Analysis of 1911 census

In order to find out more about our area at the start of the 1st World War the Project Team analysed the 1911 census with the following results.


There were 1727 people living in the 2 enumerator districts that covered Sherburn in Elmet. This includes outlying farms and the hamlet of Lennerton and so the number living in the village of Sherburn itself was 1426 people.

There were 1019 people in the enumerator district of South Milford. This includes outlying farms and the settlements of Newthorpe, Milford Junction, Gascoigne Wood and the Maltings. The village of South Milford itself had a population of only 675.


The age profile is remarkably youthful with 34.4% of the population age 14 or under and only 3.2% were 70 or over.

This compares with equivalent numbers in 2011 when 17.6% are 14 or under and 12.5% are 70 or over.


Working Age Population in the 3 enumerator districts (age 15-69) is 1713 and 1080 of them were in employment.
95% of all males were in work with only 3.6% recorded as unemployed.
This contrasts noticeably for women with only 29%  in employment. Married women were very rarely employed and domestic service was the only realistic option for working class girls.


By far the largest occupation was in agriculture demonstrating that this was very much a farming community. A total of 283 people worked in agriculture (26% of employment) on 56 farms showing how much smaller they were then.

The next largest employer was the railways with 146 people. Whilst there were concentrations of railway people at the 4 stations, South Milford, Sherburn, Milford Junction and Gascoigne Wood they were also spread throughout the villages.

There were 133 people, mostly girls and young unmarried women, in domestic service. This was not in grand houses but in ordinary middle class and even working class houses where it was not uncommon to employ a girl for board and very little wages. 73% of working age females were either in service or filling the role of wife/housekeeper. Only 110 women in total were employed in other work and 25 of these were working as dressmakers at home.

There were 84 coal miners all of whom worked at Micklefield and presumably had to walk or cycle to and from the pit. The quarrying industry was still surviving with 39 employees working in the few quarries still open at this time.

The number of children is reflected in the relatively large number of teachers (32). This compares notably with the very low number of people working in health (only 11) demonstrating the poor level of health care at that time.