Skipwith Village and Skipwith Common North Yorkshire UK

Saint Helen's Church at Skipwith
Saint Helen's Church at Skipwith | Source

Skipwith, Selby, North Yorkshire YO8

You will find Skipwith village about four miles northeast of Selby or ten miles from the historic city of York. It is in the Selby District of North Yorkshire, in the north of England but few people, other than locals, will have heard of it.

Skipwith is an ancient farming village and is pretty as a picture with a real village green, village pond, Chapel and the small but beautiful church of Saint Helens.

Why not take a tour around the village and common with me .....


The History of Skipwith Village

Skipwith village has a long, long history and there is a reference to it in the Domesday book. Here it's described as 'Schiperwic' which may mean 'sheep farm'.

The most interesting buildings in Sipwith are the Hall, the church and the school.

The school, also located on York Road, was founded in 1717 by Dorothy Wilson of York. The school was run by the Parish Clerk until it was taken over by the Local Education Authority. It closed in 1957 and in 1959 became the village hall. There are many events held in the hall including church and Parish Council meetings, Brownies and fund raising events.

Until the 1974 local government reorganisation Skipwith was part of the East Riding of Yorkshire


For more information see British History

Queen Anne manor house in Skipwith

Skipwith Hall began as a Jacobean farmhouse but the house we know today is a Queen Anne ‘manor house’ c. 1700. The medieval manor built opposite the church compmete with moat had been abandoned.

The walled gardens have been in part designed by Cecil Pinsent who created Richard’s Garden. There are mixed borders and an mulberry tree (which I missed) stands in front of the house. Within the four acres is a kitchen garden, created in 2005, a small arboretum and a shell house by the artist Linda Fenwick.

Find out more about the history of Skipwith Hall on the Escrick Park Estate Newsletter

Skipwith Hall

Skipwith Hall
Skipwith Hall | Source

Where is Skipwith and Skipwith Common?

A markerSkipWith North Yorkshire -
Skipwith, Selby, North Yorkshire YO8, UK
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Saint Helen's Church Skipwith and North Duffield

St Helen's Parish church - Skipwith  Share Alike Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
St Helen's Parish church - Skipwith Share Alike Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ | Source

St Helen's Church at Skipwith village

The church of St. Helen came into being around 960AD and you can take a walk through history via the Anglo-Saxon tower, the Norman nave the later additions including a Victorian porch.

Opposite the church you can still see the remains of a moat which would have been attached to a manor.

The hare memorial below is well-known to local people. It looks very like the sculpture Hare Alert By Sally Arnup in the sculpture trail at Newby Hall, Yorkshire. The hare is on the grave of one of the Forbes Adams family who own Escrick park estate and Skipwith Hall.

Skipwith Hare in the grounds of Saint Helen's church

Skipwith Church Hare - Be glad not sad
Skipwith Church Hare - Be glad not sad | Source

Methodist Chapel Skipwith Yourkshire

Wesleyan chapel of 1876, now the Methodist church Skipwith Yorkshire
Wesleyan chapel of 1876, now the Methodist church Skipwith Yorkshire | Source

Methodists in Skipwith

By 1764 there were two Methodist families in Skipwith but until a Chapel was built the Methodists met in each other's homes.

This Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, a tiny red brick building right on the main road as you approach Skipwith from the north, was first opened in 1869 and it bears the completion date of 13th October 1868 on a memorial tablet which also bears the name of Mr. C. Storr and dated 13th October and is still in service today. Some sources give the date of 1833 for the first Chapel in Skipwith.

According to the Vicar of St Helen's in the 1860s 300 to 400 of the inhabitants of the village were Methodists and so it was no wonder that in 1876 the first tiny chapel was replaced with a larger building next to the parish school.


Path through Skipwith Common

Skipwith Common is a great place to walkm watch wildlife and walk your dog Share Alike Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
Skipwith Common is a great place to walkm watch wildlife and walk your dog Share Alike Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ | Source

Skipwith Common

Skipwith Common is a wonderful place to take a stroll, watch birds, walk your dog or look out for Exmoor ponies, but it is more than that. The common is an important natural site an has been designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest.

It has a long history and there are trace of human habitation that go back as far as 6000BC. The evidence takes the form of flint blades that were found in 1941. There is also evidence that people lived on the common in through the bronze and iron ages too.

Skipwith Common, an ancient landscape of 270 hectares of heathland, was a real common in that it was shared land until it was enclosed in 1901.

In 1941 the Royal Air Force used part of it as an aerodrome and although no longer in use you can see traces of the aerodrome still.

