The A684 is an A road that runs through Cumbria and North Yorkshire, starting at Kendal, Cumbria and ending at Ellerbeck and the A19 road in North Yorkshire. It crosses the full width of the Yorkshire Dales, passing through Garsdale and the full length of Wensleydale.
Flooding can be a problem after heavy rain, especially at Appersett, near Hawes, and heavy snow can close the road temporarily at the Black Horse hill and in Garsdale.
A view looking east from Dandry Mire Viaduct at Garsdale Head circa 1900. Moorcock Inn is still trading as a pub and the view remains largely unchanged in this rural upland scene.
|Length||70 mi (110 km)|
|East end||Ellerbeck (A19 road)|
|Bedale, Kendal, Hawes, Leyburn, Northallerton, Sedbergh|
The A684 has primary status for the short length between Kendal and junction 37 of the M6 motorway, though even this primary section involves two hills and some tricky twists. East of the M6, the road descends the "Black Horse" hill and passes through Sedbergh where there is a short diversion to avoid the main street and a difficult right-angled bend. Another right-angled bend 6 miles (9.7 km) east at Garsdale Hall, and the road goes further up the valley to the watershed at Garsdale Head. After this the road passes under Garsdale (or Dandry Mire, or Moorcock) viaduct where after there is a junction with the B6259 road to Kirkby Stephen. The road drops down through upper Wensleydale into Appersett, a junction with the B6255 and into the town of Hawes
There is a 17-ton MGW (maximum gross weight) restriction over the bridge spanning the Widdale Beck in Appersett. Because of this, heavy eastbound traffic must leave just before the bridge and proceed onto an unclassified road through Hardraw and then turn south onto Burnt Acres Lane bringing the vehicles back to the A684 just east of Hawes town centre. Heavy westbound traffic from the B6255 is expected to go through Hawes eastwards and then back through Hardraw to avoid the weight restriction.
In Hawes, after the junction with B6255 road to Ingleton, the road splits into single lanes with the eastbound fork dropping down to the junction with Burnt Acres Lane and the westbound taking a cobbled road through the town. The two forks meet up at the Market Square in Hawes.
There is a triangular road junction in Bainbridge with the road to Askrigg before the road goes east again over the River Bain. After passing Askrigg and bridging the confluence of the Bishopdale and Walden Becks, the road meets the B6160 from Addingham where there is a grade II listed AA phone box.
It then passes through West Witton, Wensley, Leyburn (where it runs in tandem with the A6108 for a short distance), Constable Burton, Patrick Brompton and Crakehall before arriving at Bedale. The road used to continue through Bedale Town and on through Aiskew and then after another ungated crossing of the Wesleydale Railway, it had a junction with a slip road to the A6055 (the old A1 Junction going North). Now, Bedale is bypassed (see below) and the road intersects with the A6055 and the A1(M) just north of Leeming Bar and rejoins the old route just east of Leeming Bar.
The road then heads out through Morton-On-Swale, Ainderby Steeple and into Northallerton where it first meets the A167 and runs in tandem as the A167 through Northallerton. The road crosses two adjacent railways in the town; the first is a gated crossing on the freight lines to and from Teesside, and the second is under the railway station at Northallerton on the East Coast Main Line. The road carries on eastwards meeting the A168 and loops east then northwards around the town centre before it leaves the A167/A168 and heads north out of the town.
The road then heads mainly eastwards avoiding Brompton but going through Ellerbeck before arriving at a large junction with the A19 that allows access north and south and also onto an unclassified road into Osmotherley.
On 16 July 2014 the Department of Transport announced the go-ahead for the villages of Leeming Bar and Aiskew and the town of Bedale in North Yorkshire to be bypassed. The bypass, which opened to traffic on the 11 August 2016, leaves the current A684 just north of St Gregory's Church in Bedale and runs eastwards for 3 miles (4.8 km) to a point about 0.6 miles (1 km) east of Leeming Bar. It connects with junction 51 on the A1M and the A6055 just north of Leeming Bar.
