North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan county (or shire county) and largest ceremonial county in England. It is located primarily in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber but partly in the region of North East England. The estimated (by ONS) population of North Yorkshire was 602,300 in mid-2016 (not including the unitary districts of York, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland).
Created by the Local Government Act 1972, it covers an area of 8,654 square kilometres (3,341 sq mi), making it the largest county in England. The majority of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors lie within North Yorkshire's boundaries, and around 40% of the county is covered by National Parks. The largest towns are Middlesbrough (174,700), York (152,841), Harrogate (73,576) and Scarborough (61,749); the county town, Northallerton, has a population of 16,832.
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
(Part of the ceremonial county is in the North East Region)
|High Sheriff||Mrs Linda Fenwick (2019–20)|
|Area||8,608 km2 (3,324 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||1st of 48|
|Population (mid-2017 est.)||1,153,400|
|• Ranked||14th of 48|
|Density||133/km2 (340/sq mi)|
North Yorkshire County Council
|Area||8,053 km2 (3,109 sq mi)|
|• Ranked||1st of 27|
|• Ranked||20th of 27|
|Density||76/km2 (200/sq mi)|
Districts of North Yorkshire
Unitary County council area
Neighbouring counties are: East Riding of Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and County Durham
|Members of Parliament|
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)|
|• Summer (DST)||British Summer Time (UTC+1)|
The area under the control of the county council, or shire county, is divided into a number of local government districts: Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby.
The Department for Communities and Local Government considered reorganising North Yorkshire County Council's administrative structure by abolishing the seven district councils and the county council to create a North Yorkshire unitary authority. The changes were planned to be implemented no later than 1 April 2009. This was rejected on 25 July 2007 so the County Council and District Council structure will remain.
The largest settlement in the administrative county is Harrogate, the second largest is Scarborough. Within the ceremonial county, the largest is the Middlesbrough built-up area. York is the most populous district in the ceremonial county.
York, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland are unitary authority boroughs which form part of the ceremonial county for various functions such as the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, but do not come under county council control. Uniquely for a district in England, Stockton-on-Tees is split between North Yorkshire and County Durham for this purpose. Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, and Redcar and Cleveland boroughs form part of the North East England region.
The ceremonial county area, including the unitary authorities, borders East Riding of Yorkshire to the east/south east, South Yorkshire to the south, West Yorkshire to the west/south west, Lancashire to the west, Cumbria to the north west and County Durham to the north, with the North Sea to the east.
The geology of North Yorkshire is closely reflected in its landscape. Within the county are the North York Moors and most of the Yorkshire Dales; two of eleven areas of countryside within England and Wales to be officially designated as national parks. Between the North York Moors in the east and the Pennine Hills in the west lie the Vales of Mowbray and York. The Tees Lowlands lie to the north of the North York Moors and the Vale of Pickering lies to the south. Its eastern border is the North sea coast. The highest point is Whernside, on the Cumbrian border, at 736 metres (2,415 ft). The two major rivers in the county are the River Swale and the River Ure. The Swale and the Ure form the River Ouse which flows through York and into the Humber Estuary. The River Tees forms part of the border between North Yorkshire and County Durham and flows from upper Teesdale through Middlesbrough and Stockton and to the coast.
North Yorkshire contains a small section of green belt in the south of the county, just north of Ilkley and Otley along the North and West Yorkshire borders. It extends to the east to cover small communities such as Huby, Kirkby Overblow, and Follifoot before covering the gap between the towns of Harrogate and Knaresborough, helping to keep those towns separate.
The belt meets with the Yorkshire Dales National Park at its southernmost extent, and also forms a border with the Nidderdale AONB. It extends into the western area of Selby district, reaching as far as Tadcaster and Balne. The belt was first drawn up from the 1950s.
The city of York has an independent surrounding belt area affording protections to several outlying settlements such as Haxby and Dunnington, and it too extends into the surrounding districts.
North Yorkshire was formed on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, and covers most of the lands of the historic North Riding, as well as the northern half of the West Riding, the northern and eastern fringes of the East Riding of Yorkshire and the former county borough of York.
