwent; by Bubwith to the north, separated by the Fleet Dike; the by Spaldington and Howden to the east; and by Asselby and Barmby on the Marsh to the south.[2]

The civil parish contains Wressle and the hamlets of Brind and Newsholme.[1][2] The place of Loftsome lies less than 1km south of Wressle on the bank of the Derwent.[2] The Hull to Selby railway line runs east-west through the parish, passing Wressle on the southern edge, and the A63 also passes east-west through the southern part of the parish, skirting Newsholme, and passing Loftsome Bridge.[2] The parish contains predominately agricultural land at around 5 metres (16 ft) above sea level.[2] cross

According to the 2011 UK census, Wressle parish had a population of 271,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 261.[3]


Wressle Castle[edit]

53°46′32″N 0°55′43″W / 53.7755°N 0.9287°W / 53.7755; -0.9287 (Wressle Castle)

Ruins of Wressle castle (2011)

Wressle Castle was a quadrangular castle originally was built for Thomas Percy in around 1380.[4] After the death of Henry Hotspur after the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 ownership of the castle passed to the crown, then to John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford. In 1457 Thomas Percy, 1st Baron Egremont obtained the lordship and castle of Wressle for his lifetime. Subsequently the castle then passing to the Earls of Northumberland until Josceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland (d.1670 without male heirs). The castle then passed to Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset by his marriage to Josceline Percy's daughter Elizabeth Seymour, Duchess of Somerset.[5]

The castle was visited by Leland in the 16th century, and described in his itinery: The basse courte (literal 'farm yard', outer court or bailey) was mostly of timber, with a moat on three sides, the fourth side had the castle's entrance. The castelle (main castle) was of stone, much of which was thought at the time to have been brought from France, with five towers; four at the corners of similar size with four stories, and the fifth over the gatehouse with five stories; at the time (1530s) the castle was in good condition. The moted gardens include opere topiario (topiary) in spiral shapes.[6]

The castle was garrisoned by parliamentarians during the English Civil War during which time it was badly damaged. Subsequently the castle was slighted by order of parliament (1650) with three sides torn down, and all battlements removed.[7][8][9]

The castle was later used as a farm house until 19 February 1796 when a fire broke out, caused by the deliberate starting of a chimney fire in order to clear the chimney of soot, resulting in the gutting of the building.[10]

Wressle Castle is now a Grade I listed ruin and a scheduled monument.[11] remains include earthworks indicating the moat, and some parts of the castle: the remains of the two towers of the south range; and a building fragment, thought to have been a bakehouse.[12][13][14]

Wressle village[edit]

Church of St. John of Beverley (2006)

Wressle was listed as a Manor (Weresa) in the Domesday survey.[15]

An early church is thought to have been destroyed during the English Civil War as it represented a potential fortification; church services were then held in the chapel in the remains of Wressle Castle, until that was destroyed by fire (1796).[16][17] The parish church of St. John of Beverley, now a Grade II listed building, was built in 1799 of brick with stone dressings, as a replacement.[18]

Other 18th-century buildings still extant include the Castle Farmhouse (1796) built to house the farmer after the fire in Wressle castle;[19] and the Long Barn (late 18th century) near to the castle site, Holly Cottage in Wressle village (mid-18th century); all built of brick.[20][21][22] Rowland Hall, east of the village was built in the late 18th century in brick with stone dressings.[23]

In 1840 the Hull and Selby Railway was opened, passing south of Wressle, with a cast iron bridge over the Derwent; services calling at Wressle are recorded as early as 1843, with a full train service at Wressle station by 1855.[24] A school with an attached schoolmaster's house was erected in 1854.[17]

A windmill was built at Mill Farm, east of the village church in the 19th century, by 1890 it was out of use.[25][26]

The village has had minimal urban growth in the industrial and modern age.[27] In 1997 planning permission was obtained for a new small street of 5 houses off main street, named 'Derwent Court'.[28]


The Loftsome toll swing bridge

Loftsome and Loftsome Bridge were small hamlets in the parish of Wressle.[29] The Derwent was once crossed by a ferry at loftsome. A swing bridge crossing of the Derwent was built at Loftsome in 1804, operated as a toll bridge.[30][31][32]

There has been an inn at Loftsome Bridge since at least the 1800s.[33] By 1823 the place was known as the Loftsome Bridge Inn.[34]

In the 1870s Loftsome's population was 20.[35]

The original loftsome bridge remained in use to the early 1930s, at which time a new bridge was built for the Hull-Selby road (part of the A63).[30][36]

(In the parish of Barmby on the Marsh) In the early 1980s Yorkshire Water constructed a water supply treatment works "Loftsome Water Treatment Works" approximately 1km southwest of Loftsome on the banks of the Derwent.[37] The site was refurbished and upgraded in 1994, including ozone treatment, giving a capacity of 114,000 cubic metres (4,000,000 cu ft) per day,[38][37] in 2005/6 the site added additional treament units to deal with increased pesticide and trihalomethane content from the Derwent.[37]

In the late 2000s Yorkshire water had two 1.3MW wind turbines installed at its site in Loftsome .[39][40][41]


