Ferrensby is a village and civil parish in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England. It is about 3 miles north-east of Knaresborough and close to the A1(M) motorway. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as “Feresbi” and later names include Feringebi (1239), Feringesby (1269), Ferinsby (1606). The Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names suggests that the name may derive from ‘farmstead or village of the man from the Faroe Islands’, through the Scandinavian word ‘Faereyingr’ meaning a man, or men, from the Faroe Islands.
The famed Blind Jack Metcalfe from Knaresborough made the road from Ferrensby to Minskip during the years 1752-53.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Ferrensby like this: FERENSBY, or Fernsby, a township in Farnham parish, W. R. Yorkshire; 2½ miles NE by N of Knaresborough. Acres, 400. Pop., 86. Houses, 24. There is a Wesleyan chapel.
During the 1800s, Ferrensby boasted two inns – the General Tarleton and the Blue Bell. Baines’s Directory and Gazetteer Directory of 1822 shows the following “miscellany of trades” for Ferrensby:
- Abram George, wheelwright, &c.
- Barker G. white & gunsmith, farrier, brazier, musical instmnt. mkr. &c.
- Meadley Wm. vict. Colonel Tarleton
- Whitehouse John, vict. Blue Bell
The General Tarleton remains a very popular destination for diners though the Blue Bell Inn is now only remembered in the name Blue Bell Yard.
By the time of the 1961 Census the village had a total of 44 households with a population 105.