The village is the site of one of Britain's largest archaeological excavations, that of a large settlement which seems to have been occupied for several centuries until about 800 AD. The settlement flourished during late Roman/early Anglo-Saxon times, but may have been occupied for a considerable length of time before the arrival of Romans in Britain. The site covers over 45 hectares and contains the traces of more than 200 buildings.
The village name is thought to be derived from the word "hazel" or "hazel enclosure".
^Smith, A. H. (1937). The Place-Names of The East Riding of Yorkshire and York. Cambridge University Press.
^Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC60251199.