Leyburn is a market town and civil parish in the district of Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, England, sitting above the northern bank of the River Ure in Wensleydale. Historically in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the name was derived from 'Ley' or 'Le' (clearing), and 'burn' (stream), meaning clearing by the stream. The town boasts two markets, several pubs, one bank with cash machine and the Co-op supermarket with a cash machine inside, and many small speciality stores. Market day is Friday. It is served by local buses that connect to Richmond, Hawes, Bedale and Northallerton.
Town information and business
Leyburn had a population of 1,844 at the 2001 census increasing to 2,183 at the 2011 Census. The estimated population in 2015 was 2,190. The number swells in summer with visitors to the Yorkshire Dales national park. Public services, with a primary school, a secondary school which serves the whole of Wensleydale, a police station and a medical centre. Several independently owned shops are situated around a market square with a number of pubs and bars. Shops include a small department store called Milners of Leyburn, Campbell's supermarket, a chocolate shop, a range of oriental takeaways, electrical stores and a hunting and sports shop. Leyburn is home to Tennants Auctioneers, the largest auction house in Europe which holds more than 80 sales each year and attracts buyers and sellers from around the world. In 2008 Tennants sold a rare Chinese vase for £2.6 million, a record price at the time. Adjacent to Tennants is The Garden Rooms, the largest multi-purpose events and exhibitions venue with a capacity for 640 people for weddings and concerts.
Leyburn has four Christian places of worship; the Evangelical church and the Catholic church of St Peter and St Paul are both on Richmond Road, the Methodist church is on Harmby road and just east of the town centre is the Anglican church of St Matthew.
Although a small town, Leyburn has its own railway station on the re-opened Wensleydale Railway which offers tourist rides throughout the dale, mostly on diesel multiple units but occasionally on a steam train. The town also has a local market in the town centre every Friday and a farmers' market which specialises in local meats once a month.
Leyburn has two hotels and several bed and breakfasts situated in or close to the town centre. The town is a centre for walking, cycling and general sight-seeing, especially the waterfalls for which Wensleydale is renowned. The town is famous for the Leyburn Shawl, an escarpment of about 1.5 miles in length which provides panoramic views of rolling Wensleydale. According to legend, Mary, Queen of Scots, upon fleeing captivity in nearby Bolton Castle, dropped her shawl en route to Leyburn. The Shawl is the start of several circular walks taking in the nearby village of Wensley, from where Wensleydale takes its name.
Leyburn Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1895. The club continued until the late 1950s.
Leyburn is close to a meadow nature reserve called Leyburn Old Glebe.
Annually there is a Dales Festival of Food and Drink, which is held in June.
There is an annual 1940s weekend, which takes place each year at the end of July.
The local Rotary Club sponsors the annual Wensleydale Wander in March or April, organised walks of 12 miles (19 km) and 22 miles (35 km).
The town's secondary school, the Wensleydale School, has just over 500 pupils. It serves the whole of Wensleydale which includes the towns and villages between Leyburn and Hawes. The school has a sixth form with around 80 students enrolled. In 2006 the School became a Specialist Science College under a programme discontinued in 2010. The town's primary school is Leyburn Community Primary School, from where a vast majority of the pupils proceed to the Wensleydale School for secondary education. There was a St Peter and St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School, now closed.
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