Sherburn in Elmet

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Sherburn in Elmet
Sherburn in Elmet Village - - 104998.jpg
Sherburn village centre
Sherburn in Elmet is located in North Yorkshire
Sherburn in Elmet
Sherburn in Elmet
Location within North Yorkshire
Population6,657 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE506337
Civil parish
  • Sherburn in Elmet[2]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEEDS
Postcode districtLS25
Dialling code01977
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°47′50″N 1°13′59″W / 53.7973°N 1.2331°W / 53.7973; -1.2331Coordinates: 53°47′50″N 1°13′59″W / 53.7973°N 1.2331°W / 53.7973; -1.2331

Sherburn in Elmet (pronounced /ˈʃɜːrbərnɪnˈɛlmɪt/ SHUR-bər-nin-EL-mit) is a large village, civil parish and electoral ward in the Selby District of North Yorkshire, England, situated west of Selby and south of Tadcaster.

It was historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974.[3]

It is one of three places to be explicitly associated with the post-Roman Occupation kingdom of Elmet, the others being Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes-in-Elmet. According to the 2011 census, Sherburn has a population of 6,657.[1]


The name derives from Old English "scir" (bright, pure) and "burn" (bourne, stream, spring). The earliest record of the name ('Scyreburnan') dates from 963 (Ekwall, Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, OUP, 4th ed, 1960, p. 416). Elmet refers to a little-understood post-Roman, Brittonic (non-Anglo-Saxon) kingdom in the area around what is now the Leeds conurbation, the precise boundaries of which are not known.

Sherburn is situated on a low hill of Permian limestone jutting out into the valley of the River Ouse, so the name may refer to the clarity of the water on the hill compared with the muddy streams on the alluvial plain below. This limestone ridge is still an important source of clear water, for example for the brewing industry at Tadcaster six miles to the north.

The Roman road connecting Castleford with Tadcaster and York ran along this ridge, and the current Low Street/Finkle Hill north–south route through the village marks its line, but little evidence of Roman settlement has been found.

An earthwork adjoining All Saints' Church is the site of Hall Garth, sometimes erroneously called 'Athelstan's Palace', a high-status dwelling given (along with the manor of Cawood) by King Athelstan to the Archbishops of York to mark his victory over the combined Scots/Norse forces at Brunanburh in 937. Hall Garth cannot be dated back with certainty to the Kingdom of Elmet prior to its absorption into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria in 616/7 (see Wikipedia entry for Elmet) and may have been an Anglo-Saxon rather than a Brittonic foundation.

All Saints Church

The existing church, a Grade I listed building, contains features dating from c.1120: "C12 nave and north aisle, C13 chancel with C14 south aisle and extension to north aisle, C15 south aisle chapel, and later additions and alterations including C16 clerestory, north aisle windows and heightening of tower. East end restored in 1857 by Anthony Salvin and C19 vestry".[4] It was built on the site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon church.[5]

The village was part of the wapentake of Barkston Ash in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The Battle of Towton was fought nearby in 1461 and local legend[according to whom?] tells that King Edward IV, who won the battle, used the church tower as a point for surveying the battle lines.[citation needed] In fact the battle, the main action of which occurred between 3 and 4 miles away, could not have been seen with any clarity from the church tower, which was not then as tall as it is today.[4]

During the English Civil War, the village was garrisoned by the Royalists for King Charles I; it was close to their stronghold at Selby and the northern capital of York, and commanded the approaches from both the south and the west. In 1645, the Parliamentarians attacked Sherburn and defeated the garrison. On 15 October 1645 the Battle of Sherburn-in-Elmet took place. A Royalist force commanded by Lord Digby and Sir Marmaduke Langdale attacked and initially defeated the Parliamentarian garrison now based in the village. However, another Parliamentarian force, under Colonel Copley, counterattacked and routed the Royalists. Thus was defeated the last significant Royalist force in the North during the First English Civil War.[6][7]

Culture and community[edit]

The Swan, One of the many pubs in Sherburn

Sherburn in Elmet is often referred to locally as simply 'Sherburn'. It has Leeds as its post town and an LS25 postcode, but is in the Selby District in North Yorkshire rather than the City of Leeds, which is in West Yorkshire.

