|County||East Riding of Yorkshire|
|Study Area||Snaith and Cowick|
|About the Study||The name of Cowick is thought to mean “cow farm” or “dairy farm”. It is believed that this derives from the Old English ‘wic’, meaning a dwelling place or abode and ‘cu’, being the word for cow. This suggests that the settlement may have been established by the Anglo Saxon period of the fifth to ninth centuries.
The name ‘Snaith’ is also of Saxon origins, meaning “a place cut off”, by rivers for instance.
In medieval times, Snaith and Cowick continued to belong to the King and, in fact, West Cowick was Edward II's centre of Government for a time, with the Ordinance of Cowick being signed there in the 1300's. It subsequently became part of the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster and then of the Dawney family.
The beautiful 12th century Priory Church of Snaith is dedicated to St Laurence. However, it is likely that an earlier oratory or chapel was located in Snaith during the Saxon period. The Parish of Snaith stretched for about twenty miles and included 25 townships. Snaith was an ecclesiastical Peculiar (ie: it had an ecclesiastical court of its own), the court being owned by the Mother Church, Selby Abbey.
West Cowick was the site of an important medieval pottery industry, producing large quantities of Cowick Humberware. In 1322, three potters worked on the site and by 1373 they numbered seven. The industry remained important into the second quarter of the sixteenth century after which it fell into decline.
As I develop this study, I plan to build a collection of historical and genealogical records and articles about Snaith and the villages of East and West Cowick, including the hamlets of Greenland and Turnbridge.
|Population||Population 1841: Snaith = 855; Cowick = 882.|