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Market Place, Driffield - geograph.org.uk - 453770.jpg
Market Place, Driffield
Driffield Coat of Arms.png
Arms of Driffield Town Council
Driffield is located in East Riding of Yorkshire
Location within the East Riding of Yorkshire
Population13,080 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceTA023577
• London175 mi (282 km) S
Civil parish
  • Driffield
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtYO25
Dialling code01377
UK Parliament
List of places
54°00′18″N 0°26′17″W / 54.005°N 0.438°W / 54.005; -0.438Coordinates: 54°00′18″N 0°26′17″W / 54.005°N 0.438°W / 54.005; -0.438

Driffield, also known as Great Driffield, is a market town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The civil parish is formed by the town of Driffield and the village of Little Driffield. By road, it is 53 miles (85 km) north-east of Leeds, 70 miles (110 km) north-east of Sheffield, 29 miles (47 km) east of York, 23 miles (37 km) north of Hull and 72 miles (116 km) south-east of Middlesbrough.

Driffield is named The Capital of the Wolds, due to its location sitting centrally within the Yorkshire Wolds.[2]

According to the 2011 UK census, Driffield parish had a population of 13,080,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 11,477.[3]

The town was listed in the 2019 Sunday Times report on the Best Places to Live in northern England.[4]


Driffield c. 1838

Driffield is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and the name is first attested in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle where King Aldfrith of Northumbria died on the 14 December 705.[5] It is also found in Domesday Book of 1086,[6] meaning "dirty (manured) field".[7][8]

A Bronze Age mound outside Driffield was excavated in the 19th century, the contents of which are now kept in the British Museum. It includes a knife, a dagger, a beaker and a greenstone wrist-guard all dating to between 2200 and 1500 BC.[9]

The remains of Driffield Castle, a motte-and-bailey castle, sit at Moot Hill.[10][11]

RAF Driffield was targeted by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. On 15 August 1940, a raid by Junkers 88s resulted in 14 deaths and many injuries. RAF Driffield was the site of the first death in the WAAF during the Second World War.


Driffield is a major part of the Driffield and Rural electoral ward. This ward stretches north west to Sledmere with a total population taken at the 2011 Census of 15,199.[12] The local Member of Parliament is Greg Knight.

Culture and amenities[edit]

Market Place clock

Driffield is centred around Middle Street, its main high street of both independent and chain shops and retail (such as WHSmith, Iceland, Yorkshire Trading Company, B & M, Boyes, Wilko and M&Co.). On a Thursday, a market is held in the town centre.[13] Its original cattle market closed in 2001.[14]

The town's main hotel is the Bell Hotel, an old coaching inn in the centre of the town.[15] Public houses and bars include, The Full Measure, the Original Keys, Buck, Royal Oak, Tiger Inn, Middle Pub, the Benjamin Fawcett (Wetherspoons), the Blue Bell, and 'Forty One'.[16] It also has a micro-pub The Butcher's Dog.[17]

Restaurants and takeaways include the Water Margin, Hanley's, El Dorado's, Trishna's, The Scullery, Marco Polo, and Muskan Spice. Cafe's include the cycle friendly The Bike Cave.[18]

The Driffield Showground

The town is home to Driffield Show,the UK's largest one-day annual agricultural show,[19][20] as well as the Driffield Steam and Vintage Rally - an event held each August[21] showcasing historical vehicles including traction engines, fairground organs, tractors and vintage cars and trucks. A particular focus is placed upon agricultural history, with demonstrations of ploughing and threshing often taking place. The rally is particularly known[22][23] for the Saturday evening road-run of the steam engines and other vehicles into Driffield town centre, an event which invariably attracts large crowds of spectators.

Driffield also has a small community hospital (known as Alfred Bean Hospital), a fire station, a local police station, and several churches.

Driffield canal

Driffield lies in the Yorkshire Wolds, on the Driffield Navigation canal, and near the source of the River Hull. This is maintained by the Driffield Navigation Trust and the group hosts an annual raft race and open day gala at the River Head.[24]

The Driffield Beck runs roughly parallel to the main high street. Some stretches of Driffield Beck are popular for fishing, particularly for brown trout and grayling.[25]


There are two infant schools (Driffield Northfield Infant School[26] and Driffield Church Of England Voluntary Controlled Infant School[27]), and one larger junior school (Driffield Junior School), which caters for children aged 7–11.[28] Driffield School & Sixth Form is a large secondary school that also contains a sixth form, and so offers education up to A level standard.[29] The town also includes Kings Mill Special School.[30] The nearest independent school is Pocklington School.


Driffield Railway Station

Driffield lies on the A614, A166 and B1249.

The town is served by Driffield railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line, with services currently run by Northern and has direct trains to Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Hull, Beverley, Bridlington, and Scarborough.

