| West Hull villages - Anlaby, Willerby, Kirk Ella, |
Welcome to Willerby and Kirk Ella
They are today best known as residential areas on the western outskirts of Hull. But Kirk Ella and Willerby have a fascinating past.
Recent years have seen an explosion of development in both housing and commercial property. Yet the character of both places remains. Kirk Ella in particular still retains its characteristic "villagey" atmosphere.Here we take a look at both places past and present...welcome to Willerby and Kirk Ella.
Carr Lane, Willerby, was probably once known as Carcause, which is derived from the Scandinavian Kiarr and the medieval word cause which meant a raised way, especially across a marsh.
Kirk Elkla church is between 100 and 120ft above sea level.
The Yorkshire Apiaries were once a big employer in Willerby with a staff of 20.In Willerby the firm specialised in the selling and breeding of bees and in the production of honey and equipment and the training of beekeepers. Products from the apiaries were sent all over the country. The firm had 600 hives in Willerby in the winter and 1,000 in the summer. But bees were not to sustain the company. It later turned to caravan manufacture and the workforce built up to 150 - one of the largest manufacturers in the country. In the Fifties about 50 caravans in a range of five models were produced.
In 1891 Kirk Ella covered 980 acres and had 340 inhabitants. The population of Wilerby at that time was 719.
The King George V Playing Fields opened on June 17 1950. They covered initally 25 acres, but are now much smaller due to housing development and the building of Gorton Road. At one time the fields had three soccer pitches, one hockey pitch, three cricket pitches, hard and grass tennis courts and a bowling green. There was also a children's play area.
The sites of Willerby and Kirk Ella were most probably once on the shores of the huge Hull Lake.
In 1427 John Wybbe, of Willerby, bequeathed 4lb of wax for burning about his body.
The mean annual temperature in Willerby is around 48F. The hottest month is traditionally July with an average temperature of 60F. In January average temperature in the area is 38F.
There is doubt over just how Kirk Ella received its name. In his book A History of Welton T. Thompson was of the view that Kirk-Ella meant "The place of worship of Ella." But another view is that the name comes from the old English "aelf" and "leah" meaning "an elf's clearing or pasture."Aelf" would be changed to "elv" giving Elvelay ar Elvele(y) names by which the village was said to be known in the 13th and 14th Centuries. There would also be other ellas - among them West-Ella so the prefix Kirk would be added to distinguish it as it had a church from the time of the Domesday survey.The name Elverley still lives on as one of the area's most exclusive residential areas.
Willerby is believed to date back to around the 9th Century, being one of many settlements around the area founded by Norse invaders.the ending "by" usually implies Scandinavian origin. In the Domesday Book the arera around Willerby and Kirk Ella was referred to as Alvengi.
The present school at Kirk Ella was built in 1860. Until 1937 it remained the only one in both Kirk Ella and Willerby. It was built to cater for 140 pupils. An earlier school stood near the village church, probably where the road towards Hull Golf Club now runs.
Wolfreton School in Carr Lane, Willerby was built in 1937 for 240 pupils. Originally known as the Carr Lane Council School, it stands on a site which was previously used as allotments. The school was extended in World War 11 when two huts were added and four more were built after the war, as was a canteen. In 1951 the school had 500 pupils.
Displaced Polish families were housed on a site next to the Carr Lane School during the latter years of the war.
According to a directory of 1892: "About half a mile north of Willerby is the Hull Borough Asylum for the Insane. The buildings cover a large area and resemble a small village when seen from a distance with a loft church tower rising from the centre."
South Ella was the property and home of Arthur Eggington - still remembered by a close named after him. Built in about 1900 it was said to be "surrounded by a well wooded park over 100 acres in extent. About a quarter of a mile from the house is the Model Farmstead...here is kept one of the finest herds of black Aberdeen Angus cattle (50 in number) in England."
West Ella covered 570 acres and was mainly owned by Charles Percy Sykes. One description from the late 19th Century said of it: "The pebble dashed cottages with their diamond-shaped window panes and trim-kept gardens, give the place a quaintly picturesque appearance."
Written by The Editor - 06/05/2001 17:58:54
View or add comments on this story