Appersett is a hamlet in the Yorkshire Dales in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England 0.93 miles (1.5 km) west of Hawes. It lies on the A684 road and has only 23 dwellings in the hamlet. The name Appersett derives from Norse and means the 'Shieling by the apple tree'.Appersett sits at the northern end of Widdale, where the Widdale Beck has its confluence with the River Ure.Bedale Beck
Bedale Beck is a river that flows through the eastern end of Wensleydale and passes through Crakehall, Bedale and Leeming before entering the River Swale at a point between Morton-on-Swale and Gatenby. Between source and mouth its length is 25.7 miles (41 km).Church of St Matthew, Leyburn
The church of St Matthew Leyburn (also known as The Parish Church of St Matthew, Leyburn) is the parish church for Leyburn in North Yorkshire, England. It is just to the south-east of Leyburn town centre and on the northern side of the A684 road. The parish is relatively new (being raised in 1956) and the church itself was built in 1868 after many years of parishioners having to travel to nearby Wensley (1-mile (1.6 km) to the west) to worship.
In 2017, permission was granted to allow the parish to remove the pews and enhance car parking around the site, despite some objections to the overall plan. The church celebrated its 150-year anniversary in 2018.Ellerbeck
Ellerbeck is a small village and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. The population of the parish was estimated at 50 in 2010. The population as taken at the 2011 Census remained less than 100. Details are maintained in the civil parish of Winton, Stank and Hallikeld.
Ellerbeck lies on the A684 road between Northallerton and the A19 near Osmotherley. Ellerbeck also lies on the route of one of the variations of the Coast to coast walk.
Cod Beck flows through Ellerbeck on its way down into the Vale of Mowbray from the North York Moors.
The village of Elrebec is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
There was a violent gas explosion in Ellerbeck in the late 1990s which destroyed a house in the village but did not cause any deaths.Finghall
Finghall is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England.Garsdale
Garsdale is a dale or valley in the south east of Cumbria, England, on the western slopes of the Pennines, between Baugh Fell to the north, and Rise Hill to the south. It is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The dale is the valley of the Clough River, which rises on the north eastern slopes of Baugh Fell and flows through Grisedale, the Dale that Died, as Grisedale Beck until it becomes the Clough River at Garsdale Head.
The dale forms the civil parish of Garsdale (though the last mile and a half of the course of the Clough river, before its confluence with the Rawthey, is part of the parish of Sedbergh). Small settlements lie along the main Northallerton to Kendal road (the A684) which runs through the dale for 7 miles (11 km), with frequent bridges in the upper part of the dale. The largest settlement, known as “The Street”, lies 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Sedbergh, and 10 miles (16 km) west of Hawes. The other hamlet in Garsdale is Garsdale Head, also called Hawes Junction, the old name for Garsdale railway station, after the former Wensleydale branch on the Settle to Carlisle railway. The population of the parish recorded in the 2001 census was 202, with many of the 150 houses being derelict or used as second homes.
Garsdale was historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and was transferred to Cumbria in 1974. It is now within the South Lakeland local government district, but is still a "Yorkshire Dale" for planning purposes.
At Longstone Fell, locally known, and spoken as Langst'n Fell, the A684 road rises to a well-known view-point looking over the Howgill Fells, and the river descends to Danny Bridge, the site of a seventeenth-century mill on the “old road”, before joining the River Rawthey near Sedbergh. The Sedgwick Trail, named after the well-known geologist Adam Sedgwick runs along the Clough from Danny Bridge and highlights rock features along the Dent Fault.
The Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, built in 1861 next to the original medieval church, lies 6 miles (9.7 km) from Sedbergh, between The Street and Garsdale Hall, which was once an inn but is now used as a farm store. There are also three Methodist chapels: Low Smithy and Garsdale Street, both in regular use, and Hawes Junction which has occasional special events. The only other public building in Garsdale is the village hall which was formerly the primary school.
