Wetwang Village History
The village of Wetwang is located at the crossroads of the A166 and B1248, which may explain how the village got its Viking name of Vertvanger, meaning ‘meeting place’ or ‘place of justice’. The first documentary evidence of a settlement here occurs in the Domesday book of 1086 although evidence of earlier occupation has been found.
According to the 2011 UK census, Wetwang parish was home to 761 residents (an increase of almost 100 over the previous 2001 census figure), and over 300 dwellings but the village’s most rapid period of growth took place between 1801 and 1861 when the population increased from 193 to 623.
Main Street – Most of the buildings on Main Street date from the nineteenth century.
In 1870, Wetwang was home to four joiners and wheelwrights, four blacksmiths, three boot and shoemakers, one rope maker, one corn miller, a doctor, two innkeepers, three carriers, three butchers, a saddler, three tailors, a vet, a schoolmaster, a clergyman, twelve farmers, three grocers and three dressmakers!
Chariot Way – One of the most significant and exciting Middle Iron Age burial sites ever found in Britain was discovered in what is now “Chariot Way” in the village.
Archaeologists discovered a chariot used by ancient Britons in battles against Julius Caesar more than 2,000 years ago, together with the skeleton of a high-ranking female warrior.
The Village Pond – otherwise known as ‘Bottom Pond’ (‘Top Pond’ disappeared to make room for the main road through the village) is home to several families of ducks and the occasional pair of geese.
At the end of the pond there is a secluded seat where you can while away the hours watching nature.
Wetwang House – formerly Atkinson’s farm and site of the great fire of Wetwang in 1927, the house commands a striking position at the heart of the village and is part of only two remaining working farms in the village.
The Black Swan – one of two public houses in Wetwang and once the lodge of the Hull District UAO Druids friendly society, which opened in November 1896.
The Railway Station – situated about a quarter of a mile north of the village the old station opened in 1853 on the Malton & Driffield Railway. It was the busiest passenger station on the line and initially had a low platform, but this was raised in the 1990’s rendering the door into the station building unusable (which was therefore bricked up).
The station closed to passengers in 1950 and completely in 1958 when the freight service ceased and the track was lifted. Now converted into two houses the station is still visible from the village pond as you look up Station Hill.
The Parish Church of St. Nicholas – is of Norman origin, dating from 1140, with the tower, north chapel and porch being added later. It was restored in 1845 by Sir Tatton Sykes of Sledmere House at a then cost of £1500 followed by a further more thorough rebuilding in 1895 by his son with the aid of Temple Moore.
The transept was used as a parish school before the National School was built.
The Village School – built in 1843 and enlarged, once again at the expense of Sir Tatton Sykes in 1866.
The most recent addition was a new classroom in 1999, opened by the then honorary mayor of Wetwang, the late Richard Whiteley.
The Village Hall – the setting for a wide variety of community events, the new Village Hall opened in October 2000 costing just short of a quarter of a million pounds and replacing the wooden hall originally built in 1938.
The Victoria Inn – in the centre of Main Street, the inn was formerly known as the Rose and Crown and is a popular watering hole for villagers.
Iron Water Pumps – still visible as you tour the village (outside the school, at the top of Station Hill and outside Woods Court), these three iron pumps brought up water from underground cisterns before water was piped into the village in 1938.
Welcome to our village, we hope you enjoy your visit!