North Yorkshire

Northallerton Market CrossNorthallerton, the county town of North Yorkshire and previously the North Riding of Yorkshire, has the most bustling long High Street in the county and has a reputation as a stop-over fit for kings.

The market town is 7 miles north-east of Bedale, 8 miles north-north-west of Thirsk, 12 miles south-south-west of Yarm, 13 miles east-south-east of Richmond, 14 miles south-west of Stokesley, 18 miles south-west of Middlesbrough and 30 miles north-north-east of York.

As well as being the county town, Northallerton was the administrative centre of the former Hambleton district authority. It is also the main shopping town for a vast rural area in the Vale of Mowbray between the Yorkshire Dales National Park, starting around 15 miles to the west, and the North York Moors National Park, starting around 5 miles to the east.

The town has some major retailing names among popular independent stores, but the High Street and its former coaching inns can still conjure up a picture of what the town might have looked like in the golden age of coaching when Northallerton fell mid-way on the route between York and Durham on one of the routes between south and north.

The arrival of the railways was a further boost for Northallerton, becoming a stop on the East Coast Main Line carrying trains between London and Edinburgh.

The construction of the railway, in 1838, did however wipe out much of the last traces of the brief period when Northallerton had a Norman castle. The castle may have been established as early as 1068 when King William I set up an encampment in Northallerton. King William II later granted the Manor of Northallerton to the Bishop of Durham during his reign from 1087 to 1100. The earliest record of a castle was in 1130, but this was rebuilt around 1141, three years after the English beat King David I of Scotland at the Battle of the Standard in 1138. The battlefield was three miles north of Northallerton. King David had ambitions of enlarging his Scottish kingdom and supporting the claim to the English throne of his neice Matilda, daughter of the late King Henry I of England, over that of Henry's nephew, who had become King Stephen.

By 1141, the Scottish king's chancellor was in control of the Bishopric of Durham, including the Northallerton castle. The castle was later destroyed, possibly in 1176, when King Henry II sought to remove fortifications not approved by the English crown.

A fortified and moated Bishop's Palace was built in Northallerton near to the site of the earlier castle. It was visited by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1199 as a guest of the Bishop of Durham and King Edward I is also reported to have stayed there on occasions around the end of the 13th century. The palace came under attack around 1317, when Northallerton was ransacked by Scots. It appears the use of the palace declined during the religious turmoil of the 16th century, by the 17th century it was being stripped of stone and by the end of that century was reported to be a ruin. The site is now the town's cemetery.

Northallerton also had other religious buildings. A Carmelite Friary was founded in the town around 1356. It continued until King Henry VIII's supression of the monasteries, when it surrendered in 1538. After a period of use of the land for farming, a workhouse was built at the site in 1857, this becoming an RAF hospital in World War II and a civilian hospital after the war. The Friarage Hospital continues to use the site today.

There are also traces of an Austin Friary in the town. A plaque on The old Fleece Inn near the Town Hall records that it stands on the friary site.

Other kings have also visited Northallerton in their travels north and south over the years. A blue plaque on Porch House in High Street tells how Charles I stayed there as a guest in 1640 and as a prisoner in 1647. Said to be the oldest house in Northallerton, it dates from 1584. The building has been considerably modified from that the king would have stayed in, but others can still stay there today as it is now one of the places in the town where Bed and Breakfast accommodation is available.

While it seems Northallerton was a place where royalty chose to stop on occasions, there have more recently been tens of thousands of people stopping in the town and for a little while longer. They were inmates at Northallerton Prison. Noted as the first custom-built jail in England, it was just a stone's throw from the town centre and had a 230-year history up to its closure by the Ministry of Justice in 2013.

Its closure, and that of the offices of the government's Rural Payments Agency in Northallerton, early the following year, led to a sudden major loss of employment in the town. The sites now form part of a redevelopment master plan by Hambleton District Council, likely to involve leisure, retail and residential home use, but which should preserve at least some of the former prison buildings that have been Grade II listed.