York became a unitary authority independent of North Yorkshire on 1 April 1996, and at the same time Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and areas of Stockton-on-Tees south of the river became part of North Yorkshire for ceremonial purposes, having been part of Cleveland from 1974 to 1996.
The non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire is administered by North Yorkshire County Council, a cabinet-style council. The full council of 72 elects a council leader, who in turn appoints up to 9 more councillors to form the executive cabinet. The cabinet is responsible for making decisions in the non-metropolitan county. The county council have their offices in the County Hall in Northallerton.
Certain areas within the ceremonial county are administered independently of the county council and have their own unitary authority councils: the City of York Council, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Middlesbrough Borough Council, and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (which is only partly in the ceremonial county, the other part being in County Durham).
Agriculture is an important industry, as are mineral extraction and power generation. The county also has prosperous high technology, service and tourism sectors. Tourism is certainly a significant contributor to the economy. A study of visitors between 2013 to 2015 indicated that the Borough of Scarborough, including Filey, Whitby and parts of the North York Moors National Park, received 1.4m trips per year on average. A 2016 report by the National Park however, provides more impressive numbers: the park area gets 7.93 million visitors annually, generating £647m and supporting 10,900 full time equivalent jobs.
In 2016, there were 3.8 million visits to the Yorkshire Dales National Park including 0.48 million who stayed at least one night. The parks service estimates that this contributed £252 million to the economy and provided 3,583 full time equivalent jobs. The wider Yorkshire Dales area received 9.7 million visitors who contributed £644 million to the economy. The North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales are among England’s best known destinations.
The North Yorkshire County Council operates many small tourist information offices in rural areas. Nature or eco tourism has become an important factor. In addition to hiking, some areas attract tourists with wildlife, although the latter aspect has yet to be fully developed.
The historic towns of York and Harrogate are the top tourist destinations in the geographic area. York attracts millions of visitors, some of whom may be enticed to continue northward to other areas of North Yorkshire. A 2014 report, based on 2012 data, stated that York alone receives 6.9 million visitors annually; they contribute £564 million to the economy and support over 19,000 jobs. In the 2017 CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER survey of readers, York rated 12th among The 15 Best Cities in the UK for visitors.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added for North Yorkshire at current basic prices with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added[Notes 1]||Agriculture[Notes 2]||Industry[Notes 3]||Services[Notes 4]|
North Yorkshire has a temperate oceanic climate, like most of the UK. However, there are large climate variations within the county. The upper Pennines border on a Subarctic climate, whereas the Vale of Mowbray has an almost Semi-arid climate. Overall, with the county being situated in the east, it receives below average rainfall for the UK, but the upper Dales of the Pennines are one of the wettest parts of England, where in contrast the driest parts of the Vale of Mowbray are some of the driest areas in the UK. Summer temperatures are above average, at 22 °C, but highs can regularly reach up to 28 °C, with over 30 °C reached in heat waves. Winter temperatures are below average, with average lows of 1 °C. Snow and Fog can be expected depending on location, with the North York Moors and Pennines having snow lying for an average of between 45 and 75 days per year. Sunshine is most plentiful on the coast, receiving an average of 1650 hours a year, and reduces further west in the county, with the Pennines only receiving 1250 hours a year.
Settlements in italics lie only within the ceremonial county, not the administrative county.
|1||York||198,051||City of York||City||Unitary Authority area population figure.|
York urban area population is 153,717.
|2||Middlesbrough||138,400||Middlesbrough||Borough||Refers to the Unitary Authority area of Middlesbrough only.|
The larger urban settlement has a population of 174,700
|3||Harrogate||73,576||Harrogate||Town||Unparished; collection of wards|
|4||Scarborough||61,749||Scarborough||Town||Unparished; collection of wards|
|5||Redcar||37,073||Redcar and Cleveland||Town||Unparished; collection of wards|
|6||Thornaby-on-Tees||24,741||Stockton-on-Tees (South)||Town||Unitary Authority|
|7||Ingleby Barwick||20,378||Stockton-on-Tees (South)||Town||Unitary Authority|
|8||Yarm-on-Tees||19,184||Stockton-on-Tees (South)||Town||Unitary authority|
|10||Guisborough||16,979||Redcar & Cleveland||Town||Unitary Authority|
|11||Northallerton||16,832||Hambleton||Civil Parish||County town|
Settlements in italics lie only within the ceremonial county, not the administrative county.
|Accessible open space|
|Museum (free/not free)|
Places of interest in italics lie only within the ceremonial county, not the administrative county..
