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Moor Grove - Thanet Road - geograph.org.uk - 1739049.jpg
Terraced housing viewed from St Helens' Road
Dringhouses is located in North Yorkshire
Dringhouses shown within North Yorkshire
Population11,084 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE580496
• London170 mi (270 km) SSE
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townYORK
Postcode districtYO24
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
53°56′25″N 1°07′01″W / 53.940160°N 1.116880°W / 53.940160; -1.116880Coordinates: 53°56′25″N 1°07′01″W / 53.940160°N 1.116880°W / 53.940160; -1.116880

Dringhouses is a suburb, formerly a village, in York, England and includes the area known as Woodthorpe. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is bounded by the Knavesmire, an open area of land on which York Racecourse is situated, to the east, Askham Bogs and the A64 to the south, the York Outer Ring road to the west and the Unitary Authority Wards of Westfield, Acomb, and Holgate to the north. The City of York ward is called Dringhouses and Woodthorpe. It had a population of 11,084 at the 2011 Census.[1] It is located approximately two and quarter miles from York City Centre.

The name derives from "Drengeshirses" (1109) and means "the houses of the drengs", a "dreng" being a man who held land by a particular kind of free tenure.[2][3]

It is a mixture of housing estates and large open spaces, with the East Coast main railway line running through the middle. The population of Dringhouses and Woodthorpe (2001) was 10,733.


Dringhouses Milepost

The Old Norse name from which Dringhouses is derived, indicates the villagers were the descendants of Halfdan, the Viking leader who had taken the area from the Angles and had shared the land among his warriors in 876.[4] The free land of the Drengs became a Norman manor - ultimately owned by Archbishop Walter de Gray who granted it to his brother Robert in 1244 and thence to John, Lord Grey of Rotherfield. The title passed to Sir John Deincourt and his ancestors until it was inherited by the Wilkinson family. The last Lord of the manor, Col. Wilkinson, died on 13 January 1941. The subsequent break-up of the estate meant that most of the land in the village was no longer owned by one family.[5]

There was a long dispute over the Wapentake of the Ainsty - which included Dringhouses - from the early Middle Ages. In 1276 the Courts of Edward I dealt with a claim by the York Corporation that:-"... the citizens of York hold the wapentake of Ainsty and the city of York of the King...". The claim was based on a Charter of the reign of King John and the case was lost on the grounds that the extent of the land was not specified and, more seriously, that the Charter contained erasures. For this the Mayor was held responsible and was imprisoned for a short time.[4] The claim was revived in 1448 and upheld. From that date until 1832 the people of the Ainsty and therefore Dringhouses were under the authority of York Corporation.[4]

Though Dringhouses was within the parish of Holy Trinity Priory, Micklegate, it formed a separate manor and thus lay outside of the City of York.[6] In St Helen's Road, between 1920 and 1946, the house next to the Cross Keys car park was the Club House for the 15-hole golf course on the Hob Moor, which later moved, as the York Golf Club, to Strensall, with the railway workers who used to play there moving to Pike Hills Golf Club.[7]

The present shops on Tadcaster Road were originally a row of cottages known as Meek's Buildings, nicknamed "Washing Tub Row" because those who lived there took in washing for the gentry.[4]

Dringhouses village was incorporated into the City in 1937. The present Marriott Hotel (formerly the Chase Hotel) stands at the boundary of the village with the city and was the terminus for the trams in their heyday. The electric trams replaced the horse bus in 1911.[8]

Goddards House and Garden in Dringhouses is a former home of the Terry family, famed chocolate makers. This Grade I listed building was built in 1927 and is a visitor attraction and regional office of the National Trust.[9][10]

Hob Moor, which forms part of the Knavesmire and hence Micklegate Stray, is first mentioned in documents in 1374 as '"Yhorkesmore""' and first noted as '"Hobbe Moore"' in 1624 by the cartographer, Samuel Parsons. During the early 17th century, accommodation was constructed to house plague victims on Hob Lane, leading to the Moor. This is indicated by the Plague Stone still visible today. Next to this stone is the '"Hob Stone"' which depicts the shield and effigy of a knight of the de Ros family, who is reputed to have given his name to the area. In 1745, the York to Tadcaster Turnpike was constructed, which follows the route of the modern Tadcaster Road in the area. The Moor has been used as an area for the Military. In 1644, the Scottish troops, who were part of the Parliamentarian Army, were encamped here during the siege of York. From 1912 to 1920, the Moor was used for training Cavalry troops.[11]

On the eastbound carriageway of Tadcaster Road in Dringhouses is a small brick enclosure that was once used as a pinfold. It is located opposite the Royal Chase.[12]


Dringhouses is part of the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward in the Unitary Authority of York. As of 2011 it is represented by Labour Councillors Anna Semlyen and Gerard Hodgson and the Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Reid.[13]

It forms part of the UK Parliamentary Constituency of York Outer and EU Constituency of Yorkshire and the Humber.


