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East Riding
St Mary's Church, Hemingbrough.jpg
The spire of Saint Mary's, Hemingbrough, is 191 ft tall
and was probably added in the early 15th century
Location: 53°45’54"N, 0°58’55"W
Population: 2,020  (2011)[1])
Post town: Selby
Postcode: YO8
Local Government
Council: Selby

Hemingbrough is a small village and parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, located approximately five miles from Selby and four miles from Howden on the A63 road.[2] The village has a 12th-century former collegiate church (Hemingbrough Minster), a Methodist chapel and shops. The village also has a primary school and nursery as well as a playing field for the local children. The surrounding area makes up part of the Humberhead Levels and is flat land mainly used for mixed agriculture. It is thought that from this village came Walter of Hemingbrough, one of Britain's early chroniclers. Writing in the 14th century, he gave us a history beginning with the Norman conquest, now in the British Museum.

Robert de Hemmingburgh, a royal clerk who became Master of the Rolls in Ireland, was born here in the late thirteenth century. Nicholas Bubbewyth, a chancery clerk who became successively, Master of the Rolls, Keeper of the Privy Seal, Lord High Treasurer of England, and Bishop of London, Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Bath and Wells, was born in Menthorpe.


The toponym is of uncertain origin. The place is mentioned in the Knýtlinga saga, and the name may be the burh of a Viking named Hemingr. Alternative explanations are that it was the burh of the followers of a man called Hema, or the burh by the fish-weir (Old English hemming).[3]

The village was once situated on the bank of the River Ouse, but at some point the river broke through a meander leaving the village some distance from the river. The ancient parish of Hemingbrough is large, including the townships of Barlby, Osgodby, Cliffe with Lund, South Duffield, Brackenholme with Woodhall and Menthorpe with Bowthorpe. All these townships became separate civil parishes in 1866. In 1935 the civil parish of Hemingbrough absorbed the civil parish of Brackenholme with Woodhall.[4]

St Mary the Virgin Church

The village has a 12th-century church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, which has served as a Minster to this area until the dissolution of the monasteries. It has a 120-foot spire which allows it to dominate the plain. Its importance lies in the woodwork and carvings in the church and it has oldest recorded misericord in the country.[5][6][7]

Village life and activities

The village holds a very popular summer fete replete with floats on lorries and tractor trailers.[8] There is a memorial garden which the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu visited in April 2016.[9]

Notable residents

  • Jeremiah Smith (Royal Navy officer) (died 1675)[10]
  • Nigel Cumberland - Author, who lived in the village during his schooling years


  1. "Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11124460&c=Hemingbrough&d=16&e=62&g=6455616&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1439645021256&enc=1. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  2. http://www.selby.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/27_Hemingbrough.pdf
  3. Watts, Victor, ed (2010). "Hemingbrough". The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names. Cambridge University Press. 
  4. Baggs, A P; Kent, G H R; Purdy, J D (1976). "Hemingbrough". in K J Allison. A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3, Ouse and Derwent Wapentake, and Part of Harthill Wapentake. pp. 37–47. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/east/vol3/pp37-47. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  5. https://www.achurchnearyou.com/hemingbrough-st-mary-the-virgin/
  6. "Church of St Mary the Virgin - Hemingbrough - North Yorkshire - England". British Listed Buildings. 17 November 1966. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-326306-church-of-st-mary-the-virgin-hemingbroug#.V0gpCpF97IU. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  7. "St Mary the Virgin, Hemingbrough". Wasleys.org.uk. http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/yorkshire/north_yorkshire/north_yorkshire_one/hemingbrough/index.html. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  8. "Domesday Reloaded: Hemingbrough Fete Day, from 1986". BBC. 1 January 1970. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday/dblock/GB-464000-429000. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  9. "Latest News | Hemingbrough Historical Heritage Society". Dev.phhhs.org.uk. 6 October 2013. http://www.dev.phhhs.org.uk/latest-news/. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  10. "Smith or Smyth, Sir Jeremiah (d. 1675)". Dictionary of National Biography. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Smith,_Jeremiah_%28d.1675%29_%28DNB00%29. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Hemingbrough)