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History of Hampsthwaite

The earliest written record of the settlement (circa 1180) is as “Hamethwayt” in the Early Yorkshire Charters.

The name 'Thwaite' comes from the Old Scandinavian word 'thveit', meaning 'clearing, meadow or paddock' and Hampsthwaite could mean the thwaite, or meadow, of Hamr or Hammall, or simply from Heim, meaning home, but it is almost certainly derived from the Old Norse Homp, 'land bordering on a river and liable to flooding' (an alternative possibility was put forward that the name 'Hamps' may derive from the Middle English, 'Hanespe', which means 'summer dry', or dry in summer but this would be an unlikely combination of Old Norse and Anglo Saxon).

Records show that flooding was indeed a feature of the River Nidd, which runs through here, although the Roman road from 'Olicana' (Ilkley) to 'Isurium' (Aldborough) crossed the Nidd at Hamps-thwaite and this led to the development of a market.

Hampsthwaite was situated within the Forest of Knaresborough, which was established as a royal hunting preserve in the time of the Conqueror. The church of Hampsthwaite was in existence soon after the Norman Conquest and was at one time in the possession of the monks of Knaresborough.

The family of the writer William Make-peace Thackeray lived in Hampsthwaite, as did the family of Amy Woodforde Finden (1860-1919) who was best known as the composer of “Kashmiri Song” from The Four Indian Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope. In the churchyard are the graves of Joshua Tetley, the founder of the Tetley's Brewery in Leeds, and his wife Hannah.


Click here to subscribe to Hampsthwaite Village History and receive an email each time new materials are posted
History of Hampsthwaite

The earliest written record of the settlement (circa 1180) is as “Hamethwayt” in the Early Yorkshire Charters.

The name 'Thwaite' comes from the Old Scandinavian word 'thveit', meaning 'clearing, meadow or paddock' and Hampsthwaite could mean the thwaite, or meadow, of Hamr or Hammall, or simply from Heim, meaning home, but it is almost certainly derived from the Old Norse Homp, 'land bordering on a river and liable to flooding' (an alternative possibility was put forward that the name 'Hamps' may derive from the Middle English, 'Hanespe', which means 'summer dry', or dry in summer but this would be an unlikely combination of Old Norse and Anglo Saxon).

Records show that flooding was indeed a feature of the River Nidd, which runs through here, although the Roman road from 'Olicana' (Ilkley) to 'Isurium' (Aldborough) crossed the Nidd at Hamps-thwaite and this led to the development of a market.

Hampsthwaite was situated within the Forest of Knaresborough, which was established as a royal hunting preserve in the time of the Conqueror. The church of Hampsthwaite was in existence soon after the Norman Conquest and was at one time in the possession of the monks of Knaresborough.

The family of the writer William Make-peace Thackeray lived in Hampsthwaite, as did the family of Amy Woodforde Finden (1860-1919) who was best known as the composer of “Kashmiri Song” from The Four Indian Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope. In the churchyard are the graves of Joshua Tetley, the founder of the Tetley's Brewery in Leeds, and his wife Hannah.


Click here to subscribe to Hampsthwaite Village History and receive an email each time new materials are posted