Garsdale has 18 working farms, most of them amalgamating several of the original smallholdings. Because of the high annual rainfall of up to 100 inches (2,500 mm), crops other than hay and silage are almost impossible, so all farms are stock rearing. Pedigree Swaledale rams occasionally make high prices at Hawes Auction mart.
At Garsdale railway station stands a statue of Ruswarp, a collie. Ruswarp belonged to Graham Nuttall, the first Secretary of the Friends of the Settle–Carlisle Line, which was formed to campaign against the proposed closure of the line. Ruswarp's paw print was put on his own objection as a fare-paying passenger. The line was finally saved in 1989. In January 1990 Nuttall and Ruswarp went missing in the Welsh mountains. On 7 April 1990 a lone walker found Nuttall's body, by a mountain stream. Nearby was Ruswarp, so weak that the 14-year-old dog had to be carried off the mountain. He had stayed with his master's body for 11 winter weeks. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals awarded Ruswarp their Animal Medallion and collar for 'vigilance' and their Animal Plaque for 'intelligence and courage'. He survived long enough to attend Nuttall's funeral.Garsdale Head
Garsdale Head is a hamlet mainly within the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the hamlet is now on the border with Richmondshire, North Yorkshire. It lies within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Garsdale Head is mainly within the civil parish and valley of Garsdale, and on the A684 road between Sedbergh, approximately 8 miles (13 km) to the west (ten miles by road), and Hawes, 5 miles (8 km) to the east. The hamlet's chief landmark is Garsdale railway station on the Settle to Carlisle and Wensleydale Railways. Until the branch line to Hawes was closed in 1964 the alternative name for Garsdale Head was Hawes Junction, a name which remains in common use.
Sixteen cottages were built by the Midland Railway Company for its employees soon after the opening of the line in 1876. Another six "Moorcock Cottages" were built in similar Victorian style half a mile away over the border in Richmondshire. Just before the border, in a matching building style (because it was built by Midland Railway contractors), is Mount Zion Chapel, a Primitive Methodist meeting-place which is still used for special events.
Apart from one Edwardian building, Clough View, all buildings in the hamlet are older, or are renovations of older properties. The Moorcock Inn, at the junction of the A684 and the B6259 to Kirkby Stephen via Lunds, Mallerstang and Nateby, is the only public house in the 16-mile journey between Sedbergh and Hawes, and has an adjoining Bed and Breakfast establishment. The inn, in the Hawes civil parish of Richmondshire, is 400 yards (370m) east from the border with Cumbria, and 1,480 yards (1,350m) north-east from Garsdale railway station. According to The Yorkshire Post, the Moorcock Inn dates to the 1740s. West of the inn towards Garsdale station is Dandry Mire Viaduct (alternatively called Moorcock Viaduct) on the Settle–Carlisle line, over which passed, on Christmas Eve 1910, the St Pancras to Glasgow Express which collided into the rear of two engines. The twelve dead from the crash were kept in the Moorcock Inn cellar before burial in Hawes churchyard.There are toilet facilities at Garsdale station, and an original public red telephone box at the bottom of a steep hill to the station. There was a post office at Garsdale Head between 1881 and June 1963. About 1911 it was located in a shop within a stone-built house, but in 1934 it was described and pictured as being "nothing but a tin hut, nine feet by six". The office was replaced in 1963 by one at Garsdale, which has since closed.