Now Skipwith common is managed by English Nature together with Escrick Park Estate. According to English Nature Skipwith Common is one of the last examples of northern lowland heath left in England. The importance of the site lies in the wide variety of flora and fauna living on the common. These plants and animals are now dependent on this specific area.

Today the 'Friends of Skipwith Common' group oversee the area.

Exmoor Ponies on Skipwith Common

There are sheep and Exmoor ponies on the common
There are sheep and Exmoor ponies on the common | Source

Ponies on Skipwith Moor

Ponies on Skipwith Moor
Ponies on Skipwith Moor | Source

English Longhorn cattle

The ancient breed of English Longhorn cattle that graze on Skipwith Common is owned by farmer Richard Parish, of Barlby. The cattle are milky brown and white and were originally used as a draught animals and for dairy products. The pale horns were used to make buttons.

English Longhorn cattle at Skipwith Common

Source

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Blackwood Hall Caravan Site and B&B

Blackwood Hall is opposite Skipwith Common and offers Bed and Breakfast Accommodation and there is also a caravan site.
Blackwood Hall is opposite Skipwith Common and offers Bed and Breakfast Accommodation and there is also a caravan site. | Source

Where to Stay at Skipwith

Only a few minutes from Skipwith and right opposite the common you'll find the beautiful country house of Blackwood Hall.

If you're a caravaning or camping enthusiast, you might like to set up camp at Blackwood Hall caravan site. The pitches are in the romantic setting the mature grounds of the hall which is studded with mature trees and has a large pond with geese and ducks.

The Derwent Valley Light Railway

If you're a railway enthusiast you might like to know that The Derwent Valley Light Railway, which was opened in 1912, crossed North Duffield and that there was a station near Skipwith. Sadly the line has been closed.

Skipwith Station on the Derwent Valley Light Railway

Find Out More about Yorkshire with this guide to the area and its stories

© 2014 Les Trois Chenes

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Do you have anything to say about Skipwith? 13 comments

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 3 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Thanks LTC, I'll look it up on Google. Won't be this summer, though. I'd only be able to get there from next spring (finances are a bit fraught at the moment and I'm off further north later next month to see kith and kin.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 3 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Alan, there is a link to the B&B on the Hub.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 3 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

It's Blackwood Hall B&B.I'll warn her that you might be contacting her as she is usually only open during summer. You can get a Park and Ride from the Designer Centre. Much better than driving in. If you do drive in you can park at Homebase / Homesense / Morrisons at Fosse Islands.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 3 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Maybe you'll let me know your sister's B&B address? I might use it for next February's Jorvik Viking Festival (Could be better than trekking into York in the car. Might use the bus instead from the nearest Park & Ride boarding point).


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 3 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Thanks for the Domesday correction. I probably heard 'Doomsday' as a child and still think of it like that!


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 3 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Skipwith is very small, Alan, but I know it because my sister has a campsite and B&B there. I'm not sure if it's worth a special big detour, but you could stay with my sister (ring up directly and say that you have special interest in the area and you read my articles - she might put you up)on your next York visit and then you could pass a very pleasant evening wandering around Skipwith and walking on the Common.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

LTC, this is a well-written page. The closest I've been is down the A19 between York and Selby via Deighton and Riccall. I've heard of the place but have always been on the way back to London from York and further north (visiting kith and kin).

Exmoor Ponies in Yorkshire, eh? That's a new one on me. Maybe I should make a diversion, after all I've diverted by way of Stamford Bridge in the past.

I shall divert by your York page as well.

By the way it's 'Domesday', a corruption of 'Demesde' (I think that might be Norman French for 'domain'). A lot of the land in the North was listed as 'waste' after the Harrying of the North in 1069-70 by William.

I


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 22 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

A little-known village but quite a hidden gem. Thanks for leaving a message, Bacspaniel1


Blackspaniel1 profile image

Blackspaniel1 22 months ago

It must indeed be old to be mentioned in the Doomsday Books.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 23 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Thanks for leaving a comment avianovoice. I guess everywhere has a story to tell. My only reservation is that the sun wasn't shining when I took the pics.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

This sounds like a remarkable area. Being from the US, it still amazes me how young this country is in comparison with the rest of the world.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 24 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Thank you so much for your kind words, Brigitte. You really must take a few minutes to stop off at Skipwith if you visit York or Selby.


Brigitte Thompson profile image

Brigitte Thompson 24 months ago from Austin, TX

Beautiful article .. well written I will add this to my must visits on my next vacation. Thanks for sharing.

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