Church Fenton

Church Fenton or Kirk Fenton is a village and civil parish in the Selby District of North Yorkshire, England. It is about 16 miles (26 km) east of Leeds, about 6 miles (10 km) south-east from Tadcaster and 3 miles (5 km) north from Sherburn in Elmet. Neighbouring villages include Barkston Ash, Cawood and Ulleskelf. The former RAF Church Fenton is located immediately north-east, which is now known as Leeds East Airport.[3]

Church Fenton
Church Fenton, Church of St Mary the Virgin - - 1460604.jpg
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Fenton
Church Fenton is located in North Yorkshire
Church Fenton
Church Fenton
Location within North Yorkshire
Population1,392 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE513368
• London150 mi (240 km) SSE
Civil parish
  • Church Fenton [2]
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLS24
Dialling code01937
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°49′30″N 1°13′16″W / 53.825101°N 1.221023°W / 53.825101; -1.221023Coordinates: 53°49′30″N 1°13′16″W / 53.825101°N 1.221023°W / 53.825101; -1.221023


The name 'Church Fenton' means a village with a church in fen or marshland.[4] The village was recorded along with nearby Little Fenton as Fentun in the Domesday Book of 1086, with no mention of a church. However in 1338 the establishment of church was signified by the name Kirk Fenton.[5] The two names have been variously used to describe either the village or a parish including the hamlets of Little Fenton to the south and Biggin to the south-east.[6] The area was agricultural with some quarry work until the arrival of the Leeds and Selby Railway in 1839, resulting in the development of local industry, including a brickworks and tileworks.[5][7]

Church Fenton railway station in 1970

There was also a gas holder and tank works in the 1920s.[7] Further lines to Harrogate, Leeds and York followed, so that at one point there were three stations. All but one were demolished in the 1990s.[5] A row of terraced houses is called Chicory Row indicating the crop which was grown, boiled and bottled locally at one time.[7]

In 1936 RAF Church Fenton was built as a fighter base and took part in the defence of northern cities and the east coast during the Second World War. Later it was used as a pilot training base.[7][5]

It was historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974,[8] but is now in the county of North Yorkshire.[9]


The Junction

The village has a community shop which is run by the residents of the village as volunteers[10] and two public houses: The Fenton Flyer and the newly reopened White Horse pub[11] which was bought by the villagers through a share buy in scheme.[12] Formerly there were three pubs. The former railway station booking office is now a licensed Indian restaurant, Sunar Bangla.[13] The school, Kirk Fenton Parochial Church of England Primary School reflects the name of the local ecclesiastical parish.[14] Village commuters are served by Church Fenton railway station. The village is also home to a Met Office Weather station.[15]

The studio scenes for the 2016 television series Victoria were filmed in a converted aircraft hangar in Church Fenton.[16]


The church of St Mary the Virgin, on Church Street, dates from the 13th century, with a 15th century tower and is one of the smallest cruciform churches in England.[6][8][7] It is a Grade I listed building.[17] The Old Vicarage, on Main Street is also a listed building, Grade II,[18] as is the Village Cross.[19] The church was originally dedicated to St John the Baptist and one of the three bells (18th century) has the figure of St John.[6] It is of Magnesian Limestone with slate roofing.[17] The tower is square with battlements[17] and as well as the bells contains a clock which was installed in 1780.[6] It is fitted with aircraft warning lights because of the nearby aerodrome.[7]

The Methodist church dates from 1892.[5]


Climate data for Church Fenton, North Yorkshire 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.0
Average low °C (°F) 1.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.3
Average precipitation days 10.8 8.5 9.9 9.0 8.9 8.9 8.6 9.4 8.3 10.1 11.0 10.6 114
Mean monthly sunshine hours 53.9 82.5 115.6 154.8 210.7 189.3 205.9 182.8 147.1 108.1 70.0 53.0 1,573.7
Source: Met Office[20]


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Church Fenton Parish (1170217395)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Church Fenton Community Web Site".
  3. ^ "Royal Air Force Church Fenton". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  4. ^ List of generic forms in place names in the United Kingdom and Ireland
  5. ^ a b c d e "About Church Fenton". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "Tadcaster Benefice". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f North Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes (1991). North Yorkshire Village Book. Countryside Books. p. 62. ISBN 1-85306-1379.
  8. ^ a b Mee, Arthur (1941). Yorkshire West Riding. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  9. ^ "History of Church Fenton, in Selby and West Riding | Map and description". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  10. ^ "How the villagers of Church Fenton united to save their only shop". Yorkshire Post. 7 April 2018.
  11. ^ "The White Horse - Church Fenton". Archived from the original on 25 July 2019.
  12. ^ "The White Horse pub in Church Fenton saved from closure by customers". York Press. 18 August 2018.
  13. ^ "About Church Fenton". Archived from the original on 10 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Kirk Fenton Parochial CE Primary School". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Church Fenton last 24 hours weather - Met Office". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  16. ^ Behrebs, David (12 September 2016). "How they're turning 'Victoria' TV location into a new airport for Leeds". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Historic England. "Church of St Mary the Virgin (1148436)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  18. ^ Historic England. "The Old Vicarage (1148437)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  19. ^ Historic England. "Village Cross (1148435)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Church Fenton Climatic Averages 1981-2010". Met Office. Retrieved 22 December 2012.

External linksEdit