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East Riding
Market Place, Driffield
Grid reference: TA023577
Location: 54°0’18"N, 0°26’17"W
Population: 11,477  (2001)
Post town: Driffield
Postcode: YO25
Dialling code: 01377
Local Government
Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
East Yorkshire

Driffield, also known as Great Driffield, is a market town and parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The civil parish is formed by the town of Driffield and the village of Little Driffield.

Driffield is named the Capital of the Wolds, mainly through virtue of its favourable location between Bridlington, Beverley and York.

According to the 2001 Census, Driffield parish had a population of 11,477.


The Driffield Navigation

Driffield lies in the Yorkshire Wolds, on the Driffield Navigation canal, and near the source of the River Hull.

The A614, A166 and B1249 meet at Great Driffield, and on the Yorkshire Coast rail line from Bridlington to Hull.

Nearby Little Driffield is where King Aldfrith of Northumbria was reputedly buried. Other nearby villages include Nafferton, Hutton Cranswick and Wansford.

Name of the town

The place-name 'Driffield' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, and means 'dirty (manured) field'.[1]

The town

All Saints' Church

Driffield contains a small community hospital, small fire, police and ambulance stations, several churches - the largest being All Saints' Parish Church, whose bells were restored for the millennium - and a fairly small high street. There is also an area of parkland close to the parish church alongside the stream (Driffield Beck) that runs roughly parallel to the high street.


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.


"Scrambling" is age-old tradition 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: <cquote>"Here we are at our town end...A Bottle of rum and a crown to spend...Are we downhearted?..No!...Shall we win?...Yes!..."</cquote>


  • Cricket: Driffield Cricket Club
  • Golf: an 18-hole golf club that has been at its present location since 1934.
  • Football: Driffield Mariners Football Club
  • Rugby: Driffield Rugby Union Football Club


Driffield was home to one of the finest of English 19th century woodblock colour printers, Benjamin Fawcett, and the artist who worked for him, Alexander Francis Lydon.

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.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Driffield)


  1. Eilert Ekwall, Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p. 151.
  • Gazetteer — A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 5.