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East Riding
Fingerpost on Main Street, Kilnwick (geograph 5952269).jpg
Grid reference: SE997494
Location: 53°55’55"N, 0°28’57"W
Post town: Driffield
Postcode: YO25
Dialling code: 01377
Local Government
Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
Beverley and Holderness

Kilnwick (or Kilnwick-on-the-Wolds) is a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in the Yorkshire Wolds three miles east of Middleton on the Wolds, and five miles south of its closest town Driffield.

The name of the village gives a clue to its past industry: there was long a brick kiln here, baking bricks from the abundant clay.

Kilnwick House

Kilnwick House is thought to have been developed on the site of a mediæval farm that was under the control of the Gilbertine Canons of nearby Watton Priory. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1539, the Kilnwick Estate was granted to Robert Holgate, who later became Archbishop of York, and passed on his death to the Earl of Warwick.

At the time of the sale and break-up of the Kilnwick Estate in 1951, the oldest part of the house was Jacobean, having likely been built in the early years of the 17th century by Richard Thekestone who held the manor in 1599, or Nicholas Stringer, owner from 1614.

The house was vastly extended in the 18th century by Thomas Grimston, who had been bequeathed the property by Vice-Admiral Medley in 1747.[1] It was during the period 1740–80 that the Georgian south and east frontages were built. But it would seem that Kilnwick House was occupied only seasonally by the family and its entourage during the 18th century, and there is diary evidence that the journey would be made to Kilnwick from Grimston Garth in the autumn of each year. The estate remained in the hands of the Grimston family until 1943 when, on the death of Captain Luttrell Grimston Byrom, it was sold.

The walled garden

The wall surrounding the walled garden

A walled garden is located south of the church. The wall is over three feet thick and thirteen feet high and was built entirely of bricks topped by coping flags]]. It encloses an area of about an acre and a half built into the wall, at its western end, is a two-storey cottage. The walled garden served Kilnwick House, primarily for the purpose of supplying vegetables, though seasonal occupation of the house by the Grimston family raises the question why such a large enclosure was required. Today the magnificence of the structure is partially concealed by an overgrown holly hedge along the C59 road to the south, and by growth of ivy, which mounts the walls.

Parish church

Kilnwick Church

The parish church, All Saints, is a small, simply formed edicfice. The nave is of Jurassic limestone and the diminutive tower is made of brick. There is no transept and there are no side chapels. It is of mixed period construction, the oldest part being the Norman arch at the North Door. The church, is a Grade II* listed building.[2]

About the village

There was a brick kiln in the village historically, and today many of the buildings of the village (as in Holderness as a whole) are of brick. In 1820, records show that 68,000 bricks were made, attracting an excise tax of £17 1s. 3d.

A walk northwards along the footpath from the corner of Church Lane and Main Street – what is now part of the Minster Way – takes one through the flood plain of Kilnwick Beck. Here, on the north side of the beck, the unnaturally uneven ground is testimony to the shallow clay workings that were the source of one of the raw materials used by the kiln workers.


Kilnwick, with the East Belt Plantation

The landscape of Kilnwick owes much to its history as an Estate, having been described, at the time of its sale in 1951, as 'one of the finest shoots in Yorkshire'. The 1951 sales brochure drew attention particularly to the bag of game that had been got over the six years since the end of the Second World War.

Because of its history, the parish is exceptionally well endowed with woodland, which stems from the use of coverts for rearing game birds. Within a mile of the village centre, there are six sizeable linear plantations: Wedding Wood, West Belt, High Wood, East Belt, Low Wood and Stonybroke, each of which serve to give the impression of a well-wooded landscape. Given its low-lying position, and its diminutive church tower, Kilnwick is not easy to spot until a visitor is within the ring of woodland that surrounds it, and the density of trees is in stark contrast to the oft-treeless arable land of the Wolds to the north and west and Holderness to the east.

Unlike Lockington, which lies directly alongside its beck (much to its cost in the floods of July 2007), Kilnwick sits on a low river terrace and so avoids overbank floods that emanate from its own highly regulated beck.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kilnwick)


  • Gazetteer — A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 7.