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North Riding
Houses in Aysgarth (6216).jpg
Houses in Aysgarth
Grid reference: SE004883
Location: 54°17’26"N, 1°59’40"W
Population: 178  (2011)
Post town: Leyburn
Postcode: DL8
Local Government
Council: Richmondshire
Richmond (Yorks)

Aysgarth is a village in Wensleydale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is on the south bank of the River Ure and is to be found about 16 miles south-west of Richmond.

The village is famous for the Aysgarth Falls: three spectacular sets of waterfalls on the River Ure.


A Bronze Age burial has been found in the village.[1]

The village is listed in the Domesday Book as Echescard. The name is derived from the Old Norse words eiki ('oak') and skarð, which may mean open space, cleft or mountain pass, so the probable meaning is Oak tree cleft, referring to the valley cut by the River Ure.[2][3][4][5]

At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was held by Cnut, son of Karli. Afterwards the manor was in the possession of Count Alan of Brittany, who granted lordship to Geoffrey of Swaffham.[6] By the 13th century, the manor was in the hands of the Burgh family of Hackforth. The manor descended with the manor of Hackforth until 1480 at which time they were conveyed to the Crown in the person of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Some lands in the manor in the 13th century came into the hands of the lords of Middleham and then followed the descent of the manor of Thoralby.[7][8]

The village once had a railway station: Aysgarth station was on the Hawes Branch of the North Eastern Railway, opening in 1878 though it closed in April 1954.[9]


Aysgarth Falls (Upper)

The village lies along the A684 road on the south bank of the River Ure. The nearest settlements are Carperby to the north, Thoralby to the south-west and West Burton to the south-east, all within a mile of of the village.

Aysgarth Falls

Main article: Aysgarth Falls

A portion of the Upper Falls

The Aysgarth Falls are a triple flight of waterfalls on the River Ure over a one-mile stretch of the river. Theyt are distinct waterfalls; the Upper Falls, Middle Falls and Lower Falls. The waterfalls are fast flowing, especially during wet weather, as thousands of gallons of water cascade over the series of broad limestone steps. The Falls are a popular tourist attraction and have been the subject of works by Ruskin, Turner[10] and Wordsworth, who all visited the area. The Upper Fall was featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.[11]

Castle Dykes Henge

To the west of the village is a Neolithic earthwork called Castle Dykes Henge. It is a scheduled monument.[12]

Culture and community

There are a few local businesses in Aysgarth, and gift shops for tourists. There is a Youth Hostel near the falls.[13] To the east of the village is a caravan and lodge park.

Public houses

There are two public houses in the village, The George and Dragon Inn and the Aysgarth Falls Hotel, which until 2010 was the Palmer Flatt Hotel.[14] The bar here was known as the Miner's Arms.[15] and as such was listed along with the George in Baines' Directory of 1823.[16]

The George and Dragon dates from the 17th century[17] when it was a coaching inn and is now a Grade II listed building.[18] It was among the top 30 nominees to be Yorkshire's Favourite Pub 2015, an event organized by Welcome to Yorkshire.[19]

The Aysgarth Falls Hotel was listed in the 2016 competition.[20]


St Andrew, Aysgarth

St Andrew's Church in Aysgarth was substantially rebuilt in 1536,[21] and restored in 1866. It is now a Grade II* listed building.[22]

The unusually large churchyard extends to about four acres.

The church preserves a number of fittings that were rescued from Jervaulx Abbey at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, including a rood screen and the abbot's stall.[7][8][23]

The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists[24] both had chapels in the village: the Wesleyan chapel only is still in use.[25] The Society of Friends had a meeting house.[8]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Aysgarth)


  1. UK
  2. Watts (2011). Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names. Cambridge University Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0521168557. 
  3. A.D. Mills (1998). Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford Paperbacks. p. 26. ISBN 978-0192800749. 
  4. Southport Visiter
  5. Dictionary of American Family Names
  6. Aysgarth in the Domesday Book
  7. 7.0 7.1 [1]
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Bulmer's Topography, History and Directory (Private and Commercial) of North Yorkshire 1890. S&N Publishing. 1890. pp. 322–323. ISBN 1-86150-299-0. 
  9. Suggitt, Gordon (2005). Lost railways of North and East Yorkshire. Newbury: Countryside Books. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-1-85306-918-5. 
  10. "Turner Artwork". Tate Britain. 2013. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-aysgarth-force-richmondshire-tw1080. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  11. "Film Location". Internet Movie Database. 2013. https://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Aysgarth%20Falls,%20Aysgarth,%20Wensleydale,%20North%20Yorkshire,%20England,%20UK. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  12. National Heritage List 1008878: Castle Dykes Henge
  13. "Youth Hostel". Disqus.com. 2013. http://www.youthhostelsguide.com/hostels/view/7. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  14. "About us". Aysgarth Falls Hotel. http://www.aysgarthfallshotel.com/about-us. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  15. Baddeley, Mountford John Byrde (1890). Yorkshire. Maps and plans by Bartholomew, Volume 2. London: Dulau. p. 70. https://archive.org/details/yorkshiremapspla02badd. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  16. Baines, Edward (1823). History, Directory & Gazetteer of Yorkshire, Vol. II: East & North Ridings, 1823. Leeds: Edward Baines at the Leeds Mercury office. pp. 408–9. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-xgHAAAAYAAJ. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  17. "Real Ale, Real Welcome!". The George and Dragon Inn, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. http://www.georgeanddragonaysgarth.co.uk/. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  18. National Heritage List 1301553: The George and Dragon, Aysgarth
  19. "Which pub will be crowned Yorkshire's favourite?". Stray FM. 28 May 2015. https://www.strayfm.com/news/local-news/1626330/which-pub-will-be-crowned-yorkshires-favourite/. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  20. "2016 Yorkshire's Favourite Pub competition". Welcome to Yorkshire. http://www.yorkshire.com/pub/top-30. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  21. "Aysgarth Church". Britannia.com. http://www.britannia.com/tours/yorksmon/aysgarth.html. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  22. National Heritage List 1318439: St Andrew's Church Aysgarth
  23. "Aysgarth Church". The George and Dragon Inn, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. http://www.georgeanddragonaysgarth.co.uk/wensleydale.htm. Retrieved 18 April 2009. 
  24. "GENUKI: Aysgarth Parish information from Bulmers' 1890.". http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/NRY/Aysgarth/Aysgarth90.html. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  25. "Methodist Church". North Yorkshire Dales Methodist Circuit. 2013. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140113040912/http://www.nydalesmeth.org.uk/aysgarth.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.