The village has four supermarkets: Spar, Tesco Express, Aldi and Co-op. Until 2018, a market was held in the village centre.[8]


Squires Cafe just outside Sherburn is a long-established meeting place for motorcycle riders, particularly on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons.[9] The roads leading into Sherburn-in-Elmet are known nationally for the varied and pleasurable rides they offer for motorcyclists.[according to whom?]

The village is now home to a major industrial site attracting large businesses such as Eddie Stobart Ltd. The former Gascoigne Wood mine, which was part of the Selby coalfield project, is to the south-east.[citation needed]

Home to Sherburn-in-Elmet Airfield which is currently the base for the Sherburn Aero Club, Sherburn's links with the air industry go back to the Second World War when the Blackburn Aircraft Company built the Fairey Swordfish in the village. Production ended in 1945, and by then 1,699 such aircraft had been built in Sherburn. The airfield also saw the first flight of L. E. Baynes's famous prototype glider, the Baynes Bat.[citation needed]

Notable residents[edit]

Ernest Popplewell, Baron Popplewell, CBE (10 December 1899 - 11 August 1977). Ernest was conferred the dignity of a Barony of the United Kingdom for life, by the name, style and title of Baron Popplewell, of Sherburn-in-Elmet in the West Riding of the County of York.[10]


The village is served by Sherburn-in-Elmet railway station with services to York railway station, Hull Paragon Interchange and Sheffield railway station, with a second station (South Milford railway station) in nearby South Milford providing services to Leeds and Hull. Arriva Yorkshire buses go to Leeds, Tadcaster and Selby.


The British Gypsum Works

Sherburn has a large manufacturing and trading base with British Gypsum being a long time major employer, Sainsbury's have a distribution centre. In 2011 bus manufacturer, Optare moved their factory from Cross Gates to a new purpose built site in the village.


Sherburn in Elmet has two primary Schools and one secondary school.[11] Its primary schools are Sherburn Hungate Primary School[12] and Athelstan Primary School.[13] Its secondary school is Sherburn High School, which is located on Garden Lane.[14]


Sherburn Eversley Cricket Club[edit]

Sherburn Eversley Cricket Club was formed in the 20th century and play at Eversley Park in Sherburn-in-Elmet. The club has two teams that play on a Saturday afternoons in the Leeds & Wetherby Cricket League; with the firsts gaining promotion and playing in the Second division in 2016 and the second team playing in Division Five. The club also has a Thursday evening team.


The Bacon Factory Pond is a local recreational fishery located on the eastern side of the village. With a total of 40 pegs the fishery is controlled by the Wheatsheaf Angling Club. The pond is stocked with perch, carp, roach, bream, tench, eels and pike.[citation needed]

Compass Martial Arts[edit]

Established in 2016[citation needed], Compass Martial Arts is based on Sherburn Industrial Estate in a purpose built Dojo, delivering Karate, Kickboxing and Okinawan Weaponry classes.[15]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Sherburn in Elmet Parish (E04007766)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Home - Sherburn in Elmet Parish Council".
  3. ^ "History of Sherburn in Elmet, in Selby and West Riding | Map and description". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of All Saints (1148444)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Site of 'King Athelstan's Palace', immediately north of the church (1017486)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  6. ^ C. Hibbert, Cavaliers and Roundheads (1993), pp.237–238; V. Wedgwood, The King's War (1983 edition), p.504
  7. ^ Historic England. "Battle of Sherburn in Elmet (1121106)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  8. ^ Sherburn Market to Close Down Retrieved 29 July 2021
  9. ^ "Squires Cafe-Bar". Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  10. ^ "No. 44014". The London Gazette. 7 June 1966. p. 6598.
  11. ^ "Schools". Sherburn-in-Elmet. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Sherburn Hungate Primary School - Home". Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Athelstan Community Primary School - Home". Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Sherburn High School". sherburnhigh. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Compass Martial Arts". Retrieved 18 August 2020.

External links[edit]