History of Wigglesworth

The name of the village is believed to have originated in Saxon times: ‘wicel’, the name of a person, or ‘wincel’ meaning ‘of the child’ forming the first part, with the last part ‘worth’ deriving from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘wory’, pronounced ‘worth’.

Wigglesworth village is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) when about 120 acres of it (one caracute) was in the Manor of (Long) Preston and about 150 acres (ten oxgangs) was in Rathmell. Later the Manor belonged to the monks of Fountains Abbey to whom it had been given by William, son of Godfrey de Neversheim.

The ‘estate’ as it became to be known was passed down through generations of families and, during the 18th Century, was owned by the Weddell family who lived at Newby Hall, Near Ripon. In 1792 William Weddell died and his estate passed to his cousin who was the 3rd Lord Grantham.

By the end of the 19th Century the Wigglesworth Estate was owned by Lord Lucas and his sister, Lady Lucas. Lord Lucas was killed during the First World War and Lady Lucas decided to sell off the estate in small lots on 21st October, 1924. At that time the estate totalled 4181 acres and produced an annual income of £4000. There were twenty seven dairy and stock rearing farms varying in size from 30 to 350 acres, and also ‘The Plough Inn’.

Since then the village has seen the number of houses increase slightly, but always keeping the distinct and special nature of a linear village along the south side of the main road. It has maintained – and continues to maintain – its village character and feel, which is appreciated by residents and visitors alike.