The figures below were taken from the Census 2001 Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales, from the Office for National Statistics on 29 April 2001.[14]

The population in the Ward was 10,733 of which 92.1% were born in England and 3.4% from outside the United Kingdom. The largest Age Group within the population, 22.2%, were between 30 and 44 years old with 21.6% between 45 and 59 years old. Of the total population, 96.7% described their ethnic origin as White-British. The figures show that 79.2% declared they were Christian, whilst 19.9% declared no religious belief at all. Of the population aged between 16 and 74 years old, 69.2% declared they were in some form of employment and 17.2% said they were retired. Of the 4,650 households, 52.3% were Semi-Detached and 31.3% were Detached. The level of household ownership was 84.1%.[15]


In past years, the majority of employment was in agriculture. As of 2010, the main employment can be found in the retail and education sectors, as Dringhouses has a large Tesco supermarket and the York College. Employment can be found in the Health Care centre as St Leonards' Hospice is located next to the York College. A small amount of employment can be found in the Leisure sector as two major chain hotels are located on Tadcaster Road. The racing stables on Hunters Way also provide employment.


Grazing on Hob Moor

Dringhouses is located two and a half miles from York City Centre. The East Coast Main Line runs through the centre of the area. There are some open areas of land including Marsh farm, Chaloners Whin and Sim Hills. Council run allotments can be found at the entrance to Hob Moor on Tadcaster Road.[16] There are areas of open water near Aintree Court, Bramble Dene and at Chapmans Pond and Hogg's Pond on Moor Lane. There are several small becks or streams in the area, namely on Hob Moor and on Chaloners Whin.

The largest open area is Hob Moor which is part of the Knavesmire, that together make up Micklegate Stray. This land was once used for growing crops as demonstrated by the ridges and furrows still evident. As of 2010, it is still used as grazing land, licensed by York City Council.[17][18] Hob Moor was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2003 and hosts a variety of flora and fauna. Amongst the birds that can be found here are meadow pipit, skylark, whinchat, wheatear, yellow wagtail and merlin.[19]

Play areas can be found at Nelsons Lane, Heron Avenue (owned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation), Woodthorpe Green and Leeside.[20]

The York to Tadcaster turnpike ran through this area following the route of the modern Tadcaster Road, which formed part of the old A64 to Leeds.


The area is well served by local public transport. First York operate the service to Acomb Park via Moor Lane, the service to Copmanthorpe along Tadcaster Road and the service also along Tadcaster Road and around the Woodthorpe Estate between Acomb and the University of York. They also operate the Park and Ride service from Askham Bar next to the Tesco superstore on Tadcaster Road. Yorkshire Coastliner service also operates along Tadcaster Road as part of the Leeds to Scarborough route. Transdev operate two routes through the Woodthorpe area. Pullman Coaches operate along Tadcaster Road as part of their service between York and Tadcaster. Three National Express routes all pass along Tadcaster Road, with a stopping place at the Cross Keys public house.[21]


Dringhouses Primary School

Primary education is catered for at Dringhouses Primary School on St Helens Road. The original school was founded in 1849 - adjacent to the church. In 1852 a new school was built and is now the local library. It then moved into the old school house on its present site next to the railway in 1904,[22] designed by architect Walter Brierley.[23]

After the school moved the 1852 building was used as a reading room until 1942. Part of the Grade II listed building then became the Wilkinson Memorial Library, usually referred to as Dringhouses Library, when the building was given for the benefit of the local citizens following the death of Colonel Wilkinson in 1941. A plaque to commemorate this was unveiled in March 2016.[24][25]

York College has its campus at the former Tollcross[26] at the south-western edge of Dringhouses and caters for Sixth Form and Further Education in York. The college was built on the area previously occupied by Ashfield Secondary School, the nearby old York College of Arts & Technology being demolished for a new housing estate.


