South Ferriby

South Ferriby

South Ferriby is a village in North Lincolnshire, England situated on the south bank of the River Humber 5 km ("3 miles") west of the Humber Bridge and directly opposite North Ferriby on the River’s north bank. It currently has a population of around 600 people.

It dates back at least to Roman times when there was a major settlement here. It is known locally as one of the "Low Villages" nestling at the bottom of a chalk escarpment, where the chalk meets the clay to give, before piped water, a plentiful water supply. It also marks the point where the Lincolnshire Wolds come to the Humber Estuary and was, as the name suggests, the southern end of an ancient ferry over the Humber to North Ferriby. The entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 records a church, a mill and two ferries. To sustain two ferries suggests that a prosperous trading community must have been flourishing at the time.

South Ferriby was once two villages, Ferriby Sluice with its strong connection to brick manufacture and other activities on the River Ancholme and South Ferriby itself with two farms that are still operational. The village now has a general store and Post Office, garage, primary school and two public houses: The Nelthorpe Arms, named after the family who at the beginning of the 19th Century, owned over half the village ("and still have major holdings today") and down by the Sluice, the Hope and Anchor which looks out over the Humber with Read's Island and its wildlife.

The parish church, dedicated to St Nicholas, appears to be the remnant of a much larger church, it is a singular structure consisting of nave, south transept, north porch and an embattled tower with pinnacles at the southeast angle containing 3 bells. Over the porch is an ancient semicircular stone, on which is a sculptured figure of St Nicholas, vested in alb and mitre and holding a pastoral staff in his left hand and on either side are symbolical figures of the sun and moon. It is thought that the unusual North-South alignment of the current church is a legacy of a rebuild following a landslip that claimed much of the earlier building originally aligned on the traditional East-West axis.

The only industry is the cement works. The plant, owned by Cemex, dominates the village and obtains its raw material from the Middlegate Lane quarry on the hill above. The village serves mainly as a dormitory for workers in nearby towns, but with the advent of home working, this is changing and the village is becoming increasingly popular with those looking to enjoy a rural setting with magnificent wildlife and enjoyable walks, whilst remaining close to excellent road and rail links to major centres.

The village lies on the route of the Viking Way the 235 km ("147 miles") long-distance footpath from the Humber Bridge to Oakham.

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