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Osmotherley, North Yorkshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Osmotherley village green.jpg

The village green and barter table
Osmotherley is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population668 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE456972
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtDL6
Dialling code01609
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
54°22′07″N 1°17′50″W / 54.3685°N 1.2972°W / 54.3685; -1.2972

Osmotherley is a village and civil parish in the Hambleton hills in North Yorkshire, six miles north-east of Northallerton.[2] The village is at the western edge of the North York Moors National Park.[3] Osmotherley is on the route of the 110-mile Cleveland Way, one of the National Trails established by Natural England.

Origin of name

Osmotherley probably means the clearing or 'ley', belonging to a Viking called 'Asmund' or a Saxon called 'Osmund'. In the Domesday Book it was recorded as Asmundrelac and subsequently as Osmundeslay and Osmonderlay.[4][5][6]

Local legend says that Osmotherley was named after the mother of a villager named Oswald or Osmund, who went out to gather firewood in the winter. When she did not return her son became anxious and went out to look for her. He found her lying in the snow, dead or dying from the cold. Because he was not able to carry her back, he lay down beside her and died himself. It is where Oswald's mother lies, hence Osmotherley.[7][8]


Located in the North Riding of Yorkshire, a division of the historic county of Yorkshire, Osmotherley has been administered as part of the non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire since 1972. North Yorkshire Police, created by the same Local Government Act 1972 as the non-metropolitan county, are responsible for Osmotherley.

An electoral ward of the same name stretches north and south from the village and had a population at the 2011 census of 1,764.[9] It is in the Richmond parliamentary constituency.


The Top Shop
The Top Shop

The village school, Osmotherley Primary School, was founded 1857 and the present building dates from 1878. It is on School Lane and has fewer than 50 pupils.[10]

Osmotherley has three public houses within a 55-yard (50 m) radius: the Queen Catherine, the Three Tuns and the Golden Lion. The village also has a newsagents, a Top Shop, a Youth Hostel and an antique shop. In 2019, the Osmotherley Fish and Chip was named the best in Northern England at the England Business Awards event.[11] Thompson, the shop that served Osmotherley since 1786, and an Art and Craft Shop have both recently closed.[when?][citation needed]

The Barter Table on the village green is a five-legged structure with a stone slab on top which is about 1.5 feet (0.46 m) high. Goods were exchanged or bartered on the table and it is now a grade II listed structure.[12][13]


Church of St Peter
Church of St Peter

The Anglican parish church dedicated to St Peter is built on an Angle site and parts of the building date from the Norman period. Largely rebuilt by architect C. Hodgson Fowler in 1892, it is a grade II* listed building.[14]

John Wesley preached at the barter table on the green on several occasions, the first in 1745.[15] In 1754 a Methodist Chapel was erected in Chapel Yard.[citation needed]

Osmotherley Friends Meeting House, a traditional stone building, was erected in 1690 or 1723. Meetings are held monthly. It is thought that George Fox may have visited the village in the late-17th century.[16]


Interior, Church of St Peter
Interior, Church of St Peter

The village is in the North York Moors, one of the largest areas of moorland in Great Britain.

Cod Beck Reservoir to the north is named from Cod Beck, a tributary of the River Swale. The beck derives its name from the Celtic word 'Coed', meaning woody. Just before Cod Beck reaches the reservoir is a picturesque location called Sheepwash.

Osmotherley is close to the western terminus of the Lyke Wake Walk. The official starting point is at the edge of the moors above the village where there is a stone marker.

About 1½ miles from Osmotherley near the A19 is Mount Grace Priory. Its ruins are situated at the foot of a steep wooded hill with a footpath leading into the village. The Carthusian religious house was founded around 1396.

In popular culture

Osmotherley is the setting of some of the final chapters of the novel Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells. In the novel, many towns and cities are hit by individually programmed nuclear missiles, but because of Osmotherley's small size, the village is spared.

See also


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Osmotherley Parish (1170216901)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  2. ^ AA Book of British Villages. Drive Publications. 1980. p. 306.
  3. ^ Osmotherley, North York Moors
  4. ^ "Osmotherley | Domesday Book". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  5. ^ Ekwall, Eilert (1960). The concise Oxford dictionary of English place-names (4 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 352. ISBN 0-19-869103-3.
  6. ^ "Osmotherley :: Survey of English Place-Names". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Genuki: OSMOTHERLEY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890., Yorkshire (North Riding)". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Lore Of The Land: A Guide To England's Legends From Spring-Heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys by". York Press. 10 December 2005. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  9. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Osmotherley 2011 Census Ward (1237325075)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Osmotherley Primary School URN: 121310". 16 October 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  11. ^ Scott, Jim. "Prized plaice for Osmotherley Fish and Chip shop". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  12. ^ Historic England. "Stone Table  (Grade II) (1150866)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  13. ^ Bagshaw, Mike (2010). Go slow Yorkshire dales & moors : local, characterful guides to Britain's special places. Chalfont St Peter: Bradt Travel Guides. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-84162-323-8.
  14. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter (1188638)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  15. ^ Gill, Frederick Cyril (1962). In the steps of John Wesley. London: Lutterworth Press. p. 139. OCLC 853866463.
  16. ^ Wakefield, Gavin (2020). Saints and holy places of Yorkshire: a pilgrims' guide to god's own county. Durham: Sacristy Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-78959-103-3.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 February 2021, at 18:08
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