The County is served by BBC North East and Cumbria, and for more southerly parts of the county BBC Yorkshire. Yorkshire Television and Tyne Tees Television are also received in most areas of the County, Settle and the Western part of the Craven area is served by BBC North West and Granada Television. BBC Tees is broadcast to northern parts of the county, whist BBC Radio York is broadcast more widely. BBC Radio Leeds and Minster FM (Based in York) broadcast to southern parts of the county.
Yorkshire Coast Radio serves the coastal towns of Scarborough, Whitby and FIley providing a daily local news service from studios in Scarborough.
New DAB stations have recently proliferated, such as Coast & County Radio that broadcasts through 4 DAB transmitters to the whole of North Yorkshire. 56.7% of households in North Yorkshire have a DAB radio according to Ofcom.
The main road through the county is the north-south A1(M) which has gradually been upgraded to motorway status since the early 1990s. The only other motorways within the county are the short A66(M) near Darlington and a small stretch of the M62 motorway close to Eggborough. The other nationally maintained trunk routes are the A168/A19, A64, the A66 and A174.
The East Coast Main Line (ECML) bisects the county stopping at Northallerton, Thirsk and York. Passenger services on the ECML within the county are operated by London North Eastern Railway, TransPennine Express and Grand Central. TransPennine Express run services on the York to Scarborough Line and the Northallerton–Eaglescliffe Line (for Middlesbrough) that both branch off the ECML.
Northern operate the remaining lines in the county including commuter services on the Harrogate Line, Airedale Line and York & Selby Lines, of which the former two are covered by the Metro ticketing area. Remaining branch lines operated by Northern include the Yorkshire Coast Line from Scarborough to Hull, the Hull to York Line via Selby, the Tees Valley Line from Darlington to Saltburn and the Esk Valley Line from Middlesbrough to Whitby. Last but certainly not least, the Settle-Carlisle Line runs through the west of the county with services again operated by Northern.
The county suffered badly under the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. Places such as Richmond, Ripon, Tadcaster, Helmsley, Pickering and the Wensleydale communities lost their passenger services. Notable lines closed were the Scarborough and Whitby Railway, Malton and Driffield Railway and the secondary main line between Northallerton and Harrogate via Ripon.
Heritage railways within North Yorkshire include the North Yorkshire Moors Railway between Pickering and Grosmont, which opened in 1973, the Derwent Valley Light Railway near York, and the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. The Wensleydale Railway, which started operating in 2003, runs services between Leeming Bar and Redmire along a former freight-only line. The medium-term aim is to operate into Northallerton station on the ECML once agreement can be reached with Network Rail. In the longer term the aim is to reinstate the full line west via Hawes to Garsdale on the Settle-Carlisle line.
Long-distance coach services are operated by National Express and Megabus. Local bus service operators include Arriva Yorkshire, Harrogate Bus Company, Scarborough & District (East Yorkshire Motor Services), Yorkshire Coastliner, First York and the local Dales & District.
North Yorkshire is home to several football clubs, including Middlesbrough who play in the Championship and Harrogate Town who play in the National League finishing in 6th place and qualifying for the National League playoffs in their first season in the league. York City who play in The National League North and finished 11th during the 2017-18 National League season. Whitby Town FC have reached the FA cup first round seven times, and have played the likes of Hull City, Wigan and Plymouth Argyle, they currently play in the Evo-Stik Premier league. Other lower league clubs include Harrogate Railway Athletic, Northallerton Town, Pickering Town, Scarborough Athletic, Selby Town and Tadcaster Albion.
Rugby union teams in the county include Middlesbrough RUFC who play their league games in Durham/Northumberland 1. York City Knights (previously York) are a rugby league team who play in the Rugby League Championship.
