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Osmotherley, North Yorkshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Osmotherley is an English village and civil parish in the Hambleton hills in North Yorkshire, six miles north-east of Northallerton.[2] The village is the western edge of the North York Moors National Park.[3]

Osmotherley is on the route of the 110-mile Cleveland Way National Trail.

Origin of name

It is likely that Osmotherley means the clearing or 'ley', belonging to a Viking called 'Asmund' or a Saxon called 'Osmund'. There have been a number spellings of the name over the centuries: the name appeared in the Domesday Book as Asmundrelac; it has also been known as Osmundeslay and Osmonderlay.

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.


An electoral ward in the same name exists. The ward stretches north and south from the village and has a population taken at the 2011 census of 1,764.[4]


The Top Shop
The Top Shop

The village school was founded 1857, the present building dates from 1878. The school is now Osmotherley Primary School. It is located on School Lane and has 49 pupils.

Osmotherley has three pubs 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 store. In 2019, the Osmotherley Fish and Chip takeaway was named the best in Northern England at the England Business Awards event.[5] The shop that has served Osmotherley since 1786, Thompson, and an Art and Craft Shop have recently closed.[when?]


Church of St Peter
Church of St Peter

The Church of England parish church is dedicated to St Peter and is built on a Saxon site, with parts of the building dating from the Norman period. Largely rebuilt by architect C. Hodgson Fowler in 1892, it is a grade II* listed building.[6]

John Wesley preached at the barter table in the middle of Osmotherley on several occasions, the first in 1745. In 1754 a Methodist Chapel was erected in Chapel Yard.

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

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


Cod Beck Reservoir is named from Cod Beck, a small 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. This 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 in it 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[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Osmotherley 2011 Census Ward (1237325075)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  5. ^ Scott, Jim. "Prized plaice for Osmotherley Fish and Chip shop". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter (1188638)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 December 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 May 2020, at 01:04
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