Tadcaster is at the centre of a set of beautiful villages and hamlets scattered across the Vale of York and rising onto the magnesian limestone ridge to the west. Each has its own unique charms, as well as fascinating history, charming pubs and hidden secrets!
Acaster Selby is a small hamlet located on the west bank of the River Ouse. It is part of the joint civil parish with Appleton Roebuck.
Appleton Roebuck – Lying around 7 miles from Tadcaster, Appleton Roebuck is located in the southern part of the wider territory known as “The Ainsty”. Traditionally it was farming community that has origins before being recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. It lies in a triangular area of land bound to the east by the river Wharfe. Today it has a primary school, a village hall, a pre-school, a tennis club, two Samuel Smith’s pubs and a diver training college!
Barkston Ash is a small village close to Sherburn-in-Elmet. The ash tree that stands on the top of Main Street was often said to mark the centre of Yorkshire. It was replaced in the 1980s because of age and disease and a new tree was planted in its place. A section of the original tree was kept and is still available to see. Legend has it that anyone who spits at the tree will be struck by lightning a year and a day later….
The village benefits from a small Catholic primary school, a village hall, two pre-schools and two pubs.
Bilbrough is a village six miles south-west of York, and just outside the York city boundary. The village is the subject of a 17th-century poem, “Upon the hill and grove at Bilbrough”, written by English metaphysical poet, Andrew Marvell. The main street in Bilbrough is home to The Three Hares public house and a parish church which dates back to Norman times.
Thomas Fairfax is buried in Bilbrough church. Thomas was famous for winning the battle of Naseby. In the 1640s, Fairfax was a hero to many, charismatic, respected. When the famous New Model Army was founded, Thomas Fairfax was made its commander-in-chief – with Oliver Cromwell in charge of the cavalry.
Bolton Percy is a small village with a population of around 300 people and is located about four miles east of Tadcaster. The village has a village hall, a Samuel Smith’s pub – the Crown Inn, a cricket club set in the most beautiful surrounding countryside and a charming and popular tea room, Doyly’s. All Saints’ Church was consecrated in the 15th Century and is a spectacular building packed with history and character – definitely worth a visit if you are in the area!
Church Fenton is an historic North Yorkshire farming village with a thriving community near to the market towns of Tadcaster and Selby. The location offers the benefits and tranquility of a rural community, as well as being within easy travelling distance of the commercial and cultural opportunities of the nearby cities of Leeds and York, as well as great places of historical interest and heritage.
Colton is a small hamlet on the road between Appleton Roebuck and Copmanthorpe. Colton is also home to Ye Old Sun Inn – a popular, award winning pub and restaurant with a range of beers and an innovative menu using the very best local produce.
Healaugh is a small village 3 miles north east of Tadcaster and home to a delightful Norman church, St John the Evangelist.
Kirby Wharfe is a quiet hamlet 2 miles south of Tadcaster and home to the St John the Baptist church. The graves of 23 airmen of the 1939-1945 War are in a special group on a portion of land set aside by the Parochial Church Council for the use of the Royal Air Force Fighter Sector Station at Church Fenton.
Newton Kyme is a quiet hamlet some 3 miles north of Tadcaster on the River Wharfe. It has a small church, St. Andrews, and the remains of a Roman fort. A pleasant riverside walk links the village with Tadcaster. Newton Kyme is built close to the ancient site of the St Helen’s Roman Fort and is believed to actually have been built upon the earlier Roman settlement. Further evidence of the Roman presence in the area is Rudgate, which at one time crossed the Wharfe at St Helensford.
Saxton is home to All Saints C of E church, a primary school, a village hall, one pub, the Greyhound, a cricket club, horse riding stables and school and the surviving medieval motte of Saxton Castle. On the outskirts of the village lies The Crooked Billet Public House and the tiny 14th-century church, St Marys Lead, which stands alone in the middle of a field, only a short distance away from the site of the Battle of Towton.
Scarthingwell is a tiny hamlet a few miles soputh of Tadcaster on the road to Sherburn in Elmet. Despite its size, it is home to a popular Golf course, Barchester Care home, a cluster of small retail outlets and the Grade II listed Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception St John the Worker.
Stutton is a quiet village, adjoining Tadcaster to the south, with a popular Sam Smith’s public house, the Hare and Hounds and St Aidans church.
Towton is located a short distance to the south of Tadcaster and is a quiet village with a pub, the Rockingham Arms. Towton is famous for the Battle of Towton, the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil, which brought the Wars of the Roses to an end in 1461. Ten thousand men are said to have been killed, and Cock Beck, which runs nearby, is said to have run red with blood.
Ulleskelf is a popular village south of Tadcaster and located on the river Wharfe. It is served by Ulleskelf railway station, where up to ten trains a day run, all operated by Northern Rail. It has one public house, the Ulleskelf Arms and a post office/general store.