North Yorkshire is home to many racecourses; these include Catterick Bridge, Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk and York. It also has one motor racing circuit, Croft Circuit; the circuit holds meetings of the British Touring Car Championship, British Superbike and Pickup Truck Racing race series and one Motorcycle Racing Circuit at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough.
The ball game Rock-It-Ball was developed in the county.
Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It is located approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres) south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, near to the village of Aldfield. Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for 407 years becoming one of the wealthiest monasteries in England until its dissolution in 1539 under the order of Henry VIII.
The abbey is a Grade I listed building owned by the National Trust and part of the designated Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey UNESCO World Heritage Site.Grade I listed buildings in North Yorkshire
The county of North Yorkshire is divided into 11 districts. The districts of North Yorkshire are Selby, Borough of Harrogate, Craven, Richmondshire, Hambleton, Ryedale, the Borough of Scarborough, the City of York, Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough, and Stockton-on-Tees.
As there are 364 Grade I listed buildings in the county they have been split into separate lists for each district.
Grade I listed buildings in Selby (district)
Grade I listed buildings in Harrogate (borough)
Grade I listed buildings in Craven
Grade I listed buildings in Richmondshire
Grade I listed buildings in Hambleton
Grade I listed buildings in Ryedale
Grade I listed buildings in Scarborough (borough)
Grade I listed buildings in the City of York
Grade I listed buildings in Redcar and Cleveland
Grade I listed buildings in Middlesbrough (borough)
Grade I listed buildings in Stockton-on-TeesHarrogate
Harrogate ( HARR-ə-gət) is a spa town in North Yorkshire, England. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town is a tourist destination and its visitor attractions include its spa waters and RHS Harlow Carr gardens. 13 miles (21 km) away from the town centre is the Yorkshire Dales national park and the Nidderdale AONB. Harrogate grew out of two smaller settlements, High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, in the 17th century. Since 2013, polls have consistently voted the town as "the happiest place to live" in Britain.Harrogate spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt. The town became known as 'The English Spa' in the Georgian era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries its 'chalybeate' waters (containing iron) were a popular health treatment, and the influx of wealthy but sickly visitors contributed significantly to the wealth of the town.
Harrogate railway station and Harrogate bus station in the town centre provide transport connections. Leeds Bradford International Airport is 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Harrogate. The main roads through the town are the A61, connecting Harrogate to Leeds and Ripon, and the A59, connecting the town to York and Skipton. Harrogate is also connected to Wetherby and the A1(M), by the A661. The town of Harrogate had a population of 71,594 at the 2001 UK census; the urban area comprising Harrogate and nearby Knaresborough had a population of 85,128, while the figure for the much wider Borough of Harrogate, comprising Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, as well as a number of smaller settlements and a large rural area, was 151,339.The town motto is Arx celebris fontibus, which means "a citadel famous for its springs."List of places in Yorkshire
Map of places in Yorkshire compiled from this list
See the list of places in England for places in other counties.This is a list of cities, towns, villages and hamlets in the counties of the East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
List of civil parishes in the East Riding of Yorkshire,
List of civil parishes in North Yorkshire,
List of civil parishes in South Yorkshire,
List of civil parishes in West Yorkshire
for more detailed lists of civil parishes.Malton, North Yorkshire
Malton is a market town, civil parish and electoral ward in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town is the location of the offices of Ryedale District Council and has a population of around 13,000 people, measured for both the civil parish and the electoral ward at the 2011 Census as 4,888.It is located to the north of the River Derwent which forms the historic boundary between the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire.
Facing Malton on the other side of the Derwent is Norton. The Karro Food Group (formerly known as Malton Bacon Factory), Malton bus station and Malton railway station are located in Norton-on-Derwent.
Malton is the local area's commercial and retail centre. In the town centre there are small traditional independent shops and high street names. The market place has recently become a meeting area with a number of coffee bars and cafés opening all day to complement the public houses.
