Beck Hole

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Coordinates: 54°24′35″N 0°44′05″W / 54.40985°N 0.73481°W / 54.40985; -0.73481

Beck Hole
Beck Hole.jpg
Beck Hole
Beck Hole is located in North Yorkshire
Beck Hole
Beck Hole
 Beck Hole shown within North Yorkshire
OS grid reference NZ822023
Civil parish Goathland
District Scarborough
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WHITBY
Postcode district YO22
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Scarborough and Whitby
List of places

Beck Hole is a small valley village in the Borough of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England. The village lies within the Goathland civil parish and the North York Moors national park.

Geography and description[edit]

Beck Hole is located at approximately 70 m (230 ft) above sea level in the North York Moors, in the valley of the Murk Esk river, a tributary of the River Esk. The village is approximately 1.25 miles (2 km) roughly north-west of Goathland and within the same civil parish. It is accessed by a road with very steep gradients on either side of the village. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway passes the village close by to the north.[1]

The majority of the structures in the village are listed, including several 18th century sandstone buildings: the Birch Hall Inn (cottages and with 19th century extension),[2] Fir Tree farmhouse,[3] Brookwood farmhouse (outbuildings to Fir Tree farm, now dwellings), [4] 'The White House', [5] and 'Old Woodbine'. [6] Also listed are the 19th century stone bridge over the Ellerbeck,[7] and the 19th century former public house, the 'Lord Nelson'.[8] On the outskirts of the village are further historic buildings: the G.T. Andrews designed former railway building, 'Incline Cottage';[9] and 'Lins' a 17th-century longhouse.[10]


The origins of Beck Hole date to the Middle Ages; it was set within the Forest of Pickering, which began to be cleared in the 13th century. The first records referencing the village, originally known as Amerholm, date to the late 16th century, and mention a single farmstead. A fulling mill was in operation at the river bank around this period.[11]

The 'Bulls Head' public house was established around 1770, in a house built c.1677. The building was renamed the 'Lord Nelson' in 1801, and rebuilt around 1850. It closed as an public house in 1940.[8][11]

The Whitby and Pickering Railway was opened in 1836, with the incline from Beckhole to Goathland worked as a rope hauled cable railway. A railway station (see Beckhole railway station) was established. The incline was replaced by a deviation in 1865, part of the line remained in use as a branch to Beck Hole. (closed 1951)

In the late 1850s the Whitby Iron Company was formed and began extraction of iron stone around Beckhole;[12] two blast furnaces were built which began production of iron in 1860.[13] At around the same time a row of 33 cottages was built for industrial workers,[14] and the Birch Hall Inn was expanded and gained a license.[11] The operation was unsuccessful, and short-lived, hampered by a fault in one of the furnaces, and landslips at a mine.[13][15][16] The blast furnaces ceased operation in 1864,[17] and the works were put up for sale in 1876, and were sold in 1888, being demolished in the following years.[14] The worker's terrace also demolished.[11]

The village was connected to Egton by a main road after 1868. Mains electricity and mains water reached the village in the decade after the Second World War.[11]


  1. ^ Ordnance survey. 1:25000. 2009
  2. ^ English Heritage. "Birch Hall Inn (1295923)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  3. ^ English Heritage. "Fir Tree (1148770)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  4. ^ English Heritage. "Brookwood Farmhouse (1174163)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  5. ^ English Heritage. "The White House (1148769)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  6. ^ English Heritage. "Old Woodbine (1148768)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  7. ^ English Heritage. "Bridge Over The Eller Beck (1174143)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  8. ^ a b Sources:
  9. ^ English Heritage. "Incline Cottage and Attached Yard Wall (1148767)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 December 2012 .
  10. ^ Lins (531235). PastScape. English Heritage. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e "The Village History of Beck Hole". Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Transactions 5. North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. 1857. pp. 200, 215. 
  13. ^ a b "The Whitby Iron Company at Beck Hole". Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Industrial archaeology in Cleveland: a guide 1. Cleveland County Libraries / Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society. 1978. p. 33. 
  15. ^ Almond, J. K.; Hempstead, C. A. (1979). Cleveland iron and steel: background and 19th century history. British Steel Corporation (Teesside Division). p. 66. "Another venture which also proved to be a disastrous failure was that of the Whitby Iron Company which built the Beck Hole Ironworks" 
  16. ^ Transactions 32. Newcomen Society (Great Britain). 1961. pp. 137–8. 
  17. ^ Monument No. 1472033. PastScape. English Heritage. Retrieved 12 December 2012.

External links[edit]