Spofforth, North Yorkshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Spofforth, All Saints Church - geograph.org.uk - 232909.jpg
All Saints' Church
Spofforth is located in North Yorkshire
 Spofforth shown within North Yorkshire
OS grid reference SE364510
Civil parish Spofforth with Stockeld
District Harrogate
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HG3
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Selby and Ainsty
List of places

Coordinates: 53°57′15″N 1°26′47″W / 53.95407°N 1.44651°W / 53.95407; -1.44651

Spofforth /ˈspɒfərθ/[1] is a village in the civil parish of Spofforth with Stockeld in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, England, about 3 miles (4.8 km) north west of Wetherby and 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Harrogate on the River Crimple, a tributary of the River Nidd.


Spofforth grew as a village at the time that Knaresborough was the important town in the area with Harrogate and Wetherby being less so. The village saw the building of the castle in the thirteenth century. Eighteenth century Knaresborough road builder Blind Jack Metcalf spent the latter years of his life in the village and is buried in the church yard. Stockeld Park, a Palladian villa was built in the 19th century. The railway came to Spofforth in 1847 with the building of the Harrogate to Church Fenton Line with Spofforth being the only intermediate station between Wetherby York Road station and Harrogate station. The line closed to passengers in 1964 and to goods in 1966 as part of the Beeching axe. Part of this forms the Harland Way cycle path which runs as far as Thorp Arch.


All Saints' Church is the parish church of Spofforth and Kirk Deighton with Follifoot and Little Ribston. The date of the church's foundation is unknown and it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1893 a portion of an Anglo-Saxon cross was found built into the stairs of the tower. It is likely that an earlier church existed and was rebuilt between 1175 and 1200, with the doorway in the south porch dating from around this time. The first rector was Henry de Evesham inducted in 1280. Another was William de Melon (1310–1317) Treasurer of England and keeper of the great seal. The church tower was built in 1450. The earliest bell dates from between 1570 and 1593.

A controversial restoration of the church took place in 1855. James Tripp (1847–1879) built the church and school at Follifoot and also built the schools at Linton and Spofforth.[2]

Spofforth Methodist Church, no longer in active use, is on School Lane.


The village has two pubs, the Castle and the Railway. The Castle is the larger pub in the village and has a single open plan room. The Railway is a small pub owned by Samuel Smith's Old Brewery with a traditional lounge and tap room configuration and was converted from two railway cottages. Two other pubs in the village did exist, the William IV which closed in the early 2000s and the Prince of Wales which has been closed much longer.


Spofforth is situated on the A661 Wetherby to Harrogate Road. A bypass has been previously proposed but has never been developed. The village is served by two bus services, the 770 (linking the village with Harrogate, Follifoot, Wetherby, Seacroft at Leeds) and the X70 (linking it with Harrogate and Wetherby)

Other landmarks[edit]

The ruins of Spofforth Castle,[3][4] which date from the 13th century, are close to the centre of the village. Stockeld Park, south of the village near Sicklinghall, is a stone-built 18th-century Palladian villa.[5]

Notable people[edit]

Laurence Eusden (1688–1730), who was made British Poet Laureate by George I in 1718, was born in Spofforth.[6]

Rev Dr William Osborne Greenwood MD FRSE (1873-1947) a curious blend of both minister and qualified surgeon.[7]

Blind Jack Metcalf (1717–1810), the road builder, lived in Spofforth in his later years and is buried in the village churchyard.


  1. ^ Wells, John (29 January 2010). "Bessacarr". John Wells's phonetic blog. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  2. ^ History of All Saints Church at spofforthvillage.org.uk
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007. 
  4. ^ "Ukattraction.com". Ukattraction.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  5. ^ tourUK.co.uk (23 January 2014). "Stockeld Park an historic house in Wetherby, North Yorkshire, to visit". tourUK.co.uk. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Biography
  7. ^ BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF FORMER FELLOWS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Spofforth, North Yorkshire at Wikimedia Commons