Byfield is a village (also referred to as a "parish") in the town of Newbury, in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It borders West Newbury, Georgetown, and Rowley. It is located about 30 miles north-northeast of Boston, along Interstate 95, about 10 miles south of the border between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Byfield Snuff Co. was a successful business at the beginning of the twentieth century. Byfield was also the home of Governor William Dummer. The village was granted a ZIP Code (01922) and post office following a visit from John F. Kennedy when he was visiting Governor Dummer Academy, a prep school (now called "The Governor's Academy") located in Byfield near U.S. 1.
The village consists of mainly residential homes with a few local businesses. It also contains the Newbury town library and Triton Regional High School, which serves three towns (Salisbury, Rowley, and Newbury), as well as the prestigious private Governor's Academy (previously known as Governor Dummer Academy after William Dummer, one of the founders of the Newbury area). An arts center and Pearson's deer farm are also located in Byfield.
A festival called "Byfield Days" takes place during the first weekend in June, including the crowning of Miss Byfield and a woodsmen's contest.
Byfield Parish originally included parts of the present towns of Newbury and Rowley.
"The fertility of the soil and the large quantity of salt marsh, convenient for the support of cattle, near the falls of the Quascaqunquen (now Parker) River, soon attracted a number of settlers to that locality; but the distance from the meeting-house was so great that it soon became necessary to establish a new parish with bounds and limits, extending about two miles in either direction from the falls, and including parts of the towns of Newbury and Rowley. In 1701, the tax imposed upon the inhabitants in that vicinity for the support of the gospel was abated to one-half the customary rate; and, in 1702, a meeting-house was built near the place where the present one now stands, and the parish was called "Rowlbury." It is evident, however, that neither the name nor boundaries of the parish were definitely fixed upon until two years later. Judge Sewall, in the following letter to Colonel Byfield, gives Feb. 24, 1703-4, as the date when "the inhabitants upon the upper part of the River Parker … agreed to have the place called Byfield." Ould Newbury": Historical and Biographical Sketches, p. 293