Malton was voted one of the best places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times in both the 2017 and 2018 lists.North Riding of Yorkshire
The North Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions (ridings) of the English county of Yorkshire, alongside the East and West ridings. From the Restoration it was used as a lieutenancy area, having been part of the Yorkshire lieutenancy previously. The three ridings were treated as three counties for many purposes, such as having separate quarter sessions. An administrative county was created with a county council in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888 on the historic boundaries. In 1974 both the administrative county and the Lieutenancy of the North Riding of Yorkshire were abolished, being succeeded in most of the riding by the new non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire.
The highest point in the North Riding is Mickle Fell at 2,585 ft (788 metres).North York Moors
The North York Moors is an upland area in North Yorkshire, England, containing one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. The North York Moors National Park was designated in 1952, through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The National Park covers an area of 554 sq mi (1,430 km2), and has a population of 23,380.North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the seven districts of administrative county of North Yorkshire: Craven, Harrogate, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby; as well as the unitary authority of City of York. The service is divided into eight groups related to the above districts.North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is a heritage railway in North Yorkshire, England running through the North York Moors National Park. First opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway, the railway was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby. The line between Grosmont and Rillington was closed in 1965 and the section between Grosmont and Pickering was reopened in 1973 by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd. The preserved line is now a tourist attraction and has been awarded several industry accolades.
In 2007, the railway started to run regular services over the 6 miles (9.7 km) section of the Esk Valley Line north of Grosmont to Whitby. In 2014, a second platform was opened at Whitby which allowed the NYMR to run an enhanced service and led to passenger numbers in the same year of nearly 350,000 people.North Yorkshire Police
North Yorkshire Police is the territorial police force covering the non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire and the unitary authority of York in northern England. As of September 2018 the force had a strength of 1,357 police officers, 127 special constables, 192 PCSOs and 1,072 police staff. Of the 45 territorial police forces of the Unitied Kingdom, the force has the 5th largest geographic area of responsibility whilst being the 15th smallest force in terms of police officer numbers.Richmond, North Yorkshire
Richmond is a market town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England and the administrative centre of the district of Richmondshire. Historically in the North Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and one of the park's tourist centres. Richmond is the most duplicated UK placename, with 56 occurrences worldwide.The Rough Guide describes the town as 'an absolute gem'. Betty James wrote that "without any doubt Richmond is the most romantic place in the whole of the North East [of England]". Richmond was named UK town of the year in 2009.
The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, built in 1788, is the UK's most complete 18th century theatre. Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire in May 2018 started in Richmond and finished in Scarborough.Ripon
Ripon () is a cathedral city in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is located at the confluence of two tributaries of the River Ure, the Laver and Skell. The city is noted for its main feature, Ripon Cathedral which is architecturally significant, as well as the Ripon Racecourse and other features such as its market. The city itself is just over 1,300 years old.
The city was originally known as Inhrypum and was founded by Saint Wilfrid during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria, a period during which it enjoyed prominence in terms of religious importance in Great Britain. It was for a period under Viking control, and later suffered under the Normans. After a brief period of building projects under the Plantagenets, the city emerged with a prominent wool and cloth industry. Ripon became well known for its production of spurs during the 16th and 17th centuries, but would later remain largely unaffected by the Industrial Revolution.
Ripon is the third smallest city in England by population. According to the 2011 United Kingdom Census it had a population of 16,702, an increase on the 2001 United Kingdom Census figure of 15,922. It is located 11 miles (18 km) south-west of Thirsk, 16 miles (26 km) south of Northallerton and 12 miles (19 km) north of Harrogate. As well as its racecourse and cathedral, Ripon is a tourist destination because of its close proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site which consists of the Studley Royal Park and Fountains Abbey.River Ribble
The River Ribble runs through North Yorkshire and Lancashire in Northern England. It starts close to the Ribblehead Viaduct in North Yorkshire, and is one of the few that start in the Yorkshire Dales and flow westwards towards the sea (Dentdale and Kingsdale being notable others).Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Scarborough () is a town on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the town lies between 10–230 feet (3–70 m) above sea level, rising steeply northward and westward from the harbour on to limestone cliffs. The older part of the town lies around the harbour and is protected by a rocky headland.
