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Market Place, Driffield - - 453770.jpg
Market Place, Driffield
Driffield Coat of Arms.png
Arms of Driffield Town Council
Driffield is located in East Riding of Yorkshire
Population 13,080 (2011 census)
OS grid reference TA023577
• London 175 mi (282 km) S
Civil parish
  • Driffield
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district YO25
Dialling code 01377
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
  • East Yorkshire
List of places
54°00′18″N 0°26′17″W / 54.005°N 0.438°W / 54.005; -0.438

Driffield, also known as Great Driffield, is a market town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The civil parish is formed by the town of Driffield and the village of Little Driffield. By road, it is 53 miles (85 km) north-east of Leeds, 70 miles (110 km) north-east of Sheffield, 29 miles (47 km) east of York, 23 miles (37 km) north of Hull, 72 miles (116 km) south-east of Middlesbrough, and 218 miles (351 km) north of London.

Driffield is named The Capital of the Wolds, due to its location sitting centrally within the Yorkshire Wolds.

According to the 2011 UK census, Driffield parish had a population of 13,080, an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 11,477.

The town was listed in the 2019 Sunday Times report on the Best Places to Live in northern England.


A Bronze Age mound outside Driffield was excavated in the 19th century, the contents of which are now kept in the British Museum. It includes a knife, a dagger, a beaker and a greenstone wrist-guard all dating to between 2200 and 1500 BC.


Driffield lies in the Yorkshire Wolds, on the Driffield Navigation (canal), and near the source of the River Hull. Driffield lies on the A614, A166 and B1249, and on the Yorkshire Coast rail line from Scarborough to Hull. It is situated next to Little Driffield, where King Aldfrith of Northumbria was reputedly buried, and is also very close to Nafferton, Hutton Cranswick and Wansford. Driffield is named the Capital of the Wolds, mainly through virtue of its favourable location between Bridlington, Beverley and York.

The town is served by Driffield railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line.


The place-name 'Driffield' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, and means 'dirty (manured) field'.

Driffield is of Anglo-Saxon origin


Driffield c.1838
All Saints Church Driffield 2
All Saints' Church

Driffield contains a small community hospital, small fire station, police and ambulance stations, several churches - the largest being All Saints' Parish Church, whose bells were restored for the millennium - and a fairly small high street. There is also an area of parkland close to the parish church alongside the stream (Driffield Beck) that runs roughly parallel to the high street.

Religious sites

The church dedicated to All Saints was designated a Grade I listed building in 1963 and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.

There is small Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Edward that was built in 1886

The Methodist Church stands on Middle Street North and was built in 1880.

There was a second Anglican Church dedicated to Saint John located on St Johns Road.

Driffield Christian Fellowship is an Elim Pentecostal church who have a building on Wansford Road.

The Congregational Church is situated on Exchange Street.

The Salvation Army have a building on The Mount.

Churches Together In Driffield incorporates all but the Congregational church and they seek to work together for the good of the town of Driffield.


It is also tradition for the townspeople of Driffield to congregate in the market place on New Year's Eve and listen for the church bells ringing in the new year.
Scrambling This age-old tradition is unique to the town of Driffield and has its origins in the 18th century. The event takes place a couple of days into the New Year. Children walk through the main street shouting an ancient rhyme to shopkeepers in return for money and goodies.....The cry is.... "Here we are at our town end...A Bottle of rum and a crown to spend...Are we downhearted?..No!...Shall we win?...Yes!..."


Mick Woodmansey, drummer with David Bowie's band the Spiders (originally called the Hype) from 1970, was born in Victoria Road, Driffield.

The Manchester band Happy Mondays recorded their second album Bummed at the Slaughterhouse, a studio that has since burnt down, in Driffield in 1988.

Driffield was mentioned in Series 3 Episode 3 of Jonathan Harvey's hit BBC comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme starring Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus.

In Series 2 of Monty Python's Flying Circus Michael Palin announces that "The Silly Party have taken Driffield".

Driffield was home to one of the finest of English 19th century woodblock colour printers, Benjamin Fawcett, and the artist who worked for him, Alexander Francis Lydon.

The town is twinned with Saint Affrique, France.

RAF Driffield was targeted by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. On 15 August 1940, a raid by Junkers 88s resulted in 14 deaths and many injuries. RAF Driffield was the site of the first death in the WAAF during the Second World War.

The BBC reported that "Driffield couple remarry 57 years after divorce" on 27 January 2011.

Facts from this Wikipedia page were quoted by Viking FM DJ Sean Goldsmith on his Breakfast Show on 16 July 2014.


Driffield was formerly home to Driffield Mariners Football Club, who have won three Hull Sunday League titles in recent years. Now to this present day, there are two main men's team who both play at the second highest league in the East Riding. Driffield Junior Football Club and Driffield Evening Institute who both play in the Humber Premier League Division One. Driffield also has its own football league, Driffield and District League and was founded in 1919 and currently only has 1 division which consists of 9 teams from within Driffield and district.

The town has a cricket club, the first team of which play in the ECB Yorkshire Premier League North. First class cricketers Andrew Gale, Richard Pyrah, Steven Patterson, Jonny Bairstow, Ishara Amerasinghe and Abid Ali have all played for the club.

Driffield RUFC is a member of the RFU and Yorkshire RFU, playing its senior fixtures in the North 1 East league. The club field six senior teams (four men's and two women's), a colts team and mini/juniors (at every age group from under 7's to under 17's).

Driffield Hockey Club play their home matches at Driffield Sports Centre and currently field three men's teams and four ladies' teams, as well as juniors and vets sections. For a catchment area the size of Driffield, the club is relatively successful, with both the men's and ladies first XIs being promoted from their respective YHA Yorkshire Premier Divisions at the end of the 2013–14 season (6th tier of English Hockey) to the North League Division 2 East and North League Division 2 South East respectively (5th tier of English Hockey).

Driffield has an 18-hole golf club that has been at its present location since 1934.

Driffield featured on the route of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire.

Driffield has a sports centre located on Bridlington Road, which opened in 2009 replacing the old sports centre (now owned by Driffield School). The new sports centre includes a main pool and learner pool, sports hall, a 50-piece gym, and a studio/multi-use room.


There are two infant schools (Driffield Northfield Infant School and Driffield Church Of England Voluntary Controlled Infant School), and one larger junior school (Driffield Junior School), which caters for children aged 7–11. Driffield School & Sixth Form is a large secondary school that also contains a sixth form, and so offers education up to A level standard. The town also includes Kings Mill Special School. The nearest independent school is Pocklington School.


Northern158902 at Driffield station
Driffield Railway Station

Driffield lies on the A614, A166 and B1249.

The town is served by Driffield railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line, with services currently run by Northern.

East Yorkshire Motor Services provide regular services to Hull, Pocklington, Beverley, Bridlington, York and Scarborough.

Notable people

  • Benjamin Fawcett, 19th century woodblock colour printer
  • Hazel Gaynor, author
  • Alexander Francis Lydon, woodblock colour printer who worked with Benjamin Fawcett
  • Curtis Woodhouse, former professional footballer and boxer
  • Mick Woodmansey, drummer with David Bowie's band the Spiders from Mars

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