Hessle, West Riding

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West Riding
Hessle and Hill Top - Hessle Hall.jpg
Hessle Hall
Grid reference: SE248677
Location: 53°39’11"N, 1°20’53"W
Population: 138
Post town: Wakefield
Postcode: WF4
Dialling code: 01977
Local Government
Council: Wakefield

Hessle is a tiny hamlet in the West Riding of Yorkshire on a lane north of Ackworth Moor Top and west of High Ackworth, all a few miles west of Wakefield. It forms a joint civil parish with neighbouring Hill Top, the latter no more than a farmstead to the north-west, and together they muster but 138 folk according to the 2011 census.

In the 1870s Hessle (then known as 'Hasel', was described as:

"a township in Wragby parish...4 miles E of Wakefield"[1]

Other surrounding places of notable interest include the various Ackworth villages to the south and east, and Fitzwilliam, a mile southwest of Hessle, which has also the closest railway station. Nostell Priory, a National Trust property, is to the west.


The earliest recorded date for the parish is 1066, referred to as Hessle, derived from the Old English hæsle meaning hazel tree.[2] It was under the administrative unit of Odgodcross and attributed to a Lord Alward in 1066. Lord Mauger of Elington held it 20 years later.[3]

About the village

Hessle and its parish are rural, largely consisting of green space and countryside,[4] with the woodland and agricultural farm land making up roughly 95% of the total land use.

Within the parish there are 66 listed dwellings and 5 structures dating back to between 1641 and 1810, which are of Grade II listed building status.[5]

There are no local shops within the parish but the village is close enough to villages with them, and Wakefield’s shops are not far to the west.

There are two walks scenic walks, which vary in length, that go through Hessle and the neighbouring parish of Ackworth.


  1. Wilson, John (1870). "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales". Edinburgh: Bartholomew. http://visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/entry_page.jsp?text_id=770910. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  2. "Hessle, Yorkshire WR". Key to English Place-Names. University of Nottingham. http://kepn.nottingham.ac.uk/map/place/Yorkshire%20WR/Hessle. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. "Open Doomsday". Place: Hessle. University of hull. http://domesdaymap.co.uk/place/SE4317/hessle/. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  4. Hessle Common Lane - British Streets
  5. Listed Buildings in Hessle and Hill Top - British Listed Buildings