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East Riding
Village pond at Wetwang.jpg
Looking north across the village pond at Wetwang
Location: 54°1’10"N, 0°34’44"W
Population: 761
Post town: Driffield
Postcode: YO25
Dialling code: 01377
Local Government
Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
East Yorkshire

Wetwang is a village and parish in the Buckrose wapentake of the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is situated six miles west of Driffield on the A166 road in the Yorkshire Wolds.

According to the 2011 UK census, Wetwang parish had a population of 761,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 672.[2]

St Nicholas Church, Wetwang

St Nicholas' Church is of Norman origin and was restored between 1845–1902. In 1966, the church was designated a Grade-II* listed building and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.[3] It is on the Sykes Churches Trail devised by the East Yorkshire Churches Group.[4]

The village is known for its Iron Age chariot burial cemetery at Wetwang Slack,[5] and was previously known for its black swans after which the village pub, the Black Swan, is named.[6]

The village is recorded in the Domesday Book as Wetuuangha. There are two interpretations of the name, one from the Old Norse vaett-vangr, 'field for the trial of a legal action'. Another theory is that it was the "Wet Field" compared to the nearby dry field at Driffield.[7] It has been noted on lists of unusual place names.[8][9]

It has been hypothesised that the unlocated Romano-British town of Delgovicia is located at Wetwang.[10]

Public transport

Until 1950, the village was served by Wetwang railway station, on the Malton to Driffield Line, but this line has closed.[11] The village is now served by an infrequent bus.[12]

Honorary mayor

Its name (defined in The Meaning of Liff as meaning "a moist penis"[13]) often attracts mirth, even from Richard Whiteley of the Channel 4 quiz show Countdown; he held the honorary title Mayor of Wetwang from 1998 until his death in 2005.[14] On 25 June 2006, local weather forecaster Paul Hudson from BBC Look North was invested as Whiteley's successor.[15]


  1. UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Wetwang Parish (1170211287)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/sources/census_2011_ks/report?compare=1170211287. Retrieved 24 February 2018 
  2. "2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Wetwang CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=791065&c=wetwang&d=16&e=15&g=391495&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&enc=1&dsFamilyId=779. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  3. National Heritage List 1083774: The Church of St Nicolas
  4. "Sykes Churches Trail Southern Route". Beverley, Yorkshire: East Yorkshire Historic Churches Group. 
  5. Loades, Mike (25 January 2005). "Wetwang: A Chariot Fit for a Queen?". History Trails Archaeology. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/archaeology/wetwang/wetwang_chariot_queen_01.shtml. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  6. Thompson, Karen. "The Villages of the Yorkshire Wolds – Wetwang". Driffield Online. http://www.driffield.co.uk/wolds_village_wetwang.htm. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  7. Parker, Quentin (2010). Welcome to Horneytown, North Carolina, Population: 15: An insider's guide to 201 of the world's weirdest and wildest places. Adams Media. pp. 191. https://books.google.com/books?id=29zh3dIgmv8C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA191#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
  8. Lyall, Sarah (22 January 2009). "No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/world/europe/23crapstone.html?_r=0. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  9. "13 Town Names We Can't Stop Laughing Over". Cosmopolitan. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/news/g1894/funny-town-names/. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  10. Rivet, A.L.F.; Smith, Colin (1979). The Place-Names of Roman Britain. London. pp. 331–332. 
  11. 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. 
  12. "Service 135". East Yorkshire Motor Services. https://www.eyms.co.uk/bus-services/timetable/135?search=driffield#tt1. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  13. Adams, D.; Lloyd, J. (1983). "Wetwang". The Meaning of Liff. Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-28121-6. 
  14. "From Wilberforce to Mayor Whiteley". Yorkshire Post. 26 September 2007. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/features/From-Wilberforce-to-Mayor-Whiteley.3236217.jp. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  15. "Paul Hudson – Weatherman". BBC Look North. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/looknorthhull/content/articles/2006/12/30/paul_hudson_feature.shtml. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  • Gazetteer — A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 11. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Wetwang)