Town features

Northallerton has a busy traditional long high street featuring a department store, major national retailers and local independent traders. Away from the high street there are supermarkets and out-of-town shopping areas.

Northallerton has a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the last Wednesday of the month including a Farmers' Market.

Northallerton has a post office in High Street.
The town has bank and building society branches.

The town has pharmacies.

Northallerton has a several inns, hotels and pubs.

Dining is available at the town's inns and hotels, tea rooms, coffee shops and cafes. It also has several takeaways.

The town has hotel and guest house accommodation.

Northallerton Library is in Thirsk Road.

Northallerton is alongside Willow Beck which flows into the River Wiske about 2 miles south west of the town.

All Saints is the Parish Church of Northallerton, standing at the northern end of the long High Street. There is thought to have been a church on the site since the 7th century. The present church has the appearance of a 15th century 'perpendicular'-style church, the tower dating from 1410. Throughout its life, though, it has seen extensive alteration and rebuilding, including a rebuilding of the chancel in the 19th century in the earlier style. Inside the church, Norman stonework becomes clear, with the different pillars of the early and late 12th century in the arcardes of its north and south aisles.  CofE Northallerton website


The Forum
Bullamoor Road
The Forum offers a varied programme of cinema, theatre, music and community events and stages touring theatre, musicians and comedians as well as regular shows throughout the year by the Northallerton Musical Theatre Company.
More information at  The Forum and  Northallerton Musical Theatre Company websites.


Northallerton Town play at Ainderby Road, Romanby.

Northallerton Rugby Club play rugby union at Brompton Lodge, off Northallerton Road.  Northallerton Rugby Club web pages

Northallerton Town Cricket Club is situated off Farndale Avenue, Romanby.  Northallerton Town Cricket Club website

Places to visit

Leeming Bar station

The Wensleydale Railway

Scruton - Leeming Bar - Bedale - Finghall - Leyburn
A railway service into Wensleydale running from Scruton and Leeming Bar, near the A1(M) , towards Bedale, Finghall, Leyburn and, if reopened, to Redmire at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It operates a heritage diesel service and steam on some dates. The line was extended eastwards to Northallerton West, but the effects of flooding on a bridge at the end of 2015 resulted in that section of line remaining closed to passenger services. The railway company currently has aims of restoring a section of the track westward from Leyburn into the National Park at Redmire which has also been closed in recent years.

Further information at the  Wensleydale Railway website

Mount Grace Priory

Staddlebridge, near Osmotherley, North Yorkshire
Mount Grace Priory, situated around 6 miles north-east of Northallerton (7.5 miles by road), is the best preserved Carthusian priory in Britain. The priory gives an insight into how the small group of monks who lived there spent their lives 600 years ago with a reconstruction of a cell, or small house, of one of the hermit monks, with its herb garden and work spaces. Founded in the mid-14th century it was the last monastery to be founded in Yorkshire in medieval times and it was also one of the last in Yorkshire to be supressed, in December 1539. The priory guest house was redesigned in the 17th century as a mansion and now houses an exhibition of the life of the former priory while outside are attractive formal gardens. The Priory can be accessed by car from a minor road leading from the busy 70mph A19 dual carriageway requiring particular care when entering or leaving the site. The priory is also accessible by footpaths. Mount Grace Priory is managed by English Heritage but is owned by the National Trust.

More information at the  English Heritage - Mount Grace Priory or  National Trust - Mount Grace Priory websites.  Find Mount Grace Priory on map

Thorp Perrow

Kings Keld Bank, near Snape, 2 miles south of Bedale
Thorp Perrow Arboretum has one of the UK's finest collection of trees, including rare trees and shrubs. Located alongside the woodlands is a Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre with birds from around the world. There are regular flying demonstations when the weather is good. The mammals include meerkats, wallabies, goats and rare breed sheep. Thorp Perrow also has a children's playground and tea room. In addition to its regular opening times, Thorp Perrow has a programme of special events and experience days.

More information at the  Thorp Perrow website.
Locate on map:  Thorp Perrow

North York Moors National Park

Starting around five miles to the east of Northallerton is the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park, which covers 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres). Within its area are moorland and coast, historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys, attractive villages and market towns and a historic railway. For more information see our page dedicated to the North York Moors.


