Scotch Corner

Scotch Corner is an important junction (now a roundabout interchange) of the A1(M) and A66 trunk roads near Richmond in North Yorkshire, England (grid reference NZ214053). One of the best-known junctions in the country – it has been described as "the modern gateway to Cumbria, the North East and Scotland"[1] – it is a primary destination signed from as far away as the M6 motorway. The junction's name is derived from the fact that it is the point of divergence for traffic coming from London, the East Midlands and Yorkshire wishing to continue either to Edinburgh and eastern Scotland (along the A1(M)) or to Glasgow and western Scotland (by taking the A66).

Scotch Corner
Middleton Tyas, North Yorkshire
Coordinates54°26′33″N 1°40′08″W / 54.4426°N 1.6690°WCoordinates: 54°26′33″N 1°40′08″W / 54.4426°N 1.6690°W
Roads at
TypeRoundabout interchange
Maintained byHighways England


The A1(M) leads north towards North East England and Scotland, and south towards London. The A66 leads north west towards Penrith and the M6 motorway. There are also three other exits from the junction: the A6055 road north and south, with the southbound side leading to the A6108 towards the Yorkshire Dales and Richmond. The third exit is towards Middleton Tyas and Croft-on-Tees and is a minor road which also provides access to the services.

Etymology and history

Scotch Corner Hotel. - - 159946
The Scotch Corner Hotel

The name originated from being the junction where the north–south Roman road known as "Dere Street", which crossed the River Tees at Piercebridge, met the Roman road which went west through Bowes and Brough.[2] It is where travellers to eastern Scotland (now via A1(M) and/or A68) are separated from travellers to western Scotland (now via A66 and M6/ A74(M)/M74).

The Romans were responsible for building the first roads to meet at this point and the site of the original junction is just a few hundred yards away from the modern day intersection. In AD 71 the Romans took control of the North when they defeated the Brigantes, a Northern Celtic tribe at the Battle of Scotch Corner.[1] There was a major Roman settlement at Scotch Corner, with its own mint.[2][3]

The route now called the A66 was once 'the winter road' from Scotch Corner to Glasgow, by way of Carlisle. 'The summer road' runs from Barnard Castle, along Teesdale to Alston, then through Brampton to Gretna in Scotland. Particularly for cattle droving, the shorter route was advantageous when passable. The Summer Road is one of the most spectacular routes in England. The summer road follows what is now the B6278, B6277, and A689.

The location remained significant as a staging post with an inn, The Three Tuns, which subsequently became a roadhouse in the early days of motorised travel.[2] The £8 million Scotch Corner diversion opened in 1971, which created a grade separated junction on the A1.[4]

A £380 million upgrade of the A1 between Leeming Bar and Barton Interchange meant that the road was upgraded to three-lane motorway standard in March 2018.[5]


Services, Scotch Corner - - 269434
The front entrance of Moto Hospitality, Scotch Corner

Scotch Corner is notable for the large Scotch Corner Hotel established in 1939, built on the site of a mid-16th century inn and now operated by Holiday Inn.[2][6] Almost as soon as it was opened, part of the hotel was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force for convalescing airmen.[4]

In 2011 it underwent a £3 million refurbishment.[7][8] It is also marked by a Moto Hospitality service station built in 1980 with an attached Travelodge motel.[6][9] The Moto offers the usual services such as Costa Coffee, Marks & Spencer, Burger King, WHSmith, an Esso petrol station,[10] and an electric vehicle charging station.[11]

In popular culture

Jethro Tull refers to Scotch Corner in the title track of their 1976 Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! album.[12]

See also

  • List of road junctions in the United Kingdom: S


  1. ^ a b "Richmond and Swaledale History". Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Lloyd, Chris (12 March 2018). "History of Scotch Corner - once the site of a battle between Romans and Brigantes, 2,000 years ago". The Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Roman treasures found on A1". Highways England, Government of the United Kingdom. 10 April 2017. Archived from the original on 24 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b Lloyd, Chris (16 March 2018). "Life and Times of Scotch Corner Take a New Turn". Darlington & Stockton Times (11–2018). p. 33. ISSN 2516-5348.
  5. ^ Copeland, Alexa (29 March 2018). "A1(M) in North Yorkshire now fully open - But works not over just yet". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Domesday Reloaded: Scotch Corner Hotel". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  7. ^ Amos, Mike (31 January 2012). "Third degree burns". The Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Holiday Inn, Scotch Corner". Projekt Architects. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Domesday Reloaded: Highway Service Station". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Scotch Corner | Motorway Services | Service Areas | Moto - the UK's largest motorway services provider". Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Our Electric Highway". Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die Lyrics". Metro Lyrics.

