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Things to do in Wetwang, East Yorkshire

Wetwang is a small village situated on top of the Yorkshire Wolds between Great Driffield, the capital of the Wolds and Stamford Bridge on the East & North Yorkshire border.

St Nicholas Church © Anne O'Connor
St Nicholas Church © Anne O'Connor

The village is located on an intersection of the York to Bridlington and the Malton to Beverley roads.

It is well visited by tourists in the summer months, who stop to enjoy fish and chips by the village pond.

The fish and chip shop is on the site of the old fire station, and is aptly named 'The Old Fire Plaice'.

Origin of the Name

Wetwang must have one of the strangest village names in Britain, there are several different suggestions of the origin of the name.

On the A166 © Anne O'Connor
On the A166 © Anne O'Connor

The most palatable to my mind derives from the Viking Vaettvangrr meaning the field of summons for the trial of an action.

The village is steeped in history and several ancient burial sites have been located here, the most famous being the Wetwang Chariot.

Claims to Fame

The village jumped into stardom after being made famous by its Mayor, the late Sir Richard Whitely in 1998 and more recently his successor also from Yorkshire Television, Paul Hudson the weatherman.

The village was no stranger to fame having been mentioned by Billy Connolly in one of his books and more famously by JRR Tolkien in his trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings" where Wetwang (Nidalf) is the marshland at the mouth of the Entwash.

Places of Worship

St Nicholas's church stands proudly in the centre of the village. The church is substantially a Norman Church, which was modified in the 13th Century to add the tower and transepts.

Village Pond © Anne O'Connor
Village Pond © Anne O'Connor

This church and its graveyard is a mine of information for genealogists.

There is also St Paul's Methodist Chapel, which also houses the village children's nursery and Adventurers groups.

Pubs and Other Facilities

There are two public houses in the village, The Victoria, which is located at the centre of the village and The Black Swan which is close to the pond.

Village Pond © Anne O'Connor
Village Pond © Anne O'Connor

The Black Swan was a coaching house and the archway into the courtyard can still be seen where the front entrance is now located.

The village boasts a doctor's surgery, a shop and a post office the latter of which is the site of the old windmill.

There are still some of the old millstones around the back of the Post Office just along Northfield Road where there are stunning views of the Yorkshire Wolds to the north towards Friday Thorpe.

Every year in the summer months the village holds a scarecrow festival, this has now become very famous mainly because of the volume of tourists travelling through and stopping at the village.

Description by Dave Sumner

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