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Aysgarth - geograph.org.uk - 533197.jpg
Aysgarth is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population178 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE004883
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEYBURN
Postcode districtDL8
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
54°17′26″N 1°59′40″W / 54.29046°N 1.99444°W / 54.29046; -1.99444Coordinates: 54°17′26″N 1°59′40″W / 54.29046°N 1.99444°W / 54.29046; -1.99444

Aysgarth is a village and civil parish in Wensleydale, in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. The village is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, about 16 miles (26 km) south-west of Richmond and 22.6 miles (36.4 km) west of the county town of Northallerton.


A Bronze Age burial has been found in the village.[2]

The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Echescard. The toponymy is derived from the combination of the Old Norse words eiki, meaning oak, and skarð, which may mean open space, cleft or mountain pass, so the probable meaning is Oak tree cleft, referring to the valley cut by the River Ure.[3][4][5][6]

At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was held by Cnut, son of Karli. Afterwards the manor was in the possession of Count Alan of Brittany, who granted lordship to Geoffrey of Swaffham.[7] By the 13th century, the manor was in the hands of the Burgh family of Hackforth. The manor descended with the manor of Hackforth until 1480, at which time they were conveyed to the Crown in the person of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Some lands in the manor in the 13th century came into the hands of the lords of Middleham and then followed the descent of the manor of Thoralby.[8][9]

The village's railway station, part of the Hawes Branch of the North Eastern Railway, opened in 1878 and closed in April 1954.[10]


The parish lies within the Richmond UK Parliament constituency. It also lies within the Upper Dales electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council and the Addlebrough ward of Richmondshire District Council.[11]

The civil parish shares a grouped parish council with the civil parishes of Bishopdale, Newbiggin, Thoralby and Thornton Rust, known as Aysgarth & District Parish Council.[12]


Aysgarth Falls (Upper)

The village lies along the A684 road near the south bank of the River Ure. The nearest settlements are Carperby to the north, Thoralby to the south-west and West Burton to the south-east, all within 1 mile (1.6 km) of the village. Aysgarth & District Parish Council is bordered by the Parishes of Bainbridge, Askrigg and Low Abbotside, Carperby cum Thoresby, Burton cum Walden and Buckden.[13]

Aysgarth Falls[edit]

This is a triple flight of waterfalls on the River Ure over a one-mile stretch. The falls are fast-flowing, especially during wet weather, as thousands of gallons of water cascade over the series of broad limestone steps. Aysgarth Falls is a popular tourist attraction and has been the subject of works by Ruskin, Turner[14] and Wordsworth, who all visited the area. The upper fall was featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.[15]

A portion of the upper falls

Castle Dykes Henge[edit]

To the west of the village is a Neolithic earthwork called Castle Dykes Henge. It is a scheduled monument.[16]


Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Total 370 235 273 279 290 299 259 196 197 178

2001 census[edit]

The 2001 UK census showed that the population was split 48.7% male to 51.3% female. The religious constituency was made of 73.5% Christian, 1.5% Jewish and the rest stating no religion or not stating at all. The ethnic make-up was 98.5% White British and 1.5% White other. There were 100 dwellings.[18]

2011 census[edit]

The 2011 UK census showed that the population was split 48.9% male to 51.1% female. The religious constituency was made of 67.4% Christian, 1.7% Jewish, 0.6% Buddhist and the rest stating no religion or not stating at all. The ethnic make-up was 99.5% White British and 0.5% each White Other. There were 136 dwellings.[1]

Culture and community[edit]

There are a few local businesses in Aysgarth, and gift shops for tourists. There is a Youth Hostel near the falls.[19] To the east of the village is a caravan and lodge park.