  1. ^ a b c "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics: Area: Wressle CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Ordnance Survey. 1:25000. 2006
  3. ^ "2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Wressle CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 766-7.
  5. ^ Bigland 1812, pp. 572-574.
  6. ^ Leland 1907, pp. 52-3.
  7. ^ Bigland 1812, p. 574.
  8. ^ Bigland 1812, pp. 576-577.
  9. ^ Allen, Thomas, A new and completed history of the county of York 3, pp. 396–404 
  10. ^ "Wressle Castle", The Farmer's Magazine 7 (4), October 1837: 381–2 
  11. ^ English Heritage. "Ruins of Wressle Castle (1083170)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 February 2013 .
  12. ^ Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 768.
  13. ^ Wressle Castle (59470). PastScape. English Heritage. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  14. ^ English Heritage. "The bakehouse at Wressle castle approximately 30 metres north of ruins of Wressle castle (1160652)". National Heritage List for England .
  15. ^ Wressle in the Domesday Book
  16. ^ Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 766.
  17. ^ a b Bulmer (1892), "Wressle", History and Directory of East Yorkshire 
  18. ^ English Heritage. "Church of St. John of Beverley (1310488)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 February 2013 .
  19. ^ Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 769.
  20. ^ English Heritage. "Holly Cottage, 37, Main Street (1310461)". National Heritage List for England .
  21. ^ English Heritage. "The Long Barn and Wressle Castle farm, Breighton Road (1160659)". National Heritage List for England .
  22. ^ English Heritage. "Castle Farmhouse (1346762)". National Heritage List for England .
  23. ^ English Heritage. "Rowland Hall, Rowland Hall lane (1083172)". National Heritage List for England .
  24. ^ See Hull and Selby Railway and Wressle railway station
  25. ^ English Heritage. "Windmill Tower at Mill Farm (1346761)". National Heritage List for England .
  26. ^ Ordnance Survey. 1:2500. 1890
  27. ^ Ordnance Survey. 1:2500. 1890-1, 1907-9, 1973
  29. ^ Langdale, Thomas (1822), A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire (2nd ed.), p. 180 
  30. ^ a b Baggs, A.P.; Kent, G.H.R.; Purdy, J.D. (1976), Hemingbrough - Brackenholme with Woodhall, in Allison, K.J., "Ouse and Derwent wapentake, and part of Harthill wapentake", A History of the County of York East Riding 3 
  31. ^ The Monthly Magazine, or, British Register 16 (106), 1 October 1803, p. 285, "It is intended to build a new swing bridge over the river Derwent, at or near a place called Loftsome Ferry House, ..." 
  32. ^ Journals of the House of Lords 44, 1802, p. 202, "(Loftsome Bridge Bill) An Act for building a Bridge over the River Derwent, at or near Loftsome Ferry, from the Parish of Wressel, to the opposite Shore, in the Parish of Hemingbrough, in the East Riding of the County of York" 
  33. ^ "The History", www.loftsomebridge-hotel.co.uk, retrieved June 2014 
  34. ^ Baines, Edward (1823), History, Directory & Gazeteer, of the County of York 2, p. 364 
  35. ^ University of Portsmouth, "Loftsome East Riding", A Vision of Britain through Time 
  36. ^ Ordnance Survey. 1:2500. 1890-1, 1907-9, 1938, 1972
  37. ^ a b c Corrigan, Peter J. (2006), "Loftsome Bridge WTW pesticide & trihalomethane reduction scheme", www.waterprojectsonline.com: 52–53 
  38. ^ Loftsome Bridge - Yorkshire Water Services Ozone Plant, Ozonia, 2000 
  39. ^ Ward, Mike; Saunders, Steve; Carr, Russell (2009), "Loftsome Bridge WTW Wind Energy Scheme", www.waterprojectsonline.com: 191–2 
  40. ^ (06/05245/STPLF) Erection of 2 wind turbines - resubmission of 06/02087/STPLF, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, 28 June 2006 
  41. ^ Grimshaw, Gerran (18 January 2008), "Name choice is simply a breeze", York Press 


  • Leland, John (1907) [1544], Toulmin Smith, Lucy, ed., The Laboriouse Journey and Serche of Johan Leylande for Englandes Antiquitees, George Bell and Sons, pp. 52–54 
  • Bigland, John (1812), "Yorkshire", The Beauties of England and Wales, or, Original Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive, of Each County 16 
  • Gazetteer — A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 12. 
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus; Neave, David (1995), "Yorkshire : York and the East Riding", The Buildings of England (2nd ed.): 766–769 

Further reading[edit]

  • Brears, P. (2010), "Wressle Castle: functions, fixtures and furnishings for Henry Percy ‘the magnificent’, fifth earl of Northumberland, 1498-1527", Archaeological Journal 167: 55–114 
  • Emery, Anthony (1996), "Northern England", Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300-1500 (Cambridge University Press) 1: 414–419 
  • Neave, D. (1984), "Wressle Castle", Archaeological Journal 141: 58–60 
  • Savage, James (1797), An Historical Account of the Parish of Wressle, in the East Riding of the County of York 
  • Savage, James (1805), The History of the Castle and Parish of Wressle, in the East Riding of the County of York 

External links[edit]