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North Riding
Catterick Village Green
Grid reference: SE240980
Location: 54°22’37"N, 1°37’48"W
Population: 3,155
Post town: Richmond
Postcode: DL10
Dialling code: 01748
Local Government
Council: Richmondshire
Richmond (Yorks)

Catterick is a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, sitting just to the west of the River Swale, 8½ miles north-west of Northallerton.

This is an ancient village, on the route of the old Roman Road known as Dere Street – it was a garrison town then and it is a garrison town now.

It lends its name to the adjacent army camp, Catterck Garrison – the biggest British army garrison in the world – and the nearby hamlet of Catterick Bridge.

Catterick Garrison is a major garrison located three miles south of Richmond. It is the largest British Army garrison in the world with a population of around 13,000 and measuring over 2,400 acres.


The name 'Catterick' is derived from the Latin place name, "Cataractonium" or from a cognate British language. "Cataractonium" resembles a Latin/Greek mixture meaning "place of a waterfall", but it might have been a Roman interpretation of a British name reconstructed as Catu-rātis, which would mean "battle ramparts"; the latte interpretation is partly supported by the spelling Κατουρακτονιον on the Ptolemy world map.[1][2][3]

St Anne's Church, Catterick

Parish church

The church in the village is dedicated to St Anne and is a Grade I listed building.[4] The current building was completed in 1412 and added to in both 15th and 19th centuries.[5][6] A Wesleyan chapel was built in the village in 1842 on Low Green next to the local public house.[6]


The village is mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia of c. 150 as a landmark to locate the 24th clime.[7] It dates back to Roman times, when Cataractonium was a Roman fort protecting the crossing of the Great North Road and Dere Street over the River Swale.

Catterick is thought to be the site of the Battle of Catraeth (c. 598) mentioned in the Welsh language poem Y Gododdin: this battle was fought between Celtic British kingdoms and the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia. Catraeth is honoured too in Taliesin's The Battle of Gwenystrad; its people were apparently warriors for Urien of Rheged in Gwenystrad (possibly Wensleydale).

Paulinus of York performed baptisms nearby in the River Swale.[8]

It is also mentioned in the Domesday Book as Catrice and the manor was held by Earl Edwin at the time of the Norman invasion. Afterwards it was granted to Count Alan of Brittany.[9] Thereafter the demesne manor was held by the lords of Richmond. The manor has been held by John of Gaunt in the 14th century and the Earls of Salisbury in the 15th century. The manor was held for a while by Sir John Conyers from 1484. During the reign of Queen Mary I, the manor was granted to the youngest daughter of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, whose son Francis Barrington inherited the honour. The Barrington family passed the manor to Richard Braithwaite whose descendants inherited the manor and held it until the 18th century. Other lords of the manor included the Lawson family, who held it into the late 19th century.[5][6]

Pallet Hill, just to the north of the village church, is the site of the earthwork remains of a motte and bailey castle. It is thought to have been built by King Stephen in the mid 14th century to control the Great North Road. It has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[10] To the south of the village on the south side of the A1/A6163 interchange, is the site of a small Roman roadside settlement and cemetery on Bainesse farm.[6] It has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[11]

In later times, Catterick prospered as a coaching town where travellers up the Great North Road would stop overnight and refresh themselves and their horses; today's Angel Inn was once a coaching inn. A mile to the south-east are the surviving earthworks of Killerby Castle, a mediæval motte-and-bailey castle. RAF Catterick, the airfield to the south of the village, was transferred to the Army and is now Marne Barracks, named after the site of two turning-point battles of the First World War.


Brough Beck, Catterick

The village lies along A6163 road to Richmond and is by-passed by the A1. The A1 bypass, which cost £1 million at the time, was opened in 1959 by Lord Chesham, the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport.[12] The River Swale turns southward just to the north of the village at Catterick Bridge and flows to the east side of the Catterick. Brough Beck runs east through the village to join the River Swale. There are several bodies of water that are the result of quarrying. Within two and a half miles of Catterick are the villages of Brompton-on-Swale, Catterick Bridge, Colburn, Tunstall, East Appleton, Ellerton-on-Swale, Whitwell, Scorton and Uckerby.

Culture and community

Marne Barracks borders the village to the south along Leeming Lane and Oran Lane. The base and Service quarters are separated from the village by a protective fence. There are a few local businesses, such as take-away food outlets, local store with Post Office, public house and a Car Service Station. There is a sports ground which is used for Cricket and Football.

BFBS Radio (British Forces Broadcasting) broadcasts from studios on Shute Road across the town and surrounding areas on 106.9FM as part of its UK Bases network

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Catterick)


  1. Rivet & Smith, ( Ed. 1979–1982), Place-Names of Roman Britain
  2. Watts (2011). Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names. Cambridge University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0521168557. 
  3. A.D. Mills (1998). Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford Paperbacks. p. 103. ISBN 978-0192800749. 
  4. St Anne's Church - British Listed Buildings
  5. 5.0 5.1 Catterick
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. pp. 392–397. ISBN 1-86150-299-0. 
  7. Stevenson, Edward Luther. "Trans. and ed. 1932. Claudius Ptolemy: The Geography. New York Public Library. Reprint: Dover, 1991, Latinized English translation, Book II Chapter 2".*.html#Caturactonium. Retrieved 16 August 2006. 
  8. Marios Costambeys, ‘Paulinus [St Paulinus] (d. 644)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, October 2005 accessed 30 April 2011
  9. Catterick in the Domesday Book
  10. "14th century Motte and Bailey Castle". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  11. "Roman remains and cemetery". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  12. "A1 Bypass". The Motorway Archive. Retrieved 22 June 2013.