Thwaite, North Yorkshire

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Thwaite, North Yorkshire.jpg
Thwaite and Swaledale
Thwaite is located in North Yorkshire
 Thwaite shown within North Yorkshire
OS grid reference SD8998
Civil parish Muker
District Richmondshire
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RICHMOND
Postcode district DL11
Dialling code 01748
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Richmond
List of places

Coordinates: 54°22′44″N 2°10′05″W / 54.379°N 2.168°W / 54.379; -2.168

Thwaite is a small village in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire, England. It is in Swaledale and is part the district of Richmondshire and the civil parish of Muker. The village lies on the B6270 road that runs through Swaledale from east to west and is 9.3 miles (15 km) west of Reeth.[1] The name "Thwaite" comes from the Old Norse word þveit, meaning 'clearing, meadow or paddock'.[2]


The village was the home and birthplace of Richard and Cherry Kearton, who were pioneers in wildlife photography at the end of the 19th century.[3] The Kearton name lives on in the Kearton tea rooms and guesthouse in the centre of the village and the Kearton Country Hotel.[4]

Local legend has it that the bridge over Thwaite Beck, was washed away during a fierce thunderstorm in the late 19th century. No-one was injured but a pig, that was taken by the waters, managed to climb out of the beck further downstream.[5] A flash flood did hit the village in 1899, which resulted in the destruction of some outbuildings and gardens. Due to the de-population of Thwaite at that time (because of the decline in the mining industry) many of the structures were not repaired.[6]

Thwaite has two long distance walking paths running through it: the Coast to Coast and the Pennine Way. There are two parts to the Coast to Coast; one that goes north of Thwaite and across the hills to Reeth and the other goes through the village and across the valley floor. The Herriot Way also runs through the village, which as it passes through Thwaite, is on the same course as the Pennine Way.[7]

Aircraft crash[edit]

On the 28 January 1943, a Handley Page Halifax of No. 1659 Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU), crashed on the eastern side of Great Shunner Fell. All crew were rescued from the aircraft by Sergeant C L Pudney, although 3 later died of their wounds. After rescuing his crew, Sgt Pudney trekked the 2 miles (3.2 km) into Thwaite to raise the alarm. Whilst Sgt Pudney was awarded the George Medal for his heroic actions, he was unable to receive the award as he was killed when the No. 405 RCAF Squadron Halifax he was flying in was struck by lightning and crashed at King's Lynn on the 13 June 1943.[8]

Thwaite in popular culture[edit]

Thwaite has been cited as the setting of Misselthwaite Manor in the book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. However, in the book Space and Place in Children's Literature it states that the Thwaite in the book bears no relation to Thwaite in North Yorkshire.[9]


  1. ^ "98" (Map). Wensleydale & Upper Wharfedale (B1 ed.). 1:50,000. Landranger. Ordnance Survey. 2002. ISBN 0-319-22698-0. 
  2. ^ 'Oxford Dictionary of British Place-Names', A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Aslet, Clive (2010). Villages of Britain: the five hundred villages that made the countryside. London: Bloomsbury. p. 443. ISBN 9781608193448. 
  4. ^ "Picture Perfect". The Northern Echo. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Huddleston, Yvette; Swan, Walter (30 November 2007). "Slendid Isolation". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Essays describing the historical development of a selection of villages in the Yorkshire Dales". Out of Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "The route". Herriot way. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Wotherspoon, Nick; Clark, Alan; Sheldon, Mark (2009). "4. Pennines". Aircraft wrecks : the walker's guide : historic crash sites on the moors and mountains of the British Isles. Barnsley: Pen and Sword. pp. 154–155. ISBN 9781844159109. 
  9. ^ Sachiko Cecire, Maria; Field, Hannah; Mudan Finn, Kavita; Roy, Malini (2015). Space and place in children's literature, 1789 to the present. Farnham: Ashgate. p. 26. ISBN 9781472420541. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Thwaite, North Yorkshire at Wikimedia Commons