Kirk Smeaton

Kirk Smeaton is the most southerly village of the large county of North Yorkshire, England. It is also a civil parish in the Selby District. Historically the village was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974.[2]

Kirk Smeaton
Kirk Smeaton Village, Pinfold Lane - - 110707.jpg
Kirk Smeaton is located in North Yorkshire
Kirk Smeaton
Kirk Smeaton
Location within North Yorkshire
Population405 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE519166
Civil parish
  • Kirk Smeaton
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic county
Postcode districtWF8
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°38′36″N 1°12′55″W / 53.643300°N 1.215300°W / 53.643300; -1.215300Coordinates: 53°38′36″N 1°12′55″W / 53.643300°N 1.215300°W / 53.643300; -1.215300


Kirk Smeaton and its sister village Little Smeaton face each other across the River Went, the most southerly boundary of the Celtic Kingdom of Elmet. A footbridge links the two, providing both villages with walks to Brockadale Nature Reserve[3] and Wentbridge. The Doncaster / North Yorkshire boundary lies close to the south of the village, and to the east it begins to follow the River Went all the way to the River Don. A railway from the Leeds - Doncaster line past Drax Power Station used to run close to the south of the village, with a railway station that opened in 1885 and part of the Hull and Barnsley Railway. The station was closed to passengers in 1932, and closed completely in 1959.[4]


The name Smeaton is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, in the form Smedetone. This derives from Old English words smiþ (in its genitive plural form smiþa) and tūn ('farm, estate'), and thus once meant 'smiths' farm'. The kirk element of the name is first attested in 1311 and is a northern English dialect word for 'church', coming from the Old Norse word for 'church', kirkja. This element was added to the name to distinguish the settlement from nearby Little Smeaton.[5][6]


The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book (along with Little Smeaton), with the land being tenanted by Ilbert of Lacey.[7] In 1840 Earl Fitzwilliam donated land for the foundation of Kirk Smeaton CE J&I Primary School. It is a small school which is well regarded. A pre-school meet onsite in term-time, and there is a breakfast club and after-school club. The school has a mixture of new and old buildings, a sports hall and a community room which can be hired out. It is a Church school, and there are good links with the community and Church.

The village pub is the Shoulder of Mutton on Main Street. Black Sheep Ale is usually served, amongst others. A harvest auction at the pub raises money for charity. There is a village post office.

In the 2001 Census, the population was 344,[8] which had risen to 405 by the 2011 Census.[1] In 2015, North Yorkshire County Council estimated the population to be at 390.[9]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Kirk Smeaton Parish (E04007752)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  2. ^ "History of Kirk Smeaton, in Selby and West Riding | Map and description". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Brockadale". The Wildlife Trusts. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Kirk Smeaton". Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  5. ^ A. H. Smith, The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, English Place-Name Society, 30–37, 8 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961–63), part 2, p. 51.
  6. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1947). The concise Oxford dictionary of English place-names (3 ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 407. OCLC 12542596.
  7. ^ "[Kirk and Little] Smeaton | Domesday Book". Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  8. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Kirk Smeaton Parish (36UH054)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  9. ^ "2015 Population Estimates Parishes" (PDF). December 2016. p. 18. Retrieved 23 June 2020.

External linksEdit