Kirk Ella

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Kirk Ella
East Riding
Godmans Lane, Kirk Ella - - 999873.jpg
Godmans Lane, Kirk Ella
Grid reference: TA018294
Location: 53°45’6"N, 0°27’24"W
Population: 5,638  (2011)
Post town: Hull
Postcode: HU10
Dialling code: 01482
Local Government
Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
Haltemprice and Howden

Kirk Ella is a village on the western outskirts of Kingston upon Hull, five miles west of the city centre, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The parish includes West Ella. It is in the East Riding's Harthill Wapentake.

Kirk Ella has been a village since at least the 11th century: it remained a relatively unimportant hamlet until the 18th and 19th centuries, when it became a location of choice for merchants of Hull wishing to live outside the city. Several large houses were built during this period, without any substantial increase in village population. After the 1920s, the village grew substantially, with large amounts of high quality housing surrounding the traditional village centre. The village continued to grow during the second half of the 20th century, becoming a large suburb, contiguous with Anlaby and Willerby.

This village is recorded as Aluengi in the Domesday Book, and in later ages as Kirk-Elveley. The name "Kirk Ella" is thought to derive from the Old English, and mean "Aelf(a)'s Woodland Clearing with a Church".


Kirk Ella is primarily residential, but has a few shops. Modern Kirk Ella is contiguous with the suburbs of Willerby to the north; and Anlaby to the east; the village of West Ella is to the west, separated by a golf course; to the south is Hessle separated by just half a mile of fields.

The village skirts the foothills of the Yorkshire Wolds to the west. Housing stock is affluent, much of it detached or semi detached, with large back gardens; street layouts are irregular, curved, with no main roads passing through the village.

Parish church

The Church of St Andrew dates to the early 13th century: the chancel is of that age, while the tower dating from the mid 15th century. The church is a Grade I listed building.[1]

Much of the structure is of square rubble; the tower is of limestone ashlar; the upper part of the chancel is of rendered brick. The building was restored and remodelled 1859–60, widening the aisles, and a north chapel, south porch and organ chamber added; the tower was restored 1882–83. Other alterations took place in 1886–87 to the chancel north wall and arch; 1890, clerestory windows; 1894 choir vestry, enlarged 1955–56.

The church contains numerous monuments and inscriptions, many of late 18th and 19th century, many to members of the Sykes family, most notable of which is one to Joseph Sykes (d.1805) by John Bacon junior, similar to a tomb by Louis-François Roubiliac for William Hargrave in Westminster Abbey.[2] In the graveyard are the stones of a Norman arch, and several 19th century table tombs,[3] including a chest tomb of Jane Whitaker, (d.1815, aged 9 months), now a listed structure.


Early history

Kirk Ella appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Aluengi.[4] There is some evidence for human activity in the area as far back as the Bronze Age – bronze axes have been discovered in the area, pottery from the Roman period has also been found, and an Iron Age enclosure visible as cropmarks has been found halfway between the village and Swanland.

After the Norman conquest the village was the property of Ralph de Mortimer, as part of the manor of Ferriby. Ownership passed to the Wake family during the reign of Edward II. Part of the land was given by Thomas Wake (1297–1349) to Haltemprice Priory.[5]

The Wheatsheaf and St Andrew's Church

Kirk Ella was once one of the parishes of the Liberty of Hull, known as 'Hullshire', established in 1440.

By the 17th century lands in Kirk Ella had become the property of several persons including Ralph Ellerker of Risby; George Whitmore]]; and John Anlaby of Etton.[6]


Top of Valley Drive

From the 1750s onwards many of the wealthy merchants and shipowners of Kingston upon Hull began moving their residences out of Hull, mostly westwards towards the higher ground of the wolds foothills and in an opposite direction to the prevailing winds, which carried the factory smells and other pollution eastward. The road from Hull to Anlaby and Kirk Ella was turnpiked in 1745.[7] The influx of Hull merchants is also evidenced in the memorials and tombs in the village church.[3] The fields around Kirk Ella, West Ella and Willerby were enclosed in by acts of 1796 and 1824.[8]

