Friday, 21 September 2012

Wetherby, Yorkshire

The final post in my series about Mothers coach trip to Llandudno is a little surprising as it is no where near North Wales. As we stopped at Wetherby services on the outward journey, the driver decided to give his passengers a change of scenery with a late lunch stop here. I followed the coach on a torturous route around the town wondering where he was going to park. In the end, although I was pleased for the passengers that they were dropped off in the town centre, I had to spend the next ten minutes frantically finding somewhere to park in order not to lose the group. As it seemed like a busy day, my search proved fruitless and had to find a space on the roadside out of town to the north.

( On a side note, family health difficulties with re location have restricted my blogging at the moment. I usually get home about 8:30pm and have to prepare dinner after that. Looming legal and associated house issues mean that my time may be a bit restricted for the next few months ... sorry, it looks like 2012 wasn't my year ... for blogging)

Wetherby Town Hall built in 1845 stands in the market square and replaced prominent buildings such as the prison, courthouse and chapel. The building has since been used as a church school and magistrates court.

"Can we have some business please ? !! "
Wetherby was most famously known as a staging post for travellers on the Great North Road from London to Edinburgh ... yes, that was the main A1 many years ago before motorways ! At one time there were about 40 coaching Inns for this purpose in the town.

As a postscript, most town councils concerned about the increase in traffic discuss the possibility of a diversion. The first simple move was created with a roundabout in 1959 followed by a major road bypass in 1988 at a cost of £11.5 million. Further upgrading of the road took place in 2003 - 4 and 2007 - 9. Interestingly enough it incorporated a modern day staging post in the form of those horrible things called Motorway services ... great for a comfort stop, not so good on the landscape or the wallet ! ... as I discovered on the outward portion of this trip.

The Swan and Talbot which was first licensed in 1678 is maybe a little quieter these days. At one time it brewed it's own beer in a malt kiln and there was a dedicated soldiers room in the eaves ... not that I am suggesting that there is a link !

There has been a market in Wetherby since at least 1240 with a more formal structure called The Shambles built in 1811.

This was originally only meant to open on market day and was designed for a group of butchers. Later in 1888, the building was covered with a roof and farmers were added to the trading list.

The site of the old watermill
Trying to get to grips with a place and what to photograph in a one hour lunch break stop is difficult, particularly when I can't ever recall being here before. The bridge and river is always a good starting point as the ancient name "Wedrebi" is meant to have some additional meaning to "a settlement on the bend of a river "...

The bend of the path !!
Relaxing by the river ! ...
 Historically there was a toll for entering Wetherby on this important route into town half way between London and Edinburgh. It's importance proves a little difficult to understand in modern times as there was a serious reprisal raid on the town in 1319 following The Battle of Bannockburn in Scotland.

Later in history there was further involvement as a result of The English Civil War in 1644.

Several things seemingly barred from The River Wharfe these days ...

... but peaceful nonetheless !

Since it first entered in 1989, Wetherby has won a few national awards over the years for the Britain in Bloom contest. At the outset, most towns see it as an excuse for keeping the place tidy.

The Huguenot Arch is located in a small strip of garden next to the main road and was a small passageway between two houses. It was thought that French refugees built it back in 1827 with a foundation stone that reads "Love your neighbour as yourself says the Evangelist".

( Sometimes in life, if you want something done, it's easier to do it yourself but not in this case as it took me hours to "tidy" away the Queens Diamond Jubilee bunting !! )

The not so "cut price" Wetherby House !
The Doctors surgery ( 1890 -1971 ) is now partitioned off with various uses, it depicts the comparison of how business and service industry lasted on one site both then and now. I wonder how long the bookshop will last.

The Black Bull ... a market place feature still here.

The customary J_on_tour alley shot !

... and window shot !!  (toyshop)

All this talk takes my mind from the reason why we stopped here to get some lunch. If I keep distracting you with idle chit chat ...

more than one thing will leave you empty by escaping through your fingers and slipping away ...


  1. what a funny sculpture on the last picture! I like it!

  2. In common with so many towns it has a lot more to offer than I would ever have suspected.
    A wonderful look round. Better than the services by a long way.

  3. First of all, it's good to hear from you J! I know things have been hectic and difficult there, but good to have you back - even if only occasionally.

    I am always so interested in the name origins of the places in Yorkshire. Thanks for telling us about Wetherby in that regard. I looked it up on and found that it is so close to Harrogate. So Wetherby is another place we missed by just a few miles!

    Thanks for telling us about the history Wetherby has seen, re. revenge for Bannockburn and also the Civil War.

    Since I'd also seen the name Talbot in Richmond, I was curious to know what that means. Is there another meaning, or does it simply refer to the hound dog? Just curious.

    I love the photos of the stone portico and the arches, of course. Enjoyed your comment on the dam. :-) The French doors are beautiful, but why would you clone out the Queen's Diamond Jubilee bunting? You know we love that stuff. lol I enjoyed the Black Bull sign. Never too many signs for me.

    I am sorry this comment is way too long. If you didn't post so many interesting parts, I could sum it up in a few words, 'Nice post, J!' lol

    The only thing you could add to your posts that would make them better would be an audio of you reading the post. You know your American readers love those northern accents. :-) Enjoyed all the photos!

  4. What I love in UK are exactly this kind of places, with memories of old days, very well preserved. I would enjoy a stroll along the river, anf then I'l visit the bookshop:)

  5. I have never been to Wetherby, you have made it look really interesting.

    I hope you manage to get all your problems sorted out.

  6. J, I was admiring the detail of the doors without noticing there ever was any bunting and the litter bins disappeared without trace. Good job. I needed to retouch a few photographs which I was preparing for a photo book from my mother-in-law's birthday party and I had my hands full with the work.

    Wetherby seems an interesting town with lots of picturesque buildings.

  7. It is always nice a walk with you in your beautiful country!
    I have been long time away..
    So, I hope that you are fine, dear J.!
    Wish you all the best!!!!!

  8. Hope you had a good break in Shrewsbury. Sounds like fun. I think you needed that much-deserved time away!

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  10. Ciao J., Wetherby is definitely a nice stopping point! ^_^
    I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

  11. How are you, Jayz? Hope you're okay.

    Happy 2013! All the best for you this new year. :)


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