North Elmsall

North Elmsall is a village and civil parish in the City of Wakefield district in West Yorkshire, England. It had a population of 4,093 in 2001[2] and 3,873 in 2011.[1] Until 1974 it was part of Hemsworth Rural District. The parish is seven miles from Pontefract, nine miles from Barnsley and Doncaster, and eleven miles from Wakefield.[3]

North Elmsall
North Elmsall is in West Yorkshire, in the North of England
North Elmsall is in West Yorkshire, in the North of England
North Elmsall
Location within West Yorkshire
Population3,873 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE4960713634
Civil parish
  • North Elmsall
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic county
Postcode districtWF9
Dialling code01977
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53°36′32″N 1°16′55″W / 53.609°N 1.282°W / 53.609; -1.282Coordinates: 53°36′32″N 1°16′55″W / 53.609°N 1.282°W / 53.609; -1.282

In 1887, North Elmsall was described as

North Elmsall, ry. sta. (Upton and North Elmsall), E. div. West-Riding Yorkshire, 7 miles SE. of Pontefract.[4]


St Margaret's, the Grade II listed church in North Elmsall

The name 'Elmsall' is derived from the Old-English 'elm', literally meaning an elm tree, and the Anglian 'halh', meaning a nook of land or a small valley.[5]

A prominent landmark in North Elmsall is St Margaret's church, on Hall Lane, which was built in 1896 and is still in use.[6] However, an earlier acknowledgement of a settlement in this area can be found in the Domesday Book. The book lists Elmsall in the Osgodcross Hundred, with 1 villager and 5 smallholders. The total tax assessed was 8 geld units, which was very large in comparison to other Domesday settlements.[7] Other evidence has also been found in the area of settlements dating back to the 13th or 14th century, as a medieval brooch was found in a field.[8] St Margaret's Church has been a Grade II listed building since 2001, giving the building a protected status by English Heritage. The church is just one of eight Grade II listed buildings in the parish, many of which date back to the 18th century. The church was designed by A H Hoole of London, and paid for by Mrs Georgina Longueville-Jones, of whom there is a marble bust in the vestry.[9] St Margaret's also contains a memorial for those from the parish who died fighting for their country in the First World War.[10]

Other listed buildings in North Elmsall include The Old Hall, thought to be built in around the 17th century or earlier[11] and Lodge Farmhouse, built around 1800,[12] and its nearby coach house[13] and barn.[14]

Arguably the most famous former inhabitant of the village was Colonel John Morris,[15] who later resided in East Hague, South Kirkby,[15] prior to being executed for treason. The Wentworth family of North Elmsall were also prominent, with their ancestry in the village dating back to at least the early 1400s.[16]


From 1894, North Elmsall was part of the Hemsworth Rural District, before its abolishment in 1974, when it became part of the Wakefield Metropolitan District.[17] The parish is part of the Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton ward, currently represented on the Wakefield Metropolitan District Council by three members of the Labour Party.[18]


The average house price in the parish is £236,058, and the majority of houses in the area are detached or semi-detached.[19] Few amenities exist in the village apart from the church, but North Emsall's proximity to Upton and South Elmsall mean that services are just a short journey away. The village used to have a railway station on the Hull and Barnsley Railway line, but this closed to passengers in 1932.[20] Now, the nearest railway station is in South Elmsall, although the parish lies near to the A638, providing easy access to Wakefield, and the A628 to Barnsley.

Occupational historyEdit

Charts showing the changes in employment sectors in North Elmsall between 1881 and 2011

In 1881, the main employment sector was agriculture, providing jobs for 53 people, 51 of whom where men. The other main type of employment at the time was domestic service, in which 22 females and 9 males were recorded to work in when the 1881 census took place.[21] This is a typical employment structure of the time, with more men doing manual labour while women were expected to stay in the house.

From 1927, North Elmsall and nearby Upton were mining communities.[22] The colliery closed in 1964, after numerous accidents lead to the loss of 61 lives during the 40 years it was open, as well as geological faults.[23]

The 2011 census shows that the key areas of employment in the parish greatly differ from those of the 1881 census. Only 13 people are now employed in agriculture, despite the parish experiencing a large population growth and being located in a fairly rural area. This is likely due to the mechanisation of agricultural work, with has led to reduced dependency on manual labour, as well as improved education since the 1881 census, allowing more people to access different career paths. The main industry is now wholesale and retail trade, and many others are employed in construction and manufacturing, amongst other areas.[1]

Population historyEdit

Population of North Elmsall, 1881 to 2011

Census data between 1881 and 1921 shows that there were no major changes in population in the parish, with the population steadily growing from 287 in 1881 to only 462 in 1921. However, over the next ten years, the population grew rapidly, with the 1931 census listing the population as 2,368. This could be attributed to the opening of the nearby Upton Colliery, which, at the time, provided jobs for many people, attractive more people to the area.

The population dropped in the 1961 census, which can again be linked to the local colliery, which closed around this time, forcing people to move away to find new employment.[24] The population was recorded in the 2011 census as 3,873.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – North Elmsall Parish (E04000237)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  2. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – North Elmsall Parish (00DB015)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  3. ^ "The Ancient Parish of South Kirkby". Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  4. ^ Bartholomew, John (1887). "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1st ed.). Edinburgh: Bartholomew. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  5. ^ "North and South Elmsall". Key to English Place-names. The University of Nottingham. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  6. ^ "A Little Local Information". Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  7. ^ "[North] Elmsall – Domesday Book". Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  8. ^ "North Elmsall Brooch find is a real treasure". Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Margaret, North Elmsall (1389377)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  10. ^ "North Elmsall Memorial". War Memorials in the Wakefield area. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  11. ^ Historic England. "The Old Hall, North Elmsall (1235444)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  12. ^ Historic England. "Lodge Farmhouse, North Elmsall (1235349)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Coach House Approximately 50 Metres East of the Lodge Farmhouse, North Elmsall (1235390)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  14. ^ Historic England. "Barn Approximately 10 Metres North East of Lodge Farmhouse, North Elmsall (1235391)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  15. ^ a b Clay, J. W. (1899). Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire with Additions. Exeter: William Pollard.
  16. ^ "Wakefield Mayoral Chains". Wakefield Council.
  17. ^ "Your Councillors by Ward". Wakefield Council. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Property Values in North Elmsall". Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  19. ^ Quick, Michael (2019). "Railway Passenger Stations in England, Scotland and Wales; a Chronology" (PDF). p. 408. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  20. ^ "North Elmsall Historical Statistics – Industry". Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  21. ^ "A Little Local Information". Upton and North Elmsall Parish Council. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Upton Colliery". Wakefield Council. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  23. ^ "North Elmsall Historical Statistics – Population". Retrieved 29 April 2013.

External linksEdit

  Media related to North Elmsall at Wikimedia Commons