Northallerton station

Northallerton station Boroughbridge Road

Northallerton station has northbound and southbound platforms on the East Coast Main Line. It is a regular stop for TransPennine Express services from Liverpool and Manchester via Huddersfield, Leeds and York towards Newcastle or Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Grand Central services between London King's Cross and Sunderland stop at Northallerton. Some LNER services between London King's Cross and Edinburgh also stop at the station while others pass at high speed and passengers are warned to stay well clear of the platform edges.


NATIONAL RAIL - Departure and station info
External link to National Rail live departure board for services at this station (opens in new tab).

Bus travel

Buses stop in the High Street near to the Buck Inn and parish church. There are regular buses during the daytime to Bedale via Leeming Bar and a few services each day to Darlington, Kirkby Fleetham, Middlesbrough, Richmond, Ripon, Stokesley and Thirsk.

Road travel

From Northallerton the A167leads northwards towards Darlington and southwards towards Topcliffe. The A168 runs south from Northallerton towards Thirsk and continues as the A19 to York. The A684 runs north-east from Northallerton to join the A19 northbound towards Middlesbrough and also west from Northallerton to Leeming Bar, the A1(M) and Bedale. The B6271 leads north-west from Northallerton towards Richmond.
The town has large car parks within a short walk of the High Street, including one at Applegarth. Some on-street spaces are resticted to residents or time-limited disc parking.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Northallerton Town Hall

Town council

Northallerton Town Council
Northallerton Town Council is based at the Town Hall in High Street. The council has 11 councillors and elects a Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Northallerton. The council maintains the Town Hall, hires out function rooms there and supports allotments, parks and amenities. The Town Hall was originally built in 1873 as a market hall.
Website:  Northallerton Town Council .

Unitary authority

North Yorkshire Council

The North Yorkshire Council is a new unitary authority formed from the previous County Council from April 1, 2023. It covers the existing county duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning over an area of 3,109 square miles while also taking over the responsibilities of the seven huge district authorities also created in 1974 — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — these including local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets serving a population of around 615,500*.

Councillors were elected to the County Council in 2022 and continue as councillors of the new North Yorkshire Council unitary authority. There have been a few by-elections to fill councillor vacancies since then.

Places in  North Yorkshire
Link to council website:  North Yorkshire Council

^ Area figure from ONS Standard Area Measurements 2022 (converted from hectares).
* Population figure from Census 2021 (combined total of former districts).
Contains public sector information licensed under the  Open Government Licence v3.0.

Political composition:

453CI 1311 NY Ind92 LC421
90 members

CI = Conservative & Independent    NY Ind = North Yorkshire Independents group   LC = Labour & Cooperative
Composition and groupings - source North Yorkshire Council (February 2024)

Strategic authority

York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority
The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority was created in December 2023 combining the unitary authority of York and the unitary authority of North Yorkshire — that created in April 2023 after the abolition of the county authority and its seven district authorities. The combined authority will run some functions under the new mayor elected in May 2024 as part of the government's so-called "Devolution deal" which ties the availablity of funding to the new governance arrangements. As well as having powers over housing development, transport and boosting skills and education across the 3,214 square miles of York and North Yorkshire, the elected mayor also takes on the role and functions of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner across the area.

Elected mayor: David Skaith Labour & Cooperative
 York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York. This role is being transferred to the new elected mayor of York and North Yorkshire in 2024.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

Pre-election parliamentary constituency

Elected MP: Rishi Sunak Conservative

New parliamentary constituency

Richmond and Northallerton
Boundaries and the name of this constituency have been changed since the last General Election.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


- 1974:County town of the North Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 - County town of North Yorkshire.
1974 - 2023: In the Hambleton shire district of the North Yorkshire county.

Also in

 New    Places to visit    Gazetteer - a website. Made in Yorkshire UK   |  Terms of use  |  Privacy policy  with  No cookies  |  Contact  |