East Yorkshire Motor Services provide regular services to Hull, Pocklington, Beverley, Bridlington, York and Scarborough.[31]


Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011 2021
Total 1,411 1,857 2,303 2,660 3,223 3,963 5,937 5,700 6,036 5,676 5,791 6,040 7,006 6,892 7,895 9,100 10,062 11,477



All Saints' Church

There are nine churches in Driffield, which work together as 'Churches Together in Driffield'.[33]

The Anglican church dedicated to All Saints was designated a Grade I listed building in 1963 and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.[34] St Mary's church is within the same benefice as All Saints but actually sits in neighbouring Little Driffield.[35] (There was once a second Anglican Church in Driffield itself, dedicated to Saint John and located on St Johns Road, but it has been demolished.[36])

There is a small Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Edward that was built in 1886.[37] The Methodist Church stands on Middle Street North[38] the former 1880 building,[39] was demolished in November 2018 and replaced by a modern building.[40] Bourne Methodists is a Primitive Methodist Church, sited on Westgate.[41] The Salvation Army have a building on The Mount.[42]

Driffield Christian Fellowship is an Elim Pentecostal church who have a building on Wansford Road. Their church service is held in the Performing Arts Hall at Driffield School.[43] The Congregational Church is situated on Exchange Street.[44] The Revive Church meets in the Community Centre on Mill Street.[35]


The age-old tradition of Scrambling is unique to the town of Driffield and has its origins in the 18th century. The event takes place a couple of days into the New Year. Children walk through the main street shouting an ancient rhyme to shopkeepers in return for money and goodies. The cry is "Here we are at our town's end...With a shoulder of mutton and a crown to spend...Are we downhearted?..No!...Shall we win?...Yes!..."[45]

It is also tradition for the townspeople of Driffield to congregate in the market place on New Year's Eve and listen for the church bells ringing in the new year.


The climate in Driffield is warm and temperate, with higher than average rainfall. This climate is considered to be Cfb according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. In Driffield, the average annual temperature is 9.5 °C. The average annual rainfall is 719 mm.[46]

Climate data for Climate data for Driffield
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
Average low °C (°F) 0.6
Record low °C (°F) −5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 65.7
Average precipitation days 13.0 10.7 11.0 10.0 9.6 10.5 9.9 10.6 9.4 12.0 13.3 12.4 132.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.3 76.6 110.0 149.5 198.8 179.1 191.9 178.4 139.4 104.8 64.4 46.6 1,491.7
Source: Met Office[47]


Driffield was formerly home to Driffield Mariners Football Club, who have won three Hull Sunday League titles in recent years. Now to this present day, there are two main men's team who both play at the second highest league in the East Riding. Driffield Junior Football Club and Driffield Evening Institute who both play in the Humber Premier League Division One. Driffield also has its own football league, Driffield and District League and was founded in 1919 and currently only has 1 division which consists of 9 teams from within Driffield and district.

The town has a cricket club, the first team of which play in the ECB Yorkshire Premier League North. First class cricketers Andrew Gale, Richard Pyrah, Steven Patterson, Jonny Bairstow, Ishara Amerasinghe and Abid Ali have all played for the club.

Driffield RUFC is a member of the RFU and Yorkshire RFU, playing its senior fixtures in the North 1 East league. The club field six senior teams (four men's and two women's), a colts team and mini/juniors (at every age group from under 7's to under 17's).[48]

Driffield Hockey Club play their home matches at Driffield Sports Centre and currently field three men's teams and four ladies' teams, as well as juniors and vets sections.[49] For a catchment area the size of Driffield, the club is relatively successful, with both the men's and ladies first XIs being promoted from their respective YHA Yorkshire Premier Divisions at the end of the 2013–14 season (6th tier of English Hockey) to the North League Division 2 East and North League Division 2 South East respectively (5th tier of English Hockey).[50]

Driffield has an 18-hole golf club that has been at its present location since 1934.[51]

Driffield featured on the route of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire.[52]

Driffield has a sports centre located on Bridlington Road, which opened in 2009 replacing the old sports centre (now owned by Driffield School). The new sports centre includes a main pool and learner pool, sports hall, a 50-piece gym, and a studio/multi-use room.[53]


Driffield and the Wolds are served by the local newspaper, Driffield & Wolds Weekly, launched in August 2015. The Driffield Times ceased publication in 2016.[54]

Great Driffield Radio, launched in November 2018 on 107.2 FM, broadcasts across the town and surrounding villages.[55]

In popular culture[edit]

Slaughterhouse Studios was a recording studio in the town between 1985 and 1992. Bands including Napalm Death, The Mission, and most notably Happy Mondays would record there.[56][57]