External links

A1(M) motorway

A1(M) is the designation given to a series of four separate motorway sections in England. Each section is an upgrade to a section of the A1, a major North-South road, which connects London, the capital of England, with Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The first section, the Doncaster Bypass, opened in 1961 and is one of the oldest sections of motorway in Britain. Construction of a new section of A1(M) between Leeming and Barton was completed on 29 March 2018, a year later than the anticipated opening in 2017 due to extensive archaeological excavations. Its completion linked the Barton to Washington section with the Darrington to Leeming Bar section, forming the longest A1(M) section overall and reducing the number of sections from five to four.

There has been a proposal to renumber the section of A1(M) to M1 between Micklefield to Washington, making this section a northern extension of the M1.

A1 road (Great Britain)

The A1 is the longest numbered road in the UK, at 410 miles (660 km). It connects London, the capital of England, with Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It passes through or near North London, Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Baldock, Letchworth Garden City, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Stamford, Grantham, Newark-on-Trent, Retford, Doncaster, York, Ripon, Darlington, Durham, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed.It was designated by the Ministry of Transport in 1921, and for much of its route it followed various branches of the historic Great North Road, the main deviation being between Boroughbridge and Darlington. The course of the A1 has changed where towns or villages have been bypassed, and where new alignments have taken a slightly different route. Several sections of the route have been upgraded to motorway standard and designated A1(M). Between the M25 (near London) and the A696 (near Newcastle upon Tyne) the road has been designated as part of the unsigned Euroroute E15 from Inverness to Algeciras.

A6055 road

The A6055 is a 25-mile (40 km) stretch of road in North Yorkshire that runs from Knaresborough to Boroughbridge, with a break, then starts up again at Junction 50 of the A1(M) to run parallel with A1(M) acting as a Local Access Road (LAR) going between Junction 50 and 56 at Barton. Responsibility for the route rests with the Highways Agency, as it is designated as a primary route associated with the A1(M) upgrade.

A6108 road

The A6108 road is an A road in North Yorkshire, England. It runs from the south of Scotch Corner to Ripon going via Richmond and Leyburn across the moors and the valleys of Swaledale and Wensleydale. The road is 37 miles (60 km) long, but through traffic between the two destinations will find a shorter route 26 miles (42 km) by going south on the A1. The route is single carriageway for its entire length.

The route was closed for traffic on 5 July 2014 between Leyburn and Ripon to accommodate Stage One of the Tour De France.

A6136 road

The A6136 is a 4 digit A road in North Yorkshire, England. It begins in the market town of Richmond as "Station Road" (this refers to the old station that used to be present on this road). Moving on, it reaches the outer suburbs of Richmond. Passing through sparse woodland, it soon enters the outer suburbs of another town, Catterick Garrison; this is the main road through the town. The road passes the town centre of the garrison and goes through its suburbs, Colburn and Walkerville. Just after leaving Walkerville it used to cross over the A1 road uniquely splitting off in two directions, the south heading for Catterick Village and the north heading for Brompton-on-Swale, both meeting the A1 southbound and northbound.

With the A1(M) upgrade from Leeming to Barton, the A6136 now meets the A6055 Local Access Road (LAR) west of the motorway and goes across a new overbridge which replaced the old Fort Bridge. The A6055 and the A6136 run together as the A6055 through Catterick Bridge and utilising the old northern A1 junction to form a new LAR on the west side of the new motorway. This northern route will connect with the A6108 road just south of Scotch Corner. The old south fork from Catterick Bridge to Marne Barracks will become an unclassified road. The former Fort railway bridge was removed intact and is to be used by the Wensleydale Railway in bridging a gap just west of Redmire station.

A66 road

The A66 is a major road in Northern England, which in part follows the course of the Roman road from Scotch Corner to Penrith. It runs from east of Middlesbrough in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire to Workington in Cumbria. It is anomalously numbered since west of Penrith it trespasses into numbering zone 5; this is because it originally terminated at the A6 in Penrith but was extended further west in order to create one continuous east–west route. Most of what is now the A66 west of Penrith was originally A594 – only a small stub of this road numbering remains, from Maryport to Cockermouth.

From its eastern terminus between Redcar and Middlesbrough it runs past Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington mainly as two-lane dual-carriageway and single carriageway past Darlington, becoming motorway standard as the A66(M) shortly before meeting junction 57 of the A1(M). It follows the A1(M) south to Scotch Corner, from where it continues west across the Pennines, past Brough, Appleby, Kirkby Thore, Temple Sowerby and Penrith until it reaches Junction 40 of the M6 motorway at Skirsgill Interchange, where traffic going towards Western Scotland turns onto the northbound M6. The A66 continues past Blencathra to Keswick and Cockermouth and on through the northern reaches of the Lake District before arriving at the coastal town of Workington. There is a short stretch of dual carriageway along the northern part of Bassenthwaite Lake between Keswick and Cockermouth. Whilst the eastbound section follows the straight line of the disused Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway, the westbound section has numerous bends with climbs and dips. The westbound section was closed due to flood damage in December 2015 and when it re-opened in May 2016 had been permanently reduced to a single lane. This section has a 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) limit monitored by average speed cameras.