With a population of just over 61,000, Scarborough is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire coast. The town has fishing and service industries, including a growing digital and creative economy, as well as being a tourist destination. People who live in the town are known as Scarborians.Skipton
Skipton (also known as Skipton-in-Craven) is a market town and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically in the East Division of Staincliffe Wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is on the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to the south of the Yorkshire Dales, 27 miles (43 km) north-west of Leeds, and 38 miles (61 km) west of York. At the 2011 Census, the population was 14,623.The town was listed in the 2018 Sunday Times report on Best Places to Live in northern England.Thirsk
Thirsk is a small market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, it is 8 miles (13 km) south-south east of the county town of Northallerton.
According to the 2011 UK Census, the population was 4,998. Thirsk is a popular tourist destination close to the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It was the home of author James Herriot and birthplace of Thomas Lord, after whom Lord's Cricket Ground is named. Thirsk Racecourse is on the western edge of the town.Thornborough Henges
The Thornborough Henges are an unusual ancient monument complex that includes the three aligned henges that give the site its name. The complex is located near the village of Thornborough, close to the town of Masham in North Yorkshire, England. The complex includes many large ancient structures including a cursus, henges, burial grounds and settlements. They are thought to have been part of a Neolithic and Bronze Age 'ritual landscape' comparable to Salisbury Plain and date from between 3500 and 2500 BC. This monument complex has been called 'The Stonehenge of the North'. Historic England considers its landscape comparable in ceremonial importance to better known sites such as Stonehenge, Avebury, and Orkney.In recent decades, there has been public concern about the impact on the ritual landscape of quarrying by Tarmac.Whitby
Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has a maritime, mineral and tourist heritage. Its East Cliff is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, where Cædmon, the earliest recognised English poet, lived. The fishing port emerged during the Middle Ages, supporting important herring and whaling fleets, and was where Captain Cook learned seamanship. Tourism started in Whitby during the Georgian period and developed with the arrival of the railway in 1839. Its attraction as a tourist destination is enhanced by the proximity of the high ground of the North York Moors national park and the heritage coastline and by association with the horror novel Dracula. Jet and alum were mined locally, and Whitby Jet, which was mined by the Romans and Victorians, became fashionable during the 19th century.
The earliest record of a permanent settlement is in 656, when as Streanæshealh it was the place where Oswy, the Christian king of Northumbria, founded the first abbey, under the abbess Hilda. The Synod of Whitby was held there in 664. In 867, the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders. Another monastery was founded in 1078. It was in this period that the town gained its current name, Whitby (from "white settlement" in Old Norse). In the following centuries Whitby functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, the trade in locally mined alum, and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery.
The abbey ruin at the top of the East Cliff is the town's oldest and most prominent landmark. Other significant features include the swing bridge, which crosses the River Esk and the harbour, which is sheltered by the grade II listed East and West piers. The town's maritime heritage is commemorated by statues of Captain Cook and William Scoresby, as well as the whalebone arch that sits at the top of the West Cliff. The town also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema, most famously in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.
While Whitby's cultural and historical heritage contribute to the local economy, the town does suffer from the economic constraints of its remote location, ongoing changes in the fishing industry, relatively underdeveloped transport infrastructure, and limitations on available land and property. As a result, tourism and some forms of fishing remain the mainstay of its economy. It is the closest port to a proposed wind farm development in the North Sea, 47 miles (76 km) from York and 22 miles (35 km) from Middlesbrough. There are transport links to the rest of North Yorkshire and North East England, primarily through national rail links to Middlesbrough and road links to Teesside, via both the A171 and A174, and Scarborough by the former. As at 2011, the town had a population of 13,213.YO postcode area
The YO postcode area, also known as the York postcode area, is a group of postcode districts around Bridlington, Driffield, Filey, Malton, Pickering, Scarborough, Selby, Thirsk, Whitby and York in England.
|Climate data for North Yorkshire|
|Record high °C (°F)||15
|Average high °C (°F)||6
|Average low °C (°F)||1
|Record low °C (°F)||−14
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||40
Ceremonial county of North Yorkshire
|Boroughs or districts|
|Culture and heritage|
|East Riding of Yorkshire|
1974–1996 ← Ceremonial counties of England → current