Dringhouses, The Church of St. Edward the Confessor

There is a 19th-century church, St Edward the Confessor, on Tadcaster Road opposite the junction with St Helens' Road. The first chapel, dedicated to St Helen, was built in 1472 and replaced in 1725.[27] It was on the site of the present Holiday Inn and was dedicated to St. Helen - hence the road opposite down the side of the Cross Keys pub and leading to the School and the bridge over the railway is called St. Helen's Road.[citation needed] The present church (dedicated to St.Edward the Confessor) was built alongside in 1849. The latter was designed by Vickers and Hugall of Pontefract and the spire was replaced with a fibreglass replica in the late 1960s due to problems with the original stone structure. The church contains some fine Mousie Thompson carvings.[citation needed]There is a Methodist Chapel in West Thorpe, which opened on 17 July 1954, after the original 1816 Chapel in Slingsby Road was closed.[28]


Dringhouses Scout Group is one of the largest in York and North Yorkshire and is home to over 220[29] young people between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. The Beaver Scouts (6-8yrs) meet in three groups called Colonies, these are named 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The Cub Scouts (8-10½yrs) meet in three groups called Packs and these are named Romans, Saxons and Vikings. There are three Scout Troops (10½-14yrs). These are named Parish Church Troop, St Edward's Troop and St Helen's Troop. Yorvik Explorer Scout Unit (14-17yrs) also meet at Dringhouses, providing activities for the oldest youth members.


Dringhouses Sports and Social Club on St Helens Road next to the railway lines, provide football and cricket teams to local leagues. It is also the meeting place for the York Knavesmire Harriers Athletic Club.[30] As of 2010, Dringhouses FC 1st XI play in the York Football League Premier Division and the 2nd XI in Reserve Division A.[31] As of 2010 Dringhouses Cricket Club 1st XI play in Division Two of the York & District Senior Cricket League and the 2nd XI play in Division Five B.[32]

Notable residents[edit]

Lt Col Charles Philip Heath lived in Dringhouses in the 1920s. In the First World War he commanded the 135th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery and was awarded the DSO and Italian Silver Medal. In the Second World War he became a prisoner of war (1942-1945) after the Fall of Singapore.[33][34]

Dringhouses was home in the 1960s, 70s and 80s to Harland Miller, an artist from the Jay Jopling and Sam Taylor Wood camp, and author of the "rite-of-passage" novel "Slow Down Arthur Stick to 30".[35][not in citation given] The travel writer Liam D'Arcy-Brown grew up in houses on Moor Lane and later Hunter's Way[citation needed].


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward (as of 2011) (1237321405)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Definition of Dreng". Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  3. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The concise Oxford dictionary of English place-names (4 ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 151. ISBN 0-19-869103-3.
  4. ^ a b c d Pocock, Michael (1998). Halfdan's Heritage: The Story of Dringhouses, AD 876 to 1998. Church of St Edward the Confessor. ISBN 978-0953385102.
  5. ^ "Lords of the Manor". Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Boundaries". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Hob Moor Golf Course". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  8. ^ "York Trams". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Goddards and Attached Gateway (1256461)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  10. ^ "GODDARDS THROUGH THE AGES: Noel Terry's former home hits 90". York Press. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  11. ^ "History of Hob Moor". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  12. ^ Dinah Tyszka. "York Civic Trust plaques Dringhouses Pinfold". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Council Ward Representatives". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  14. ^ "2001 Census extract". Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  15. ^ "2001 Census Dringhouses and Woodthopre Ward". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Allotments in Dringhouses". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  17. ^ "Hob Moor Grazing". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Hob Moor History". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  19. ^ "Local Nature Reserve". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  20. ^ "Play Areas". City of York Council. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Public Transport". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  22. ^ "Dringhouses Schools". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  23. ^ MacRae, Claire (2013). "Character area 75: Dringhouses and Tadcaster Road" (PDF). City of York Council. p. 2. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  24. ^ Lewis, Stephen (23 March 2016). "York library gets blue plaque". York Press. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  25. ^ Historic England. "Numbers 52 and 54 and branch library (1256464)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  26. ^ "Toll Gate". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  27. ^ "Parish Church". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  28. ^ "Methodist Church". Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  29. ^ "Dringhouses Scout Group, York". Dringhouses Scout Group, York. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  30. ^ "Knavesmire Harriers". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  31. ^ "York Football League". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  32. ^ "York & District Senior Cricket League". Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  33. ^ Who's Who 1926. London: The Macmillan Company. 1926. p. 1328. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  34. ^ "Heath, Charles Philip (Oral History)". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Harland Miller". Retrieved 15 October 2010.

External links[edit]