Yorkshire North Riding

The North Riding of Yorkshire was one of the three historic subdivisions of the English county of Yorkshire, alongside the East and West Ridings. From the Restoration it was used as a Lieutenancy area. The three ridings were treated as three counties for many purposes, such as having separate Quarter Sessions. An administrative county was created with a county council in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888 on the historic boundaries. In 1974 both the administrative county and the Lieutenancy of the North Riding of Yorkshire were abolished, being succeeded in most of the Riding by the new non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire.

Unlike most counties in Great Britain, which were divided anciently into hundreds, Yorkshire was divided first into three ridings and then into numerous wapentakes within each riding. The word riding is derived from the late Old English ‘thrithing’ or ‘thriding’, itself adapted from an Old Norse loan word, meaning a third part. Wapentake, similarly derived, was the equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon hundred, and came from the symbolic flourishing of weapons to signify agreement when decisions were made in open-air assemblies at convenient sites, such as a river crossing or by a stone cross. Within the North Riding of Yorkshire there were thirteen wapentakes in total.

The materials for the North Riding provided on Hearth Tax Online are all in draft format and are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License

If you use any of these materials you should cite: The Centre for Hearth Tax Research, University of Roehampton.