Most of the early movement of Hull merchants was into residences on Church Lane: Richard Williamson, Hull merchant acquired land and built a house at No.4 Church Lane sometime after 1730,[9] The Old Hall was rebuilt 1760, probably by Edward Burrow who acquired the property from another Hull merchant Thomas Haworth 1759;[9][10] Thomas Bell built The Elms (demolished, the associated early 19th century Elm Lodge remains);[11][10] and William Mowld established Wolfreton Hall in the same period, both on Church Lane,[12] (Wolfreton Hall was later expanded, refronted in white brick and divided into Wolfreton Grange, and Wolfreton Hall);[13]</ref>[11][10] Kirk Ella House was built c. 1778.[2] and a coach house added c. 1799;[11][10] Trevayne at No.6 Church Lane was built c. 1830–40 on the site of a previous dwelling.[9] Additionally the Vicarage (No.8), and an adjacent stable/coachhouse were built 1839.

Wolfreton House was built c. 1810/15 on the road to Beverley, east of the village centre, the associated stable block also dates to the late 18th/early 19th century.[14][15] Other merchants had dwellings on Godman's Lane, now demolished;[16] and on Packman Lane: Kirk Ella Hall, a 7 bay yellow-grey brick two storey building in a Tuscan style, was built (1778–79) for William Kirkby, Hull solicitor and white lead manufacturer, by expansion from a pre-existing house. (The Hall is now part of Kirkella Golf Club.[17][10] A lodge to the hall was built 1838. There was also a house South Ella, formerly Mount Ella, built for Hull banker Robert C. Pease in the early 19th century.[18]

In 1885 the Hull and Barnsley Railway opened, passing north-east of the village centre: Willerby and Kirk Ella railway station also opened 1885 (closed 1955).[19]

By 1891 the population of the township had risen to 354.[20]


Mill Lane, built 1960s

By 1910 the town included a school which had been built on the corner of Mill Road (now Mill Lane) and West Ella Road, and a cemetery at the south end of Mill Lane, half a mile south of the village, built due to the fullness of the church cemetery. An 18-hole golf course designed by James Braid was established west of the village from 1924 by the Hull Golf Club (1921) Limited.[21]

In the 1930s the village began to grow substantially, with new housing developments, much of it semidetached or detached houses with large gardens. New estates were established on Beverley Road leading to Anlaby; on West Ella Road; far along Packman Lane leading to Riplingham, and centred around new roads such as West Ella Way; Westland Road; Elms Drive; Redland Drive; Fairfield Avenue; and St Andrews Mount. By the 1940s the new houses greatly outnumbered the dwellings that had existed up to the 1920s.

After the Second World War period further, during the 1950s to 1960s housing growth of a similar type took place, with further infill housing and expansion of housing in the next decade, so that by the end of the 1970s the development was contiguous with both the expanded villages of Willerby and Anlaby to the north and east.

On film

West Ella Way in Kirk Ella was used as a filming location for the comedy film Clockwise (1986).[22]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kirk Ella)


  1. National Heritage List 1103401: Church Of Saint Andrew, Church Lane (Grade I listing)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pevsner & Neave 1995, pp. 584–5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 585.
  4. Ella Kirk Ella in the Domesday Book
  5. Tickell 1798, p. 885.
  6. Tickell 1798, pp. 885–6.
  7. Allison 1981, Ch. 1, pp. 3–8.
  8. Woolley, William, ed (1830). "Chronological Table". A collection of statutes relating to the town of Kingston-upon-Hull, the county of the same town and the parish of Sculcoates. Simpkin and Marshall. pp. xi–xxviii. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Allison 1981, p. 30.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 586.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Allison 1981, p. 31.
  12. Allison 1981, pp. 31–2.
  13. National Heritage List 1103361: Wolfreton Grange Wolfreton Hall (Grade II listing)
  14. Allison 1981, p. 34.
  15. Pevsner & Neave 1995, p. 587.
  16. Allison 1981, pp. 29–30.
  17. Allison 1981, p. 29.
  18. Allison 1981, p. 10.
  19. Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. 
  20. Bulmer 1892.
  21. "About Hull Golf Club". Hull Golf Club. 
  22. "Clockwise (1986)". British Film Locations.