The market town is 7 miles north-east of
As well as being the county town, Northallerton is the administrative centre of the large 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.
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.
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 has public conveniences (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 8am-4.30pm, Sun closed) at its Town Hall. There are also toilets at the station.
Northallerton is alongside Willow Beck which flows into the River Wiske about 2 miles south west of the town.
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
Northallerton Town play at Ainderby Road, Romanby.
Northallerton Rugby Club play rugby union at Brompton Lodge, off Northallerton Road.
Northallerton Town Cricket Club is situated off Farndale Avenue, Romanby.
Places to visit
The Wensleydale Railway
A railway service into the Yorkshire Dales running from Leeming Bar, near the A1(M) towards Bedale, Finghall, Leyburn and Redmire, at the edge of the
Further information at the
Mount Grace PrioryStaddlebridge, 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
North York Moors National ParkStarting 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
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
Station managed by: TransPennine Express
Operators: TransPennine Express - Grand Central - LNER -
Bus travelBuses stop in the High Street near to the Buck Inn and parish church. There are regular buses during the daytime to
Road travelFrom Northallerton the A167leads northwards towards Darlington and southwards towards Topcliffe. The A168 runs south from Northallerton towards
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 servicesNorth Yorkshire Police
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Town councilNorthallerton 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.
District authorityHambleton District Council
Hambleton district council is one of the seven large district authorities within the county of North Yorkshire with its Civic Centre at Stone Cross, Northallerton.
It covers 506 square miles of the mainly rural area in the northern area of North Yorkshire adjoining the Hambleton Hills, after which the authority is named.
The council area includes
The council is made up of 28 councillors representing 17 wards, with between 1 and 3 representatives per ward. Councillors are elected every four years.
The district has extensive coverage of parish and town councils and parish meetings with 78 town and parish councils and 57 parish meetings.
Link to council website
The political composition of the council as at April 2019 was:
County authorityNorth Yorkshire County Council
Northallerton is the county town of North Yorkshire, the county council covering Hambleton and six other non-unitary districts of North Yorkshire. County Hall is at the corner of Boroughbridge Road and Racecourse Lane.
Police and Crime CommissionerPolice and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and City of York.
Fire AuthorityThe North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was previously governed by the North Yorkshire Combined Fire Authority made up of elected members from across the broad areas of North Yorkshire and City of York councils which it serves. Following a ministerial announcement in June 2018 the governance of the fire service was transferred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire from 15 November 2018.
Further information at the