The earliest recorded instance of the name Darrington spelt as it is today is 1558, according to a book by A.H. Smith "The Place Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire"

In 1086 the name was written Darnitone and about 1090 Dardinton.

About 1170 the spelling Darthington is found.

In 1243 Darington is used.  Other spellings were Derthington (1364) and Derlingtone (1279).

The name probably means:
          The farmstead of Darding or Deornod.

The area in mediaeval times was possibly wooded, although lying on the edge of the lowland of the plain of York.