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Coordinates: 54°04′16″N 1°59′53″W / 54.071°N 1.998°W / 54.071; -1.998

Main Street, Grassington.jpg
Main Street, Grassington
Grassington is located in North Yorkshire
 Grassington shown within North Yorkshire
Population 1,390 
OS grid reference SE001639
District Craven
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SKIPTON
Postcode district BD23
Dialling code 01756
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Skipton and Ripon
List of places

Grassington is a market town and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town is situated in Wharfedale around 9 miles (14 km) from Bolton Abbey and is surrounded by limestone scenery. Nearby villages include Linton, Threshfield, Hebden, Conistone and Kilnsey.

The entrance to an inclined shaft at Yarnbury Lead Mine to the north of Grassington.


The Domesday Book lists Grassington as part of the estate of Gamal Barn including 7 carucates of ploughland (840 acres/350ha) including Grassington, Linton and Threshfield.[1] The Norman conquest of England made it part of the lands of Gilbert Tison. But by 1118 Tison had suffered a demotion and his lands returned to the king then given to Lord Percy[2]

Grassington was historically a township in the parish of Linton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It became a separate civil parish in 1866,[3] and was transferred to North Yorkshire in 1974.

Although often described by local people as a village, Grassington was granted a Royal Charter for a market and fair in 1282 giving it market town status. The market was held regularly until about 1860. A change in land use from the early 17th century, when lead mining began to assume more importance, brought some prosperity, but Grassington's heyday arrived during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The opening of the Yorkshire Dales Railway to Threshfield in 1901 brought new visitors, many of whom settled, some finding work in Skipton or in the developing limestone quarries. The Old Hall at Grassington is reputedly the oldest house in Yorkshire, dating from the late 13th or early 14th century.[4]

Grassington today[edit]

Today Grassington is the main residential and tourist centre in Upper Wharfedale[citation needed] Centred around its small cobbled square is a selection of shops, pubs and the village museum, offering food, clothing and gifts, alongside small cafes, restaurants and hotels. Grassington Folk Museum houses a collection which tells the story of Wharfedale.[5] It is an independent museum, run and managed by volunteers. Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association is a voluntary mountain rescue organisation, located in Grassington, which rescues people in trouble from the surrounding fells and caves.[6]

Grassington Festival is a two-week long annual event encompassing music, performance and visual arts, held in a variety of venues around the village.[7] In 2008 it included acts by Jo Brand, Dara Ó Briain, Clare Teal and Toyah Willcox.

Every September since 2011, Grassington plays host to a 1940's themed weekend. Events include war re-enactments, dances as well as a variety of military and civilian vehicles on display from the period. [8]

In the winter Grassington also hosts the very popular Dickensian Festival when the entire village is taken over by Dickensian costumes and Christmas activities and opportunities to purchase Christmas presents.[9]

A Yorkshire Dales National Park information centre is on Hebden Road.

Three miles north of Grassington at Kilnsey is the glacially carved overhang of Kilnsey Crag.

Grass Wood, a large area of ancient woodland including the Iron-Age fort, Fort Gregory (also known as Gregory's Fort), is situated just over one mile north-west of Grassington.[10][11]

Electricity generation[edit]

In 1909, Grassington received its first electricity from a hydroelectric plant at Linton Falls, which continued to operate until 1948 when the National Grid arrived in the area. In March 2012 a new hydroelectric power plant was opened using the same but restored turbine house, which provides 500,000 kWh of electricity a year, using two Archimedean screws.[12][13]


  1. ^ Dr. Anne Williams and Prof. G H Martin, ed. (1992). Domesday Book a Complete Translation. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-143994-5. 
  2. ^ Paul Dalton. Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship: Yorkshire, 1066–1154
  3. ^ Vision of Britain website
  4. ^ "Grassington Hall, Grassington". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ Grass Wood
  11. ^ Wharfedale and Littondale
  12. ^ "Linton Falls hydroelectric plant supplies electricity again". BBC. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Rhianna Rose. "Linton Falls and Low Wood Hydropower Schemes utilising Scheduled Monuments to harbour modern power generation". UK Water Projects Ltd. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 

External links[edit]