Great Ouseburn

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Great Ouseburn
West Riding
Great Ouseburn, North Yorkshire.jpg
Great Ouseburn, The Crown public house on the right
Grid reference: SE447617
Location: 54°2’60"N, 1°19’1"W
Local Government
Council: Harrogate

Great Ouseburn is a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, four miles south-east of Boroughbridge. The village of Aldwark is to the north-east in the adjacent North Riding. Great Ouseburn had a recorded population of 598 at the 2011 census.


Great Ouseburn and Little Ouseburn both take their name from the river Ouse which begins in the garden of the Great Ouseburn Workhouse.[1] The original source of the Ouse (which is some 40 yards away from where it flows now) is marked by a stone column reading "OUSE RIVER HEAD... OUSEGILL SPRING Ft. YORK 13miles BOROUGHBRIDGE 4miles".[2] The meadows by Ouse Gill Beck have since become a Site of Interest to Nature Conservation (SINC).[3]

The Crown Inn

Great Ouseburn was originally part of the district of Knaresborough, which was a royal forest in William the Conqueror's time, giving Great Ouseburn the status of a "Forest Liberty Town"; it had the liberty to punish those people who misbehaved within its boundaries. in the Domesday survey the village is referred to as "Useburne".[4]

The estate, now known as Kirby Hall, was a major influence on the village and was owned by William de Kirkeby in 1200. The estate owned most of the village and the economy of Ouseburn was principally centred on the estate's agricultural business. In 1912 most of the smallholdings were sold to the tenants.

Great Ouseburn was an administrative centre; during 1828 it was the headquarters of the Great Ouseburn Gilbert Union comprising 40 parishes. In 1854 it was replaced by the Great Ouseburn Poor Law Union. The Great Ouseburn Union workhouse building was built in 1856-7 and the infirmary was built in 1891.[5]

In 1854 Great Ouseburn Community Primary School was established with the laying of the foundation stone by Sir Henry Mesey-Thompson of Kirby Hall and the then Bishop of Ripon.[6]

In the 1870s, Great Ouseburn was described "as a village, a township, a parish, and a district, in W. R. Yorkshire...The township comprises 840 acres. Real property, £2, 781. Pop., 599. Houses, 123."[7]

An important aeroplane crash during the Second World War occurred in Great Ouseburn on the 30th of April, 1942. "De Havilland Flamingo R2764 of 24 Squadron crashed at Great Ouseburn in Yorkshire on 30 April 1942." The plane was carrying two Air Ministry Staff and four high ranking Russians. That morning the plane had travelled from RAF Hendon in London to RAF Tealing near Dundee. It was returning after a short stop at RAF East Fortune near Edinburgh when it developed engine trouble. The plane then caught fire and crashed to the ground in the field just behind Vine House. The Great Ouseburn Fire and Rescue where quickly on the scene, the fire was contained but there were no survivors.[8]

Sights about the village

St Mary the Virgin Church

In Great Ouseburn there are 15 buildings or structures that are included on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or are of Historic Interest; Grade II*: St Mary's Church; Grade II: The Churchyard walls & Cross, the Garden wall near Church Hill Farmhouse, Well Farm House, Walnut Farm House, Prospect Farm House, Church Hill Farm House, Church Hill Cottage, Yeomans Cottage, Wingate Cottage, Springfield Farm House, Holly Cottage; the house wall & railings, Manor House Garage, Cedar Croft and Rosecroft House & the wall & railings.[9]

St Mary's Church is the focal point of the village. The church has a Norman tower with a thirteenth century belfry, fourteenth century arcades, a 3-bay aisled nave rebuilt in 1820 and a fifteenth century chancel. The south chapel was constructed in 1883.[10]


Great Ouseburn was designated a conservation area in 1994, the boundary of which roughly runs from the southern end of the village either side of Main Street up to the village Green.[11]

At present the village is mainly residential. Historic buildings include Rosehurst and Holly Cottage, and former farmhouses such as Church Hill Farm House and Prospect Farm House. Non-residential buildings in the village include the public house, the church, the post office, the school and the village hall. Walnut Farm is the only remaining operational farm in the village. New modern residential development at the northern end of the village, such as the properties along the south side of Branton Lane are not characteristic of the locally distinctive properties of the historic buildings in the village.[12]

Annual events in the village include several Open Gardens days, a Village Hall craft fair, School Christmas fair, and a Spring Festival.[13]

Great Ouseburn Playing Field on Lightmire Lane has been enrolled as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Great Ouseburn)


  1. "Welcome to the Great Ouseburn Parish Website". Great Ouseburn Parish Website. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  2. "Great Ouseburn". Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  3. "Welcome to the Great Ouseburn Parish Website". Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  4. Gill, Jeff. "Great Ouseburn Parish Plan". Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  5. "Great Ouseburn Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Harrogate Borough Council. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  6. "GREAT OUSEBURN Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Harrogate Borough Council. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  7. Wilson, John (1870–72). "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales". Edinburgh: A. Fullarton and Co.. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  8. Cale, Kevin. "The Crash of De Havilland Flamingo R2764". The Flamingo Crash. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  9. "Great Ouseburn Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Harrogate Borough Council. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  10. "GREAT OUSEBURN Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Harrogate Borough Council. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  11. Gill, Jeff. "Great Ouseburn Parish Plan". Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  12. "Great Ouseburn Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Harrogate Borough Council. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  13. Gill, Jeff. "Great Ouseburn Parish Plan". Retrieved 1 April 2013.