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North Riding
Yarm - geograph.org.uk - 176311.jpg
Yarm and the Tees
Grid reference: NZ416124
Location: 54°30’18"N, 1°20’53"W
Population: 8,679  (2001)
Post town: Yarm
Postcode: TS15
Dialling code: 01642
Local Government
Council: Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton South

Yarm is a small town in the North Riding of Yorkshire, on the south bank of the River Tees. The bridge at Yarm marked the last crossing point of tidal section of the River Tees until the Tees Barrage was built in Stockton. The oldest part of the town around High Street is situated in a loop of the river and the newer parts of the town extends to the point where the River Leven meets the River Tees.

Yarm is divided into the peninsular area where the town centre is found and five estates: Willey Flatts, Layfield Farm, The Kebbell (locally known as Spitalfields), Leven Park and Levendale (some time known as Ingleby Grange).

The town

High Street

The small town hall in High Street was built in 1710 by Thomas Belasyse who was Lord of the Manor. In a poll taken for the BBC's Breakfast programme on 19 January 2007 Yarm's High Street was voted the "Best High Street".[1] The many Georgian-style old buildings, with their red pantile roofs, fronting High Street and its cobbled parking areas add to the visual appeal of the town.

The High Street is part of the A67, the main road through the area until a bypass was built in the 1970s. The road is still used by heavy goods traffic travelling both ways as a shortcut to Teesside Airport. The classification of the road as an 'A'-road means that it is not possible to place a ban on heavy goods vehicles; however the town council has made efforts to come up with voluntary agreements with many haulage firms.

Hope House, Yarm


Yarm is bordered by two rivers. The Tees is located to the north, which forms the county boundary between Yorkshire and County Durham and the Leven to the east, which is a tributary of the Tees. In its past, Yarm was the highest port on the Tees, and merchant vessels sailed up the tidal river to Yarm from the North Sea to unload their cargoes.


Yarm has two road bridges over the rivers:

  • Yarm Bridge crosses the Tees from the High Street to Eaglescliffe.
  • Leven Bridge crosses the Leven between Yarm and Low Leven. It is a Grade II listed structure, and recently (2010) had to close temporarily for repairs after cracks was discovered revealing serious structural damage.[2]


  • Church of England: Parish Church - St Mary Magdalene, on West Street A church has stood on the site since at least the 9th century.
  • Methodist: Yarm Methodist Church, said to be John Wesley's "favourite chapel" is a unique octagonal church, which stands on Chapel Yard, on the east side of the town by the river.
  • Roman Catholic: Ss Mary and Romuald, at the south end of High Street.

Around and about the town


The Rookery

Yarm has several areas of woodland, most of which are part of private estates.

The Rookery is a public area of woodland next to the River Tees situated at the bottom of Goose Pasture. The ash, sycamore and lime woodland is estimated to be about 200 years in age and is owned by Yarm Town Council. In 2002 a walkway was constructed around the wood to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Within the woodland, close to the river, BMX riders have created numerous dirt ramps which are regularly used during summer months.

Viaduct and railway stations

The imposing 2,280 foot-long railway viaduct was built between 1849 and 1851 for the Leeds Northern Railway Company. Its designers were Thomas Grainger and John Bourne. It has some 7 million bricks and has 43 arches. The two arches which span the river Tees are skewed and made of stone.[3][4]

The original Yarm railway station, now closed, was situated on the Eaglescliffe side of the river at the north end of the viaduct. The modern station, opened in 1996, is un-manned and located to the south of Yarm, off Green Lane.

Yarm Viaduct


The name of the town is thought to be derived from the Old Norse word yarum meaning an enclosure to catch fish. Yarm was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and was originally a chapelry in the Kirklevington parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire; it later became a parish in its own right.[5]

Bishop Skirlaw of Durham built a stone bridge across the Tees in 1400 which still stands. An iron replacement was built in 1805, but it fell down in 1806. For many years Yarm was the head of the tide and of navigation on the Tees.

On 12 February 1821 at the George & Dragon Inn, the meeting was held that pressed for the third and successful attempt for a Bill to give permission to build the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world's first steam-driven public railway.


Many events are held in the town each year such as a fair and a 3-mile fun run.


Yarm Fair 2006

A fair is held in High Street in the third week in October. It starts on the Tuesday evening and lasts until Saturday night. It was once a commercial fair that traded in cheese and livestock, but is now primarily a funfair. Gypsies still attend the fair and ride horses up and down the street on the Saturday, though they are made to wait outside the town until six o'clock on the Tuesday afternoon before they are allowed to cross the bridge from County Durham into the town.

Fun run

Yarm has an annual fun run. The run starts at Conyers School and ends on Snaith's Field. It used to end outside Yarm Parish Church, but this changed some time around 1998.

Charities fair

Yarm and District Lions Club run a charities fair in High Street every year. This mostly takes a market-like approach.

Lighting of the Christmas tree

A ceremony takes place each Advent to light the town's Christmas tree. Christmas carols are sung to a band and High Street is temporarily closed for the event.

Picture gallery

Viaduct seen across the River Tees in 2003
A view of Yarm, including the viaduct