Twin towns[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Driffield Parish (1170211167)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Why Wolds capital Driffield is a boom town for buyers". Yorkshire Post. 18 January 2019. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  3. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Driffield Parish (1543504213)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Driffield, East Yorkshire – Best Places to Live in the UK 2019". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  5. ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Peterborough Manuscript (E), 706, translated and edited by Michael Swanton, (1996), p. 41
  6. ^ Great Driffield in the Domesday Book
  7. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The concise Oxford dictionary of English place-names (4 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 151. ISBN 0-19-869103-3.
  8. ^ Harrison 2002, p. 97.
  9. ^ Harrison 2002, pp. 18–29.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Moot Hill motte and bailey castle, and site of a medieval moated manor, Driffield (1015612)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. ^ Harrison 2002, p. 79.
  12. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Driffield and Rural Ward (as of 2011) (1237321350)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  13. ^ "About the Town". Welcome to Driffield. Archived from the original on 3 November 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Market forces and a family tradition". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Best Western". Best Western. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Pubs in Driffield Postal District - Pubs Galore". Pubs Galore. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  17. ^ "The Butcher's Dog - Real Ales - Ciders - Driffield's Micropub". The Butchers Dog. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  18. ^ "The Bike Cave - Driffield". Way Of The Roses. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Driffield Show revels in the heat at 144th edition". Yorkshire Post. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Driffield Show". Welcome to Driffield. Archived from the original on 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Driffield Steam and Vintage Rally". Driffield Vintage Rally. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  22. ^ WDYUK. "Driffield Steam & Vintage Rally". Driffield Show. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Steam rally road run changes". Bridlington Free Press. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Driffield Navigation Trust". Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  25. ^ "About Mulberry Whin Chalkstream Flyfishing - Mulberry Whin Chalkstream Flyfishing". Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Driffield Northfield Infant School". East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Driffield CE VC Infant School". East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Driffield Junior School - General Information". Driffield Junior School. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Home". Driffield School. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Kings Mill Special School". Kings Mill School. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  31. ^ "Driffield". CarlBerry.co.uk. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
  32. ^ The History of Driffield, Harrison, Stephen, Blackthorn Press, 2002, ISBN 9781906259549
  33. ^ "Churches Together: Churches Together in Driffield - About Us". together.ourchurchweb.org.uk. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  34. ^ Historic England. "Church of All Saints (1083378)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  35. ^ a b "Revive Church – Driffield". www.revivechurch.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  36. ^ "The Discovery Service". The National Archives. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  37. ^ "History". Driffield Catholic Church. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  38. ^ "Welcome - Driffield Methodist Church". Driffield Methodist Church. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  39. ^ "Genuki: GREAT DRIFFIELD: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892". www.genuki.org.uk. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  40. ^ "New Church in Driffield, East Yorkshire" (PDF). The Methodist Church. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  41. ^ "Churches Together: Churches Together in Driffield - Churches". together.ourchurchweb.org.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  42. ^ "Salvation Army Tea party for church funds in Driffield, East Yorkshire". Pocklington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  43. ^ "Finding Us - Driffield Christian Fellowship". sites.google.com. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Driffield - North East - Find a Church - Congregational Federation". www.congregational.org.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  45. ^ "Driffield's scrambling tradition draws the crowds". BBC News. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  46. ^ "Driffield climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Driffield weather averages". en.climate-data.org. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  47. ^ "Driffield climate". Met Office. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  48. ^ "Driffield RUFC". Driffield Rugby Union Football Club. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  49. ^ "Driffield Hockey Club". Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  50. ^ "Yorkshire Hockey Association". Yorkshireha.org.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  51. ^ "DRIFFIELD GOLF CLUB". Driffield Golf Club. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  52. ^ "Tour de Yorkshire 2017: Latest updates from stage one". BBC News. 28 April 2017.
  53. ^ "Driffield Leisure Centre opens to public". Healthclubmanagement.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  54. ^ "Independent weekly claims 4,000 sale as JP rival exits patch". HoldtheFrontPage. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  55. ^ "Great Driffield Radio launch day announced". Great Driffield Radio. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  56. ^ Jones, Tim (12 May 2015). "Remembering Slaughterhouse Studios". All About Rock. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  57. ^ Wray, Daniel Dylan (1 February 2016). "Driff-Raff: Happy Mondays, Bummed & Driffield". The Quietus. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  58. ^ "Feature: Twin Town - MyDriffield - News and features from Driffield and the Wolds". My Driffield. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  59. ^ "Garden celebrates Victorian printer". BBC News. 12 April 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  60. ^ "Benjamin Fawcett the finest of Victorian colour printers". Benjaminfawcett.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  61. ^ "Curtis Woodhouse hails response to opening gym up to homeless people - Boxing News". Boxing News. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  62. ^ "Music interview – Woody Woodmansey: 'Ziggy Stardust took a hold so strong'". The Yorkshire Post. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2019.


  • Harrison, Stephen (2002). The History of Driffield, East Yorkshire. Blackthorn Press. ISBN 0-9535072-9-7.

External links[edit]