The village of Barlow lies in a low, flat area near the River Ouse, about 4 km. south-east of Selby, and 25 km. south of York. It is a linear settlement apart from Barlow Hall and several dispersed farmsteads, with a population that rarely surpassed two hundred and fifty people until the mid-20th century.
The land in the township comprised 2250 a. in 1847, expanding slightly to 2371 a. by 1891. At its widest points, its irregular shape is about 4½ km. from east to west, and about 3½ km. north to south.