Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

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The bridge over the River Bain - - 284471.jpg
Bainbridge is located in North Yorkshire
 Bainbridge shown within North Yorkshire
Population 480 
OS grid reference SD934904
Civil parish Bainbridge
District Richmondshire
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEYBURN
Postcode district DL8 3
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Richmond (Yorks) (UK Parliament constituency)
List of places

Coordinates: 54°18′33″N 2°06′09″W / 54.309158°N 2.102570°W / 54.309158; -2.102570

Bainbridge is a village and civil parish in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire, England. The village is situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, near the confluence of the River Bain (England's shortest river) with the River Ure. It is 27.5 miles (44.3 km) west of the County Town of Northallerton.

The civil parish includes Raydale, and a large area of moorland south of the village. It also includes the hamlets of Worton, and Cubeck east of the village.


The Roman name for Bainbridge was Virosidum and the remains of a Roman Fort are located just east of Bainbridge, on the other side of the river, on Brough Hill, where various Roman remains have been found. These have been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[1][2][3] Nearby is Cam High Road, which follows the line of a Roman Road.[4]

At the time of the Norman invasion there was no village, and hence no entry in the Domesday Book. The site of the modern town was at that time covered in forest and known as The Forest of Bainbridge, alluding to the bridge crossing both the Bain and Ure at this location. The lands after the Norman invasion were in the hands of Count Alan of Brittany.[3][5]

Between 1146 and 1170 Conan Earl of Richmond granted the wardship of the forest to the lords of Middleham. It was they who built the manor and village of Bainbridge. Towards the end of the twelfth century a dispute arose between the Abbot of Jervaulx and Ranulph, son of Robert Fitz Randolph, over the building of more houses in the village. Ranulph's argument was that the town existed before he became lord. Ralph Earl of Chester was requested to resolve the matter in 1229. Ranulph stated that "the town of Beyntbrigg belonged to his ancestors by service of keeping the forest, so that they might have abiding there 12 foresters, and that every forester should have there one dwelling-house and 9 acres of land." The lords of Middleham had not held the office of Forester since 1280, when Peter of Savoy, Earl of Richmond, had distributed land in the manor to tenants to hold. The manor was valued at more than a third of the revenue of the earldom at that time.[3][5]

Bainbridge followed the descent of the manor of Richmond till 1413, when Henry IV granted to Ralph Earl of Westmorland the manor, town and bailiwick of Bainbridge. The Neville family were also lords of Middleham at the time and followed its descent until 1628 when it was granted to the City of London. The City sold it in 1663 to eleven of the principal inhabitants, who held the manor in trust for the freeholders.[3][5]

The village's only pub, the Rose and Crown, is reputed to be one of Yorkshire's oldest having been in operation since 1445.


The village lies within the Richmond UK Parliament constituency. It is also within the Upper Dales electoral division of North Yorkshire County Council and the Addlebrough ward of Richmondshire District Council.[4]The local Parish Council has five Councillors including the Chair.[6]


River Bain

The village is located on the A684 road, near the confluence of the River Bain with the River Ure. The River Bain is designated legally as a Main River, so at around two and a half miles long is reputed to be the shortest river in England.[7]

The civil parish includes Raydale (the hamlets of Countersett, Marsett, Stalling Busk), the valley to the south of the village, and a large area of moorland around Raydale. There are several streams that feed the lake at Semer Water, which in turn is the start of the River Bain. Cragdale Water drains the land on Cragdale Moor, whilst Raydale Beck flows through a substantial wooded area and Bardale Beck drains the marshy area known as Fleet Moss. The highest point in the parish is the peak on Cragdale Moor between Middle Tongue Tarn and Hunters Hole at 2,110 feet (640 m).[4]


Year 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
Total 683 595 559 587 632 562 488 439 438 480

2001 census[edit]

The 2001 UK census showed that the population was split 48.6% male to 51.4% female. The religious constituency was made of 76.7% Christian and the rest stating no religion or not stating at all. The ethnic make-up was 99.3% White British and 0.7% White Irish. There were 244 dwellings.[9]

2011 census[edit]

The 2011 UK census showed that the population was split 47.9% male to 52.1% female. The religious constituency was made of 74.2% Christian, 0.6% Buddhist, 0.4% Hindu and the rest stating no religion or not stating at all. The ethnic make-up was 95.2% White British, 3.5% White Other, 0.2% Mixed ethnic, 0.2% British Asian, 0.4% British Black and 0.4% Other Ethnic. There were 307 dwellings.[10]

Community and culture[edit]

National Park Offices at Bainbridge

Bainbridge is served by a local inn (the Rose and Crown), a small village shop with post office and a local butcher. An equestrian centre offering riding lessons and local trekking can be found a short distance away at Gill Edge. There are a number of tea shop facilities for tourists.

Bainbridge C of E Primary School provides primary education for the Parish.[11] Pupils can receive secondary education at The Wensleydale School & Sixth Form in Leyburn.[12]

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has its headquarters in the village. The authority is an independent, public body within the local government structure, created by the Environment Act (1995). The authority's two main purposes are to protect and conserve the National Park and to help others share in and enjoy it. It employs around 120 staff.[13]

A local custom in Bainbridge is the sounding of an ancient horn which was once used to guide foresters and travellers safely to the village from the surrounding Wensleydale forests. The horn is still located at the Rose and Crown public house and is sounded every night at 10 pm from Holy Rood (27 September) to Shrove Tuesday.[14]

On 5 July 2014, the Tour de France Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate passed through the village.[15]


The parish had Wesleyan and Congregational chapels, built in 1836 and 1864 respectively.[3][5] The former is still in use as a Methodist chapel; the latter is now a house.

The Quaker Society of Friends has been present in Bainbridge since the 1600s. The present Bainbridge meeting house was built in 1836 to replace a cottage bought in 1668. It is a Grade II listed building.[3][16] The burial ground has been in use since 1672.

Notable residents[edit]

  • John Fothergill (1712-1780) the English physician, plant collector, philanthropist and Quaker, was born at Carr End near the village.[18]


  1. ^ "Roman Fort". English Heritage. 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Roman Fort At Bainbridge". The Dales. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "History". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Ordnance Survey Open Viewer
  5. ^ a b c d Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. p. 338. ISBN 1-86150-299-0. 
  6. ^ "Parish Council". Parish Connect. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Main Rivers". Flood Risk Assessment and Other Guidance. Environment Agency. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Population at Censuses". Vision of Britain. 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "2001 UK Census". Office for National Statistics. 2002. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "2011 UK Census". Office for National Statistics. 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Primary School". Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Secondary School Admissions - Northallerton Area". North Yorkshire County Council. 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "YDNP Authority". Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Bainbridge, Upper Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales - accoodation, local attractions...". The Business Association (Wensleydale) Ltd. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Tour de France Stage 1". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Friends Meeting House listing". English Heritage. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "‘Wilson, (John) Leonard (1897–1970)’". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 2004. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "Fothergill, John (1712–1780)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 2004. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 

External links[edit]