The 'Coal Road', which joins Garsdale Head to Dent railway station at the north-east of Cowgill, and skirts the north west slopes of Great Knoutberry Hill, is a scenic single-track route, suitable for walkers, cyclists and motor vehicles except when there is snow or ice, when its steep surface becomes treacherous.High Abbotside
High Abbotside is a civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It is a rural parish on the north side of upper Wensleydale, and includes the settlements of Hardraw, Sedbusk and several hamlets.Listed buildings in Garsdale
Garsdale is a civil parish in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England. It contains 62 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, three are listed at Grade II*, the middle of the three grades, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The parish is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it contains the village of Garsdale and the hamlet of Garsdale Head, and is otherwise rural. The A684 road runs through the valley, and most of the listed buildings are situated along, or are close to this road. The Settle–Carlisle line of the former Midland Railway passes through the eastern part of the parish, and the listed buildings associated with this are a viaduct, a bridge and a station box. Most of the other listed buildings are farmhouses, farm buildings, and houses and associated structures. Also listed are other bridges, milestones, a church, chapels, and a boundary marker.Morton-on-Swale
Morton-on-Swale is a large village and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies on the A684 road about 4 miles west of the County Town of Northallerton. It is less than 1 mile (1.6 km) to the village of Ainderby Steeple. As the name suggests it lies on the River Swale.New Hutton
New Hutton is a village and civil parish in South Lakeland, Cumbria, England. At the UK census 2011 the parish had a population of 348.The parish lies to the east of Kendal, and to the north of Old Hutton. The M6 motorway runs through the eastern edge of the parish, and the A684 road runs across the parish roughly east–west.The village lies to the south of the A684. The church of St Stephen is in the centre of the village.There is a parish council, the lowest tier of local government.River Bain, North Yorkshire
The River Bain is a river in North Yorkshire, England. As a tributary of the River Ure, it is one of the shortest, named rivers in England. The river is home to the small scale hydroelectricity project River Bain Hydro located at Bainbridge.Sedbergh
Sedbergh ( SED-bər or locally SEB-ər) is a small town and civil parish in Cumbria, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it lies about 10 miles (16 km) east of Kendal, 28 miles (45 km) north of Lancaster and about 10 miles (16 km) north of Kirkby Lonsdale. The town sits just within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Sedbergh is at the foot of the Howgill Fells on the north bank of the River Rawthey which joins the River Lune about 2 miles (3 km) below the town.
Sedbergh has a narrow main street lined with shops. From all angles, the hills rising behind the houses can be seen. Until the coming of the Ingleton Branch Line in 1861, these remote places were reachable only by walking over some fairly steep hills. The railway to Sedbergh was closed in 1965.
The civil parish covers a large area, including the hamlets of Millthrop, Catholes, Marthwaite, Brigflatts, High Oaks, Howgill, Lowgill and Cautley, the southern part of the Howgill Fells and the western part of Baugh Fell.
George Fox, a founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), spoke in the churchyard of St. Andrew's Church (which he called a "steeple house") and on nearby Firbank Fell during his travels in the North of England in 1652. Briggflatts Meeting House was built in 1675. It is the namesake of Basil Bunting's long poem Briggflatts (1966). Sedbergh School is a co-educational boarding school in the town, while Settlebeck School is the main state-funded secondary school for the town.St Gregory's Church, Vale of Lune
St Gregory's Church, Vale of Lune, also known as the Vale of Lune Chapel, is a redundant Anglican church situated on the A684 road about 1.5 miles (2 km) to the west of Sedbergh, Cumbria, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.Swinithwaite
Swinithwaite is a hamlet in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire, England. It lies on the A684 road, 2 miles (3.2 km) miles east of Aysgarth.The hamlet originally belonged to the Knights Templar but was later absorbed into the manor of West Witton which lies to the east. The hamlet includes Swinithwaite Hall, a grade II* listed building which has extensive grounds covering over 1,600 acres (650 ha). There is a belvedere in the grounds and a folly (known as Temple Folly after a nearby Knights Templar chapel). Both the belvedere and the folly were designed by John Foss of Richmond and have been converted into holiday accommodation. The hamlet does not have any amenities other than a farm shop.The cellar in the farmhouse on the estate was once used for a scene in All Creatures Great and Small.Spelled Synningthwait, the village is mentioned as the protagonist Uhtred of Bebbanburg's childhood home in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon stories.Walden Head
Walden Head is a hamlet in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire. It lies 5 miles (8 km) of Aysgarth and to the north is a similar village Walden. The village lies in the civil parish of Burton-cum-Walden.