Battle of Scotch Corner

There are two battles known as the Battle of Scotch Corner, one fought in the 1st century, and the other, more often called the Battle of Old Byland, in the 14th century.


Clontibret (Irish: Cluain Tiobrad, meaning "Well of the meadow") is a village and a parish in County Monaghan, Ireland. The population in the 2016 census was 172. Clontibret is also a parish in both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland traditions. The territory of the parish also includes Annyalla and Doohamlet as well as smaller settlements such as Cremartin, Scotch Corner and Lisnagrieve.

DL postcode area

The DL postcode area,', is a group of postcode districts around Barnard Castle, Bedale, Bishop Auckland, Catterick Garrison, Crook, Darlington, Ferryhill, Hawes, Leyburn, Newton Aycliffe, Northallerton, Richmond, Shildon and Spennymoor in England.

Derby South services

The Derby South services are two service stations run by Welcome Break on either side of the A50 road. The services are located in South Derbyshire, near the villages of Shardlow and Aston-on-Trent.

Great North Road (Great Britain)

The Great North Road was the main highway between London and Scotland. It became a coaching route used by mail coaches travelling between London, York and Edinburgh. The modern A1 mainly parallels the route of the Great North Road. Coaching inns, many of which survive, were staging posts providing accommodation, stabling for horses and replacement mounts. Nowadays virtually no surviving coaching inns can be seen while driving on the A1, because the modern route bypasses the towns in which the inns are found.

List of motorway service areas in the United Kingdom

Motorway service areas, also known as service stations and commonly abbreviated to MSAs are places where drivers can leave a motorway to refuel, rest, or take refreshments. Some also incorporate or adjoin hotels. Only 20 motorway services in the UK remain in the ownership of the Department for Transport and let on 50-year leases to private operating companies. The vast majority of motorway services in the UK are owned by one of three companies: Moto, Welcome Break and RoadChef and a developing chain of stations being constructed by Extra.

List of primary destinations on the United Kingdom road network

Primary destinations are locations that appear on route confirmation signs in the United Kingdom. Most are important settlements or conurbations, but some are bridges and tunnels, or even villages that are important junctions, e.g. Scotch Corner or Crianlarich.

In 1994, previous lists for destinations in Great Britain were superseded when English, Scottish and Welsh destinations were prescribed in Appendix C of Local Transport Note 1/94: The Design and Use of Directional Informatory Signs (LTN 1/94), published by the then Department of Transport. A revised list for England was published in 2009 and updated in 2010. The 1994 list had 333 entries for England. When the 2010 list was compiled, 15 entries were removed and 16 added, giving a total of 334 entries. In December 2011, following a consultation, the Department for Transport announced that it would add Birmingham Airport, East Midlands Airport, Luton Airport, Thamesport (for Medway Ports East) and Port of Tilbury; and, in response to local feedback, that it would also add Colne and Minehead and ratify the removal of Stone.The list for Northern Ireland destinations has always been maintained separately from those for Great Britain. Since devolution under the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998, transport matters and hence responsibility for maintaining lists of primary destinations have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales and their respective governments.

Some maps show primary destinations in a different colour or font size to other places. However, these sometimes include places which are not on the official lists.

Middleton Tyas

Middleton Tyas is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It is located near Scotch Corner.

Moulton, North Yorkshire

Moulton is a small village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies in a secluded valley between the villages of Scorton and Middleton Tyas.


Oldstead is a village and a civil parish in Ryedale District, North Yorkshire, England, within the North York Moors National Park, off the A170 road between Thirsk and Helmsley, below the Hambleton Hills. Nearby villages include Wass, Kilburn and Coxwold. Oldstead shares a parish council with Byland with Wass.


Richmondshire is a local government district of North Yorkshire, England. It covers a large northern area of the Yorkshire Dales including Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, Wensleydale and Coverdale, with the prominent Scots' Dyke and Scotch Corner along the centre. Teesdale lies to the north. With a total area of 1,319 km², it is larger than seven of the English ceremonial counties (namely, in decreasing order of size, the West Midlands, Merseyside, Tyne & Wear, Rutland, the Isle of Wight, Bristol, and the City of London).

Scotch Corner (Knightsbridge)

Scotch Corner is the junction between Sloane Street, Knightsbridge and Brompton Road.

It is named after Scotch House which used to be on the corner.

St Mary's Church, South Cowton

St Mary's Church is a redundant Anglican church standing in open countryside in the former village of South Cowton, near Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Places adjacent to Scotch Corner
Great Britain
Northern Ireland
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