Driffield, Great (All Saints)

DRIFFIELD, GREAT (All Saints), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the Bainton-Beacon division of the wapentake of Harthill, E. riding of York, 29 miles (E. by N.) from York, and 193 (N.) from London; containing, with the chapelry of Little Driffield and the township of Emswell with Kelley-thorpe, 3477 inhabitants, of whom 3223 are in the town. This place is pleasantly situated at the foot of the Wolds, and near the confluence of several streams, which, uniting their waters, flow south-eastward to Frodingham, where, receiving numerous tributaries, they form the river Hull. It consists of one spacious street extending nearly north and south, in a direction parallel with the principal stream, and of two small streets of inferior houses irregularly built, one on the east, and the other on the west, side of the main street. The streets are lighted with gas, from works established in 1835 at an expense of £1800, raised in shares of £10 each; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water. A mechanics' institute was founded in 1837, and a branch of the Hull savings' bank has been opened. The various streams abound with fine trout and other fish, of the former of which, one weighing seventeen pounds was taken a short time since. The Driffield Anglers' Club was established in 1833, and is under the management of a president and a committee of seven members, with a secretary who is also treasurer; each member contributes £5 yearly towards the expense of preserving the fishery, and the club holds an annual meeting on the first Tuesday after the 19th of April. The air is pure and salubrious, and the environs remarkably pleasant, abounding with varied scenery, and affording every attraction to the sportsman. The principal business is in corn, of which the surrounding district affords an abundant supply; and from the central situation of the town, and the great facilities of conveyance, the trade is rapidly increasing. A neat building, containing a cornexchange and public rooms, has been erected by subscription, at an expense of £2000, raised in £10 shares. The manufacture of carpets, linen, and sacking, is carried on to a moderate extent; and an iron-foundry, and a very extensive tannery, afford employment to a considerable number of persons. There are corn-mills on the streams in the town and neighbourhood; and at the head of the Driffield canal are two mills for crushing bones, and several commodious wharfs and warehouses. This canal was constructed under an act of the 7th of George III., and extends along the side of the principal stream to the river Hull, a little below the bridge at Frodingham. The Hull and Bridlington railway, opened in 1846, has a station here; and an act has been passed for a railway to Malton. The market is on Thursday, and large cattle-fairs are held at Little Driffield, which see. The powers of the county debt-court of Driffield, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Driffield.

The Living is a perpetual curacy, with that of Little Driffield annexed, valued in the king's books at £7. 10. 2½., and in the gift of the Precentor in the Cathedral of York, as prebendary of Driffield. The perpetual curate's tithes have been commuted for £100, and his glebe consists of 37 acres. The church is an ancient and stately structure in the Norman and early English styles, with a lofty embattled tower of the decorated English style, strengthened by double buttresses at the angles, panelled and enriched with canopied niches, and crowned by eight crocketed pinnacles; it was built by a member of the Hotham family, and forms a truly magnificent feature in the landscape. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The poor law union of Driffield comprehends 43 parishes and townships, with a population of 16,829; the workhouse, situated in the town, was erected in 1838, and contains accommodation for 200 inmates, and a court-room in which the petty-sessions for the division are held every Thursday. At Danesdale, a hamlet in the parish, are numerous tumuli called the "Danes' Graves," supposed to have been raised over the bodies of the Danish chiefs who fell in a battle said to have taken place in the immediate vicinity.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.