Described as a “traditional nucleated settlement”, modern Hawnby really has two nuclei. The high one at the foot of Hawnby Hill and the low one centred on the old mill by the River Rye. Both have quaint sandstone buildings with red pantile roofs distinctive of the Tabular Hills. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as ‘Halmebi‘ where the lord of the manor was ‘Fredgist’ who “had one carucate and a half to be taxed” and “land to one plough”. A carucate was the area of land area that a team of eight oxen could plough in a year. This chap ‘Fredgist’ also had lands in neighbouring townships so it must have been a bit of a local bigwig. Hawnby did at one time boast two pubs and a hotel, with shops at both the top and the bottom of the village. Now only the shop beside the river remains although I understand the inn at the top is due to reopen.