The hamlet is bisected by Walden Beck which runs for 9 miles (14.3 km) from the watershed on Buckden Pike to Bishopdale Beck just before it flows under the A684 road in the valley. The road from West Burton peters out just south of the hamlet, but an old packhorse track goes over Buckden Pike and ends in the village of Starbotton.Walden Head, like the other small settlements in the Walden Valley, have changed little over modern times. The Walden Valley is sometimes referred to as Waldendale, but this is not common. The name Walden means 'Valley of the Welsh'.Wensley, North Yorkshire
Wensley is a small village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It consists of a few homes and holiday cottage, an inn, a pub and a historic church. It is situated on the A684 road and approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) south-west of the market town of Leyburn. The River Ure passes through the village.
Wensley gives its name to the dale Wensleydale.
The etymology of the name ultimately originates from a compound of an Old English form of the god Woden (attested Wednesleg c. 1212, earlier Wodnesleie, see Wednesday).
For a century after its charter in 1202, Wensley had the only market in the dale and this continued into the 16th century. Plague struck Wensley in 1563, some surviving villagers fled to Leyburn, but the village recovered a century later when Charles Paulet built Bolton Hall in 1678 and became Duke of Bolton. In fact, Bolton Hall, is 3 miles (4.8 km) from the heart of Wensley, near Preston-under-Scar, Richmondshire; it is a rebuild after a fire in 1902.Wensley's Holy Trinity Church dates to 1300 and is a Grade I listed building. It is featured as the wedding venue of James and Helen Herriot in the British television series All Creatures Great and Small, in the episode "The Last Furlong".
Wensley's railway station is now closed. It was situated 1-mile (1.6 km) to the north between Wensley and Preston-under-Scar, on the Wensleydale Railway line which still passes the village.
Leyburn Old Glebe nature reserve lies about 440 yards (400 m) east of the village.Widdale
Widdale is a small side dale on the south side of Wensleydale in North Yorkshire, England.
The dale lies to the east of Great Knoutberry Hill (also known as Widdale Fell) and is bounded on the west by Dentdale, south by Sleddale and north by Mossdale. It is drained by Widdale & Snaizeholme Becks which feed the waters north into the River Ure at Appersett. The name Widdale means 'The Wooded Valley' in Old Norse.The dale itself is 5 miles (8 km) long from Newby Head Moss in the south west to Appersett in the north east. The B6255 road (which was once a turnpike) traverses much of the dale but veers off about 1.2 miles (2 km) south of Appersett to go directly east into Hawes. There is a minor road (Lanacar Lane) which connects the B6255 to the A684 road at Appersett, but this is narrow with a 10 feet 9 inches (3.28 m) height restriction under Appersett viaduct. Appersett viaduct itself used to carry the railway through Wensleydale and was closed to railway traffic in 1958. Abseilers use the viaduct at present, but the Wensleydale Railway have an ambition to re-open the line all the way to Garsdale, which would mean the viaduct would carry trains once more.The southern edge of the dale that carries Snaizeholme Beck is also designated as a red squirrel reserve. Transport is laid on by arrangement from Hawes to drop people off at the edge of the reserve.Apart from Appersett (which only has 23 dwellings) there are no villages or hamlets in the dale. There are a few homesteads and farms scattered around the dale though.Worton, North Yorkshire
Worton is a hamlet in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies 1-mile (1.6 km) east of Bainbridge on the A684 road, 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Aysgarth and 1-mile (1.6 km) south east of Askrigg. The hamlet is just south of the River Ure, the biggest river in Wensleydale. The hamlet is named in the Domesday Book and its name derives from the Old English wyrt-tūn and means the (herb or vegetable) garden.There are a number of listed buildings in the hamlet, including Worton Hall and the Victoria Arms public house who had one of the longest serving landlords in British pub history. Ralph Daykin was the publican at the Victoria Arms between 1956 and 2013.
A roads in Zone 6 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme