Kirk Hammerton

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Kirk Hammerton
West Riding
The Saxon church at Kirk Hammerton.jpg
Saint John the Baptist parish church
Grid reference: SE466556
Location: 53°59’41"N, 1°17’25"W
Population: 538  (2011[1])
Post town: York
Postcode: YO26
Local Government
Council: Harrogate
Selby and Ainsty

Kirk Hammerton is a village and parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is near the River Nidd and the A59 road, 10 miles west of York. The village suffix refers to the Hamerton family who owned the land until the 16th century. The civil parish corresponds to the township of Kirk Hammerton in Claro wapentake. The ancient parish also includes the township of Wilstrop in the Ainsty.


(H)ambretone, a place-name reflected now in both Kirk Hammerton ("Hammerton with the church", from the Old Norse kirkja = "church") and Green Hammerton ("Hammerton with the green", from Middle English grene), is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name seems to derive from the Old English plant-name hamor (whose meaning is not certain but might include hammer-sedge or pellitory of the wall) + tūn 'settlement, farm, estate'.[2] The course of Rudgate, a Roman road, passes the village.[3]

The lands of the parish used to be held by the Hamerton family of Hellifield Peel Castle, part of their estate stretching from Slaidburn to York. Sir Stephen Hamerton was executed for treason at Tyburn in 1536 for participating in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Being of knightly rank, Sir Stephen was hanged and beheaded, but not drawn and quartered, and his lands seized by the crown. His son Henry died on 3 August 1537, and was buried in York Minster. Joan, the widow of Henry, died on 3 January 1538, leaving two infant children; Elizabeth, the widow of Sir Stephen, died on 3 May 1538, and was buried at Slaidburn.[4] The Hellifield estates were held by the Crown until 1546, when they were granted out to George Brown, Esq., to be held by the King, in capita, for the sum of £292-9-2. In 1553 Sir Arthur Darcy, knight, bought the manor of Hellified and 12 messuages and a watermill, from George Brown and his wife. In 1556-7 the property passed into the hands of Anthony Watson and John Redman, both of whom were connected with the Hamertons by marriage. After much legal procedure, the Hellifield estates were alienated in 1561, and following a fine levied at Westminster, they were returned to the Hamertons in the person of John Hamerton, Esq., nephew of Sir Stephen. The village and nearby Green Hammerton still bear their name.[5]

On 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France from York to Sheffield, passed through the village.[6]


The 2001 Census recorded a civil parish population of 517 people in 195 households. The village is mostly south of the A59 York – Liverpool road between York and Knaresborough. The River Nidd meanders to the south and east of the village. The parish also includes the small hamlet of Wilstrop.[7]

The parish is served by Hammerton railway station on the Harrogate Line which links York and Leeds. Cattal railway station is also within the parish boundary. Kirk Hammerton is 10 miles west of York, a mile south of Green Hammerton and seven miles east of Knaresborough.


The village has one primary school, Kirk Hammerton Church of England Primary School.[8] it also has a playgroup across the grounds of the school. Most pupils go on to get their secondary education at Boroughbridge High School.[9]


The Church of England parish church of St John the Baptist, was originally dedicated to Saint Quentin.[10] The original Anglo-Saxon church is on the south side of the church and now forms the Lady Chapel following a major enlargement of the building in 1892. The interior of the church is richly decorated in a pre-Raphaelite style; the decorations were added at the time of the Victorian extension to the building.

There is also a Wesleyan chapel that was established in 1821, and moved to a larger building in 1899.[7][11]


  1. UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Kirk Hammerton Parish (E04007371)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 6 April 2019 
  2. Watts, Victor, ed (2004). The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. "Kirk Hammerton". 
  3. "Kirk Hammerton Tourist Information". 
  4. Thomas Merrall, The Hamertons, in 'A History of Hellified', JW Lambert & Sons: Settle, 1949, pp. 95–115.
  5. "Hammerton Hall". Local History Associated With The Hodder Way. The Westmorland Gazette. 
  6. "Tour de France Stage 1". 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (private & Commercial) of North Yorkshire with Map, Published in 1890. Salisbury: S&N Publishing. 2002. pp. 875–876. ISBN 1-86150-299-0. 
  8. "Primary School". Kirk Hammerton Parish. 
  9. (PDF) A Guide for Parents. North Yorkshire Council. 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  10. "The Church". Kirk Hammerton Parish. 
  11. "The Chapel". Kirk Hammerton Parish. 

Outside links

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about Kirk Hammerton)