Public houses[edit]

There are two public houses in the village, The George and Dragon Inn and the Aysgarth Falls Hotel, which was the Palmer Flatt Hotel until 2010.[20] The bar here was known as the Miner's Arms[21] and as such was listed along with the George in Baines' Directory of 1823.[22]

The George and Dragon dates from the 17th century[23] when it was a coaching inn and is now a Grade II listed building.[24] Local real ale from the Black Sheep Brewery and the Yorkshire Dales Brewing Company is served.[23] It was among the top 30 nominees to be Yorkshire's Favourite Pub 2015, an event organized by Welcome to Yorkshire.[25] The Aysgarth Falls Hotel was listed in the 2016 competition.[26]


A regular bus service operates between Bedale and Hawes. On Sundays a year-round DalesBus service operates between Northallerton and Hawes. There are three DalesBus routes that call at the village in the summer season. A bus service operates between Darlington College and Askrigg.

The Wensleydale Railway Association has plans to rebuild the railway from Northallerton (from its current western terminus at Redmire) to Garsdale and re-open Aysgarth railway station.[27]

Medical care[edit]

Medical care is available at The Health Centre's surgery. Three doctors serve this office and the one in Hawes.[28][29] The nearest hospitals are Friary Hospital in Richmond (13.0 miles (20.9 km)) and New Richardson Hospital at Barnard Castle (17.9 miles (28.8 km)).[30]


Aysgarth Church

St. Andrew's Church in Aysgarth was substantially rebuilt in 1536[31] and restored in 1866. It is now a Grade II* listed building.[32] The unusually large churchyard extends to about four acres. The church preserves a number of fittings that were rescued from Jervaulx Abbey at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, including a rood screen and the abbot's stall.[8][9][33]

The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists[34] both had chapels in the village: only the Wesleyan chapel is still in use.[35] The Society of Friends had a meeting house.[9]


  1. ^ a b c UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Aysgarth Parish (1170217113)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  2. ^ Archi UK
  3. ^ Watts (2011). Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names. Cambridge University Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0521168557.
  4. ^ A.D. Mills (1998). Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford Paperbacks. p. 26. ISBN 978-0192800749.
  5. ^ Southport Visiter
  6. ^ Dictionary of American Family Names
  7. ^ Aysgarth in the Domesday Book. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  8. ^ a b Page, William, ed. (1914). "Parishes: Aysgarth". Victoria County History. A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. pp. 322–323. ISBN 1-86150-299-0.
  10. ^ Suggitt, Gordon (2005). Lost railways of North and East Yorkshire. Newbury: Countryside Books. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-1-85306-918-5.
  11. ^ Ordnance Survey Open Viewer
  12. ^ "Parish and Town Councils". Richmondshire District Council. 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  13. ^ "North Yorkshire Parish Council Maps". North Yorkshire County Council. 25 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Turner Artwork". Tate Britain. 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Film Location". Internet Movie Database. 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Castle Dykes Henge (1008878)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Population at Cenuses". Vision of Britain. 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  18. ^ a b "2001 UK Census". Office for National Statistics. 2002. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  19. ^ "Youth Hostel". Disqus.com. 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  20. ^ "About us". Aysgarth Falls Hotel. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  21. ^ Baddeley, Mountford John Byrde (1890). Yorkshire. Maps and plans by Bartholomew, Volume 2. London: Dulau. p. 70. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  22. ^ Baines, Edward (1823). History, Directory & Gazetteer of Yorkshire, Vol. II: East & North Ridings, 1823. Leeds: Edward Baines at the Leeds Mercury office. pp. 408–9. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Real Ale, Real Welcome!". The George and Dragon Inn, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  24. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1301553)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  25. ^ "Which pub will be crowned Yorkshire's favourite?". Stray FM. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  26. ^ "2016 Yorkshire's Favourite Pub competition". Welcome to Yorkshire. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  27. ^ Gleeson, Janet (19 October 2015). "Railway carriage could open the way for new track". York Press. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Get in touch". Central Dales Practice. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  29. ^ "A GP Practice in Upper Wensleydale". Central Dales Practice. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Hospitals in Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire". The Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Aysgarth Church". Britannia.com. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
  32. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1318439)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  33. ^ "Aysgarth Church". The George and Dragon Inn, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  34. ^ "GENUKI: Aysgarth Parish information from Bulmers' 1890". www.genuki.org.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  35. ^ "Methodist Church". North Yorkshire Dales Methodist Circuit. 2013. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2013.

External links[edit]