Darrington is mentioned in history as far back as the times of Edward the Confessor.
At Ferrybridge, which is north of Darrington, William the Conqueror had to wait for a long time for the flooded River Aire to return to normal so that he could cross it on his way to York. I suppose he had lots of time to come up with the brilliant idea of building a castle round here as he later did at Pontefract. It was through his friend Ilbert de Lacy that the castle was eventually built. It was much later that Oliver Cromwell stayed in nearby Knottingley during the second of the famous sieges of Pontefract.
Near Towton, not far away,during the Wars of the Roses, a battle between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians took place.
Can you imagine great kings riding on horseback through the parish of Darrington? We know that William the Conqueror did, and so did Charles 1. As well as many other kings, Darrington has seen a fair few statesmen,pilgrims, merchants, priests and soldiers travelling along the aptly named Great North Road, nowadays known as the A1.
This famous road was very well used by stagecoaches. No wonder it was also the haunt of the highwayman! At the old crossroads of the A1, within the village stood the Crown Inn. It is said that 50 or 60 stagecoaches passed it every day.
There were a couple of empty stretches of the road in the parish which were the favourite haunts of the highwaymen. Lots of attacks took place halfway between Darrington and Ferrybridge on a lonely part of the road. The other dangerous place was where the Great North Road dipped down to Wentbridge. There were no buildings in these stretches of road. It is a fact that Dick Turpin and the famous Nevinson ( Nevison) both operated here. Nevinson was caught nearby,and later hanged in York.