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Leyburn Market Square
Leyburn is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population2,183 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSE114904
Civil parish
  • Leyburn
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEYBURN
Postcode districtDL8
Dialling code01969
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
54°18′32″N 1°49′44″W / 54.309°N 1.829°W / 54.309; -1.829Coordinates: 54°18′32″N 1°49′44″W / 54.309°N 1.829°W / 54.309; -1.829

Leyburn is a market town and civil parish in the district of Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, England, sitting above the northern bank of the River Ure in Wensleydale. Historically in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the name was derived from 'Ley' or 'Le' (clearing), and 'burn' (stream), meaning clearing by the stream; the town boasts two markets, several pubs, one bank with cash machine and the Co-op supermarket with a cash machine inside, and many small speciality stores. Market day is Friday, it is served by local buses that connect to Richmond, Hawes, Bedale and Northallerton.

Leyburn has been featured in the Tour de France and the 2012 Olympics torch relay; the cyclists in Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire in May 2018 travelled through Leyburn.[2]

Town information and business[edit]

Leyburn had a population of 1,844 at the 2001 census[3] increasing to 2,183 at the 2011 Census;[1] the estimated population in 2015 was 2,190.[4] The number swells in summer with visitors to the Yorkshire Dales national park. Public services, with a primary school, a secondary school which serves the whole of Wensleydale, a police station and a medical centre. Several independently owned shops are situated around a market square with a number of pubs and bars. Shops include a small department store called Milners of Leyburn, Campbell's supermarket, a chocolate shop, a range of oriental takeaways, electrical stores and a hunting and sports shop. Leyburn is home to Tennants Auctioneers, the largest auction house in Europe which holds more than 80 sales each year and attracts buyers and sellers from around the world. In 2008 Tennants sold a rare Chinese vase for £2.6 million, a record price at the time. Adjacent to Tennants is The Garden Rooms, the largest multi-purpose events and exhibitions venue with a capacity for 640 people for weddings and concerts.

Leyburn has four Christian places of worship; the Evangelical church and the Catholic church of St Peter and St Paul are both on Richmond Road, the Methodist church is on Harmby road and just east of the town centre is the Anglican church of St Matthew.[5][6]

Although a small town, Leyburn has its own railway station on the re-opened Wensleydale Railway which offers tourist rides throughout the dale, mostly on diesel multiple units but occasionally on a steam train; the town also has a local market in the town centre every Friday and a farmers' market which specialises in local meats once a month.

Leyburn has appeared in various television programmes including The Department Store: Milner's, on BBC Four in 2008, and the 1960s-set drama series, Heartbeat.

Harmby Waterfalls near Leyburn

Leyburn has two hotels and several bed and breakfasts situated in or close to the town centre; the town is a centre for walking, cycling and general sight-seeing, especially the waterfalls for which Wensleydale is renowned. The town is famous for the Leyburn Shawl, an escarpment of about 1.5 miles in length which provides panoramic views of rolling Wensleydale. According to legend, Mary, Queen of Scots, upon fleeing captivity in nearby Bolton Castle, dropped her shawl en route to Leyburn; the Shawl is the start of several circular walks taking in the nearby village of Wensley, from where Wensleydale takes its name.[7][8]

Leyburn Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1895; the club continued until the late 1950s.[9]

The Tour de Yorkshire in May 2018 started in Richmond and finished in Scarborough; the cyclists travelled through Leyburn.[10][11]

Leyburn is close to a meadow nature reserve called Leyburn Old Glebe.


An electoral ward in the same name exists; this ward includes Harmby with a total population of 2,554.[12]

Annual events[edit]

Annually there is a Dales Festival of Food and Drink, which is held in June.

There is an annual 1940s weekend, which takes place each year at the end of July.[13]

Wensleydale agricultural show takes place on the third Saturday in August. Saturday 23 August 2014 marked the 100th Wensleydale Show.[14]

The local Rotary Club sponsors the annual Wensleydale Wander in March or April, organised walks of 12 miles (19 km) and 22 miles (35 km).


The town's secondary school, the Wensleydale School, has just over 500 pupils, it serves the whole of Wensleydale which includes the towns and villages between Leyburn and Hawes. The school has a sixth form with around 80 students enrolled. In 2006 the School became a Specialist Science College under a programme discontinued in 2010;[15] the town's primary school is Leyburn Community Primary School, from where a vast majority of the pupils proceed to the Wensleydale School for secondary education. There was a St Peter and St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School, now closed.[16]

Notable people[edit]

Leyburn is the home town of footballer Michael Dawson and his elder brother, Andy.[17]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Leyburn Parish (E04007497)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Tour de Yorkshire". North Yorkshire County Council. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  3. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Leyburn Parish (36UE058)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  4. ^ "2015 Population Estimates Parishes" (PDF). northyorks.gov.uk. p. 15. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Leyburn Conservation Area" (PDF). richmondshire.gov.uk. 23 February 2010. p. 14. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Genuki: The Wensleydale Evangelical Church, Leyburn, Yorkshire (North Riding)". www.genuki.org.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Shawl tales of Queen Mary's escape". Darlington and Stockton Times. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Follow in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots in Leyburn". Yorkshire Life. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Leyburn Golf Club". Golf’s Missing Links. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  10. ^ "TOUR DE YORKSHIRE: When and where you can see the race in Ryedale". Gazette & Herald. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Tour de Yorkshire times 2018 - Thirsk Tourist Information". www.visitthirsk.org.uk. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics - Area: Leyburn (Ward)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  13. ^ "26th & 27th July 2014". Leyburn 1940s Weekend Website. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  14. ^ Show, Wensleydale. "The 2013 Show". Wensleydale Agricultural Society. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  15. ^ "The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form". The Wensleydale School. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  16. ^ "St Peter and St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School, Leyburn - GOV.UK". www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Home Team Is Feeling Happy". The Northern Echo. 22 November 2002. Retrieved 8 February 2012.

External links[edit]